The truck driving industry offers numerous opportunities for veterans who, in turn, can be a powerful workforce for fleet truck companies. Thankfully, there are many bills and initiatives designed to help former military personnel start a new career in the trucking industry. Keep reading to learn more about these initiatives, as well as the perks of employment for both veterans and fleet truck companies.
Why Veterans and Truck Driving Are a Good Fit
Hiring veterans for fleet trucking is beneficial for everyone involved. The trucking industry offers an extensive range of opportunities for veterans who are searching for a post-deployment “new normal.” Military service gives veterans a wide new set of skills that could be hard to adapt to a desk job or call center. For example, many veterans are used to a certain amount of isolation and independence, and enjoy active and on the road. In this way, truck driving is often the perfect fit for those who have recently returned and are looking for a new career.
Today, increasing amounts of troops are undergoing rapid reduction and being sent home. At the same time, demands for freight shipments continue to rise and create a shortage of drivers. The industry currently faces a driver’s shortage, and employing veterans may be the solution. Aside from an increased workforce, there are countless benefits to the trucking companies who hire veterans. As a whole, veterans are a ready and willing workforce, eager to find their new place in civilian life. Adaptability and perseverance are just two of the traits that many veterans can bring to the table if given the chance. They are capable of filling any need in the trucking industry, which boasts a broad range of career types and opportunities in numerous job categories.
The Veterans Administration and Government Acts
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is a powerful resource for military personnel as well as anyone interested in hiring or working with veterans. The G.I. Bill, passed in 1944, continues to help provide benefits, but numerous bills have since been passed to assist veterans in finding jobs upon leaving the service. The VA also runs many programs for veterans, and the eligibility varies for each. The Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, for example, enables those with at least 90 days of recent (post-9/11) active duty to receive benefits such as correspondence training, on-the-job training, tuition assistance, and licensing reimbursement.
The 2012 Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Act for Vet Employment, in particular, provides a boost for both veterans seeking jobs and trucking companies needing a reliable, capable workforce. This act makes getting a CDL much easier and more flexible for military personnel. Another recent initiative is the “Hiring Our Heroes” program sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Many trucking companies and other industries are responding to the call by pledging to hire many more veterans within the next few years.
Training Schools and Scholarship Opportunities
Anyone changing careers, whether out of choice or out of necessity,will likely need additional schooling of some kind. When it comes to truck driving, potential drivers must obtain a commercial drivers license and complete specialized training.Some companies waive tuition for veterans as long as they are enrolled in a Veterans Administration approved CDL training school.
In addition, many veterans may qualify for a large, tax-free monthly stipend from the VA as they complete training. Eligibility primarily depends on years of service, but the VA earnings would be in addition to any pay offered by the sponsoring trucking company.There are several other outside scholarship programs and opportunities that may be worth investigating in addition to the benefits provided by the VA. An example is the Troops to Trucker program, which aims to take unemployed or underemployed veterans and mentor them through the process of finding CDL-related employment. This includes truck driving as well as other commercial vehicles.
In general, the employment process is straightforward. Many trucking companies offer online driver applications, along with a phone number that applicants can call to follow up and learn more. Those who are approved will begin the process of orientation and training. In many cases, applying for VA benefits is as simple as asking for and filling out the proper forms at orientation.
Benefits of Truck Driving Today
Thanks to our vast and ever-expanding consumer market, new truck drivers are needed each day. Driving is a flexible profession, and it is easy to get started. There are numerous large, established companies that can offer stable, steady positions with a large starting salary. Many of these companies have dedicated training schools or partnerships with training schools around the country.
In many cases, anyone who meets the hiring requirements, earns a CDL license, and completes the proper training is guaranteed a job. Along with a short orientation period, each driver will be trained on the road with a one-on-one mentor. Even new drivers can apply to be a training instructor after just a few months on the road themselves, which can open the door to numerous other opportunities.
Taking Care of Your Fleet Vehicle
As part of their training, all truck operators will learn new driving skills and how to perform basic maintenance operations such as airing up tires and checking brakes. Truck drivers have many other considerations, such as speed, fuel efficiency, and keeping up with their log books, but the truck’s physical cleanliness is another factor to consider.
A clean, well-maintained truck is much less likely to be stopped and inspected by highway patrol or local police officers. Plus, in addition to being dangerous to other drivers, clumps of mud and dirt falling off of tractor-trailers is illegal in many states. Finally, every truck on the road is a moving billboard for its company. If you want your truck to represent the company well, it should undergo regular maintenance and cleaning.
In addition to mobile truck washing, Fleet Clean can degrease engines, brighten aluminum parts, and perform complete trailer washouts. For a free job quote, fill out our simple online contact form or call us at 877-477-9274.