The trucking industry is booming. There are approximately 8.9 million people employed in the U.S. trucking industry, 15.5 million trucks on the road, and 1.2 million trucking companies in the U.S.
It’s a great time to get your foot in the door, but with so many trucking companies out there, it can be hard to know where to start. What are the best trucking companies to work for? And what are the best paying trucking companies out there?
With this must choice, you have a lot of options, but you want to choose the best one for you. This article outlines the best paying trucking companies, the best trucking companies for new drivers, and the best driver-rated trucking companies.
If you’re a woman in the industry, check out our interview with Kellylynn McLaughlin, driver ambassador of Women in Trucking. She outlines some great tips for women drivers starting out in the industry and how to choose the best trucking company.
Truck Driver Job Description
A truck driver is responsible for transporting goods and materials to their destination. These locations are typically manufacturing plants, retail locations, or distribution centers. This often requires long hours and far drives.
But getting cargo from point A to point B is just part of the job. Truckers are the backbone of the American economy and support many important industries. Without truckers, grocery stores across the country would run out of food in 3 days!
It’s an essential job and a demanding one with long hours and nights away from home. If you feel the trucker lifestyle is a good fit for you, and you’ve obtained your CDL license, the next step is choosing a trucking company to work for.
How to Choose the Best Trucking Company to Work For
There are a wide variety of trucking companies. Some operate on a small scale, and some operate with thousands of trucks. To find the best fit, consider what you are looking for out of a company.
Large companies often pay lower wages and offer less support to drivers. However, they can offer more variety in work, good job stability, and more choice for vacation hours. Consider what you want out of your workplace when deciding to work for a small or large company.
When evaluating companies, ask a lot of questions to your driver recruiter or other truckers who work for the company. Consider what areas of the country you want to drive in, how many hours you want, and benefits. If you may need maternity leave, factor that into your decision.
What Is the Best Trucking Company for a New Driver?
A lot of truck-driving companies look for prior experience. But don’t let that discourage you! There are lots of companies out there perfect for drivers just starting out in their trucking careers.
Schneider National is one of these companies. If you are a new driver, this company could be a great fit for you. Many of their job opportunities don’t require prior experience, and they have a great paid orientation training program to get you ready for the road.
Salary expectations for a first-year driver at Schneider National are about $46,524, higher than the industry standard. And as you gain experience, your salary will increase.
Another great company for new drivers is U.S. Xpress. They offer 24/7 recruiting assistance online, so you can get answers to all your questions about the company. And they seat 80% of drivers in just 3 days!
Sign-on bonuses may be available, and there is a potential to make $12,000 in bonuses in your first year. As a large trucking company, one of the top 5 in the country, they offer a large variety of routes and hours.
What Are the Highest Paying Trucking Companies?
As with any large industry, the trucking industry offers a lot of competition between companies. This can be an asset to drivers, as companies will work hard to offer competitive benefits and salaries.
Don’t forget that every company also comes with its downsides, but if you’re looking for the highest paying companies, check out Sysco, Walmart, or Epes Transport.
Sysco is at the top of our list for a reason. In 2018, they made Forbes’ list for World’s Best Employers. And Sysco has been recognized as a Top Diversity Employer by DiversityJobs for two consecutive years.
Sysco offers a wide range of highly competitive benefits. These include many medical and mental health services, 401k, disability support, leave of absence support, and more.
A truck driver’s average salary at Sysco is $67,839, 24% higher than the country’s average, but don’t expect this right away.
Walmart is a huge commercial trucking company. With so many locations, they work hard to offer competitive salaries and extras.
Walmart has one of the lowest turnover rates in the industry, which is a great sign that they treat their drivers well and offer excellent benefits. Walmart offers drivers the opportunity to enroll in the 401k plan and purchase stock. They also offer benefits such as dental, medical, vision, and life insurance.
Their average salary is $87,500 but don’t expect this in your first few years. Walmart also offers paid training and quarterly bonuses to reward excellent driving.
Walmart has several requirements that include having at least 30 months of experience driving with a Class A CDL license. And that experience must be from the last four years prior to your application.
Epes Transport believes in creating a positive work environment for drivers. They focus on being service-oriented and meeting the needs of their drivers. They offer apprenticeship programs for veterans and truck driver training programs for new drivers.
As far as salary goes, there is a wide range at Epes Transport. However, for a standard position, they offer a weekly payment of $1,100. Flex Fleet drivers earn a minimum of $65,000 annually. High-performing drivers will see a large increase in their salary, and Epes offers competitive benefits like 401k, medical, and solid retirement plans.
What Is the Best Driver-Rated Trucking Company?
As a trucker, you want a company that cares about its drivers. To find companies that take care of their drivers and offer excellent working conditions, let’s look at the best driver-rated companies.
H.O. Wolding, Inc
H.O. Wolding, Inc. is a privately owned company. They have a significantly low turnover rate, showing how much their drivers enjoy the company. H.O. Wolding, inc. prides itself in being a medium-sized company with small-town values, taking care of their drivers as well as their customers.
H.O. Wolding offers tuition reimbursement and allows an immediate family member to ride with you if pre-approved and with payment of a small insurance fee. Their hometime policy is one day off per week on the road, and many drivers see weekly hometime on the weekends.
H.O. Wolding drivers earn from $40,000 to $100,000 per year, based on experience, time at the company, and hours worked.
Many drivers have reported that Nussbaum Transportation is an excellent company to work for. They are a medium-sized company that focuses on the fair treatment of drivers. Drivers have reviewed the company as friendly, welcoming, and like family.
One driver stated, “They really have great people who care about you and treat you with respect and dignity.”
Best Trucking Companies to Work For
Remember, the best trucking company for you is one that addresses your needs. So while some drivers might love working for Walmart, others might not. Always outline what you’re looking for in a company, and speak to your recruiter and other drivers to determine if the company is right for you.
Once you get started on your trucking career path, you’ll need a repair shop you can rely on. If you’re in California, Kelly’s Truck should be your top choice. With a huge variety of services, roadside assistance, all repairs done in-house, and quotes and parts requests available online, Kelly’s is your go-to for routine maintenance to small and large repairs.
Once you’ve found the best company to work for, you need the best truck repair shop. So give Kelly’s a call at 1-800-793-9282 or stop in at our San Leandro location.