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

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Hey Stickers. First of all, if you find a company that will give you a shot you should take it. It's going to be really slim pickins. If it's flatbed that's great but I don't think you're going to have the luxury of being picky.

Now what we recommend to people in your position is to apply like crazy for pre-hires before you commit to a driving school. Normally if you can get two or three pre-hires then you don't have to worry about finding a job once you graduate.

For those who are not familiar with the process, here is some great information on pre-hires:

Unfortunately there is no secret to landing a job in your position. What it's going to take is a lot of determination. Just keep cranking out applications to anyone and everyone, and follow up every one of them with phone calls. Don't wait on them to call you. Give them a day, maybe two, then start rifling off calls. You want to make sure they're actually processing your application and not just letting it sit on a pile collecting dust.

Now we have an excellent listing of truck driving jobs and we even have the option of applying to a ton of jobs with one application:

Truck Driving Job Listings

Crank out a ton of em.

To give you more ideas we have a listing of companies that hire drivers with felonies:

Trucking Companies That Hire Drivers With Felonies

I realize yours aren't felonies but it will give you an idea of which companies are a little more lenient.

Finally, you can try applying for Paid CDL Training Programs which are companies that provide the training for you, either through their own school or through a private school. If you get on with one of them you won't have to worry about finding a job afterward. But to be honest, I'm not sure any of them will take you. It's definitely worth a shot.

But take the approach that your full time job right now is to crank out applications and follow them up with phone calls. Go nuts. I'm confident from what you've told us that someone will give you a shot but it may not be the job you were looking for. That's just how it goes. Get your foot in the door and work your way up.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Stickers'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

Roger that.

Stickers's Comment
member avatar

Hey Stickers. First of all, if you find a company that will give you a shot you should take it. It's going to be really slim pickins. If it's flatbed that's great but I don't think you're going to have the luxury of being picky.

Now what we recommend to people in your position is to apply like crazy for pre-hires before you commit to a driving school. Normally if you can get two or three pre-hires then you don't have to worry about finding a job once you graduate.

For those who are not familiar with the process, here is some great information on pre-hires:

Unfortunately there is no secret to landing a job in your position. What it's going to take is a lot of determination. Just keep cranking out applications to anyone and everyone, and follow up every one of them with phone calls. Don't wait on them to call you. Give them a day, maybe two, then start rifling off calls. You want to make sure they're actually processing your application and not just letting it sit on a pile collecting dust.

Now we have an excellent listing of truck driving jobs and we even have the option of applying to a ton of jobs with one application:

Truck Driving Job Listings

Crank out a ton of em.

To give you more ideas we have a listing of companies that hire drivers with felonies:

Trucking Companies That Hire Drivers With Felonies

I realize yours aren't felonies but it will give you an idea of which companies are a little more lenient.

Finally, you can try applying for Paid CDL Training Programs which are companies that provide the training for you, either through their own school or through a private school. If you get on with one of them you won't have to worry about finding a job afterward. But to be honest, I'm not sure any of them will take you. It's definitely worth a shot.

But take the approach that your full time job right now is to crank out applications and follow them up with phone calls. Go nuts. I'm confident from what you've told us that someone will give you a shot but it may not be the job you were looking for. That's just how it goes. Get your foot in the door and work your way up.

Thank you very much for the input! I have been lurking here for about a year now on and off again so I really appreciate the advice.

I have been finding about 1-2 companies to call per week. I usually call and talk with a recruiter before filling out an app to ensure I meet their requirements. The few that I have met said requirements told me to fill out an app AFTER I have started school. But my ultimate goal is get a pre-hire and have a job lined up before graduation.

I am pretty set on Flatbed. I know it lowers my chances of getting a job driving a truck but then again I don't drive anything else. I would rather have a 9-5 and be home every night rather than pull a van. just my .02

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I would rather have a 9-5 and be home every night rather than pull a van

If you don't mind me asking, why do you feel that way? I've hauled just about every type of freight imaginable over the years and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages but none of them were so bad that I would avoid them and none were so good that I would do that exclusively.

The only type of freight I would refuse to haul on a full time basis is a chemical tanker because of the obvious health concerns and the constant hassle of hauling hazmat all the time. I pulled a food grade tanker for a year and I loved it. It pays just as well (or better) than most chemical jobs and I'd much rather haul orange juice and honey than hydrogen peroxide and sulfuric acid. So that's why I say I'd avoid the chemicals. But other than that I see no reason to glorify any one type of freight to the exclusion of others.

Don't limit your opportunities and don't assume you're going to love one thing or hate another until you've tried them.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The few that I have met said requirements told me to fill out an app AFTER I have started school

Sorry, forgot to respond to this. There are a lot of people who are considering trucking but aren't really sure if they want to get into it so you'll find some companies that try not to waste their time with people who are just curious. There are also a lot of people that would like to go to truck driving school but can't afford it and don't realize it early in the discovery process.

If they won't give you a written pre-hire letter before attending school then just try to get a verbal confirmation about whether or not you would qualify to work there with your background. Explain to them that you need to make sure you can find a job before you commit to the schooling. Also keep in mind that pre-hires , whether verbal or written, are not guarantees of employment. They can change their mind at anytime. That's why we tell people to try to get two or three if you can. That way if one or two fall through you'll still have opportunities available. Don't bank on just one pre-hire if you can help it.

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.

