9 Best Trucking Companies to Work for According to Truckers
Maybe you just got your Commercial Driver's Licence (CDL), or maybe you're a seasoned driver looking for a change. Either way, you'll need a starting point to begin the process of finding your next employer. With thousands of trucking companies urgently hiring new drivers, you're probably overwhelmed and wondering how to pick a company that's a good fit for you.
Luckily, we've compiled a list of the best trucking companies to drive for considering safety, stability, pay, and of course - driver satisfaction.
Our top picks include:
Best trucking company for new drivers
Best Less than Truckload (LTL) trucking company
Top trucking company according to driver reviews
Best trucking company for teams Let's get rolling!
Types of Trucking Companies to Choose From
Whether you want to work for a mega carrier or a small to mid-sized company, there's no shortage of trucking companies, especially after COVID. Consider what type of trailer you want to haul in your search for the best trucking company to work for:
Truck driver companies using Dry Vans carry any non-temp-controlled item such as canned goods, clothing, packaging materials; the list goes on. Driving a van means not worrying about temperature checks, more flexible driving hours, and spending less on gas.
Reefers Reefer trailers also come in all sizes and frequently deliver to busy cold storage facilities with strict appointments, long wait times, and overnight hours. Because of the nature of the product, customers pay more to transport refrigerated freight. Unfortunately, drivers don't always see this extra pay if they work for a large company.
LTL As a Less-than-truckload (LTL) driver, you'll make frequent stops and sometimes be responsible for loading and unloading your truck. You can maximize your money earned per mile driven by working with smaller LTL truck driver companies and filling your truck during deadheads (empty or not full).
Many drivers overlook flatbeds because of the heavy driver involvement, but there's a lot of money to be made with them. Some commodities can be dangerous or labor-intensive to load, and you'll need all the proper equipment to secure the freight.
Factors to Consider: What Works For You?
The beauty of being a truck driver is that there's a perfect match out there for everyone. Ask yourself:
Are you a new or experienced driver?
Will you be driving solo or as a team?
How much home time do you need?
What are your salary and benefit requirements?
Do you need sponsored Commercial Driver's License (CDL) training?
Do you want to drive long hauls, regional, or local?
Knowing these answers will narrow down your list of potential truck companies. Some trucking carriers offer training programs and excellent benefits, whereas others provide higher pay and less structure or stability. Now, let's get into the top 15 trucking companies to work for.
Best Trucking Companies to Work For According to Truckers
We've chosen these as our top trucking companies to work for based on pay, benefits, home time, and driver reviews. This first list contains companies with a balance of overall driver happiness and benefits. Keep them in mind when doing your research and deciding where to apply.
Nussbaum has been named in the Best Fleet to Drive For Hall of Fame for 4 straight years from 2019 to 2022. This isn't something truckers take lightly, but what is it exactly that makes drivers appreciate Nussbaum as one of the best trucking companies in the USA?
The most noted characteristics mentioned by drivers include great benefits, a good work/life balance, and training they can appreciate. Many also mention pay being a big reason they work for Nussbaum with new drivers earning potential landing anywhere between $80,000 to $90,000 in the first year. This places Nussbaum as potentially one of the top paying trucking companies with no experience on the driver's part. But it doesn't stop there - Nussbaum's website claims their top 30% drivers earn $100,000 a year on average, which led to the National Transportation Institute to claim their total pay package as 'Top Paying'.
It's important to note their Driver Excelerator Bonus Program which could earn top performing driver's an extra $0.035/mile.
It was pretty difficult to find a negative review for this mega carrier after the year 2022 - seems they've made a lot of adjustments their fleet appreciates. The most common negative mentioned by reviewers across multiple rating sites highlighted a difficulty in communication with dispatch and the driver facing cameras.
One of the most highly rated local trucking companies, BR Williams is situated across Alabama, with one location in Florida. An overwhelming number of reviews claim this trucking company has a company culture we could only dream of, with one small problem - the pay. If you're just starting out and are looking for something that helps you get home in time for dinner - well, almost on time - BR Williams might just be the place for you.
Reviews on Indeed, GlassDoor, and Truckers Report mention there are little growth opportunities here, with even lower pay. Less miles also means less experience, but it's always a good thing to start out at a company that values you as a driver, not a number. Drivers rave about this trucking company's loving family-friendly environment and a lack of forced dispatch - one of the many reasons we've named BR Williams as the best trucking company for new drivers.
Named as one of the top companies to work for in transportation for women by the Women in Trucking Association in 2021, and The Best Trucking Company in Alabama by FreightWaves in 2022, it's clear that BR Williams is putting in the effort to earn a place as one of the top trucking companies in the US.
