Interested In Trucking, Made Bad Choices Before This Good Choice.

Topic 22106 | Page 1

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Workhorse 's Comment
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So I know I’m about to get my fair share of scaldings and I deserve every bit of it. That being said, as stated I’m interested in starting a career as a professional driver. I’ve studied the manual and am scoring beautifully on my practice tests. I am taking this very seriously as I understand I’m essentially towing a wrecking ball down the road and the safety of every one is in my hands including myself.

Now for the bad news; I have a failed drug test, it was a non-DOT test and is not on any records, my employer isn’t disclosing the information I know this because my Prime recruiter called him and I was accepted. I was honest with them and told them about it myself and was immediately told not to even come up. I won’t bother by saying it was a mistake it was a choice, a one time choice that I’ve regretted since because now as I try and find employment doing something I’ve wanted to try I’m denied left and right. I am seeking counseling and doing all that I can to show that besides the one time I messed up I am a straightforward, honest, and reliable person.

I’m asking for any advice on how to make myself more desirable to carriers and what companies would be willing to work with me. This one item is the only bad mark on my record, my mvr is clean and no criminal history. Work history is excellent. What can I do? Please no soapbox grandstanding I’ve read it all already so I know how bad drugs and driving are. Thank you all for your time and consideration.

Iraq vet from Florida.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

A lot of us, at one time, most likely made some bad choices, myself included. The only thing that matters, now as you pursue this career / lifestyle, is that you focus on what you need to do "now."

If your previous employer is not reporting it, then one could argue that it "never happened." talk to him/her about it, and be upfront about your new career focus and moving on from past choices. If they are amicable, and willing to help you in that regard. Then it didn't happen. That is how I would approach it.

There are companies that will give you a chance so don't give up.

Workhorse 's Comment
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Thanks for that raises my spirits about my future. If there’s any trucking advice you’ve gained since driving feel free to share them. I see that you’re with Swift, how are they as a carrier?

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Welcome Malcolm.

So I know I’m about to get my fair share of scaldings and I deserve every bit of it.

No, we're not that kind of crowd. We do what we can to help people move forward with their lives. If you're serious about getting started in trucking we're serious about helping you any way we can.

If there’s any trucking advice you’ve gained since driving feel free to share them.

That's all we do. This site has many thousands of pages of articles, a career guide, my book, and people's experiences in trucking to help people like yourself get started. Here is our "starter package" for anyone getting ready to start their trucking career:

You'll definitely get a shot in trucking.

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.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for that raises my spirits about my future. If there’s any trucking advice you’ve gained since driving feel free to share them. I see that you’re with Swift, how are they as a carrier?

I did not have the typical start to this career. I started on a NE Regional dedicated account,(Walmart) right from the start. Swift has been great to me, so far. There are several of us that drive for Swift, so between all of us we can answer any questions you may have.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Heres the problem...usually these trucking companies do multi level investigations. They might call the employer before you get to orientation, but ask for a fax reference when you get there. You have no idea what will be said.

i know someone who did not admit to failing a non DOT drug test, but when doctors sent prime records for something else, the failed test was there and the newbie was sent home.

Also, you stated you got popped for a one time mistake. it will be hard to convince a company it was one time. more than anything, they hate liars. it is easier for them to forgive mistakes than lies.

good luck.

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.

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.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Rainy's spot-on reply to Malcom:

Also, you stated you got popped for a one time mistake. it will be hard to convince a company it was one time. more than anything, they hate liars. it is easier for them to forgive mistakes than lies.

So true. But why?

It's about trust and the elevated risk that applies to every rookie. Lie and get caught, the perceived risk increases. Malcome if you lie to them during the application process how then can you be trusted with their 80,000 pound, quarter million dollar machine loaded with potentially a million dollars of flat screen TV's? It's a big deal... "Next."

We constantly state trucking is highly competitive, and it starts immediately following receipt of your application. Don't start out on the wrong foot by not disclosing everything they ask for and withholding things they don't ask for.

And definitely do NOT take the word of a recruiter that it's okay to hide something like a failed drug test. Ultimately not their call. They are prequalifying, filling their funnel full of candidates. Listen to Rainy's advice and heed her warning.

Truth..."tell it" always.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Workhorse 's Comment
member avatar

Rainy's spot-on reply to Malcom:

double-quotes-start.png

Also, you stated you got popped for a one time mistake. it will be hard to convince a company it was one time. more than anything, they hate liars. it is easier for them to forgive mistakes than lies.

double-quotes-end.png

So true. But why?

It's about trust and the elevated risk that applies to every rookie. Lie and get caught, the perceived risk increases. Malcome if you lie to them during the application process how then can you be trusted with their 80,000 pound, quarter million dollar machine loaded with potentially a million dollars of flat screen TV's? It's a big deal... "Next."

We constantly state trucking is highly competitive, and it starts immediately following receipt of your application. Don't start out on the wrong foot by not disclosing everything they ask for and withholding things they don't ask for.

And definitely do NOT take the word of a recruiter that it's okay to hide something like a failed drug test. Ultimately not their call. They are prequalifying, filling their funnel full of candidates. Listen to Rainy's advice and heed her warning.

Truth..."tell it" always.

Thank you I appreciate that. So far I have been honest and disclosed the information to the recruiter and on my application and that’s as far as it goes. If I could get in there to take their drug test then they would see I’m clean but I can’t make it to that point. It was a one time thing, alcohol was involved and I thought I was using a vape pen w/ nicotine; I was wrong, very wrong. I was tested that very week. I told my supervisor about it and he was willing to work with me but the chop order came from on high at the corporate level.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Ask about going through SAP. maybe it will help

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Workhorse 's Comment
member avatar

Ask about going through SAP. maybe it will help

Thanks Rainy D and all the others who've helped raise my confidence. I will look into SAP Programs just hope they don't cost to much if you know of any good programs I would love to hear about them. I am currently seeing a licensed mental health counselor as I'm a Vet she's offered her services free of charge. However, I feel that this will not satisfy the requirements. I also enjoyed reading your thread and contributions about rookie drivers and the things they should know before making the mistakes themselves, especially all the tips on tandem sliding. I'm also considering going to a CDL school because to even start I would have to submit to a DOT drug screening and hopefully any future carriers would consider that into their calculations when it comes to pre-employment negotiations. Any thoughts?

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.

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".

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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