Veterans in Truck Driving

Veterans returning from overseas are often on the lookout for ways to put their skills to use in the workplace. One of the many skills taught in the U.S. Military to certain individuals is how to operate trucks. This skill allows veterans who were taught how to operate a truck during their time in the military to receive their CDL upon their return to the workforce. A new law will allow them to receive their CDL without needing to complete a truck driving skills test for up to a year after they leave the military.

The Law

This new law which will allow veterans to attain their CDL without completing the driving skills test was originally designed for the state of Missouri. It will, however, become law for all states after it underwent reconsideration by the government. Previous laws that covered the same issue allowed a 90-day window for veterans to attain their CDL after leaving the military. Many people believed that this window was too short and many veterans needed more time. It has been reported that more than 10,000 people have taken advantage of the post-military CDL process. This number points to the fact that there is interest in the process, and extending the window of opportunity could benefit numerous people.

Impact on Trucking

This one year window will affect trucking greatly. With the time extension will come an increase in the number of drivers available for trucking companies. It has been recorded that the trucking industry is experiencing a lack of drivers, and this new law could provide a much-needed influx of talent. Attracting ex-military personnel to the trucking industry is also beneficial in itself. The military is known for teaching the values of dedication, discipline, and hard work, all of which are great qualities in an industry like trucking. Allowing more ex-military personnel to join trucking companies will bring a huge reduction to the shortage of drivers, and trucking companies will have a new crop of reliable and disciplined drivers. Some trucking companies already have a strong connection to ex-military talent. One such company is Averitt who have promised to hire 1,200 vets by 2020!

Possible Drawbacks

There are some possible negative effects of the law extending the window to receive a CDL without completing a driving skills test. The most important of these is the possibility that a year is too long, and applicants might have lost the necessary skills by that time. This could lead to a setback in safety, and possibly trouble for trucking companies. Safety is always a concern for trucking companies and anything that could cause a lack of safety is taken very seriously, because of this some employers may be skeptical of the new law.

Bottom Line

A new law will extend the 90-day limit for veterans looking to become licensed commercial truck drivers without taking a driving skills test, to one year after their service. This extension could solve the industries shortage of drivers by attracting more talent to truck driving. On the other hand, it is possible that one year could be too long for some trucking companies to feel safe about the driving skills of these candidates.

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