The Trucking Industry – a Performance Perspective

At Great Western Transportation we keep a close eye on the stats of the trucking industry serving the continental U.S. states. We also keep on eye on the data of the past few years so we’re aware of trends that effect big rig trucking, and give us the knowledge to offer you—our customers—the best hauling services possible. Whether you need a load of frozen crab and other fish to a vendor in Boston or an oversized load taken from Texas to Chicago, or a dry van of goods going cross country we’re here to make it happen safely, smoothly and on budget and on time.

Just two years ago there were 8 million people employed in the overarching trucking industry. That is an enormous swath of people working 24/7 to get goods and heavy items hauled from businesses to customers. It is, ultimately, a very very large part of the economic gears that drive the American economy.

We are still experiencing super-strong storms from California (with unexpected snowfall in lower elevations, catastrophic flooding) across the plains states to the East Coast just slammed by its first nor’easter. Trucking is impacted by extreme weather, and it can be dangerous to drivers and costly to businesses. Yet, we all strive to get the hauling done through the bad weather, and here at Great Western we really stay on top of our drivers and loads hitting bad storms, and in close communication with our customers as to how everything is going.

Seventy percent (70%) of all freight in the U.S. is hauled by trucks, making it the single largest carrier of goods, materials like gas, and equipment. If trucking stops, then a huge part of the American economy is severely braked. As of 2021 trucking generated a gross revenue in the U.S. of $875.5 billion.

These are mind-boggling numbers as you contemplate how much freight is moving down U.S. roads every minute and how that translates into dollars that flow into every sector of the economy.

As the old adage (from a 1936 blues song) says, “Keep on truckin’.”

March 12, 2023 | | Category: General

What’s On the Mind of Truckers in 2023

We’re continuing our blog series on what’s on the mind of truckers in 2023. This includes trucking drivers and truckers as in trucking companies, of which Great Western Transportation is a proud, long-standing and hard-working member of the family. In our last blog we discussed pay for drivers in 2023 and new technology becoming more prominent in or being introduced in 2023 to help drivers and trucking operators be safer and more efficient/productive.

One of the great concerns of truckers (both independent trucker drivers who own their own truck(s) and trucking outfits) is insurance and the inflation of insurance as part of the general inflationary pressures in the industry. Insurance has gone up, and for certain freight conditions are very high. The Trucking Research organization came out with a report that insurance premium costs per mile have increased by 47% from 2010 to 2020, and is now increasing further going into 2023. Part of the unfortunate offset for this increased expense for very large outfits is reducing the pay or reducing bonuses for one third of truckers—a worrisome figure. The insurance costs also forced big operators to choose between insurance and technology advancements.

An interesting fact in trucking is that the majority of the drivers are aged between 45 and 54. This majority of 45-54 year-olds is on the road more than 60 hours a week, often driving up to 14 hours before the next break. For 2023, this is catalyzing more interest in schedules for drivers and their time off periods.  This not only affects the drivers, but the drivers’ families. Sometimes these drivers burn out and leave the trucking industry or retire early, and these conditions contribute to the driver shortage we’re experiencing in our industry. Part of the operations management (including here at Great Western) is looking carefully at scheduling and mandated rest hours and time off.

February 24, 2023 | | Category: General

2023 Advancements for Truckers

At the heart of our heavy hauling, flatbed and refrigerated trucking business are the truckers, the men and women (whom our last blog lauded) who drive the rigs that move thousands of tons of goods across America every day. Here at Great Western Transportation we’re proud to be part of this great, extended family. We’re here everyday to immediately, personally and smartly respond to any company’s hauling needs from coast to coast.

Some prognosticators looking at their crystal balls in the big rig cabs are discussing what truckers are looking for in 2023.

As with all of us in the trucking industry in these times of inflation, truckers are looking for better pay — for the long hours they work. On average truckers work 60-70 hours a week (away from their families) usually with no overtime pay, and they earn on average about $28 an hour. There is now a driver shortage and the drivers themselves and trucking companies are looking at higher earnings for truckers that will help solve the driver shortage (as new drivers are attracted to the industry with better pay) and improve the quality of life for truckers.

Technology advances in 2023 are a powerful factor in trucking, and even AI (artificial intelligence) is contributing to the movement. Much of the drive in technology is not only making trucking easier and smoother, but more productive and thus more profitable. Among the technological systems and gadgets that are becoming more prominent in 2023 are the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud dashcams, asset tracking and telematics. Effective route planning is among the targeted goals in 2023, using asset trackers.

To be continued in our next blog post.

February 12, 2023 | | Category: Flatbed, Refrigerated Trucking

Benefits of Women Truck Drivers

As our last blog discussed, women have been driving big trucks as amateurs (whatever needs being done on farms or ranches) and professionally (paid to drive hauling trucks) since the very early 1900’s. Some of them achieved a fame and notoriety akin to Calamity Jane, and were hired even as test drivers for large truck manufacturing companies.

Here at Great Western Transportation, our trucking jobs use women drivers routinely from coast to coast and driving all kinds of rigs—including the really big boy oversize loads.

From our research, here are some of the benefits of having women driving your loads from where you want them picked up to where you want them dropped off, through historic snow storms to Death Valley desert heat and everything between.


