Trucking companies don’t take felony lightly. They maintain extremely strict regulations for any applications and is rightfully so. Since employees hold a major part of the company’s reputation, we can’t really blame them.
It is somewhat unfair and degrading to be turned down over and over for past stupid mistakes. Even after a decade, a blot on your record will deter you from getting a job. What’s worse, a simple misdemeanor will label you as a felon, no matter how amenable it is.
Thankfully, some trucking companies can see past that. Some are more than willing to give felons another chance and redeem themselves.
Truck driving training for felons
Due to the shortage of professional truck drivers, many trucking companies are willing to accept felons for their workforce. Some even have a CDL program for felons, as long as special requirements are met.
Here are some trucking companies that hire felons:
- Roehl Transport
Way back in 1962, Roehl Transport started their motor carrier service with just a single truck. Now, they are considered to be one of the largest trucking companies with over 5,200 trailers and 1,900 tractors.
Note: Hiring felons will be reviewed case-by-case.
- Averitt Company
The company is one of the leading freight transportation nationwide that hire felons. Its history dates back since 1958 when Thurman Averitt founded a small Merchant’s Co-op trucking company. From there, they started hiring more and more truck drivers, felons included.
Note: Hiring felons will be reviewed case-by-case.
- Eagle Express Lines, INC.
The company specializes in delivering time-sensitive materials. They mainly service the same routes that the Postal Service uses. Their aim is an on-time delivery which involves safety, efficiency, and even courtesy.
Note: Applicants should have no conviction that involves alcohol, drugs, or any illegal substances.
- Salmon Companies
Salmon Companies started small with routes going to and from Harrison, Arkansas and Little Rock. Today, they are the largest ground transportation service linked with the United State Postal Service. They usually transport mails from almost every state in the United States. They also have a full-service maintenance facility in which can be beneficial for truck driving training.
Note: Applicants should have no convictions within the past 5 years.
- P&S Transportation Company
P & S Transportation is an established flat-bed trucking company. It has over 1,000 trucks and is operating from 14 different locations across the United States. They recently merged with Grayson Mitchel in 2012, and have expanded drastically in the flatbed industry.
Note: Applicants must have no convictions within the past 10 years.
Here are some common requirements from other companies:
- A valid class A CDL issued by the state.
- Applicants should pass the Federal background screening.
- Must have adequate driving experience.
- No moving violations within the past 3 years.
- No DUI or DWI convictions within the past 5 years.
- No at-fault accidents within the past 5 years.
- No pending proceedings involving you or your driver’s license.
- Applicants should not be on probation.
- Applicants should be able to write, read and speak the English language.
- Applicants should be able to do simple arithmetic.
There are plenty of companies that hire felons. You just have to be determined and never lose hope. There are a lot of companies in need of drivers, even ex-felons. Sooner or later, one will eventually hire you.
What to consider qualifying for a CDL with felony on record
Having a criminal record can be aggravating when applying for a CDL. Luckily, there are some felon friendly truck driving schools willing to accept applicants. What’s more, some even offer free CDL training for felons.
There are requirements that need to be met, however. Applicants usually have to go through background checks and should have no pending cases. Some will require applicants to not have convictions the past couple of years.
In reality, this topic is a little unpredictable. Each trucking company has their own preference and may or may not accept someone with felony, depending on the severity of their criminal act.
List of crimes that will keep you from getting hired (or even trained)
While truck drivers with felonies do deserve a second chance, there are exceptions. This exception is mostly based on their past criminal history. There are some felonies that will automatically disqualify you from having a CDL.
Here is a short list of crimes that will keep you from having your CDL:
- Manslaughter with a motor vehicle.
- Convicted of Arson.
- Convicted of Treason.
- Convicted of Kidnapping.
- Assault with the intent to murder.
- Convicted of Extortion.
- Convicted of Bribery.
- Convicted of Smuggling.
- Causing fatality due to negligence or reckless driving.
- Not finished with your probation time.
CDL is of critical importance in the trucking industry. Without it, you may just have a little to no chance of getting hired. Even student drivers have a higher chance than you.
Not all states and trucking companies have the same laws regarding taking a CDL class, however. You may have different chances from different states. Some will just temporarily keep your trucking career on hold, while some are plain ruthless and won’t give you the chance.
Tips to get better chance of job placement or schooling
The first and possibly the best tip in getting truck driving jobs for convicted felons is a positive attitude. Your past attitude may be the least of your asset, but your attitude now is also your greatest one. Don’t be discouraged if you’re an application with the first couple of companies are turned down. Treat each application as a new beginning. Dismay can only get you nowhere.
Second would be the ‘Dress to Impress’ approach. Wear clean and neat-looking clothes, shine your shoes, or wear a tie even. It will somewhat bring confidence and professionalism on your part. Remember, you have a record that’s not something to be proud of. The least you could do is show how determined you are in taking the job.
Last would be your honesty. Provide them a full history of your driving records and past employment. Your history will probably show felony records, but your honesty will no doubt be commended. These may even sway your soon-to-be employers on your side.