Industry/Owner-Operator Facts

  • There are currently 3.9 million commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders actively driving in commerce within the United States.1 These men and women represent the driving force behind the U.S. economy, delivering 70 percent of all freight worth $11.7 trillion2 while collecting $726.4 billion in gross revenue.3

Source: https://medium.com/@sambokher/segments-of-u-s-trucking-industry-d872b5fca913

  • In 2015, trucking carried approximately 10.9 billion tons of freight worth $11.7 trillion.4
  • 33.8 million trucks across all classes, 1 through 8 (i.e., light-, medium-, and heavy-trucks)5
  • Owner-Operators primarily operate Class 8 Trucks (33,001 pounds and greater). There were approximately 3.63 million registered Class 8 Trucks in 2016.
    •    Freightliner – 37.5%
    •    Peterbilt – 15.9%
    •    Kenworth – 15.3%
    •    International – 11.4%
    •    Volvo – 8.9%
    •    Mack – 8.3%
    •    Western Star – 2.7%6
  • There were 7.4 million people employed in trucking-related jobs in 2015.7

    TABLE: Fleet Group by Carrier Size and Power Units

    Fleet Size Group Fleet Size by Power Units Number of Carriers Carrier % of Total Total Power Units Power Unit % of Total
    Very Small 1 to 6 450,064 84% 860,298 10%
    Small 7 to 19 53,110 10% 579,568 7%
    Medium 20 to 100 23,216 4% 924,933 11%
    Large 101 to 2,000 4,175 1% 1,248,935 15%
    Very Large 2,001 to 5,000 96 0% 288,397 4%
    Mega 5,001+ 76 0% 4,315,202 53%
    Totals 530,737 100.00% 8,217,333 100.00%

    Data Source: FMCSA, Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS), data snapshot of interstate carriers as of May 2018

  • Owner-Operators logged nearly 101,000 miles in 2018, of which 19,000 was deadhead
  • Owner-Operators averaged net income is $50,000+.
  • 4% of Owner-operators are women.
  • Minority owner-operators are around 17%.
  • Most owner-operators became owner-operators at 36 years old
  • 63% of owner-operators are away from home 151+ nights a year
  • The average owner-operator has a 2006 model year truck.
    •      A majority of owner-operators own a Peterbilt, followed secondly by Freightliner
    •      Caterpillar are the number one engine among owner-operators.
  • The typical owner-operator has accumulated approximately 2.6 million miles of driving during their career, most of which was without a Department of Transportation reportable accident8resulting in 47.7 crashes per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, or almost 3.5 times below the national crash rate for the overall trucking industry.
  • 35% of all owner-operators served in the military. The Army, Navy, and Air Force were the three top branches of service in 2018.
  • While van trailers are the most common trailer pulled, the majority of owner-operators pull flatbed or reefer trailers.
  • There are approximately 350,000 to 400,000 owner-operators
  • On average, the owner-operator has been driving for almost 20 years

1. FMCSA, Regulatory Evaluation of Entry-Level Driver Training Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (2016), pg. 53
2. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2016, Department of Transportation (2016) pg. 58
3. American Trucking Trends 2016, American Trucking Association, http://www.trucking.org/article/ATA-American-Trucking-Trends-2016
4. Transportation Statistics Annual Report 2016, pg. 58
5. http://www.trucking.org/news_and_Information_Reports_Industry_Data.aspx
6. https://www.statista.com/statistics/274937/market-share-of-truck-manufacturers-in-the-united-states/
7. http://www.trucking.org/news_and_Information_Reports_Industry_Data.aspx
8. A DOT reportable accident is a crash that resulted in either (1) a fatality, (2) an injury receiving treatment immediately away from the accident scene, or (3) disabling damage to any vehicle involved