Abandoned Equipment Once, Eight Years Ago.

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Bryan O.'s Comment
member avatar

About 8 years ago, I took a two week crash course to get my cdl , then went to work for a major refrigerated carrier out of Utah. I was completely untrained in otr driving. Held a steering wheel for my "trainer" for 3 weeks, on a dedicated route , of which he spent 9 days at home while I camped out in the dorm at the terminal. In the three weeks I was assigned to his truck, I backed up once. In the company's yard. Afterward, I was assigned to my own truck as a solo company driver.

My driver manager and I didn't click. He was just as new at his job as I was at mine, literally Sat in his chair two days before I was assigned to my truck, which was assigned to him. Because of my obvious lack of skill, I had a lot of issues starting out solo. A couple late loads, getting lost, that sort of thing. So we didn't get along very well. I gradually got better, mostly learning things like trip planning by trial and error.

Overall, I was miserable. Stressing out badly, I had zero creature comforts in the truck, no tv, no laptop, just an old flip phone for contact with my family.

I'm not getting into the drama revolving around finding my truck, or how filthy it was when I finally tracked it down.

For over six months straight, I didn't see my house. From when I started in mid December until I quit in mid june.

Finally, in june, after two months of being told "just run this load and I'll try to route you home" I got a load from Arkansas going to Denver. I lived in Casper, Wyoming. About four and a half hours north. Dm sends message saying after I deliver, I'm off for 5 days. Enjoy my home time.

Got to Denver 2 hours early, talked to the customer, their fine with me dropping the trailer early, pick up the empty, send my macros to the company, and tell my Dm I'll be back after home time. Then I start heading north.

Just as I cross the border into Wyoming, the Qualcomm beeps. I'm driving empty, it's windy as hell, I figure I'll check when I stop in Cheyenne.

Get to the loves in Cheyenne, check messages, it's a load assignment. Back to Arkansas. Pickup in 3 days.

Call my Dm, ask if he sent it by mistake, he doesn't even sound apologetic when he says "no, I need you to get down there" I reminded him I hadn't been home in over 6 months, he just says I'm a company driver and I cannot refuse the load. I hung up and continued north. Another Qualcomm message comes in demanding I acknowledge the load. I ignore it. Next the phone rings, I let it go to voice mail. Next message on Qualcomm informs me if I continue driving north, my Dm will call the Wyoming state police and report my truck stolen. I can either turn around and drive to Arkansas, or I can drive to salt lake and turn the truck in.

At this point I am so angry at the way I am being treated, I pulled into a truck park off the freeway, called a friend from Casper to come pick me up, sent my Dm a message telling him where to find the truck, locked the keys inside and went the hell home.

Now here we are. 8 years later. I want to try driving over the road again. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed the job. Yeah I was miserable in that particular truck. With that particular Dm. Working for that particular company. But let's face it, I was so naive, and so afraid of getting fired I didn't even think to ask for a different Dm. I could have done things a lot differently. Including not leaving my truck on the side of the road.

I've prepared a lot better this time. I've researched several different company training programs, been talking to drivers, and getting my personal life rearranged for driving over the road. I've saved about $7000 for living expenses during training and for outfitting my truck when I eventually get it. I do not have a girlfriend this time around demanding that I come home, no kids, I'll be moving out of my apartment and won't have any bills. All I want to do is drive. See the country, hammer miles, and if I need a couple days to decompress, wherever I happen to be, I can get a hotel, camp out and watch HBO, have a few drinks, whatever, then get back on the road to make more money.

I guess my question is (for anyone still reading) will having abandoned a truck, 8 years ago, prevent me from being hired by a decent company now? I know who I want to work for, but so far I haven't been able to get a response from their recruiting department.

