When it comes to over-the-road (OTR) Trucking, we are talking about a pretty hardcore way of getting goods from point A to point B. 

Picture this: You’ve got professional drivers crisscrossing the country, and they are covering massive distances sometimes going from one coast to another. It’s impressive how much the level of resilience these drivers need—they are out there on the roads for weeks, even for months, with limited breaks.

List of Top 10 OTR Trucking Companies in the USA

Now, let’s talk about the top OTR trucking companies. These companies specialized in the art of long-haul, and they do it with the big, mighty and impressive number of fleets rolling down the highways:

1. ABF Freight

With their history dating back to 1923, they’ve established themselves as industry veterans. Impressively, ABF Freight has achieved a revenue of $2.6 billion and a nationwide network of service centers. Their headquarters is located on McClure Drive in Fort Smith, AR. Specializes in Less than truckload services. They cover a wide range of transportation needs, from time-critical deliveries and expedited shipping to final mile and intermodal solutions.

ABF Freight stands out as the best-paying over-the-road trucking company because of its generous compensation packages. Their reputation for being an employer that pays well and treats its employees right is reflected in their high rating on platforms like Indeed.

2. GP Transco

Whether you need over-the-road, regional Midwest, drop trailer, or dedicated freight services, GP Transco has got you covered. GP Transco offers a wide range of carrier types, including dry van, intermodal, LTL, flatbed, and temperature-controlled services. They have rapidly climbed the ranks since their establishment in 2006. Now, they operate more than 500 trucks and 750+ trailers, and 85% of that fleet is operated by the company drivers. 

This fast-growing private company has also earned a spot on the prestigious Chicago Tribune 2021 Top Workplaces list. So, if you’re seeking a workplace that not only values its employees but also leverages cutting-edge technology, GP Transco should be on your radar.

3. Nussbaum Transportation

Nussbaum has been around since 1945 and is known for being a great place to work in the long-haul business. You can find them at Huson, IL. They’ve got about 500+ people working for them, and they do all sorts of trucking jobs like round trips, multi-stop deliveries, point-to-point runs, and drop-and-hook jobs. 

One interesting thing about them is their low turnover rate, as very few of their drivers leave each year. That tells you that their truckers like working with them. When their employees talk about Nussbaum, they often mention good pay and benefits, a friendly work atmosphere and managers who know what they are doing.

In addition to that, they’re no small operator in the trucking industry; they are pulling in over $105 million in revenue each year. You can have a solid and satisfying trucking career in Nussbaum, and it can be a great choice to transport goods for the long haul.

4. Boyle Transportation

For over five decades, this Massachusetts-based trucking company has been making its mark in the transportation industry, catering to clients across the 48 contiguous United States and even venturing into Canada. Their niche expertise lies in hauling specialty goods, and they are a go-to name choice for the big names in the pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and healthcare distribution sectors. Not to mention their involvement in defense-related logistics.

Their employment options are quite flexible. If you are up for a year-round adventure on the open road, they offer enticing OTR positions that can earn you $82000 annually. On the other hand, if you prefer a bit more time at home, you can still bank a respectable average of $63000 per year while spending one week at home every month.

5. J.B. Hunt

JB Hunt is the largest over-the-road carrier in North America. With a diverse range of driving options, including intermodal, dedicated, truckload, and more, they truly have something for everyone looking to join a trucking company. They have over 21000 trucks and 151000 pieces of equipment.

This incredible company was founded by Johnie Bryan Hunt and her wife, Johnelle Hunt, in the heart of Arkansas in 1961. By 1983, JB Hunt had grown into the 80th largest trucking firm in the entire United States, earning $630.47 million in revenue. Today, they continue to dominate the industry with a current revenue of 9.2 billion USD as of 2023.

6. TMC Transportation

TMC has a headquarters on Leland Avenue in Des Moines, Iowa, and they have a remarkable reputation as one of the top employers in the city. What’s even more impressive is they started back in 1972 with just six trucks and a modest office. They’ve now expanded their fleet to up to 2500 trucks. TMC managed to rake in a substantial revenue of $480 million, showcasing its formidable presence and success in the transportation sector.

They stand out as an OTR trucking company because they provide modern equipment to their drivers for the seamless moving of goods. With more than 500 dedicated employees, they have expertise in various carrier types, including 3PL, LTL, Intermodal, Open deck, over-dimensional, reefer, and specialized.

 7. Schneider

Established in 1976 and headquartered in Green Bay, WI, Schneider is making waves in the transportation industry with $1.62 billion in revenue. Its expansive reach boasts over 200 properties and 7000 employees worldwide. Schneider is well known for nurturing new CDL drivers, making  an excellent choice for those who are looking for Over-the-road trucking.

Even if you are a rookie or an experienced driver, their extensive network of terminals gives you the freedom to find one conveniently close to your location, which helps you get rid of potential disruptive relocation. Their carrier services include options for LTL, flatbed, truckload and reefer, with a focus on real-time shipment tracking, supply chain management and fleet management.

