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I had the unfortunate experience of an accident (hit a parked rig in a truck stop) in my first job shortly after completing driving school. The incident made it to DAC. I am finding the accident is a huge obstacle to further employment. Companies want 6 months accident free OTR employment - which I cannot get without a job. Any advice how I can get around this? Any help would be appreciated.


Listen, don't sweat it. What happened to you happens to thousands of new drivers every year. Puttin that truck in a hole at a truckstop is one of the most difficult backing situations you'll face out there. Other trucks are waiting on you, people talkin on the CB, very tight spaces to get into - it can be an anxiety-producing endeavor for even a veteran of many years with outstanding backing skills. Even pulling out of a spot or driving around the parking lot can be very, very tight sometimes. Actually, one of the most important considerations for me when choosing a parking spot was "how easily will I be able to get out when it's time to leave?" I often started driving for the day between 3:00-4:00 a.m. which is when the truckstops are packed to capacity - and then some - so I always tried to make sure I couldn't get blocked in.

Regardless of how it happened, the goal now is to get in a rig and get rollin again. Now as you've been finding out, a lot of companies have certain hiring criteria as it pertains to accidents. But what you did is very, very minor. Yes, they consider it an accident - but bumping someone in a parking lot when you're fresh out of school is nothing. There are a ton of companies out there that will hire you.

What I suggest you do is go through a driver referral service - the one I've used over the years is 1-800-drivers. I have no affiliation with them whatsoever. I'm simply recommending them because I'm familiar with them. There are a lot of these referral services out there that do the same thing.Call one up and be straight-up honest with them. Tell them your level of experience, tell them about the accident being on your DAC report, and let them do their thing. These services often work with hundreds of different companies. They know the requirements each company has and they will be able to match you up with a company that matches your criteria. You tell them about yourself, fill out their application, tell them what type of job you're looking for, and they'll find one for you for sure.

Your goal at this point is to get a job with somebody and try to get one year in with them accident-free. If you do that - you're golden. You can go anywhere you want after that. But stick it out with whatever company you get on with, if at all possible, for one year. One year accident-free with a company is almost like a reset button for a driver - it generally means that you'll meet the requirements of a large percentage of the companies out there so you're free to go almost anywhere you like.

And just for the record, let me state that this 'reset button' doesn't work if you get a DUI, a severe ticket like reckless driving, fail a drug test, or get in a real severe accident that is deemed to be your fault. Those situations are very serious and will put a driver into an entirely different category.

But your situation is very, very common and it will not be difficult at all for you to get back in a rig and get rollin again. You may not be able to be as selective right now about what company you go to work for as you would like to be, but one year accident-free and your choices will increase dramatically. So make a phone call or two to a referral service and get back on the road again. And when you do, be patient, take your time, and don't make assumptions regarding whether or not you're going to bump into something.

If you're backing up in a tight spot, pull that parking brake and get out, walk back, and take a look. If you need to back up a little more and get out again, then get out again. And again. And again. Do whatever it takes to get that rig where you want it - safely. If someone has to wait on you - who cares? Every driver has to make people wait on them at some point almost every day - it's the nature of driving a rig. So don't be concerned about holding people up. They'll be able to get by in just a minute or two and then they'll probably be forcing others to wait while they back in.....and the cycle repeats.

One last thing - every single driver out there has "bad days" where for some reason you can not seem to back up a truck! Even after 15 years there are days where it takes me 4 or 5 tries to get into the easiest damn spot! It happens to everyone and nobody really knows why. So don't think only 'new guys' have a tough go of it - even the veterans just make a complete mess of things sometimes!

Best of luck to ya! Let me know how things turn out. I'm sure everything will work out great though!

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