A fleet of semi trucks all lined up.

What’s the Best Semi Truck (and Truck Brand) for My Fleet?

Congratulations! If you’re thinking about the best semi trucks, chances are you’re considering investing in one.

Whether you have a solid nest egg to sit on or are exploring your options, a question comes up. How do you know what the best semi-truck brands and semi trucks are in the trucking industry?

With so many semi trucks to choose from, the decision can be overwhelming.

Plus, the cost is just too high not to make the right choice. At the end of the day, your bottom is on the line if you’re not able to meet your bottom line.

There’s a reason not to sweat it, though. We call this reason Certified Fleet Services.

Grounded in 30 years of diesel truck repair experience, we can help provide you with peace of mind when it comes to finding the right truck for your needs.

We repair heavy- and medium-duty diesel trucks and fleet equipment for fleet managers, owners, drivers, and operators across the Sunshine State. When it comes to choosing the best semi trucks for truck drivers, we can help.

We’ve worked on just about every brand-name semi-truck on the planet. If you’re looking for the best semi-trucks and semi-truck brands on the market, look no further.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the latest feature and benefits of the best semi trucks on today’s market.

By the end of this article, we’re confident you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to buy (or rent) with confidence. Let’s dive in.


Key Truck Takeaways

  • When it comes to choosing a great truck for your fleet, there’s no shortage of great truck brands.
  • To make an informed buying decision, you’ll want to analyze the performance, reliability, and cost of each truck brand.
  • To find the perfect truck for your fleet, you’ll want to consider the key features and benefits of each truck.
  • The top five semi truck brands for truck drivers (in 2023) are Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo, Peterbilt, and International.
  • When buying a new semi truck, consider fuel efficiency, customization options, and safety features.


Certified’s List of Best Semi Trucks and Brands (2023)

A picture of a Certified Fleet Services mobile repair van in the sunlight in front of their office

When it comes to finding the perfect semi truck for your fleet, there are a few brand names that rise above the rest. 2023’s top performers include:

  • Freightliner
  • Kenworth
  • Volvo
  • Peterbilt
  • International.

These brands have earned our trust. They deliver outstanding performance, reliability, and quality features that are zero to none.

We’ll dive into each in the following sections.


Freightliner: the best overall semi truck

A semi truck on the road

Chances are you’ve seen this powerhouse semi truck all over your local highways. As of 2022, according to Statista, one in four semi-trucks driving on U.S. highways were Freightliner trucks.

These trucks are known for being aerodynamic and fuel-efficient.  Freightliner trucks are among the best on the market.

Most Freightliner engines come with an impressive 350-600 horsepower. These beast-like trucks can also carry up to 2,050 pounds of torque.

In short, they’re highly versatile powerhouse trucks.

Many Freightliner trucks are made with aluminum components (instead of their heavier cousin, steel). Best of all, Freightliner is investing in green technology. Their new eCascadia — an all-electric, zero-emissions semi-truck — is shaping the future of the trucking industry (we just hope that truck stops across America will one day be fitted with enough electric charging stations to accommodate the new eCascadia).

Truckers: if you’re looking to invest in a new class 8 semi-truck, you can’t go wrong with Freightliner. Discover why they’re one of the best-selling trucks among drivers the world over.


Certified Fleet Service’s pick: Cascadia

The Cascadia and all-electric eCascadia provide top features that drivers come to expect. This quality semi’s low-rolling-resistance tires, active shutter grill, and versatile Detroit Diesel powertrain series make this semi truck one of the best class 8 semi truck models on the market.

We like them, because they’re available in many different models. The Cascadia is the right truck for drivers looking for a smooth and powerful ride.


Peterbilt: a classic, customizable American semi-truck

A fleet of Peterbilt trucks lined up in a row

Peterman built the Peterbilt for customization. The brand’s most popular trucks include the Model 389 and Model 579.

The former has a classic look, while the latter is Peterbilt’s newest addition. With strong fuel efficiency, predictive cruise control, and options for manual or automatic transmission, these trucks provide a fuel-efficient, personalized, and enjoyable driving experience.

Plus, these trucks have some of the largest sleeper cabins on the semi-truck market. They’re ideal for those who like to travel in style and comfort.

Certified Fleet Service’s pick: The Model 579

We like the traditional Model 579 and the all-electric Peterbilt 579 EV. These heavy-duty trucks use PACCAR or Cummins-style engines.

You can choose between a manual or automatic transmission. These trucks range from 44-80 feet long.


Kenworth: the most reliable semi on the market

A row of semi trucks at sunset

Some of the best, most reliable trucks on the market are Kenworth trucks. Kenworth semi trucks are almost as popular as Peterbilt trucks (Did you know that both Kenworth and Peterbilt are owned by the same company, PACCAR?).

