This post was last updated on March 8th, 2019
Thinking of starting a career in the trucking industry?
Are you a seasoned driver looking to make a fresh start with a new employer? Just like any other industry, some trucking companies offer better opportunities, perks and compensation than others. We’ve rounded up the best companies to work for based on compensation, home time and perks.
First thing’s first, let’s talk about how much you can expect to earn as a driver.
On average, truckers make about $66,711 per year (August 2018 update). But this amount may be lower or higher depending on the company you work for, your location and your experience.
The highest paying trucking companies tend to be located in areas with high living costs, like New York. Aside from New York, some of the highest paying states for truckers include Mississippi and West Virginia. Part of the reason why truckers are paid so well in these states is because they’re required to maneuver tough terrain.
Trucking Company Pay Rankings
|Pay Ranking||Company||Annual Salary||Pay Per Hour|
|4||Acme Truck Line||82,892.00||39.85|
|12||Jack Cooper Transport||70,328.00||33.81|
|17||Red Classic Transit||67,340.00||32.38|
|22||Crete Carrier Corp||66,000.00||31.73|
|26||Decker Truck Line||63,124.00||30.35|
|30||AAA Cooper Transportation||61,252.00||29.45|
|46||Southeastern Freight Lines||52,472.00||25.23|
|47||McElroy Truck Lines||52,409.00||25.20|
|49||Melton Truck Lines||51,000.00||24.52|
|50||Bennett Motor Express||51,000.00||24.52|
|53||Indian River Transport||49,920.00||24.00|
|58||Mesilla Valley Transportation||48,934.00||23.53|
|68||USA Truck Inc||42,377.00||20.37|
|70||Cypress Truck Lines||40,402.00||19.42|
|75||John Christner Trucking||33,799.00||16.25|
|Pay Ranking||Company||Annual Salary||Pay Per Hour|
We have a new number one rated company in 2019.
Food distribution is a huge part of the industry and the king of national food distribution is Sysco. With bonuses, you can earn over $87k annually at Sysco.
The perks don’t stop with just money either. When working for Sysco, drivers are often able to be on 100% local routes, making it a desirable company for truckers that have a family.
Daily routes are offered, and this leads to most routes allowing truckers nightly home time.
Beyond increased home time, they offer a very competitive benefits package that goes beyond the usual industry standards. With company stock discounts, paid vacations and holidays, retirement plans, etc…
They are also responsive to their driving team and make an active effort and improving driving morale and efficiency.
Technically speaking, Walmart isn’t a trucking company. But they do have their own private fleet – and they pay their drivers very well. In fact, they recently announced plans to pay their drivers up to $90k per year for 2019 to recruit and hire the best of the best.
The average full-time driver in Walmart’s private fleet earns $86,000 per year working 5.5 days a week.
Walmart will pay for activity, mileage and training too. Plus, you’ll receive a quarterly safe driving bonus.
When driving for Walmart, you’ll get home once a week, and you’ll get reset hours off the road. But that’s not even the best part – Walmart drivers don’t load or unload freight. And you’ll get benefits starting your very first day.
Walmart’s benefits include:
You’ll also have the opportunity to enroll in a 401(k) plan as well as a stock purchase plan.
Walmart’s private fleet is one of the best flatbed trucking companies you can work for. But there is a catch – you’ll need to have some experience to be considered for hiring.
Here’s what Walmart requires:
- At least 30 months of full-time experience working with a Class A tractor/trailer in the last 3 years.
- Interstate Class A CDL with Hazmat endorsement, or obtain Hazmat endorsement within 60 days of receiving a job offer.
- No serious traffic violations while operating a commercial motor vehicle within the last three years.
- No more than 2 moving violations while operating a commercial or personal motor vehicle within the last 3 years.
- No convictions for an OUI, DUI or DWI, or reckless driving involving drugs or alcohol within the last 10 years.
These are just a few of Walmart’s driver requirements. If you have experience and follow the laws of the road, you should have no problem being considered for a position as a driver.
Walmart has one of the lowest turnover rates in the country. The number one reason why drivers leave is because they’re retiring.
Acme Truck Line has more than 2,900 trucks and operates in seven states. The company hauls more than 9,000 truckloads of freight each week, so you’re sure to have steady work. But unlike other trucking companies, Acme doesn’t actually own a fleet of trucks. They use leased equipment only.
