What Are My Options

Topic 16381 | Page 1

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Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

Hi guys and gals,

On July 29th I graduated from truck driving school, 205 hours and 420 miles, I was already pre-hired for TMC and on August 14th headed to Iowa for orientation. I was sent home on the 15th cause during the physical they found a hernia. The school provided a physical but their doc didn't do a real physical and never checked for hernias else it would have been caught sooner. Anyway, I tried to get a dryvan/reefer job with Prime and Knight, both refused me on grounds of my having a hernia. I then turned to trying to find a doctor to fix it. I am scheduled for surgery this coming Monday. By the time I am fully recovered It will be end of October three months from school, what are my options? According to one recruiter from McElroy I will have to go back to school, and no one would take me till then. Will I need to go back to school? Are there companies that would just take me? I did graduate at the top of my class and my instructor said he and the other instructors would be references.

Thanks, I hope I can get out of this pickle, I want to start driving again.

Dryvan:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

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.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Dont sweat it. Only 3 months out, lots of companies will give you a shot.. Maybe even TMC if that is where your heart is, give them a call. Send out those applications with confidence. It gets a little tougher after 6 months post school but 3 months for a medical fix shouldnt bea problem.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

90 days from school graduation, is probably going to be the "outside limit" for some companies, and maybe more for most.

Hopefully TMC will let you come back into orientation.

Typically - even recent grads are going to be out with a trainer ANYWAYS - you just won't have to go through the motions of getting your permit, and full CDL again.

I just had multiple hernia's repaired back in May. Thought I was going in to fix 3 on a 2 hour outpatient - ended up being 6 and 4 days in the hospital.

Best of luck to you - let us know how things turn out with both the surgery, and the hiring.

Rick

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

Well the surgery is done, no complications and I am recovering quickly. I am back to researching companies now. I am still looking at TMC they told me when I left that I was welcome back. I just have some questions about them for the drivers that ran with them. I am trying to set my expectations.

So I was told by one of their drivers that they would go over the interior of your truck with a black light and if they spotted any dust they would doc your pay and deny you loads. Is this true? How clean do they expect you to keep the truck? Also the first day of orientation I was told to meet the bus at 6:45 sharp and if I missed it I would have to find my own way to the terminal... The bus came at 7:15. We were introduced to the company by the very professional courteous bus driver. When we got to the training place it was very different. The guy who was our instructor was as unprofessional as one can get. He insulted and abused the whole class constantly, told all of us right off the bat that we were nothing and he enjoyed sending people home. Everything he said was laced with profanity and while we tried to take tests he constantly interrupted us and did everything he could to be annoying. Is this the norm for orientation? Are they just trying to get drivers to give up and leave, kind of a weeding process?

I am not complaining, I am just trying to set my expectations, after I met the recruiter in school i expected professionalism and courtesy, maybe my expectations were wrong.

Okay, the other company i am looking at is Jim Palmer/Wil-Trans, do they allow you to take the truck home on home time?

That is all I have for now

Have a great day

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

So I was told by one of their drivers that they would go over the interior of your truck with a black light and if they spotted any dust they would doc your pay and deny you loads. Is this true? How clean do they expect you to keep the truck? Also the first day of orientation I was told to meet the bus at 6:45 sharp and if I missed it I would have to find my own way to the terminal... The bus came at 7:15. We were introduced to the company by the very professional courteous bus driver. When we got to the training place it was very different. The guy who was our instructor was as unprofessional as one can get. He insulted and abused the whole class constantly, told all of us right off the bat that we were nothing and he enjoyed sending people home. Everything he said was laced with profanity and while we tried to take tests he constantly interrupted us and did everything he could to be annoying. Is this the norm for orientation? Are they just trying to get drivers to give up and leave, kind of a weeding process?

I am not complaining, I am just trying to set my expectations, after I met the recruiter in school i expected professionalism and courtesy, maybe my expectations were wrong.

Uriah, I too got sent home from TMC due to a hernia, I tried to return but it never worked out for me. They are very strict over there about their rules, and one of them is that you keep your truck clean. You don't ever want to pull into the terminal with a dirty truck. I can't answer to the specifics about using a black light, but I know they are very particular. It is something that you will have to decide for yourself if you are willing to cooperate with, and if you tend to be a little lax in areas like keeping things shiny and clean, it may not be a great fit for you.