  • Omnitracs did a study in turnover in trucking and women exhibit lower turnover in both driving and management. They stay with companies longer than men, which means you’re saving money as it takes considerable budgets to onboard and train new talent.
  • Women actually get more experience on the road then men, as measured in the critical yardstick of miles driven. They drive more miles per time period than men on average, which means you get your goods delivered faster.
  • Women are the safest drivers, according the American Transport Research Institute. Compared to men, women are 71% less likely to have a reckless incident or negligent incident, 56% less likely to have a seat belt violation, and 58% and 59% less likely to run a red light or be convicted of speeding 1- 15 miles over a posted speed limit.
January 25, 2023 | | Category: General

Women in our Driver’s Trucking Force

Big rig driving is a profession that women are entering at a record-setting pace, and we here at Great Western Transportation are pleased and proud to have among our drivers across the country many women. Read more ›

January 12, 2023 | | Category: General

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

While our headquarters is in northern California in the Bay Area, we are closely networked into trucking outfits and businesses needing freight hauling all across the country – from Los Angeles to Kansas City up to Boston and down to Miami. Every city and town in the continental U.S. is covered by our networking, and so we are in a kind of hub center for the weather patterns of the U.S. Our area was hit before Christmas by a huge very wet, windy (like a good blowing gail) storm that stretched up the west coast and dropped feet of snow in the Sierras and moved on eastward.

Now a historically massive winter storm hit the Midwest and east coast over the Christmas weekend with super cold temperatures going down as far as Texas, heavy snows and high winds and off the great Lakes houses were entirely covered in otherworldly skins of thick, wind-blown snow ice.

Nearly 80 lives have been lost in this great storm, and cities like Buffalo, NY, are still digging out of the record-setting blizzard.

Flatbed trucking, heavy hauling and refrigerated loads virtually ground to a halt in many Midwest and east coast areas for a few days, and fortunately no truckers were hurt or lost in this deadly storm that spread across dozens of states. Trucking drivers and equipment were tested in the severe cold, snow and wind conditions as they got caught in situations they couldn’t avoid. And those that could rode it out in shelter.

We remained open and helping shippers getting their loads going as much as possible during the storm. And now there’s a lot of catch up to do.

For all the truckers out there and the companies that need their talented services, we wish you Happy Holidays and Happy New Year for 2023 and may it be a year of good fortune for all in the trucking industry.

December 25, 2022 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul, Refrigerated Trucking

What’s Moving For the Holidays in Trucking

Flatbed trucking and heavy hauling rigs are carrying megatons of holiday goods, and building supplies and equipment across the country as the 2022 holiday season unfolds. The same with refrigerated trucking shipping frozen and chilled goods to keep grocery store chilled shelves stocked with everything we need for celebratory meals.

In these last two weeks of 2022 Great Western Transport is an important part of the great hauling push for the holidays. Our staff is here to facilitate your shipping with expertise, unmatched responsibility, competitive pricing and good cheer.

With big snows dropping on the east coast states, and a big storm that just swept through northern California with heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains and moving east to the Rockies, trucking companies are doing their best to keep shipments moving against big weather.

Our rigs and drivers are prepared for all the conditions one can expect in a winter that’s brewing up some massive storms. Communication is vital and we’re on top of staying in close touch with our drivers as they make their way cross highways, roads and streets hit by blizzards to tornadoes.

Of note in this Christmas season hauling is that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree, a 78-foot length of beautiful red spruce living timber, was hauled from the National Forests of North Carolina to the west lawn of the capitol building in Washington D.C. by a husband and wife team out of North Carolina. The tree shepherded by the driving duo made many stops around North Carolina to show off the spruce for families and well-wishers. A nice bit of hauling, that.

Get in touch with us right away if you need any kind of flatbed, heavy hauling or refrigerated freighting in these final two weeks of the holidays. We can handle all your immediate or longer term shipping needs.

December 14, 2022 | | Category: Flatbed, Heavy Haul

Thanksgiving For Flatbed Trucking and Heavy Hauling Drivers

The flatbed trucking, refrigerated trucking and heavy hauling that we perform for our clients across the continental states; there is no stopping on Thanksgiving. And this, of course, applies to all trucking outfits in the industry. It applies to days leading up to this warm, sharing holiday or the days immediately after. Imagine how many drivers were on the road hauling turkeys, sides and desserts for the Thanksgiving feasting for hundreds of millions of people, or delivering goods that had to get somewhere on time for post-Thanksgiving Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail sales. It is these drivers and their equipment that keep big holidays and big sales happening for all of us.

In a matter of speaking our drivers (and those of the entire industry) literally drive a huge segment of the U.S. economy. Alongside of hauling products, dry and chilled goods, there’s tens of thousands of tons of heavy equipment or supplies needing delivery for projects from California to Connecticut. Day and night, day after day drivers in their rigs are delivering the nuts and bolts of our consumer economy, and this is part of what we need to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving on the road—though a Lone Ranger kind of holiday as you’re generally alone with your rig—can still be celebrated with video chatting with love ones and a good Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant or diner. The road is about the best place to give thanks for all the circumstances and people who make drivers’ lives ones of well being, fulfillment and camaraderie.

Here at Great Western Transportation, we’d like take this Thanksgiving to express our appreciation for all the drivers whose work is to deliver for our clients everyday of the year—doing their work with pride, ethics and intelligence.

And we also have deep thanks for all of our clients who utililize our services—both established clients who use us year after year, and new customers just joining us.

As the holiday season is rushing up to us, please keep us at GW Transportation in mind for all of your flatbed, heavy hauling and chilled freight trucking.

November 24, 2022 | | Category: General