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FAQ: Military Veterans Becoming Truck Drivers

Last Updated: Oct 4, 2016

Military Veterans Becoming Truck Drivers - Frequently Asked Questions

Does my military driving experience count?

In many cases, yes. For drivers who already have CDL's, many companies will count driving experience in their hiring. Veterans without CDL's who have military driving experience may be eligible for the Military Skills Test Waiver program.

What is the military skills test waiver program?

Drivers with at least 2 years of military driving experience, who finished their service within the last year, are eligible for a waiver from taking the skills portion of the CDL exam. The written part must still be taken.

What kinds of CDL programs are available for military veterans?

Veterans who are looking to become truck drivers will normally be eligible for GI Bill benefits, which can help pay for school as well as pay them during their company training. The Veterans Administration also runs an On-The-Job Apprenticeship program.

How do I find trucking companies that participate in the VA Apprenticeship/On-The-Job-Training Program?

Many companies participate in official government programs, while many more are either going to, or specifically target veterans in their hiring with their own in-house programs. See above for the link to our list.

What is the "Hiring Our Heroes" program?

Hiring Our Heroes is a program run by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help military veterans, transitioning service members, and their spouses find employment opportunities.

CDL:

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.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

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