The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is also committed to making it as easy as possible for military veterans from all walks of life to get settled in a career as a professional truck driver.
To help them achieve this goal, the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program is one of the more recent ways the FMCSA is pursuing new ways to recruit and support military veterans in a truck driving capacity. But what is this pilot program, and how can it help younger truckers with military experience find a place in the transportation industry?
To qualify for this pilot program, however, you’re going to have to meet a set of criteria. According to the FMCSA, the requirements include:
Being 18, 19, or 20 years of age when approved for participation in the pilot program
Having certification (or relevant training and experience) operating heavy vehicles from your time in the military
Agreeing to the release of specific information to the FMCSA, who will use it to assess your eligibility for the program
Meeting all the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) requirements (not including age) for operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce
Understanding that drivers who participate in this program cannot transport passengers or hazardous materials
Upon turning 21, any drivers participating in the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program will be unenrolled. They will, however, be eligible to continue driving in an interstate capacity for their current motor carrier (or another company).
How to Participate in the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program
If you qualify for an Under 21 Military CDL, then you can get your trucking career started by applying to any participating carrier (like Lily Transportation!). Once hired, your information and driving history will be submitted to the FMCSA.
From there, as long as there are no disqualifying offenses, suspensions, or license revocations on your record, you’ll be approved to participate in the study and can start your trucking career right away!
With this program, the FMCSA is making veteran trucking jobs more accessible than ever. There are plenty of people under the age of 21 with experience in the military who are now looking for a new career, and the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program is a way for military drivers to find a job that will help them readjust to the civilian lifestyle.
Lily Transportation is proud to be one of the nine companies in the country participating in the military CDL pilot program and would love to talk with you about our veteran trucking jobs, training programs, or the truck driving lifestyle as a whole!
The transportation industry plays a fundamental role in the way our country’s businesses function. Without truck driving careers, the rate of e-commerce would likely plummet and countless companies worldwide would find themselves unable to deliver products to their customers. As crucial as this industry is, however, it’s been facing a shortage of new truck drivers for several years.
With a large percentage of the current truck driver population nearing retirement, the trucking and transportation industries are eager to recruit young, new, and excited drivers. And with the industry constantly changing and adapting to new technologies, embracing a new generation of thinkers is more essential than ever.
Those are significant numbers, and help to illustrate just how crucial the transportation industry is. Without truck drivers, not only would e-commerce sales decline dramatically, but paying customers would no longer be able to receive their products in the manner they’re used to.
There are millions of packages delivered across the country every day, and that number is sure to grow. If the trucking industry wants to continue to succeed, then it needs to pursue new truck drivers.
Like every industry, trucking needs new and diverse perspectives if it wants to continue to grow and meet demand. This is why Lily is so committed to providing its new drivers with the best benefits possible.
When you drive with Lily Transportation, you’ll not only become part of our family, but you’ll also be provided with a wealth of benefits, including:
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical and Dental Insurance
Paid Holiday and Vacation Time
Quarterly + Annual Safety Bonuses
Health and Wellness Programs
Meticulously Maintained Equipment
Cool Branded Uniforms
A job in the trucking industry job also involves flexible schedules, competitive pay, and tremendous opportunity for travel. If you’re interested in learning more about the kind of jobs in the trucking industry, then reach out to Lily Transportation today! We would love to answer any questions you may have and help you on your way towards an exciting new career path.
By the time a new truck driver gets behind the wheel, they’ve already gone through their CDL-certification, training safety courses, and are prepared for the open road. However, even the most prepared young truckers can succumb to some common rookie truck driver mistakes if they don’t know to anticipate them.
This is where Lily Transportation wants to help! Our decades of experience in the industry have equipped us with a thorough understanding of the truck driver lifestyle and the roadblocks young truckers may encounter. Here’s how you can avoid some of the most common rookie truck driver mistakes:
Ask For Help When You Need It
Far too often, a rookie truck driver will get behind the wheel of a truck with the belief that their training and education is over. While their CDL-certification and training courses have certainly prepared them with the tools they need to handle a truck successfully, there’s still more to learn.
The road is an often unpredictable place. Even the most practiced drivers will run into situations that require them to ask questions and brainstorm new ways of solving problems. Just like any new career path, trucking requires you to be ever-curious. If you encounter a unique situation while behind the wheel, then ask someone about it.
