How Veterans are Saving the Industry
Each Veterans’ Day Americans take time to reflect and honor all of those who served their country. What many fail to realize, however, is that thousands of veterans continue to serve their country in a different way after coming home. A growing number of military veterans have decided to hit the road as motor carriers to do what they do best- keep America running smoothly.
Why Veterans Make Great Truck Drivers
As of 2013, there were 22,000 active-duty truck drivers and 10,000 who had recently separated from the military.
As Bill McLennan, CEO of FASTPORT told FleetOwner.com, “There’s a lot of similarities between what [servicemen and women] do in the military and what the trucking industry does, and that’s regardless of what their military occupation or specialty is.”
He’s right- to work as a truck driver requires extensive training and discipline, leadership and independence, all of which are skills inset by the military. On top of that, many veterans worked in similar positions while on active-duty, and already have the skills and knowledge needed to safely and efficiently operate a truck.
Why the Industry Needs Veterans, and Vice Versa
It’s no new news that there’s a driver shortage in the industry. The American Trucking Associations predicts that we will need 175,000 new drivers by 2024 to avoid chaos. It’s also not news that there is a huge number of unemployed veterans in the United States. In 2014, the veteran unemployment rate dropped to 5.3%, however, that still left 573,000 veterans without a job. To combat both issues, the government has started giving colleges and schools federal grants, specifically to pay the tuition of veterans who wish to become truck drivers. In addition, most states now offer skill test waivers to veterans who have two years of safe driving experience while on active-duty.
Veterans and the Trucking Industry
Veterans and the trucking industry have a mutually beneficial relationship, anyone can see that. Hopefully in the upcoming years more veterans will learn about the opportunities being a truck driver presents, and we can begin to reduce the number of unemployed veterans in the United States. For those who are veteran motor carriers, Loadsmart thanks you for your service on both fields.