Nearly every trucking company will have different policies regarding the hiring of felons. Some will not hire felons at all, while some will require a specific amount of time to have passed since the felony occurred.
It is absolutely essential that drivers be honest on their applications regarding their past. The trucking companies have access to vast resources to find out what they need to know about a potential employee.
Drivers with a felony will generally not be able to drive for companies that regularly service Canada, as they will usually not be allowed to cross the border.
You should expect all companies to take felonies on a case-by-case basis, with those involving drugs, theft, and/or violence making a driver particularly "less desirable".
Multiple convictions for CDL-holders for things such as leaving the scene of an accident, or driving with a revoked or suspended CDL , or multiple refusals of drug and alcohol tests, will result in a lifetime ban from getting a CDL , eligible for reinstatement after completing State-approved rehabilitation.
Any conviction of a CDL-holder for using a CMV in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance will disqualify a driver from holding a CDL for life, with no eligibility for reinstatement.
A longer list of offenses will permanently bar a driver from getting a hazmat CDL endorsement, due to TSA regulations. See Also: TSA Background Check and Disqualifying Factors.
A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:
A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.
Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations
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.
A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:
Driving Under the Influence
Driving While Intoxicated
Operating While Intoxicated