It's no secret that the U.S. economy has taken some harsh blows over the years. In its first decade, the 21st century experienced three progressively worsening recessions. The Covid-19 pandemic forced businesses to close and families to shelter-in-place. However, even with the painstaking experiences we have all faced as a nation, there were undoubtedly some unsung heroes. Among them were our Truck Drivers!

Truck transportation is the most widely used method of hauling freight within the United States. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the U.S. transportation network moved more than 13 billion tons of goods worth nearly $12 trillion in 2007. Trucks transported almost 9 billion tons of freight valued at more than $8 trillion for that same period.

That means, no matter how harshly companies, families, and individuals have been torn down, there was a less recognized group of people who have continued to make sure that we were driving toward recovery.

Hospitals needed supplies - truckers got them there. Stores needed stock - truckers were on the way! Even the most heavily impacted industries seem to have relied somehow on the trucking transportation industry.

Now, do you believe there's a trucker near the axis, hauling away- making sure the world continues to spin?


Trucking dominates as the U.S. transport and logistics industry as the economy depends on trucks to deliver nearly 70% of all freight transported annually, accounting for $671 billion worth of manufactured and retail goods.

The Work

Truck driving is tough work! Small-business truckers drive more than 3 million miles in their lifetime, which breaks down to a yearly average of more than 115,000 miles.

When you think of trucking, you probably first envision Class 8 trucks, which have a GVWR exceeding 33,000 pounds. These include tractor-trailers, semi's (18-wheelers), single-unit dump trucks, and non-commercial chassis fire trucks. 70% of all U.S. freight is transported via Class 8 trucks.

Companies collectively offer a wide range of specialties, commodities to haul, routes, and types of trucks, also. A few options include:

  • OTR
  • Shipping
  • Brokerage
  • LTL
  • Intermodal
  • Bulk Trucking
  • Transloading
  • Regional
  • Dedicated

Did you know

  • The average commercial truck consumes 20,500 gallons of gas yearly?
  • If you could line up all U.S. trucks, they would reach the moon.

Employment and Wages

Truck driving remains one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., with 8.9 million people have a job in the transportation industry alone. Of those, 3.5 million are professional OTR drivers who are either Independent Contractors or employed by the nearly 1.2 million trucking companies in the country.

The truck transportation industry employs not only truck drivers but also mechanics, managers, dispatchers and workers in other occupations.

There are more than 1.7 million heavy-duty and tractor-trailer truck driving jobs today, according to the BLS. A recent study by National Public Radio found that “trucker driver” was the most dominant job in 29 U.S. states, including California and Texas. According to BLS, 2020 a national pay estimate for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers was $47,130 per year. Among independent truckers, long-distance trucker's average revenue is even higher.

Industry and Economic Outlook

The truck industry is predicted to grow up to 21% in the next ten years. Statistics show that trucking may be the leading indicator of the country's economic health. If trucks are moving more freight, that means Americans are more productive and earning more money.

Over time, trucking's percentage of the overall freight market is projected to decline slightly. However, industry groups project steady overall growth for the industry. Total trucking freight volume growth from today through 2028 is projected to be 36.6%.

Many economists agree that when more trucks are moving and freight rates are rising, that means consumers are spending more, and retailers and manufacturers are adding to their inventories.