Western Non Compete Contract

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Michael W.'s Comment
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Hi guys. Here’s what happened. I applied to western express and as I did there orientation and filled out all the paperwork online I didn’t realize I signed a non compete contract that was for one year. After I completed orientation I was told I had to do 240 training hours and I decided to quit. now because of the contract I can’t get hired by another company because of the contract. Do any of you have any suggestion on what I should do or if the contract should still be valid since I didn’t receive any compensation or training from western express

You didn't read the paper before you signed. Did you them go back to read it after finding out what it was? What did it say, specifically? A non-compete is designed to prevent former employees/contractors from stealing clients for a certain period of time. Were you intending on using their Lease-Purchase to buy a truck? Were you actually working for a LeaseOp or OwnerOp while driving under WE's authority? More info is needed. If these are the case, then it makes a little sense for them to request a non-compete.

If you were a company driver...the non-compete is legally unenforceable. The ONLY way to enforce such a retarded agreement at OUR level is through bull**** DAC entries and collusion of various companies agreeing not to hire anyone under that contract. There is a class action suit right now about that very thing, and WE is one of the many companies (all training companies, btw) included in that suit. It's going "so well" for them in court, Schneider (not included in that suit) actually felt it necessary to file a motion with that court supporting the contracts. What can YOU do about it? Nothing. Make your choice and go with it.

But, honestly, if you have 5 months experience now, what's 7 more months? Even if under "contract," you can leave for greener pastures before the term of the contact ends without skipping a beat. The bottom line is no one except the companies colluding together will take that contract seriously. You are not a CEO or high-level executive, you are not a special contractor working just for them, you are not hauling special freight under contract that might require an NDA as well. You are a common driver hauling common freight. After your 12th month total experience, leave.

Consider this, too: no trucking company has ever sued a common driver for breaking one of these non-competes. Not once. Why? Not only would they get nothing but seriously awful PR, but also it is technically unenforceable at our level. For US to leave does them no harm unless we abandon a load en route - but that's a different thing altogether.

They will probably settle the class action...eventually. That means they'll continue doing it. So, adjust and know the facts. Search the web for that class and the list of companies being sued AND in known support of the defense, and then do NOT apply to them if you leave before that stupid "contract" expires.

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.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
If you were a company driver...the non-compete is legally unenforceable. The ONLY way to enforce such a retarded agreement at OUR level is through bull**** DAC entries and collusion of various companies agreeing not to hire anyone under that contract. There is a class action suit right now about that very thing, and WE is one of the many companies (all training companies, btw) included in that suit.

the class action you're referring to isnt quite the same as what the OP is talking about. The class action is in regards to new drivers going through CRST to obtain their CDL and not fulfill their obligation. Why wouldn't these companies "collude" to not hire a driver that didn't hold up their end of the agreement? Have you not read about them being sued by CRST for millions of dollars for doing so?

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.

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.

Michael W.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

If you were a company driver...the non-compete is legally unenforceable. The ONLY way to enforce such a retarded agreement at OUR level is through bull**** DAC entries and collusion of various companies agreeing not to hire anyone under that contract. There is a class action suit right now about that very thing, and WE is one of the many companies (all training companies, btw) included in that suit.

double-quotes-end.png

the class action you're referring to isnt quite the same as what the OP is talking about. The class action is in regards to new drivers going through CRST to obtain their CDL and not fulfill their obligation. Why wouldn't these companies "collude" to not hire a driver that didn't hold up their end of the agreement? Have you not read about them being sued by CRST for millions of dollars for doing so?

Come on, Rob! They already have a system in place to handle that. You get CDL with them, you owe them either time or money. AS I MENTIONED...if the guy got his CDL through them, then that contract is legal and enforceable - FINANCIALLY.

The "collusion" makes no sense, either. What companies were doing is luring away the rookies before end of term. What YOU do not mention is that luring works because...wait for it...the company winning over the driver bought out the contract. If they did not, the driver had to pay. Either way, the provious company got it's money back either in full or in payments. As long as that's paid, they really do not care if a driver leaves before term ends (fired or hired, works the same way).

While that class is specifically deals with this, it also deals with the fact that certain companies not only agree not to poach but also the fact that these same companies are PROACTIVE in preventing future employment by marking up a DAC. Why would they do that if their money is being paid? If they are not being paid back for a premature exit I would understand the sentiment, but there are legal precedents and remedies for that (ex, COLLECTIONS). But preventing further work? Why the F are you even in seeming support of that??

From the OPs post, I'm assuming he already had his CDL. Why sign a non-compete at driver level and then act on it PRIVATELY rather than legally? If if he gained CDL through WE, again, see above.

What you mentioned is NOT the point of the case. It is not a PENDING case, it is active. That means it passed legal muster before being allowed to go class. The non-compete contract dispute is really just the legal reasoning behind bring the case; it's really and wholly about extra-legal actions taken in a transparent attempt to mar a driver's record and prevent future employment. Add in that "collusion" thing and you have true Anti-Trust issues.

Like it or not, agree or not, that is indeed the case. If they make a driver sign a legal document but then do NOT use legal remedies instead choosing the underhanded ways...if they are in the right why do that? Can you answer that?

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.

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.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Okay Michael W.

What is your source for all of this "common knowledge"?

Michael W.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay Michael W.

What is your source for all of this "common knowledge"?

I grabbed it out of my ass.