And remember to be patient with yourself! There isn’t a universal roadmap to success, and every new truck driver will have a process unique to them. So ask questions, ask for help when you need it, and take advantage of the tools you’ve been given. Lily’s drivers, for example, have access to 24-hour dispatch, meaning there’s always someone a call away if they need it.
Prioritize Your Health and Wellness
Spending your day behind the wheel of a truck is exciting, and can involve seeing the world (or your backyard) in ways you never would’ve otherwise. But sitting behind the wheel can make it challenging to take care of yourself. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways truckers from all walks of life can find ways to prioritize their health and wellness on the road.
Truck driving is a lifestyle. You’ve probably heard this phrase a lot, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less true. As a new truck driver, you have a unique opportunity to make a lucrative income while also exercising some flexibility in your daily truck driver schedule.
If you’re driving in an OTR capacity, then you may not have set starting hours. However, most drivers do get to “establish routines that provide some sense of stability” in their day-to-day activities. If you work better at night than in the morning, then you can plan your route so you drive overnight and sleep during the day.
While having a truck driving schedule is a great thing, be sure to leave some room for flexibility. Building a rigid daily routine is one of those rookie truck driver mistakes that will cause far more frustration than it’s worth. Instead, let your schedule be a roadmap for yourself. There’s a direction you’re heading in, but you have multiple paths to get there. This will empower you to stick to a productive schedule without trapping yourself in a box.
Lily Transportation is always excited to work with new truck drivers, so if you’re interested in learning more about the truck driving lifestyle, then we would love to hear from you!
If you’re stuck wondering how to find a job after college, don’t worry; you’re far from alone. Looking for a sustainable career path after graduating from college is a daunting experience for everyone, and the job hunt is rarely as simple as we want it to be.
This is why recently graduated young truckers are one of the most sought after truck driver demographics in the industry. With trucking and logistics companies eager to work with young and diverse truckers, it’s easier than ever for recent college graduates to find a job that will provide them valuable professional experience and compensate them well for their work.
Becoming a Truck Driver After College
With so many trucking companies looking for new drivers, many carriers will have their recruiters travel across multiple state lines to find truckers who are eager to get plugged into one of the country’s most vital industries. And their efforts seem to be working, as one truck driving training program saw its recruitment numbers swell “from roughly 140 per year in 2010 to nearly 500” in 2017, according to Transport Topics.
It also helps that truck driving has a relatively low barrier for entry, making it an accessible career for people from all walks of life. To get started on the path toward a lucrative career as a professional truck driver, you need to enroll in a truck driving education program. These programs can be taken at a private school or through a community college.
CDL Career Now says that truck driving school will teach you the “important aspects of trucking including how to drive a variety of different trucks on an even larger variety of landscapes such as mountainous roads, hills, highways, and extremely crowded streets.”
These courses typically last between 3-6 weeks, and require the following qualifications for entry:
A high school diploma or GED
Minimum age of 18 for in-state driving, and 21+ to drive cross-country
Excellent hearing and vision
A clean driving record
No medical problems that would interfere with your ability to drive a truck
A physical exam
After meeting these simple requirements, you can enroll in a truck driving school program and get well on your way toward a professional truck driving career. Roadmaster.com even says that the overwhelming majority of students who graduate from a truck driving school “are hired by Trucking carriers after graduation, and many of those students are even pre-hired within the first couple weeks of training.”
Finding Jobs for Young Truckers
Once you’ve graduated from truck driving school, the only thing you need is your CDL-certification. Earning your commercial driver’s license is a straightforward process, and can be started by asking your local DMV for a CDL manual. This manual will walk you through the information you’ll need for the CDL exam, and help ensure that you pass your skills test with flying colors.
After you are CDL-certified, finding a carrier—if you haven’t found one already—will be a breeze, as companies across the country are eager to work with you. In fact, as a result of the industry’s need for drivers, many “truck drivers have been seeing an 8-12% increase in starting pay while many other professions have remained stagnant.”
Figuring out how to find a job after college doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. If you’re a young trucker looking for an exciting, lucrative, and opportunity-rich career path, then reach out to Lily Transportation today! We offer a wide variety of scholarship programs, benefits, and perks for each of our drivers and would love to help you kickstart your truck driving career.