Stickers's Comment
member avatar

If you don't mind me asking, why do you feel that way? I've hauled just about every type of freight imaginable over the years and all of them have their advantages and disadvantages but none of them were so bad that I would avoid them and none were so good that I would do that exclusively.

Well first of all I do not want to offend anyone, I will also agree that one type of freight is not better than the other. But I have a few reasons why I am stuck on going flatbed.

- From what I have seen, the pay per mile is usually higher for a new driver for flatbed rather than van. (40 -43 CPM as compared to 25-32 CPM).

- Flatbed allows me and forces me to stay in shape.

-I have Military connected mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, being physically active helps A TON with combating this. I see getting out to check straps and chains as a positive thing. (I can proudly say I am no longer on V.A. prescribed medication for a year now).

- If I start my career in flatbed I can always go to van. It doesn't seem to work the other way without some kind of retraining.

-When and if I decide to come off OTR (and I'm sure I will) I can use my experience driving a flatbed to get a local job at one of the many construction companies or building supply companies hauling equipment locally.

-Growing up with one of my parents driving van for over 20 years and also working as a mechanic for a flatbed company I have observed that the flatbed guys/gals get more opportunities to deliver to small mom n' pop places, construction sites, etc. Rather than just dock door to dock door. I like the idea of being more personable with the people I am delivering for. And some of the places the flatbeds go into are unique and interesting, seems like an adventure and a challenge.

- I eventually want to work my way up into specialized/ heavy haul.

I haven't given tanker much thought but it is not totally out of the realm of possibilities. I live in central Iowa and you just don't really see a lot major tanker outfits around here outside of day cab fuel trucks. If I find an opportunity I would be interested but I have no intention of paying for my Hazmat or tanker endorsement if I don't need it.

I just don't see myself going from one Wal-Mart DC to one Wal-Mart store everyday. No offense if that's what you do and you are reading this. That freight has to get to there somehow!

double-quotes-start.png

The few that I have met said requirements told me to fill out an app AFTER I have started school

double-quotes-end.png

Sorry, forgot to respond to this. There are a lot of people who are considering trucking but aren't really sure if they want to get into it so you'll find some companies that try not to waste their time with people who are just curious. There are also a lot of people that would like to go to truck driving school but can't afford it and don't realize it early in the discovery process.

If they won't give you a written pre-hire letter before attending school then just try to get a verbal confirmation about whether or not you would qualify to work there with your background. Explain to them that you need to make sure you can find a job before you commit to the schooling. Also keep in mind that pre-hires , whether verbal or written, are not guarantees of employment. They can change their mind at anytime. That's why we tell people to try to get two or three if you can. That way if one or two fall through you'll still have opportunities available. Don't bank on just one pre-hire if you can help it.

That's completely understandable. Even the Community College I will be attending for my training does not actually enroll you until you show up for your first day of class for the same reason. This is why it has been no surprise that the handful of recruiters I have talked to did not take a whole lot of interest in me yet.

When and if I get a pre-hire I am sure you guys will be the first to know!

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

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.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Pat M.'s Comment
member avatar

I disagree with those that say learn to drive first. The habits that you pick up pulling a tandem axle van will not transfer over to a spread axle flat. Experience helps but is not necessary. You learn quickly the right and wrong way to secure a load. You just have to keep in mind that all the help that you get is not necessarily the correct way to do it.

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

I had no accidents.. no tickets... and no arrests.. and had been a federal e.0loyee for 18 years when I went to prime in September 2015. In Jan 2008 my schizophrenic sister told police I chased her with 3 guns. I was at work as a federal employee at the time. The police raided my house while I was at work and I went to the police station where they gave me a paper to appear in court. My sister attacked me in court and the charges against me were supposed to be expunged. At no time was i read my rights .. photo or handcuffed. I was never told I was under arrest. I thought it was a domestic charge.. we had restraining orders cause she kept trying to hurt me. My sister committed suicide on 1/1/11.

When I went to prime.. they found this charge which was dismissed. I was told it was a complaint.... not a criminal charge. The guy in the office made it sound like I robbed a bank or something. Maybe because they thought I lied about it... but even if I was arrested... they only asked about convictions..not arrests.... so they should not have acted like that.

Sooo... if they acted like that over a dismissed/expunged record that was not even an arrest from 7 years prior.. I would say no.. you have no shot with prime. Ask them of course.. but don't get your hopes up.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Stickers wrote:

I just don't see myself going from one Wal-Mart DC to one Wal-Mart store everyday. No offense if that's what you do and you are reading this. That freight has to get to there somehow!

Not offended. Considering the source, you really know nothing about it.

For starters if you want to interact with people, running Walmart is actually a great account for that. Averaging 4 store deliveries each day per load, typically has a driver talking/working with 2-3 people at each store. Plus all the other drivers at the DC each day or every other day. It's nothing like true OTR. I have made numerous friendships in the 3+ years I have been Walmart Dedicated. A lot of retired military on the account.

The driver is actively involved with each store delivery, thus the interaction with store personnel. There is some exercise especially if it's a consolidated perishable load, but definitely not like flatbed.

It probably isn't for you but my point is until you peel back the "onion", running vans, reefer or dry may look all the same on the surface. It's not.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

While i am a convicted felon and it was hard for me to get a company to even look at me. My felonies where 9 and 7 years old. A lot of them wanted me to be out of prison for a year. May Trucking gave me a chance when no one else would. Just keep grinding someone will take a chance on you....

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