Profile For Wayne F.

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    1 year, 3 months ago

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Posted:  7 months, 2 weeks ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

Well, next week, it's been a year since the accident. I'm still working at the job in the guard shack at the orange juice plant up the road. Medical card expires here in about a week, so Friday after I get paid, I'll go get a new physical. This job not only pays the bills, but I get my 40+ hours in in three days, working two 16 hour shifts on the weekends, and one 12 on Thursday. Most weekends, the plant is closed, not always, but most of those two 16s, I'm sitting there watching movies, trying to stay awake. Most importantly, I'm spending a lot of time with my elderly mother who lives a few doors down on my street. For that reason alone, thinking back on the past year since I've been grounded from OTR trucking, I wouldn't trade that time I've spent with Mom for any dollar amount. I do miss the paychecks though. I'm making about half of what I was, but it's enough to keep the roof over my head and keep the lights on, even though I have to watch my pennies and can no longer just buy anything I want whenever I want.

I have no plans on getting back in a truck, at least while my Mom is still here with me. When that changes, who knows. I'll keep the CDL active just in case I ever change my mind, but I doubt that will happen, at least until she's gone. Another benefit, I've made friends at work, and folks who live near me. Getting together for football games, barbeques, and whatnot is something I've never experienced before this year. I'm 57 this year, I had been out on the road since I was 25 years old. A year and a half ago, I was so out of shape I struggled to walk from the truck to the truckstop or shipping and receiving office. Now, I'm riding my bicycle around the neighborhood.

I'm really thinking God pulled me out of that truck for a reason. Getting fired for an accident after driving for so many years of safe driving was a humbling experience, and truthfully, the first three months post-accident, I really struggled with the desire keep living, because I had no idea how I was going to make it, when the only thing I knew was gone. But, it ended up being one of the best years of my life, to be honest. I thank him for everything. I'm so grateful.

Posted:  11 months ago

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Jb Hunt Home Depot or Intermodal?

I worked out of the Home Depot DC in Monroe, Ohio from 2013 to 2018, after driving random OTR, which they don't do anymore, for them since 1998.

The good, if you live in the right area, as I did at the time, you could stop at the house every other night. The bad, the pay was horrible. Bear in mind, that was six years ago, so I don't know what has changed since then. The loads left out every morning, you went to either Nashville or St Louis area, delivered to one or two stores, then usually waited until the next day for a back haul back to Monroe. Therefore, you were only getting 300-400 miles per day. If you were lucky enough to get a day cab, it was possible to get more miles, but every day was 16 hours. I was making a whopping $600-750 per week. Never much more than that. Again, that was five or six years ago, so I don't know what they're paying now.

When I started driving for JB Hunt, they were paying me 37 cents per mile. By 2012, I was making 47 cents per mile. Then they eliminated OTR, everything went dedicated or local, and my pay was 32 cents per mile when I left in 2017.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

Thanks. I've come to terms with I might not be driving for a while, if ever. I'll keep my CDL active just in case, but I'm really enjoying life where I'm at.

My next door neighbor still works for the trucking company that fired me. He came through town, and we went to the local diner for breakfast. He got to telling me about the 4am delivery that brought him home, and everything he went through the day before. The whole time, I'm listening to him, and thinking man, I don't miss that job at all. Not one bit.

I guess everything happens for a reason. The Lord will provide the means, if you apply the effort.

Wayne, you sound very positive. You have taken a difficult situation and are making the best of it. I admire guys like you. Heck, in a year you might be running the show where you’re at!

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

I pulled my DAC, errr HireRight, and now the event is on there. I guess it took a while to show up.

That said, working in this guard shack isn't half bad. We've got trucks lined up outside, and my new employer is not only interested in my ideas on how to improve the process of getting the trucks in and out of here faster, he's actually spending the money implementing my ideas. I'm making $16 an hour, but I'm getting a bit of overtime. I took home damn near $800 last week for a little over fifty hours. Fifty hours is nothing to me, when I'm used to 70+ hours a week.

The health insurance, it's top notch. Blue Cross, Blue Shield, with a $600 deductible.

I'm home in my bed every night, and I have time to work on projects at home when I'm not working. So, I suppose all is well that ends well. Most of the trucking companies I talked to told me to come back in a year, and they could probably work with me. So, for now, I just plan on doing this for a while, as long as it lasts anyway. I'm on my feet half of the day at work, so I'm losing weight, getting healthier and stronger. I have a ton of more energy when I'm home to do stuff that I enjoy. Before, I'd get home for my day and a half off every week, and lay around on the couch until it was time to pack up the truck and head back out again.

The job can be hectic during the day. I've usually got four to five trucks lined up in both directions most of the day. But, damn, I'm kind of enjoying this.

Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

No surprise here....

