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10 Best Government Grants for Trucking Business

The trucking industry is a vital part of the U.S. economy, providing essential goods and services to individuals and businesses across the country.

However, starting and maintaining a trucking business can be expensive, with costs ranging from purchasing trucks and trailers to covering operating expenses such as fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Fortunately, there are several government grants available to trucking businesses that can help offset these costs and support the growth of the industry.

Government Grants for Trucking Business

  1. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant is a federal program that provides funding to small businesses for research and development. Trucking businesses that are developing innovative solutions for the industry, such as new technologies or more efficient operating systems, may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Business Size: The trucking business must be a small business, as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This typically includes businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Ownership and Control: The trucking business must be independently owned and operated, with its principal place of business located in the United States.
  • Research and Development: The trucking business must have the capability and capacity to perform research.
How to Apply
  • Review Solicitation: The trucking business should review the relevant SBIR solicitation to ensure that its proposed project is aligned with the agency’s research and development goals. The solicitation will also provide information on eligibility requirements and the application process.
  • Prepare Proposal: The trucking business should prepare a written proposal that outlines the proposed project, the business’s qualifications and capabilities, and a budget. The proposal should also include a description of the potential for commercial success and the capability of the business to carry out the research and development.
  • Submit Proposal: The trucking business should submit its proposal to the relevant agency. The proposal will then be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experts in the relevant field, who will make a recommendation for funding.
  1. Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant is similar to the SBIR Grant, but it requires businesses to collaborate with a research institution, such as a university or government laboratory. Trucking businesses that are developing new technologies with the support of a research institution may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the STTR grant, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Business Size: The trucking business must be a small business, as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This typically includes businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Ownership and Control: The trucking business must be independently owned and operated, with its principal place of business located in the United States.
  • Collaboration with Research Institutions: The trucking business must collaborate with a research institution, such as a university or a non-profit research organization, to perform research.
How to Apply
  • Review Solicitation: The trucking business should review the relevant STTR solicitation to ensure that its proposed project is aligned with the agency’s research and development goals.
  • Prepare Proposal: The trucking business should prepare a written proposal that outlines the proposed project, the business’s qualifications and capabilities, and the research institution’s qualifications and capabilities. The proposal should also include a description of the potential for commercial success and the capability of the business and research institution to carry out the research and development.
  • Submit Proposal: The trucking business should submit its proposal to the relevant agency. The proposal will then be reviewed and evaluated by a panel of experts in the relevant field, who will make a recommendation for funding.
  1. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Grant

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Grant provides funding to small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses, including trucking businesses, to support the growth and competitiveness of the manufacturing sector. Trucking businesses that are looking to improve their operations and efficiency may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for the MEP grant, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Business Size: The trucking business must be a small or medium-sized manufacturing business, as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This typically includes businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be engaged in the manufacturing of goods, including transportation equipment and supplies.
How to Apply
  • Contact Local MEP Center: The trucking business should contact its local MEP center to determine the specific eligibility requirements and application process for the MEP grant in its state or region. The local MEP center can provide information on the services and support available to eligible businesses.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit an application to the local MEP center, which will then review the application and determine the eligibility of the business. The application should include information on the business’s size, nature of business, and manufacturing processes.
  • Participate in Technical Assistance: If the trucking business is determined to be eligible, it may be required to participate in technical assistance programs provided by the local MEP center. This may include training, coaching, and technical support to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of the business.
  1. Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities Program Grant

The Department of Energy (DOE) Clean Cities Program Grant provides funding to organizations that are working to reduce petroleum use in transportation, including trucking. Trucking businesses that are looking to adopt alternative fuel vehicles or improve their fuel efficiency may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers, and must have a demonstrated commitment to reducing petroleum consumption and improving air quality.
  • Location: The trucking business must be located in or near a participating Clean Cities coalition. A list of participating coalitions can be found on the DOE Clean Cities website.
  • Size: There are no specific size requirements for trucking businesses to be eligible for the DOE Clean Cities Program Grant. However, the grant program is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses.
How to Apply
  • Contact Clean Cities Coalition: The trucking business should contact the Clean Cities coalition in its area to determine the specific eligibility requirements and application process for the DOE Clean Cities Program Grant.
  • Submit Proposal: The trucking business should submit a proposal to the Clean Cities coalition that outlines the proposed project and its expected impact on reducing petroleum consumption and improving air quality. The proposal should also include a detailed budget and timeline for the project.
  • Review and Approval: The Clean Cities coalition will review the proposal and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the Clean Cities coalition and comply with all grant requirements and conditions.
  1. Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Grants

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) offers a variety of grants to support the development and expansion of public transportation, including trucking. Trucking businesses that are looking to improve their services and infrastructure may be eligible for these grants.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the FTA Grants, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers and must demonstrate a commitment to improving public transportation services, reducing dependence on single-occupancy vehicles, and promoting energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
  • Location: The trucking business must be located in the United States or its territories.
  • Size: There are no specific size requirements for trucking businesses to be eligible for the FTA Grants. However, the grant program is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses.
How to Apply
  • Review Grant Opportunities: The trucking business should review the various grant opportunities offered by the FTA to determine the most appropriate grant for its project.
  • Prepare Application: The trucking business should prepare a complete and competitive grant application that includes a detailed description of the project, its goals and objectives, a budget, and a timeline.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit its grant application to the FTA in accordance with the grant application deadline.
  • Review and Approval: The FTA will review the grant application and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the FTA and comply with all grant requirements and conditions.
  1. Department of Transportation (DOT) TIGER Grant

