Cross-Country Careers: 8 of the Best Trucking Companies to Work For

You're probably here because you've decided the trucker's life is the life for you. Ready to walk the plank (re: ramp) of a commercial transport vehicle and navigate the open road? Not so fast. First, you have to find the right trucking company; each has its own culture and perks.

Ultimately, the business you choose will affect your future career satisfaction. We've got the lowdown on a few of the best. Check out the top eight trucking companies to work for in North America and find out what makes them so great.  

8. Heartland Express

truck driving through Indiana border

Image via Flickr by dno1967b

Headquarters: North Liberty, IA

About: Heartland Express is a shipping and logistics company that works with a variety of industries from food to automotive products and much more. Drivers can expect to complete either solo or team routes with the help of state-of-the-art trucks and equipment.

Driver Incentives: Heartland workers receive higher paychecks than most in the industry with an average of $0.13 more per mile than other companies. Heartland also puts a strong emphasis on timely pay and doesn't require workers to submit trip sheets to receive a regular income. In addition, this trucking company is family-oriented and puts an emphasis on keeping regional drivers close to their homes.

7. American Central Transport (ACT)

Headquarters: Liberty, MO

About: This carrier company values safety above all and lets its customers know that all commitments are met with the driver's well-being in mind. That extra level of care likely comes from the company's familial culture. ACT has been family-owned since 1926.

According to ACT's website, which features a message from the CEO, "ACT is a premium service truckload carrier serving major shippers throughout the eastern half of the United States. Major shipping points include Kansas City, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis, Des Moines, Wichita, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Memphis, Columbus, Atlanta, Charlotte, and most major cities within our operating area."

Driver Incentives: ACT drivers can earn a whopping $0.46 per mile–change that really adds up in the trucking industry. Although this company doesn't openly outline any additional benefits, workers can expect a comfortable environment that promotes mutual respect among drivers and executives.

6. Averitt Express

Headquarters: Cookeville, TN

About: Averitt stays true to the American dream. This enterprising company was purchased in 1971 by a former dockworker–an acquisition that truly represents the spirit of the company. Since its transfer, the company has won multiple awards for its work in the supply chain industry.

Driver Incentives: As a driver at Averitt, employees can expect a diverse collection of trucking prospects. Unlike some companies, Averitt ensures regional drivers make it home very week. In addition, truckers have other means for revenue, including breakdown pay, loading /unloading pay, stop pay, and even layover pay.

5. Schneider National

Headquarters: Green Bay, WI

About: Schneider is a rare trucking company: it has a conservational mission. For years the company has focused on reducing CO2 emissions. It's also a member of the SmartWay Transport Partnership run by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which holds freight businesses accountable for their so-called "green" standards. The company also publicizes its philanthropy. Schneider is an ideal choice for the environmentally and socially minded worker.

Driver Incentives: Schneider also offers a sign-on bonus to new drivers. Truckers can expect to make up to $3,500 up front–that's in addition to their regular pay. This company offers regular mile-based performance bonuses, as well. All told, some positions pay as much as $65,000 annually.  

4. Con-way Transportation

Headquarters: Ann Arbor, MI

About: A service-based company, Con-way delivers to more than 20 countries across the globe. Con-way's more than 500 North American locations leave plenty of paths for interested truckers. This trucking company works with a variety of the industry's latest and greatest trucks.

Driver Incentives: Truckers can choose from light load (local) or truckload jobs (regional). Truckload drivers can expect up to a $5,000 sign-on bonus with opportunities for safe driving bonuses, as well.

3. Ryder

Headquarters: Miami, FL

About: Ryder is a top trucking company primarily for its success. The Fortune 500 business offers not only delivery solutions, but also fleet leasing, truck rentals, maintenance, and more. Its assorted business operations make it an ideal fit for a driver who may wish to diversify down the road.

Driver Incentives: Truckers can expect the full support of the company. Not only do they receive standard provisions such as reliable trucks, but Ryder also offers bonus benefits such as tuition reimbursement and scholarship programs for employees' children. Ryder also pledges to make employment for former military personal easy with its program that directly matches armed forces skills with driver responsibilities.

2. J.B. Hunt Transport Services

Headquarters: Lowell, AR

About: This carrier company is a major North American trucking business that caters to multiple Fortune 500 companies. The company wins with its innovative solutions that value the individual customer, which keeps suppliers coming back for more.

Driver Incentives: While J.B. Hunt is located in Arkansas, interested truckers will find jobs across 48 states. Drivers can expect a range of options, as well–including full-time and contract work. Contractors can lease vehicles directly from J.B Hunt. All truckers can enjoy either regional or local routes. This company is also an excellent choice for those looking to switch fields since it features its very own truck driving school.

1. UPS

Headquarters: Atlanta, GA

About: You're likely already familiar with this parcel delivery service; it's practically a household name. While this shipping and logistics company uses ground transport, it also delivers to over 200 countries via airfreight and carrier ships, as well. The company has grown quite a bit since its humble beginnings as a messenger company in 1907, so employees can expect exceptional prospects.

Driver Incentives: Although UPS features many jobs, its driving still takes the front seat. According to UPS, "[...] approximately 82 percent of the UPS workforce is involved in freight and package handling, driving motor vehicles, or both. And of course, there are ample Seasonal Jobs during the winter holiday season for Part-time Package Handlers and Driver Helpers." That means there are lots of opportunities for employment.

This shipping company also puts major emphasis on promoting from within, so workers can expect to succeed no matter where they start. UPS is also one of the few trucking companies that leave workers' weekends free since their drivers traditionally work local routes that coincide with the U.S. mail schedule.

Are you looking for a transportation job? What will you look for in a trucking company? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Contributed to by Kim Evans

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