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.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

A single pothole in a resume usually won't kill your chances. Eight years is a fairly long time. If your MVR is good, and you can show a decent work history since then, I wouldn't think it would be impossible to get back into trucking. I'd strongly suggest you go with a larger company that has a decent school though, and, in fact, you would probably make some points with the recruiter by telling them that you want to be trained again, because last time you received training, it wasn't all that great, and you might still be missing useful information.

It doesn't sound like you got training at a major carrier last time. Was it a mom and pop trucking company? If so, you can point that out, but I'd hesitate to be as negative about it in a conversation with a recruiter as you just were with us. Simply saying you got minimal training and had to learn a lot on your own, then were put on the road for six months straight with no home time would probably be enough to get you some slack.

If your application doesn't have any more bombshells like DUI's, felonies, or a terrible work history where you can't keep a job for more than a couple months, it's going to come down to how well you can sell yourself. Be confident, but admit fault. Apply to major carriers with their own schools. Don't shell out bucks for a private school, because you want to have that job offer before you spend the money.

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.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Bryan O.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the confidence boost. I don't want to mention names, but the company I worked for was named after a country..... I didn't get my cdl through them however. I went to a 2 week school in Casper Wyoming. Two 5 day weeks, just enough instructions to pass the test, which was administered by the instructor lol. Hey it was free. After all the researching I've been doing, I think I want to go with prime. I like how their system sounds.

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.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Farmerbob1's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the confidence boost. I don't want to mention names, but the company I worked for was named after a country..... I didn't get my cdl through them however. I went to a 2 week school in Casper Wyoming. Two 5 day weeks, just enough instructions to pass the test, which was administered by the instructor lol. Hey it was free. After all the researching I've been doing, I think I want to go with prime. I like how their system sounds.

If it's been eight years, and your class was only a two week class, you will probably need to meet current training standards, even if you kept your CDL active. 160+ hours of instruction is what most major carriers require from outside schools.

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.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Bryan O.'s Comment
member avatar

I actually let my cdl lapse a couple years ago. I'm considering myself as starting from scratch. Yes, I have some knowledge, maybe a bit more than the average cdl student, but nowhere near what I would call experienced. My intention is to start fresh. Repeat cdl school, go through a real training program, relearn trip planning, logging, paperwork, and flat out how to drive, just like I'd never set foot in a truck before. Very much looking forward to doing it right this time.

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.
Shantanic (Shannon F.)'s Comment
member avatar

Prime is a good choice, at least it was for me. I know everyone has a different experience but I thoroughly enjoyed my training there. The training pay is decent, and you'll run several weeks team driving with a trainer across all 48 states so you'll get a ton of experience compared to what you had. Good luck!

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Trucking companies won't change if people quit...they find new people. Who did it hurt, the company,? No... It hurts the drivers paycheck and possibly careers.

Idk about the abandonment...that is a very big deal. I could be wrong be I think it is going to be difficult to find employment with that in your record. You had your licr se and you were an employee so it will be on your DAC. Companies ask for ten years driving employment cause it does matter to them. One of my prime classmates got axed from orientation for abandonment although on sure it was more recent.

You were placed in possession of their incredibly expensive equipment and left it somewhere unattended. This is going to appear extremely irresponsible. They told you to take it to the terminal and you refused. That I'd a big deal. I'm not saying they were right. I would have been calling the DMs boss.

What company would want to trust you with not only the truck and trailer but a load worth $100k?

Good luck. Apply everywhere and see what happens. Pull your DAC and see what they reported

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.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Keith W.'s Comment
member avatar

Every company has different rules and requirements, but the company I worked for would NEVER hire someone that had abandoned equipment. Same with rollovers and drugs.

Don't limit yourself to just one company, apply to several and you will probably get another shot.

Good luck and be truthful on your applications. They can find stuff out nowadays that is shocking...