8. Walmart

You might be familiar with the incredible distribution centers of Walmart. These hubs of transportation activities are one of the largest distribution operations in the World. They do not only have service stores, but they also provide direct delivery to customers and businesses. 

When it comes to transportation, Walmart has a fleet of over 9000 tractors, 80000 trailers and more than 11000 drivers. With such a big operation, They prioritize loading to ensure continuous movement of goods, which is especially amazing for really long-distance transportation. 

9. Maverick Transportation 

Maverick was established in 1980 and has a headquarters in North Little Rock, AR. They have an annual revenue of almost $500 million and employ over 2000 individuals.

Maverick is a top choice, particularly for truckers eager to get their Commercial Drivers Licence (CDL). Because they offer paid CDL training, you can become a professional truck driver without any financial burden. During the training, they also cover your housing and provide breakfast and lunch. In just a few weeks, you will be able to get your license in hand, which opens the door to a rewarding career at one of the best OTR trucking companies in the USA. 

10. McLane

Did you know that McLane has over 80 distribution centers all over the United States?. With Headquarters in Temple, Texas, they employ more than 2,500 teammates and have a private fleet of more than 4,000 tractors, 6300 trailers and 160 straight trucks.

What’s more remarkable is that McLane serves not only grocery stores but also convenience stores, drug stores and chain restaurants. They provide grocery and food service solutions, delivering to over a hundred thousand locations all across the country. This level of real, long-hauling food has become an excellent source of stability in the current market.

Some Noteworthy Names of Small OTR Trucking Companies in USA

Small OTR trucking companies are 80% of the total number of trucking companies in the USA, and they are actually responsible for moving a large percentage of freight, making them an integral part of the industry. 

Working with a small OTR trucking company can be beneficial for a number of reasons, such as personalized service. They have more flexibility and competitive pricing to offer. In addition to that, drivers working for small over-the-road trucking companies have more power of voice about the policies, operations and management in comparison with the people working for mega trucking companies.

If you are looking for some good small OTR trucking companies, we have put together some names here:

1. Central Oregon Truck Companies

They started in 1992 with a focus on local and regional flatbed freight in the Pacific Northwest. Today, they are known as the over-the-road flatbed trucking company with competitive pay, CSA scores, and driver benefits.

COTC has been consistently named one of the Best Fleets to Drive For® for 8 years straight, winning Best Overall Fleet for Small Carriers in 2018. They also earned recognition as one of Oregon’s 100 best companies to work for in 2018. They are all about delivering flatbed freight efficiently across North America while keeping their drivers happy.

2. Long Haul Transportation

When it comes to Long-haul trucking, Long Haul has a credible name in the industry. Based in Albertville, Minnesota, just outside Minneapolis, they have easy access to major shipping points across the United States. In Fact, most cities are even closer to their fleet headquarters.

Long Haul has an impressive 32 years of history in the transportation industry. They are known for their reliable and professional OTR trucking. Their credentials set them apart as they hold 48 United States ICC Common carrier and contract carrier licenses and the bonded broker. They also have authority certificates to operate in both Ontario and Quebec, Canada.

3. TransAm Trucking

TransAm Trucking, Inc. has been in the transportation industry since 1987. Based in Olathe, Kansas, They have a significant number of fleets and maintain terminals in Rockwall, Texas, and Tampa, Florida. 

They are all about over-the-road trucking and keeping goods cool, specializing in temperature-controlled freight. They also offer a variety of driving positions other than OTR, like regional, dedicated, and local routes. They have a wide range of services in the Midwest, Mid-South, North-East, and South-East regions.

4. IMG Trucking

IMG Trucking INC is a family-owned business with over a decade of experience in the industry. They provide both long haul and short haul services all across the USA. 

They offer a range of diversified logistic opportunities such as Van, reefer, or Flatbed transportation services covering the East, West Coast, South, and North. On top of that, they also offer $250,000 cargo insurance, so you can rest easy knowing your high-value loads are in good hands.

5. Freedom 1 Logistics

They are well known for their exceptional services in Intermodal Drayage and long-haul trucking. Located right in the heart of Jacksonville, Florida, they are your go-to solution in freight storage, intermodal drayage, and OTR trucking. 

Freedom 1 Logistics has a strategic headquarters in Jacksonville to serve the entire southeast region with its transportation and logistics services. They have a team of 20-70 skilled employees and offer an hourly rate ranging from $25 to $ 49.

6. Southwest Freightlines

They were established in 1987 in EL Paso, Texas, by Mr. Gus Jimenzez with just one truck, and their initial focus was on serving cross-border shipments between the United States.

Now, they have a robust fleet of trucks and trailers that cover over 120000 miles per year and have 10-50 skilled employees. They specialize in OTR trucking by transporting finished goods from Mexico to the East Coast and Midwest.

7. Kottke Trucking

They are known for timely deliveries and precise temperature control goods, safety, and security in their operations. 

