North Carolina Truckers Haul It All

North Carolina sits on the southeastern seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean. Truckers can experience geography ranging from sandy coastal beaches and wetlands to The Blue Ridge Mountains. Driving one day’s trucking time either north to New York City or south to Florida, a driver taps into different types of freight and scenery.

Historical and scenic treasures throughout the state like Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall in the eastern U.S., may be among the reasons truckers fancy the state.3 Perhaps visiting the North Carolina Seafood Festival the first weekend in October grabs some attention.

Aside from the many downtime reasons a trucker has to explore work in the state, it’s important to note that North Carolina leads the nation in sweet potato, furniture, tobacco, brick, and textile production.3 All of these products are primarily hauled by truck.


North Carolina Trucking Association (NCTA) is in the business of “Advocating, Promoting and Educating a Safe and Sustainable Trucking Industry.”

NCTA works with state and federal regulatory and enforcement agencies, provides training, and coordinates annual conferences and events to bring members of the industry together.

Some councils and events the association is responsible for include:

  • Annual Councils Conference
  • Annual Management Conference
  • NCTA Women in Trucking Council Summit
  • TDC and Technician Competition

Freight Economics

Of every dollar a small business spends on shipping, 82¢ goes to shipping by truck.

In 2016, the North Carolina trucking industry paid roughly $1 billion in federal and state roadway taxes alone, 32% of all taxes owed by the state’s motorists.

Truckers use the state’s highway system to haul goods like:

  • Aircraft parts
  • Immunological products
  • Miscellaneous medications
  • Chemical wood pulp
  • Diesel engines
  • Automobiles
  • Rubber tires


North Carolina is bordered by Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia.

There are 229,011 total lane miles, and North Carolina’s 77,400 miles of roads make it the largest state-maintained highway system in the U.S.

A few major interstates and access points in North Carolina include:

  • I-20 from Georgia
  • I-26 from Tennessee, and
  • I-74 from Virginia

Work and Wages

In 2017 there were 21,220 trucking companies located in North Carolina alone.1 More recent reports show that approximately 15.5 million trucks are operating on U.S. roads and highways.

There are about 8,387 local truck driver jobs in North Carolina, and the state’s average yearly salary for drivers is around $54,360.

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