As far as your expectations, here is what I recommend:

If they tell you to be somewhere at 6:45, then be there. Doesn't matter if they don't show up until 10:30. This is just one of those ways they see if you are a person who can follow directions, and is willing to do so even if it doesn't always make sense to you. There are a lot of things that will happen in your trucking career that don't make sense to you, they would like to see how you handle such situations. Trust me they have someone at the hotel watching to take notes on which ones of you were there and waiting at 6:45.

Expect to have some mind games thrown at you. I believe the man's name is George that you didn't care for. If I'm correct on who you are referring to he is the one guy you need to make a really good impression on. He is the keeper of the gate and he will try a lot of little tricks to get you to act frustrated. All of these seemingly irritating things that you didn't like about him are purposeful. Trucking will throw you curves and distractions every day, and the people you will be delivering to are often rude and very unhelpful at times. This is just TMC's way of seeing how you handle situations like that. If you are easily flustered, then they may consider you as not very good prospective material for their team.

Your biggest expectation should be that this whole orientation and training process is one loooong interview process. Handle the whole thing that way and you will be better off. Don't consider yourself hired and secure until you are sitting in the seat of your very own assigned truck and have been dispatched your first load. Also, consider yourself fired if you step on the grass where there is sign that says "stay off the grass." There is always someone getting sent home from TMC orientation for ignoring that stay off the grass sign. You may think that's petty, but they think that any decent truck driver needs to read and obey all signs, and they are absolutely correct in that assumption. They have their own ways of determining if you will fit there or not, and that is what you are experiencing.

I don't know much about Jim Palmer or Wil-Trans , but I do know they are affiliated with Prime, and Prime drivers take their trucks home, so as long as they are hiring from multiple states like Prime does, I feel for sure that you would be able to take your truck home when on home time. That is a question that can be easily answered by a recruiter.

My curiosity has got me on your choices though. TMC is all flat-bed. Your other choices do not include flat-bed. Usually most flat-bed drivers are die hard flat-bedders. I realize you are just getting this ball rolling and may not be sure what you want to do, but I was just curious about that difference.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the detailed reply Old School. Yes that was George. It does make sense that he is sort of a gate keeper. I do not get flustered easily and didn't there, and I am willing to abide by rules. Since I am just out of surgery I am just researching companies at this point. I will admit I am not closed to pretty much anything at this point, I originally was only interested in flatbed but now I am looking at several different companies. I know Knight will take me, Prime, really anyone. I have a clean record so it is kinda wide open and at this point a little overwhelming lol. I am just looking for a job to get started in and probably stay in, I am a loyal person and will stick it out with anyone i start with. Hence my still considering TMC even after a bad experience. I figured that i hadn't seen the whole company so I wouldn't pass a judgment on them.

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.
Brian M.'s Comment
member avatar

Apply to Prime all they can say is no. Explain your hernia situation and that you had surgery and you are 100%. They may just take you on. They may have you do a few extra training miles.

Let me know if I can help.

B_Dawg's Comment
member avatar

Hey Uriah. I'm still in school, but I know 3 classmates that went to TMC. One of them was sent home for a hernia but he had it repaired and they welcomed him back. They told us about the "stay off the grass" sign and confirmed that people were sent home for disobeying it. From what I've been told yes they are very strict and when they tell you something they meant it to the letter. As Old School said, you are under constant evaluation. However, I've heard nothing but positive feedback if you can adhere to their policies.

Uriah (FlyingTanker)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the replies. I may try Prime again. I guess my main question has been answered, and that was: do I have to get a refresher? Like I said earlier I am still researching, and right now I am quite boggled by the sheer amount of options lol. I forgot to say this earlier, Wil-Trans does have flatbed. One thing that has me struggling is this: I need to start work as soon as I can, doc will clear me to drive in three to four weeks but not flatbed for six. At least that was his projection before the surgery. So if I go to dry van reefer or tanker I can start work sooner...

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

Reefer:

A refrigerated trailer.

Wil-Trans:

Darrel Wilson bought his first tractor in 1980 at age 20, but, being too young to meet OTR age requirements, he leased the truck out and hired a driver.

Through growth and acquisition, Wil-Trans now employs over 200 drivers, and has a long-standing partnership with Prime, Inc. to haul their refrigerated freight. The family of businesses also includes Jim Palmer Trucking and O & S Trucking.

Sam the Wrestler's Comment
member avatar

Give XPO a call. They have treated me very fair.

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