OTR trucking is one of the best jobs that don’t require a college degree. If you’re a military veteran looking for a new career, but don’t have a college degree, then OTR trucking might be the job for you.
With the trucking industry in need of drivers, and carriers excited to work with new and excited drivers, finding good jobs without a degree no longer has to be a challenge. Here’s how you can get your OTR trucking career started!
Truck Driver Qualifications
While OTR truck driving offers good jobs without a degree required, there are qualifications that each prospective driver still needs to meet. Before you start pursuing an OTR driver role, you’re going to need to acquire a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
To be eligible to apply for a CDL, you’re going to have to meet the following federal rules, as outlined by DMV.org:
Must be 21 years old to:
Drive across state lines. OR
Operate a vehicle containing hazardous materials.
Have no prior disqualifying criminal offenses.
Certain criminal felonies may disqualify you from CDL eligibility.
The FMCSA will also ask for proof of a valid driver’s license, a 10-year driver history—which the state may check electronically, or ask you to bring in a copy of your own—and a medical examination form. The form should be from a qualified medical examiner and will prove that you’re physically capable of operating a commercial vehicle in an OTR trucking role.
Trucking Jobs for Veterans
If you’re a military veteran looking for a new career, then Lily Transportation is here to help! We understand the challenges that veterans often experience as they move back into a civilian career—especially if they joined the military out of high school. This is why we’re committed to creating and providing as many trucking jobs for veterans as we can.
Not only do we offer scholarship programs that can help fund your truck driving training, but we’ll work with you to ensure that you’re provided all of the skills, confidence, and expertly maintained equipment you’ll need to thrive both on and off the road; regardless of whether you have a degree or not.
Earn a Degree On the Road
One of the (many) great things about OTR trucking jobs is that drivers can curate their schedules in a way that works best for them. For example, if a driver prefers to drive overnight and sleep during the day, then that’s a lifestyle they can stick to while on the road. As long as you reach your destination on time, your daily routine is mostly up to you.
With this in mind, OTR drivers can earn a sustainable income on the road and work on a college degree in their off time. OTR trucking is an excellent choice for people looking for good jobs without a degree. And the inherent flexibility the OTR lifestyle allows means that you can take online courses and continue to grow your educational and professional repertoire.
To learn more about how Lily Transportation can help you find success in jobs that don’t require a college degree, reach out to us today!
There are approximately 1.8 million truck drivers in the country right now, and each one is tasked with transporting and delivering specific shipments to specific destinations. Sometimes those destinations are only a few miles away, but if you’re on an OTR trucking team, then your goal could be hundreds of miles away.
If you’re curious about what team trucking jobs look like and want to learn about how they’re some of the highest paying trucking jobs around, here are some examples of the OTR trucking lifestyle:
Experience the Open Road
There are plenty of things to do in your off-time while on the road. Not only will you have regular access to some of the most beautiful sights in the country, but many truck stops are outfitted with a cavalcade of amenities designed to make the OTR trucking lifestyle a little brighter. For example, in an interview with Travel Channel, Brett Aquila—the founder of TruckingTruth.com—mentions that one of his favorite stops is outfitted with “gigantic, beautiful spa suites with wonderful hot tubs” that “made you feel like you’re living like a king.”
Truck stops don’t have to be the only place that makes you feel like a king, though. If you and your co-driver don’t want to rely on the greasy, high-calorie food options at restaurants or rest stops, then you can easily cook your own fantastic meals from the comfort of your truck cabin.
“For a driver, truck cabs are like mini-apartments,” MentalFloss.com says. “In addition to sleeping quarters, many have outlets or power sources that can accommodate small appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and cooking gear.” Don’t hesitate to try out some new recipes with your partner and liven up your daily routine with some tasty, homecooked meals.
You and your co-driver can (and should) take up hobbies on the road, as well! Just because you spend most of the day in the cab of a truck doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new or have a little fun. If you’re looking for a way to pass the time, generate lively conversation, or just keep yourself active, here are some of the most popular activities OTR drivers can do while on the road:
Listen to podcasts, audiobooks, or new music
Learn a new language with one of the many programs available online
Exercise at truck stops (go for a jog, lift weights, or stretch out your muscles)
Take up photography and show your friends and family all the beautiful sights you’ve seen on your travels
You and your OTR trucking co-driver will have plenty of time to experiment with different hobbies, so let your imaginations go wild! If you want to do a little bit of extra planning, you can even plot out a route that takes you to some popular tourist sites. This not only gets you both out of the truck but also helps you encounter areas of the country that may have otherwise gone unseen.
