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The Definitive Guide to Over the Road (OTR) Trucking

It can be overwhelming to move large, expansive freight across long distances. Whether regionally or nationally, the logistics of ‘who’ and ‘how’ to do so is critical. Over-The-Road Transportation (OTR) is a popular, cost-efficient method of transportation to move products. We’ll cover what OTR Transportation is, the types of freight it hauls when you should select this method of transport, and when it’s not recommended to select this method of transportation.

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What is Over-the-Road Transportation?

Over-The-Road Transportation refers to truck drivers hauling freight over long distances across the United States and Canada. Specific freight types include heavy freight, machinery, construction materials, and other equipment. Most of the time, consumers compare OTR Transportation with Rail Transport, which we have actually covered in our recent blog! OTR Transportation is popular because it can be accessed from almost every local destination, it provides door-to-door service, and comes with cheaper packing costs, enabling more flexibility in scheduling deliveries.

Examples of OTR Transportation

 Image of a Step Deck truck with an

It’s best to use OTR Transportation when the haul involves:

  • Any size order from a single pallet to 30 skids.
  • Cargo that needs to be expedited or is a time-sensitive shipment.
  • Any distance.
  • Requires a dry or temperature-controlled space.
  • Is high in value.
  • Or is fragile or vibration sensitive.

Additionally, there are three common types of transportation that fall within OTR: Full Truckload (FTL), Less Than Truckload (LTL), and Van Transportation.

  • FTL is when an entire trailer is reserved for a single shipper’s freight.
  • LTL is when there are multiple shippers sharing space on the same truck.
  • Van Transportation refers to transporting both in public areas and on roads. It’s favorable due to the rates and accessibility it offers while in transport.

OTR Transportation & Your Freight

Image of a Tanker Truck Driving Down a Road during Autumn

If you’re considering if OTR Transportation is what you need, here is a list of the most common freight that would be best paired with this method of transport.

  • Non-perishable foods and beverages, clothes, and other small dry goods.
  • Glass products.
  • Art pieces.
  • Household goods, furniture, and electronics.

Does one of the above match the freight you usually haul? Then Over-The-Road Transportation is the right fit for your business.

When Not to Choose OTR Transport

If you’re not on a time crunch to ship freight, OTR Transportation may not be the best option. Intermodal (Rail) Transportation runs on set schedules and fixed routes, making it easy to coordinate upcoming delivery times for cargo. If there are circumstantial weather forecasts looming over your area, OTR can experience delays based on road conditions. If you are transporting freight into highly congested metropolitan areas, transportation fees may be higher.

However, OTR Transport is highly versatile and can ship a wide range of products at any distance, making it the most common, and most popular, mode of transportation.

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Does Over-The-Road Transportation align with your needs? To learn more about the other transport types Lone Star Logistics offers, please fill out our Shipper Request Form to get started, and you will hear from a member of our team with a personalized approach to your shipping requirements. Lone Star Logistics is a federally licensed, non-asset-based freight brokerage. Best of all, we tailor each transport service for every client.

Don’t press the brake; hit the gas and get started today by calling a member of our 24/7 bilingual support team at 833-562-3722 or via email at

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