'Violent' Criminal History And Getting Hired As A Truck Driver?

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Stickers's Comment
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Hey everyone,

I am about to start truck driving school here in a little over 2 weeks. I do not want to go on a massive tangent here so I will give a run down of my issue.

I have 2 assault charges in the State of Iowa (home) and they are within the last 3 years. The first charge being in 2013 and the second in 2014. These are both misdemeanor charges and I have a certified copy of criminal record for reference (they do not make it easy to read) My second charge was actually a charge for a domestic and was knocked down to an assault in court (it was BS charge and it didn't hold any weight). I did do two years of probation but that ended Dec of 2015. So I do not have any legal obligations, I have done my time, but I DO have the record.

I am not proud of any of this, my record is all BS if you ask me. But I did commit these crimes and I did my time and I usually bring it up and explain it to any potential employer so there is no confusion when the record check comes back to HR. I am a Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, have a solid resume, I am brutally honest, and I like to think I am stand up guy. But a lot companies have firm policies on not hiring people with "violent" records.

I will graduate truck driving school at the end of this coming July. I have been doing my research here and on other websites. I worked for TMC as a trailer mechanic for a year back 2013, and one of my parents is OTR.

I am looking for a companies that run flatbed or at least a flatbed division OTR. This would be my first company so they have to be willing to hire with no experience. I talked to Keim TS a few times and sent them my resume and app to try and get a pre-hire. They told me that openly disclosing my criminal record to them was a good thing and would further my chances with Keim. I Haven't heard back from them (was supposed to be contacted earlier this week). So its anyone's guess whats going on there.

I am getting some cold feet here because after looking at System Transports website their requirements state you cannot have a " unapproved misdemeanor or felony convictions within the last (6) years". I am sure companies and recruiters I talk to will be more ambitious about me after I graduate truck driving school but I am starting to wonder if I am going to just be wasting money on a CDL I can't use?

So in short, where can a guy with two misdemeanor assaults go to get started in flatbed?

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.

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.

Stickers's Comment
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Anyone have any input?

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
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First off, I am not a driver, but am working towards that goal. Being open and honest is the best thing to do. Always tell the truth, but tell the best truth you can. Don't give up easy. Most companies state that they hire felons on a case by case basis.

good-luck.gif

C. S.'s Comment
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I don't think it will be too much of a hindrance. Some companies may have a problem with the felony charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor, but you should be able to find employment somewhere if you're no longer on probation. Off the top of my head, flatbed companies you could try would include Swift, TMC, Prime, Knight, and Melton. I would apply to any company you are interested in, be completely honest and see what kind of results you get.

Stickers's Comment
member avatar

First off, I am not a driver, but am working towards that goal. Being open and honest is the best thing to do. Always tell the truth, but tell the best truth you can. Don't give up easy. Most companies state that they hire felons on a case by case basis.

good-luck.gif

That's pretty much been the plan, talked to Maverick the other day and they told me that even Felonies are case by case basis with them. I only have misdemeanors but my criminal history coupled with my work history will be the deciding factor for them when I apply.

I don't think it will be too much of a hindrance. Some companies may have a problem with the felony charge that was reduced to a misdemeanor, but you should be able to find employment somewhere if you're no longer on probation. Off the top of my head, flatbed companies you could try would include Swift, TMC, Prime, Knight, and Melton. I would apply to any company you are interested in, be completely honest and see what kind of results you get.

Luckily I was not charged with a felony, just charged and convicted of misdemeanors. I talked to Melton and their policy is all misdemeanors and felonies have to be older than 6 years. The more I look around I see more and more companies have similar policies. So far I am have been automatically DQ'd from Melton and System. I am unsure of where Keim TS is as I never heard back from them. I have not given TMC much thought as I worked for them as a mechanic and I quit because of an indifference with my direct supervisor there. Might give Decker a call next week though.

Pat M.'s Comment
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Old School was successful with Western Express. Might also check out Jones Brothers.

Stickers's Comment
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Old School was successful with Western Express. Might also check out Jones Brothers.

I vaguely remember seeing somewhere that Western Express has a MVR expectation that goes beyond 3 years but I could be wrong, I got few too many speeding tickets a couple years ago. They seem to have a pretty good setup and I hear good things.

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.

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

Well hell, you have to tell the whole story. Those tickets can be worse than the convictions.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stickers's Comment
member avatar

Well hell, you have to tell the whole story. Those tickets can be worse than the convictions.

I got three tickets in 2013 (10 & under) but 2 of which were in may so thats put me only 1 ticket in three years. Some of these places go back 5 + years. I have never had an at fault accident or OWI/DUI, etc.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Stump's Comment
member avatar

I have a back ground as big as Texas it's was hard for me but there is some who will give a rookie with no exp a chance just don't give up this August will be a year for me so I can do it with my back ground u can you just have to keep at it good luck

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