What are the best trucking companies to work for in the U.S.?
New truck drivers and experienced drivers alike ask this question time and time again.
After all, if you’ve completed training for a CDL truck driving career, it only makes sense that ideally you’d like to work for the best trucking companies in America!
However, as the saying goes, “different strokes for different folks”.
What may be the best trucking company to work for in your opinion, may not be the same carrier another driver wants to work for.
UPDATED: March 1 2021.
Overview – Best Truck Driver Jobs
The trucking companies we have listed as ‘best companies to work for’, I have not worked for.
However, over my many years in trucking, I have met and spoken with thousands of drivers.
I took serious note of the satisfied drivers who stay with the company long term and I learned how to separate the good carriers from the rest.
I carefully tracked the history of many carriers, just in case I was ever in need of a new driving job.
You will find it interesting to note that some of the carriers I would have recommended 20 years ago, don’t make my current recommendation list.
Some of the carriers have the numbers to qualify as a mega carrier, however, for one reason or another, they don’t make the ‘pay drivers poorly list’. (This is usually because the drivers are unionized.)
Some of these carriers have large fleets of trucks, but are so well managed they are able to retain a ‘family atmosphere’, which I like a lot.
Determining YOUR Best Trucking Companies to Work For
These factors will largely determine which carriers will appeal to you the most.
- Do you have your CDL? Or not.
- What state you live in.
- How much experience do you have as a CDL driver? New driver or experienced driver.
- Is your preference to drive solo or team driving?
- Are you searching for a company driver job or an owner operator position?
- Do you prefer long haul trucking, regional or local driving work?
- How important is salary to you? Are you looking to nail one of the best paid trucking jobs?
- Are there any types of trucking you will not do? Eg you do not want a flatbed trucking job.
- How much home time do you require?
- Job benefits offered by the employer
- Any specific benefits from a job you want?
- Secure a long term truck driving career
Recommended Trucking Companies
- These are well-rated carriers which we believe are worthy of further investigation, although it depends what you are looking for in a truck driving career.
- The lists of recommended companies will be updated often and new categories will be coming soon. Be sure to check back often, should you be looking for decent trucking companies for employment.
H.O. Wolding, Inc. – Wolding is a dry freight carrier, privately owned, located in Amherst, Wisconsin. A notable quality of Wolding is their very low driver turnover rate, which speaks volumes about their driving jobs.
A well managed carrier known for treating their drivers well. I have personally spoken to many of their drivers over the years, and every driver spoke very highly of their experiences with this company.
Nussbaum Transportation – Nussbaum is in Hudson, Illinois. They are a medium size carrier, a dry freight hauling company, wisely managed and are known for being well liked by their drivers. ** (We receive numerous good reports about this company)
Pride Transport Inc – This is a relatively small reefer outfit based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. They run top notch equipment. Pride is privately owned. They have an excellent reputation for treating their drivers ‘like family’.
Walmart – Walmart is a quality trucking company with great job security and very low driver turnover, both much sought after qualities by drivers. The reason for the solid job security is due to the fact that Walmart is not a common carrier, but a private carrier.
They run their own fleet of trucks and hauls their own freight, not a common scenario for trucking companies, but one that provides a good deal of business security.
I specifically like Walmart as it’s a private fleet, with excellent job security. Although they have thousands of trucks, but also don’t fall into the usual mega carrier classification.
TMC Transportation – TMC is a flatbed trucking outfit, based in Des Moines, Iowa. They own and operate excellent equipment, a definite attraction for drivers.
Sammons Trucking – Sammons has been around for some time. They specialize in flatbed trucking and is based in Missoula, Montana. They hire both company drivers as well as owner operators.
Jim Palmer Trucking – J Palmer is a privately owned, family operated carrier out Missoula, Montana. They are a temperature controlled freight hauler, running the west coast US to the Midwest, running decent equipment. They offer a paid CDL training program.
Western Distribution Transportation Corp – This medium sized, privately owned company runs some of the best looking company equipment seen on the road. However, they are not noted for being a top paying carrier. They are a specialized automobile carrier service out of Denver, Colorado.
Best Carriers For Team Drivers, Owner Operators, Home Time, Females, Couples.
Best Carriers For New CDL Drivers
Estes – A good starting company for new truckers. They have a large freight base.
TMC – A good starter company for the new driver. The pay is decent and yep they have Peterbilts, if that appeals to you.
Schneider – A financially sound company (which is pretty important), no team driver training, 3 week very structured training, less time with a mentor on the road than most.
They run well equipped Freightliners with APU + fridge. Good benefit package.
Shaffer Trucking – They have a 6-8 week training on a route with a mentor. 1 week is 8 hours of a team driving situation.
FedEx Ground – This is not well known, but certainly worth checking out. FedEx Ground Contractors will take new CDL drivers and train them. Most of the jobs are team, but there are also many single runs as well as day runs. We’ve discovered the pay range for these drivers – $85,000 to $98,000 per year. This is out of Columbus, OHIO.
Best Trucking Companies to Get CDL Training
Many of you will wonder, “What is the best trucking company to train with?”
Here are some of the trucking companies with schools, we would recommend checking out.
Maverick Transportation – Maverick hails from Little Rock, Arkansas, with a flat bed and reefer trucking division.
They run current model equipment, always well maintained. They rank well for being one of the best trucking companies with paid training.
Maverick is truly a mega carrier. However, I personally rate them a cut above the rest, due to the fact that they are a well managed carrier.
If this is of interest to you, check here for further information about Maverick’s CDL Sponsorship Program.
We like the fact they have training classes which start every Wednesday.
TMC – If flatbed trucking floats your boat, this carrier offers a good training program with a decent wage paid for the 3 week training period.
