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A curveball I wasn't at all expecting!

Topic 18318 | Page 1

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Nacho B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey all (but mostly Rick S because he seems to really know about these things! ;),

So I got my CDL from a private school on Feb 1. I've started applying to a few companies I have had my eye on. One contacted me immediately and we are in the process. (Recruiter called immediately to talk, then he invited me to formally apply and sent link. then called to confirm he has my app, then called the next day to schedule a 1st interview the next day. Had that interview and my app is being 'sent upstairs' for review and a 2nd interview scheduled). That was Friday.

Cut to this morning when a SECOND company I applied to on the same day last Wednesday, who never got in touch with me, sends me this message. "We cannot move forward at this time. You have to have your license for one full year in the U.S."

Is this just THIS COMPANY'S policy?!?

I am USA born and raised. Got my first DL in 1986. In 2008 I moved to Canada for my job, and got a Canadian DL since I was residing there. In June of 2016 I moved back. When I got my Illinois DL reissued to me, it was the same DL# that I always had since 1986. When I got my MVR prior to CDL school, the only thing it shows is when I added my motorcycle endorsement in 2004, so it's clearly showing things prior to June 2016.

I've heard about the whole "gotta have a license for a year thing", but that was for getting a CDL, which I indeed DID already GET, so clearly DOT didn't have any issues. And then, there's this from the FMCSA website.

I'm wondering if this recruiter was just going off the fact that their Intelliapp application asks for 3 years history of residence. So my app shows me starting in Ontario and then moving on to IL just this past June. Her message came to me through DriverPulse, and I immediately replied telling her this wasn't my first USA driver's license but heard nothing back.

Ugh, what a mess. I guess this is more of a sharing/venting thing than a question....shocked.png

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.

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.

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Nacho, I can share my personal experience with a similar situation... I've had a VA drivers' license for 31 years, but have spent the past 3 1/2 yrs. living abroad. I am going to truck drivers school next month to get my CDL-A; I did my due-diligence and applied to several dozen companies. Two companies flat denied my application after I spoke with a recruiter, because of the time I had been out of the US. It was the policy of those particular companies, not everyone. Prime requires you have been driving in the US for at least one year prior to them hiring you, Wil-Trans/Jim Palmer requires you to have 3 years previous driving experience leading up to hire date. It is an insurance thing... their insurance carriers require this. Don't worry, there are plenty of companies who do not have this stipulation, thankfully. I am sorry you got so far along in the process and just found this out.

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.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Nacho B.'s Comment
member avatar

Pete! Thank you so much for sharing your story. You've taken a ton of weight of my mind. As I'm very early in the search, I thought this may be an industry wide thing that I hadn't prepared for. I'm glad you did your due diligence because I apparently didn't do so well with mine. And yes, Prime was the one that gave me that response

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Requirements are going to vary from company to company. It's not like you were in a foreign country - Canada's traffic laws are very similar to ours, I'm not sure why it's such a hassle, but there it is.

Not sure - but we should have advised you to GET SOME PRE-HIRES LINED UP BEFORE DROPPING THE $$'s on trucking school. It's frustrating that you may have spent all that $$, but have to sit with it for a year to meet some companies requirements. Once you are out of school 30-60 days, companies are going to consider your schooling to be "stale", and require you to do a refresher at the least, or a full course with them at the worst (though you will be able to bypass the "get your CDL" portion of the evolution).

But we do pretty much ADVISE EVERYONE GOING THE PRIVATE SCHOOL ROUTE TO GET PRE-HIRES to ensure your "hire-ability" before dropping $$'s on school.

The good part is - in Chi-Town you are in a very good location from a hiring standpoint - you should be in pretty much EVERYONE'S HIRING TERRITORY (as opposed to me in So. Fla.).

Start APPLYING EVERYWHERE. And I mean EVERYWHERE THAT TAKES RECENT GRADS and hauls the type of freight you are looking to haul. Another thing would be to UPDATE YOUR INTELLIAPP to show your U.S. addresses PRIOR TO your Canada address - to help prove U.S. licensure. Your Illonois Lifetime MVR (if you can get it) should show the original date of issuance for your DL.

The difference in the reciprocity link you provided is that you DIDN'T HOLD A CANADIAN CDL. If you did, and had EXPERIENCE driving for a carrier up there - you would have ZERO PROBLEMS getting a hire down here. Being that you only held an regular operators license - for some strange reason, many companies don't want to count that as the equivalent of "U.S. Driving Experience" - even though it is very much so.

Keep us posted how you make out...

Rick

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.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

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