Profile For Shane J.

Shane J.'s Info

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    11 months, 3 weeks ago

Shane J.'s Bio

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Posted:  3 months ago

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Was it worth it?

"I heard you have to go through a lot, was it difficult?" I was asked that question a couple days ago by the cashier at Dennys after I pulled out a 10% discount card from my CDL school. Like everyone else you talk to about trucking in any fashion, he had a brother/cousin/sister/uncle/whoever that tried to do it and got hit with the tremendous amounts of B.S. obstacles put in front of them. "So much that you wonder if it was even worth it" was my response.

So I thought I would write this for anyone and everyone who has been hit with the background checks or maybe the failed drug tests or the cost or the empty recruiter promises. This is for you. I travel a lot. In the middle of an extended round the world journey I found myself needing to hitch from Copenhagen to Germany without anyone noticing.

One of the rides offered was in a truck. While I didn't accept that one it did reignite a desire to hit the road I once had. After a few years I returned to the hamster wheel and had to figure out what to do with myself. For a traveller with mechanical knowledge and no family to worry about, driving seemed like a good fit. After a little time in Alaska I started calling recruiters for training. Obstacle number one, work history. for obvious reasons my history was spotty. Now I am not writing this to sully the name of any company. But they're in the northern area, drive black trucks and are named after Tom Hanks' volleyball friend.

Before they ghosted me, his advice was "go find a job for a while." Thats it. In order to get a job, I had to go get a job. So I did for a while. Then I come back and spend a couple grand to reestablish residency. I even go get the cdl permit and DOT physical. Unfortunately two things happened.

One was I was sharing a house with four people who smoked like old locomotives. the second was the FMCSA. So obstacle number two, hair follicle testing. I was denied on work history by two other companies, but one said yes. Paid training as well. they also say that second hand smoke doesn't appear on tests. Not true. When that fell through I tried to get the workforce grant.

I hadn't worked for about three months and only had earned a couple grand but the workforce company works on a 6 month timeline so, in a move I still don't understand, they double my income and I am disqualified for the grant on income that I never earned. I go away for another 13 months or so. When I come back I try again. But life has a funny way of pointing you in another direction. After a few weeks I start with the recruiters again and a couple schools. The schools are running 6000- 8000 dollars.

1200-2000 to get a place for a month and then living costs. You're going to drop a minimum of 10 grand. Not an option for most people. But two companies said yes and gave me conditional offer letters. "Make sure you're ready to go before we do the full application." Sound advice it turns out. Two days later I find out a family member needs to go in for a rather serious surgery.

So I'm not going anywhere. But while spending time off I come up on the 6 month mark of unemployment. So I try again for the workforce grant. Also in this time reality sinks in and I ask myself, "is it worth it?" I have wasted more time, spent more money and gone through more B.S. trying to drive a truck than everything else I have ever tried to do combined and I haven't even got the license.

"No, it's not worth it."

Then I get approved for the grant. It's going to cost a couple grand for a hotel but I'll never get a better chance to do this. So I go.

More drug testing, more background checks, the newly adopted early driver training (mind numbingly stupid...thanks government) and a stunning lack of behind the wheel training is waiting for me at this school. I've had enough of this. Considering how easy the cdl permit and drive tests actually are it is amazing how many hoops you have to jump through to get there.

But I did and am now in possession of a shiny new class A license. Now to answer the question, "was it worth it?" No. It's not. "What are you going to do now that you have it?"

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This industry can take its testing, Fmcsa, Dot records, Hair follicle tests, driver facing cameras, early driver training and anything else I missed, roll it all into a big ball and shove it. Then every time I hear someone whine about a driver shortage I am going to sit back and laugh my silly ass off.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

Thanks for stopping IN, Shane . . . My husband's (driver's) brother is retired from paving, and is a smoker/toker/joker whatever. WE don't even go visit, indoors. Sadly. Back porch, perhaps.

Wish we knew more about ya! Where do ya live, do you drive, etc etc etc??? Did you ever come @ from AK? Get your CDL? Complete an SAP? So many questions; that I've got no right to ask.

Thanks for your post. I'm with you.

~ Anne ~

Hello, Anne. Ask anything you like. Yes I am back from AK. A family member needed surgery, so I have been stuck in southern california. I am based in arizona but travel constantly. Ive spent about 4 years circling the globe twice. No I didnt get the cdl. Once i failed the test I got out of that house and was back in alaska inside of a week. Its been 18 months and Ive started looking into the cdl again. But everytime I try its something new. Work History, then fmcsa, then early driver training, now possibly sap. Truthfully its been the biggest pain in my ass that Ive ever tried to do and that just trying to get the cdl. Not sure if it is really worth it. And thats coming from a nomadic traveller with mechanic certs and a clean driving record. So I kinda chuckle when I here people talk about a driver shortage. Sorry to rant, but it felt good to get that off my chest.

Posted:  6 months, 3 weeks ago

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C.R. England Nightmare Experience (True Story, Need Help! Nondrug User Tested Positive!)

Wow, this a long and heated conversation. I don't know if I want to jump in on this one. But if it makes you feel any better I got popped on a pre employment hair test also. I was renting a room in a house that turned out to have 4 heavy (weed) smokers in it. I was the only non smoker. Foolishly I believed what I was told. That secondhand smoke doesnt show on tests. Not true. Even the doctor who did my dot physical said so. Urine was clean, hair wasn't. Nothing I could do so I left for a year in alaska. I was away for so long that my phone contract expired and I couldn't log into the clearing house to see if it showed up. I would be furious to have to go through a program for something I didn't do. Especially for something as ridiculous as weed. Remember, non users don't know about drugs. Or ways to get around tests.

You were getting hit pretty hard on this post so just know there are others who feel your pain.

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