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Posted:  1 year, 2 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

Well, here I am. They say everything happens for a reason. So, I'm going to deal with this. As of now, I'm working as a security guard at a truck gate, writing down pick up numbers and checking seals. The pay is about half of what I'm used to, but I'm 58 years old, as of yesterday, and the house is paid for, so all I have to pay for is utilities and groceries. This security company has some pretty good health insurance and benefits when they kick in next month.

Trucking over the years has done a number on my health, I've got type 2 diabetes now. I've lost about forty pounds since the accident. So, maybe this is where I'm meant to be now. I don't know. It is what it is.

The accident is not on my DAC, or Hire Right, which they call it now, but it is on my PSP, and it ain't going anywhere for a while. So, I guess this old hand is just going to have to learn new tricks until I reach retirement age, which ain't long from now. Trans Am said they will put me in a truck, but what they're paying, hell, I'm making just as much sitting here in my gaurd shack.

That, and I'll probably live longer than I would if I got back out there on the road.

I can't complain. I'm living in a 55+ mobile home community. The lot rent is $340 a month, which includes water, trash, free lawn care, and a heated swimming pool with a bunch of bikini clad grandmas lounging around on the pool furniture. Life doesn't suck.

I am so sorry this happened to you and hope that you get in somewhere soon. I am curious why it wasn't put on your DAC report but I guess that won't ever be known. I have been in a accident not to long ago that ended with loss of life and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through so I am so happy you didn't have to go through it too.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

WEL just emailed me a "pre adverse action letter" along with my Hire Right report. Not sure what it means, it's light on details, but it doesn't sound good. There's nothing on the report that I didn't put on the application.

I'm having second thoughts about going back out there now, anyway. I've lost about 40 pounds since I stopped driving, because I'm out moving more at work. My family is dead set against me going back out there, mainly because my health has improved a lot since I came off the road.

I mean, I'd go back out there over the road if they offered me the job, but maybe it's just not meant to be. I don't think I'm going to even consider the Trans Am offer, at 31 cents per mile. For crying out loud, that's what I was making back in 1998. I can't see spending 14 days out on the road for $500-600 per week.

We'll see what happens.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

It's still not 100 percent certain with WEL, but they're the second company that didn't just hang up on me, the first one was Trans Am. I don't think I want to go out there over the road for 31 cents a mile. I did the math, and I'm probably better off sticking with the $15 per hour security guard job I've been working the last couple of months. WEL is offering 50 cents, which is a lot less than I was making before, but it will prevent the inevitable bankruptcy case in store for my future. The job at Trans Am won't.

Either way, I will be OK. What's kept me afloat the last six months is the fortunate circumstance that my house is paid for, and my only bills are utilities and credit card bills.

Im glad some of you who've read this are thinking about my situation when you're out there on the road. Keep your eyes up, get the big picture, aim high in steering, and don't let this happen to you.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

I don't disagree with anything you've said. Not at all. I admitted in my original post that I definitely bear some blame in this. I thank God every day that there was no one in that car. I don't know how I could live with myself if I had taken someone's life that day. Half of the point of my post was a warning to other drivers out there. Don't take your eyes off the road, even for a second. It doesn't matter how skilled you are, things can happen in that one second that will destroy people's lives. If you are reading this, learn from my mistake. Please.

That said, the day I posted this, I blanketed the market with job applications, and WEL companies wants me to come up for orientation. They know about the accident, and have seen the accident report. Their Winter Haven, FL terminal is just 6 miles from my home, but I think they're wanting me to come up to Wisconsin for orientation, which makes me a bit nervous, especially when I have to quit my $15 per hour job to go up there. I don't have any hopes up, but we'll see what happens.

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This is monumentally unfair towards you.

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No one is crucifying Wayne here but this is far from monumentally unfair. He made a poor decision (possibly a series of poor decisions…more on that in a minute) that although seemingly small, resulted in a serious collision. If someone had been in the vehicle he struck, from the sounds of it that person would have likely been seriously injured or killed. Not a small mistake.

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Even had you NOT been distracted for a second or two, sounds like this would have happened anyway.

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If true, this information makes the situation worse for Wayne not better. Hitting a stationary vehicle is almost always, if not always, preventable. Of course the car shouldn’t have been there but we’re not talking about who’s at fault in the accident. I leave that calculation to law enforcement and insurance adjusters—who is at fault is not necessary information in determining if Wayne could have avoided the accident. If Wayne couldn’t avoid hitting a *stationary* vehicle because he couldn’t see it in time then he was either distracted, driving too fast for conditions, following too close (blocking his line of sight), or some combination of the three. From his description it was likely a combination of the first two. Both of those are considered serious violations in a truck. It’s fantastic for him that he wasn’t cited for the accident but insurance and trucking companies care about more than just citations. They care if you could have prevented the accident, why you didn’t prevent it if it was indeed preventable, and how serious it was.

