How Important Is 2 Week Notice In The Industry?

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Jrod's Comment
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I just accepted a local position at another company and I'm supposed to start mid December. I'm currently on the road with home time scheduled for the 6th. I'm supposed to start the new job on the 16th.

I'm worried that if I put my notice in they'll tell me to turn the truck in before I can get home and unload my stuff and would have to leave most of it behind.

I also need a couple days before the job to do prehire drug screen and orientation classes.

If I come out of home time and say I would like to turn my truck in will this negatively affect future employment? Or maybe I can give 1 week notice instead of 2 weeks?

It will vary from carrier to carrier. Some don't care, especially with your most recent because they want a warm body in a truck ASAP, but at my company, its sort of a big deal to give notice. But the time is whatever your company requires/asks for. 1 weeks? 2 weeks? Before your next dispatch?

But dumping & running has caused many awkward discussions for me on drivers we've "approved" and then have to take back when the owner/president calls our owner/president and says "this guy just straight up bailed on me".

A good rule of thumb is "Be professional, even when those around you are not".

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.

Prehire:

What Exactly Is A Pre-Hire Letter?

Pre-hire letters are acceptance letters from trucking companies to students, or even potential students, to verify placement. The trucking companies are saying in writing that the student, or potential student, appears to meet the company's minimum hiring requirements and is welcome to attend their orientation at the company’s expense once he or she graduates from truck driving school and has their CDL in hand.

We have an excellent article that will help you Understand The Pre-Hire Process.

A Pre-Hire Letter Is Not A Guarantee Of Employment

The people that receive a pre-hire letter are people who meet the company's minimum hiring requirements, but it is not an employment contract. It is an invitation to orientation, and the orientation itself is a prerequisite to employment.

During the orientation you will get a physical, drug screen, and background check done. These and other qualifications must be met before someone in orientation is officially hired.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Quoted for Truth!

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If I come out of home time and say I would like to turn my truck in will this negatively affect future employment? Or maybe I can give 1 week notice instead of 2 weeks?

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I think your future company would respect you for wanted to provide 2 weeks notice. I'd be surprised if they didn't support it by adjusting your timeline. In the back of their minds, they hope you would show them the same courtesy if you leave.

Georgia Mike's Comment
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To me it depends on the company. Some of them like my former when you give a 2 weeks notice will either stop giving you miles or never route you back to the terminal to turn in your truck the right way so you leave it where ever you are and then slap a 2000 dollar truck abandonment fine on you. If the company is not going to respect your decision to move on then i they dont deserve my respect for a two weeks.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Old School's Comment
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To me it depends on the company. Some of them like my former when you give a 2 weeks notice will either stop giving you miles or never route you back to the terminal to turn in your truck the right way so you leave it where ever you are and then slap a 2000 dollar truck abandonment fine on you.

Okay fellas, here's the type of stuff we try to help y'all sort through and learn from. Georgia Mike had issues with his first trucking job. Who doesn't? We say it all the time. Rookies have issues. There is a steep learning curve. What do most of us decide? We decide our problems are because of the company we work for. We typically just quit, and then we take few jabs at them when we get the chance.

Georgia Mike, you said that like it was some sort of company policy. You clearly stated this is a practice of the company you quit. Who told you that? Or how do you know this is what they do? I ask because I gave a two week notice to that same company and it didn't go anything like what you just claimed. I don't carry any water for those guys, but I do work hard at helping you guys understand that you just can't believe everything you hear about these trucking companies.

I'm making some assumptions here and I hope Georgia Mike will correct me if I am wrong. But... He quit. He had his reasons, He probably felt he wasn't making enough money. He was a rookie. He was barely five or six months into the job. That's not the time to quit! That's when you work hard at doing some self examination and start making some changes to your own practices. There are a ton of us who never seem to be able to figure out how to make this career work. Mike starts his comment with "To me it depends on the company." I think that is the biggest fallacy we truck drivers all fall prey to. So, what do we do? We switch companies - that's our answer to every problem in this career. Then we switch again later on, and we will switch yet again a little further down the road. What does that say? It says we don't know the answer, because we keep repeating the same behavior.

If Georgia Mike actually experienced anything like he declared, or if he just up and quit because that is what he heard, is not clear in his post. I can tell you why he would have issues when he thinks...

the company is not going to respect your decision to move on

It's hard for a trucking company to "respect" a rookie driver's desire to quit when they have yet to contribute any value to the company. Very few of us have developed ourselves into being a valuable member of the team at that point in our trucking careers. That's why so many new rookies end up under a one year contract. It takes at least that long for them to learn how to contribute meaningfully to the profitability of the operation. I know Mike sees it differently, otherwise he'd still be there. It is hard for us rookies to understand how much we can do to improve our trucking careers. We are certain it is the company's fault we are doing so poorly. This industry is so misunderstood. We drivers can do an awful lot to improve our performance, but at five or six months in we are still really green.