According to Indeed, Drivers make approximately $1,005/week, which comes up to $52,260 annually. Whether fuel or other expenses are calculated into this amount is unclear. To get a more rounded view of expected payouts, here are bonus examples currently offered to new hires for the following positions:
Regional Truck Driver Fleet
$5,000 Transition Bonus for new hires
Up to $3,500 annually as a Fuel & Safety Bonus
Up to $1,300 in contributions for personal Health Savings Account
$0.04 cents per mile on average as reimbursement to cover meals, overnight stays, and other road expenses
Local Company Driver
$3,000 Transition Bonus for new hires
Up to $7,500 in shift differential annually (bonus for working outside of normal business hours)
Up to $3,000 annually Fuel, Safety, & Attendance Bonus
Up to $1,300 in contributions for personal Health Savings Account
A sign on bonus for team drivers? We like where this is going! HMD Trucking has paved its way into the hearts of drivers with more than just a satisfying weekly pay. Recruitment is competitive with some positions offering a sign on bonus. They're very transparent with expected pay for drivers, and their dispatch team is said to be on point with their communications. This is all according to reviews found on Indeed, GlassDoor, and Truckers Report. In our search for the best trucking companies to work for - HMD came up a-lot!
Here's what you can expect to paid driving for HMD Trucking:
Regional Dry Van Solo
$0.65 Cents Per Minute (CPM) with benefits
OTR Dry Van Solo
$0.6 CPM with safety bonus and benefits
OTR Dry Van Teams
$0.77 CPM with safety bonus, $10,000 sign on bonus, and benefits
OTR Flatbed Solo
$0.65 CPM with benefits and bonuses
OTR Flatbed Teams
$0.77 CPM with zero down options, no credit check, and fuel discount program
On the negative end, some drivers expressed their dissatisfaction with company loyalty - they felt job security was at a low point and that management didn't have a full grasp on rules set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
This is a big deal as it puts you, the driver, at risk. Alas, we all have different experiences and with most of the reviews across these three platforms leaning more towards the high end - we simply couldn't leave HMD Trucking off our list of possibly the best USA trucking companies to consider.
It's always nice to read about trucking companies that treat their drivers like family. Central Marketing Transport seems to be one of those carrier companies. They specialize in delivering produce, so you won't ever be driving too far from home, which allows them to offer a good work/life balance. The average pay you see on our top trucking companies list is a tad inflated due to a small percentage of drivers offering that transparency on the web - and no pay is mentioned on the CMT website. To help, the lowest pay mentioned on Truckers Report sits at about $50,024 per year.
After sifting through all the reviews available, we get the impression that many of their current drivers have been with the company for decades, so we anticipate it being a bit more difficult to get through the application process than most trucking companies. Lastly, driver reviews for Central Marketing Transport are hard to come by, so take these with a grain of salt, even though they rank high on Truckers Report.
One of the most notable pros we found was on Indeed that mentions that "the miles to run were plentiful," - which leads us to believe that you'll rarely be out of a job to pick up.
It's also a green flag when you read multiple reviews referring to the relationship between driver and dispatch as positive: "The dispatchers are great they work hard to keep you going I get home just like I want to and My truck is brand new we have the best maintenance service dept and I earn1800 to 2500 per week." As you can see, this driver is on the high end when it comes to pay - may be time to inquire within!
Could Cargo Transporters be considered one of the best trucking companies to work for? Truck drivers seem to think so! Reviews weigh in on great equipment, a consistent flow of miles to go around, and a family oriented approach within the company. Some drivers seem to think that it's a bit too family oriented, with relatives getting the best miles from dispatch.
It's possible Cargo Transporters hire too many family drivers, but with the influx of positive reviews, not everyone appears to agree. One more common complaint we found is drivers experiencing more of a 'big brother' culture than a family driven one - too many camera's leading to a stressful vibe on the road and in the office. Having said that, if you don't mind being 'watched' on the job, this might be an opportunity for you to work for one of the best companies for truck drivers.
Pay structure is in line with other carrier companies and most reviews mention getting support from upper management instead of experiencing favoritism in the workplace.
Here's what to expect in terms of pay according to their website:
-$0.67 Cents Per Mile (CPM) All in Rate (includes productivity pay, paid holidays, and paid time off)
$0.60 CPM Standard Pay with productivity bonus, 7 paid holidays, and 3 weeks vacation
$0.40 CPM All in Rate (includes productivity pay, paid holidays, and paid time off)
$0.37 CMP Standard Pay with productivity bonus, 7 paid holidays, and 3 weeks vacation
Additional bonuses include Layover Pay, Safety Bonus, and more here.
