Did I Burn My Bridges In The Trucking Industry?

Topic 2316 | Page 1

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Brent B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Everyone,

It has been a while since I have been on this forum, so I would like to update you. When I last posted, in July, I was leaving to train with Swift. Well, it did not last long. After orientation, I went with my trainer who, I might add, was very good. Unfortunately, after 5 days on the road, my trainer told me I would not be paid for sitting in the passenger seat. The problem is that we were told during orientation that we would be paid x amount for driving and x amount for sitting in the passenger seat. My trainer and I had a conference call with my driver coordinator and she stated that I will be paid for sitting in the passenger seat, as stated during orientation. My trainer decided to pull rank, saying he had been doing this since 1974, and he was not going to let me be paid for sitting in the passenger seat. There was no compromise! My DC was ****ed and I was ****ed. This is a guy who also declared that he had threatened senior executives because of his standing in the company. I was at a loss. My DC said I could go home for a week and discuss things with my wife. She also said I would be welcome back at any time. This meant a lot to me because I did not quit under a load and knew I had the approval of my DC to go home and think things over. Fast forward to today. After discussing things with my wife, we decided to hold off on a return to swift for a few months. My DC was totally cool with that and said I would be welcome back when I was ready. Well, a couple of weeks ago I reapplied and was denied. I called my DC, who said I would be welcome back at any time, and she changed her story, slightly. She said that she meant to say I would be welcome back at any time IF my rehire application was approved. I about fell off my chair. Why say one thing and change it after I reapply?

Here is my problem now. I graduated from central refrigerated trucking school in Oct. 2012. I never started training because of a knee issue and having to take care of my Grandmother, who developed cancer and passed away in June of this year. Since then, I went to work for swift, as explained above and, I have had 3 part-time and temp jobs since then. I have applied at several companies and have been rejected. The reasons I am getting is that I graduated from another trucking company's school, I resigned during training at another and I don't have a minimum of 3 months OTR , even for companies who say that they take CDL graduates with no experience. I have one company that has shown some interest in me, and that is Melton, but I am worried that if I am rejected during the application process, I may be out of options!

I really need some advice, y'all. Did I burn my bridges, or is there still hope for me to get on with a company! Your advice will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks! Brent

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.

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.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Brent, it's good to hear from you again, I only wish it were under better circumstances.

I don't think you are out of options, but you are limited somewhat. I'm not getting on to you, but want to say this because other newbies will see this also. This is why we say to stick it out with your trainer and don't rock the boat. Some trainers are nuts! I know because I had one of them. The best way to get into this industry is to endure what ever gets thrown at you even if it is a complete surprise and not exactly what your recruiter told you, and then proceed to proving yourself for one full safe year with the company that you started with. That really is the magic formula for success.

Okay, you didn't go the magic formula way, and I understand why. If Melton is showing an interest then pursue it as far as you can. They are a great outfit, and you will be very fortunate to get on with them. Hiring is slowing down for everyone right now, freight is slow during this time of year. If Melton passes on you then you've got to work extra hard at pursuing applications and following up with phone calls. Brent, be persistent and don't let yourself get so down about this that you give up. You've got several things working against you right now, you've just got to recognize that and work hard to overcome it.

Keep coming in here for advice if needed, and we will do what we can to help.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brent B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Old School! I guess I let emotion get in the way of reason and common sense. I should have just sucked it up and got through the training. I will pursue companies with aggression, because I want to show that I can do this job. Even if limited, I need to stay positive and call, repeatedly, those companies I am interested in. Thanks so much for your advice and support.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Yeah, I agree 100% with Old School. Aggressively pursue another opportunity and stick it out no matter what.

If I were you I would go into this with the idea that this is your last shot, and it very well may be, at least for quite a while. Unfortunately, between the two attempts at trucking and the other three jobs you've now earned a reputation as one of those people who quits everything he starts as soon as he finds an excuse, and that's going to be difficult to overcome.

But there are companies out there that will still give you a shot. Make the most of it. Set it in your mind that you're going to stick with the next company for one year no matter and keep that safety record clean. Make that your primary goal.

And before you make another attempt do some soul searching and make sure you really want this. Not just on your terms, but on their terms. Because the reality in the trucking industry is that truckers are at the bottom of the totem pole. We have no authority over anyone or anything other than to decide whether or not a truck is safe to drive. So you're always at the mercy of everyone else and you rarely get to call the shots. So if you really want it and you're willing to go with the flow and endure whatever they throw at you then go for it. Otherwise you're just hurting yourself more and more every time you quit something.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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

Brent B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Brett! I need motivation like that every so often! If given another chance, I am going to give my best, and not give up! I appreciate your words of wisdom. I will keep you updated on my potential employers.

Tracy W.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Brett! I need motivation like that every so often! If given another chance, I am going to give my best, and not give up! I appreciate your words of wisdom. I will keep you updated on my potential employers.

Try calling Dawn at Watkins Shepard - 800-546-8895. We have a Modesto terminal that should be close enough for you. Not guaranteeing you a job, and orientation is difficult, but since you have already been in a truck, you might have a leg up.

Tracy

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.

Brent B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Tracy! Will give Dawn a call.

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