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Why OTR Trucking is the Perfect Civilian Job for Former Military Drivers

Posted by Lily Transportation on June 14, 2019

army trucks

There are plenty of civilian jobs for veterans looking for something new. However, if you’re a military driver with experience operating heavy vehicles, then you should consider looking into the variety of trucking jobs for veterans that companies across the country offer.

Over-the-road (OTR) trucking is one of the best jobs for military officers trying to reacclimate to civilian life. Not only does an OTR job allow you to keep busy and see the country in a way few people get the opportunity to, but you may qualify for a military skills test waiver program that would make getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL) a breeze.

Here are just a few reasons why your military experience makes you a perfect candidate for an OTR trucking job:

Programs for Success

Before you get behind the wheel of a truck, you first have to obtain your CDL and become a CDL driver. To obtain a CDL, drivers need to pass a written exam and take a skills test.

However, the FMSCA says that drivers who have “two years of experience safely operating trucks or buses equivalent to civilian commercial vehicles” can be excused from the skills test by qualifying for a military skills test waiver. To be eligible for this waiver, you must:

  • Be 21 years old or older
  • Apply within one year of leaving the military position where you were tasked with operating a commercial-equivalent vehicle
  • Have not held more than one license in the past two years (other than a U.S. military driver’s license)
  • Have never had your state-issued license suspended, revoked, or canceled
  • Have not faced any convictions in any motor vehicle

Many trucking companies will even offer training programs for veterans. So if you’re interested in pursuing an OTR truck driving career but no longer qualify for the waiver, then you can enroll in a program that will help you get the certifications you need.

Be Part of a Team

While driving solo is an option many professional drivers embrace, some companies encourage their drivers to work as part of an OTR driving team. This way, you and another professional trucker will work together via alternating shifts to cover more ground in less time, and ultimately, make a higher income as a result.

Since every commercial driver has to adhere to the FMSCA’s Hours of Service Regulations, every driver must stop to take a break after driving a certain number of hours. When you’re on an OTR team, however, when one driver takes a break, their partner can take their place and keep the truck on the road for longer.

Strong teamwork skills will be essential for an OTR assignment, as you and your partner will have to work together to manage your time and accomplish your goals effectively. With your experience in the military, adapting to the OTR driving lifestyle can be a smooth and seamless process.

If you want to learn more about how OTR trucking can be the perfect civilian job for former military drivers looking for a fresh start, then reach out to Lily Transportation today! We can’t wait to hear from you.

A Veteran's Guide To a Career in Truck Driving

Topics: Veterans, Over the Road Drivers

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