Second chance trucking companies give a vital lifeline to felons looking for stable work and good rates of pay.
There’s a nationwide shortage of truck drivers and demand for CDL holders is high, but even so, ex-felons will still find barriers to employment with many carriers in the trucking industry.
To help you in your job search, we’ve compiled this useful guide to 2nd chance trucking companies and second-chance truck driving jobs.
While 2nd chance trucking companies don’t automatically refuse applications from ex-felons, there are still some standards you’ll have to meet.
And unfortunately, there are some offenses that mean you won’t be able to pursue this career because certain crimes disqualify you from obtaining a commercial driver’s license.
We’ll explain which offenses will impact your ability to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and the additional security clearances required for some driving jobs.
And we’ll give you a list of the second-chance truck driving jobs that are most likely to hire you.
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What Are 2nd Chance Truck Driving Companies?
2nd chance trucking companies realize that being an ex-felon shouldn’t be an impenetrable barrier to employment.
They know from experience that ex-felons can make loyal employees and over the years, many carriers have established a track record of hiring ex-offenders.
Second chance employers look at candidates on a case-by-case basis. They’ll look at your skills, employment history, and personality to determine if you’re someone they can hire. Then they’ll look at your felony to see if it’s an offense they can work with.
In some cases, 2nd chance trucking companies require a minimum period since the offense, while others don’t have a fixed policy on timescales.
But don’t worry, we’re not going to leave you scratching your head over this requirement, we’ll include minimum time periods and other qualifying criteria for each second chance trucking company on the list of our top picks.
Let’s get started by making sure that your offense isn’t one that will prevent you from holding a CDL.
Which Offenses Make You Ineligible For A CDL?
Having your commercial driver’s license or CDL is your ticket to the highest-paying driving jobs, but some offenses will mean that you can’t hold a CDL either temporarily or permanently.
To work for any of the 2nd chance trucking companies, you will need a CDL.
To find out the exact position in your state, you’ll need to get a copy of your state’s CDL manual from your state website, or from your DMV.
You can also contact a trucking school in your state and ask them if your conviction makes you ineligible.
Offenses that will make you ineligible for a CDL on a temporary or permanent basis are:
- Assault with intent to murder
- Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol of 0.08% or higher (DUI)
- Reckless driving that results in death
- Serious traffic offenses
- Trafficking in controlled substances or weapons
- A felony using a commercial vehicle
- Vehicular manslaughter
Offenses That Make You Ineligible For Security Clearance
In addition to your CDL, some second-chance truck driving jobs will require you to obtain or be eligible to obtain a security clearance.
You’ll need a security clearance to get your HAZMAT endorsement and to drive routes that involve entering ports.
For these jobs, you need to pass a federal background check carried out by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).
Remember, you will still be able to drive a non-HAZMAT truck on non-port routes without these additional clearances. But with a clearance you can earn more money.
These Offenses Will Disqualify You From Obtaining A TWIC Permanently
- Transportation security incident
- Making false bomb threats
- Crimes involving explosives
- Terrorism or conspiracy to commit terrorism
- Improper transportation of a hazardous material
- RICO convictions involving the above offenses
- Conspiracy to commit the above offenses
The Following Offenses Will Temporarily Prevent Your Security Clearance
You will be ineligible for a TWIC until 7 years have passed since you committed the offense or until 5 years have passed since your release from prison.
- All firearms offenses
- Immigration offenses
- Distribution of a controlled substance
- Assault with intent to kill
- Fraudulent entry into a seaport
- RICO violations
- Voluntary manslaughter
You Will Need To Pass A Drug Test
Whichever 2nd chance trucking companies you apply to, you will have to pass ongoing drug tests. This is a Department of Transportation (DOT) requirement and it’s non-negotiable.
You’ll have to pass a drug test as part of your pre-hire background clearance when you are selected for a random drug test, if you are thought to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and after an accident.
You should know that you can be selected for a random drug test even during your time off.
The DOT drug test screens a urine sample for the following substances:
- Amphetamines, methamphetamine, and MDMA
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Even in states where possessing marijuana is no longer a criminal offense, the drug remains a schedule 1 substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
Under this federal law, there is no accepted medical use for marijuana, and a state-issued medical marijuana card will not allow you to pass a DOT drug test with marijuana in your system.
Okay, now that we’ve covered the technical details surrounding your eligibility to hold a CDL, let’s move on to the 2nd chance trucking companies you should consider during your job search.
Second Chance Trucking Companies That Hire Felons 2023 – Best Choices
All the 2nd chance trucking companies on our list are known to hire ex-felons, so it makes sense for you to apply to these companies during your search for second chance truck driving jobs.
This top picks list isn’t an exhaustive list of second-chance trucking jobs, and there are other trucking companies (see below) that are open to hiring felons once 5, 7, or 10 years have passed since the felony conviction on your record.
