Possibly Fired For Not Reporting Accident. Will I Be Able To Get Another Job?

Topic 26921 | Page 2

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Brett Aquila's Comment
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Every time I come on here for advice you guys act like my parents. I know I messed up you don't have to come down on me and be condescending. I was just asking what you think I should do.

No one is being condescending. The advice you're being given is critically important for your career and the safety of others on the highway. We want to see you succeed, and that starts with your mindset. That's why our advice about taking responsibility is so important. Unfortunately, you're brushing that off too, as if it's unnecessary or unhelpful.

Being a professional driver starts with taking 100% responsibility for what happens when you're behind the wheel and accepting that even a tiny scratch is very serious. You're not doing that. You're blaming circumstances for falling asleep at the wheel and you're brushing off the backing accident as if it's no big deal.

What that tells us is when you get behind the wheel the next time you're not understanding the seriousness of making a mistake, nor are you prepared to take 100% responsibility for anything that happens out there.

If you allow for excuses or you consider some incidents to be minor, you will not be making the safest possible decisions at all times. You'll get sloppy, you'll take risks, and you'll continue to make bad judgments and mistakes. We don't want to see that happen.

As far as recommending your next move, that's hard for us to say. You can try companies like Western Express. They give drivers a chance when most companies won't. But you must change your approach if you want to get better results. I hope you can understand that.

Cantankerous Amicus's Comment
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Every time I come on here for advice you guys act like my parents. I know I messed up you don't have to come down on me and be condescending. I was just asking what you think I should do.

I was just going to respond to this but Brett beat me to it. I will repeat it anyway.

You posed a question and several experienced drivers here gave you straight answers. It may not have been what you wanted to hear, but it was what you needed to hear. You quite literally asked for it. None of it was condescending and no one was really coming down on you, yet you claimed that it was. This is a very important point.

Yes, you fell asleep at the wheel and had an accident. Yes, you hit another trailer while trying to park. Not reporting that was a bad call. Understandable given the stress of your job and career being at stake, but still a bad call. It's on your record now and it's working against you. But according to some of the experienced drivers above, it looks like you may be able to overcome it.

However, if you apply to a company and they ask you about your accidents and they say anything similar to what the other drivers here have said... And then you respond like you did in your last post? How do you think your chances will fare in that case? I would hazard a guess that how you respond to criticism of your driving history is now more critical to your career than the record of accidents and the bad call.

I think you did the right thing by asking here first. The best thing you could do for yourself is keep your cool while you receive any professional constructive criticism being offered. It would be good practice in case you get grilled on your mistakes during an interview.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Trucker T:

Will anybody hire me after this?

Should I look for another career? If so, do you have any ideas?

Rob T suggests:

double-quotes-start.png

I was just asking what you think I should do.

double-quotes-end.png

Take responsibility for your actions.

PJ points out:

That is an impossible question for us to answer. Depends on what other skills you have and what is available in the area you live. if there are any warehouses in your area, possibly getting on with one of them.

Trucker T, We know little about you beyond that you are at least 21 years old and have some experience driving a CMV. So, is podiatry a reasonable career path for you? Insurance agent? Roofer? This truly is not for us to ponder.

I can understand asking this question. (I've also been there and done that myself.) The best answer is in what Rob says: you have your life to live. So take control. You ask, "Now what do I do?" If the answer is to check out warehouse jobs, don't say we sound like your parents telling you to get a job.

Like PJ says, one career path for potential truck drivers starts on a warehouse dock. Ask any LTL driver how they got started. It's probably by working on a crossdock as a loader.

Your driving record is yours to overcome. You just might have to take a step back, work around trucks for a while, then make your move with your next company.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

I would hazard a guess that how you respond to criticism of your driving history is now more critical to your career than the record of accidents and the bad call.

I think you did the right thing by asking here first. The best thing you could do for yourself is keep your cool while you receive any professional constructive criticism being offered. It would be good practice in case you get grilled on your mistakes during an interview.

This is a great point. Trucking companies want to see you take 100% responsibility for your actions, the same way we do. He's right - if you deflect the blame or brush off incidents as being minor these companies will not hire you. They'll recognize that your attitude will lead to more mistakes and a failure to improve. They'll look instead for a candidate who owns their mistakes and focuses on getting better and being as safe as possible.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

One other point to consider right now is that many companies are either not hiring, or are hiring at a reduced rate. That will make your search that much harder.

In this current market good drivers have no problems moving if they choose, however drivers with past issues may very well get passed on. There is no shortage of applicants. So be prepared to have to dig deep to find another shot.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

You know leaving without reporting it was not a good idea. I understand worrying about being let go but many carriers likely wouldn't let you go after 1 minor backing mishap like that. What's done is done, hopefully your current carrier keeps you on but i wouldn't be surprised if they got rid of you. As drivers we're trusted a ton, and once you break that trust its very difficult to earn back. They need to be able to trust us with hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment, and possibly much more in cargo. If its reported on your DAC as failure to report an accident, or hit and run (which technically it is) it will be much more difficult landing elsewhere than if it's just put down as breaking company policy. How long have you been driving? That will also play a role in how difficult it will be. I know Foodservice (Sysco, Us foods) are ALWAYS desperate. Its back breaking work but it may be worth looking into, just know some of the places are real tight and your backing skills will be needed for quite a few stops.

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.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

"You have to get lucky everytime, I only have to get lucky once".

I had a supervisor say that to me once a long time ago. It was a reply to me making a "you have to catch me first" comment. It stuck with me forever.

We're taught coming into this to report everything. Doesn't matter how small, if you'll pay for it out of pocket, if the other person says don't worry about it. Report everything, get in a little bit of trouble and move on.

You're not realizing that this is your second chance and you made another poor decision. Like Rob said, they probably wouldn't fire you for a small backing incident but you broke the trust and there are consequences for that.

"Integrity is doing the right thing when nobody is looking"

My trainer said that to me one day in the truck. That also stuck with me because he's right. It's hard to always do the right thing, but it's what you have to do to maintain trust and gain forgiveness.

I don't care if I sound like your parent. You make it seem as if falling asleep driving a truck is no big deal because of the result that time. You have no control on the outcome falling asleep. You can kill someone and you're lucky you didn't because you'd be sitting in a cell right now instead of worrying about your career.

OMG you guys are always so mean to me.

Maybe you only come here to ask questions about yourself and never contribute anything of value. You only get of something what you put into it. If you only come here to say you did something stupid, that's not our fault. Nobody is going to say "that company sucks my company will hire you without a problem". Being honest, I'd be ok with nobody hiring you because I don't want my family driving down the road while you're dozing off. Just the truth.

Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Every time I come on here for advice you guys act like my parents. I know I messed up you don't have to come down on me and be condescending. I was just asking what you think I should do.

Sorry you feel that way. That is a sign of your immaturity. We give the cold hard truth here. We give this from our lifetime's of experience. Most of us also think of the thousands of people who may find this site an devour all the information here. SO, we are also talking to them. You screwed up big time, twice. We can't tell you what other career path to find. We don't know your skill set or work ethic, All we know is you make bad decisions. Many people come here for answers and are never happy with those answers. They can't handle the truth, because they don't want the truth. They want to hear how they can stay in or get into trucking with accidents, failed drug tests, DUI's and more.

The combined knowledge and experience pf those giving freely here, is hard to find on other trucking sites and forums. We have all made mistakes in our lives. How we learn from them and recover from them is what makes us successful or not.

Good luck to you. I advise you mature a lot before getting back into trucking.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

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