What Are The Best Semi Truck Brands

We get asked this question all the time, what is the best semi-truck? Or what’s the most popular semi-truck? To help answer those questions we’ve put together a guide of the best semi trucks brands in the United States. We’ve also included a guide of the different styles of semi-trucks and semi-truck trailers. Plus, other frequently asked semi-truck questions.


Here’s our list of the top 5 best semi-trucks. Listed 5 through 1. Scroll down to see which truck brand is #1.

5. Volvo


Volvo Trucks is one of the leading heavy truck and engine manufacturers in the world. Today, Volvo Trucks manufactures a broad line of on-highway and vocational Class 8 vehicles. Each new or used purchase is supported by a strong dealer network and by industry-leading parts and service programs to smooth your ride on the road to success. 


Volo trucks make up about 10 percent market share in America. Volvo a Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer also owns the well-known trucking brand Mack Trucks. In the USA Volvo ranks fifth, but world-wide ranks second for heavy-duty truck manufacturers. 


4. International


Navistar International Corporation (formerly International Harvester Company) is an American holding company that owns the manufacturer of International brand commercial trucks, IC Bus school and commercial buses, Workhorse brand chassis for motorhomes and step vans, and is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van, and SUV markets. The company is also a provider of truck and diesel engine parts and service.


Navistar holds an 11 percent market share in the commercial trucking industry in the United States. Located in Lisle, Illinois, Navistar has 16,500 employees and a 2013 annual revenue of $10.7 billion dollars. 


Their products, parts, and services are sold through a network of nearly 1,000 dealer outlets in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and Mexico. More than 60 dealers in 90 countries throughout the world.


3. Peterbilt


Peterbilt Motors Company, founded in 1939, is an American manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. A subsidiary of Paccar, which also owns fellow heavy-duty truck manufacturer Kenworth. 


For 80 years, Peterbilt has supplied the North American commercial vehicle market with the industry’s most rugged, reliable and efficient products. Based in Denton, Texas, Peterbilt manufactures on the highway, vocational and medium-duty trucks that provide value to their owners and pride to their drivers.


Peterbilt is an iconic trucking brand. Their red oval design script style lettering logo can be found on trucker clothing, truck hats, and more. Peterbilt makes up about 13 percent market share. Peterbilt is an iconic and beloved trucker brand.


2. Kenworth


Kenworth is an American manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty Class 8 trucks with offices based in Kirkland, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. Kenworth is one of three major truck divisions and brands under parent company PACCAR.


Founded in 1912 by the brothers George T. and Louis Gerlinger JR as a car and truck dealership known as Gerlinger Motor Car Works. In 1914, they decided to build their own truck with a more powerful inline six-cylinder engine, the first put into a commercial truck.


Kenworth has majorly grown since 1912 with an annual revenue of 19.1 billion dollars. With an estimated 154,000+ trucks sold in 2015 and pushed out Peterbilt sightly. They have about a 14% market share.


1. Freightliner


Freightliner Trucks is an American truck manufacturer and a division of Daimler Trucks North America. The division is known mainly for the heavy-duty class 8 diesel trucks it offers, as well as class 5–7 trucks.


Freightliner is the best selling semi-truck in America today. They sell about 190K trucks per year! Freightliner dominates with 40% of the commercial truck market share. They also employ over 3,000+ workers in their MT. Holly and Cleveland facility. 


Freightliner manufactures several models and styles of commercial trucks from on-highway, medium-duty, severe duty and natural gas vehicles. They are soon to roll out their new line of all-electric commercial vehicles named the Freightliner e-Mobility. There will be two models, the eCascadia and eM2 106.



Freightliner takes the cake for the most popular semi-truck in America for 2019. Whether you drive a Freightliner, Peterbilt, or Kenworth, every trucker driver has their favorite big rig. What’s your favorite 18 wheeler? Please comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more great trucking content.


Semi Truck FAQ

Here are some popular semi-truck frequently asked questions.


What is a Semi Truck?