We’ve chosen large 2nd chance trucking jobs without blanket time limits for most felonies, that tend to hire or operate nationwide to give you a wide range of opportunities.
When you see the abbreviation OTR in the listings below it refers to Over the Road trucking. OTR is industry speak for long-haul trucking that takes you away from home for weeks at a time.
Don Hummer Trucking – Higher Than Average Rates
To be eligible for hire with Don Hummer trucking, you need to have attended a local trucking school in Iowa.
If you haven’t begun training for your CDL yet, find out if you can train at one of their partner schools.
Don Hummer pays higher than the average rates in the industry, they pay wages every week, and they get you home weekly even when you’re driving OTR. So they’re a great choice for anyone needing to spend time with family.
Drivers report that this trucking company takes very good care of their drivers.
Felonies will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and if you have a drug-related felony, it will need to be at least 5 years old.
Eagle Express Lines – High Employee Retention
- Other controlled substances
- No DUI ever
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Accidents causing a fatality
- At least 23 years old
- 18 months of tractor trailer experience
- No license revocation in the last 5 years, and no suspension in the last 3 years
- Maximum of 1 reckless or careless driving conviction in the last 3 years
- Maximum of 2 at-fault accidents in previous 5 years
- Maximum of 3 tickets in last 3 years and 1 ticket in previous 12 months
- Registered with Selective Service
This 2nd chance trucking company has a contract with the United States Postal Service covering eastern and midwestern states. If something can be sent via USPS, you’ll be hauling it.
Eagle Express treats employees well, and drivers spend an average of 4.3 years with the company, moving on when better rates of pay become available elsewhere.
With Eagle Express Lines, you can drive regional routes or OTR.
In addition to your CDL, a clean regular driver’s license is essential if you want to be considered by this trucking outfit.
JB Hunt – Apprenticeships For New Drivers
- No drug or alcohol-related offenses in the past 5 years
- Minimum age 21
- At least 3 months of experience*
*Apprenticeship program available for newly qualified drivers.
JB Hunt is one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. Offering local, regional, and OTR routes, this second chance trucking company makes sure that 90% of their drivers get home every week.
This makes JB Hunt an obvious choice for job seekers with family commitments. Work-life balance is all too often something that truckers have to sacrifice and being away from home for long stretches is one of the most difficult aspects of this type of job.
JB Hunt also has driving jobs that don’t require a CDL.
You will need to be over 21 and have at least 3 months of truck driving experience to find work with JB Hunt. Although newly qualified CDL holders can apply to their apprenticeship program.
This is a paid training program which lasts for 6 weeks. Upon successful completion of the program, you can transfer to a full-time position with the company.
To be considered for a driving job with this second chance trucking company, you cannot have any drug or alcohol offenses within the past 5 years.
Other felonies will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
JB Hunt drivers say that the company treats them like family, and provides ongoing support, great pay and benefits, commitment to safety, and promotion opportunities.
Navajo Express Inc – Top Company For Women In Trucking
Navajo Express is a second chance employer that operates nationwide with local, regional, and OTR routes.
This family-owned second chance trucking company has won numerous awards for safety, and in 2021, for the 3rd year running, was named one of the top trucking companies for women in transportation.
So if you’re a female ex-felon, this employer may be of special interest to you.
- No DUI or DWI during the last 3 years
- No felony in the last 5 years
- Cannot have a controlled substance charge or conviction within the last 10 years
- Minimum 21 years old
- HAZMAT endorsement preferred
- Recent CDL graduate or minimum 1 year OTR experience
- Good Motor Vehicle Report (MVR)
- Good work history
Along with good pay and benefits, Navajo Express guarantees you home time so you can be present for your family, and they allow family and pets to ride along.
Roehl Transport – Paid Training
- Minimum 21 years old
- No DUI ever
- No transportation-related offenses
Roehl Transport is a nationwide trucking company and a 4-time winner of the American Trucking Associations President’s Award.
Winning the award shows an outstanding commitment to safety, and you’ll be in good hands if you go to work for Roehl.
You can find second chance truck driving jobs covering regional and OTR routes, and this company provides paid CDL training via their Roehl Get YOUR CDL™ program.
If you get accepted into the program, it means you’re hired and there’s a guaranteed job waiting for you once you complete the training.
Roehl will evaluate applications from ex-offenders on a case-by-case basis, although they will not consider transportation-related offenses or DUI convictions.
Drivers report good pay and benefits.
On their dedicated and regional routes, they offer weekly or twice the weekly home time.
Trimac – Tuition Reimbursement
- No driving violations with intoxicating substances in the last 7 years
- No accident involving a fatality or preventable rollover
- No license suspension in the last 3 years for drugs or alcohol
- No major accident that was your fault
- No more than 2 moving violations
Trimac is a nationwide trucking company providing local, regional, and OTR routes carrying bulk cargo.
To work for Trimac, you’ll need 1 year’s tractor-trailer experience OR be a graduate from a Trimac-approved trucking school, OR have military driving experience.
