Best Semi Truck Brands for Truck Drivers (Industry Leaders!)

Author: Rohan Paulos
Updated On:

Are you looking for expert tips for what is the best semi truck to buy by owner operator? As a truck driver, this is one of the most important questions you might ever ask. For you, semi-trucks are the most useful business assets, and you must have the right one.

However, choosing a top and reliable semi truck brand demands a lot of consideration. Fortunately, we’re here to get the confusion out of the way. Making the right choice when buying a semi-truck will make a lot of difference to your business.

There are several top-performing semi brands in the market with different specifications to suit your different business needs. Here, you will read about the best semi-truck brands to buy, their specifications, and recent prizes.

Top 9 Semi Truck Brands to Buy

Look below for top 9 best semi truck to buy…

1. Freightliner

Freightliner semi truck

Looking at what semi truck is the most reliable? The Freightliner is currently the leading semi-truck brand in the market. According to recent reports, it is dominating between 37% to 40% of the US class 8 truck market.

Freightliner offers a variety of highly effective semi-truck models. The Freightliner M2 106 Plus is one of the newest releases from the industry. It is a medium-duty truck recently rated best seller in North America.

It would interest you to know that it is a class 8 truck with up to 300 horsepower, 1150 LB-FT torque, and 66,000GVWR. Another Freightliner model worth considering is the 114SD Plus, a heavy-duty truck with up to 525 horsepower, 1850 torque, and 92,000 GVWR.

It is designed with active safety systems and comfortable features. Freightliner trucks are known for their durability and performance, and they’re a popular choice among truck drivers.

Whether you’re hauling heavy loads or transporting sensitive cargo, you can trust a Freightliner to get the job done safely and efficiently. If you’re in the market for a new semi-truck, be sure to check out Freightliner’s latest models. You won’t be disappointed.

Pros & Cons


  • An in-truck satellite communication terminal
  • Improved aerodynamics
  • Established a reliable track record
  • Customizable sleeper, day, and crew cabin choices
  • High-capacity horsepower engines
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Affordable options


  • Mirrors are smaller and set lower in some models
  • Cab overs can be a bit noisy
  • Higher cost of maintenance

2. Peterbilt

Peterbilt truck
And, what semi truck is the most reliable?


Peterbilt holds the second-largest share of the US semi truck market. However, it is nowhere close to the market leader as it only has 14.8% of the market. Since its creation by the PACCAR group in 1942, Peterbilt has served thousands of truck drivers.

It has some of the most efficient and capable trucks. Peterbilt offers a wide range of reliable medium and heavy-duty trucks.

A model worth considering is the Peterbilt 389, designed with features that allow for aerodynamics and comfort. It is equipped with up-to-date smart technology, as well as live-in settings.

It has two engine options, the PACCAR MX-13 and Cummins ISX15. Further, it has up to 600 horsepower and 2,050 lb-ft torque. Another model that would interest you is the Peterbilt 567, a vocational truck that features a factory-installed smart air system and technology.

You can expect up to 500 horsepower and 1,850 lb-ft of torque from this model. Plus, it uses a variety of PACCAR and Cummins engines.

Pros & Cons


  • Sleeper cabs and digital display in newer models
  • New technology, aerodynamics, and SmartNav.
  • Up to 800 horsepower
  • Variety of engine options: Cummins, Caterpillar, Detroit Diesel, and PACCAR engines
  • Relative fuel efficiency
  • Fewer repairs, less downtime
  • Well insulated


  • More expensive
  • High maintenance costs

3. Kenworth

Kenworth truck
Is this the best semi truck for owner operator?


Kenworth is another effective semi-truck brand. It is also owned by the PACCAR group, and it holds the third position in the truck market with its 14.6% market share.

The Kenworth trucks provide drivers with up-to-date navigation, premium finishes, and safety technology. The Kenworth T880 has effective technological features and remote diagnostics.

It uses the PACCAR MX-13 Engine and has up to 510 horsepower and a 1,850 lb-ft Torque. Similarly, the Kenworth W990 comes with a luxury design. It also has a PACCAR MX-13 Engine, 510 horsepower, and 1,850 lb-ft Torque.

Pros & Cons


  • More than 500 horsepower
  • Premium designs
  • Luxury and comfort features
  • Sleeper cabs,
  • New automated models
  • Lightweight trucks
  • Safety features


  • Quite pricey
  • Expensive spare parts

4. Navistar International

Since 1902, Navistar has established itself as a leading semi-truck brand. It currently has about 11% of the US truck market.

Navistar trucks have distinctive features and specifications that match the needs of truck drivers. Navistar trucks are known for their fuel efficiency, which is always an important consideration for truckers who want to minimize expenses.

They also offer a wide range of models to choose from, so it’s easy to find a truck that’s well-suited to your specific needs. In particular, the Navistar CV Series is a group of commercial-grade trucks that features 23,500 GVW and 700 lb-ft torque at 1600 RPM.

Also, the Navistar MV Series offers extended crew and day cab options with up to 54,600 lbs GVWR and 1,150 lb-ft torque. Plus, it uses a variety of Cummins engines.

Navistar trucks are designed for durability and reliability, which is essential for any trucker who wants to avoid unexpected breakdowns. With all these factors in mind, it’s not surprising that Navistar is one of the best Semi Truck brands for truck drivers.

Pros & Cons


  • Easy to maneuver
  • Variety of effective engine options: A26, Cummins, and Navistar engines
  • Over 560 horsepower engines
  • Lightweight design
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Increased engine braking power


  • Cab overs are not easy to get in and out
  • High maintenance costs
  • Noisy
  • No sleeper cabs in some series

5. Volvo

Volvo semi

The Volvo trucks division is a popular truck brand in the United States. It is famous for its dependable, high-performance trucks.