They offer guaranteed work placement upon completion.
We like the fact that their initial training period is 3 weeks and upon completion of this portion, the student is then paired with a qualified trainer for an additional 5 week period.
TMC states they don’t have any initial costs for the program to their students.
YRC Freight – YRC is not a newcomer to trucking. They are a unionized carrier and have been around for a long time.
They have training available in several locations: Kansas City, Maybrook, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Salt Lake City, Utah, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Hammond, Indiana. There are ongoing programs posted, so availability for programs is good.
One distinct perk is that if a student successfully completes the training and starts work with YRC, the first year as a truck driver can pay between $60,000-$65,000.
The initial training is 4 weeks long, without pay.
Upon successful completion of the 4 week CDL training, you’ll have your CDL along with a Double/Triples and Tanker endorsement. Then, you will be hired by the company as a full time employee.
This carrier pays all down time. If the truck isn’t moving due to equipment failure or delayed times, the employee is paid an hourly rate. And we like that.
XPO Logistics – XPO has no upfront costs to a trainee, and gives trainees and 3 meals/day along with housing provided during the training period. The classes are noted as being small even though the carrier itself is a huge carrier.
ABF Freight – Provides training. Known for nice benefit package.
Rapid Express – This company is texas offers training + a job. Have spoken to many drivers who like what this carrier does.
Roehl + Schneider – Both of these companies send their trainees to an outside CDL school – Technical College in Wisconsin.
Best Paid Trucking Jobs
GP Transco – A medium size company located in Illinois, GP Transco is the 3rd highest paying carrier in the U.S. This up and coming trucking company sets a good example for other companies to follow. Extra 2 cents/mile for drivers with Driver Facing Dash Cams (Not a mandatory program).
Dupre Logistics – Dupre is a small tanker trucking outfit in Lafayette, Louisiana. They are in the process of opening a few new branches across the U.S. They keep late model well maintained equipment. Most of their trucking jobs are ‘paid by the hour’ positions. Their management team is top notch.
UPS – UPS, a well known carrier, has multiple yards nationwide and is a unionized trucking company. Since they are unionized, their driver pay is above average. They have low driver turnover.
Old Dominion Freight Line – They have been around for 85 years and still going strong. Although they are based out of Virginia, they have multiple yards across the U.S. Their rate of pay to their drivers is above average driver pay.
ABF Freight – ABF is mainly an LTL carrier based out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, with multiple yards. Another unionized carrier which is definitely an above average payer.
Barr-Nunn – Out of Granger, Iowa, a solid, stable carrier which works hard to reduce their carbon footprint in this world. They hire single and team company drivers as well as owner operators.
Their current driver package includes:
- $550-$825 Bonus for Safety, every 3 months
- Paid vacation every 90 days
- Mileage pay as ‘practical miles’ (as opposed to shortest miles routes)
- 401 K packages
- Regular pay raises upon driver review
- No New York City runs or Canada runs (Yikes, Canada isn’t so bad, eh?)
- Drop and hook loads mostly (Mmmm. We like that.:)
They are rated a certified top paying carrier by the National Transportation Institute, for the past 14 years.
Warrior Logistics – A Texas carrier, paying .52/mile for solo drivers, $600/week training (If you have CDL)
Sysco – Pays $25/hour. Good hourly rate.
Related > 2021 Truck Driver Salary Reference Guide
Best Long Haul Trucking Companies
Hirshbach Motor Lines – Based out of Dubuque, Iowa, with yards in Sioux City, IA, Denton, TX Springfield, MA, Atlanta, GA and Crete, NE, this company has been around for over 80+ years.
They are privately owned, and are known for a low driver turnover rate. Definitely an over the road fleet, hauling mostly temperature controlled product as well as some dry freight.
They hire company drivers and owner operators.
They employ drivers from Illinois, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas and the New England states.
Driver Rated Best Trucking Companies
Crete Carriers – Crete’s headquarters is centrally located in the U.S, in Lincoln, Nebraska, which can make this large carrier convenient, should you live in the central U.S.A. region.
They have a reputation for being a well managed outfit and are know for treating their employees fairly. Their dispatch gets good reports for efficiency and being personal (which can be rare).
They have been around for 52 years and are still a privately owned entity which we think is a good perk.
Perkins, Oklahoma – Reefer outfit with Kenworth and Freightliner, Utility and Great Dane Trailers.
Recommending Carriers By State
California Trucking Companies
Certified Freight Logistics – A smaller company running out of Santa Mira, CA, running dedicated freight for Costco Wholesale, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Northern CA and Southern CA. They pay for all time driving and on duty, plus mileage. They also have a good medical package.
Best Trucking Companies Florida
Indian River Transport, Inc – This medium sized food grade tanker outfit hails from Winter Haven, Florida. They run great equipment, although not a high paying carrier.
Illinois Trucking Companies
Dynamic Transit, Inc.- This Granite, Illinois carrier has an ‘old school’ feel. They run 10 speed manual Peterbilt 389 hood trucks, governed at 70 mph with reefer units.
GP Transco – This OTR carrier hires professional drivers from all states and are known for treating their drivers right.
Utah Based Trucking Companies
Pride Transport – See above for more detail. 500 truck primarily reefer niche carrier.
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- What You Need to Know About Short Haul Trucking Jobs
- What You Need to Know About OTR Truck Driving Jobs
There are thousands and thousands of U.S. trucking companies in the U.S. When a truck driver is seeking a job, seeking out the best carrier possible to suit their needs is the wisest decision.
However, what suits one truck driver, may not suit the next.
Know what you want from a truck driving job, in order to find a carrier that is a good match for you.
This is not an easy task, but spending the time to research trucking companies, their pay packages etc. is well worth the time investment.