Was Let Go Today.

Topic 24622 | Page 1

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Marc Lee's Comment
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Was told they didn't have any choice as I am too new to have any paid time off (I just applied for the 7.5 hours I did have), and I am weeks to months away from being able to get the MCSA-5870 (insulin diabetes) form signed again so I can get a new Fed Med certificate / card.

It will be interesting to see which gets put through first... the PTO request or the termination!

Was told I can reapply when I have the signed form.

Any thoughts on what to do about 9 days or less (time from injury to last medical clearance) of potential Worker's Comp benefits? Might pursuing that complicate a possible rehire? Maybe I have nothing to lose? (It appears it is privately insured).

Best guess is that 90% of the damage is already done. Injury reported, med. bills need to be paid, insurance company probably already informed... Maybe paying me is just a minor addition at this point? Dunno!

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

Old School's Comment
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Was told I can reapply when I have the signed form.

If you want to continue with this job, then that is what you need to do. I would not pursue anything but getting my ducks in a row so that I could get back to work. Marc, I know you've heard us stressing about how difficult it is to make a good start in this business. You really made a mess of things by falling from that truck while just starting with your training. I know it was an accident, but it could have been prevented. Do what they are saying you need to do and move forward. Anything else is only going to reflect poorly on you.

Old School's Comment
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Marc, I'm really sorry about all this happening to you! Here's something you really need to focus on. You want to get back to work just as fast as possible. I know you are ready and willing, but they want that form signed. The longer you're delayed, the harder it will be to get a job anywhere. Your best bet is to get back on at J.B. Hunt, but I would start applying to some other places now and just start seeing if you can get your foot in the door somewhere. That way if the gig at J.B Hunt blows up in your face you will already have the groundwork laid for getting on board somewhere else. You kind of got a tough break here, but you can't let it keep you from making progress. Hang in there and do whatever you can toward finding the quickest way to get back in the saddle. You don't want your training certificate to go stale on you. That will only set you back again and mean you will have to go through school again.

Old School's Comment
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Forgive me for continually responding to this. I just can't get poor Marc and his situation off my mind. It's really unfortunate how Marc seems to be in the dark on what to do. There's got to be some sort of liaison within the company to assist with worker's comp claims. I am not familiar enough with the laws of his state so that I can give any advice. But I think there's a bigger lesson here.

Trucking is a very intense job in some ways, especially when it comes to safety. As rookies we may not even think much about how we get in and out of the truck. But Marc has given us a true life experience and is now dealing with the consequences. He's not the first either. I can recall several different members here who have dealt with this issue. Susan's experience was pretty tough, and there are others also.

In trucking sometimes the smallest mistakes, or errors in judgment, can really come back to bite us. I remember one of our drivers who got in a hurry and failed to secure his flatbed load properly. It ended up in the ditch. We cross a railroad track when leaving our plant in Delhi, Louisiana. If you don't pay attention when dealing with the stop sign/intersection you cannot get your 53 foot trailer past the tracks. You guessed it - one of our drivers got his whole trailer and load totally destroyed by a train that came roaring through there.

It's easy for things to go South in this business. There are so many details to be mindful of. I remember the first time my wife rode with me she fell out of the cab in much the same way as Marc. From that point on I reminded her each time we got in or out to make a conscious effort to concentrate on carefully making sure about having three good solid points of contact. That's how intense we have to be about safety issues. We have to stay focused, not letting our guard down.

Are you aware that the most experienced drivers tend to have the most serious trucking accidents? That's because they've let their guard down - they've become complacent and over confident. That is the most dangerous state of mind to be in when in a safety sensitive position. Rookies are usually really focused. They are dead set on not messing things up. Over confident experienced drivers lose that edge, and it sometimes brings it's consequences down on them.

As rookies, it's easy to focus all our efforts on the driving of the truck, and simply forget how critical it is to enter and exit the cab properly. I wish the best for Marc, and I know he's frustrated. I'm simply pointing out a few things here for the rest of us to think about. The intensity of this job is one of the things that makes it so exhausting at first. We have got to be focused on every aspect of this job if we expect to do well with it. There's a big demand for our undivided attention at all times out here.

D's Comment
member avatar

I'm not completely familiar with all of the intricacies of your accident, but as a former cop who was injured in the line I know a lot about Workers Compensation. Do NOT sign any exit paperwork until your WC case is closed. Have an attorney look over it to make sure you're getting what you are entitled to. Do not think that all accidents are avoidable and do not take complete responsibility for any accident. Training only goes so far. I hate this happened and good luck moving forward.

