Best South Dakota Trucking Companies – 2020 Picks

With the ongoing pandemic, the global landscape is changing. As some jobs get redundant, others are increasing in demand. Truck driving jobs are considered the latter. 

The increasing need for logistic services across the globe has increased demand for truck drivers.

Hence, there is no better time to become a truck driver than now.

What Makes South Dakota a Great Place to Start Truck Driving?

Being a truck driver is one of the safest jobs to hold during current times, considering the high demand for logistics services as the world moves towards an online marketplace. There are various opportunities in the whole country. However, South Dakota is preferred by many truck drivers because of the following reasons:

Paid CDL Training Programs

Considering the high demand for truck drivers, many companies are paying people $500 weekly to get their Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Training. So, you don't have to spend a single penny on tuition fees; rather, you will be making money while building your prospects and skills for a rewarding job in the logistics industry.

Guaranteed Job After Graduation

It will take you only three weeks to complete your CDL training. After that, you can appear for the test to acquire a truck license. Once you have the license, the company that paid for your training will be waiting for you to join. You won't have to go through the rigorous process of job hunting. Jobs will be waiting for you.

Competitive Pay and Great Benefits

From the very first year, you will be making $45,000 annually, which is higher than what you will make doing most jobs. The salary is competitive, and you will get other benefits like insurance as well.

Review of the Best South Dakota Trucking Companies

There are quite a few schools in South Dakota, and it can be difficult to pick your ideal school. Hence we have shortlisted some top schools to get your CDL training from.

Here's a quick rundown of the best South Dakota trucking companies:

1. Dakota Carriers
2. Roth Trucking
3. NTA Trucking Ltd.

Best Trucking Company in Sioux Falls, SD:
Dakota Carriers

  • Address: 5105 Foundation Ct, Sioux Falls, SD 57107
  • Phone Number: 605-338-0002
  • Website: www.dakotacarriers.com

Who is Dakota Carriers?

Dakota Carriers was established in 1992 by Jim and Brigitte Fowlds. They worked as a team and operated the only truck they had themselves. Jim drove the truck while Brigitte took care of dispatch orders. It took them two years to obtain a stable supply for their business. They provided their services to furniture and meat stores.

Since then, they have been growing and stably expanding their business while also hiring more employees to fulfill the demand for more manpower. In 2015, Schenk Trucking purchased the business. Since then, they have doubled the fleet size while maintaining the core value of the original founders.

Jobs Offered

There are various kinds of job openings at Dakota Carriers. You can apply to be a company driver, owner operator, dispatchers, and mechanic. 

As a company driver, you will be responsible for driving the company's trucks exclusively. You are expected to be on standby often, but you are also paid, so you don't have to worry about missing out on opportunities to make money.

Then comes owner-operators. These are the people who own the trucks and are under contract with Dakota Carriers to provide the company with their private trucks.

At last comes dispatchers and mechanics responsible for running the company's day-to-day operations, coordinating trucks, and maintaining them, so the business runs smoothly.

Salary and Benefits

Dakota Carriers are known to be one of the best companies to work for. They offer competitive pay per mile to their drivers, along with many other benefits. Some of them include mileage/idle bonuses, DOT inspection bonus, safety bonus, health and life insurance, dental insurance, vacation pay, holiday pay, etc. You can take your pets on the truck with you too, and you will be paid weekly without any delays.

Owner-operators also receive a lot of benefits. They receive 75% of gross revenue and 100% fuel surcharge. They are also paid for any physical damage to their trucks. The repairs and maintenance of the trucks are also the responsibility of Dakota Carriers.

Best Trucking Company in Rapid City, SD:
Roth Trucking

  • Address: 4525 50th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
  • Phone Number: 616-784-4404
  • Website: rothtrucking.com

Who is Roth Trucking?

Founded in 1976, Roth Trucking used to transport materials across South Dakota and Wyoming. They used to offer a wide variety of services like loading, scaling, and stockpiling of materials. They use two kinds of systems to perform their many services. First is the loader system, and the second is the conveyor system. Furthermore, the customers have three delivery options – end, belly, and side dump.

Roth Trucking believes in providing its customers with the most reliable trucking services while following all legislative safety standards. In this way, Roth trucking ensures that both the cargo and the drivers remain safe.

