Trucking is one of the biggest industries in the U.S.A. It moves the economy of the entire country with more than 70% of total tonnage shipped within the U.S. But trucking is not only essential. It’s also quite demanding. Truckers are hard workers and they want to be compensated fairly.
As with any enormous industry, the rates that truckers get vary significantly. How much you’ll make as a trucker depends on the location of the company, the number of trucks they have, and their internal policy. So, searching for the ideal trucking company for you can take time.
Naturally, the most important factor is the company rates. Truckers are constantly searching for better options. That’s the main reason for such a high turnover rate in the trucking industry. That’s also the reason why companies have a hard time balancing between competitive rates on the market and their actual ability to pay drivers.
If you’re looking for a company that will treat you well, this extensive list can help. It contains all the options for all types of trucking contracts.
Which Trucking Companies Pay the Most for New Drivers?
If you’re new to trucking, you’ll need to find a company that accepts drivers who still need to pass the Commercial Driver’s License Program. But, are there companies that pay for drivers’ CDL? And, can they offer fair conditions for rookies who become their company drivers?
Luckily, yes. There are companies that will help you get your training and get you on the road as quickly as possible. These companies offer the highest rates for rookies drivers with newly-acquired CDL-s:
Wil-Trans is a great option for trucking newbies. They offer paid CDL training, which is longer than most other companies. That’s actually very good because you don’t want to go out there unprepared.
Also, this family-owned company offers free training with a 1-year contract. After you complete the training, your instructor will ride with you for about 3000 miles to make sure that you are ready to become an independent driver. After that, you’re a driver ready to make a fine living.
They offer good pay and have one of the best pet policies out there. No restrictions on pet size. You can also bring a rider with you, as long as they are 10 years of age and older.
This corporation pays for young drivers (22 years of age and older) to get their CDL. Their training conditions are very attractive for new drivers.
You will be expected to work for the company for a year after finishing school. You will contribute $45 every week, or $2,340, through payroll deductions to cover the cost of your CDL training.
But, after the first year, the company returns $1,245 to you so the total cost of your training will be $1,095. Keep in mind that you’ll get a chance to ride with them after the training. So this is a great opportunity to get both training and experience at a very affordable rate.
When it comes to driver rates, the starting salary is a little low at first. But for the first year, USA Truck gives out bonuses every three months. The salary will exceed the average numbers for dry van drivers by the end of your first year.
TMC Transportation has more than 40 years of tradition behind it. Along with that comes a great CDL program for new drivers. They have an amazing policy for first-year drivers enabling them to make $65,000 – $75,000 annually.
These rates are competitive with the numbers some other companies offer to much more experienced drivers. That’s why TMC Transportation is a fine choice for beginners.
Their CDL program includes a 1-year obligation to the company. It’s a great deal considering their rates for new drivers in their first year.
What trucking company pays the most for owner-operators?
If you are an owner-operator, the salary is going to be the biggest factor in any deal. And there’s a good reason for that. Running with your own rig creates lots of expenses, and owners are always under pressure to cut costs and create stable earnings.
These drivers are known to change companies often. Because there’s always a better offer out there. The following companies will be very hard to move away from. That’s because their fees are one of the highest on the market:
This company is based in Louisville, Kentucky and it hauls freight all over North America with a big fleet of over 2200 trucks. Not only are their operations developed, but their fees are also very high.
On average, owner-operators working at Mercer Transportation make about $150.000 annually. That’s the number that some dentists and physicians make around the country. That’s why hauling for Mercer Transportation can be a great deal for most owner-operators out there.
Apart from sky-high fees, Mercer offers a great package of benefits. Life and disability insurance, maternity, paternity, family medical and military leave, and paid holidays are some of them.
This Florida-based company has a huge operation with up to 5000 employees. They run with an enormous fleet of 13,000 trailers. The scale of Landstar’s operations affects its ability to pay extremely well.
Owner-operators driving for Landstar can expect average salaries of about $160.000 annually. Apart from their shiny fees, the company offers a series of benefits. These include health, dental, disability insurance, a health savings account, and paid vacations.
The company is based in Mondovi, Wisconsin and they have a huge employee base, with up to 5000 people running their operations. Marten runs all over the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
The business provides a wide range of logistics services, including intermodal, brokerage, hazardous, long-distance, local, and regional transportation. It’s only natural that they can compensate well.
Owner-operators moving freight for Marten Transport make around $120.000 annually, on average. Insurances, 401k, paid time off, and sick days are just some of the benefits available to drivers.
Trucking jobs that pay $1,500 a week
For company drivers looking for a stable weekly income, it’s always about the search for the company that will provide that week in and week out. Some truckers are always looking for the highest possible income. But, it isn’t like that for everyone behind the semi-truck wheel.
It depends on the circumstances, desire for home time, and the stage of the driver’s career. That being said, there are drivers that want a guaranteed minimum number. The number that no driver will go below is $1500. These companies will make sure that you get your fixed weekly salary along with good working conditions.
Riverside Transportation – Indianapolis, IN
This Indianapolis company is searching for dry van drivers. There are several reasons why drivers should be interested in what Riverside has to offer. Firstly, they ask for only 6 months of OTR experience which is among the lowest experience requirements.
Also, the company guarantees $1.6k – $1.95k weekly fees. That amounts to up to $100.000 annual income, with a proper schedule. These are the optimal numbers for an entry-level position. If you’re looking for an opportunity to gain experience while earning a steady income, Riverside is the place for you.
Unique Transport Inc. – Burr Ridge, IL
This Illinois-based company offers great numbers for reefer drivers. With 75 cents per mile and steady lanes, reefer drivers are looking to make a lot more than $1500 weekly.
Also, the company pays the same for empty and loaded miles. Which increases the chance that your weekly minimum goal is going to be met regularly. The pay is deposited every Friday without exceptions. You can also expect to see various bonuses such as referral and clean inspection rewards.
Their fuel cards will help you reduce your weekly expenses. The dispatch is skilled and kind, so company drivers riding with Unique are in for a treat.
K&B Transportation – South Sioux City, NE
K&B has made two different packages for drivers. One package is designed for drivers who want to stay on the road for 2 months at a time with a 10 day home break. But, the second package is designed for drivers who don’t want to stay away from home as much.
It guarantees $1500 with 2500 miles every week. These numbers amount to over 80 thousand yearly income, not counting the listed safety, clean inspection, and referral bonuses. The routes are oriented to Midwest Regional or National Lanes.
The offer is further improved with the semis they own – 2020 and younger trucks with full equipment. On top of that, Health, Life, and Dental insurance will be available with the option to choose your plan. All of the above makes K&B a valid candidate on this list.
The drivers are always in pursuit of better working environments. The pay is among the most important deal-makers or deal-breakers for most truckers.
But, it’s not the only important gear in the machine. Being treated fairly as a driver is just as important as getting high fees. Look for companies that will give you fair schedules and don’t keep you on the road longer than agreed. Look for companies that advertise truthfully and speak openly.
If you are lucky enough to find such a company, it’s important to consider if it’s worth it to change all of that for a higher fee. The companies you see on this list have been selected not only for their good fees but also for good driver reviews and reputation.
Joining any of these is a step in the right direction for your trucking career.