Jeremy's Comment
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Couldnt agree more on 3 points of contact its now full blown winter in the northeast and my hand holds have saved my butt several times due to solid ice on my steps down please be careful anyone injuries can be life changing in a very negative way sorry your dealing with this my friend be strong and persevere

Marc Lee's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School, David S., Jeremy...

I appreciate all the advice and well wishes.

Yep. F'ed this up pretty well. Important to stay with your first company for a year... I didn't make it 3 - 5 weeks... depending how one measures it!

I was let go by phone... not even expecting an email. Don't think exit paperwork is a major concern on their end.

Worker's comp may not be worth pursuing though I am surely "entitled" to it.

I guess I need to pretty much go back to job search square one. Of course I know 30 days out is as far as most companies want to recruit for (Hunt actually went a bit further) but I can't even come up with a form to get a Federal Medical card for 6 - 10 weeks. Only viable shot is the local dump-trailer people who said they are looking to put on about 4 people in the Spring. Kinda wish now I'd sent the thank you letter I wrote but never sent to the owner's husband who brought his rig to one of our last days of class. Guess I will re-work it and send it now!

If you accept that the "witness" account it is as simple as my just not maintaining 3 points of contact. If it was more like I think it was (he was not that close and not sure how good his view was) holding on to smooth rails with slippery gloves does not qualify as 3 points of contact! That may be one lesson here. Gloves matter! Damn lined rubber snowblower or the grippy versions similar but better than the ones I had on could have helped. Dunno!

Be safer than me out there!

Old School's Comment
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There's just a couple more things here that I'd like to point out for those who may read this.

First I want people reading this to realize Marc didn't get fired for falling out of the truck. He's got two separate issues going on here. His real problem right now is that he can't get a current medical card. He isn't even really a CDL licensed driver without that. He can't work for J B. Hunt as a driver without that.

Secondly is how this whole scenario confirms the things we stress to newcomers in here about the value of Paid CDL Training Programs.

This whole situation would most likely have gone completely different had the employer had some skin in the game, or had Marc been a proven experienced driver who was an asset to the company. Had this been a situation where the company had already invested 8 or 9 thousand dollars into their potential employee they would have good reason to work this out differently. The way it is right now gives them zero reasons to continue with Marc. It was an easy decision for them.

This driver has no history, the company has nothing invested in him, and there's no reason to keep him at this point. Once he gets his medical issues straightened out they might reconsider him, but at this point they've got other potential guys who can get started today. It's a business. They make decisions based on what's most likely to impact their business positively. It's that simple.

Marc has very little in his favor in this situation. We all wish the best for him, but he's got to figure out how to get back in the game. I went through this same kind of stuff at TMC. I just had to move on and find someone who would give me a shot.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

I was going to make the exact same point about paid CDL training and the company dropping Marc so quickly.

We always recommend that people go with one of the Paid CDL Training Programs. I've written an article about this and you'll find it here:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

This is a great example of why we prefer the programs these companies offer. They're investing their money, personnel, time, and equipment up front to train you to drive for them. Not only is the training better than you'll find at private schools, but it puts you in a much more secure position as a brand new driver. The only way these companies can hope to recoup their investment in you is if you go on to become a safe, productive driver for the company for about one year. If they lose you before that time they've lost their investment.

If JB Hunt had paid thousands of dollars up front to train Marc already it's highly unlikely they would have let him go like that. Not only does this apply to medical issues, but it applies to safety issues. It's quite common for new drivers to get into some small incidents. Normally they're slow speed incidents like backing into something or cutting a corner too sharp and hitting something.

If a company has a lot invested in you they're going to be a lot more lenient if you make a mistake or two. If they have nothing invested in you and you have one or two little mishaps they may just decide to let you go. Then you'll have a hell of a time finding a decent opportunity after that. I get emails regularly from people asking me what they can do after getting fired from their first job after a couple of incidents. Telling them to pray isn't a very nice thing to say, nor a great option, so I just try to encourage people to apply everywhere and hope someone gives you a chance. There isn't anything else you can really do.

Hopefully Marc will get this worked out and he'll be out there driving before too long. But this is exactly the kind of scenario that we worry about when someone chooses private schooling instead of paid training.

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.

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.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

Ya know, I had a whole thing typed up basically saying everything that Old School just said. Luckily I checked this thread for new posts before submitting my comment.

My thoughts were prompted by another recent thread:

Companies that hire new graduates straight out of CDL school

In that thread numerous key points were made that have direct significance here. Most notably how a company that relaxed their hiring requirements to get you in, also dropped you like a hot potato when you were down.

Marc, it's incredibly unfortunate this happened to you, and I wish you nothing but the best going forward. Do what ya gotta do, as they say. Don't let this get you down. Bounce back and move forward. 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.

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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