Hello! New Member Here, Army Vet And Have A Serious Set Of Questions And Need Big Help

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John G. 's Comment
member avatar

THIS IS ABOUT TMC hello everybody, my name is john and i'm a new CDL holder, went through lakeland college cdl program and it was excellent.

i was in the army for 7 years as an 88M Motor Transport Operator, 2 deployments Iraq & Afghanistan.

flawless record, both civilian & military.

now here is where i beg for everyones attention for the story i am about to type out, trying to remain as professional as i can and explaining in full detail so that hopefully someone out there can help me. i am literally CRUSHED about all this and have never been so let down in my entire life. so here it is.

so, we all know the big amazing flatbed company called TMC right? the best of the best, strict, positive environment, amazing equipment and respect for drivers. back in februrary this year while i was still in the army stationed at fort bliss, texas, i had gotten ahold of them seeking information and telling them about myself which led to me filling out an application which got approved 2 days later. there i was called by Jon H. with recruiting who asked me all about my military time, job, and experience with vehicles i've driven. i told him i would be able to get him a copy of my dd-214 once i got out, get right into a school that they hire out of and get right with the show. throughout the months waiting to get out of the army, THEY,,,,,,, kept in touch with me, as i did with them. both Lisa & Jon, things were golden. i finally got out in mid october with an honorable discharge, came home to southern illinois and went right into CDL school and let TMC know, where i was told to send them a copy of my DOT physical long form, and my dd-214 which is a paper with basically my whole military record on it showing all of my time, 2 duty stations, deployments, awards, qualifications, everything. they already had a copy of my 348 which is a qualification list of all the vehicles i was licensed on.

now, on the 3rd week of school i call to double check with Lisa that she had gotten the documents they needed, she got them and minutes later Jon calls me, and tells me they have everything tied up and it looks great, and set me up for orientation on december 9th. cant even begin to explain to you all how excited i was.

next up, test day. passed it all, got my CDL in hand, and called jon, no answer. called lisa, no answer. tried calling later, no answer. so then i went through the recruiting dept and finally got ahold of jon, to only be told that somehow,,,,, they had said no, and that i was turned down. how can that happen if YOU had just told me a week ago im pre hired and set up for orientation on monday.. so i ask him what happened, he could not and would not give me any reason but this "" taking other applicants is all it says"

so from there, i ask for their HR dept number, gave them a call and ended up talking to the recruiting manager, i explained the whole situation to her, she pulled up my file and looked at EVERYTHING, said that there was no indicators or any reason as to how or why they would deny me because of my perfect record, my military time and experience as a truck driver, a 98% grade held through cdl school, and also the reputation i had with them since february. so she sent it back to the review board with some added notes to help get their attention and look things over in hopes to get them to see how beneficial it would be to hire me on.

i call back the next day, only to find out that i had been turned down AGAIN.

guys & gals, do you feel like i do now? is there ANYBODY that can help with this, i have tried everything. i have begged for someone to talk to up there that knows something, someone who can give me a definite answer as to why this happened, and someone i can talk to in high places to help get me through with them and in for orientation.

heres a final kicker or finishing touch to the whole story, while in class, a student there with me had asked where i was going to for a company, i told him TMC, he said he had never heard of them and i told him all about them, gave him my recruiters number, he called, filed out an application, got approved, (both lisa & jon know that i sent him their way) and this is the thanks i get. i gave them a driver who had no intention of driving for them or even knew who they were and after everything with them myself, they shut me down twice. AFTER saying i was good to go.

i will tell you about this fellow student that got hired on, unstable work history, no military time, no driving experience at all, and had an accident with the truck during training. they hired him.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey John, Welcome to the forum!

I wanted to reply to your post because I too was rejected by TMC, not once, but twice I went to their orientation and got rejected. I too pleaded with upper management and basically was told there was nothing they could do about it. To make matters worse the person who rejected me was a physical therapist who has never even driven a truck and probably never even been inside a tractor cab.

Here's what I want to say to you. You've just got to let it go and move forward. There are a lot of other great flat-bed companies out there. I thought TMC was the ultimate place to work, and wanted it bad! But I found out that I'm quite happy where I'm at, and I have very quickly made a name for myself already being considered as a top tier driver in my first six months of proving myself.

Truck driving has a lot of things about it that the drivers will never understand, and it's best to get that under your belt right from the start. During your career there are going to be things all the time come up that you just don't understand why your dispatcher would do, or policies that management makes that don't make a lick of sense to the driver. You do your job, and if you do it well you will always come out on top, even if you never understand what the heck management is trying to accomplish with some of their crazy attempts at making things work better.

