A few months back, we reported that there were motions to open up trucking opportunities to help 18 to 20-year-olds launch careers hauling shipments across state lines. Recently, the Department of Transportation rolled out a website that will help younger drivers apply for trucking opportunities throughout the United States.
Easier Access to Trucking Opportunities
Currently, the trucking opportunities open are for the DOT’s Under 21 Military Driver Pilot Program, announced in June of this year. For the longest time, service members could not drive for trucking companies if they were under 21, even if they had a commercial driver’s license equivalent from their time spent in the military. Despite pushback from, the argument was made that is a person in the military could responsibly handle a supply vehicle, a tank, or other forms of transportation, then those skills could easily translate over to civilian life.
Filling in the Gaps
Whether the trucking industry is experiencing a true driver shortage is a hot issue right now. Whether there is a shortage or not, the truth is that there is a constant need for goods to reach their destinations. Between the traditional end-of-year rush, economic fluctuations, and the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, there are going to be more trucking opportunities opening up for younger drivers. Since service people have the training, discipline, and adaptability to learn new technology, they will make an ideal fit in an industry that is focused on safety and logistics.
Where to Look
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set up a site where military drivers under the age of 21 can look up trucking opportunities. Trucking companies can also register and post openings to boost their talent pool. With more truckers approaching retirement, policy changes on the horizon, and the constant integration of new technology, trucking companies of all sizes can benefit from sourcing talent from a younger age group that already has the basic training needed to drive a commercial vehicle.
As of this writing, the DOT has not made any mention of if they will expand the Under 21 program to people without any military training.