The trucking industry is facing a driver shortage on a national scale, but there is a little bit of good news if you’re a California trucking company. The state enacted a new law that will make it easier for highly qualified military veterans with commercial driving experience to get to work almost immediately as professional truck drivers.
The new law is possible because of recent changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s regulations. The changes gives the states authority to the waive the skills test for a license if the applicant has at least two years of military commercial driving experience in the period immediately leading up to their discharge from service. The applicant must also apply for the waiver within 90 days of discharge and be seeking a license that matches their prior experience. California has now joined 15 other states that have waived the skills test requirement.
Not only does the new law aid in easing the driver shortage, it addresses the problem of recent war veterans returning home and their uphill battle to find a civilian job. Unemployment numbers are high across the board, but military members face prolonged employment that’s can be up to double a state’s overall unemployment rate. This is a disservice to these military members who made great sacrifices for their county. It also seems like a waste of skills to have these people who have the capabilities and are ready to work to jump through hoops to get their commercial license. Luckily, California’s new will change all of that.
Military standards for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle are tough. They require more than 200 hours of classroom and vehicle training. This training is sure to transfer over to the TL and LTL shipping practices that occur on a daily basis in California. In fact, many military commercial drivers gain their experience by traveling down California’s roads and highways.
This new law is a positive step in solving California’s need for more high quality truck drivers. There will be a greater influx of people that will immediately be able to take on the LTL shipping, warehousing and other practices that are vital to a trucking company’s existence. It also allows veterans to immediately put their experience to good use and help ease them back into civilian life. It’s definitely a win for all involved.