Wondering which are the best trucking companies to work for?
Whether you’re looking to kick-start your truck driving career or simply just want to change jobs, we have a solution. With so many trucking companies around, you want one that guarantees job stability and security. It’s where important questions originate, like “What are the benefits?” and “Does the company pay well?”
There is no doubt, some companies have attractive benefits and pay grade. What they’re not telling you is that there are hidden requirements unknown to the employee.
Top 10 Trucking Companies[table “8” not found /]
Acme Trucking is one of the best paying companies in the US. It’s based in New Orleans and was founded in 1960. This is a clear indication about the years of experience they have in the industry.
It has a wide transport network and operates in seven states with a fleet of more than 2900 cars. As a result it’s well known for prompt and efficient response.
Also, for a company of its magnitude it pays employees well. It was voted number three among the top employers in New Orleans.
As an owner operator you can expect around $150 000 annually which is quite substantial. The average truck driver will earn a rate of $1.57 per mile.
Apart from the hefty salaries you’ll also enjoy benefit packages from health care to employee stock ownership.
Acme Trucking aims to strike a balance between work and family life so you’ll get off days for holidays.
Walmart Trucking is another company worth considering. One of its huge drawing cards is trucking jobs can be found in almost every state in the country.
It also offers competitive market-related salary packages. As an average truck driver, you can expect to earn $78 155 per annum. This is after factoring in additional compensation packages and bonuses. Before including bonuses the average driver earns around $71 500 per year.
What’s important to note is Walmart prefers seasoned drivers with at least 30months experience within the last three years. You’ll also enjoy healthcare benefits as well as employee discounts on travel and shopping. Life and Vision Insurance are added extras too.
Walmart values the safety of their employees. This is why they make it a point to provide safe equipment as well as servicing vehicles regularly.
Important to note: The major downside is they have a restrictive cell phone policy and you’re always under constant scrutiny.
Founded in 1955, it’s one of the nation’s largest carriers. It’s a privately owned company which owns around 4500 trucks. In addition, it receives annual revenues of over $1.5 billion per year.
Apart from being financially sound, drivers can enjoy the following:
- Best training.
- New equipment.
- Latest technology.
Like most trucking companies you have the option of being a company driver or owner operator. The average truck driver earns approximately $60 000 per year—after bonuses. At CRST Trucking drivers are paid twice a week.
It also offers attractive benefit packages including sign up bonuses. Also, you can get up to $500bonus if CRST hires someone you referred to while you’re employed. In addition, whether your truck is empty or loaded you still get paid.
Apart from bonuses, you have access to the following:
- Medical coverage.
- Paid vacations.
- Free life insurance.
- 401k retirement plan
Holland Freight is another company worth considering if you want a career as a trucker and this one is based in Michigan. It also offers competitive salaries with the average truck driver earning $72 000.
The pay scale varies depending on the trucking position. Case in point: A city driver will earn slightly less, around $67 000. Linehaul drivers at Holland are among the highest paid drivers. You can expect to earn anything between $80 000 and $90 000 annually.
Apart from paying high salaries it also offers attractive benefit plans. Holland Freight values their employees long after they have left the company. That’s why they help workers put away funds for their retirement. This is done via packages such as the 401(k) and company pension plan.
It also covers employees for dental and health insurance & the plans are quite decent. Employees also enjoy vacation and paid time off.
List of OTR driving jobs to start with
Figure out the type of (OTR) truck driving jobs you are most comfortable with. With an average of 2000 to 3000 miles coverage per week, you’ll be taking long journeys with just you and your truck. Here are the different job classifications of trucking. These are what companies usually offer. Most are considered CDL jobs, requiring you to get a commercial driver’s license.
- Dry van drivers
This is generally the type of job beginners usually are given to start with. You will be asked to transport a cargo of dry or non-perishable goods. They are not high paying jobs, but they are the easiest among the list. It’s easy as simply securing your cargo and driving the truck to its destination.
What you should know:
A regional company is mostly the one offering this type of trucking job. They require you to do the loading and unloading of your cargo. There are some occasions where you get to have the option to do it yourself. More pay and a time to get off the driver’s seat and get a good stretching.
- Refrigerated freight drivers
Unlike dry van drivers, this type of driving needs a little extra care. The cargos normally have a low or even specific temperatures that you need to keep maintained. The truck usually has a specially designed air conditioner at the front of the freight. This helps lower the temperature of your cargo.
What you should know:
Normally, you’ll be hauling perishable goods and thus needs to be cooled. You will be given a required temperature, and get to set the thermostat. You will then have to regularly check it to make sure the temperature does not go beyond the given temperature. Some of the best freight companies rely on their driver, and thus offering them more pay. It may involve a little extra work, but the extra cash is definitely worth it.
- Tanker drivers
These types of trucking are in high demand due to the risks involved. You’ll be transporting mostly tanks of liquid. You will be required to have more skills and knowledge in driving. Drivers usually are briefed in case of emergency situations. This is because it may involve transporting either hazardous or non-hazardous liquids.
What you should know:
Though it is ranked as one of the most risk-involved trucking job, it can also be non-risky. It really depends on the trucking company. They may only require truckers to transport non-hazardous liquids, significantly decreasing the risks involved.
- Less-than-truckload drivers
Also known as LTL, you’ll be required to transport smaller than the average cargo. They may even have to drive only short distances. It does however require you to do multiple stop-overs. A road way transport if you will. Unlike the other trucking jobs on the list, the drivers usually are required to unload their own shipments.