One more common complaint we found is drivers experiencing more of a 'big brother' culture than a family driven one - too many camera's leading to a stressful vibe on the road and in the office. Having said that, if you don't mind being 'watched' on the job, this might be an opportunity for you to work for one of the best companies for truck drivers.
If you run into issues on the road or when dropping off a load, working for one of the top trucking companies means management is always there to help. This looks to be a common consensus among truck drivers working for AFC Transport. Many reviews mention communication as being one of the best qualities of the dispatch team - even if the driver gets into a sticky situation. Some trucking companies specialize in transporting specific freight, for AFC Transport that's machinery, steel, building materials, and industrial equipment. Working here, you can expect to drive through 48 states and spend quite a long time away from home.
One concerning aspect we found when scouring for reviews online is the amount of truckers mentioning they didn't receive money held in Escrow (owed wages). It's not an issue that's overwhelming review sites for this trucking company - but it's always a good idea to have a full picture before applying to any mega carriers or small trucking companies.
Here's what you can expect in terms of pay according to their website:
Reefer Company Driver
$0.60 Cents Per Mile (CPM) as starting pay for both loaded and empty miles - meaning driving with a full load of goods or an empty truck
Increase in CPM by $0.01 for each year with the company (maxed out at $0.75 CPM)
Benefits and increased vacation time per year
They also offer Lease Purchase opportunities so long as you're over the age of 23, have a valid Commercial Driver's License A (CDL-A class allows you to drive tractor-trailers, truck & trailer combinations, etc..) with 1 year of experience, and 6 months of flatbed driving experience.
Aside from the wages held disputes we found via our 3 review sites, AFC Transport trucker reviews show this company deserves its mention on our top trucking companies list.
Headquarters: Park Forest, United States
Modes: Flatbed, Step Deck, Conestoga, Dry Van, Reefer
One thing that really struck us as odd is how many reviews of Montgomery Transport suggested that pay is a big benefit. When looking at the average salary of $70,000 compared to others on our list of the of the best trucking companies to work for - $70k is considered fair but not high This leads us to believe that many reviewers are new drivers and are happy with what could be considered as decent pay for a less experience. However, there are also some reviews that mention experience and pay satisfaction.
Having said that, company culture and positivity are also at a high with one reviewer saying: "Great people to work with. Awesome company, always coming up with new ways to give their drivers more money. Been here 4 years." Another mentions that the "good supersedes the bad", and many others seem to agree.
Downsides to this trucking company seem minimal, with one reviewer requesting the company supply truckers with a fridge and front curtain for their company truck. The same reviewer mentions he's happy with pay but still requests personal conveyance (personal use of the truck) while off-duty.
According to their website, Cost Per Mile (CPM) ranges between $0.53 to $0.55 with paid vacation and other benefits, along with weekends off for dedicated drivers (dedicated driver means you're assigned a specific client or route).
DVHR has put a spell on truck drivers with their fair pay, work/life balance, and warm company culture. Their strict safety rules don't seem to be coming off as suffocating but instead are appreciated by drivers. Reviews say pay goes out on time and no forced dispatch allows drivers to have more flexibility with their hours. The DVHR website claims drivers can earn between $2,500 to $6,300 per week - of course, more pay equals more hours and long hauls, but if you're choosing to go that route, you'll be pleased with the reward!
One 5 star review on Indeed really stood out to us: "Great Company to work for/ they are very good at what they do help drivers to succeed. No lies or bs, they treat you as professionals. Good benefits for driver, I’m happy to work for DVHR."
This may just be one of the best trucking companies for new drivers. Getting the experience you need with great pay and a good company culture can really set you up for success in your driving career.
DVHR is clear about expected pay on their website, here's what they're offering:
Dry Van - $0.75 Cents Per Mile (CPM)
Reefer - $0.80 CPM
FlatBed - $0.90 CPM
Step Deck - $0.90 CPM
Conestoga - $0.90 CPM
These are good numbers, even when compared to the other trucking companies on our list. DHVR is super close to topping our list of the best trucking companies to work for in the US.
Headquarters: Prospect Heights IL
Modes: Reefer, Step Deck, Dry Van, Flatbed, Conestoga
Cota System's LTL program is designed to help drivers and dispatchers avoid empty miles at all costs. Drivers working for small to mid-sized companies as well as owner operators can take advantage of the loadboard, filling partial trailers and taking loads on their way somewhere else. A partial trailer means your truck isn't full - that's ultimately wasted space that you could use to earn more money.
