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Trucking Company Orientation - Day One

by TruckerMike

Today was a very hectic day. I started orientation with the trucking company I was hired on with. As of right now, I'm not going to share what trucking company it is. I hope you all can understand that I want to honestly be able to write anything about this industry and my personal experience with this company, good and bad. And the last thing I want is retaliation from my employer. So while I'm sure you're very curious, I just can't divulge the company name in my forum. Otherwise I'd be tempted to hold back on any negatives. Sorry!!

The day started promptly at 7am and is held right here at the hotel. A word of advice...Don't be late!! This company is very serious about being there on time every day. They said, and I'm paraphrasing here; "Our company prides itself on it's 99% on-time delivery rate. If you can't make it to orientation on time, then we have some major problems hiring you." Remember, with most companies, attending orientation doesn't mean you are hired, as it is in my case. You have to make it through orientation first, and they watch everyone's behavior like a hawk. As an example, if there is a sign that says "stay off the grass!" for the love of God, please stay off that grass! I didn't see anybody let go due to their behavior and it isn't military style, it's just common courtesy for their program, their property, and showing you have common sense.

The morning was filled with stacks and stacks of paperwork, release forms, and going through documents. It was a tedious morning, but a process that's just part of the trucking industry. For starters, we had to fill out a second application. What they do is match up the application you filled out previously to the one you filled out at orientation. This allows them to find any discrepancies and see how honest you were in your original application. I guess a lot of times people's applications don't match up at all. A big red flag to them.

After that, we signed some release forms so they could do a background check, filled out paper work for a TWIC card (security clearance into US ports) which includes being finger printed, signed medical release forms, got finger printed again for company records, and a slew of other things.

Aside from the mounds of paperwork, we also had a DOT physical and drug screen. The biggest problem I saw here was people having trouble with blood pressure. My company also has a BMI (Body Mass Index) test which can not be greater than 39. Apparently the company is doing this because there is a federal regulation in the works concerning CDL holders with a BMI over 39. A couple larger individuals did not pass this portion of the physical. I believe one person also left due to a failed drug test, and one guy actually bragged to me about how he beat the drug test. Wonderful.

After 12 long hours, the day is done. Time to get some sleep and get ready for day two!

Until next time, drive safely!


by Brett Aquila

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Picture Of Brett Aquila
TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare you for a great start to your trucking career.