OTR Hopeful With Less Than Stellar Driving Record

Topic 1056 | Page 1

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Julian Ellison's Comment
member avatar

Hello all.

I actually found this website while looking for reviews on trucking companies (as great as internet reviews can be :/) and it's been nothing but a blessing for a new guy who's brand new to the industry and waiting to start CDL school through the local tech college in 27 days (and counting).

As i've been driving, i've been paying more and more attention to the big rigs driving down the road. Being that my goal is to drive over the road , i've been calling different companies that advertise on their trucks for company drivers and asking them general questions about routes, equipment, etc. Finally, I ask them about their policy on hiring drivers with previous moving violations. My general understanding before I started calling all these places was that most companies would hire you if you have 3 moving violations or less, with the exception of DUI/DWI, Hit and Run, etc. In 2012 I got 3 speeding tickets on my motorcycle, none of which were over 10mph over the posted limit. I started just setting the cruise on my car for the speed limit, knowing I was at the limit and risking unemployment if I got another. Haven't gotten another moving violation since. Now, the companies I talk to are saying that with a new trainee, they like to see a next to spotless MVR.

Am I wasting my time going to trucking school? How many Moving Violations can you actually get before you're automatically DQ'd? What companies would I look to start out in being that I just want to drive OTR that would accept 3 moving violations in the last 3 years?

Thanks in advance for your replies. Keep on Truckin.

Julian

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard Julian!

Oh man, that's gonna be a bit rough. Three speeding tickets in a year is not going to have trucking companies beating down your door.

There are two choices for schools - Company-Sponsored Training Programs and Private Truck Driving Schools. For you (or anyone reading along) that's not familiar with the differences, check out our Truck Driver's Career Guide and you'll learn all about it and a whole lot more.

If you want to go to company-sponsored schooling, just apply to all of them and see if anyone is willing to give you a shot. There's really no risk. If they accept you, you go through their training program. If you graduate from their program you have a job. Simple as that.

The risk comes with attending a private truck driving school. That's where you could wind up forking out a bunch of money and then finding one heck of a time landing a job. Well there's a system in place to help prevent that and it's called pre-hiring. We have an excellent article for you to check out, written by the owner of Spirit CDL Training outside of Chicago that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

To sum it up, a pre-hire means that based on your application, the company would be willing to hire you. It's not a guarantee and they do sometimes fall through for various reasons. But if you can land two or three pre-hires then you know you can attend a private truck driving school and land a job afterward.

The worst-case scenario is that you have to wait a couple of years for those violation to drop off your record. There's no way of knowing what these companies will say without contacting them. But I will say this - we're entering the busiest time of the year for trucking (now through early December) and August is about the busiest month of the year for hiring in the trucking industry. I would say now is the best chance you'll probably get at a shot in the industry. Companies tend to relax their standards a bit to bring in more drivers to meet the demand.

Hope this helps!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Pre-hires:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Brett is on the money. Apply to everyone (company sponsored school) and see which one will take ya. I know most companies want no more than 3 in a two year period and some are no more than two in a two year period. There are a few smaller companies that may not be as strict but you will simple have to check with them.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

I will ad that it may or may not help...but tell them that your "under 10mph" speeding tickets were on a motorcycle, not a 4 wheeled vehicle....guys being guys....that may help a little. Unfortunately, in my case, they'd look at me funny, and think to themselves " a over 60 yr old grandmother riding a custom Harley Davidson.....She needs to be put up and looked after".... embarrassed.gif

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Julian Ellison's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies, All!

I did some more research into my driving record. The fact still remains that I got 3 tickets last year. However, I called the school admissions department and asked them to look at the MVR they pulled when I enrolled (they won't let you enroll if you have too many violations or even one severe one) and this is when I got the best news i've gotten all year...Only one ticket stuck to the MVR!

Thanks to Brett for the advice on the Pre-Hire Process. I've actually already applied at Werner. No, I don't graduate for a little more than 4 months, but I want to get the process started ASAP. Plus, they use electronic logs , so there's a slim to none chance a dispatcher could force me to drive over my hours (which i've read some do). Out of all the companies i've called so far, they seem like the best ones to work for.

I have new hope for my job search with only one ticket vs 3. Thanks again for all the advice :)

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

Pre-hire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

Starcar's Comment
member avatar

Julian, you keep us in the loop....and be sure and take advantage of ALL the study aids on this site...they are just what you will need to get ahead of the game and stay there...

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