The trucking industry is one that has been built on a solid platform of trust. Industry trusts their goods with a trucking company. That trucking company then entrusts those goods to their drivers. It’s in everyone’s best interests for that load of goods to arrive at its destination safely and as listed on the documentation. Trucking companies both big and small have certain criteria which they use to elminate applicants from the employment process. If you fall into any of these categories, you may find that truck driving jobs are closed to you before you even start. In many situations, you can work positively to avoid any of these problems, or perhaps even resolve some before they become issues.
Put simply, if you have been convicted of a felony, particularly those related to theft, then you’re going to find it difficult to gain employment as a truck driver. You may find that some employers – for example, those employing dump truck drivers – a little more lenient on this issue, however, trucking companies that regularly transport goods that are readily saleable on the streets won’t give you a second look.
Misdemeanors are not treated as seriously as felonies, except when it comes to theft. Employers know that felonies can often be plead down to misdemeanors – the fact remains, you committed a crime related to theft. If you have numerous misdemeanors, you obviously have issues that must be dealt with.
If you have a history of drug or alcohol use that has resulted in police charges, then truck driving won’t be a great career option. Some trucking companies regularly test their drivers for drugs or alcohol – they don’t want anyone in charge of their trucks whilst under the influence of a substance that affects the driver’s ability to drive safely. If you have criminal charges within the last five years, then you won’t be employed.
Had trouble with the highway patrol in the past? Moving violations are a good indication of your inability and unwillingness to follow road rules. If you have had several moving violations over the last two or three years, then most companies won’t trust you. If you have been convicted of reckless driving during the last five years, then that too may disqualify you from gaining employment. Most companies have a standard of no tolerance.
Can you account for the last ten years of your working life? Employers don’t have a big problem with short gaps of unemployment, especially over the last two or three years – it’s been hard on everyone, employers as well. However, if you have large periods of sustained unemployment followed by short stints of two or three months of employment then back to unemployment, employers will doubt your staying power. Likewise, if you simply can’t explain large gaps, potential employers will be left wondering – were you incarcerated or in prison? Were you committed to a psychiatric term?
Check your health – particularly blood pressure, heart, eye-sight and hearing. If there are any problems, get them treated and under control now. Talk with your doctor about any medication you are taking – some drugs are considered a risk to safe driving.
These issues may not preclude you from employment as a truck driver. Some of the legal issues can be covered by time; for example, if it has been ten years since you were convicted of a felony, and you have been in stable employment in recent years. Health issues can often be treated, reducing their impact on a potential career. If you are in your late teens and considering a future as a truck driver, you now know which issues could prevent you from achieving that goal – deal with them now before you consider truck driver training!