Vote for this Year's Top Rookie Veteran Trucker, and Maybe Be One Yourself

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with Kenworth and FASTPORT, is asking the general public to vote on this year's top rookie veteran trucker. The winner will be awarded a new Kenworth T-680.

In an effort to curb a nationwide truck driver shortage and create immediate jobs for transitioning military personnel, the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes Program, Kenworth, and FASTPORT created the "Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence" campaign in 2016. The program is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more veterans, National Guard members, and reservists into the trucking industry.

A major part of the program is the competition to choose and honor the most deserving veteran drivers who successfully make the transition from the military to the trucking industry.

Candidates are judged on:

  • Availability of loads
  • On-time delivery
  • Highway safety 
  • Customer relations
  • Work record
  • Military service record
  • Non-job-related activities and community service.

Both fleet and for-hire drivers are eligible to participate in the program.

As in years past, this year's winner walks away with a brand-new, fully loaded Kenworth T-680 with a 76-inch sleeper (and an automatic transmission) worth over $150,000. Runners up receive cash prizes of $10,000 or $5,000.

This year's four finalists were announced in Sept. at the George W. Bush Library and Museum as well as at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.

Voting for this year's champion is open from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1 on the Transitiontrucking.org website. The final prize will be awarded in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags in Washington, DC, on Friday, Dec. 6.

If you're a veteran trucker or know one, it's not too late. Next year's competition opens up in the spring, so check with your company or school to get nominated.

To be eligible to win the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award, candidates must meet all the following criteria:

  • Military veteran or current or former member of the National Guard or Reserves
  • Graduate of a PTDI-certified, NAPFTDS or CVTA member driver training school, and a current CDL holder
  • Employed by any for-hire carrier or private fleet trucking company that has pledged to hire veterans through the Trucking Track Mentoring Program
  • Currently employed as a CDL driver
  • Legal resident of the continental United States

If you're a veteran or still in the military, you shouldn't overlook long or short-haul driving as a possible career choice.

The GI Bill will pay for truck driving school, and many states offer fast-tracks to a CDL license for veterans who drove heavy vehicles in the military.

Statistics show that about one-third of America's truckers are veterans. Pay and work schedules can vary wildly. Truckers can be paid per mile, a percentage of the load, or a salary. The job can also involve long times away from home or local deliveries getting you home every night or weekend. If you're not ready to dress up in a suit and tie to sit in front of a computer screen all day, it may be the right fit for you. Check out our veteran-friendly jobs to see openings in your area.

Find the Right Veteran Job

Whether you want to polish your resume, find veteran job fairs in your area or connect with employers looking to hire veterans, Military.com can help. Sign up for a free Military.com membership to have job postings, guides and advice, and more delivered directly to your inbox.

Related: Search for Veteran Jobs

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