Mike made his decision. He is firm in his resolve. He made it cleat to us...

they don't deserve my respect for a two weeks notice.

I think he mad a mistake, maybe even several mistakes.

Mike, it's not like you've ruined your career, in fact, you may go on and be very successful at this. I certainly hope you do, and I am pulling for you to do just that. I just wish you would have jumped into our forum with your concerns at Western Express. We could have helped you and a thousand others in the process. You could have done a lot better over there than you were doing. I know that from my own experience, and from reading between the lines in this latest post from you. You were convinced they wouldn't respect your desire to quit. You were probably correct. Why should they? Had you stayed and tried to contribute to the company while developing your own methods of success at trucking for a minimum of one year they would have a ton of respect for you because you would have done something that very few rookies manage to accomplish. I wish you had kept a commitment for one year. It would have been very beneficial to your trucking career.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

To me it depends on the company. Some of them like my former when you give a 2 weeks notice will either stop giving you miles or never route you back to the terminal to turn in your truck the right way so you leave it where ever you are and then slap a 2000 dollar truck abandonment fine on you. If the company is not going to respect your decision to move on then i they dont deserve my respect for a two weeks.

I really hope you didn't abandon the equipment. If I was getting jerked around I would be taking it up the chain of command and communicating your concerns, then followup the phone call with a written message confirming what was discussed. Abandoning equipment is one of the biggest ways to find yourself blacklisted in this industry. If your next employer happens to run your record again at any time and suddenly you have abandonment on your record they can terminate you regardless of the time since the event. The way they see it is you already did it once, why won't you do it again if things aren't going your way.

When it comes to quitting unfortunately getting you to the terminal isn't a high priority at most companies. Just like with hometime it may be delayed a little, or you may get back earlier. Sometimes you may be needing to get to a terminal in Nashville but you're given a load to Sacramento. Little do you know they're planning on you meeting up with a driver in Denver to swap loads and take his load closer to the terminal. You'll find yourself sitting longer because your availability for certain loads isn't there. Its no different than when some drivers complain their miles take a hit before hometime. I'm sorry to hear that you felt they didn't make it a priority to get you to the terminal but I still stand by saying 2 week notice is the right thing to do. Others are adamant about not providing any notice because the company doesn't tell you that they're firing you in 2 weeks. I had a fairly good relationship with the manager at my last job and I told him it wasn't working out and actually gave them a 4 week notice (due to needing 30 days on CPAP I just received for new job) as it was harder to find drivers in the local niche I was doing. I told him ill continue working business as usual through my last day and how I will be forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me. My last week they had me and my buddy that was leaving team up to run routes so the 2 new people could be trained on the routes they'd be taking over. Keep in mind some companies have a policy to accept a resignation immediately while others will allow you to work out your notice.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

PJ's Comment
member avatar

OS I agree with you. From stories I have heard over and over it always seems drivers expect the worst when they turn in their notice. That is all too common in our society. Jump to expecting a negative instead of a positive outcome.

If you look at it logically it makes no sense for a company to take a chance on a driver abandoning their equipment. That will cost the company big dollars to get recovered. Recovering that cost will probably be difficult and cost the company even more to pursue recovery. Logically I can not see why anyone would want that.

As you pointed out with load schedules and freight lanes it can be difficult to hit an exact date.

My personal belief is it is up to me how I handle a situation, noone else’s. I always try to do the right thing and treat others the way I want to be treated. If others, IE the company in this instance, that is up too them to do the right thing, not me. However if they don’t it only effects me a very short time and move on.

I have been asked to return to every driving job I have had in the past 7 years. Had I been hard headed or worse when I left, that would have never happened.

Jrod's Comment
member avatar

Great Advice from PJ!

OS I agree with you. From stories I have heard over and over it always seems drivers expect the worst when they turn in their notice. That is all too common in our society. Jump to expecting a negative instead of a positive outcome.

If you look at it logically it makes no sense for a company to take a chance on a driver abandoning their equipment. That will cost the company big dollars to get recovered. Recovering that cost will probably be difficult and cost the company even more to pursue recovery. Logically I can not see why anyone would want that.

As you pointed out with load schedules and freight lanes it can be difficult to hit an exact date.

My personal belief is it is up to me how I handle a situation, noone else’s. I always try to do the right thing and treat others the way I want to be treated. If others, IE the company in this instance, that is up too them to do the right thing, not me. However if they don’t it only effects me a very short time and move on.

I have been asked to return to every driving job I have had in the past 7 years. Had I been hard headed or worse when I left, that would have never happened.

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