Which States are the Friendliest for Small Trucking Companies?

best locations for trucking company

All owner operators and small fleet owners out there know that it is no easy venture to run a small trucking company. There are a plethora of obstacles that entrepreneurs in the transportation industry must face, from technical maintenance to inclement weather.

But did you know that geography, too, can be an obstacle?

It’s true. Some states are simply not as friendly to small trucking companies as other states, whether for traffic, consistently bad weather, slow economies or harmful politics. Have you ever wondered if your location has an impact on how efficiently you can run your small trucking company? Here is a list of the three best—and the three worst—states for small trucking company owners.

The Best States for Trucking Companies


 The Sooner State is the American nirvana for trucking. It has low gas prices, wide open spaces and few regulations on the industry. There is hardly ever any traffic in Oklahoma, which means truckers can drive farther using less gas. Stopping and starting really strains the large engine on a semi and makes it work harder per mile. And when truckers do have to fill up, they won’t be gouged by prices at the pump! Oklahoma is home to several gas producers, ensuring the liquid gold is nice and cheap for those stopping through to fill up. 

Oklahoma’s trucking friendliness shows, too, in the disproportionate number of trucking companies that are based there compared to the overall population.


Truckers love working in Tennessee, and it’s no wonder why. Tennessee’s major cities don’t have heavy, so if you have to drop off a load in Nashville you won’t have to worry about stopping and starting all the way through the country music capital. The Volunteer State also has more major highways than almost any other state– and those highways rarely boast any traffic. What goes great with the open road? Low gas prices. According to AAA, Tennessee is almost always among the states with the lowest diesel fuel prices in America.

Tennessee is big enough to provide trucking companies with tons of business in the form of loads, but not so big that they stifle productivity. Can’t beat that!


In terms of low-regulation on the industry, Texas is a close second to Oklahoma. Texas has tons of businesses that need transportation services to help ship their products, but it does have a couple of cities that struggle with severe traffic. Nonetheless, it has cheap fuel and little red tape– those two things make the traffic from Dallas and San Antonio worth the trouble. The Lonestar state is large enough to carry the business of several smaller states, so take advantage of all it has to offer!

fuel cards and advances

The Worst States for Trucking Companies


California is quite the headache for small trucking company owners. It has more traffic and urban congestion than any other state, and is, overall, somewhat of a nightmare for transportation industry entrepreneurs.

The state has more residents than does the entire nation of Canada and is infamous for its highway congestion. Truckers waste tons of money and fuel by sitting in the frustrating traffic jams of Southern California. Unfortunately, though, it seems as if California is a headache that the trucking industry is going to have to deal with.  After all, one of the most economically prosperous states in the country, and thereby is in huge need of transportation services. Only a change in transportation infrastructure could ameliorate the traffic problem, but it doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon.


Overdrive reports that Ohio is the second-most regulated state when it comes to the trucking industry. Additionally, truckers complain that the Buckeye State has unfriendly enforcement personnel that make life tough for owner-operators and small fleet owners. Ohio, too, with three major cities– Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus– can have some congested roads, though not nearly to the extent of California. Ohio’s hills and congested roadways can cause trouble at the pump for drivers making their way through. In addition, gas prices aren’t necessarily the most affordable, either, so when drivers stop to fill up they’re spending more money for less fuel. 

New Jersey

The parking shortage for truckers is a gigantic problem within the industry nationwide—and perhaps no part of the country struggles with the issue more than New Jersey. New Jersey is flanked by some of the most crowded (and therefore the most congested) cities in the United States, which makes for an inconvenient and unsafe place for truckers. New Jersey is surrounded by megacities in Philadelphia and New York, with tons of bridges and outdated roads to traverse.

best and worst states for truckers

Running a small trucking company demands meticulous planning, from geographic stationing to financial logistics. Are you struggling with cash flow shortages? Are your business partners taking too long to pay off their outstanding invoices? Freight bill factoring can solve your cash flow problems quickly and easily, allowing you to cover fuel and other unexpected costs.

Need ideas for getting more loads? Download our free eBook with all sorts of advice for small trucking companies.