With a record-high shortage of truckers, there has never been a better time to start a trucking career. Whether you’ve just earned your CDL or are looking for training opportunities, there are many carriers that are hiring rookies and even sponsoring training to fill their ranks.
There’s no shortage of trucking jobs, but what is the best trucking company for new drivers?
If you’re going to enter a trucking career, you want to make sure that you’re working for a reputable and reliable company.
Here are some of the best trucking companies for inexperienced drivers.
Our Top-Rated Companies For New CDL Drivers
For new drivers, Roehl Transport is often named as one of top trucking companies for beginners. That’s because the company is very focused on hiring rookies.
Here’s what new drivers get:
- $500/week during training
- Lodging and most meals during training
- Training from leaders in the trucking industry
Training is available near many of their terminals. Three weeks is all it takes to get your CDL. Then, you’ll go through another three weeks of over-the-road training. Roehl also offers tuition reimbursement to alleviate the financial burden of training.
Roehl’s Safety and Job Skills Training Program is broken down into three phases:
- Phase 1: On-boarding. There’s a $400 hire bonus. The process takes five days at one of the company’s locations.
- Phase 2: On-the-road training with a trainer for 19 days. You’ll be paid $90/day.
- Phase 3: Your own truck. This phase lasts 30-60 days. Pay will be based on your chosen fleet and the miles you drive.
Roehl ranks as one of the safest trucking companies in the country.
With a starting salary of $60,000+, the company also offers one of the most attractive starting salaries out there.
Another great benefit of working for Roehl is that they offer consistent schedules and home time:
- National Fleets: 11-14 days out and 3 days home. If you stay out longer, you can be home for up to seven days.
- 7/7: 7 days out and 7 days home.
- 7/4-7/3: Home every other week. You’ll drive for 7 days and get 4 days home time followed by another 7 days and 3 days at home.
- 14/7: Drive 14 days and get 7 days home.
- Regional: Weekly home time.
- Local: Home every day.
Many veteran drivers started their trucking careers at Roehl.
Recent graduates can jump right into a career at Swift. As a new driver, you will be paired with a mentor who will ride with you for up to 300 hours. The company’s training programs are designed to give you confidence behind the wheel and obtain the training you need for a successful career.
If you’ve yet to earn your Class A CDL, the Swift Academy program can help you earn your CDL with no credit checks or upfront costs.
Swift company drivers receive excellent benefits that include:
- Employee assistance programs
Swift offers a variety of options for drivers, including:
- Over-the-Road (OTR): Drivers are out on the road for 2-3 weeks before getting a 34-hour reset. Swift serves all of the U.S., so drivers get a chance to see the country.
- Regional: Drivers are out for a week and get home time every week. Routes may run through several states within a region.
- Dedicated: Drivers run the same lanes for an account. Home times and requirements vary based on the customer.
- Local: Drivers are out for a day or two at a time and home almost every day. Routes are typically within a 200-mile radius of home.
Swift doesn’t require you to have any industry experience, and if you choose to use their Swift Academy program, they will pay for your tuition upfront. Once you start driving, a portion of your weekly paycheck will go back to the company to cover your tuition.
US Xpress is known to hire new drivers, and they often offer sign-on or holiday bonuses to recent hires.
Company drivers earn competitive salaries and receive a $0.05 pay increase for safety. Students get an upgrade bonus and up to $7,000 in tuition reimbursement.
Orientation is paid, and drivers receive excellent benefits, including:
- 401(k) w/company match
Their pet policy means that you can bring your furry friend on the road. Plus, drivers use newer equipment, with their trucks having an average age of 18 months.
US Xpress is very supportive of veterans. They have a GI Bill Apprenticeship Program. Veterans can earn up to $75,000/year. Those who don’t qualify for the GI Bill may qualify for the Advanced Rate of Pay Program aimed at veterans.
CR England is a leading refrigerated transportation company, and they have been in operation since 1920. The company trains and hires new drivers through their Premier Truck Driving Schools. As long as you meet their hiring requirements, you can undergo training and start working for the company.
CR England runs partner CDL schools in five states. The company’s training program is concentrated to help you earn your CDL faster. Quick learners can complete their training in as little as 17 days.
If you’re willing to commit to a 12-month contract, you will pay $0 out of pocket for your training. All students who complete training with CR England will be guaranteed a job at the company as long as all other hiring requirements are met.
Werner will hire recent graduates of truck driving schools and those with verifiable tractor-trailer experience. You must already have your Class A CDL in order to qualify for hiring and meet the company’s other requirements:
- At least 21 years of age
- Acceptable driving record
- Meet all DOT qualifications
- Pass a DOT physical, DOT drug screen and company hair follicle testing
Werner recently introduced new pay packages for drivers, which includes new routes that offer daily and weekly home time. The new packages also include:
- $5,000 sign-on bonus for full teams
- $1,000 minimum weekly pay for the first 12 weeks
- $2,500 sign-on bonus for solo drivers (paid over 90 days)
- Relocation packages
- $20 million in driver pay increases planned for the year 2021
Solo drivers earn $50-$70K/year. Leaders and teams earn more. The company also offers an employee stock purchase plan.
