Can you get a truck driving job with a felony? Felons today have to deal with a lot of issues, probably the biggest issue of them all is people refusing to hire them just because of a past mistake (not forgetting that many people are wrongfully convicted of the crime they know nothing about). Although that judgment may seem reasonable for some, it is totally unfair to not hire someone just because they’re a felon.
I’m not saying that all felons are clean the moment they get out of jail, but the majority of them are people who have reflected on their past mistakes and will do their best to avoid committing such mistakes again. Fortunately for many felons, there are a big number of trucking companies that hire felons, but depending on how recent their conviction was, and what time of felony was committed and how many times.
Through thorough research and experience, I have come to notice that many trucking companies around the country hire felons, even those who have committed multiple felonies. But one the other hand, an offense that may seem small to some, like a traffic misdemeanor, for example, can drastically decrease your chances of being hired more than having committed fraud or theft.
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Keep in mind that a multitude of factors are at play when it comes to your chances of getting hired, these include the age of your felony, your driving record, work history, and more. Just make sure to be completely transparent and honest when writing your application. Don’t stretch the truth so that it seems like you’re super clean. I’m not saying you aren’t by the way, it’s just that when you mention it many times in your application, it may come off as a lie or a sign of insecurity.
Applying to a Trucking Company
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires every single trucking company to do a thorough background check on every single applicant before hiring them, this is known as the Pre-Employment Screening Program or PSP for short.
The PSP consists of in-depth investigations about your criminal record, past employment, address, and of course, your driving record. For your own information, some truck drivers have had their applications denied, even though they have never committed a crime or anything in their life, simply because they hid or accidentally didn’t mention something about their past in their application form. So, if you want the whole operation to go buttery smooth, make sure to be as honest as possible, and cite everything about your past, including an accurate note of the periods of unemployment you faced.
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The trucking company that you apply to will take many things into consideration when they check your application. The fact that that you have a felony means that you’ve got to shine in other areas, in order for it to work. I’m not saying that you have to be perfect, and I already explained how that could be a bad thing, but having a good driving record, for example, will most definitely help.
The main things that a trucking company looks for in an applicant are:
- A steady employment record (no significant gaps between periods of employment without a reasonable explanation)
- Recently graduated from an approved truck driving school (or the applicant is willing to be trained)
- Any CDL driving experience (not a necessity but it’s a plus)
- A reasonably clean motor vehicle record with no reckless driving convictions, emphasis on ‘’no’’.
Moreover, the older your DUI or DWI (Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) is, the higher the chance of you getting hired is. Most of the companies that I’m going to list below will consider hiring you even you have a recent DUI on your record. However, almost all companies will not hire you if you happen to have multiple DUI convictions.
Traffic Violations & Misdemeanors
Having committed a crime while driving a commercial vehicle or just reckless driving, finding a job as a truck driver will be extremely hard, not to go as far as saying that it’s impossible. Crimes such as shoplifting or petty theft won’t be that much of an issue in the eyes of trucking companies, especially if they weren’t committed recently.
The chances of you being hired are actually pretty good.
Just stay positive about it and keep in mind that trucking companies are always looking for people simply because nowadays, there is a truck driver shortage across the states. Never lose hope, even if the first ten companies that you applied to turned you down, keep trying. My sole advice to you is to basically fill out every application possible, and hope for the best, chances are one of the trucking companies will accept you, if not more.
Below is a list of trucking companies that are known for hiring felons. The list should give you a good start in trying to find a job. In the case of not being accepted by any of them, again, don’t lose hope, and start looking on Craigslist for trucking companies.
If you’re from North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, West Virginia, or Wyoming, then it is your lucky day, simply because these states are hotspots for oil truck drivers and they face a critical driver shortage. Many of the companies offer high paying jobs, but if you happen to not be from these states, then maybe you should consider moving there once accepted, if possible of course.
List of Trucking Companies (That Hire Ex-convicts)
The majority of these trucking companies don’t require an experienced driver and some even offer paid training. Those with training are noted below, and most of these companies hire nationwide, with no exception.
Trucking companies that hire convicted felons on a case by case basis:
- Tyson Foods (training offered)
- Covenant Transport
- LCT Transportation
- Werner Entreprises
- Carolina Cargo
- Hirschbach (6 months experience required)
- Con-way Truckload
- Schneider Nation (training offered)
- W Wylie
- Navajo Express
- Millis Transfer (training offered)
- Cardinal Logistics
- Freymiller (6 months experience required)
- J & R Schugel
- FFE (offers truck training)
- US Express
- Prime Inc. (training offered)
- USA Truck (training offered)
- Maverick Transportation
Trucking companies that hire ex-convicts (5 years old convictions or more)
- Boyd Brothers
- Carolina Cargo
- DeBoer Trucking Company
- Transway Inc.
- TransAm Trucking
- Florilli Transportation (12 months of work experience required)
- Western express
- Paschall Truck Lines
Trucking companies that hire an ex-con. (7 years old convictions or more):
- Stevens Transport
- Falcon Transport (6 months of work experience required)
- Knight Transportation
- Melton Truck Lines
- Roehl Transport (training offered)
- Bar-Nunn Transportation (12 months experience required)
- Groendyke Transport (LA, OK, TX Only)
- Interstate Distributor Co.
- PGT Trucking
- Tango Transport
Trucking companies that hire felons (10 years old convictions or more):
- Dick Lavy Trucking
- CR England
- Swift Transportation (offer truck driver training)
- TMC Transport
- Shaffer Trucking
- Celadon (also offer truck driver training)
- Dutch Maid Logistics
- Hunt Transportation (12 months experience required)
- JB Hunt
- JBS Carriers (12 months experience required)
- Crete Carrier
Once again, remember to fill every application possible, and to be as honest as possible while filling them, and good luck!
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.