Getting a truck driving job when you have a felony conviction on your record is not always an easy task. It's not as easy as it once was for someone to be hired with a serious criminal background.
For any other convictions, you still have a chance. Here are a few tips to help improve your changes:
Don't try to hide your record because a trucking company will thoroughly investigate all potential employees. Let them know your situation and history so you can discuss your options with them.
Dress for Success
Present yourself as a serious employee by coming to the interview dressed professionally. You want to look your best to give the right impression to counter your criminal history.
Given your record and just the fact that you are going to be a new employee, don't expect to start earning top-dollar right from your first day on the job. You aren't going to get a salary of $60,000, so be ready to accept something around half that to begin with.
Try the Right Companies
Different companies have different policies with regards to felony records. Here are a few examples of companies that will not hire an ex-felon: USA Trucking, Pam, Stevens Trans, TMC and Roelh. On the other hand, Werner and Swift will hire if it's been 10 years since the conviction. Carolina cargo will accept criminal histories as recent as 3 years.
Any company that has regular runs to Canada will not likely hire you because you will not be able to cross the border with any felony conviction in you past. One other potential road-block would be any company that require a hazmat license. There are more restrictions for that when it comes to felony crimes. Some crimes will warrant a temporary ban on getting a hazmat and some will make you permanently ineligible. Find out where you stand before applying with any company needing hazmat clearance.
If you are looking at getting into the trucking business, you should do your research before paying a dime for school. And don't look to the schools for advice. They want you to enroll, and are not always that honest when it comes to discussing future job options. Go directly to the companies and get information on their policies given your circumstances. Make your decisions based on that.
B.Johnson - About the Author:
Billy Johnson is the editor of Smart-Trucking-Jobs.com, the resource for aspiring and current truck drivers. Find out how to get well-paying truck driver jobs at his site.
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There are literally hundreds of truck driving schools across the country, each with different programs. As with any business, there are good ones and there are bad ones. But you have to know what to look for in a trucking school.
There are essentially three different types of truck driver training programs. The first is a private school, the second is a public institution and the third is a training program run by a motor carrier.
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Having a felony record doesn't mean you are immediately banned from getting a trucking job. There are only 2 major crimes that will truly ban you from working as a driver: distribution of a controlled substance, or any crime involving force with a weapon.