California Worst State for Truckers, Tennessee is Best

January 27, 2016 by Carina Ockedahl, @Ockis9

Tennessee is the best U.S. state for owning a small trucking company or operating a rig. California was the worst, according to a survey conducted by finance firm Merchant Cash USA.

The survey of nearly 3,300 people working in the trucking industry asked about state fees and regulation, overnight parking expenses and the general level of friendliness of residents towards drivers.

“Very complex labor regulations in California,” probably contributed to the Golden State’s low score, said Tim Almack, a partner in charge of the Transportation Services Group at Katz, Sapper & Miller.

Strict environmental regulations were likely another factor. “Emissions [requirements] on the equipment are more stringent than the other states,” Almack said.

That creates requirements for carriers to upgrade their equipment to comply with clean air laws, which can be costly for small trucking businesses.

Furthermore, California’s high level of congestion, a landscape of that includes deserts and mountains, strong emphasis on pollution control, and overall tough traffic enforcement “makes truckers kind of feel that they are being beleaguered,” said Michael Belzer, a professor of economics at Wayne State University in Detroit.

Tennessee is “relatively less regulated and less strict, and it seems more trucker friendly,” Belzer said.

Its central location in the South, well-maintained roads, and favorable state income tax structure, likely played a part in its selection as the top best state on Merchant Cash USA’s list, Almack said.

The five best, and five worst, states are:

Best States

  1. Tennessee
  2. Washington
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Texas
  5. Indiana

Worst States

  1. California
  2. Virginia
  3. Ohio
  4. New Jersey
  5. Massachusetts


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