Acme has a reputation for always paying on time. You haul one week and get paid the next. The company also offers debit cards and direct deposit for convenient pay. Cash advances and fuel cards are also available as well as affordable physical and bobtail damage insurance. Drivers can also participate in the 401(k) plan as well as the Employee Stock Ownership Plan.
Job opportunities are available for rookies and experienced drivers alike, and you’ll need to be at least 21 years of age to work for the company. The qualification requirements are fairly simple and straightforward, too, so you won’t have to jump through hoops just to get hired.
Acme is a great trucking company to work for. With excellent benefits, competitive pay and plenty of freight, you’ll find a stable and reliable home at Acme. While they do not offer training like CRST, they do offer job opportunities for rookies.
#6) GP Transco
A new addition to our Top Rated list, GP Transco embodies what it means to respect and care for your drivers. With one of the best benefit packages in the industry, it is no surprise that they stand apart in terms of having the lowest driver turnover in the industry.
And for good reason, with an average base salary of $78,400 per year, you can have a true lifetime career with GP Transco.
How did they come so far so fast? Their GP lead recruiter, John Alverez is “one of the guys.” He worked as a OTR driver for 30 years prior to becoming a recruiter, so he knows how the industry works. John knows that truckers sacrifice a lot for their careers.
He has established a protocol within the company that offers transparency and honest pay.
If you’re going to be away from your family, driving across the country, you deserve pay that rewards you for your time.
#67) CRST Trucking
CRST International is another well-known and reputable trucking company that offers job opportunities to both seasoned and rookie drivers. In fact, CRST has its own trucking schools where students can earn their CDL license.
CRST says it offers job security and stability to its drivers. The company’s teams average more miles than any other trucking company in the industry, and they’ve never had a layoff.
When working with CRST, you’ll be paired with another driver who lives in your area. With the company’s “Train Your Partner” program, your partner could actually be a friend or relative. You’re also guaranteed home time, so you can still spend much-needed time with your family.
Unlike Walmart, CRST offers opportunities for first-time drivers and competitive pay. Although they are not close to the top in industry pay, drivers will also receive:
- $100 towards your Hazmat application
- A sign-on bonus
- Upfront pay for orientation, a drug screening and a physical
- Up to a $500 bonus when you refer a driver and CRST hires him or her
- Pay for miles both loaded and unloaded
CRST has great benefits too, like twice-a-week paydays and medical coverage from day one of employment. The company offers Blue Shield PPO insurance, which includes vision and dental. Disability and accident insurance is also included as well as life insurance.
Aside from medical benefits, drivers can also enroll in a 401(k) plan 90 days after working. Paid vacations are given and a per diem tax benefit.
One thing that makes CRST unique is their “Shut Down” policy, which lets drivers decide not to run if the weather is bad, they’re tired and overworked, or they’re feeling ill.
At CRST, drivers have the option of working for one of the company’s subsidiaries, including:
- Temp controlled team service
- Specialized Transportation (STI)
- Dedicated Services
There are driving opportunities for truckers of all experience levels at CRST. And if you haven’t obtained your CDL yet, the company can help you train and earn your license as well.
Other Great Trucking Companies
Aside from the top three listed above, other great trucking companies include:
- JB. Hunt Transportation
- AAA Cooper Transportation, or ACT
- United Parcel Service (UPS)
- Southeastern Freight Lines
- Arkansas Best
- Interstate Distributer
- Crete Carrier
- Old Dominion Freight Line
- Trimac Transportation Services
While Costco isn’t in the transportation industry, they do hire drivers to transport their merchandise and handle various other shipping needs. Costco, in general, is an excellent company to work for with great benefits, pay and positive work environment.
Of course, our list is not exhaustive, there are plenty of great trucking companies to work for – and not all of them are big-name. Local companies may offer benefits and pay that compete with or surpass some of the national names on our list.
There are plenty of trucking companies out there – but not all of them offer great employment opportunities. The companies on our list offer competitive pay, home time, consistent work and excellent benefits. Whether you’re just getting started or have been driving for years, you’ll find great employment opportunities at any one of these companies.