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Today’s Pickup: Under-21 military members can now apply to drive commercial trucks

Military members under the age of 21 can now apply for inclusion in an FMCSA pilot program for younger drivers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Good day,

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is now accepting applications for military drivers aged 18 to 21 years old looking to drive commercial trucks.

“We are excited to launch this program to help the brave men and women who serve our country explore employment opportunities in the commercial motor vehicle industry,” said FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez. “With the nation’s economy reaching new heights, the trucking industry continues to need drivers and have job openings. We encourage veterans and reservists to apply and to learn more about this exciting new program.”

The program was announced last year and will compare military drivers under the age of 21 to commercial driver’s license holders ages 21-24 to determine safety performance.

The program will last for three years. Carriers must apply to participate in the program. Drivers apply directly to the motor carriers. Once hired, the carrier will submit the driver’s information to FMCSA to review the driver safety record. If there are no disqualifying safety offenses, a driver may participate in the study.

Did you know?

The top paying fleets in the nation continue to increase truck driver pay, with those ranking in the top 10 percent increasing average pay by about 5 cents per mile to as much as 65 cents per mile in the first quarter of 2019.


“In the second quarter, Navistar accelerated market share growth, demonstrating the success of our new product lineup. We grew revenue and adjusted EBITDA, stepped up our Uptime value proposition, and lowered our risk profile, enabling the company to focus intensely on the road ahead.”

-Troy A. Clarke, Navistar chairman, president and CEO, on the company’s second quarter earnings call

In other news:

Freight group acquires Florida rail line, forms new railroad

RailUSA has acquired a Florida rail line from CSX, along with 18 locomotives and 65 employees, and announced the formation of the Florida Gulf & Atlantic Railroad. (Railway Gazette)

Supreme Court declines to hear railroad case

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear a case brought by the Association of American Railroads that sought to rein in Amtrak’s power. (Railway Age)

Another piece of lost cargo

Containers fall off cargo ships, but boats? A $38 million mega-yacht fell off a cargo ship and has been lost at sea. (The Drive)

Air Canada to get into the drone business

Air Canada has signed a sales agreement with Drone Delivery Canada to market its commercial drone delivery services. (Air Cargo News)

DHL opens office in Japan to boost freight movement

DHL Global Forwarding has opened a new office in Sapporo, Japan, as seafood exports in the area boom. (The Loadstar)

Final Thoughts

Tell us if you’ve heard this before – truckers are upset with government regulations. This isn’t happening in the U.S., but rather Australia, as the nation’s trucking association has said the nation’s Heavy Vehicle National Law must be substantially rewritten. The government is seeking input on how to make the regulations more risk-based and less prescriptive. The group said the current laws would almost entirely have to be redrafted to accomplish this goal.

Hammer down everyone!

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]