The Benefits of the OTR Trucking Salary
OTR team trucking is one of the highest paying trucking jobs in the industry. Since OTR trucking jobs often pay their drivers on a per-mile-driven scale, the more miles you cover, the more money you’ll be making. When driving with a co-driver, you can effectively double the number of miles you cover in a day, since one driver can sleep while the other drives and vice versa.
This means that OTR team drivers can make twice as much as a solo driver would in the same length of time. Even though team drivers split the salary 50/50, their percentage is still substantially more than a solo driver would make.
If you want to learn more about what OTR trucking opportunities are available to you, don’t hesitate to reach out to Lily Transportation at 800.248.5459 or at our website!
The transportation and logistics industry is changing fast. As the current generation of trucking experts near retirement, it’s time to pass on their years of experience to a new generation of young, driven, and excited truckers.
But what does the truck driving lifestyle look like for these young truckers? What kind of truck driving schedules should they expect? Where will their industry be in ten, or even twenty, years? If you’re a young truck driver interested in learning more about what the truck driving life might have in store for you, then you’ve come to the right place.
Here are just a few (of the many) features of the truck driver lifestyle:
A Self-Made Truck Driving Schedule
Perhaps the most appealing quality in the truck driving lifestyle stems from the ability to curate your daily truck driving schedule. Each driver usually drives around eleven hours a day—drivers aren’t allowed to drive any longer than that in a single day—but what form those hours take can be up to the driver.
For example, if you’re not a morning person, you can create a schedule that gets you to your final destination on time by driving at night instead of the morning. As long as you get ten consecutive days of off-duty time, you can design a truck driving schedule that works for you and still gets you to where you’re going on time.
CDL.com says it like this: “One of the most rewarding things about being a trucker is that you can largely plan your own schedule based on routes that most efficiently meet your employer deadlines, instead of being held to a monotonous 9-to-5 routine.”
Earning Your Stripes
If you’re a new trucker, then you know that the first year of the truck driver lifestyle is about earning your stripes. This can mean working on an OTR driving team, or it could mean driving more locally to fine-tune your skills. Whatever your first year looks like, take advantage of this time and use it “to focus on safety, hone your driving skills, put in the miles and make a lasting impression.”
The trucking industry needs drivers, and logistics companies like Lily Transportation are excited by the prospect of working with young truckers. With the right company at your side, adapting to the truck driver lifestyle can be a smooth and seamless process that will lead to a wealth of future opportunities.
The Future of Trucking
As the trucking industry evolves, so too does the equipment its drivers rely on. For example, CDL.com says that “modern trucks are often equipped with ergonomically designed seats, a refrigerator, satellite TV and a bed. Most are manual transmission, though the industry is moving quickly to automatic transmissions to boost fuel efficiency.”
“From diagnostics to sensor technology to autonomous vehicles, the next 10–20 years will see a significant change in the technological landscape of our industry,” Trucking Info says. Telematics technology, for example, is already being used to future-proof the truck driver lifestyle. It tracks vehicles on-the-go and provides remote, constantly updating diagnostics so drivers and their carriers know exactly what’s happening with their vehicles at all times.
As more vehicles embrace technological upgrades, the more drivers the industry will need to operate those technologies. Once again, we see a situation where young truckers and their unique approach to the truck driving lifestyle are so important. Trucking Info shares this belief, as they say, “This is such an exciting opportunity for a new generation of technology-focused young people.”
If you’d like to learn more about what the truck driver lifestyle looks like and how you can get settled in it, then reach out to us at 800-248-5459 or check out our careers page!
The transportation industry is full of opportunities for drivers from all walks of life and demographics. Regardless of your level of experience, professional trucking blends stability and adventure in equal measures and can be an excellent option for anyone who’s looking to kickstart a new career path.Starting any new career can be a lot to take in, especially for younger demographics who have yet to acquire years of experience in a particular field. While this remains true for young drivers entering the trucking industry, starting a truck driving career is far more straightforward and accessible than a large percentage of other occupations.