What is a semi-truck? In North America, the combination vehicles made up of a powered truck and one or more semi-trailers are known as semis, semi-trailers, tractor-trailers, big rigs, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, or semi-tractor trailers and semi-trailer trucks.


The tractor unit typically has two or three axles; those built for hauling heavy-duty commercial construction machinery may have as many as five, some often being lift axles.


The most common tractor-cab layout has a forward engine, one steering axle, and two drive axles. The fifth-wheel trailer coupling on most tractor trucks is movable fore and aft, to allow adjustment in the weight distribution over its rear axle(s).


Why Do They Call it a Semi-Truck?

A semi-trailer truck more commonly semi truck or simply “semi” is the combination of a tractor unit and one or more semi-trailers to carry freight. A semi-trailer attaches to the tractor with a fifth-wheel coupling as known as a hitch, with much of its weight borne by the tractor. The result is that both the tractor and semi-trailer will have a design distinctly different from that of a rigid truck and trailer.


What Are The Different Styles of Semi-Trucks?

1. Flat Roof Sleeper

A sleeper cab or truck sleeper is a semi-truck that has a compartment attached to the cabin for the truck driver(s) to rest and sleep. Typically has a bunk and side storage compartments. The flat roof sleeper has a flat roof and less headspace.


2. Mid-Roof Sleeper

A 76-inch mid-roof sleeper is a semi-truck that has a compartment attached to the cabin for the truck driver(s) to rest and sleep. Typically has a bed, tv, and storage compartments. The mid-roof sleeper has a slightly higher and rounded roof for more headroom and space. 


3. Raised Roof Sleeper

A raiser-roof sleeper is a semi-tractor with a compartment attached to the cabin for the truck driver(s) to rest and sleep. Some sleeper offers a premium sound system, flat-screen tv, and side storage tower. The raised-roof sleeper has the highest roof for more space and better driver comfort. 


4. Day Cab

The day cab semi-trucks a tractor that is designed for day trips. It does not include the on-the-road overnight sleeping compartment. The purpose of the day cab is to hook up and haul large loads on short trips within the same day.


For more types and styles of commercial vehicles check out articles about the Different Types of Commercial Trucks & Vehicles


What’s The Difference Between a Semi Truck and 18 Wheeler?

Semi-truck refers to the actual truck or tractor, which contains the engine. Semi-trucks can run on their own without hauling a semi-trailer.


18-wheeler refers to the combination of a semi-truck and semi-trailer. When connected they form a tractor-trailer unit, also referred to as an 18-wheeler. Which is based on the total number of wheels for the entire tractor-trailer unit.


What Are The Different Types of Trailer for Semi Trucks?

There are several styles and types of commercial trailers for semi-trucks. Here’s a list of the most common trailers in use today.

Flatbed Trailer

Lowboy Trailer

Reefer Trailer

Conestoga Trailer

Step Deck Trailer

Dry Van Trailer

Power Only Trailer

Extendable Double Drop Trailer

Stretch Double Drop Trailer

Stretch Single Drop Deck Trailer

Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RNG)

Stretch Removable Gooseneck Trailer (RNG)

Sidekit Trailers

Specialty Trailers

Multi-Car Trailer

For more details about commercial trailers read our article Different Types of Trailers for Semi Trucks.

About TopMark Funding®

At TopMark Funding® client satisfaction is our top priority. With 20+ years of experience in the commercial vehicle and equipment industry. We know what it takes to get you approved for the best commercial truck financing deal. 


We’re a top-rated semi-truck financing and equipment financing company located in Roseville, CA. We specialize in commercial trucking and heavy equipment. Our mission is to become your long-term financial partner by helping you grow your business and fleet. We’re not here for the short-term, we’re on long-haul with you. We achieve this by being your funding advisor, guiding you towards the best financial decisions for your trucking business.


If you’re in the market for a new or used semi-truck, a commercial vehicle we can help finance it for you. We have great rates, low down payments, and flexible monthly payments. We have lease and loan options for several different types of vehicles and trailers. Fill out the contact form or give us a call at (866) 627-6644. One of our truck finance specialists will contact you as soon as possible to go over your truck financing needs and learn more about you and your business goals.

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