Iowa Has More than Farmland Freight

Iowa’s 56,273 square miles is 92% farmland.13 That means agriculture is sure to be a driver for the economy. But for truckers thinking about driving in and through the state, there are other major industries to fuel a trucker’s employment options. Renewable energy, advanced manufacturing, services, information and communication technology are all major industries in Iowa.

With roughly 235,549 total lane miles, drivers have enough road to get just about any job done.5 But, caution! The most crooked street in the world, with sharp turns and shifty angles, is Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa. Truckers should probably steer clear of the stretch, with only one-way traffic - downhill!


The Iowa Motor Truck Association (IMTA) is made up of several divisions that operate as their own organization yet fall under the guidance of IMTA and adhere to their bylaws. The divisions include:

  • Allied Division
  • Iowa Council of Safety Management
  • Lead IMTA Council
  • Towing and Recovery Professionals of Iowa
  • TAEC Members Only

The association has specific member benefits, provides education and training, and promotes professionalism and safety in the trucking industry.

Some Iowa Council of Safety Management) ICSM membership benefits include:

  • Monthly webinars
  • Mini-safety conferences
  • Mentoring & job shadowing program
  • Awards programs
  • Field trip opportunities
  • Networking opportunities, and
  • Access to information

Freight Economics

Although agriculture is the primary source of freight for Iowa drivers, other exports are options afforded by the state’s other major industries. Truckers in the state may haul:

  • Tractors
  • Corn
  • Pork cuts
  • Herbicides
  • Combine harvester-threshers
  • Aircraft
  • Brewing/distilling dregs, waste

In 2019, truckers hauled 11.84 billion tons of freight, generating roughly $791 billion in revenue.


Britannica notes that “Throughout the 20th century Iowa invested heavily in road transportation. Despite its modest size, it has more paved miles of road than most U.S. states because of its evenly distributed towns.”

Iowa offers both north-south and east-west routes. Six other states border Iowa.

Because Iowa is a rural state, interstate highways are limited. I-80 and I-35 are the primary highways.

Work and Wages

Iowa has about 5,347 local truck driver jobs, and the state’s average yearly salary for drivers is around $49,656.

In May 2020, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $47,130 for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.

Iowa drivers can anticipate employment opportunities from companies like:

  • J.B. Hunt Transport - Local Truck Driver
  • XPO Logistics CDL A – Local Truck Driver