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Empowering Our Veterans

Why So Many Veterans Choose Careers in Trucking

Trucking is a natural fit for many veterans entering the workforce thanks to their military experience and outreach from the industry.

“The trucking industry continues to fight hard to welcome returning service members into fulfilling careers in trucking,” says Chris Spear, President and CEO of American Trucking Associations (ATA), the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. ATA works with the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation program called “Hiring Our Heroes,” which helps trucking companies connect with and hire veterans.

The trucking industry recruits veterans for many reasons.

Smooth transition

In many cases, veterans have advantages going into trucking. For example, vets who have two or more years’ experience operating heavy machinery may not have to take a trucking road test. Under an exemption called “Military CDL Skills Waiver Test” — valid in every state — a veteran who has a commercial driver’s license and has operated the large or heavy equipment in the previous year may be able to skip the road test. So far, 26,000 veterans and service members have benefited from the waiver.

Safety

Members of the military are reliable and have been trained to value safety. Those skills translate well on the road. According to ATA, trucks have a crash rate that’s 29 percent lower than other vehicles. The trucking industry spends $9.5 billion annually on safety, including training and investing in safety technologies. So, companies like to hire vets who already have a commitment to safety practices.

Respect

CRST Expedited Services, Inc., one of the largest transportation companies in the United States, has 4,500 trucks, and hires vets. “We give our veterans opportunities to make the transition from military to civilian a very easy switch,” says Jordan Schulte, military liaison/capacity development for the company. “We take pride in being one of the top companies nationwide to take care of our veterans past and present.”

Marine veteran Burton Gingerich, CDS, a safety trainer in the flatbed division, feels appreciated. “CRST has treated me, as a veteran, with a lot more respect than I thought any civilian-based company would,” he says.

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