Jobs Offered

Roth Trucking aims to hire the best talent that is most skilled in the job that it will be hired to do. The company already has a team of skilled and experienced workers.

The current openings are mainly for truck drivers. If you choose to apply to be a truck driver, then you will be offered a CDL endorsement. This means you can get training for acquiring your CDL free of cost.

Once you finish that training, you will be expected to obtain a CDL, and then the company will also screen you through a DOT physical exam and driving exam. Once you clear that, you will have a random drug/alcohol screening, and then you will be hired as a truck driver.

Salary and Benefits

Roth Trucking offers its truck drivers with permanent positions, which means that you don't have to worry about being a contract employee or a part-timer with no benefits. You will receive a competitive pay with the proper benefits and rewards.

Your salary as a truck driver will be $20.94 per hour, which is 8% above the national average salary of truck drivers. Furthermore, you will be offered work benefits like 401(k) with a 5% match and employer-paid health insurance. You will receive other employee benefits as well, like holiday bonuses, and performance rewards, etc.

  • Address: 1001 4TH St NW, Huron, SD 57350
  • Phone Number: 605-352-8404
  • Email: brandon@ntatrucking.com
  • Website: www.ntatrucking.com/wproot/ 

Who is NTA Trucking Ltd.?

NTA Trucking Ltd. has been providing refrigeration trucking solutions to many companies across the U.S. for over 30 years now. NTA is based in Huron, South Dakota, but its customer base exists in 48 states. It is a national-level company with a much larger scale of operations than most companies in South Dakota. 

The fleet consists of a mix of NTA-owned and owner-operated trucks. You get the best and most reliable refrigerated trucks from NTA. Since quality is a priority, you can always expect NTA to have the most up-to-date technology and equipment in its trucks for maintaining fuel efficiency and minimizing costs.

Jobs Offered

Currently, there are many job openings for truck drivers and owner-operators. 

As a truck driver, you will be responsible for driving the truck and safely delivering the refrigerated goods to their destination. You will need to be over 21 to work for NTA. This is because you will need an interstate CDL, which can only be obtained once you are over 21.

As an owner-operator, you will own your own truck and be under NTA's contract. Normally, owner-operators make more money than truck drivers because they provide the company with the truck too. 

Salary and Benefits

You will be well compensated at NTA Trucking Ltd. It is a large company with its reach in 48 states, and it compensates its employees accordingly. You will have an industry-competitive salary.

Along with a great annual salary, you will also get many benefits. These include medical, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, vacation pay, pay incentives, layover pay, drop pay, paid lumpers, scales paid, tolls paid, empty pay, and competitive per mile pay. Hence, if you become a truck driver with NTA, you will enjoy great employee benefits.

  • Address: 400 E Redwood Blvd, Brandon, SD 57005
  • Phone Number: 800-533-0512
  • Email: dispatch@blachowske.com
  • Website: www.blachowske.com/home

Who is Blachowske Truck Line Inc.?

Blachowske Truck Line Inc. is a 62-year-old pneumatic tank company. It is owned by a family and started in 1957 when Dwane, the founder, purchased his first truck. Since then, the company has expanded gradually and has built a solid reputation for delivering its customers with the best quality services.

BTL is one of the biggest trucking companies with a wide geographic reach. Its services are provided in 48 states and Canada with its own ports at every point. The primary services are trucking services; however, BTL also offers trailer washout services in some selected facilities.

Jobs Offered

The main jobs being offered right now are truck drivers and owner-operators. You can become both by fulfilling basic application forms available on their website online.

You will be responsible for driving the truck as a truck driver and safely transporting the liquids and gases to the destination. To work for BTL, you will need to be over 21 years, and you will need an interstate CDL that can only be acquired if you are over 21. You will also need an international license for shipments to Canada.

As an owner-operator, you'll own your own truck and be on contract with BTL. Furthermore, you can also join the administrative team in which you can manage the dispatch times and dates and ensure the availability of truck drivers and trucks at the required time.

Salary and Benefits

BTL pays its drivers more than most competitors, and it believes in treating its employees fairly without trying to cut costs by reducing employee's salaries. You will get the best package in the industry with BTL.

