The U.S. trucking industry has the current capacity and growth opportunity to absorb hundreds of thousands of veterans and transitioning service men and women into class A commercial driving careers now and into the coming decade. The opportunities are not isolated to the small population of military class A vehicle drivers. The trucking industry highly values the core skills of our military service men and women regardless of military occupation. The skills and experiences of junior and senior Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) are especially valued.
• Are front line supervisors, leaders who work well in diverse teams to accomplish a mission
• Make good decisions with little supervision in dynamically changing environments
• Know the importance of training and keeping their current skills
• Work safely and take good care of the assets and equipment entrusted to them
• Adjust to all types of terrain and weather conditions
• Are physically fit, with relevant supply chain and transportation management experience
Great veterans make great commercial truck drivers. Military experience, regardless of branch of service or occupation, prepares a veteran to succeed in the U.S. trucking industry because the core skills our veterans gain match very well to the professional requirements of a class A commercial driver. This is particularly true for class A commercial drivers, evidenced by several trucking companies like TMC Transportation and Maverick Transportation, in which both enjoy a veteran population of class A commercial drivers in excess of 30%.
Further evidence of veteran success in the trucking industry can be found among the estimated 400,000 owner-operators in America. The Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) with 152,000 members, report over 39 percent of these commercial class A entrepreneurs have former military service. These high ratios are not statistical anomalies, rather they represent hard evidence of a tremendously successful transition from military to civilian employment.
To reach more of our veterans and transitioning service men and women, and enable them to have more opportunities with higher starting salaries, we recommend nine actions for consideration by policymakers.
1. The DOD should consider mandating the recording of driving hours and/or driving miles for all class A military drivers to document the relevant experience.
2. The DOD should consider allowing a public-private partnership for commercial companies like FASTPORT to capture, maintain, and ensure military driving experience and driving records for class A military drivers are consistent with the DOT FMCSA commercial driver requirements.
3. The DOD should consider mandating the FMCSA Skill Waiver granted to all transitioning service men and women driving class A military vehicles that qualify
4. The DOD and TSA should consider the allowance of a military security clearances to align with TSA TWIC requirements.
5. The DOL should consider including heavy tractor trailer as listed career opportunities for more military occupations on the career one stop Military Occupation Code conversion tables.
6. The DOD should consider leveraging the Hiring Our Heroes Trucking Industry Mentor Track educational content and success stories to be formally shared across all military social media sites to reach all transitioning service men and women.
7. The DOL should consider including commercial driving training education within the technical and vocational career instructions provided as part of the formal TAP training.
8. The DOL and SBA should consider including instruction on how to become an owner-operator as a formal part of the TAP entrepreneur training.
9. The U.S. trucking industry should cooperate and consolidate their commitment to hire veterans and the posting of all open class A commercial driving positions available to veterans onto the Hiring Our Heroes Trucking Industry Mentoring Track.
DOL/BLS Economic News Release; Employment Situation Of Veterans Summary, March 20, 2014, USDL 14-0434
Employment Projections program, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Motor Carrier Management Information System Census File
The JB Hunt Story
FTR Transportation Intelligence economic forecast
Labor Force Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012
American Trucking Association Chief Economist estimate
U.S. Department of Defense Credentialing and Licensing Task Force, Military Affairs Task Force, National Conference of State Legislatures, April 8, 2013
U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Program To Assist Veterans To Acquire Commercial Driver’s Licenses Report To Congress, November 2013
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Safety Administration, Transportation Workers Identification Credential, Frequently Asked Questions U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Safety Administration
Owner Operator Independent Driver Association Research Reports
Owner Operator Independent Driver Association Research Reports, Industry Facts