Instead of demanding years of experience, or additional (and expensive) education, you can start a trucking career right out of college. With a little training and studying, you can earn your commercial driver’s license, get hired by a company that’s eager and excited to be working with you, and hit the road in a relatively short length of time.
The requirements to become a truck driver are incredibly approachable, and since the industry is always looking for new and excited drivers, a trucking career can be an advantageous and lucrative path for anyone and everyone who is looking for an alternative to a traditional office job. With trucking, your desk is your cockpit, and your office is the open road.
If you’re a new truck driver looking to get on the road, then Lily Transportation is here to help. To encourage you on your way, here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the benefits and experiences you can expect to encounter when you start your trucking career with Lily.
Table of Contents:
Ease of Entry
Obtaining a CDL
The World Behind the Wheel
The Open Road
Opportunities and Benefits
The Industry Needs Drivers
Kickstart Your Career with Lily!
Ease of Entry
If you have a valid state driver’s license and a high school diploma (or GED equivalent), then you’re already qualified to begin pursuing a truck driving career. There are other steps, of course, but the barrier for entry is relatively minuscule compared to many of the other industries that offer its employees the level of compensation that trucking does.
According to information gathered on Study.com, “A truck driver should possess good communication, customer service, and judgment skills. A truck driver must have excellent hearing and vision and be in good physical condition, especially if their job requires loading and unloading freight. They must have the ability to sit for long periods and adapt to changes in driving conditions.”
Clearly, then, becoming a professional truck driver is a relatively attainable role for just about anyone willing to apply themselves. And on account of the industry’s eagerness for younger and more diverse drivers, companies are often prepared to help young drivers find their footing however they can.
Here’s how you can get the wheels rolling on your trucking career:
Obtaining a CDL
The first step in attaining your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is to visit your local DMV/RMV and request a CDL Manual. This manual will be your anchor point as you move toward a professional trucking profession. Study this manual, become familiar with its touchpoints and the information it provides you with, and use it to prepare for your written test.
Taking the written test is the doorway that will allow you to get behind the wheel of a truck and practice the skills you’ve been studying. After successfully passing the written exams, you’ll be provided with a commercial learner’s permit (CLP), which enables you to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads as long as a CDL holder is in the vehicle with you.
In addition to the written tests, your driving record for the last ten years will also be checked and reviewed. This is the case in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia) and is an integral part of determining someone’s readiness and ability to operate a CMV successfully. You’ll also need to provide proof that you’re medically able to drive a commercial vehicle.
Once these steps have been taken, and you’ve had your CLP for two-weeks, you’ll be able to schedule your skills test. It’s essential that you spend ample time practicing the maneuvers and inspection tasks you’ve learned about from your CDL manual before taking the skills test, as it is these abilities that will dictate whether you pass the test or not.
After you pass each of these tests, and proper documentation signifying your success has been recorded, you will receive your CDL and can begin looking for driving jobs in earnest.
Some drivers get their CDL before they enroll in a truck driving school, while others find it helpful to start with the school program and then move into the CDL testing process. Enrolling in a professional truck driving training program isn’t mandatory, but it’s never a bad idea to participate as it will make your transition into your new career that much smoother.
In the end, the order is up to each driver’s preference. Truck driving schools usually teach their students how to drive trucks “as well as learn the regulatory details to pass licensing exams,” but it’s also not uncommon for a driver to earn their CDL and then attend a driving school after a company has hired them.
In the latter scenario, the driver will usually sign an employment contract with a company in exchange for a scholarship that will often cover the expenses of your schooling. This contract often involves an over-the-road (OTR) driving assignment and will help the company feel confident that they’re investing in someone willing to invest in them.
The World Behind the Wheel
There are very few careers that enable people to travel as much as truck driving does. As you spend your days behind the wheel, you’ll be earning some great money and you’ll simultaneously have unique access to an ever-changing landscape of stunning nature, industry, and community. If an office job isn’t for you, then maybe truck driving is the alternative you’re looking for!
Not only is the transportation industry one of the best opportunities you’ll have to see the country in all of its many forms—but every day on the road is going to look different, both literally and figuratively speaking.
This is good news for truck drivers because they spend almost all of their days on the open road surrounded by an ever-changing view of nature and the outdoors. If there’s ever been a part of the country that you’ve wanted to see, then you’ll probably get a chance to see it (and more!) as a professional truck driver.
