If you’re a military veteran, you’re in a unique position to excel in the trucking industry.
Even if you don’t have experience driving trucks or heavy vehicles, there are several training programs available that can help. While many of these programs use GI benefits, Lily Transportation Corp. offers a training program that won’t deplete your GI Bill benefits at all!
If you have at least two years of experience driving military trucks, you may even qualify for a military waiver for your CDL skills test, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (though you’ll still have to take the written exam). The FMCSA also notes that this waiver is currently available nationally.
You’re positioned to benefit from the current job market as well. Transportation and logistics companies are actively seeking veteran truck drivers. The skills you learn in the military aren’t just transferable to this career type – they’re the types of skills companies actively seek in their drivers.
The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is essential in the military and just as important in the trucking industry. Trucking and logistics require a great deal of coordination and accurate timing to be successful. When drivers are on the road, their ability to communicate effectively with dispatchers and other drivers is key to overcoming challenges and staying safe.
Teamwork and Leadership
Whether you’re a solo driver or an OTR team driver, it takes a team of highly trained professionals to accomplish the mission. On every job, an entire support team is working to make sure a load gets from point A to point B safely. Strong teamwork skills are essential for any team OTR assignment, as you and your partner will need to manage your time effectively and work together to accomplish your goals.
Likewise, leadership is an important skill in logistics, and not just for managers. Drivers need to be assertive, observant, and task-oriented to be successful. In many situations, drivers need to take the lead to resolve problems and stay on course.
Self-discipline is a skill that is taught to, and expected of, every military professional. In the trucking industry, self-discipline is necessary for making deliveries on time, but also for driving a truck over long distances. It can be tempting to get distracted on the road, but self-discipline will keep you safe and laser-focused on the task at hand.
As a veteran, you also understand the importance of following through on a task and leading by example. Trucking companies seek these traits in all their drivers as they can lead to more efficient operations and a more productive working environment.
Problem Solving Skills
When driving for long periods of time on public roads, problems will inevitably arise. The ability to think quickly to solve problems is essential for completing your mission and staying safe. It’s also an important skill set for identifying problems that others may have missed. Veteran truck drivers can bring their problem-solving skills to the table not just to resolve issues, but also to make operations more efficient and effective.
Commitment to the Mission
Perhaps the most important skill among veteran truck drivers is their commitment to the mission. Most trucking companies have a mission statement or ideological higher purpose. But to achieve that higher purpose, they need professionals who are focused on carrying out their daily activities with focus, determination and attention to detail.
Military veterans make excellent truck drivers because they possess the skills, talents, and attributes that every trucking company looks for. Not only does your military experience make you an excellent candidate for a position in trucking, but it’s also exactly what you need to thrive on the road and in this competitive industry.
Trying to find veteran truck driving jobs? Start your new career with Lily! Visit our jobs page or talk to a recruiter at 800-248-5459.