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Here's the link that will send applications "all over the place":
Apply For Truck Driving Jobs

Shiva's Comment
member avatar

About 8 years ago, I took a two week crash course to get my cdl , then went to work for a major refrigerated carrier out of Utah. I was completely untrained in otr driving. Held a steering wheel for my "trainer" for 3 weeks, on a dedicated route , of which he spent 9 days at home while I camped out in the dorm at the terminal. In the three weeks I was assigned to his truck, I backed up once. In the company's yard. Afterward, I was assigned to my own truck as a solo company driver.

My driver manager and I didn't click. He was just as new at his job as I was at mine, literally Sat in his chair two days before I was assigned to my truck, which was assigned to him. Because of my obvious lack of skill, I had a lot of issues starting out solo. A couple late loads, getting lost, that sort of thing. So we didn't get along very well. I gradually got better, mostly learning things like trip planning by trial and error.

Overall, I was miserable. Stressing out badly, I had zero creature comforts in the truck, no tv, no laptop, just an old flip phone for contact with my family.

I'm not getting into the drama revolving around finding my truck, or how filthy it was when I finally tracked it down.

For over six months straight, I didn't see my house. From when I started in mid December until I quit in mid june.

Finally, in june, after two months of being told "just run this load and I'll try to route you home" I got a load from Arkansas going to Denver. I lived in Casper, Wyoming. About four and a half hours north. Dm sends message saying after I deliver, I'm off for 5 days. Enjoy my home time.

Got to Denver 2 hours early, talked to the customer, their fine with me dropping the trailer early, pick up the empty, send my macros to the company, and tell my Dm I'll be back after home time. Then I start heading north.

Just as I cross the border into Wyoming, the Qualcomm beeps. I'm driving empty, it's windy as hell, I figure I'll check when I stop in Cheyenne.

Get to the loves in Cheyenne, check messages, it's a load assignment. Back to Arkansas. Pickup in 3 days.

Call my Dm, ask if he sent it by mistake, he doesn't even sound apologetic when he says "no, I need you to get down there" I reminded him I hadn't been home in over 6 months, he just says I'm a company driver and I cannot refuse the load. I hung up and continued north. Another Qualcomm message comes in demanding I acknowledge the load. I ignore it. Next the phone rings, I let it go to voice mail. Next message on Qualcomm informs me if I continue driving north, my Dm will call the Wyoming state police and report my truck stolen. I can either turn around and drive to Arkansas, or I can drive to salt lake and turn the truck in.

At this point I am so angry at the way I am being treated, I pulled into a truck park off the freeway, called a friend from Casper to come pick me up, sent my Dm a message telling him where to find the truck, locked the keys inside and went the hell home.

Now here we are. 8 years later. I want to try driving over the road again. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed the job. Yeah I was miserable in that particular truck. With that particular Dm. Working for that particular company. But let's face it, I was so naive, and so afraid of getting fired I didn't even think to ask for a different Dm. I could have done things a lot differently. Including not leaving my truck on the side of the road.

I've prepared a lot better this time. I've researched several different company training programs, been talking to drivers, and getting my personal life rearranged for driving over the road. I've saved about $7000 for living expenses during training and for outfitting my truck when I eventually get it. I do not have a girlfriend this time around demanding that I come home, no kids, I'll be moving out of my apartment and won't have any bills. All I want to do is drive. See the country, hammer miles, and if I need a couple days to decompress, wherever I happen to be, I can get a hotel, camp out and watch HBO, have a few drinks, whatever, then get back on the road to make more money.

I guess my question is (for anyone still reading) will having abandoned a truck, 8 years ago, prevent me from being hired by a decent company now? I know who I want to work for, but so far I haven't been able to get a response from their recruiting department.

Get a copy of your DAC , to see what's on there

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.

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.

Dedicated Route:

A driver or carrier who transports cargo between regular, prescribed routes. Normally it means a driver will be dedicated to working for one particular customer like Walmart or Home Depot and they will only haul freight for that customer. You'll often hear drivers say something like, "I'm on the Walmart dedicated account."

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.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

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.

Driver Manager:

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

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