Werner’s driver benefits include:
- Health, vision and dental insurance
- Rider and pet policies
- HSA and health programs
- 401(k) plan
- Disability and life insurance
- Tuition reimbursement
- Paid tolls
- Fuel cards
The average truck age at Werner is just two years old. Drivers receive 24/7 maintenance assistance, and specialized safety training programs are available.
Maverick offers a student program as well as a CDL training program. Whether you’re a recent graduate with your CDL or you need help earning your commercial driver’s license, Maverick has an option for you.
With Maverick’s Student Program, participants get guaranteed weekly pay, and they work with the best instructors in the industry.
If you have less than six months of over-the-road experience, you will need to go through six weeks of training with Maverick, which consists of:
- 1 week of Pre-Employment Evaluation (PRE)
- Up to two weeks of Business Unit Training in Little Rock
- Out with an instructor for the remainder of the training period
Pay and benefits include:
- $600 PRE with travel, lodging and most meals covered
- $600/week for Business Unit Training
- $800 Graduation Pay
- $1,000-$,5000 driver referral bonus
- Starting pay of $0.49-$0.50 per mile
- $0.03 per mile pay increase at three months and $0.02 per mile pay increase at six months
- Weekly guaranteed pay once you become a solo driver
- Additional $0.01 per mile pay for performance bonus
- Yearly pay increases for the first five years
- Tuition reimbursement
- 401(k) retirement plan
- Health/dental insurance
- Life insurance policy
CDL Training Program
Maverick’s Driving Academy helps students earn their CDL and start their trucking careers. The school is located in North Little Rork, AR.
With the CDL training program, students get:
- Housing and a prepaid card
- Breakfast and lunch
They also enjoy all of the same benefits that those in the Student Program enjoy.
Drivers at Maverick earn a first-year average salary of $66,000.
At XPO Logistics, you can go from 12 weeks of training to a Class A CDL without paying any tuition. Their training program includes a mixture of classroom instruction and hands-on experience.
Once you obtain your Class A CDL and pass all required tests, you will be placed into a full-time position at XPO.
The company’s training program offers:
- 80 hours of classroom instruction and 160 hours of supervised on-the-road experience
- The ability to earn a paycheck while working the XPO dock and attending class
Drivers earn a competitive salary and work with modern, well-maintained equipment.
Prime hires inexperienced drivers, and they also offer training to those who don’t have their Class A CDL.
The company’s minimum requirements for drivers does not include any on-the-road experience:
- At least 21 years of age
- Valid US driver’s license for at least 12 months
- Verifiable work history with references
- Acceptable driving record
- Must meet the minimum medical qualifications established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
If you don’t already have your CDL, you can take advantage of the company’s CDL training program. Once you go through the orientation process, you will start your one-on-one training with a CDL instructor for up to four weeks. At this time, you will be running loads across the country to get the experience you need to earn your Class A CDL.
If you pass your exam on the first try, Prime will give you a $250 bonus.
Once you obtain your CDL, you will continue working with a TNT Trainer for at least 50,000 training miles. At this time, you will earn a guaranteed $700/week until you reach the 40,000-mile mark. You’ll get a guaranteed $800/week from this point until you upgrade.
Prime has a number of options for new drivers to meet their lifestyles:
- Solo, or team
- Over-the-road, or regional
- Company driver, or owner operator
Prime’s pay rates are as follows:
Solo Company Drivers
- Refrigerated: 45 cpm for full-size trucks and 50 cpm for lightweight
- Flatbed: 47 cpm
- Tanker: 52 cpm
- Refrigerated: 55 cpm split
- Flatbed: 53 cpm split
- Tanker: 56 cpm split
- Refrigerated: 72% of revenue
- Flatbed: 72% of revenue
- Tanker: 71% of revenue
Drivers get insurance benefits, vacation time, great home time, safety bonuses and a passenger/pet policy.
Schneider is another popular carrier for beginner drivers. The company’s orientation program helps ensure that new drivers are confident and ready to meet Schneider’s standards.
The length of orientation will depend on the position:
- Van Truckload: 3 weeks
- Tanker: 5 weeks
- Intermodal: 3 weeks + a few days for location-specific training
- Dedicated: Length will vary based on account requirements
All drivers are paid for their orientation. Inexperienced driver orientation includes:
- Pre-work screening for physically demanding positions.
- Classroom training where you’ll learn how to log into the company’s systems, how to use their tablet, how to work with maintenance and more.
- In-simulator and in-truck time to strengthen the skills you learned during your CDL training. You’ll practice these skills on the road (including highways) and in the yard.
- Work with a training engineer to carry out over-the-road routes. You’ll get hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced professional.
Once you become a company driver, you’ll earn competitive pay and enjoy great benefits.
With CRST, you can start your driving career and stay with the company without stifling your opportunities for growth. The company has recently introduced a new pay package that matches your experience and grows as you grow.
CRST Driving Academy helps students train to be a driver, but they also help new CDL graduates with their transition into life as a trucker.
At the Academy:
- Drivers learn first-hand from industry veterans and are exposed to real-world driving situations
- After graduation, students are matched with an instructor and undergo 28 days of on-the-road training while earning a paycheck.
- Students stay in comfortable dorms with amenities and Wi-Fi.
- Transportation to the training facility is provided.
CRST offers solid pay and benefits for new drivers.