Although truck drivers don’t need a degree to find work, training is still a prerequisite. The path to becoming a commercial driver entails earning a commercial driving license. Keeping in mind that drivers just starting out have expenses to cover, some trucking companies will pay you to train with them. Keep reading to learn about the top trucking companies that train, including some that pay trainee wages during instruction.
Quicklook: Top Trucking Companies That Train
- Best for Long Haul Trucking: Roehl
- Best for OTR Trucking With Pay and Benefits: GP Transco
- Best for National Truckload Driving: Knight-Swift Transportation
- Best for Dedicated Routes: U.S. Xpress
- Best for Home Time: PGT Trucking
5 Trucking Companies That Train
If you’re new to the world of trucking or you are looking for a fresh start, take a look at these five trusted trucking companies that train their new hires.
Current winner of the American Trucking Association’s President’s Award, Roehl prides itself on safety, community outreach and fair payment practices. As one of the 100 largest trucking companies in the country, there are nearly 2,000 tractors, over 5,000 trailers and more than 2,500 employees at Roehl. This nationwide outfit focuses on not only delivering the goods but delivering on its word, too. Enrolling in the Roehl driver training program involves learning from and training with some of the top drivers in the country, all while being paid! Roehl offers a wide range of CDL programs for drivers with different levels of experience.
Best For: Long Haul Trucking
- Long haul trucking
- Flatbed trucking
- Hired and paid as an employee immediately
- Paid training
- Three weeks of CDL training
- Premium benefits
- Referral program
- Customer service
- Average of $60,000
GP Transco was founded on the idea of creating a modern trucking and logistics company. The company strives to provide excellent customer service while offering a modernized work environment with competitive pay and outstanding benefits. GP Transco has one of the lowest turnover rates, which supports the claim that it is an honest company that cares about its drivers. The company also constantly adds new technologies and improvements to its fleet operations, helping carriers as a result.
Best For: OTR Trucking with Pay and Benefits
Carrier Type: OTR
- Company benefits:
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Vision insurance
- Paid vacation and holidays
- 401(k) with a 5% match
- Base pay of 75 cents per mile
- Valid CDL license
- 1 year of tractor-trailer experience
- $84,850 per year
Rating: 3.8/5 stars on Indeed.com
With over six billion dollars in annual revenue, Knight-Swift Transportation is the largest truckload company in North America. With 14,000 trucks as well as outposts in Mexico, Knight-Swift Transportation offers OTR, dedicated, flatbed, intermodal, logistics and warehousing services.
Best For: National Truckload Driving
- Dry van
- Six weeks of CDL training
- OTR training
- Medical, dental and vision plans
- Impressive home time for certain drivers
- Flexible hours
- Life insurance for refrigerator truck drivers
- Free preventative care for port trucking drivers
- Pet policy program
- $150 inexperienced driver referral bonus
- $1,000 experienced driver bonus
- Supplemental benefits:
- Group accident coverage
- Critical illness
- Life insurance
- Less competitive pay than other options
- Insufficient home time across the board
- Long graveyard shifts
- No advanced training
- Average yearly salary between $61,000 and $71,000
- $100 weekly productivity bonus
- $675 weekly for new drivers
Founded in 1968 by Max Fuller and Patrick Quinn, U.S. Xpress is the nation’s third largest private trucking company. With services across North America, U.S. Xpress has a fleet of 8,000 trucks and 22,000 trailers. The company is best for dedicated drivers, team drivers, OTRs, military, lease and owner-operators.
Best For: Dedicated Routes
- Dry van
- Car hauler
- Tuition assistance of $200 per month
- Paid time off
- Stock options
- Layover pay
- Detention, pretension and per diem pay
- Driver referral bonus
- Low premium rates on general health insurance
- Low premium rates on dental and vision insurance
- $10,000 life insurance policy
- Direct deposits
- Favorable pet policy
- Class A CDL at a minimum
- Short duration for CDL program:
- Three days for inexperienced drivers
- Two days for experienced drivers
- Improvement with home time
- 82 cents per mile
- Monthly mileage bonus of 22 cents per mile
- Five-cent bonus per mile after 45 days of work in a row
Founded in 1981 by Patrick A. Gallagher, PGT Trucking started out with a single tractor and two employees. Since then, PGT Trucking has grown to service the United States, Canada and Mexico. Now, with a fleet of 972 trucks and over 1,500 trailers, PGT Trucking runs a regional business, giving most drivers the opportunity to work during the week and be home on weekends.
Best For: Home Time
- Only requires basic driving experience
- Free medical, dental and vision insurance plans
- Quarterly bonuses
- Referral bonuses
- Life insurance plan
- Flexible work schedule
- Overtime pay
- Paid time off
- 401(k) with 100% match up to 5% of gross pay
- Long-term disability insurance
- Great home time benefits
- Relatively low salary
- Does not offer tuition reimbursement
- Locality-based pay
- Geography-based skill requirements
- Up to $30 per hour
What Makes Trucking a Desirable Career Choice?
Unlike other career paths, trucking allows people to work according to their own terms. Outside of not being physically tied down to a location, trucking keeps you moving, which can be more favorable compared to sedentary positions sitting at a desk. If new scenery is what you’re looking for, truck driving might be for you, but there are some other factors that you should consider first before becoming a truck driver.
For a job that doesn’t require a college degree, truck drivers make a decent amount of money while enjoying many great benefits. Entry-level drivers can make an average of $45,000 per year. Over time, truck drivers can make upwards of $100,000 per year, though the exact pay does depend on experience, location and carrier.
As a highly competitive industry, there is never a shortage of trucking jobs, but rather, it’s a matter of there being a shortage of sufficient drivers. This increase in demand makes the trucking industry even more lucrative as most companies now offer healthcare and dental benefits to their workers, among other incentives.
Flexible Work Hours
As a truck driver, you can always plan your work life and structure your time in a number of ways. You won’t have to always be on the road, but when you are, you can choose the types of routes you take. This can allow you to stick with a routine that works best for you.
If traveling is already your hobby or you want to travel more often, truck driving could be a way for you to explore that passion. Some truck drivers make trans-state or cross-country trips, and doing this will increase your travel experience by a lot.
Requirements to Become a Truck Driver
Though you generally don’t need a college degree to become a truck driver, you will need to meet other requirements to ensure your safety and compliance in the process of training to become a truck driver. Here are four requirements you must meet before you can officially become a truck driver:
- Higher Degree or GED: Most companies require some level of standard education before you can be hired as a truck driver.
- Standard Driver’s License: It’s only reasonable to drive a regular car before you try to haul freight. A standard license as well as experience driving regular vehicles will equip you with insight into basic safety protocols that you need to know about while on the road.
- CDL Training Academy: This is where you will learn how to drive a truck. Some companies sponsor their drivers with paid CDL training, which you will have to pay back after starting work or fulfilling a contract term. This training will equip you with the skills and knowledge that truck drivers need to know.
- CDL: This is the license you will receive when you become certified as a truck driver. There are three different types of CDLs, including Class A, Class B and Class C. Each of these classes correlates to different types of trucks.
Find the Right Company to Meet Your Needs
There’s no school that can prepare you for everything that may happen on the road, but CDL training makes the road a safer place for everyone. By taking the time to find the perfect match, you can increase your chances of success, save time and money, and get the most out of your education.
Depending on the carrier type and your availability, GP Transco and Roehl generally offer the highest-paying jobs and the best benefits.
Roehl Transport prides itself on training new drivers. The company was even founded by drivers, making it the best fit for new drivers nationwide.
Sysco and Walmart are two of the highest-paid trucking companies.
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