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Driving with expired DOT med card?

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Christopher C.'s Comment
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Good day all, I'm in TNT training with Prime and my DOT med card expired! In 27000 miles done and we received a Qualcomm message last Monday that card was going to expire in about a week. So my trainer and I took note but we both forgot and it expired day before yesterday! So yesterday I received Qualcomm from dispatch saying it had to be done that day ASAP at a concentra facility or I couldn't drive. So I get it done but can't get card because I needed a CPAP compliance report ( which I was never told about) so I tried having them fax it there but it never was sent since they closed for the day and the lady I talked to who said she would....didn't ! Now my dispatcher said "well we will have to try again tomorrow so let's keep rolling since you guys have a hot load". Now supposedly my TNT trainer said that dispatcher told him I would have to drive that night anyways which I refused knowing that it's illegal. Now I'm fairly new to trucking (3 months and 27000 miles) and wanted to know if dispatch has the right to insist I drive illegal and could I really get in trouble if I was caught? I kinda not happy that this dispatcher has told us two different things and seems more interested in load than if I'm doing something wrong. As a matter of fact going through this TNT has me wondering about my career path since it has been one hellish experience!

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.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Dispatcher:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Tim H.'s Comment
member avatar

I would recommend DO NOT repeat DO NOT drive without a valid card. Very bad. No matter what, it is your license not dispatches or your trainers that will get hurt. I don't remember the legal outcome of doing so right at the moment, but my state sent me a notice of disqualification if I didn't get it done. Got a new card and e-mailed info in the nik of time. I'm guessing right now you are disqualified from operating a CMV. Read up on that and don't drive until you have a valid card.

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
Dan R.'s Comment
member avatar

It is illegal, but more illegal for the company to try and get you to drive illegally. Just as no load is worth your life, no load is worth your license, either.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Yep. I'm a trainer at Prime. Getting caught will.put you Out of service for sure You want to really have a talk with someone in the know? Call safety. If the messages are in writing on the Qualcomm , they will not be happy that dispatch is doing that. And they WILL make sure you don't drive. Plus, it will.make you look good to them, that you want to drive legally and safely.

If you are with a lease op, you won't have his fleet manager when you go solo, so won't affect you later. Safety WILL back you up on this.

On the phone app on the "My Prime" the. On the menu on the right it says "my contacts". Safety's number is their or you can call the main switchboard.

Good luck, and GOOD for you!

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.

Fleet Manager:

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Christopher if DOT were to catch you driving with an expired medical card the penalty could be up to a 1 year suspension. In your current status, your license is invalid until the medical card is renewed. Do not drive until this issue is resolved.

Please keep something in mind, keeping your documents current and validated (medical card, license) is your responsibility, not your employers. You should know when your medical card expires and should prepare to renew well in advance of the expiration date. Really no excuse for this. Own it.

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Actually - it's WORSE THAN THAT.

While not 100% of the states have caught up - your DOT Med Card is "supposed to be" on file with your licensing state. "Technically", if is is, you aren't even REQUIRED TO CARRY IT. Your DMV CDL Record is supposed to have an additional entry on it, that indicates a current DOT Medical Card

Here's the rub though. The DAY YOUR CARD EXPIRES - YOUR CDL BECOMES A REGULAR DRIVERS LICENSE. AUTOMATIC DOWNGRADE, until you get a new card ON FILE WITH YOUR STATE. That is not just - until you get a new card - but UNTIL YOUR STATE DMV KNOWS YOU HAVE IT.

Yes - I'm yelling, it's THAT IMPORTANT.

IF - you get pulled over, and your state has downgraded your CDL - it is "Operating a CMV without a CDL" (which in many states is DRIVING WITHOUT A LICENSE), and lord forbid you are UNDER A PLACARDED LOAD. You can END UP IN HANDCUFFS.

EVEN IF YOU RENEWED YOUR MED CARD - if the STATE DOESN'T GET IT ON FILE - YOU DO NOT HAVE A CDL in your wallet - you have a regular old operators license. Some states will even SUSPEND THAT LICENSE, if you do not come in and TURN IT IN.