Opportunities and Benefits
Regardless of your level of experience, the truck driving industry is a field rife with benefits and opportunities for anyone and everyone willing to buckle up and get behind the wheel. Not every trucking company is the same though, so once you’ve acquired your CDL and are ready to hit the road, be sure to do your research and find a company that is willing to invest in you just as much as you’re willing to invest in them.
In addition to competitive pay—which is becoming increasingly commonplace in the industry—most companies will have standards and systems in place to ensure the well-being and safety of their drivers. This means having well-maintained equipment, ample vacation time so drivers can recover after long trips, insurance and other benefits, and more.
The Industry Needs Drivers
According to an often-cited report by the American Trucking Association, “the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 898,000 new drivers, or an average of nearly 90,000 per year” if it wants to keep up with demand. “Replacing retiring truck drivers will be by far the largest factor,” the report elaborates. It then explains that almost half of all new drivers will be hired for this purpose with the second largest factoring being “ industry growth, accounting for 28% of new driver hires.”
Those statistics are far from insignificant, and paint a picture of an industry that is very eager to recruit younger and more diverse drivers. Trucking companies are taking action, too, and many carriers are “aggressively, and smartly, raising driver sign-on bonuses, increasing pay, and providing financial aid options for potential drivers to attend driver training schools to get them their CDL licenses.”
Even if there wasn’t a shortage of drivers, the industry would still be eagerly searching for recruits. With Statista reporting that 40% of American internet users purchase products online more than once a month, and 20% of them buy items weekly, it’s safe to assume that the need for truck drivers isn’t going away anytime soon. Especially if industry analysts are correct and those percentages end up doubling by 2021.
The industry’s chronic need for new drivers has created an environment of stability and opportunity which is great news for truck drivers. Not only do companies pay their drivers on a per-mile-driven scale—meaning that the more miles you cover in a day, the more you earn—but opportunities for growth and expansion are frequent. Your first year of driving may be part of an over the road (OTR) team, to help you build up experience, but the longer you commit to the job the faster you’ll be able to accelerate your career.
There are other financial factors to keep in mind as well, such as the income incentives many companies offer their drivers via safety and loyalty programs. This means that the safer you drive, and the longer you drive for the same company, the more opportunities for additional income you’ll unlock.
Success in the trucking industry comes down to commitment and integrity, and carriers across the country have no qualms about rewarding drivers who represent those qualities.
Kickstart Your Career with Lily!
When you kickstart your truck driving career with Lily Transportation, you’ll not only be taking the first steps toward a wealth of professional experience, but you’ll also become part of a large and diverse family of people who love what they do. We’re always looking for new, passionate drivers to join our team, and would love to hear from you!
At Lily, we believe that it’s our people who are our greatest asset. They’re the backbone and foundation of what makes Lily Transportation such an enduring presence in the transportation industry. This is why we do whatever we can to make sure every one of our employees is equipped with the tools and support they need to thrive on-and-off the job.
When you join our team as a new driver, you’ll have access to a diverse array of benefits, including:
Blue Cross Blue Shield Medical and Dental Insurance
Paid Holiday and Vacation Time
Health and Wellness Program
Meticulously maintained equipment
And much more!
If you’re interested in learning more about how Lily Transportation can help you find a place in the trucking industry, then please visit our Careers Page or give us a call at 800-248-5459. We can’t wait to hear from you!
Millennials are gradually becoming the largest demographic in the country. As more and more of them migrate into the job field in search of work, the trucking industry is in a position to fill its ranks with passionate and dedicated drivers who are eager for new experiences.
Pew Research Center says that “Millennials are expected to overtake Boomers in population in 2019 as their numbers swell to 73 million and Boomers decline to 72 million.” To put that in context, consider how the often talked about 2017 report from the American Trucking Association says that “Over the next decade, the trucking industry will need to hire roughly 898,000 new drivers, or an average of nearly 90,000 per year” to keep up with demand.
The millennial generation could hold the key to the trucking industry’s need for new drivers. Not only is there a place for them behind the wheel, but a trucking career is also full of unique benefits and perks that can help millennials build a great résumé, earn valuable experience, and make a sustainable living at the same time.
