Terminated For Unsafe Driving

Topic 21179 | Page 1

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Nathan R.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello everyone,

I chose trucking because I like to drive and I liked driving, I am not nearly the best backer in the world but I felt I was getting better and could do a pretty decent job as long as I was some what straight.

When I finally got my license in July I went to work for a major trucking company, in that time I had a few minor incidents that I consider part of learning process. When I was backing I hit a construction barrel while I was with a trainer. Backing into a consignee's door I rolled my tandems onto the pipes that are supposed to help guide the trailer into the door, this ripped off the splash guard and bent the bracket, no damage to the con's property.

Last month on the same day I blew a trailer tire trying to make a tight corner, and on the same day I may have damaged a light on the consignees dock. I didn't know about that until a guy was taking pictures of the light, and I didn't know the light was there, but I neither acknowledged or denied that I did it, because I was trying to back into a dock that was also a parking lot for their employees, it is a single dock and they just had a break in a chain link fence. I needed more space my plan was to bump the bumper on the dock and as far as I know that is what I did.

But I got fired for damaging a tractor with my trailer which scratched the lens of the other passenger head light knocked off part of bumper, the police was called and that was my first and only accident. I was fired for this last week and all the big companies are saying that I need to wait a year with some experience before they will let me drive for them. This is the one that I am telling them that I was fired for, but my company blind sided me with the last two incidents as well when they performed my accident review. No citations were issued for any of these.

I reported these incidents to the company in the same detail as I have posted, there were several hard braking incidents too, but most of them were from bob tailing. Do any of you have any advice or know of any companies that are hiring that would fill these qualifications, or should I give up on trucking and try again later, and go back to a boring office job? I am looking into local work and local driving jobs that would not require a class A.

Consignee:

The customer the freight is being delivered to. Also referred to as "the receiver". The shipper is the customer that is shipping the goods, the consignee is the customer receiving the goods.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

It sounds like you have had at least 4 and possibly 5 preventable backing accidents. That's going to be a seriously tough sell to any carrier. Did you ever GOAL?

It also sounds like to me that you've dismissed these accidents as "part of the learning process". I'd have fired you too.

Taking ownership and learning from our mistakes is a HUGE deal. Maybe with retraining you can find someone willing to take a chance on you, but I sure wouldn't be looking for local work.

Linden R.'s Comment
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Also my main question; did you EVER G.O.A.L.? That's the key. No offense, bu it sounds like, possibly, this industry might not be for you. 4/5 preventable accidents in 3.5 months. Usually max 2 a year is considered "not good at all but worth not firing you".

C T.'s Comment
member avatar

Honestly, you need to slow down, think about what you're doing and goal as the others have said. Most large carriers will let you slide with one or two accidents early on. However, if you don't learn from your mistakes you'll appear to be a risky driver. Insurers will likely not want to cover you at that point. All that being said, you could still apply to a ton of places and hope for the best. Carolina cargo comes to mind.

Scott L. aka Lawdog's Comment
member avatar

Every one of these three replies is right on the "money", when I started out just over 16months ago....everyone on the road was my "enemy". G.O.A.L. is the key when going in reverse and slow & steady (like in the navy) is the key when going forward.

~scott

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Multiple incidents, damaged another vehicle, damaged a tire and possibly a light at a receivers dock. Never once did you mention GOAL to assess the situation before having any of these incidents. No offense but small company or large company, new driver or experienced. If I'm trusting you with an expensive piece of equipment, I'm going to expect that you perform the simplest action there is and will keep you out of trouble 99% of the time. I wouldn't want you driving one of my trucks either.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

I don't think its just about GOAL...its observing what you are looking at. If you clipped the passenger headlamp of another truck then you could see it from your drivers side? You should have been looking. You didnt notice the light on the door? The lights are also on the drivers side, again, you should have been looking.

That tire blowout...our tires are $1000 each for the super singles. The road call is $200 plus $150 per hour from the moment they leave the shop. $1500 for a blowout is not an exaggeration. what did you run over to blow it?

"my company blindsided me", how so? did they report untrue information or just report the truth? EVERYTHING you report will show up on your DAC. In 2 years I have 3 nonpreventables (was parked and hit, hit a deer, drunk driver hit me) and one preventable (i wasnt watching my trailer). see how i owned that? and i learned from it.

You blamed your company and the parking lot as well as the fence. we have to back into some really hard spots. we have all backed in lots with cars flying, parking lots, and even city streets. what if an employee was behind you and you didnt notice?

Susan is right that local driving is much tougher, and your locale makes a difference.

id apply everywhere and really pay attention to my surroundings. GOAl as others said. change your attitude. YOU did this stuff. and after the year, find a better company. good luck

Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Super Singles:

A single, wide wheel substituted for a tandem (two wheel) assembly. The main benefit of a super single is a reduction in weight and lower rolling resistance which provide better fuel economy. The disadvantage is the lack of tire redundancy (or a 'backup tire' in case of a blowout) from which tandem wheels benefit. A tire blowout is more dangerous with a super single and can not be driven on.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Also my main question; did you EVER G.O.A.L.? That's the key. No offense, bu it sounds like, possibly, this industry might not be for you. 4/5 preventable accidents in 3.5 months. Usually max 2 a year is considered "not good at all but worth not firing you".

Pretty sage advice, Linden. I'm impressed.

Big T's Comment
member avatar

You did not have only one accident. All of your incidents were accidents. If your company will hire you back in a year that will pretty much be your only avenue. You have made yourself basically uninsurable. Even if a company was willing to take a risk with you their insurance wouldn't allow it.

Google the SMITH system. Study it and take it to heart. Understand that you will probably have to wait 3 to 5 years to have a realistic chance of getting back in a truck. Make sure you keep your record clean in the interim. Even a minor ticket will be worse because of your current record.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Understand that you will probably have to wait 3 to 5 years to have a realistic chance of getting back in a truck.

I think that's pretty extreme. In fact, I know it is.

Nathan, you're going to have to do some digging around for a while to find someone who will give you a shot. We have some lists of trucking companies that might be more lenient. I know the felonies and DUI's don't apply to you, but it means these companies might be willing to overlook some things:

Trucking Companies That Hire Drivers With DUI

Trucking Companies That Will Hire Felons

You're obviously going to have to go with some second chance companies but if you're determined to take your time and be super safe out there you can rebuild your safety record.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

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