Understanding Intrastate Trucking

When most people think of trucking, they imagine long-haul routes that travel across multiple states and even coast-to-coast. This is known as over-the-road (OTR) trucking and while it is one of the most common starting points for new drivers, it is not the only type of driving job available. Intrastate trucking, which includes routes only within a specific state, is also an option, although the availability of routes and the requirements for getting these jobs may vary.

More information about intrastate trucking:

What is Considered Intrastate Trucking?

An intrastate trucker transports goods and materials within state lines.

In order for the route to fall under intrastate commerce laws and state-level trucking regulations, the following must be true:

  • The pick-up and delivery locations are in the same state.
  • The truck does not cross state lines. For example, if you have a pick-up and delivery in the same state, but the most efficient route uses a highway that crosses into another state and back, this is no longer intrastate trucking.
  • The freight does not continue its journey and move out of state. This means that interstate commerce laws apply to freight that may be hauled between terminals in one state, but then travel out of the state afterward.

FMCSA Age Requirements

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets requirements for earning a commercial driver’s license (CDL). One of these is that you must be 21 years of age or older to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) across state lines. However, you can earn a CDL with the intrastate restriction if you are 18 years of age or older.

This leads many individuals interested in trucking to wonder whether it’s worthwhile to earn a CDL at 18 and start with intrastate trucking. The answer depends on your individual circumstances and the job market in your area. In most cases, new drivers start with OTR jobs because these are the most accessible to drivers without previous experience and because these provide wide exposure to driving conditions so you can build your skills. However, areas with lots of agriculture or jobs moving construction vehicles may have more options available for younger drivers. Be sure to check the requirements and honestly consider whether you are able to do the job confidently, as many intrastate jobs involve more city driving or other difficult conditions, which can be challenging to navigate in large vehicles.

Types of Intrastate Trucking Jobs

Some types of trucking jobs are more common to find intrastate opportunities for. Depending on specific state motor vehicle department requirements and applicable FMCSA regulations, some of these may or may not require a CDL. Be sure to check the requirements for any specific job you are interested in.

Possible types of intrastate driving jobs:

  • Agricultural transport
  • Tow trucks
  • Construction vehicles, including dump trucks, cement trucks, and bucket trucks
  • Box trucks
  • Garbage trucks

Earn Your CDL in Phoenix

If you’re interested in a trucking career, Phoenix Truck Driving Institute can help you get started. You can earn your CDL in as little as four weeks and we offer job placement assistance. We’re happy to discuss the different types of trucking and your long-term and short-term goals to help find ideal opportunities for you.

To learn more about our CDL training program in Phoenix, AZ, contact us today.


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