Good documents to gather for pre-hire / school / training

Topic 20880 | Page 1

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Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
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Hi everyone!

First of all, thank you @Brett for creating this amazing place! I've been lurking awhile before creating an account, and some more in my super short time here since.

Long story short--I have decided to pull the trigger on this dream; --if I can pass the CDL and someone will hire me that is.

To that end: In 2001 I was approved for the WIA program for school, but turned away after reading hundreds of posts by what is so endearingly on this forum referred to as "terminal rats". I got pretty far in the process as far as gathering info, I had my DOT exam done, master application filled out and all required documentation gathered. Now--this is 2017, and beside my memory being a bit patchy from all those years ago, I know that rules and regs are drastically different.

My background: I have worked in the energy industry for a long time, and so was a TWIC card holder and also background checked up one side and down the other. The FBI probably has a whole book on me, and that is without me ever doing anything criminal. --To clarify, I do not have a record of any kind; but due to prior work experience have had very detailed background investigations done.

I am renewing my TWIC tomorrow, because I want it, and will likely convert my Global TSA pass to NEXUS as well.

My driving record is clean back to 2011. MY MVR stops 5 years back apparently, so my ticket from -11 is not listed. I did ask for a complete MVR to make sure that there were no errors. Good thing, because my husband and I were stopped at a red light in our car 2 years ago, and were plowed into by a pickup driver who was busy studying his floor. Because I have read this forum I know I need to go downtown and ask them for the police report. Makes me mad. My only crime was to be properly stopped at the red light and I have a record of the accident.... Anyway, as miracle would have it, nobody was hurt and the guy was insured. And we had GAP insurance.

Q: How do I get at the federal record that is kept forever, or should I bother? The driving & work history used to be cut off at 10 years. I have nothing in the closet to worry about, no substance abuse, DUI or such. I do have tickets, but with several years of space between each. The last one was in 2011.

Q: Since I am renewing my TWIC, which has homeland security background search done, do I need a separate FBI background search? As In I pay for it and bring it to the first day of school? I read something in here about them wanting that. Is that a cost I can skip & just have the employer pay, like for all other occupations?

Back in -01 they wanted a notarized social security employment history. Q: Is this still something that is required? I have a copy from hireright coming, which I think goes at least 10 years back. I have no problem getting the SSA report, I just want to be on the ball if I need to, as it will require massive telephone hold time or wait time for an appointment at the SSA administration.

Now to my biggest issue. I worked in heavy industrial construction; much of the time as a project based hire. I was a "white plastic hat", or "office rat", or "bloodsucking corporate overhead". I have therefore changed employers quite a bit over the years. But it gets worse. In 2012 my very lucrative high flying stress-gig made me sick. I had to start taking breaks. Longer and longer breaks, and in 2015 I fully collapsed. Mind you, while collapsed my hubby and I flipped a house--did all the work ourselves. I've always been a bit insane--and in hindsight I should have spent 2015 in bed. It would have made 2016 better. By December -15 I decided that again I was 10 feet tall and bullet proof, and took on another gig. I lasted three months, had to go part time, and in May I went down for the count. I've been on FMLA, and was on disability till last September. I have not worked since last May at all. I started an ecommerce company in July of last year, and have been working it part time.

Let's just say that I have learned my lesson, and am done with that career forever. I am fine now; DR will write me a clean bill of health, and I know I will pass the DOT. I have been in talks with the DOT doctor to make sure that I get all the papers squared away. I have nothing you need an exception for, I think. If the DOT goes as I think it will, and I pass with flying colors. (I have no high blood pressure, heart stuff, diabetes, apnea or anything like that). My diagnosis is stress based fatigue, and light COPD (no meds for 6 months now). I should say that in my former occupation, 20 somethings dropping dead on the job was normal. I'm 50, so I've held up well.

What I am worried about is the work history. I have read enough to understand that a good record, or even a career with great responsibility (large scale construction) counts for little. It seems, they want you to have held your job for 10 years, but do not care if you have a criminal record, as long as there is no DUI or drugs. Am I right?

My next step is the prehires , and I want to make sure I approach them right. (I obviously will hide nothing).

Q: What are the great folks' in here's best advice, for how I need to approach this, that perhaps is unique to the trucking industry?

Thanks so much for any help you can give, and my apologies if I am asking what has been listed in the forum a thousand times.

I'll be in your debt. :)

Nina.

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.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

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.

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.

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.

Prehire:

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.

Prehires:

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
member avatar

With that wall of text a tl;dr is in order.

Sorry for the long rambling mess above. Most of the time I can actually string sentences together. rofl-3.gif

1) Will a TWIC double for a criminal background check, and is one required prior to hire? (That the prospective hire pays for?) 2) As I have my state's "complete" DMV record, do I also need the federal record? And if so, how do I get it? 3) Is a notarized SSA 10 year employment history required? And if so, will a copy of a prior background check suffice? (Hireright)

4) and what worries me: Is my impression that a stable work history (5 years plus with each employer) is the single paramount hiring criterion? (I am not criticizing this, I totally understand it as the money spent on a newhire by a transport company is massive. I also understand why a record might not be important or even preferable. In another life--I did commercial fishing. They actively recruited felons, as they were used to few creature comforts, were great at taking orders, and could handle confined spaces. AKA--they were not at risk for quitting.

To rephrase--is having multiple employers even worse than having a record in this industry? Does this stop me from being hired?

5) How do I best overcome my contractor work experience, and the gaps? Is there any trucking unique ways I should address it and is there any type of documentation I should provide, that is unique to trucking?

MUCH obliged. thank-you.gifdancing-banana.gif

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nina you are overthinking this, unnecessarily stressing over it.

All you need to worry about is providing complete, truthful, and accurate information on the application. There is no need for expensive, redundant criminal background checks or notorized employment checks. It's overkill. The company(s) you apply to will do all of that for nothing. It won't cost you anything.

Answer all of the questions on the application and offer no more information than what they require. Your job history may or may not be an issue, depending on the company. Prime tends to be the most particular carrier on job history. Account for the employment gaps by documenting the reasons for unemployment. Part time work is acceptable, just document it.

If you are settled on a short list of companies discuss your job history with a recruiter. Stick to the facts and try to stay on-point, perhaps using a written list of your questions. Use the below link to help with the recruiter discussion.

Working with a Recruiter

Take a deep breath, if we can do this, so can you. Good luck!

Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
member avatar

Thank you so much G-Town.

Overthinker--guilty as charged! smile.gif

Beside rambling when overtired, I have a control streak. I like to do thorough research, then check all the boxes before executing my plan. It is sometimes a gift, sometimes a curse.

I am relieved to read that one can just treat a logistics company like any other employer out there.

Also thank you so much for the link you posted. I definitely need a list. It is the questions you don't know you need to ask that'll get you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
It is the questions you don't know you need to ask that'll get you.

That's why it's most important to go through these:

The information you'll find in our guide and in my book is fantastic. Trucking is a very unique and in some ways very strange career to get started in. No one has any idea what it will be like unless they're told. People underestimate it all the time and they go in with the wrong expectations.

Lil'RedRidingHood's Comment
member avatar

Brett, I love your story about New York City and the Parkway! I'm sitting at home in bed, and I almost threw up just reading it. You're a good writer also by the way. I'm really enjoying your book. Thank you. thank-you.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Brett, I love your story about New York City and the Parkway! I'm sitting at home in bed, and I almost threw up just reading it. You're a good writer also by the way. I'm really enjoying your book. Thank you. thank-you.gif

Thanks so much! Really glad you enjoyed it!

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