Accepting Responsibility Could Make The Difference

Topic 30510 | Page 1

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Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

I apologize for my absence from the forum, been doing lots of upgrades to the house and haven't had much time to respond despite popping in nearly daily. I wanted to share something that's happened recently to show you how often times taking responsibility for your actions has a better outcome than making excuses or passing the blame. A driver at my job was recently terminated after making it roughly 4 months. He was honest and owned up to his mistakes, showed a willingness to learn from them and in my opinion was given more chances than many carriers would give. This driver came to us after getting his start at Pepsi for 3 months, then ran a shuttle route for Schneider from Des Moines to LaCrosse WI (550 mile round trip) for a little over 2 years.

Due to hiring experienced drivers you're sent out with a trainer for roughly a week and a half to learn our way of doing things and unloading at the stores. This driver was sent out with a trainer for a total of close to 6 weeks from what I was told because he kept goofing up and being sent back out with a trainer. A majority of it involved paperwork and losing/throwing out the bill of ladings for backhauls. We have a few guys from the warehouse that have gotten their CDL paid for and were given 6-8 weeks of training.

Management kept investing time and money in him but ultimately made the decision to terminate his employment. This driver made several very costly mistakes in a matter of about 6 weeks that will likely have him no longer in this industry. First was he parked on a ramp to use the restroom in the middle of the night. It just so happened we received a significant amount of rain and his tires sank into the dirt/mud costing the company over $2,000 to pull it out.

Within a couple weeks he managed to one-up himself. He was on HWY 50 heading to Yankton SD (600ish mile round trip) and fell asleep behind the wheel and managed to roll the truck, and to my understanding total the truck/trailer and the load. We were convinced he was done given the severity of roll overs. He kept his job after serving his 1 week unpaid suspension for an accident/incident over $10,000 in damage (company policy). I talked to him while waiting on our loads to be completed one of his first days back. He told me that he admitted to falling asleep, and being over confident in his ability to keep himself awake. He said he'd felt really tired the entire drive up that way and opted to not pull into the truck stop just off HWY 50 and I-29. He was roughly 45 minutes away from Yankton when he fell asleep. Surprisingly he didnt have any injuries at all. I explained to him how laid back management is as long as you do your job safely, and that I've had a couple days I take my hour break (nap) before I even make my first delivery if I really need to in order to be safe. I've never caught any grief over it as our safety is #1. I explained how the office really has our back, told him about my RR crossing incident and to learn from it and move forward from this and don't let it define his career with us. I left that conversation feeling confident that he'd get things turned around. Imagine my shock the end of the following week when I overheard he was terminated. I didn't hear exactly what happened with this incident other than he "wrecked" a truck and was brought back to the yard and promptly fired. I'm unsure of any other details regarding this one but he was headed to Yankton again.

I share this not to kick a guy when he's down but I feel there's valuable lessons we can all take away from this. First is obviously the importance of getting enough rest to be able to safely operate our vehicle. We've all had days where we maybe push ourselves too far. Loads can be rescheduled. If you need to pull off to get rest then do so. Its also important we use our 10 hour break wisely.

Its also extremely important to own up to your mistakes. Our companies understand we'll make mistakes. What they want to see is that you learned from it and won't repeat the same mistakes again. We've seen many posts here at TT trying to make excuses and pass the blame on it being someone else's fault and they get fired for far less than our driver did. We are expected to get our job done with very minimal supervision and they need to know we're representing our company in a positive way. There's no reason to lie.

We also see why its so important to stay on hard surfaces and off the grass or soft dirt especially after heavy rains. Also, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to AVOID Yankton sorry.gif

Ultimately this driver messed up enough that they couldn't keep him on. He got fired from a great paying job that you can make $100k and I doubt he will find anybody to hire him. Anybody can be a driver, companies want PROFESSIONAL drivers and for us to conduct ourselves as such.

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.

Dm:

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

He was given a 2nd chance most driver do not receive, unfortunately he didn't take advantage of it. This will probably be the end of his driving career as well, it will be next to impossible to find a company willing to give him a 3rd chance.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

That's really something that the driver was given another chance after a rollover, especially after admitting to be at fault, then squandered that next opportunity, too?

He needs to be stocking the shelves; not delivering the goods for the shelves.

Dm:

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.
Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

When I clocked out today I ran into a trainer that trained the driver. A couple of the drivers he's trained have made minor mistakes so we all like to give him crap for it all in fun. When I seen he had a new trainee today I told trainer hopefully you don't curse the new guy like your last one. I heard exactly what had happened with the final incident as he was told by someone in management. The now- unemployed driver made it back to the yard safely but when he went to back into his assigned pad apparently he hit the trailer next to him and continued backing tearing everything up on his truck and trailer as well. Our VP just happened to be out in the yard and witnessed it. When confronted he knew he was about to be fired so he quit and walked off.

I guess technically he wasn't fired, but when you look at everything that's transpired having a termination on his record is the least of his worries. I'm extremely shocked he wasn't gone after the rollover and then managed to goof up again so quickly. I can't help but wonder if he simply didn't care.

Rhino's Comment
member avatar

Maybe he didn’t care. There’s people out there like that. We had a guy in cdl school was like that. He messed up on a maneuver and my buddy asked him what had happened and he said eh I dont care. Like really? We don’t need people like that on the roads.

When I clocked out today I ran into a trainer that trained the driver. A couple of the drivers he's trained have made minor mistakes so we all like to give him crap for it all in fun. When I seen he had a new trainee today I told trainer hopefully you don't curse the new guy like your last one. I heard exactly what had happened with the final incident as he was told by someone in management. The now- unemployed driver made it back to the yard safely but when he went to back into his assigned pad apparently he hit the trailer next to him and continued backing tearing everything up on his truck and trailer as well. Our VP just happened to be out in the yard and witnessed it. When confronted he knew he was about to be fired so he quit and walked off.

I guess technically he wasn't fired, but when you look at everything that's transpired having a termination on his record is the least of his worries. I'm extremely shocked he wasn't gone after the rollover and then managed to goof up again so quickly. I can't help but wonder if he simply didn't care.

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.
Harry N.'s Comment
member avatar

Dang, if he could get his CDL. It shouldn't be too hard to get it then but most def will NEVER make these types of mistakes nor reverse. I never reverse anyway, always move forward.

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.
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