Here are four reasons why millennials should consider a career as a professional truck driver:
1) Travel Opportunities
Truck driving careers, especially for over-the-road (OTR) drivers, offer a unique kind of travel experience that few careers can even begin to match. Many OTR drivers, for example, will often drive cross-country and experience the country across all four seasons in a way few people ever get the chance to.
If you know that an office job isn’t for you, and you’re looking for a career where every day will look different, then the truck driving lifestyle may be for you.
2) Lots of Benefits
Trucking is a career path full of benefits that go far beyond the opportunities for travel. Most trucking companies provide benefits like health and dental insurance, paid vacation and holiday time, and even a matching 401(k) retirement plan.
The benefits don’t stop there though. With a company like Lily Transportation, you’ll also receive bonuses for safe driving, cell phone allowances, 24-hour dispatch, and meticulously maintained equipment that will ensure you’re always working with the best tools and trucks possible.
3) A Stable Income
One of the best reasons to consider professional truck driving is the financial stability it can provide. Most companies pay their drivers on a per-mile scale, meaning that the more miles you cover, the more money you’ll make. And since the industry needs drivers, competitive pay is becoming increasingly common across the industry.
OTR team driving can be especially lucrative, as you and a co-driver can cover twice as many miles in far less time than if you were driving alone. You’ll be splitting the profits, of course, but your overall earnings will still be higher on a driving team. Team trucking is also an excellent option for new drivers, as you’ll likely be partnered with someone who can help teach you the ins-and-outs of the truck driving lifestyle.
4) The Trucking Industry Wants You!
Trucking companies want to work with millennials. As the previous generation nears retirement and the need for drivers continues to grow, companies across the country are eager and willing to hire new and passionate millennial drivers.
Even though truck driving requires a commercial driver’s license, some companies will offer scholarships that sponsor your CDL-training and certifications in exchange for a one-year driving commitment. The point is, trucking companies want to work with you and are ready and willing to help you get on the road as soon as possible.
If you’re interested in learning more about how a professional truck driving career could benefit you, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 800-248-5459 or check out our careers page!
Here are all of the CDL requirements you’ll need to become familiar with before taking your CDL skills test and successfully getting your CDL.
If you want to attain a commercial driver’s license, then you should get started by reaching out to your local state DMV and request a CDL manual. This manual will be your textbook and lifeline as you prepare for the written portion of your CDL test. After passing the written exam, you can begin training for your CDL skills test.
You’re also going to need to pinpoint what classification of CDL you want to acquire, as there are a few options to choose from that each come with different requirements. Here are the three types of CDL you can obtain, as seen on DMV.org:
Class A License: Required to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more.
Class B License: Required to operate a single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or heavier and/or any vehicle as described above that is towing another vehicle weighing up to 10,000 lbs.
Class C License: Required if the vehicle you intend to drive does not meet the criteria for either a Class A or Class B license and is meant to transport at least 16 passengers (to include you, the driver) or any hazardous material (HAZMAT) as laid out by federal guidelines.
In almost every state, the CDL age requirement is 21, although some states allow applicants aged 18-20 to apply for a single-state CDL, which “allows the driver to only operate a commercial vehicle within the driver’s state of residence (intrastate driving).”
If you’re the proper age for a CDL in your state, and you’ve passed all of your written knowledge tests, then you can acquire your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). This permit means you can practice driving a CMV on public roads with a qualified CDL holder sitting next to you.
As part of the process of acquiring your CLP, your driving record for the last ten years will be checked in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and you’ll need to bring in proof that you’re medically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle. After that, however, you can hit the road in earnest and make strides towards your CDL-certification.
Taking the Skills Test
You must have your CLP for two-weeks before taking the Skills Test, and some states also require you to successfully complete your CDL training before taking the test itself. Either way, it is paramount that you practice all of the inspection tests and maneuvers included in your CDL manual, as these are parts of what you’ll be tested on before you even show up for the skills test.
The Skills Test consists of three parts: “the Vehicle Inspection Test, the Basic Controls Test, and the Road Test. Your state may even allow you to use their “training aid” to help you remember items on the vehicle inspection checklist.” After you pass all three of these tests, and the proper documentation that signifies your success is processed, you will be able to receive your CDL.
Some states give you your CDL at the time of your completion of the test, while others will send it to you in the mail. In either scenario, take some time at the counter to make sure everything is correct and in order. This will save you from having to deal with a costly mistake that could needlessly complicate things and prevent you from getting on the road.