Department of Transportation will launch a pilot program to permit 18-to-20-year-olds who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce. The Trucking industry has been struggling to meet driver demand for the last 20 years.
In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration instituted a waiver program that addresses the issue. Veterans and active duty members with experience driving a military truck or bus can get the skills test of their CDL application waived. So far, more than 10,000 veterans have taken advantage of the program, with about 4,000 doing so in 201
The White House Perspective
Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao, joined Sen. Deb Fischer, R- Neb., and Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., to announce that the Department of Transportation will launch a pilot program to permit 18-to-20-year-olds who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.
“This program will allow our veterans and reservists to translate their extensive training into good-paying jobs operating commercial vehicles safely across the country, while also addressing the nationwide driver shortage,” Chao said in a statement
Clearly, there is an experience and, to some degree, training gap for these young male and female candidates. Collaboration between the U.S. Government and participating carriers is expected to satisfy any on the job experience issues. Public safety is always a concern, but most are very tolerant when it comes to supporting our veterans. Insurance companies are not expected to demonstrate any significant tolerance when it comes to insurance rates. This project may have a slight, albeit temporary, influence on rates.
There is a general opinion that 18-year-olds, at least those who don't explore secondary education options post high school, are at that stage where they haven't fully considered and committed to a professional career path. So what carriers are left with are varying degrees of commitment from candidates in a profession that has significant training expenses and exposures. Carriers are expecting that the military training and discipline will help these candidates make the commitment to complete the driver training.
So, we, as an industry, are tasked with the challenge of helping to transition these young men and women from a military career to a civilian one incorporating the talents they have honed during their service to our country. It is a challenge carrier are eager to accept. After all, U.S. Military are the best trained troops in the world. so, the work ethic and responsibility has been ingrained in the young men and women. We must simply provide the additional on the road training for these candidates to obtain their CDL license and make a life for themselves back home.
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