PACCAR’s Kenworth tends to be recognized for producing some of the most reliable semi trucks on the market. Most of these trucks tend to have lower operation and maintenance costs, making them an ideal choice for the driver on a budget.

Best of all, many of their MX-13 engines can be upgraded to an MX-11 engine. In short, these trucks are reliable and versatile.


Certified Fleet Service’s pick: The T680

We like Kensworth’s T680 model. This truck comes packed with horsepower.

Depending on if you opt for the PACCAR MX-13 engine, MX-11 engine, or TX-12, your engine can have anywhere from 355 to 455 horsepower underneath the hood. For a reliable truck that’s also fuel-efficient, the T680 will do the trick.

Volvo: a lighter, more fuel-efficient truck

A close-up picture of a Volvo logo

Ah, good ‘ol Swedish engineering. While not as popular in America as abroad (10.6% of U.S. market share), Swedish-engineered Volvo delivers quality, high-performing, lightweight alternatives to the larger Freightliners, Peterbilts, and Kenworths on the road.

Volvo trucks tend to be lighter and more fuel-efficient, and they can make a great addition to a fleet. Volvos offer dynamic steering, and they’re equipped with steering technology that can prevent crosswinds from moving the truck off-course.

We like Volvo for its powertrain technology. While Volvo engineers design their own engines, you’re not limited to driving with a Volvo engine.

You can swap in a Cummins engine in some Volvo models. This versatile truck is great for drivers looking for a lightweight, fuel-efficient semi-truck.


Certified Fleet Service’s pick: The VNL series

Despite ranking as one of the 5th most popular semi-truck companies in America according to Statista, Volvo makes one heck of a safe truck. The VNL’s steel-reinforced cabs, advanced front-end collision technology, and new rollover airbags make this truck one of the safest on the planet.

We like the VNL series for its Enhanced Cruise feature. The feature helps de-throttle the engine, hit the brakes, and prevent potential accidents.


International: an all-around great value

Mechanic opening hood on large semi truck

Ranking just above Volvo (12.6% of market share to be exact), this brand offers one of the best trucks for its value. Aside from the Prostar which uses a MaxxForce engine (an engine that’s notorious for frequent breakdowns), this truck brand is well-known for its top-quality, fuel-efficient trucks.

It’s one of the best brands when it comes to all around value for your dollar.

Their trucks are well-known for their quality safety features. Improved front and side visibility makes operating behind the wheel safer and more pleasurable.

Many drivers like International semi trucks for their in-house-made, quality transmission systems. If you’re looking for a truck that’s fuel-efficient, International has some of the best on the market.


Certified Fleet Service’s pick: Lonestar

International builds its Lonestar axles in-house. These trucks are fitted with a Cummins X15 engine, but if you prefer, you can customize or swap the engine out for a different engine.

We like this truck for its comfortable cabins and premium dash gauge. If you’re looking for a ride that’s comfortable, stylish, and well-built, the Lonestar will do you right.


The best semi truck repair shop in Florida

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Truckers: with Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo, Peterbilt, or International truck, you can’t go wrong. The best truck is one that fits your preferences and meets your needs.

The bulk of all truck sales in America come from the brands listed above. But like all trucks, they’re not perfect.

They’ll eventually break down. That’s where we come in.

From tractor-trailers to pickups to buses and more, Certified Fleet Services is Florida’s go-to provider for quality fleet services, repairs, and maintenance. Whether your truck is leaking oil or needs a complete engine overhaul, our certified mechanics can get you back on the road fast.

If you’re looking for quality repairs, look no further. Contact us anytime for fast and reliable in-shop and on-site repairs.


Frequently Asked Questions (and their helpful answers)

A truck in a dark alleyway with its headlights on

What makes a quality semi truck?

It all comes down to preference. In general, when choosing a quality semi truck for your fleet, you’ll want to look at the following key factors:

  • Performance
  • Durability
  • Cost
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Safety
  • Driver comfort
  • Budget

Knowing which of these factors is most important to you will help you determine which truck is best for your needs.


What are the top 5 best semi truck brands?

The top 5 semi truck brands for truck drivers in 2023 are Freightliner, Kenworth, Volvo, Peterbilt, and International.


Should I buy a used or new semi?

It depends. The question really boils down to how much you can afford for corrective and preventive maintenance.

Older semi trucks often need more maintenance, but also tend to be more affordable. Newer semi-trucks tend to be more costly but tend to be easier to drive and safer.


What about Mack trucks?

Volvo is the company that makes Mack trucks. Volvo purchased Mack and its parent company Renault in 2000.

Though Mack is one of the older truck manufacturers on the market, it’s also one of the most reliable, quality trucks on the market. Their parts can be interchanged and repaired with ease.

When it comes time to buying a semi truck, be sure to take a look at Mack. You can find these best-selling semi-trucks at a truck dealer near you.