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Pre-Hire Letters

Last Updated: Nov 12, 2015

What New Drivers Need To Know About Trucking Company Pre-hire Letters:

Drivers who plan to go to a private truck driving school should get as many pre-hire letters as possible.

Many schools actually require pre-hire letters as a condition of enrollment.

A pre-hire letter is a trucking company's verification that a driver appears to meet their minimum qualifications for hire.

A pre-hire is not a guarantee of a job, but means that a driver will be considered for employment after graduating trucking school and getting their CDL.

Pre-qualifying helps to ensure that a CDL driver is hirable, even after getting their CDL.

What Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

  • A pre-hire letter is basically a formal invitation to the driver by a trucking company to attend new driver orientation, at the company's expense, after getting their CDL.
  • Indicates that a driver appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but does not guarantee a job with that company.
  • Pre-hire letters will be based on the information provided on the driver's application for employment, and will include a background check, employment verification, and motor vehicle report (MVR) check. It is important to be as up-front and complete with the information provided on the application. These checks will drag it up, and discrepancies will not be look on favorably.
  • In other words, it is a way for potential drivers to assess their hirability before starting CDL training.
  • It is in the best interest of the CDL driver to obtain as many pre-hire letters as possible, to increase their job opportunities.

How Do Drivers Get Pre-Hire Letters?

  • Drivers should make sure that they meet the age, medical, education, and legal requirements for getting their CDL.
  • See Also: CDL Qualifications For New Drivers.
  • Double-check with the trucking school and companies to be sure that they will hire new drivers from that particular school.
  • Prospective students should attempt to get pre-hire letters as far in advance as possible, as the process could take several weeks.
  • Normally, drivers will fill out a regular application with a trucking company. Generally, the option should be available online for most companies.
  • Indicate that you do not yet have your CDL, and are interested in obtaining a pre-hire letter.

Tips For Getting Pre-Hire Letters:

  • Apply to as many trucking companies as possible, and get as many pre-hire letters as you can.
  • Follow-up with the trucking companies once you have submitted your applications. They are buried in applications, and drivers should try to follow the progress of their application. In many cases, the squeaky wheel does, in fact, get the grease.
  • Be honest and up-front. Provide thorough and accurate information about your past, as discrepancies may lead a company to think you are trying to cover something up.
  • Make sure that you have included all information that is asked for on the application, no matter how old. Unless a time-frame is specified on the application, assume that the company wants you to go as far back as possible. All of it will show up on a background check, anyways.
  • When asked for specific employment dates, do your absolute best to make sure that the dates you provide are accurate.
  • Check your spelling, or have someone check it for you. If your application is difficult to read or understand, it stands a better chance of being passed by, or discarded altogether. Make it easier for trucking companies to want you to drive for them.
  • Generally, if the trucking company reviews an application and denies it, it will be a minimum of 6 months before they will review another application from that driver.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.


Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.


What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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