WASHINGTON, D.C. – Military veterans make good truck drivers. That’s the finding of independent research conducted by Omnitracs.
The data suggested: veterans had 42% fewer accidents than non-veterans; veterans achieved 98% more miles driven; and veterans had 58% fewer voluntary terminations and 68% fewer involuntary terminations than non-veterans.
Yes, in the US, the unemployment rate for veterans who have served in active duty since September 2001 is 5.8%, nearly a full percentage point higher than the national average. Omnitracs made the case that veterans are a great source of drivers, which the trucking industry is struggling to find.
John Graham, CEO of Omnitracs, is himself a Navy veteran.
“I spent 10 years in the Navy on ships, operating around the world. I worked in organizations where I was concerned with logistics, and logistics management. From my standpoint, it was a great training ground for me on a lot of the skills that I learned for transportation, for the industry, but also for technology. I’ve actually been in technology for about 25 years, since I left the Navy, and a lot of the lessons and a lot of the skills I received in the Navy are fundamental to what I do in leading Omnitracs,” Graham said.
“I think that there is an obligation for veterans like myself that have had great experience from the military that has helped them to be successful in life to reach back into that veteran community and help them bridge that gap.”
“You always think about the equipment, tanks, trucks, all the other things these guys are exposed to and trained on. To me, that’s the appeal of our industry,” said Lance Collette, president and COO of Eagle Transport. “They’re not cooped up in a plant. They’re not in an office where that might not fit their skill set. They’re out on the road. They’re back outside but they’re also dealing with very technical 80,000-lb advanced equipment. They are the captain of the ship when they’re in the driver’s seat. To me, it really matches some of the skills that they’ve learned in the military and some of the things that might have appealed to them about the military.”
“The biggest thing is that the parallels between the trucking industry and the military life are right on point in that veterans are used to being away from home. Their families are used to them being away from home, so on the family side, they have everything in place to handle it when the service member’s away, or the professional driver is away from home,” added Rick Bucholtz, associate director of field and government recruiting, Werner Enterprises. “Also, being out on the road, they work under minimal supervision. They’re out there on their own. They have to be able to make decisions. They have to be able to assess and take action without being told exactly what to do A, B, C, D. Veterans fit into that.”
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