Veterans makes incredible truck drivers: 4 reasons why you’re already ready to take the wheel
If you’ve served your country as a member of the Armed Forces and you’re now reentering civilian life for the first time in years, chances are you don’t really feel like you’re through serving yet. Many veterans feel called to challenge themselves, called to do, and called to help—even once they’ve been officially discharged. If you’re a career veteran who’s wondering, “what’s next” on your journey, consider taking to the open road. Here are a few key reasons we know veterans make incredible truck drivers:
1) Opportunities abound in the truck driving industry
Now that you’re on to the next chapter of your life, you’re likely looking for a career with steady pay and plenty of job security. In the United States alone, there’s a shortage of as many as 50,000 drivers. If you’re willing to put in the hard work (and let’s be real—you know hard work; in fact, you probably thrive on it), you’re sure to find a home-away-from-home in the cab, steering your destiny across miles of American highway.
Truck driving provides stability and exciting earning potential. And, unlike many other industries out there, truck driving doesn’t require years in the classroom before you can get started. By choosing a career as a truck driver, you can begin training immediately. Before you know it, you’ll be on the road to your new career.
2) There’s a good chance you’re already prepared to drive professionally
You may have already had some experience in the field of truck driving during your service in the military. If this is the case, not only have you driven a truck, you’ve done it under some of the most grueling conditions imaginable. You fully understand how important it is to get somewhere safely, and you’re ready to take on any challenge with heart and courage.
Previous driving experience in the military may mean that you can receive your CDL without having to take a road skills test due to an exemption from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This criteria includes:
- Military truck driving experience of at least two years in a vehicle similar to a commercial motor vehicle
- Application to the program within one year of discharge
- Passing a written knowledge test
- A license that hasn’t been suspended, revoked, or cancelled
- No disqualifying incidents like drugs, alcohol, leaving scene of accident, or fatalities caused by negligence
- No serious traffic violations like reckless driving or driving without a proper license
If you haven’t gained this experience or don’t meet the criteria listed above, you still have miles of options to explore in this field. CDL training for veterans is readily available and is often significantly shorter than it is for civilians due to your dedicated service.
3) Adventure awaits
Serving in the military provided you with unique opportunities to travel and explore the world. Truck driving affords similar adventuring prospects. You’ll see the beauty of the United States from the comfort and convenience of your rig while being able to continue to serve your fellow citizens by delivering the goods that they need. And truck driving is a special civilian career that makes sense for many veterans as it allows that sense of excitement and service to thrive while also offering ample flexibility, the intrigue of travel, and plenty of time home with your loved ones. As a bonus, you’re not stuck behind a desk at the mercy of a typical 8-to-5 office situation. Talk about a win-win.
4) You already have what it takes
Time spent in the military requires no shortage of impressive personality traits and abilities that translate seamlessly into a career as a truck driver. You’ve already got the teamwork vibe down, which will serve you well as you interact with dispatchers, managers, and other drivers. You understand the value of adhering to schedules and deadlines, so you’ll have no problem getting your load delivered on time. You’re deliberate and diligent, and organization is likely your unofficial middle name—something that any employer loves, but especially those of us in the trucking industry! And, most importantly, you know what it means to be both part of a team and to step up and lead when necessary. Seriously, you’ve got this.
At CRST Malone, we believe veterans are well-suited to take the wheel. If you’re interested in joining our team, click here today!