What is a Pre-Hire in Trucking?

Like anyone training to work in a particular industry, it is beneficial for prospective truck drivers to have hiring opportunities lined up before they graduate and receive their licenses. Along with an apprenticeship, another way to do this is by receiving a pre-hire. While it is not a guarantee of employment, a pre-hire offer is a great step toward working and getting paid sooner.

Pre-Hire in Trucking

A pre-hire in trucking is a letter sent to students from a trucking company acknowledging that they have met the standard minimum hiring requirements. After the student graduates and earns their commercial driver’s license (CDL), they can attend a free orientation with the prospective employer. At the orientation, graduates can network with potential employers and coworkers to see if the company is a good fit for them.

A Pre-Hire Letter is Not A Guarantee of Employment

A pre-hire letter is verification of placement in a company, not a guarantee of employment. Federal law requires professional truck drivers to meet certain criteria before they can get out on the road.


A few of these requirements are:


  • Attending a truck driving school and obtaining a CDL
  • Having a clean driving record 
  • Passing a drug test and a physical
  • Being at least 21 years of age


Even if a company gave you a pre-hire offer, if you do not meet these employment requirements, they can’t hire you. 

Why is Pre-Hire Important?

Having pre-hire letters lined up is an important step in securing a job after graduating from CDL training school. It enhances your confidence and gets you a step ahead of the hiring process and on the path to your trucking career. It also gives you a chance to get a solid understanding of a company before you sign an official employment contract. Pre-hire benefits the company as well by allowing them to quickly fill their employment vacancies with trustworthy drivers.

Steps to Help You Get a Pre-Hire Letter

While you’re training for your CDL, there are a few steps you can take to get a pre-hire letter:

1. Do Your Research

The first step in getting a pre-hire letter is to make a list of companies that you’re interested in working for. Research each of them and make sure the company culture matches your preferences and that you can handle their expectations for drivers.

2. Be Prepared

Before you reach out to a company, make sure that you meet all of the qualifications for getting a CDL. You can find both the federal and state requirements here

3. Be Honest

Another important step is to tell the company your current training status, whether you are getting ready to begin CDL school, currently training, or about to take one of the required tests. This will give the company an idea of when you may be available and give you a better understanding of your employment probabilities.

4. Apply to Many Companies

If you are so inclined, you can seek multiple pre-hire letters at once. These letters are not binding contacts, so you can obtain as many as you want throughout your time at CDL training school. Having a series of pre-hire letters will give you a choice of several different job opportunities.

5. Follow Up

Trucking companies receive a lot of applications, so it is best not to assume that yours will be seen right away. Don’t be afraid to call and introduce yourself, letting the staff know that you are interested in working for their company. This will help you stand out among other applicants.

Local CDL Training in Tucson

For 30 years, HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) has provided our students with the CDL training needed to become professional truck drivers. Our program combines classroom, yard, and on-the-road training to get you driving in as little as four weeks.

Contact us today to learn more about the process of obtaining your CDL.