They have a satellite tracking system that gives information about the cargo and where they are headed during the transit of goods and offers 24/7 Support. They specialize in Truckload, LTL, Warehousing, Final Mile, Brokerage, and dedicated services.

What Do OTR Drivers Really Make?

When looking at a job opening at OTR trucking companies, one of the first questions you’ll ask is, how much money will I make? If you don’t have a good idea of what you’ll make as an over-the-road driver, you may find yourself disappointed and unsatisfied.

We will go over how much you can expect to make as an OTR driver and you’ll have a better understanding of what factors impact your paychecks and how to maximize your income with a little bit of planning.

What is the Earning Potential of OTR drivers?

Historically speaking, OTR truck drivers typically made somewhere between $ 50,000 and $85,000 as a company driver or lease operator. Rates have increased in recent years, so salaries are higher, and sometimes, OTR drivers can make well over six figures.

If we break it down on a weekly basis, they typically earn an average of approximately $1500, according to ZipRecruiter.

What factors determine an OTR trucker’s Earning Potential?

These are some of the reasons and factors that can affect the earning potential of drivers:

  1. Types of drivers

OTR drivers may be classified as company drivers, lease drivers, or owner-operators. Company drivers are typically at the lower end of the income scale, whereas owner-operators are typically at the higher end of the scale. 

As company drivers are part of a company, they’ll receive company-sponsored benefits and much lower risk compared to independent contractors.

In addition to that, independent contractors are not company employees, so you get to choose your own freight, but you must pay your own maintenance truck payments and insurance.

But the interesting thing is that Independent contractors typically take home more money after fixed expenses than a company driver does.

2. Freight or the type of Trailers

The freight you haul has a significant impact on your income, e.g., a van driver will not make as much money as a heavy hull driver because the freight they’re hauling is not as costly or challenging at all. So, if you’d like to increase your pay as a van driver, hauling seasonal freight can be the way to go. 

Flatbed and specialized drivers will make more due to the complexity of their loads. The flatbed and specialized drivers will also have to do additional work to secure their load and ensure safety chains, straps, tarps, and those sorts of things.  The bigger the load, the more training that’s needed, which ultimately means the higher pay in the freight.

Overweight and over-dimensional freight haul requires extra securement and more axles on the truck and trailer because the more axles, the more the pay. Heavy haul drivers also must do the extra work of securing special permits following driver curfews and driving with escorts.  

3. Type of payment and carriers

Trucking carriers with high safety scores and great service delivery history will be able to charge shippers more to haul their freight. They’ll also probably only work with higher-paying customers as smaller carriers may haul any freight they can get regardless of how much the shipper is willing to pay. 

Your carrier will pay you either as cents per mile (CPM) or a percentage. CPM is a consistent salary, and the percentage may vary depending on the cost of the freight. Some trucking companies will automatically pay you whichever rate is higher, depending on the load.

4. Time at home

Now, let’s talk about home time. The longer you’re out on the road, the higher your salary will be. Your earning potential increases when you keep your freight lane options open by staying out on the road a little longer.

If you want to get back to the house, you’ll take loads to try to get you back home. Your freight opportunities will go through the roof if you don’t have to be home on a specific day.

How can you maximize your earning potential as an OTR Driver?

1. Optimize your time

At the end of each night or at the start of each day, you should be taking the time to plan your trip. Check out your route and confirm the delivery times plan where you’ll shut down for the night and get fuel. If you don’t plan routes, you’ll waste time and fuel driving outside of your route.  

2. Maintenance and preventive measures:

Don’t schedule your maintenance time during your hours of service. If you fail to care for your truck, it will cost you money, and your problems will be worse in the long run. Breakdowns can really get in your way, so prevent it as much as you can.

3. Proper planning of meals

You can save hundreds of dollars each month if you simply limit how much you eat out, prepare a big batch of meals before you hit the road, and store them inside your truck. A mini fridge will easily pay for itself when you’re saving on three meals a day.

Long-Haul Trucking – Some Pros and Cons of OTR Trucking

PROS

OTR trucking is not just about moving goods from coast to coast or country to country; it’s about the reliability and consistency of those goods as well, and only the skilled drivers trained to handle long hauls make this possible. They know the routes like the back of their hand and can deliver on time without delay, which is an absolute time saver for businesses that rely on Just-In-Time inventory methods. 

Without the timely OTR, trucking can imagine the chaos if production lines were halted due to shipment delays. On top of that, OTR trucking also offers more flexible schedules in comparison with any other type of trucking, making it a go-to option for drivers who want more control over their time on the road. All of the above-mentioned factors make OTR trucking a significant part of the economy and an attractive option for both trucking businesses and truckers alike.

CONS

OTR Trucking is a lucrative and rewarding profession; if you consider a career in OTR, it’s not without its challenges. Being on the long haul means extended periods of time can be tough on both you and your family, and long hours and physical demands can take a toll on your body. It is necessary to evaluate the pros and cons first before embarking on this career path.