Fired!

Topic 17777 | Page 1

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Butta's Comment
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I just got fired at Western Express safety says bc I didn't take a drug test within 48 hrs mind you im a rookie don't know the first thing about what I'm supposed to do after a accident and couldn't get anyone at Western Express on the phone to give me directions on what I'm supposed to do! Any advice is greatly appreciated any jobs that'll hire me etc?

Vendingdude's Comment
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Well that would have a big thing that should have been covered in any training and schooling you have had. It's the law. Do you have a legitimate excuse for NOT taking drug test in 48 hours?

Butta's Comment
member avatar

Well that would have a big thing that should have been covered in any training and schooling you have had. It's the law. Do you have a legitimate excuse for NOT taking drug test in 48 hours?

Other than being stranded with no contact from my company no

Vendingdude's Comment
member avatar

What I'm saying is did you know you were supposed to take pee test or not? It's your responsibility to know and to act, regardless of whether dispatch is off for the holiday or whatever. You weren't stuck in a snowdrift for two days so where ever you were you should have been able to contact a doctor, clinic, hospital, police station ANY place to get the test done. Did you need money or permission? That can be worked out later. Refusal/failure to take drug test after accident on a CDL is a big thing and I would bet black lists you, unless there's some extremely good excuse. Any other drivers with more experience on this will hopefully chime in, but I doubt it will be good news.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Nice speaking with you (first off).

The 48 hour "window" is often discussed - because for DOT Urine Screens - most drugs (aside from weed) are out of your system in 72 hours - but THE REGS ACTUALLY STATE is that alcohol tests are to be performed within 2 hours, and controlled substances within 32 hours - if the driver receives a citation as a result of a DOT REPORTABLE ACCIDENT.

If the alcohol test wasn't administered within 8 hours - the company is supposed to cease trying to get that one, likewise for controlled substances after 32 hours (49 CFR 383.302(d)(1)&(2)).

Post accident testing is MANDATORY for DOT Reportable Accident, per FMCSA Reg 49 CFR 382.303 - where the driver of the CMV was ISSUED A CITATION. The reg I linked to here - is the entire reg concerning post-accident testing.

A DOT Reportable Accident is one where someone has to be taken to the hospital from the scene by EMS, or any vehicle has to be removed by a tow truck (damage sustained sufficient that the vehicle cannot be driven from the scene).

So now the question(s) becomes - DID THE COMPANY INSTRUCT YOU TO GO TEST? Once the truck was towed away - the QualComm wasn't available to contact the company.

HOW SOON AFTER THE ACCIDENT - were ya'll able to contact the company and inform them about the accident, that the tractor was towed, and that you GOT A TICKET FOR IT? Your safety department should have IMMEDIATELY INFORMED YOU of the closest place to report and take a drug test.

This is starting to look less like a case of "wrecked a truck and got fired" (because an accident like that could have happened just as easily to a 30 year veteran), and more a case of miscommunication about post-accident alcohol and drug testing.

Here's the REAL PROBLEM THOUGH:

49 CFR 383.302(e) A driver who is subject to post-accident testing shall remain readily available for such testing or may be deemed by the employer to have refused to submit to testing. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the delay of necessary medical attention for injured people following an accident or to prohibit a driver from leaving the scene of an accident for the period necessary to obtain assistance in responding to the accident, or to obtain necessary emergency medical care.

Depending on the timing of how soon this was reported to the company - and how soon they attempted to instruct you to get tested - this COULD GO DOWN AS A REFUSAL TO TEST.

If that ends up being the case - you're pretty much SCREWED.

And the regs say that YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE AWARE OF THE TESTING REQUIREMENTS:

49 CFR 383.302(f) An employer shall provide drivers with necessary post-accident information, procedures and instructions, prior to the driver operating a commercial motor vehicle , so that drivers will be able to comply with the requirements of this section.

So this should have been in your employee handbook, or in some piece of literature that the company got you to sign SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that you had been made aware of post-accident procedures.

Western is a pretty reputable company. A number of our members are either currently with them, or had driven for them previously. I can't see them NOT FOLLOWING THE REGS to the letter.

Now - not accusing the poster of being loaded, or even knowingly avoiding testing. Though, the company's position, if they followed 383.302(f) and provided you with the information on what to do after an accident - will be that they made you aware of the rules regarding post accident testing and you didn't follow them.

This is going to be REAL INTERESTING to see how this shakes out - and what the company puts down as the reason for termination. If it's for the accident, you may not be able to get onboard with another company for a minute - but it's not something you can't overcome.

PLEASE KEEP US POSTED.

Again - it was nice chatting with you on the phone too.

Rick

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • CSA:

    Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

    The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

    FMCSA:

    Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

    The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

    What Does The FMCSA Do?

    • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
    • Data and Analysis
    • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
    • Research and Technology
    • Safety Assistance
    • Support and Information Sharing

    DOT:

    Department Of Transportation

    A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

    State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

    CMV:

    Commercial Motor Vehicle

    A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

    • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
    • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
    • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
    • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
    • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

    BMI:

    Body mass index (BMI)

    BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

    • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
    • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

    It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

    Dm:

    Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

    The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

    Fm:

    Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

    The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

    HOS:

    Hours Of Service

    HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

    OWI:

    Operating While Intoxicated

    EPU:

    Electric Auxiliary Power Units

    Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Vendingdude's Comment
member avatar

I knew Rick would chime in.

With your encyclopedic knowledge and experience, why are you still listed as "Company Driver in Training". confused.gif

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I knew Rick would chime in.

With your encyclopedic knowledge and experience, why are you still listed as "Company Driver in Training". confused.gif

Because I'm still running my computer business and not driving full time. But the nature of my business (as burnt out as I am) gives me the time to stay up on the trucking industry. I am a bit of an obsessive (SAY IT AIN'T SO) and the best jailhouse lawyer in town (actually - I do law offices as my IT specialty), so my research skills are above average.

I'm the same way with all my interests. Jack of all trades, master of many. Guns, photography, live sound/recording, computers (yech), harleys

I should really change my status to: Considering A Career". I'm trying to get my biggest/oldest client to FIRE ME - so I have no choice but to sell everything I own and go drive. But he keeps giving me raises and just gave me a large end of year bonus. I just CAN'T SEEM TO GET OUT.

Rick

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

Most companies tell you to call safety right away. And they would tell you what to do

Well that would have a big thing that should have been covered in any training and schooling you have had. It's the law. Do you have a legitimate excuse for NOT taking drug test in 48 hours?

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick you always have good info but easy on the CAPS as it makes you sound angry lol.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Rick you always have good info but easy on the CAPS as it makes you sound angry lol.

Not angry. Caps for EMPHASIS.

LOL

Rick

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