The American Journal of Transportation (AJOT) reports that the trucking industry made more than $700 billion last year, so there’s no doubt the trucking industry is booming in the United States.
When it comes to trucking, however, not all states are created equal. Trucking opportunities vary widely from state to state. Do you know which states are the best to work in? Learn more about the best trucking states in America and what makes them such good places to work.
Top States for Truck Drivers and Owners of Small Trucking Companies
Here are the top trucking states in the USA, based on data published in the AJOT:
What Makes a Good Trucking State?
There are a few factors that make a particular state good for truckers and trucking. The number one factor in determining a good trucking state is whether there are plentiful opportunities for drivers and owners of small trucking companies. Based on their positioning along major transportation routes, all 5 best trucking states offer ample opportunities for those in the trucking industry.
One thing that impacts how well a trucking company and its truckers will do is industry regulations in a particular state. Regulations especially affect smaller companies, who may have more difficult time adapting. New equipment and personnel regulations create extra expenses for the company, and trying to fulfill extra regulations can be costly. The extra cost trickles down to negatively impact drivers’ salaries.
Average Pay to Cost of Living
Although not everyone has the freedom to pick up and move, a trucker’s income is much higher in some states. For a trucker seeking better pay, a move may be a good choice. Additionally, pay goes farther in states with a better cost of living. Washington and Indiana are in the top 10 for states with high trucking wages, with salaries averaging 59K and 56K, respectively.
Oklahoma and Texas both report robust salaries of 50K a year on average, and Tennessee is just behind at 48K. Cost of living in most parts of these states is affordable, making them a good choice for truckers who want to make the most of their wages.
Income tax is a consideration for most working people. Lower income tax means more money in your pocket. Washington and Texas don’t tax personal income at all, and Tennessee only requires income tax on revenue such as dividends and interest.
Quality of Life
Money is important, but it’s not everything. Another consideration for truckers is what amenities a location offers. The top 5 states for trucking are considerably friendlier to drivers. Friendlier states offer resources such as better equipment, more frequent truck stops, and cheaper overnight parking. These factors reduce stress, time expenditure, and out-of-pocket expenses for drivers.
Many truckers prefer to live somewhere along a major route. This allows them to more easily make stops at home, and nearness to home