Dude, look it up yourself. Regs, laws, cases - you can find these if you really want to know. I'm not about to be an unpaid gopher for you, man. Start by locating the case files for that class (not articles about it) and go from there. Contract law, contract law regarding the transportation industry, whatever. Federal regs and laws, state laws and regs, etc. It's a lot.

What you cannot look up. smart man, is my personal experiences and just WHY I say all this and keep appraised. Do I know contracts? Yep! Do I have to prove that claim to you? If so, exactly how would I go about doing that without being snarky as in the previous reply? Where in my posts did I ever say the phrase "common knowledge?" Where did I even imply that?

I'm not a lawyer. If I were, I'd likely be disbarred (eventually). I'm not even much of an expert on this. But, I have gone through this, I stay informed as much as time allows. It CAN be "common knowledge," but it isn't.

But, hey! If you want to make yourself feel better by backing handing me with that ol' velvet glove of implication that I have a wholly uninformed opinion, then so be it. Just don't be under the impression that I won't respond just because you have a Moderator tag. if you want a proper discussion, may I be so bold to suggest that you read up enough to carry a conversation that does not involve "so, what's your source" and the like. That shows you have no proper response and want other to do the work for you. If you think I'm full of it, the YOU prove it. You lay the groundwork, be willing to walk the path. If I'm wrong, prove it.

If I got you all wrong with this response, I really apologize.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Sorry Michael. Arguing with an idiot is a waste of my time.

Done with this one.

Michael W.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry Michael. Arguing with an idiot is a waste of my time.

Done with this one.

Wow. Just...wow.

Mr. Moderator calling names. Wonderful site this turned into. Lemme guess. I'm a troll now?

Aquila seems to have lost control. Glad you done, PackRat. So am I, and not just with you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Ok let's chill for a minute and think this through.

Let's start by remembering what our mission is:

  • Help people understand the trucking industry and decide if trucking is the right career choice for them
  • Teach people what it takes to get their trucking career off to a great start
  • Help new drivers develop into top tier drivers

Patrick, our original poster, has created a situation for himself that we try hard to help people avoid. He's making moves that he believes will lead to a better salary, but instead, he has cost himself a ton of money and hurt his reputation by job-hopping early in his career and then breaking a contract. Now he's sitting home without a job and no one will touch him.

We also teach the importance of having a fantastic attitude. He came here looking for help but then gave us an attitude. Now most of us have lost interest in working with him also.

It's unfortunate, but it's fair to say that Patrick is our classic cautionary tale. The mistakes and poor decisions he has made are all things we strongly advise people to avoid.

For starters, he has 5 months of experience and is already looking for another job. Why? He hasn't said. Chances are he thought he had found a better opportunity to make more money elsewhere.

One of our core teachings is to stay with your first company for one full year no matter what. Here is a great podcast that really explains why that is so important:

Episode 4: Why Stick With Your First Company One Full Year?

He signed on with Western Express, which included signing a contract to go through a few weeks of training and stay with the company for a specified period of time. He didn't say how long, but likely somewhere around 6 - 12 months.

This time, before even setting foot in the truck with Western Express, he decided to break his contract and change jobs for yet another perceived better opportunity. Now he's sitting home without a job, he's losing a ton of money, his reputation as an employee is terrible, no one wants to hire him, and we're not interested in helping him because of his poor attitude and unwillingness to discuss the situation with us.

If he would like to continue his career in trucking, the remedy to this situation is simple; he should return to Western Express and fulfill the contract he signed with the only company willing to hire him and stay with that company for a minimum of one year. Simple as that.

Michael, I'm not interested in debating any legal technicalities or moral issues, but there are some things I'm hoping you can understand about this situation.

For one, it's extremely expensive to recruit drivers. The average company will spend $10,000 - $15,000 for each driver they recruit. The hiring process in trucking is a time-consuming, exhaustive, and expensive process. The company has invested a ton of time and money to get this driver into orientation. Patrick, our original poster, said:

I decided to quit before I started because I got a better offer from another company. My problem with this is I shouldn’t be held to this contract if I never gained any skills from this company. I have 5 months of experience from another company. The fact that I never entered onto a trainers truck and hadn’t worked a single day for WE I don’t feel it should stop me from going to another company.

As we can see, Patrick doesn't understand how much time and money the company has invested to get him into orientation. This is why we're here - to help people understand how the industry works so they can make better decisions for themselves.

A second point is that Patrick has cost the company and another driver this opportunity. The company has an empty truck that needs a driver and customers with freight to be hauled.

There is also a ton of folks out there who desperately need this opportunity, especially in today's environment where 50 million people are unemployed and over 100,000 small businesses have gone bankrupt.

Unfortunately, no one wins in this situation.

The biggest losses, however, will fall on Patrick. He has lost a ton of money, seriously hurt his reputation as a desirable employee, nearly eliminated himself from any job opportunities in this industry, and alienated a fantastic community of people who were happy to help him get his career on the right track.

One last thing I'll mention is the fact that Patrick had 5 months experience with another company but apparently wasn't under contract. My guess would be he went to a private truck driving school because he wanted the chance to be a free agent. He wanted the opportunity to move from job to job when he found better opportunities. That's one of the common myths in this industry. Old School wrote an excellent article about this:

Busting The Free Agent Myth In Trucking

For me, it's heartbreaking to see this happen because it's so easily avoidable. Another hard lesson learned.

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

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Sorry Brett.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Sorry Brett.

No worries. We all have our moments.

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