That's why we consider ourselves one of the best truck companies out there - we enhance the Cost Per Mile (CPM) for drivers by allowing them to fill up their truck with extra loads along their route. Drivers can use an app to find loads near them and handle everything through one system - it's fast and easy to use. Many other CDL trucking companies don't have the same partnerships or freight loads to keep trailers constantly full.
Introducing the FREE Cota Systems® App for Truck Drivers
Many truck driving companies have apps that help drivers find weigh stations, cheap fuel, and provide them with GPS. Our app is different - it's designed to help you easily increase your profit per trip. Here's how it works:
Extra Loads on the Road
Wherever you're headed, a simple click of a button lets you scour for extra shipments to fill up your truck. We pride ourselves on being one of the best trucking companies to work for and we prove this with the simplicity of our app that helps you maximize profits between booked trips.
Scan and Send Documents
It's not just about the ease of booking new loads, it's equally about simplifying the communication process with your dispatcher. In the app, you can easily scan and send bills of lading with zero fuss.
Keep Track of Your Earnings
Everything in one place - you know how much you've earned and what payments have come in straight from the app.
Seamless Dispatch Integration
Our mobile app for drivers integrates with our dispatch CarrierPro™ system for effortless communication and quick access to our load board.
Real-time Load Notifications
It's how we make new loads come to you! Forget the endless scrolling, our notification system is precise and lets you know when there's a new load on your specific route.
Stay Connected Anywhere
Download on any Android or iOS devices for quick access to effortless loads - and ultimately, more money for your mile.
What Drivers Are Saying About Cota Systems®
Getting Paid by the Mile: How it Works
In general, drivers get paid for loaded miles in motion - meaning, the truck is not empty as you drive. Driving empty to a new pickup is unpaid time (usually), and waiting to be loaded and unloaded eats away at the clock, too. The best truck driving companies pay drivers for this time with detention or layovers. These hours in limbo are considered a benefit when they're paid by your trucking company.
Out of a 24-hour period, drivers may drive for 14 hours and take a 10-hour break. As soon as you start moving, your clock starts, so the time you spend waiting for a load or for paperwork counts against you.
In the U.S., average pay ranges from $45,000 to $144,000 considering experience, miles, the season, and whether you drive Over the Road (OTR - meaning long-haul trucking, long distances) or local. Owner operators (those who own their own trucks) earn nearly double what company drivers earn, which is why many experienced drivers end up buying their own trucks after a while.
Solo drivers work alone and earn closer to the lower-middle end of the pay range above. Experienced drivers can offer some of the Best Trucker Tips for how to make the most of your time on the road and maximize each mile driven. They're also full of wisdom with the best truck driver quotes for success in life and in business.
Teams can drive constantly, with each member sleeping on break while the other drives. Teams split their pay evenly and take time-sensitive loads, which is why customers are willing to pay two drivers. The best over-the-road trucking companies offer team service and compensate their teams graciously.
Avoid Deadheading: Make the Most of Every Mile
Working with a company like Cota Systems® allows drivers to avoid wasting time and money on backhauls and deadheads. Dispatchers at carrier companies can partner with us to fill the gaps in their drivers' schedules, making more money for everyone involved.
Our Less than Truckload (LTL) loads are not only competitive in pay, but give you the chance to maximize each mile by filling partial trailers or picking up a load on an otherwise empty run. We're proud to be one of the best companies for truck drivers to manage themselves and take control over their earnings.
How it Works:
Use our load board to find extra loads right from your smartphone
Track payments and optimize new trips from anywhere
Track Detention Time: Make Sure You Get Paid For Your Time
The Cota Systems® drivers mobile app allows you to track your detention time and transfer the information to CarrierPro® so your dispatcher can submit it. You can also take pictures of your paperwork like bill of lading, shipment receipts, and more.
The Final Verdict
As you research the best companies for truck drivers, keep in mind that they all have some unique benefits to offer. You may have to sacrifice home time for free training, or Cents Per Mile for benefits, but a work-life balance and feeling respected are must-haves for all of us.
These companies all have (mostly) positive reviews from other drivers, so take this as a starting point to narrow down your search. And remember, Cota Systems® can help both new and seasoned drivers earn more and make up for the slow weeks. Talk to your dispatcher about using our free load board to get more freight!
I joined Cota Systems to help U.S. truckers grow their businesses. I proudly served in the U.S. Navy, managed some of the largest brands on earth, and I'm excited to share what I've learned with you. Truckers are the backbone of our great nation and when you and your family are thriving, so is America! 🇺🇸