Updated July 14, 2020:

If you're looking for the best state to start a trucking company, you'll need to perform research. According to The American Trucking Association, there are approximately 3.5 million truck drivers in the United States, and one in nine are classified as independent. The majority of these are mostly owner-operators.

The bulk of these drivers are small-business owners and serve as important parts of the nation's transportation industry. Even with almost 500,000 for-hire fleets on the road every day, there is still a demand for more.

With estimates of over $700 billion in previous years, according to The American Journal of Transportation (AJOT), it is safe to say the United States is experiencing a boom in the trucking industry. However, with a demand for higher pay and sign-on bonuses from truck drivers, small companies are struggling to see business growth.

Trucking opportunities vary from state to state. The AJOT lists the following states as being the top five in the USA for those in the trucking business:

  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Indiana


There is hardly ever any traffic in Oklahoma, and since gas is produced in the state, it is inexpensive, making it exceptionally profitable to start a truck company here. What also sets Oklahoma apart from other states is its geographical location.

Oklahoma is an oil-producing state. The state government encourages the consumption of its own oil by keeping fuel taxes low. Naturally, this means cheaper diesel fuel prices. In addition, there are fewer regulations in the trucking industry when compared with other states. Congestion-free roads and a safe driving environment contribute to the state as being one of the best for trucking companies.

When comparing the number of trucking businesses in Oklahoma to the state's population, it is evident that the location, low fuel costs, regulations, and driving conditions are drawing many business owners to the trucking industry in this Midwestern state.


Like Oklahoma, Tennessee offers cheaper fuel prices when compared to other states. With a high number of major highways, Tennessee continues to work on improving the transportation infrastructure to ensure a safe and reliable highway network.


Texas has fewer regulations as well. Low fuel costs and lots of opportunities for the trucking industry have translated into a mass amount of established trucking businesses. The hustle and bustle of the trucking industry here causes heavy congestion for several cities, but the benefits outweigh the negatives. The trip from Dallas and San Antonio is completely worth it for those looking to start a career as a truck driver.

What Do These States Have In Common?

The states ranking at the top of the list all share a couple of common aspects. First, they are all positioned along major transportation routes. In addition, each state also provides drivers with a massive amount of opportunities for employment, making it simple to find success as a trucking company owner.

What to Consider When Starting a Trucking Company

A trucking-friendly state will place fewer regulations on drivers and trucking company owners. Strict regulations often cause a small business to struggle, and this impacts the ability to pay drivers the salary they deserve.

When starting a trucking company, another aspect to consider is how much you will pay the drivers compared to the cost of living in that particular state. This is where Washington and Indiana fare better than other states. Both rank in the top 10 for paying the highest trucking wages.

Workers in Washington and Texas are fortunate because they are not required to pay personal income tax. Tennessee only pays an income tax on revenue, such as dividends and interest. This makes Washington and Texas appealing to those who want to avoid paying income taxes.

When choosing where to settle, those in the trucking industry understand through firsthand experience that it's not necessarily all about the money. The top five states were able to offer many amenities that were attractive to drivers, such as truck stops that provide adequate parking, quality food, and valuable service. All of these are important when drivers are on the road. In addition, better equipment and affordable overnight parking are two amenities to look for when choosing which state to start a trucking company in.

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