Truck drivers travel all around the country, so determining the best city for a truck driver to pursue their career can be a fool’s errand. But drivers know that their domicile can determine the type of routes and the type of freight they get.
That’s why AdvisorSmith, an insurance group, ran a study to examine the top 10 cities for truckers to pursue their careers. We’ll take a look at the cities and how they made their conclusions.
Generating City Data
Although AdvisorSmith is an insurance group, they also provide services related to growing business and doing research. Their first step was to list all the cities that would be taken into consideration.
Approximately 384 cities across the nation were included. Using this data set, AdvisorSmith evaluated how many trucking jobs were available in each city, as well as the average trucker salary and cost of living. This would help them determine how well a truck driver could live in a given area while also having steady employment.
Here is the Top Ten list that AdvisorSmith came up with:
- Joplin, Missouri
- Danville, Illinois
- Fayetteville, Arkansas
- Odessa, Texas
- Morristown, Tennessee
- Enid, Oklahoma
- Springfield, Ohio
- Terre Haute, Indiana
- Midland, Texas
- Wichita Falls, Texas
If you were surprised by the list, you are not alone.
It‘s easy to assume that bigger cities where lots of runs are available would be the prime place to work in. Given the other metrics, however, such as average salary and cost of living, these big cities didn’t measure up to the smaller areas that made the AdvisorSmith list.
Small and Midsize Cities
The exploding cost of living in large metropolitan areas makes more sense as a corporate CEO rather than a blue-collar truck driver. According to AdvisorSmith, “Of the top 50 cities, 40% were midsize, 36% small, and the rest large cities.”
To put those percentages into perspective, 38 out of 50 cities that are best for heavy tractor-trailer drivers were either midsize or small cities, whereas just 12 were considered to be large cities.
To be considered “midsize or small”, a city had to have less than 500,000 people in the population.
Joplin, Missouri at #1
But what was so special about Joplin, Missouri? And how did it rank as the best city for truck drivers?
Compared to the other 383 cities included in the study, Joplin typically has about 336% more trucking jobs and costs truckers about 21% less to live there on average.
The national average salary for truckers is about $47,500. In Joplin, however, it is fairly easy for a trucker to bring home at least $54,000 a year.
Does your city rank in the top fifty?