Long hours on the road. Stressful situations. Days away from home. Trucking can be a tough job. It’s not for everyone.

30,000 tractor-trailer drivers are needed across the U.S. right now, the American Trucking Association (ATA) estimates.

Another 100,000 will be needed every year for the next decade. Economic growth leads to more goods being shipped on highways, and more pressure being placed on trucking companies and their drivers to deliver.

The ATA blames the shortage on new hours-of-service rules. Some carriers evidently ignore hours-of-service rules and leave fatigued drivers on the road. Others have worked around the shortage by keeping on dangerous drivers with a long list of safety violations.

The result? An 18% increase injuries and fatalities from truck accidents, in the last few years alone.

Looking to veterans

A strong work ethic and problem-solving under pressure. Technological savvy. Respect for policies and the importance of procedures. Physical fitness.

Is there any other group more prepared for the demands of truck driving than veterans?

The Military Skills Waiver program is set up to help get returning veterans who have safely operated military vehicles a job in commercial truck driving. Recently returned vets can bypass some of the commercial driver’s license application process and the fees.

It’s also easier for vets with limb impairment to get a CDL to drive interstate trucks by passing a Skill Performance Evaluation.

The trucking industry needs to stop complaining, and start hiring.