You will get a sign-up bonus of over $1,000. Your annual salary will be around $60,000 to $75,000, depending on your seniority level. Even as an entry-level employee, you will be able to earn more than senior truck drivers in the local industry.

As an owner-operator, you will earn $168,000 to $196,000 annually, which is almost 70% of the line haul earnings. Furthermore, you get various benefits like health insurance, vacation pays, etc.

  • Address: 10689 SD-34, Belle Fourche, SD 57717
  • Phone Number: 605-892-2644
  • Email: info@habecktrucking.com
  • Website: www.habecktrucking.com

Who is Habeck Trucking Inc.?

Habeck Trucking Inc. aims to provide outstanding transportation and brokerage services to all its customers. It is a relatively small company, and they do realize that if they want to remain in the business, they must offer the best quality services to customers. Habeck has developed a system of experienced professionals and skilled drivers who have created synergy in a way that the on-time-delivery of Habeck is at 99.9% of the time.

Integrity is highly valued at Habeck, and prioritizing customers are considered vital. Old traditions and new technology are how Habeck has achieved excellence.

Jobs Offered

We have already established that Habeck doesn't compromise one bit on quality. Hence, they also hire the best of the best people for all openings.

If you are applying as a truck driver, then having a CDL will not be enough. You will have to show them your superior skills through your experience. You will have to prove that you can stick to the deadlines and delivery routes without much interference.

All owner-operators must also prove that their trucks are high-quality and have been maintained well. This helps in avoiding any unexpected delays and accidents on the road.

Salary and Benefits

Only the best people are hired, and their professional abilities are put to the test to provide quality to customers. Furthermore, Habeck understands that if you want to capture the best workforce, then you must compensate them accordingly.

For this reason, it offers a starting salary of $50,000 to its drivers that can go up to $89,000 if you stick around and be patient enough to climb the ladder slowly but surely.

You will also get many benefits like holiday pay, health, dental, vision and life insurance, bereavement pay, safety bonus, drop and pick pay, etc. You can also take your pets with you on your trips.

  • Address: 3600 Universal Dr, Rapid City, SD 57702
  • Phone Number: 403-298-5258
  • Email: cgrierson@trimac.com
  • Website: www.trimac.com

Who is Trimac Transportation?

Trimac is one of the oldest trucking companies in the state. Yet, it has managed to form a consistent and solid reputation. It has always strived to be the industry leader and has always been successful. Trimac has undergone a lot of strategic acquisitions and internal growth strategies to become the largest bulk carrier in North America.

It provides its customers with distribution and management services. Trimac isn't as big as other companies on the list, but it is second to none when it comes to providing quality. It is known for being efficient and using the best technology to deliver its customers with the best services. 

Jobs Offered

Trimac is one of the largest bulk carriers. To retain such a reputation, it hires some of the best industry officials and has several jobs that it offers.

You can join Trimac as a professional driver, owner operator, maintenance worker, industrial team member, or an office worker.

You can choose any job you like. You can drive the trucks if you like as a professional driver or provide Trimac with a fleet by becoming an owner-operator. Furthermore, you can apply to be part of the supporting staff team that maintains the trucks and technology used by Trimac. Y

Salary and Benefits

Trimac Transportation pays its employees well. It believes in building its business by building its employees.

Initially, you can expect to get paid around $50,000 annually, which will gradually increase, and you can later expect to earn approximately $70,000 annually, which is above the national average.

Furthermore, you can expect many benefits while you work here. These include medical plans, dental plans, vision plans, flexible spending accounts, pension plans, flexible work schedules, employee recognition plans, etc. You can also tailor your benefits to fit your personal needs. Also, you get many training opportunities so you can develop and grow personally too.

  • Address: 11 East Main Street Vermilion, SD 57069
  • Phone Number: 605-624-5228
  • Email: sdadmin@dakotalines.com
  • Website: dakotalines.com

Who is Dakota Lines Inc.?

Dakota Lines has formed almost three decades ago. The founder's vision was to develop the best intermodal freight service that connects the business hub of the U.S.

Dakota Lines is a recognized trucking service that is certified by the Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council. Thanks to this certification, Dakota Lines can become a part of General Motors and Chrysler's transportation program.

