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Best trucking companies in Iowa

If you call the Hawkeye State home and are considering enrolling in truck driver training, it is vital that you carefully research prospective employers before taking the plunge. With dozens of trucking companies in Iowa, it can be tough to know where to start the search.

The FreightWaves Ratings team has done all the legwork for you by compiling this list of the best Iowa trucking businesses. Here are the companies that made our top 10.

Quicklook: Best Iowa trucking companies

  • Best for overnight LTL: Sutton Transport -Match Now
  • Best for refrigerated trucking: Schuster -Match Now
  • Best for flatbed shipping: TMC Transportation -Match Now
  • Best for reliability: Heartland Express, Inc. -Match Now
  • Best for providing order tracking: Crawford Trucking -Match Now
  • Best for efficiency: Keane Thummel Trucking -Match Now
  • Best for versatility: Decker Truck Line -Match Now
  • Best for providing great equipment: Gray Transportation -Match Now
  • Best for experienced drivers: Simon’s Trucking -Match Now
  • Best for road safety: Dickey Transport -Match Now

10 best Iowa trucking companies

The following represent the 10 best Iowa trucking companies in operation today.

Sutton Transport, Inc.

Sutton Transport specializes in providing overnight LTL services to businesses throughout Iowa. The company is a valuable asset to local businesses and distribution centers located in the state. While it does not have hubs in Iowa, it does have multiple terminals nearby, including several in Missouri and Wisconsin. 

Best for: Overnight LTL

Established: 1979

Location: Weston, Wisconsin

Employees: 700

Carrier Type: LTL

Services Provided: LTL, hazmat shipping

Revenue: $43.6 million

Google Rating: 3.8/5 on 34 reviews

Schuster Co.

Schuster Co., formerly known as Schuster Grain, has established itself as a premier choice for individuals seeking a rewarding career in the trucking industry. Specializing in refrigerated trucking and product shipment, Schuster Co. has evolved into a highly regarded and widely recognized company in Iowa. With a considerably expanded fleet, working at Schuster Co. guarantees access to a wealth of opportunities and a strong reputation for excellence. Joining their team means becoming part of a legacy built on expertise, reliability, and a commitment to delivering exceptional service.

Best for: Refrigerated trucking 

Established: 1956

Location: Le Mars, Iowa

Employees: 325

Carrier Type: 

  • Refrigerated
  • Dry van

Services Provided: Specializing in refrigerated shipments

Revenue: $68.9 million

Google Rating: 4.0/5 on 201 reviews

TMC Transportation

TMC Transportation, headquartered in Des Moines, stands as an outstanding choice for individuals seeking employment in the trucking industry. With a specialization in flatbed shipping, what truly distinguishes TMC Transportation is its unwavering dedication to its drivers. The company boasts its own training facilities, catering not only to new drivers but also offering supplemental training to seasoned professionals, highlighting their commitment to ongoing growth and development. As a subsidiary of Annet Holdings, Inc., TMC Transportation provides a supportive and enriching work environment that values its drivers’ success and well-being. Joining the TMC Transportation team guarantees access to exceptional training resources and a rewarding career that goes beyond expectations.

Best for: Flatbed shipping

Established: 1972

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Employees: 3,500

Carrier Type: Flatbed

Services Provided: Though known for its flatbed services, TMC also provides training opportunities to prospective drivers.

Revenue: $939.7 million

Google Rating: 3.5/5 on 460 reviews

Heartland Express, Inc.

Heartland Express, a pinnacle of excellence in the trucking industry, offers several compelling reasons to join their team. With a focus on dedicated shipping and value-adding services tailored to meet customer demands, Heartland Express has solidified its reputation as one of the most dependable trucking companies in Iowa. Leveraging the latest innovations, they ensure on-time and secure shipments, delivering unparalleled service and peace of mind. Choosing to work at Heartland Express guarantees a rewarding career where professionalism, efficiency, and customer satisfaction take center stage.

Best for: Reliability

Established: 1978

Location: North Liberty, Iowa

Employees: 4,050

Carrier Type: Truckload

Services Provided: Heartland Express provides truckload services and dedicated shipping.

Revenue: $596 million

Google Rating: 3.7/5 on 129 reviews

Crawford Trucking, Inc.

Crawford Trucking, headquartered in Des Moines, presents an enticing opportunity for individuals seeking employment in the trucking industry. With a commitment to innovation, Crawford Trucking provides cutting-edge tracking solutions that empower customers to track their deliveries with precision and accuracy, ensuring seamless logistics and precise delivery times. Renowned for its sound business practices, Crawford Trucking has emerged as a true leader among Iowa trucking companies, offering a supportive and progressive work environment where excellence and customer satisfaction are at the forefront. Choosing to work at Crawford Trucking guarantees a fulfilling career marked by innovation, professionalism, and the opportunity to contribute to the company’s continued success.

Best for: Providing order tracking

Established: 1990

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Employees: 87

Carrier Type: Truckload

Services Provided: In addition to dedicated shipping, Crawford offers on-time deliveries and real-time satellite tracking.

Revenue: $25.9 million

Google Rating: 4.0/5 on 31 reviews

Keane Thummel Trucking

Keane Thummel, a family-owned trucking company, stands as an exceptional choice for individuals seeking employment in the trucking industry. With a strong commitment to delivering products to businesses throughout Iowa, Keane Thummel offers an opportunity to be part of a family-oriented team dedicated to excellence. The company’s investment in top-of-the-line equipment and cutting-edge technology guarantees unmatched efficiency and reliability, providing employees with the tools they need to thrive. Joining Keane Thummel ensures a fulfilling career marked by a supportive work environment, a focus on customer satisfaction, and the chance to contribute to the company’s continued success.

