Veterans face difficulties upon retirement. Aside from the challenges of transitioning to civilian life, they also have to think about what to do after rendering invaluable service to their country. Fortunately, the trucking industry welcomes vets with open arms.
Just take a look at the retail giant Amazon's Veteran'' for Partners program, which provides some $5 million to help veterans with the start-up costs of becoming delivery partners and offers $10,000 reimbursements to vets. Thanks to the program, a third of Amazon's delivery partners are for former military service personnel.
There are plenty of reasons why more trucking companies should hire veterans. Here are some of them.
Vets Have the Values and Attribute Needed to Become High-Performing CDL drivers
There's no doubt that those who have served in the military have faced the most difficult conditions imaginable. Thus, veterans have these traits and values needed to become successful truck drivers.
Discipline- Punctuality is important in truck drivers, and military men and women are trained to be punctual at all times. Plus, it is ingrained among veterans to accomplish tasks expeditiously and conscientiously, thanks to the discipline instilled in them during military service.
Teamwork-- Military personnel knows how to take charge and step up when needed so that the entire team can complete its mission. This trait is needed in truck drivers.
Leadership- Veterans follow order and hierarchy. Thus, like truck drivers, they are more than capable of quick decision making and fast action following the proper order of what needs to be done.
Organized-- Punctuality is important in truck drivers, and military men and women are trained to be punctual at all times. Plus, it is ingrained among veterans to accomplish tasks expeditiously and conscientiously, thanks to the discipline instilled in them during military service.
They Can Obtain Licenses Faster
Veterans coming back from service can obtain their commercial driver's license or more commonly known as CDL, with minimal schooling required as long as they meet the criteria below. This is all thanks to the exemption offered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
- Has a minimum of two years experience in driving a military truck highly comparable to a commercial motor vehicle
- Has an application for a CDL within one year from the time they left military service
- Has passed the written exam
- Has an active drivers license
- No record of grave traffic offenses or violations
Vets who don't meet the above criteria can get their CDL training, which is shorter than the training for civilians.
Can Help Address Driver Shortage
The driver shortage is a perennial problem in the industry. And estimates show that there will be a shortage of 180,000 drivers by 2026. Veterans can help address driver shortage as they can join the workforce quickly, given the exemptions provided by the FMCSA and shorter CDL training period.
Helps Improve Safety
Safety is always a preoccupation of the entire trucking industry. It always takes the necessary steps to lower the risks involved in truck driving and find ways to improve both vehicles and drivers' safety on the road. And yet, despite all precautions and safety measures in place, accidents still do happen.
Veterans, fortunately, have acquired some level of medical certification or training during their years of service. Their medical knowledge is always advantageous for any trucking firm. Having drivers who are knowledgeable in saving lives and handling injuries indeed helps should accidents happen.
In the end, veterans contemplating on what's next for them after retirement should seriously consider commercial truck driving. After all, they have the traits and values needed to become great truck drivers. Plus, trucking companies would love to have individuals who served in the military as they help the industry address driver shortage problems, can help save lives and minimize injuries while on the road.