You’ll also need tanker and HAZMAT endorsements.
And being eligible for TWIC will improve your chances of getting hired by Trimac.
Felonies are looked at on a case-by-case basis, but if you have a DUI or DWI conviction, it must be at least 10 years old.
This 2nd chance truck driving company offers good pay and benefits, including tuition reimbursement and a sign-on bonus.
Driving a regional route will see you on the road for 1-4 days at a time.
Pam Transport – Potential To Become An Owner Operator
Pam Transport offers second chance truck driving jobs for experienced CDL holders, as well as a paid training program for recent CDL graduates.
And if you haven’t begun CDL training yet, Pam Transport will help you find a CDL training program and cover your tuition. They offer financial help towards your HAZMAT endorsement, too.
Pam Transport operates nationwide and drivers report that Pam Transport is a trucking company that cares about its drivers and offers good pay and benefits.
This company even offers you a route to gaining your independence by becoming an owner-operator with their lease-to-own program.
With Pam, you’ll drive OTR routes as a solo driver or part of a team and they guarantee consistent home time.
When you drive long haul as a team driver, you get higher miles and that means more money.
Felonies will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but you cannot have a DUI or DWI within the last 5 years.
Waggoners Trucking – Guaranteed Weekly Pay
When you drive trucks for Waggoner’s trucking, you’ll be transporting light trucks, vans, and automobiles across the country, taking vehicles from the manufactures depots and delivering them to dealerships and upfitters.
Waggoners offer two types of route: West Coast decking operations driving and regional auto transport driving.
You get guaranteed weekly pay and set home time, plus a competitive benefits package.
You will need to show 5 years of stable employment if you want to apply to Waggoners, and then they will look at your felony and decide if they can employ you.
Definite disqualifying criteria are any DUI or DWI convictions in the last 5 years.
2nd Chance Trucking Jobs – 5 Years Post Felony Conviction
You will need a clean, valid driver’s license with no recent DUI or DWI charges or convictions for all of the following companies:
- D. Transport Express
- Bear Trucking
- Boyd Brothers
- Covenant Transport
- DeBoer Trucking
- L Hollingsworth
- Groendyke Transport
- Koch Trucking
- Melton Truck Lines
- Mesilla valley Transportation
- S. Xpress Inc
- WEL Companies
- Paschall Truck Lines
- Salmon Companies
Read Also: Does Covenant Transport Drug Test?
2nd Chance Trucking Companies – 7 Years Post Felony Conviction
You will need a clean, valid driver’s license with no recent DUI or DWI charges or convictions for these companies:
- Bennett Motor Express
- Barr-Nunn Transportation
- Estenson Logistics
- First Fleet Inc
- HVH Transportation (must be eligible for HAZMAT)
- Hornady Transportation (must be eligible for HAZMAT)
- Super Service
Second Chance Truck Driving Jobs – 10 Years Post Felony Conviction
You will need a clean, valid driver’s license with no recent DUI or DWI charges or convictions when you apply to these trucking companies:
- CT Transportation (tuition reimbursement up to $6000)
- CTL Transportation (tuition reimbursement up to $6000)
- R. England
- Dick Lavy Trucking
- Ozark Motor Lines
- Hunt Transportation
- G & P Trucking Company
- Swift Transportation
- TMC Transportation (tuition reimbursement up to $6000)
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is The Highest Paying Freight To Haul?
You’ll get higher rates for:
- Reefer loads
- Tanker loads
- Hazmat loads
- Oversized flatbed loads
- Private carrier
- Team driving
- Owner operator
What Is The Best Local Trucking Company To Work For?
Local trucking companies let you get home at the end of each day. The best local trucking companies to work for include:
- Acme Truck Line
- GP Transco
- O. Wolding
- Old Dominion Freight Line
- XPO Logistics
What Is The Best Freight Company To Work For?
The best freight trucking companies are companies that pay well and treat their drivers well. These companies have low rates of driver turnover and include:
- O. Wolding
- Jim Palmer Trucking
- Nussbaum Transportation
- Pride Transport
- Sammons Trucking
- TMC Transportation
- Western Distribution Transportation
Which Trucking Company Is The Best To Start With?
For a new CDL holder, the best trucking companies to start with are:
- Estes Express Lines
- FedEx Ground
- TMC Transportation
- Schneider Transportation
- Shaffer Trucking
Second chance trucking companies are a great way for ex-felons to find good-paying, respectable jobs.
Truck driving is an in-demand job and it pays high wages given that you don’t need a college degree to drive a truck.
As long as you are eligible to get your CDL, you should be able to find a 2nd chance driving job, and if you can pass the security clearance for a TWIC card, you can earn even better rates of pay.
When you find a trucking job, remember that second chance employers are good people, better than most, and they’ve given you an incredibly valuable opportunity.
Treasure the opportunity you’ve been given and strive to always do the best job you can.
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.