The Department of Transportation (DOT) TIGER Grant provides funding for transportation projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. Trucking businesses that are looking to improve their infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the DOT TIGER Grant, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers and must demonstrate a commitment to improving transportation services and promoting economic development.
  • Location: The trucking business must be located in the United States or its territories.
  • Size: There are no specific size requirements for trucking businesses to be eligible for the DOT TIGER Grant. However, the grant program is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses.
How to Apply
  • Review Grant Opportunities: The trucking business should review the TIGER Grant program and determine the most appropriate grant for its project. Information on the grant program can be found on the DOT website.
  • Prepare Application: The trucking business should prepare a complete and competitive grant application that includes a detailed description of the project, its goals and objectives, a budget, and a timeline.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit its grant application to the DOT in accordance with the grant application deadline and any other requirements specified by the DOT.
  • Review and Approval: The DOT will review the grant application and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the DOT and comply with all grant requirements and conditions.
  1. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Grant

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Grant provides funding to reduce emissions from diesel engines, including those used in trucking. Trucking businesses that are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and improve air quality may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the EPA DERA Grant, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must operate diesel-powered vehicles in the United States or its territories.
  • Size: There are no specific size requirements for trucking businesses to be eligible for the EPA DERA Grant. However, the grant program is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses.
How to Apply
  • Review Grant Opportunities: The trucking business should review the DERA Grant program and determine the most appropriate grant for its project.
  • Prepare Application: The trucking business should prepare a complete and competitive grant application that includes a detailed description of the project, its goals and objectives, a budget, and a timeline.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit its grant application to the EPA.
  • Review and Approval: The EPA will review the grant application and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the EPA.
  1. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Grant

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Grant provides funding to support the enforcement of commercial vehicle safety regulations and to improve the safety of commercial vehicles, including trucks. Trucking businesses that are looking to improve the safety of their operations may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the CVSA Grant, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be a for-profit or nonprofit entity that operates commercial motor vehicles in the United States or its territories.
  • Size: There are no specific size requirements for trucking businesses to be eligible for the CVSA Grant. However, the grant program is designed to support small and medium-sized businesses.
How to Apply
  • Review Grant Opportunities: The trucking business should review the CVSA Grant program and determine the most appropriate grant for its project. Information on the grant program can be found on the FMCSA website.
  • Prepare Application: The trucking business should prepare a complete and competitive grant application that includes a detailed description of the project, its goals and objectives, a budget, and a timeline. The application should also demonstrate how the project will improve commercial vehicle safety and reduce crashes.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit its grant application to the FMCSA in accordance with the grant application deadline and any other requirements specified by the FMCSA.
  • Review and Approval: The FMCSA will review the grant application and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the FMCSA and comply with all grant requirements and conditions.
  1. Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office Grant

The Department of Energy (DOE) Fuel Cell Technologies Office Grant provides funding for research and development of fuel cell technologies, including for the trucking industry. Trucking businesses that are looking to adopt alternative fuel vehicles may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements
  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be a for-profit or nonprofit entity that operates commercial motor vehicles in the United States or its territories.
  • Focus on Fuel Cells: The grant application must demonstrate a commitment to incorporating fuel cell technologies into the trucking business operations.
  • Innovation: The grant application must demonstrate an innovative approach to using fuel cell technologies in the trucking industry.
How to Apply
  • Review Grant Opportunities: The trucking business should review the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office Grant program and determine the most appropriate grant for its project. Information on the grant program can be found on the DOE website.
  • Prepare Application: The trucking business should prepare a complete and competitive grant application that includes a detailed description of the project, its goals and objectives, a budget, and a timeline. The application should also demonstrate how the project will incorporate fuel cell technologies into the trucking business operations and contribute to the development and deployment of fuel cell technologies in the industry.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit its grant application to the DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office in accordance with the grant application deadline and any other requirements specified by the DOE.
  • Review and Approval: The DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office will review the grant application and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the DOE and comply with all grant requirements and conditions.
  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Grant

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers grants to support research, education, and outreach programs to improve the safety of the nation’s highways, including for the trucking industry. Trucking businesses that are looking to improve the safety of their operations may be eligible for this grant.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the grant, a trucking business must meet the following criteria:

  • Nature of Business: The trucking business must be a for-profit or nonprofit entity that operates commercial motor vehicles in the United States or its territories.
  • Focus on Safety: The grant application must demonstrate a commitment to improving the safety of the trucking business operations and the commercial motor vehicles it operates.
  • Innovation: The grant application must demonstrate an innovative approach to improving the safety of the trucking industry.
How to Apply
  • Review Grant Opportunities: The trucking business should review the NHTSA Grant program and determine the most appropriate grant for its project. Information on the grant program can be found on the NHTSA website.
  • Prepare Application: The trucking business should prepare a complete and competitive grant application that includes a detailed description of the project, its goals and objectives, a budget, and a timeline. The application should also demonstrate how the project will improve the safety of the trucking business operations and the commercial motor vehicles it operates.
  • Submit Application: The trucking business should submit its grant application to the NHTSA in accordance with the grant application deadline and any other requirements specified by the NHTSA.
  • Review and Approval: The NHTSA will review the grant application and determine whether the trucking business is eligible for the grant. If the trucking business is approved, it will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the NHTSA and comply with all grant requirements and conditions.