I'm going to give you a link to my story, not so that you can dwell on how badly TMC has treated you but hopefully so you will see the way to moving on with the pursuit of your career.

Rejection at TMC

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

John, I even got rejected by another company before I got my career started and then I ended up with a nut for my trainer! Perseverance and persistence are your best friends when it comes to getting started in this business. Check out the rest of my story here, and hang in there. I'm confident you've got what it takes to be a great driver. Oh, and by the way, TMC has been begging me on a weekly basis to give them another try, but I'm quite settled in where I'm at and making some great money.

Three Strikes your out!

Finally It Comes Together

John G. 's Comment
member avatar

Thank you Old School,

i am slowly letting it go but i just can not get past the whole thing about how it all happened. i could completely understand it all if it had been something i did at orientation that shot me down, but for them to be so appreciative and forward to hiring military vets, i wouldve thought for sure i was more than highly qualified for their level of business. but without even goin up there after being told we'll see you on the 9th to start orientation, and this happening i'm simply shell shocked.

what i have done is this, yesterday i filled out an application for Boyd Brothers transportation, to me they seem like a nice flatbed company and also nice equipment with high standards, i'm not seeking absolute perfection, i have family thats been in the industry for many years so i know all about the ups and downs and what to expect and how to push through it, there cant be anything worse in the trucking world than anything i've done overseas or in the army at any point. my mindset is very hardened, dedicated to busting my rear to make good money, careless about home time, just ready to work and drive even harder. i also filled out an application for BTI special commodities & schenider as backups. i would much rather take BTI over Boyd, and boyd over schneider. flatbed is what i really want hands down. the hard work, the pay, and variety of loads never being the same. gettin out there in the nasty weather securing the truck to the load, freezing, being soaking wet, or sweating my clothes soaked, nothing ive been more ready for in my whole life lol.

i will take time here later today to read through your posts sir, i see on here you are a very knowledgeable and well known master of truckin, so i look forward to reading up.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

John, I understand your feelings completely - shell shocked is a great way of putting it. Just don't let it fester or grow deep inside like a bitter root springing up and producing bad fruit. Rejection is always tough, especially when it makes absolutely no sense at all. With TMC promoting hiring military vets so much it makes that pill doubly hard to swallow - I get it, I really do. I trust you'll be able to move on.

Hey, I noticed your from IL. Have you ever considered "Hunt" Transportation? They are a flat-bed company that does a lot of work with hauling farm equipment, and I think they do a lot of work up in your area which would make it convenient for them to get you home when needed. It's a great company, I would encourage you to look them up on the web and give it a shot. I'm not sure if they are hiring student graduates are not right now, but check it out when you've got the time.

Woody's Comment
member avatar

John, I really can't add much to what Old School has stated. He has been through exactly what your going through. I don't always believe in fate, but sometimes setbacks happen that turn out to be better off in the end. And if anyone deserves circumstances to nudge them in the right direction it's those that have served our country.

I sincerely thank you for your service.

Woody

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

All these replies are great ones. You have to just keep going and find a different company. It's just like driving on the road, if the road is closed, just find a different one and keep on rolling. Sure it'll take more time but it's better than sitting.

Now don't quote me on this as what I'm about to say is nothing more than hearsay. I have heard (especially in the flight industry) that military experience can hinder your chances. I'm not saying that is what has happened but it's a slight possibility. There's something about military training that clashes with civilian transport training. My guess is military pushes safety limits for the sake of execution where in the civilian industry they want safety as the foundation of learning.

I hope this doesn't make you mad, mostly because it probably isn't true, but with that other student getting the job instead of you it might just be. The 2nd reason I can think of is just pure timing. Perhaps they took too long getting you in and that other student took the last spot.

It doesn't matter what the reason is. The trucking gods are forcing you in another direction. 9 times out of 10, it's for the better my friend.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome aboard John!

I agree with everything said above. You will work for TMC at some point if that's what you want to do. You may just need to get a little experience somewhere else first. I highly suspect the timing of it may be the issue. This is the slow season we're about to enter into and a lot of companies cut back on their hiring. You might apply in a week or two and get approved. Who knows? But with some safe flatbedding experience with another company - even for 6 months - you'll almost certainly get right in with TMC. I know they normally hire students out of school but in this case you'll just have to go elsewhere for a short time first - no big deal.

Trucking is a strange beast. There are a lot of ups and downs and the industry is run by and governed by people who for the most part have never driven a truck. So believe me, you're going to come across policies, strategies, and changes that make no sense at all on a regular basis in this industry.

