As a truck driver hauling everything from toilet paper to car parts you understand how important your job is. But do you really? Have you ever stopped to consider just how impressive America’s trucking industry is? We know the country could not continue operating without truck drivers hauling loads all across the nation. However, to drive this point home we’ve compiled eight of the most convincing statistics about the importance of the trucking industry.
#1 Truckers Haul the Most Cargo
A whopping 80 percent of all goods in the US are transported by trucks. The other 20 percent is transported by rail, pipeline, plane or boat. To bring that into a more realistic perspective take 10 items from your home, and divide it into two groups, one with eight items and the other with two. If truck drivers quit hauling freight those eight would never make it through your front door. Now imagine this happening throughout your city, state and the country. It would be debilitating if the trucking industry were to suddenly shut down.
#2 $64.9 Billion by Trucking Companies
The total amount of revenue by the top five trucking companies in the US is $64.9 billion. This breaks down to:
- $29.8 billion via UPS Freight
- $19.8 billion via FedEx
- $6.2 billion by JB Hunt
- $4.8 billion by YRC Trucking
- $4.2 billion by Swift Transportation
Two of these trucking companies specialize in long haul freight, those being JB Hunt and Swift. The other three are all LTL companies with YRC Freight handling more diverse loads in comparison to UPS and FedEx that are mail delivery providers. If you want to drive for a trucking company that offers the greatest potential and consistent loads opt for those at the top.
These offer optimal support for their drivers, in addition to superior benefits packages. Whether these are JB Hunt or Swift, or Fortrans Inc. or Hoekstra, you can rest assured you’ll have plenty of trucking jobs coming your way when driving for the best paying trucking companies.
#3 Truck Driving Occupation the Most Common
In 29 states including Georgia, Washington, Texas, California, Maine, West Virginia, and Utah truck driving is the most common job title. That’s right, there are more truck drivers than other types of workers in more than half of the country. If you want to choose a job that offers the greatest potential to meet others in your field of work, then become a truck driver. It’s a popular position to be in.
#4 Truckers Drive a Lot
As you can imagine truck drivers for companies like Magnum Express Inc. or NTB Trucking log a lot of mileage. It’s their job, you might say, but have you ever wondered exactly how far truckers go? As a long haul truck driver you will log more than 100,000 miles every year. This is the same distance as driving around the world along the equator four times.
Across the nation all truck drivers in total are putting in 432 billion miles annually. This awe-inspiring figure is enough mileage to drive to Pluto and back almost 25 times.
#5 Most Valuable Cargo of Truckers…
…is machinery at 10.4 percent of the loads hauled. This is followed up by a tie for second with electronics and motorized vehicles both at 8.3 percent. Along down the line in order for greatest to least valuable are:
- Mixed freight
- Manufactured products
- Textiles and leather goods
- Natural gas, coal and asphalt
- Plastic and rubber
By hauling more costly loads you stand to gain in terms of experience. After all, the amount of stress and oversight involved with hauling pharmaceuticals and gasoline are more than basic dry van loads of paper products. You’ve got to get your CDL endorsements for hazardous materials and tanker loads, which involves more paperwork and testing for you. At the same time you can more money with trucking jobs that require this specialization.
#6 For-Hire Trucking Jobs are Most Common
In the trucking world you have two options. You can hire trucking companies to haul your freight in what is called a for-hire trucking scenario. This involves contacting a trucking company and scheduling loads on a need-by basis. You also have private carriage that involves private fleets of carriers hauling for one business or another. This includes companies like Amazon or Walmart.
In the grand scheme of things private carriage accounts for 46 percent of loads, while for-hire trucking makes up 54 percent. If you want to find truck driving jobs for for-hire trucking carriers opt for companies like Quality Custom Distribution or RW Earhart.
#7 Truck Driver in Profile
Did you know the average truck driver is 49 years old? They are earning approximately $40,260 a year. As for work week the typical trucker works for 70 hours a week followed by a day off. You can thank the hours of service regulations for this one. You could settle for being the average trucker, or you could stand out from the pack by increasing your pay per year.
How do you do this? Start by driving for a top paying trucking company. National carriers like TransAm Trucking or Transcarrier Inc. offer for-hire cargo that pays well. Next up get your CDL endorsements so you can increase your value as a driver. The more you know, the more you can make when hauling, which equates to more money on your weekly paychecks.
#8 Freight Revenue Will Only Increase
The expected freight revenue for 2026, which is in less than a decade, is set to grow by 75 percent. That’s a massive degree of growth that will only be perpetuated with the expected population increase. Best of all it only shows that the trucking industry will not just be here in the long haul, but it will also increase in value. This value is set to boost trucker salaries and benefits as well, given the increased demand in the trucking industry. If you want to get into a field of work that is destined for expansion and increased opportunities, there is no where greater to work than in trucking.
To make the most of this opportunity prepare to provide the greatest number of assets. Learn how to handle all varieties of haul types; don’t just stick with the basic dry van loads and flatbed trailer hauls. Also work with the trucking companies that are primed for growth and expansion. By going to truck driver training programs you also improve your job skills and network opportunities with other drivers and trucking recruiters. Finally, in choosing a trucking job with a national company you can rest assured they aren’t going to fall by the wayside in the next 10 years.
Being a truck driver offers the chance to be on a never ending road trip where you get firsthand glimpses of the nation you live in. It also provides you with stability in a job search, as well as a salary that you can bank on. Now, the next time someone asks what’s so important about your job, you have eight facts to tell them.