Best for: Efficiency 

Established: 1980

Location: New Market, Iowa

Employees: 152

Carrier Type: 

  • Truckload
  • Dry van
  • Step deck

Services Provided: Keane Thummel specializes in on-time truckload deliveries.

Revenue: $31 million

Google Rating: 4.6/5 on 29 reviews

Decker Truck Line

Decker Truck Line, a revered name with a rich history as one of the oldest trucking companies in Iowa, offers an extraordinary opportunity for individuals seeking a rewarding career in the industry. Renowned for its exceptional service and unwavering commitment to innovation, Decker Truck Line has established itself as a leader in transporting construction materials, food products, iron, and steel. Choosing to work at Decker means joining a team with a proven track record of excellence, where professionalism, reliability, and a supportive work environment come together to create a fulfilling and successful career journey.

Best for: Versatility

Established: 1931

Location: Fort Dodge, Iowa

Employees: 1,050

Carrier Type: 

  • Flatbed
  • Truckload
  • Refrigerated
  • Dry van

Services Provided: Decker transports a variety of construction materials, as well as consumer goods and food products.

Revenue: $166 million

Google Rating: 4.0/5 on 262 reviews

Gray Transportation

Gray Transportation, headquartered in Waterloo, emerges as an exceptional choice for individuals seeking a rewarding career in the trucking industry. With a widespread reach, offering shipping services to the 48 contiguous states, Gray Transportation provides ample opportunities for diverse experiences and growth. The company’s reliance on state-of-the-art tracking technology ensures precision and efficiency in operations, while their steadfast commitment to ongoing driver training demonstrates their dedication to fostering professional development and success. Joining the team at Gray Transportation guarantees access to a supportive work environment, cutting-edge technology, and the chance to be part of one of the best trucking companies in Iowa.

Best for: Providing great equipment 

Established: 1984

Location: Waterloo, Iowa

Employees: 160

Carrier Type: 

  • Flatbed
  • Truckload
  • Refrigerated
  • Dry van

Services Provided: Gray Transportation specializes in the latest technology, offering clients real-time tracking and data.

Revenue: $30.6 million

Google Rating: 3.6/5 on 56 reviews

Simon’s Trucking, Inc.

Simon’s Trucking, a standout in the trucking industry, presents an irresistible opportunity for individuals seeking a rewarding career. With a wide range of shipping solutions and specialized services in warehousing and cross-docking, Simon’s Trucking offers a diverse and exciting work environment. What truly sets them apart is their dedicated team, comprised of highly experienced drivers with a minimum of 10 years of truck driving expertise. This impressive level of experience solidifies Simon’s Trucking as one of the most reliable and dependable trucking companies in Iowa. Joining the team at Simon’s Trucking guarantees access to a supportive and experienced workforce, fostering professional growth and ensuring a fulfilling career in the transportation industry.

Best for: Experienced drivers

Established: 1946

Location: Farley, Iowa

Employees: 148

Carrier Type: 

  • Truckload
  • Refrigerated
  • Dry van
  • Hoppers
  • Belt trailers
  • Tankers

Services Provided: Simon’s provides a wide range of trucking services, as well as warehousing solutions and cross-docking services.

Revenue: $27.9 million

Google Rating: 3.9/5 on 41 reviews

Dickey Transport

Dickey Transport, a seasoned player in the transportation industry for over 60 years, presents an exceptional opportunity for individuals seeking employment. With a longstanding reputation for excellence, Dickey Transport has consistently delivered to the Central and Midwestern United States, earning numerous accolades for its dedication to road safety and expertise in food handling and delivery. Choosing to work at Dickey Transport guarantees a rewarding career marked by a commitment to professionalism, safety, and unparalleled expertise, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a fulfilling and secure job in the transportation field.

Best for: Road safety

Established: 1959

Location: Packwood, Iowa

Employees: 114

Carrier Type: 

  • Truckload
  • Refrigerated

Services Provided: Dickey specializes in consumer goods, delivering primarily to the Midwest.

Revenue: $23 million

Google Rating: 4.7/5 on 19 reviews

Start exploring Iowa trucking jobs

By using this list of the best trucking companies in Iowa, you can jumpstart your job search efforts as you enter the trucking profession. However, this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other great companies out there, including national organizations that pay for driver training.

Regardless of which companies you decide to apply to, make sure to ask plenty of questions and carefully weigh your options. By doing so, you can land a great job, start building relevant experience and set the stage for a long, rewarding career in the trucking industry. 


How much do CDL drivers make in Iowa?

Zip Recruiter reports that Iowa CDL drivers can make an average of $50,537 per year, which translates into roughly $24 per hour.

How many trucking companies are in Iowa?

The Iowa Motor Truck Association reports that there are 11,420 interstate trucking companies operating in Iowa.

What do I need to start a trucking company in Iowa?

Starting a trucking company requires a CDL, for which you must be at least 18. You’ll also need to register your company name and obtain an EIN.
You’ll have to register any equipment with your county, depending on the type of truck you’re using, and you’ll also need liability insurance on all commercial vehicles.
Many drivers may wish to gain experience at an established company prior to venturing out on their own.

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