What you should know:
LTL drivers usually are paid well. As always, it will still depend on the difficulty of the operation. Some semi truck companies can go across states, but some will just cover just small regions and stay local. As a new driver, this type of job would be the best choice.
- Flatbed drivers
These are for experienced drivers willing to work for long haul trucking companies. Due to its flat-bed nature, you’ll be required to check periodically if everything is in place and is secured. They usually haul heavy machineries such as airplanes, scaffolding, and even tanks for the military. They may be one of the highest paid trucking jobs, but they are also the one of the most difficult.
What you should know:
The demands for this job are pretty high. That being said, top-rated trucking companies offer training lessons, while earning money to attract drivers. Job description includes tarping, chaining, and driving with spread axles system. It will require man power and thus, not recommended for women.
- Specialized drivers
Specialized drivers can go from oilfield trucking jobs, hauling grain to heavy equipment haulers. You’ll be required to have passed the company’s training before you can handle one of these.
What you should know:
These types of drivers are paid well, no questions asked. They do however require a lot of experience and training. If you’re inexperienced, it is best to look for the standard truck driving jobs such as Dry Van Drivers.
- Owner/Operator drivers
The greatest benefit you can probably acquire from this type of trucking is the freedom, the freedom to do as you please. Just make sure you get the job done, and done right. That is just the icing on the cake mind you. You’ll also be paid more, have control of what loads to accept, the work schedule, and be accompanied by whomever you want.
What you should know:
It takes discipline to be an O/O driver. You have to have the right mindset, the budget, a proper equipment, and of course a plan. It is a business not to be taken lightly. With the lack of responsibility, you may have just spent thousands of dollars and a large amount of time with little to no rewards.
Common bonuses offered by trucking company
With the shortage of truck drivers these past few years, truck driving companies have increased their salaries for up to 13% since 2013. To bring in employee applications, some of the biggest companies are even giving out signing bonuses. These can go from $3,000 buy up to $7,000. Due to lack of truckers, and more shipments queued, other bonuses are also included.
Here are just some of the common benefits and bonuses a big company is likely to offer:
- Weekly Pay
- Performance Bonus
- Sleeper Pay
- Prescription Medication Coverage
- Life Insurance
- Retirement Plans
- Vacation and Holiday Leaves
- Job Security.
Other companies offer big bonuses that depend on the factors involved. These include certain loads carried, how fast the shipment was delivered, and the distances that were covered. They can either be additional cash on top of your salary, or even job security.
Make sure you work for a good transportation company that offers these kinds of benefits. Small agencies or companies tend to give only what is required of them by the government, such as life insurance, medical, and retirement plans.
Pay by mile or pay per hour?
Both have their pros and cons. Local transportation companies usually go by the hour, while national trucking companies go by the mile. Depending on how your financial or personal situation is, either of the two can be more beneficial to you.
Pay by mile is recommended for OTR drivers. The average pay per mile is between $0.25 and $.60, which can go from $50,000 to $65,000 annually. Compare it to the median hourly pay for OTR drivers of around $22, the total annual salary can go only from $45,000 to $46,000. That is, of course, considering other factors such as the maximum 70-hour restriction of over eight days work.
Pay by mile also has exclusive benefits offered by the company. These include your sleeper pay, layover pay, and inconvenience pay. These are usually given to the ‘by-the-mile’ drivers and not ‘by-the-hour’ drivers.
Pay per hour is just like a regular job and is a good start for a new driver. You’ll be working by the hour with a guaranteed pay. Health insurance is also easily obtainable. To top it off, you can stay local and always stay close to home. You will be able to spend your after hours with the family. The downside, however, will be having a lesser salary than that of the OTR drivers.
It actually all comes down to one’s preferences and needs. You have the option to pick whichever you think would best fit your situation.
- CT Transportation
- Knight Transportation
- McElroy Truck Lines
- Transport America
- Owner Operator
- Ice Road Truckers
- Maverick Transportation
- Covenant Transport
- Roadrunner Transportation
- KLLM Trucking
- PTL Trucking
Companies with good training
Some companies that offer good training while on the job are Acme Trucking, Prime Inc, USA Truck, CRST, and Walmart Trucking. Some of these training include getting your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), with the operation of double and triple trailers.
Other training are also offered by some specialized companies. These include your HAZMAT, Air Brakes, Combination Vehicles, and Tanker. It is a requirement as a trucker to have these special training before you can handle such trucks.
Taking on training offered by these companies doesn’t only give you experience and more skills, but also higher salaries. Depending on which company you trained for, requirements can be rough. Some will penalize candidates by either requiring you to pay for the training, or obliging you to add 10,000 miles, or even up to 40,000 miles to your program.
This is considered as the worst penalty for truck drivers, compared to Walmart trucking, one of the best tractor trailer companies with a very low turnover rates. This is due to their top-notch training with a decent and passable penalty. The impressive thing about Walmart trucking is the reason for why employees are leaving. It is not because they are switching companies, but simply retiring from a good long stay within the company.
Once you finished your truck driving training with impressive ratings and have acquired a considerable amount of experience, you will then have better chances of landing a job with the highest paying and biggest companies in the industry. All the good trucking jobs will be at your disposal. Just remember to keep track of the benefits and bonuses.