It’s no secret that the U.S. truck driver shortage is expected to more than double over the next 10 years as the industry struggles to replace aging drivers. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed shippers to accelerate products through their supply chains faster, thus increasing the demand for drivers even further. And, so in an effort to hire more drivers and effectively fill the void, many fleets are turning to the idea of recruiting U.S. military veterans as drivers.
Why Hire Military Veterans as Truck Drivers?
After speaking with some of our fleet customers, we’ve learned that there are interesting similarities between military and truck driver lifestyles that make it a great, mutual fit. Both careers are highly regimented and structured and also require some time away from home. Veterans are also mission and goal-oriented and have likely already been trained how to operate effectively through different terrains and inclement weather. These are great qualities all fleet managers would love to see in their own team of drivers.
Here are some other key reasons why military vets can be great assets for trucking companies:
- They work well in teams: Members of the military know how to work effectively in teams to achieve a common goal. This is very similar to what it’s like hauling cargo and being an integral part of a supply chain with many parties that all play a part in getting goods delivered safely and on time to its destination.
- They’re used to being away from home: Those in the military are used to being away from home for months at a time. As a truck driver, you’re also on the road a lot -- but, only for days at time before you can get back to your family. Drivers also have much more stable access to the Internet, a mobile device, and multiple different kinds of video and calling options to stay connected with friends and family. This is a huge perk for military veterans.
- They have a strong work ethic and sense of accountability: Military veterans understand the value of the work they do and they take their duties seriously. These are the types of characteristics fleet owners want all their drivers to have -- a sense of responsibility and accountability for their own success and that of the organization.
- They have strong leadership skills: Something that many believe is missing in the trucking industry -- especially with so many experienced drivers retiring -- is other drivers that young recruits can look up to and be mentored by. Just by the general nature of their job, veterans have learned to take charge of situations while also remaining level-heading during times of stress. In our opinion, these are qualities any employer would want in an employee.
What are you doing to recruit great drivers with staying power? Have you hired a military vet before? Tell us in the comments below!