Survey lists best, worst states for trucking this year

Jan. 20, 2016

The trucking industry in the United States is booming. As an increase of goods is demanded across the country, drivers are picking up and heading to the highway. Nearly 500,000 for-hire fleets are on the road today, and that number is steadily increasing each year.

The trucking industry grew to generate over $700 billion in 2015 alone, an industry record, but hiring new drivers and equipment costs have become increasingly difficult for smaller truck operators. Companies have been forced to raise pay and offer signing bonuses. New government regulations cap emissions and limit driver hours--adding to expenses. Buying a new truck now costs 60% more than it did in 2008. Getting new equipment and personnel are two luxuries that many small companies cannot afford.

Small- to medium-sized trucking companies are having a hard time adapting to new regulations. They do not have the cash reserves that many larger corporations have to help with hiring or to react when an emergency occurs. Without small trucking companies, cost of shipping could possibly raise throughout the United States. The economy needs small businesses, especially in the shipping sector, to succeed.

Alternative financing organization Merchant Cash USA surveyed 3,287 individuals involved in the trucking industry, through an email and social media campaign to find out where they thought the best and the worst states to be a trucker or own a trucking company were. The survey included asking questions such as cost of parking overnight, certain fees/regulations in particular states, if location in the United States mattered, and how friendly states were to drivers. Results of the survey are listed below:

Best states to own a small trucking company or be a driver (based on survey responses):

1. Tennessee

2. Washington

3. Oklahoma

4. Texas

5. Indiana

Worst states to own a small trucking company or be a driver:

1. California

2. Virginia

3. Ohio

4. New Jersey

5. Massachusetts

Alternative financing is quickly becoming one of the top ways small business owners get funding, according to executives at Merchant Cash USA. Today, most traditional banks won’t even consider giving out a business loan that is less than $200,000. This leaves many business owners, who are looking for a smaller amount of cash, out of luck. Merchant cash advances are quickly becoming one of the top ways business owners can get lower amounts of fast capital to help expand their business or in case of a business emergency. Trucking owners can get money to help fix a truck, or purchase new equipment/inventory within a matter of days.

“The trucking industry is in higher demand than ever, but costs to operate are also at an all-time high,” says the Chief Communications Officer of Merchant Cash USA Darrin Landau. "Certain states are accommodating to truckers and the trucking lifestyle, but not all states operate that way. A merchant cash advance is there to help a small trucking company get the equipment they need in case of an accident, when something breaks down, or if demand for goods increases."