Please Help Need Advice

Topic 25354 | Page 1

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Kevin S.'s Comment
member avatar

So just recently acquired my cdl and wanted to get my otr experience right away so I was planning on going to western express out of nashville. I had my wife drive me the 6 hours to nashville from where I live in illinois. When I arrived at the hotel it was a total nightmare it was in a nasty ran down motel there had to be 50 to 75 people waiting for the shuttle bus to orientation. After talking to my roommate who had been there waiting for 16 days for a trainer and talking to a few of the outher recruits I decided it wasnt the company for me. I went to the orientation and informed them I wouldnt be attending and would be heading home with my wife I caught a little bit of attitude but went on my way. Now 3 weeks later I received a letter from western express with a list of sap professionals in my area and when I called the recruiter at western she says I've been entered in the computer as a refusal to take urine test. I NEVER EVEN HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TEST. What should I do? I'm suppossed to start at a local company on monday! I feel like it's all a mistake but not sure what to do

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.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Honestly Friend...if that’s all it took to knock you off your horse, maybe trucking isn’t for you.

Were you expecting the Ritz with daily turn-down service and a complimentary sweet? Massage? OMG.

Regardless of whether or not you refused the test, you threw-in-the-towel before you gave it a chance. Bad form.

So...what to do?

Well only you know what really happened here. If in fact you were never asked to take the test you have a legitiment issue. My guess is, there may not be any official record of this, but you really should inform your next employer what happened and offer to take a hair follicle test to clear up any question of substance abuse.

Escalating it up through the ranks of Western Express Human Resources is one path that might help clear your name.

Hopefully others will chime-in...cause not sure what else to suggest.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
When I arrived at the hotel it was a total nightmare it was in a nasty ran down motel

I've been there. Started my trucking career there. It's not the Hilton, but it's not nearly as bad as you describe it. When a business offers to bring in a bunch of people like yourself who don't have the Commitment to stay a few weeks and learn the ropes, those people don't generally expect to have 200 dollar per night accommodations. It's a business decision. You keep your expenses down while bringing in recruits that don't seem to have a clue about what they're getting into. You already know most of them will quit prematurely (kind of like you did).

there had to be 50 to 75 people waiting for the shuttle bus to orientation.

What's wrong with that? Western Express brings in something like 150 drivers per week. You got in with a small group.

After talking to my roommate who had been there waiting for 16 days for a trainer and talking to a few of the outher recruits I decided it wasnt the company for me.

So, you did have a roommate. That means you decided to check in and spend at least one night on their dime. How in the world did you come to that conclusion concerning the "company" when it's highly probable that your roommate had his own issues that kept him from easily and quickly obtaining a trainer? I got a trainer there without a wait, while others who demonstrated attitudes and showed a high probability for being less than stellar applicants were stuck in a holding pattern. Sometimes the company decides they want to see how this or that person reacts to waiting and/or a little stress. They've been down this road before. They absolutely know the red flags to look for.

I went to the orientation and informed them I wouldnt be attending and would be heading home with my wife I caught a little bit of attitude but went on my way

You need to remember you're asking us for help here. We are all successful truck drivers who stuck it out at orientation. We made the mark, we are living the life. We also recognize B.S. when it's thrown out like this. You say you "caught a little bit if attitude." Oh really? We don't have to ask why. We already know. You do too. You just chose not to share it all.

You left on the first day of orientation. That's the day they do the drug test. Yes, I'd say they have good reason to think you refused a drug test.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Drug test is the first thing done on day one of orientation, so by staying the night and showing up for orientation and then leaving when they are probably getting ready for the drug test is suspect to say the least.

Did they offer for you to take or the test or mention they where going to do it? I can certainly see why they viewed it as a refusal.

You best bet is to call Western Express and explain what you said happened, they will probably talk to orientation people and get their side. But you may have ruined your career on a knee jerk decision.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kevin S.'s Comment
member avatar

Well I didnt stay there that night my wife couldnt stay with me so we got a diffrent hotel. I had my wife drop me off in the morning around 5a.m. at the hotel so I could check in and drop my belongings off before orientation. I also would of had no problem testing i know they do testing day 1 why would I go to a job orientation while having drugs in my system that makes no sense at all. Also I would be a third generation trucker I know the stresses of the job and am prepared for them that was not at all the issue. I say the company wasnt for me because I was offered outher driving jobs that seemed better fit for me I was only going to attend western because I liked there lease purchase program which is my goal to buy and operate my own truck. My main question here is should I start with this new company or will I have to attend sap counseling before I can start driving. And how long till it's on my dac report? I've checked my dac and it's not on there yet.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Rainy 's Comment
member avatar
why would I go to a job orientation while having drugs in my system that makes no sense at all.

you would be surprised. most who get sent home thought they could beat the drug test or hide a failed test in their background.

I would be a third generation trucker I know the stresses of the job and am prepared for them that was not at all the issue

This thinking will get you in trouble. No one has a clue how hard this is until you do it. Every student i had said the same... "i used to drive along with my dad....i have a huge family in trucking...." then came the "this is so much harder than i expected" line.

I was only going to attend western because I liked there lease purchase program which is my goal to buy and operate my own truck.

Another bad idea that could bankrupt the wrong person, and at best, pay the same as a company driver to the right person.

My main question here is should I start with this new company or will I have to attend sap counseling before I can start driving. And how long till it's on my dac report? I've checked my dac and it's not on there yet.

This is company specific. One company could say 3 months of SAP another could say a year. As far as a DAC im pretty sure they have 30 to 45 days to add it. However i am not sure it goes on your DAC because you never even had a CDL nor were you an official employee yet. It will probably be on some other background check though.

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.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
My main question here is should I start with this new company or will I have to attend sap counseling before I can start driving. And how long till it's on my dac report? I've checked my dac and it's not on there yet.

Kevin, we simply don't have the answers for these questions. It's not on your DAC because you've never been employed at Western Express. If you have someone willing to hire you, go for it. You don't need us to tell you that. Fill out some applications and go with what you seem to think is a "better fit." The big problem is that this is what kills so many new trucking careers. New inexperienced drivers always think they see greener grass somewhere else, especially when they totally screw up their first shot at this.

If you do end up having to do SAP training, you're going to discover that it really doesn't help you land a job. Once you've got that failed drug test hanging over you it's next to impossible to make it into the industry. Companies can still say no to you.

Kevin, we hope the best for you, maybe you'll pull it off. You made a really bad start though. I wish that you had been in here seeking advice a good while back. Unfortunately most people lean on that silly idea that says, "I'm a third generation trucker!" Each generation has got to stand on their own two feet. You just got yours pulled out from underneath you, and it could have been easily avoided.

The one thing you said that clued me in to why you're having such issues was this statement...

I went to the orientation and informed them I wouldnt be attending and would be heading home with my wife I caught a little bit of attitude but went on my way

They don't react that way unless they are getting some attitude. You showed yourself early on and it came back and bit you really hard. It's a time for reckoning. Take a good look at how you conducted yourself and figure out how to get it right next time.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

I'd apply and get into an orientation QUICKLY. Since you didn't START ORIENTATION at Western, you (technically) don't have to list them as an employer.

Also - while it's not up and running yet - FMCSA is implementing a Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse, which will require testing results to be uploaded.

So pretty soon failures and refusals will be a matter of record on a federal database.

Rick

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

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

Fm:

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.
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