Now - ALL STATES are supposed to be in compliance with this by now - it IS A FEDERAL REGULATION.

Most states (if not all) have a section on their DMV websites - where you can just upload a picture of the DOT Med Card - and they will review and approve its entry into their system. In Florida - my last one took less than 24 hours before I got the approval notice in my email. The state DMV's know that OTR Drivers may not get back to their home states soon enough to show up at a DMV office, or they may renew their cards out of state.

People should check this out WAY BEFORE their card expires, so they know what they need to do - to be in compliance. Don't wait until THE DAY YOUR CARD EXPIRES - to get a new one.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

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

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not mad at your trainer, I'm not mad at your dispatcher. But I'm really mad at you. This is your livelihood, how the heck do you let this happen? Prime is kind enough to track your expiration and send you a reminder and you still forgot?

I mean com'n, there's guys that are willing to run to the moon and back to be in your shoes and you somehow couldn't keep track of one thing. The one thing that your entire license hangs on.

Yes, your trainer could have kept up with it. Yes, dispatch shouldn't say that. But this is your responsibility and only yours.

I'm not yelling at you like Rick is. But this has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of a TNT student at Prime.

I wish you luck my friend. Don't drive until its fixed.

Dispatcher:

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm not mad at your trainer, I'm not mad at your dispatcher. But I'm really mad at you. This is your livelihood, how the heck do you let this happen? Prime is kind enough to track your expiration and send you a reminder and you still forgot?

I mean com'n, there's guys that are willing to run to the moon and back to be in your shoes and you somehow couldn't keep track of one thing. The one thing that your entire license hangs on.

Yes, your trainer could have kept up with it. Yes, dispatch shouldn't say that. But this is your responsibility and only yours.

I'm not yelling at you like Rick is. But this has got to be the dumbest thing I have ever heard of a TNT student at Prime.

I wish you luck my friend. Don't drive until its fixed.

LOL - I wasn't yelling at HIM - I was yelling AT EVERYONE. Because this is one of those SUPER IMPORTANT THINGS - that sometimes "slips through the cracks".

I sacrifice the last month on my card, and go do my Med Cert exam 30 days early. That way, if something negative comes up in the exam - I still have that month to remedy the situation and get a new cert on file.

You CAN get a 3 month card, if your blood pressure (or other situation) fails you - to get that condition under control enough to pass.

What I don't understand is - how this guy is in TNT - and his CARD EXPIRED? EVERYONE gets a physical at orientation - so he should have at least a 1 year card (if he's on BP meds for example) or a 2 year card if he passed with no medical conditions. The ONLY THING I can think of - is he got a shorter card for Sleep Apnea , and they were waiting to verify CPAP Compliance, to issue him a 1 year card.

So - I'm REALLY CURIOUS how Christopher is in TNT, and didn't have a recently issued card FROM ORIENTATION?

Your mommy, dispatcher , safety, doctor - NO ONE IS RESPONSIBLE for keeping a Med Cert current EXCEPT THE CDL HOLDER.

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.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Dispatcher:

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.

TNT:

Trainer-N-Trainee

Prime Inc has their own CDL training program and it's divided into two phases - PSD and TNT.

The PSD (Prime Student Driver) phase is where you'll get your permit and then go on the road for 10,000 miles with a trainer. When you come back you'll get your CDL license and enter the TNT phase.

The TNT phase is the second phase of training where you'll go on the road with an experienced driver for 30,000 miles of team driving. You'll receive 14¢ per mile ($700 per week guaranteed) during this phase. Once you're finished with TNT training you will be assigned a truck to run solo.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Prime issues two month cards for sleep apnea test & to cpap records.

After u take the apnea test, you are supposed to take another physical. I. Guessing they wanted a couple months of cpap logs then he was supposed to get another physical.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

Rainy is right they look at your 60 day usage of the cpap.

If you have a 70 or 80% usage rate or higher you get a 1 year card.

If you get 60-69% you get another 2 month or maybe a 3 month card.

50-59% or lower, Prime will put that driver Out of Service. First Out of Service is for 3 days I think. Second being a week, and third a whole month.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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