One of the most important things you can do is forget about it and keep moving forward. Once you get out there you're going to come across a ton of bitter, crabby truck drivers. Not all of em of course. But there's a subset of drivers that just b*tch and complain every waking second of their lives. They hate everyone and everything, trucking sucks, the government sucks, and pretty much everything else too. That's what happens to people who don't learn how to let things go. Every bad moment, every bad day, every time they weren't treated well - they carry it with em. Before long it adds up and you're just angry with the world and miserable all the time.

So take this opportunity to hone your mental Judo. I always say, "Live now and move forward". Every moment you have endless opportunities ahead of you. You just have to go out there and make it happen. Focus on the positives and forget about the negatives.

Ya know, there's a video game commercial out right now with Ray Lewis, former linebacker from the Baltimore Ravens. When asked if he misses playing football his response is, "Only a fool trips on what's behind him." I thought that was a great saying. I realize it's in the context of a silly commercial but that doesn't make it any less useful as a guideline. Don't trip on what's behind you. Live now and move forward. You'll get on with a different company, get a little experience, and TMC will welcome you with open arms. No big deal at all.

smile.gif

John G. 's Comment
member avatar

Thank you guys, the professional & positive feedback is helping me a lot with the situation.

i just dont want to go ruining my solid work history by goin with someone else for 6 months or a year and then calling up TMC again, i am afraid of the consequences.

if it can be done without anybody giving me the hassle, and they give me a 110% go ahead before i hop out of one truck and aboard with them, i will do so because that company was the light in my eyes for a very long time.

tomorrow will be a test of my strength, expecting calls back from the following companies,

BTI Special Commodities

Boyd Brothers Transportation

Schneider National

i would take BTI before boyd, boyd way before schneider, but a 3 way plan cant fail. schneider is not one i have much care for, but they supposively have a really strong repuation with military vets and a decent amount of work to be done.

all in all, i'm all about the flatbedding. i'm a young guy, only 5'7 but i'm a mule, i can work and do things without question above and beyond what most would see me capable of. my 2 deployments in Iraq & Afghanistan consisted mostly driving an M916 with a triple axle hydraulic lowboy, i've chained down & strapped many loads many different ways all without fail and with my own idea. i secured the truck to the load so to speak. as top heavy as some of those loads were, such as blown up MRAPS & other bigger vehicles, or just random assortments of crates, boxes, pallets of water, i have not ever had one load come loose or unsecure.

for me, flatbed is a huge sense of pride. strangely it is a thrill and sort of excitement to get out there and be told to put X on the trailer, tie it down how you know it will hold, and when its all said and done look at the beauty of your work and haul on.

my most frightening load? Kunar Province Afghanistan, had an M1120A4, with a flat rack, trailer and rack on the trailer LOADED with not an inch to spare of HE 155mm artillery rounds to be hauled down south to our bravo company fires section in support of an operation our battalion held to retrieve a british reporter who took it upon herself to go outside the gate, hop in with the ANP, and go for a ride. the vic she was in got nabbed, ANP wiped out and she was dragged west into the mountains by Mujahjadin fighters.

anyways, tarveling 20 miles through turns and tight roads everybody that was loaded up with the artillery rounds knew quite well that if an RPG or anything hit, we would literally be blown through to the other side of the earth lol. so now the fun part, we finally get there and its a turn into a sideways slope to get into the COP, i had the pins in the rack to lock it to the frame of the rig and same for the trailer, we get stopped about halfway in, start taking fire from the mountain west of the entrance. now picture this, 20 tons of HE 155mm artillery rounds in metal crates leaned so far sideways that they are now paralell to the ground, drivers side lean, 4 5,000 lb straps securing each 2 sets of crates, and the only thing keeping the truck from flipping the rest of the way is the pintle hook plate on the truck being stuck, keeping the trailer set all wheels on the ground holding all the weight of the truck, passenger side wheels of the truck all off the ground, a guy has to make a decision right? knowing that rounds are coming in and one is sooner or later bound to be an RPG luck shot, i put in it drive and slammed the pedal and turned hard left, banging that truck down to the ground so hard that it made a huge plume of dust you couldnt even see through, and nothin but squeaks and rattles, unable to see, 5 minutes later it all clears up and i look in the mirrors, not one single crate of artillery rounds fell off, every strap secure, job well done. load securement 101.

i have pictures somewhere i'll try to find and post for everybody from that and the rest of the deployments ive been on. got carried away there lol

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

EPU:

Electric Auxiliary Power Units

Electric APUs have started gaining acceptance. These electric APUs use battery packs instead of the diesel engine on traditional APUs as a source of power. The APU's battery pack is charged when the truck is in motion. When the truck is idle, the stored energy in the battery pack is then used to power an air conditioner, heater, and other devices

John G. 's Comment
member avatar

With that said, is there anybody out there that knows more about BTI, or Boyd Brothers?

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