Trucking Companies That Prioritize Hiring Veterans
Transitioning from military service to civilian life can be difficult, especially when entering the workforce. Finding companies that cater to veterans is a great way to make that transition more seamless, both mentally and emotionally.
One job market that is particularly veteran-friendly is the trucking industry. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 10% of professional truck drivers are veterans. With GI Bill benefits and government-registered apprenticeships, getting a trucking education and a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is affordable and highly attainable for veterans.
A career in truck driving is perfect for service members who need a consistent schedule and financial stability for their families after leaving their military post.
Veteran-Focused Trucking Companies
While veterans can choose between hundreds of trucking companies, we’ve found that some stand out above others. These six trucking companies have years of experience working with veterans and provide an amazing atmosphere for former service members.
This company has locations throughout the Midwest and Southern United States. Averitt Express has been operating since 1971 and has over 15,000 trailers throughout the country.
Averitt is officially recognized as a Military Friendly employer, has an active partnership with the U.S. Army Reserve, and offers unique training programs for veterans.
Averitt Express also provides compensation for service members called into active duty or basic training. For 30 days, the company will pay employees the difference between their base pay at Averitt and their military pay.
Werner Enterprises is another official Military Friendly employer. Werner is known for their veteran trucking program called “Operation Freedom.” The Operation Freedom Fleet includes semis decorated with patriotic designs so that veterans can wear their service proudly wherever they go.
Werner is also a sponsor of R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping deployed service members feel loved and supported from afar. Every Friday is R.E.D. Friday and employees are encouraged to wear red to celebrate.
Schneider National actively recruits veterans because they value the disciplined mindset these employees carry with them. About 22% of associates have a military background at Schneider, and this company works hard to make job offerings attractive to service members.
Schneider offers tuition reimbursement for trucking school, a veteran apprenticeship program, and military leave of absence for active service members.
They also support several military-based nonprofit organizations like Old Glory Honor Flight, which sponsors veterans on trips to visit memorial sites all over the world.
Roehl Transport has major terminal locations in seven cities across the country including Phoenix, Arizona, Dallas, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois. The Roehl Honor Program and two-year apprenticeship program provide unique opportunities for veterans who are looking to transition into a trucking career quickly.
Veterans can get paid while learning to drive trucks and are supported throughout the CDL acquisition process.
Melton Truck Lines
Melton Truck Lines is a veteran-focused company that is officially recognized as a Military Friendly and Military Spouse Friendly employer. Melton prides itself on being dedicated to helping veterans transition back to civilian life by providing resources for mental and physical health and organizations to connect with other veteran truck drivers.
Along with GI Bill benefits and an on-the-job (OTJ) flatbed training program, Melton Truck Lines also features a line of patriotic-themed trucks to honor service members, and all veterans and active service members who work for Melton receive special decals.
TMC is an employee-owned company with an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), which makes it a great choice for veterans who are looking for stability while transitioning back into civilian life. About 36% of TMC’s fleet are veterans, and this company has an official partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Hiring Our Heroes” program.
TMC is another registered Military Friendly and Spouse employer and has been featured in the top 10 Gold list of Military Friendly employers. TMC also works with a full-time military recruiter who spends time reaching out to veterans looking to jumpstart a career after military service.
If these companies don’t have locations near your hometown, there are many options when it comes to veteran-friendly trucking employers. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Veterans Affairs (VA) office for more information on job opportunities near you.
Become an Owner-Operator
If you want to hit the road with true freedom, consider being an owner-operator. By using a load board like Truckstop, you’ll be able to decide what loads you want to haul, set your own schedule, and negotiate rates.
Being an owner-operator requires investment upfront to buy your own truck, but it also eliminates the need to share the revenue. After accounting for your expenses, everything you make goes right back into your business. Your earning potential increases, and you’ll be eligible for additional tax deductions which helps keep more money in your pocket.
How to Get Started in the Trucking as a Veteran
There are dozens of resources—both federal and privatized—available to veterans who are interested in a trucking career.
Hiring Our Heroes Drive 500 Program
Since 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been working with partners to secure employment for veterans. Last year in 2022, they announced the Drive for 500 CDL Scholarship Program—an initiative geared specifically toward veterans looking to start a career in trucking.
This program offers a full-ride scholarship including the cost of acquiring a Class A CDL, travel to and from a training facility, lodging during the training program, and testing fees.
Transition Assistance Program (TAP)
Another great resource for veterans entering the workforce is the Transition Assistance Program (TAP). TAP provides tools like resume help, mentorships, and information about local job fairs.
Veterans In Trucking
In terms of networking, Veterans in Trucking is an amazing organization that connects veterans with career resources. They also host large events each year that bring veteran truckers together.
When applying for trucking education programs and trucking jobs, veterans should list their military service among their qualifications. Sometimes a veteran status is enough to push you ahead of the competition.
Start Your Civilian Journey Toward Truck Driving Today
A career in the trucking industry is an amazing opportunity for veterans transitioning into civilian life. The cost of a trucking education is very affordable for former service members, and several companies offer apprenticeship programs that allow you to get paid as you learn the ropes.
Find a veteran-friendly trucking company near you, and get started on your journey toward a fulfilling career today.
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