I know all of that seems really really harsh…and it is, but that is the dark side of trucking. If Wayne had been driving a car, he wouldn’t be having as hard of a time finding a job and the accident would have been much less serious but it goes without saying everything becomes way more serious and deadly in a truck. We could argue all day about how fair/unfair it is that Wayne lost his job and is having a hard time finding another one but, fair or not, truck drivers are always penalized harder because our negative impact on other drivers on the road if we wreck is so much more severe.

Again, no one here is hitting Wayne over the head for what happened. He made a bad choice but he owned up to it and asked for advice. His overwhelmingly good and extensive track record, although not a justification or way out for his mistake, does earn him a good amount of respect as well. It’s also because of his track record that he’s the last person in here making excuses—he knows better than anyone what he could have done differently to prevent the accident. He honestly was lucky no one was in the car and I sincerely hope and believe he’ll be back in a truck very soon but I thought it was worth noting that this wasn’t an example of an injustice against a truck driver. And with this being a forum catered particularly to new and prospective drivers I think there’s a great deal of harm in new drivers not understanding just how serious one small mistake can be and how deadly and career-ending the consequences can be

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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20 years experience, now can't find a job due to accident

My MVR has a failure to yield ticket on it from a month ago.

Trans Am offered me a spot yesterday afternoon. 31 cents per mile, OTR. I would have laughed at that offer six months ago, but now, I'm actually considering it, even though that's not even minimum wage, it is enough to pay the bills and keep the lights on for six months so I can put this behind me.

Crete told me that if I do nothing, wait until the accident is a year old, they'd consider me.

This is monumentally unfair towards you.

Even had you NOT been distracted for a second or two, sounds like this would have happened anyway.rom what we can see in the police report, you did not admit to being distracted at the time. If you did, the Deputy did not include that information. Did you ever tell any of these companies that you were distracted? If so, don't do that anymore. YOU know, but that was not the cause. Losing your job over a no-fault is telling, though.

My guess is your former company is still mad about it and are actively informing your future potential employers why they do not consider you for rehire. Sometimes all it takes is saying NO for that particular question without giving a reason. Even if they give no reason, the potential employer may assume there is more to the story.

Did your former company have a dash cam for your truck? If not, did you have your own and keep that footage?

How does your DMV report look?

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I need some suggestions from folks who have been here.

I worked for JB Hunt for 19 years. In 2018, I cashed in my retirement to open up my own business. Two years later, the covid shutdowns did me in, so, I went back to work for a small, family owned trucking company. In all my years in the business, working for these folks was like a dream come true. Absolutely loved working there.

I got hired in December of 2021, and in October, the accident happened. I was on I20 on a hazy foggy morning getting ready to cross the bridge over the big river into Vicksburg, when my peoplenet beeped at me. I looked down at it. Just for a couple of seconds. Those two or three seconds looked like they have ended my career. When I looked up, there it was. A parked gray 1995 era Ford Taurus, just sitting there, blocking the right hand lane, no four ways on, no nothing. The color of the thing blended perfectly with the gray asphalt and the foggy air. By the time I saw it, there was not much I could do to avoid it. There was a local cop right behind me when it happened. He was on his way to the car, because he had just been dispatched to it, someone had called it in. The lady had ran out of gas, and just left it there. No four ways on. She didn't call 911. She was cited for impeding traffic and driving without insurance. I was not cited. I asked the cop if I would be receiving a citation, and he replied "for what? You didn't do anything wrong." I have a copy of the police report. Indeed, the officer wrote it up so it was very favorable to me and hostile to the lady who left her car in middle of the road on the Mississippi River bridge.

That said, I have no excuse for not avoiding it. My attention was not 100% focused. I know that. I screwed up. Most of us have looked down at that thing for a second or two, and nothing happened. I'm telling you, when you been driving as many years as I have, eventually the law of averages is going to catch up with you, and you're going find yourself in trouble. I'm thankful she wasn't sitting in that car. I don't think I could live with myself had I taken a life that day.

The company fired me. Their reason they gave me was because I had only been there ten months. I think it was because they only have a couple dozen trucks, and I tore the hell out of that one that day.

That was in October. It's now February. I have not been able to find a job to save my life. I'm wor minimum wage jobs here in Florida. My savings has nearly dried up, and my credit cards are all maxed out. I get nothing but doors slammed in my face. I'm 59 years old, and it seems like my career is over. I've applied at dozens of companies. I've ridden the bus to orientation in various companies twice now and then sent home over this after being told it wouldn't be an issue. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm at the end of my rope. I'm too old to find work stocking shelves in an Amazon warehouse.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to any advice you can give.

But more importantly, don't let what happened to me happen to you. There's no message from your fleet manager that's more important than what is in the road ahead of you. It can wait. It doesn't matter how long you have been out here. I've got a wall filled with safety awards that I received from JB Hunt, dating all the way back to 2001. Those three seconds destroyed EVERYTHING.

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