If you are considering a career as a commercial truck driver, you may have questions about the process of finding available jobs and getting hired as a driver. The commercial truck driving industry is quite diverse and includes a number of sectors.
A number of factors can affect your ability to find a job in the trucking industry. Along with factors such as criminal history, employment history, and your driving record, other factors, such as your credit score and physical health can also have an effect on your job search.
One of the most important things to recognize about searching for a job in the trucking industry is that strict regulations are in place due to the massive liability involved in driving a rig.
If you have had a felony on your record in the last five years, you will find it virtually impossible to find a job in the commercial trucking industry. With a felony of more than ten years, you may still be able to find a job, but there are certainly no guarantees. Some trucking companies have policies stating they will never hire a driver with a theft or drug related felony. In other cases, the company will review a felony or misdemeanor on a case-by-case basis.
Violations Involving Alcohol
Any violation involving alcohol, such as a DWI or DUI, must be a minimum of five years old for you to even be considered for a job. In most in cases, it must be at least ten years old and you cannot have more than one such violation.
Alcohol and Drug Testing
If you have had a positive substance abuse test result in the past, it will likely be problematic for you in your job search. You will likely be denied a job if you have failed an alcohol or drug test at any time in the last ten years. In the event that a company is willing to consider you for placement, they will likely require proof that you have received approval from a Substance Abuse Professional. Be aware that when you attend a truck driving school, you will be tested prior to enrolling in the program and will also be subject to random testing while you attend training. In addition to standard urine tests, some trucking companies also require their drivers to submit to hair follicle testing, which is considered to be more accurate, and hair testing goes back further than urine or blood testing.
Your Driving Record
In the event that you have had any accidents or tickets within the last three years, you can expect trucking companies to scrutinize them while considering you for employment. If you demonstrate a pattern of speeding or any other type of moving violation within the last five years, you will likely find it difficult to get a job.
Naturally, trucking companies will also want to review your employment history. Both the lack of a work history as well as an unstable work history will have an impact on your ability to be placed in a job. Be prepared to verify how you have spent your time if you have been unemployed for a long time.
DOT Physical Exam and Physical Health
Your own physical health and ability to pass a DOT physical exam can also have an impact on placement ability. Certain health conditions, such as seizures, recent heart attacks, high blood pressure, diabetes, and sleep apnea can all prove to be problematic. Also, if you take certain medications, you may find it difficult to pass the required physical exam. If you have a disability, you may be able to obtain a waiver from the DOT that will allow you to drive a commercial truck, but this is typically reviewed on an individual basis.
For the most part, age will not affect your ability to find a job in the trucking industry. With that said, individuals under the age of 23 may have a more difficult time in finding a job simply due to insurance requirements that can make it more difficult and expensive for the company to obtain insurance coverage for someone in this age bracket.
Understanding the factors that can affect job placement in the commercial trucking industry can help you to make the most of the opportunities available to you.