Volvo controls about 10.2% of the US truck market. Since its launch in the 1920s, Volvo has served truck drivers with efficient navigation and easy operation.

Interestingly, Volvo now has electric truck models, too. Volvo trucks are known for their comfort, safety, and fuel efficiency, making them a popular choice for long-haul drivers.

In addition, Volvo trucks are built to withstand the tough conditions of the highway, with a durable chassis and suspension system. Volvo is a brand worth considering if you’re looking for a semi-truck that can help you stay comfortable on the job and save money at the pump.

For instance, the Volvo FH and FH16 are very effective for long-haul transportation. They both have five cabs and 540 and 750 horsepower, respectively. The FH uses Diesel, Biodiesel, HVO, and LNG, while FH16 only uses Diesel, HVO, and Biodiesel.

Pros & Cons


  • Up to 750 horsepower
  • Effective Volvo-built, Cummin diesel and gas engines
  • Aerodynamic designs
  • Remote diagnostics
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Genuine spare parts and truck servicing
  • Durability


  • Engine overheating
  • High maintenance costs

6. Mack Trucks

Mack is a darling for old and experienced truck drivers. It is one of the oldest semi-truck brands and has made its mark over time.

Mack currently controls 8.4% of the US truck market. Since 1900 Mack Trucks has served several generations of truck drivers. Mack has a simple modular design which makes servicing and repairs easier for mechanics.

Mack’s new MD series is a line of effective trucks with a wide range of cab options. It has up to 300 horsepower and 660lb-ft torque.

Pros & Cons


  • Sound Mack engine, MP7, MP8, SCR, and Clean diesel engines
  • About 605 horsepower
  • Cabovers, conventional, and off-highway options
  • Specialty equipment
  • Functional design
  • Durable construction
  • Light and precise steering


  • Limited sales coverage
  • Not as versatile as other brands
  • Inner fittings are not very comfortable compared to others

7. Mercedes Benz Truck Division

Mercedes truck red

Mercedes Benz is popular for its exotic cars and luxury vehicles. However, Mercedes also produces highly efficient semi-trucks. Mercedes Benz Trucks have been in use since 1926.

Just like other Mercedes products, Mercedes semi trucks have unique designs and tough engines. When it comes to finding the best semi-truck brands for truck drivers, Mercedes Benz is always a top choice.

The company’s trucks are known for their quality, reliability, and performance. In addition, Mercedes Benz offers a variety of features that make life on the road more comfortable for drivers.

For instance, the company’s trucks come with spacious cabs that provide plenty of room for resting and sleeping. They also feature advanced navigation systems and infotainment centers that help drivers stay on track and entertained.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Mercedes Benz is one of the best semi-truck brands for truck drivers.

Pros & Cons


  • Practical and automated interior design
  • Sound Mercedes Benz Euro VI engines and diesel engines
  • Up to 625 horsepower engines
  • Sleeper cabs options
  • 5% lesser fuel consumption
  • Suitable for long-distance transport, heavy-duty hauling, and specialty equipment


  • Limited models
  • Higher downtimes
  • Not as easy to maneuver

8. Renault Trucks

Renault truck is a renowned brand in the truck market. As owned by Volvo, it has lived up to the brand’s reputation. Renault trucks have been around for 128 years and have about 1400 sales and service points across different countries.

Renault trucks T are a series of high-capacity trucks suited for long haulage and organized transport. Trucks T High come with more powerful engines that can handle international haulage. Other Renault models include the Renault D, Renault D Wide, and Renault Trucks masters edition.

Pros & Cons


  • Spacious Cabins
  • Efficient for heavy construction usage
  • Euro VI, Straight six engines 11L DTI 11
  • Up to 520 hp
  • Aerodynamic designs
  • Day, night, and sleeper cab options
  • Reinforced cab and chassis
  • National and international long-haul transportation


  • A plain interior cabin design
  • Not available in all countries
  • High costs of maintenance

top truck brand

9. Western Star Trucks

Western Star is a subsidiary of the Daimler group. It is an American brand based in Portland, Oregon. Western Star majorly produces class 8 trucks.

It is a premium brand that specializes in heavy-duty trucks and long-distance haulage. Western Star X series is one the newest line of trucks designed by the company. This series features trucks with high capacity. They come with a variety of Detroit engines with up to 600 horsepower and 2,050lb-ft torque.

Pros & Cons


  • High-capacity Detroit and Cummins engine
  • Up to 400 HP
  • High level of efficiency
  • Highway, vocational and off-road use
  • Affordable
  • Fuel efficient


  • Spare parts are not easy to find
  • Limited sales coverage
  • Less aerodynamics than others
  • Low manufacturing capacity

Which Is The Best Semi Truck for Owner Operator?

There is no one single semi truck brand or even model that could be termed as ultimate best for owner operators. The best one for you will depend on your taste, financial outlay, business needs and preferences.

However, you can’t go wrong if you land Kenworth T680, Peterbilt 579 or Freightliner Cascadia brands! Editor’s Tips Best truck parking yard free and paid for!

Summary of what is the best semi truck to buy!

The semi-truck market is saturated with several highly efficient brands, so knowing what semi truck is the most reliable is vitally important as there is no straight answer to which semi-truck brand is best for you. When choosing a semi-truck brand, you should first consider your business needs.

This will help determine what factors to prioritize when making your choice. Having determined your needs, these are other factors to look out for:

  • Truck size and weight
  • Engine type
  • Engine horsepower
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Technical specifications
  • Truck price
  • Design
  • State regulations

All these should influence your choice of semi-truck brand. Also, you should make decisions based on your skills and capacity as a truck driver. Heavy-duty trucks require a lot of skill and effort to operate. You should choose a model that is within your capabilities.


what is the best semi truck to buy

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