Work History

Topic 23814 | Page 1

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Nathan C.'s Comment
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Will having a spotty work history always prevent me from becoming a commercial truck driver? I am a Veteran with service-related disabilities, that is both the reason why I want to be a truck driver, and the reason for my spotty work history. I don't usually fair well in typical work environments and have always wanted to be a driver. Companies are not supposed to discriminate over disabilities, but I am finding that in practice is not always true. I have a squeaky clean driving record, don't drink or do drugs, and have no adverse criminal history at all. I just don't want to have my time wasted. Just want to drive.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your service. How spotty of a work history are we talking? Many of the large carriers don't like a spotty work history because of the cost to bring someone in to orientation even if they're not fronting the cost to obtain your CDL. The way it looks to them is when things get tough you're likely to quit. Im not saying that applies to you but thats why many are leary of poor work history. You mention disabilities, are you on meds for that? Make sure if you are that they're acceptable to the DOT.

You will still be able to be hired somewhere as long as your meds are allowed. Going through a Paid CDL Training Programs would be your best bet. You can Apply For Paid CDL Training and that app will go to several companies at once saving you time. You may not get an offer by your first choice but don't give up. Im sure someone with more experience will be along shortly with more advice. We're here to help.

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.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I know a lot of companies are picky about work experience, but the company im working for Schneider isn't too picky from what I seen. I've met a few people where this is their first or second job and have little to no experience.

I'm still fresh in trucking, so I don't know a lot about other companies just what I read on here and other places.

Nathan C.'s Comment
member avatar

I have had 30+ jobs in the last 10 years, mostly restaurant jobs and farm labor. I just started getting treatment for my disabilities 6 months ago. I am not looking to jump through a ton of hoops, was looking at driving for Swift as I live in Lewiston, ID where they have a training facility. I qualify for VA vocational rehabilitation and could get a bachelors degree in any field, problem is like I said before, I just want to drive. Not on any meds.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

I would suggest calling Swift and discuss your concerns and see what they have to say. G Town(a moderator on this site) has worked for Swift for years on their Walmart Dedicated Account, I'm sure he'll reply soon enough.

Jamie's Comment
member avatar

And I didn't mean work experience above but work history but I guess it's basically the same.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Nathan as Rob stated, trucking companies qualify prospects with work history, driving record, a medical exam and of course use of any controlled substance, even if there is a valid prescription. These are all qualifiers in choosing candidates that have the best chance to succeed and present a lower risk in learning how to safely operate a 72’ long vehicle that can weigh up to 80,000lbs. It’s not descrimination but a condition of hire due to safety requirements & policy, DOT regulatory and insurance requirements.

Keep in mind your treatment, depending on what it is, may also create additional challenges in entering a Paid CDL Training Programs and getting hired.

I also suggest investing time reviewing and studying the following links:

Good luck!

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.

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.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello, no judgement here but the fact that over 10 years of employment you average about 3 months per job will probably hurt you since the company that sponsors your training will have a huge financial investment in you before you even hit the road with one of their trucks. They would rightly question how commited you would be to them so they can recoup that investment. You are probably not being discriminated against for disabilities but being rejected for the unstable job history. Still, apply for all you can and you never know.

Nathan C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your feedback guys. And because opinions are like ...

Heres my two cents. Judging me on my past abilities to keep an unrelated job is maybe not discrimination, it's short sited.

What Swift and other companies fail to keep in mind is that drivers/employees are not the only ones being evaluated. If I were to judge Swift on their checkered past and $4.4 million dollar judgement for unfair hiring practices, or solely based on this forum and reports of their past failings in training facilities, material or lack there of being trained, trainers, mold infested accommodations, and empty promises made to other hopeful drivers, I too would be guilty of discrimination..umm short sightedness.

The trucking industry will never meet the demand and will be swallowed up by drones because of this.

Most people with degrees and great resumes don't want to be drivers, Millennials don't want to be drivers.

This PTSD Veteran wants to be a driver. Wants the solitude of the road. I would not encounter the social anxieties, and office politics on the road. I would be successful as a driver.

I asked if you thought my spotty work history would make being hired as a driver unlikely.

A yes without defending the stupidity would have sufficed.

Army 's Comment
member avatar

Well that went south rather quickly.

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