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Trucking Question And Answer - Question 4

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My name is David and I have a major dilema with finding a truck driving job. I have a class A cdl and I graduated from National Tractor Trailer School in Buffalo, NY and was hired as a company driver for Werner Enterprises and I have recently been terminated by Werner for an unsatisfactory safety record due to an accident and four citations which are ; 40mph in a 30mph zone,while my trainer was sleeping ; overwidth ; failing to obey traffic signals, and as a result of my accident failure to maintain a safe lookout.

My accident occured when I was merging from the center lane to the right lane and there was a car to my right in my blind spot which caused my tractor to bump the car resulting in minor damage to the car. There were no injuries. Now I am having a hard time finding a job. I feel like this is unfair because Werner did not properly train me, for example while I was in training my trainer was in the sleeper sleeping while I was driving due to Werner running us like a team, not like a student and trainer, I feel very strongly that if I had been properly trained I would not be in my current situation. I mean, I got a speeding ticket while I was in training! I am really hoping that you know of some trucking companies that will consider me for employment. I am also open to any advice you may have for me in my hunt for a job. Thank you for your time. I am anxious to hear from you.


Hi David.

You would not believe how common it is for a new driver to have a minor accident within a few months of coming out of school. Happens all the time. And every time it does, they have a bit of trouble finding a new job. But fear not - you'll be back out there before you know it.

Finding A Company That Will Give You A Chance

Now the citations are going to be as big a concern for the companies you apply to as the accident. So your situation is a bit sticky, but can certainly be overcome. Getting a DUI, failing a drug test, getting in a major accident with injuries, or getting tickets for reckless driving are nearly impossible to overcome. But yours are not. First, understand that many companies - especially the larger ones like Werner, have minimum hiring guidelines that they absolutely can not, and will not break. So if their criteria states 'no accidents within the past 6 months' then you might as well beat your head against the wall as try to get a job there. Not only will their safety department not allow it, but often times neither will their insurance company. So goal number one - find a company with more lenient hiring standards.

Unfortunately that will likely mean a company of a slightly lower quality than others that are out there. But hey, you've gotta do what you've gotta do to get back out there and get rolling again. So goal number two - once you're out there rollin again, stay at whatever company you are at for one year and do everything possible to keep a clean record. If you can stay at a company for one year with a clean record, you will pretty much be free to go anywhere you like at that point. So even if you have to settle for a company that is less than ideal for now, you do it. That's what it's going to take.

Also, here is a link to the trucking jobs that we have listed on our site:

Truck Driving Job Search

The key here is getting a bunch of applications out there - the more places you apply, the better your chances of getting out there sooner - pretty simple.

Explaining The Circumstances

Next, I would write a letter to submit with any application you put in explaining the circumstances. If you feel the trainer wasn't watching over you closely enough, then tell them that. Be very thorough with your explanation of the circumstances, and be honest. These companies have heard every lie a billion times and they will see through it right away. I have been fired from a number of different companies, mostly for too many logbook violations, and was always honest with companies I was applying to about what had happened. One time I even had a recruiter tell me that they weren't happy with the fact that I had been terminated from a previous job, but they checked with the previous company and saw that I had been honest and up front with what had happened and so they were willing to give me a chance. She said if I had lied about it, they wouldn't have hired me. I was pleasantly surprised by that for sure - a good learning experience.

Not all companies will feel that way, but none of them will take being lied to very well at all. So be honest. Also, make sure the letter is well-written. If you are not confident in your writing skills, have someone write it for you. It needs to look and sound professional. These recruiters are not dock workers or ditch diggers. They are used to dealing in a professional environment and a sloppy letter will not look good for you at all.

Lastly, I would do all of this as quickly as possible. The busy season is soon coming to an end. Right now these companies have a lot of freight because Christmas is coming. But by mid-December, a combination of a slow economy and the normal seasonal slowdown will make it much, much more difficult to find a job. So take advantage of the current busy season and get those applications out there.

Best of luck to you. Stay positive, keep firing off those applications, and be persistent. You'll be back out there before you know it. It may take a bunch of applications, it may not. But stay at it, and hurry. The busy season is your friend right now. Don't let it pass you by. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

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