The company's fleet consists of 75 trucks that combine company-owned trucks and independent contractors. These are assembled to provide nationwide services to its clients. Furthermore, Dakota Lines deals with a wide range of products, ranging from food to automobiles.

Jobs Offered

Currently, the company is actively hiring truck drivers. You can apply for the position through their online application form present on their website. The company does not discriminate based on age, gender, color, race, religion, non-job-related disability, national origin, marital status, etc.

You can apply without any reservations so long as you have a CDL. If you have any experience on top of that, you will be more than welcome. Your core duties will revolve around driving trucks to their destinations and meeting deadlines.

You can also become an owner-operator. Furthermore, you can join the office team that is responsible for setting schedules and coordinating dispatch orders.

Salary and Benefits

You will be well compensated at Dakota Lines Inc. The pay is usually above what competitors pay their employees. Initially, you will make something around $55,000 annually. If you work for an extended period, then your annual salary will go up to $75,000.

There are also many benefits and reward options. You get health insurance, vacation pay, annual safety award, phone bills reimbursement, dental plans, vision plans, holiday pay, etc. You also get annual employee recognition awards and monetary rewards. 

How to Become a Truck Driver in South Dakota

To become a truck driver in South Dakota, you need to fulfill a certain criterion. Then, you must go through a process of training and then ultimately acquiring your license. 

To make the journey easy to understand for you, we have listed the steps you can take to obtain your CDL.

  1. The applicant must be 16 years of age.

  2. In case the applicant wants a license for interstate trucking, the age requirement is 21.

  3. Then enroll in a school or CDL training program to learn everything that you need to know to get a CDL.

  4. Next, pass a knowledge and three-part skill test. The latter includes pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic control skills test, and an on-road driving exam.

  5. For the driving test, ensure that you pick the vehicle in the same weight class as the one that you plan on driving later.

  6. If you seek a license for more than just simple trucks, you will have to undergo additional tests. For instance, if you plan to apply for a tanker truck, school bus, etc., then there are additional requirements.

Job Outlook and Salary For Trucking in South Dakota

The trucking industry in South Dakota is very versatile. There is a local industry, regional industry, and then, at last, there are OTR jobs. Therefore, there are a lot of opportunities, and you can expect career mobility and growth as you broaden your horizons.

The job growth is also very stable with some fluctuations. You can always find new jobs in your area; hence unemployment is not something you need to worry about. On average, there are about 200 new jobs created for truck drivers every year.

Truck driver's salaries previously started at around $29,100 annually. They could make up to $60,000 annually with a median pay of $40,000. However, considering the current increase in demand, truck drivers' starting annual salary went up to $45,000.

On top of this, you get various benefits upon joining. These include a sign-on bonus, safe driving bonus, and accidental insurance. These can vary depending on the dynamics of the supply and demand of truck drivers in your area. However, overall, these benefits, along with the annual salary, make truck driving an attractive job for many.

Conclusion

Being a truck driver in South Dakota is highly rewarding in current times. It is a dream job that you don't have to struggle to get. Hence, all you must do Is pick a good school for your training and obtain your CDL. If you're unsure of which company to apply to, our list of the top schools can help. Good luck!

People Also Ask

Choosing your career is not an easy job. Especially as someone who is just entering the professional world, it can be an extremely daunting decision. And it is only natural that you have questions. However, don't worry. We have answered some of them to ease your mind.

Are There Trucking Companies in S.D. Which Allow Pets to Ride Along?

Yes, several companies allow pets to ride with you. They understand that a lot of truck drivers live alone with their pets and that it's not easy for them to leave their pets at home without supervision. Examples of such companies include Dakota Carriers and Habeck Trucking Inc.

Will Any Trucking Company in South Dakota Hire Me With a Felony?

Yes, companies do hire felons. This was previously not the case; however, with increasing demand and not enough supply, companies are considering hiring felons after going through a certain review process. Some hire felons immediately after release while others wait for five, seven, or even ten years after release. It depends on the respective policies of companies.

Which South Dakota Trucking Companies Offer Training?

There are several companies that offer you sponsorships to get your CDL training. Some of them include Roth Trucking, FFE Transportation, and Quality Carriers Inc. They endorse your training and then hire you as a truck driver after you obtain your CDL.