Before I Waste My Time...

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Ricky C.'s Comment
member avatar

I want to be a truck driver. I'm on the edge of attempting to apply for my cdl permit at my local dmv , but I have a smudge on my driving record... a reckless driving ticket I got a couple of years ago at a stop sign where the front end of my car gently kissed the rear end of the car ahead of me. She started to go and then I started to go and as I started she abruptly stopped and that's all there was to that. She calls the cops and I get a rd ticket. At this time truck driving hadn't even crossed my mind yet. I paid the ticket and forgot all about it... until now, when truck driving has become my goal, hence my worry. After a lot of soul searching I figured out what I really want to do. I stopped smoking weed and dedicated myself to detoxing naturally without trying to cheat, and studied the cdl manuel and took dozens of practice tests that I finally aced them all, but then I saw the disqualifiers and that reckless driving was one of them... so I guess my question is it even worth trying for now? Or did that one little insignificant incident absolutely ruin my shot at this? Is there any way to explain the details to a company aside from them just seeing such a misleading accusation? I say misleading because there was no damage, no bodily harm, no speeding... From a standstill to a one second nudge/bump... am I being paranoid or is it really over for me before I ever even get the chance to start? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

NaeNaeInNC's Comment
member avatar

The answer is, as always, "it depends."

The main factors are time. How long has it been? What else is on your driving record? Has there been anything recent? Does your record show a pattern of bad driving and law breaking?

The truth is, if there has been SOME time since, many companies will look at it on a case by case basis. If it was 6 months ago, you are probably hosed for quite some time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

Another possibility, costly but possibly feasible, is to contact an attorney to seek an expungement, or to bring that ticket back up and change your plea. You may be able to pay an attorney to reactivate the case and enter into a plea agreement with the state to change the charge from reckless driving to failure to reduce speed, or following too closely. In 28 years as a cop, I saw those kind of shenanigans happened in court quite frequently. It's not wrong, it's just using the system to your advantage.

You will still have a weight in front of you, quite likely. It just would not be as long as having a blind plea Reckless on your record.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Ricky C., welcome to our forum!

All hope is not lost. Reckless driving is an obstacle. It is not something that bars you forever.

Here's the best advice I can give. Don't even bother with trying to get your permit right now. What I would focus on is applying for Paid CDL Training Programs. These are programs that will pay your expenses for schooling, lodging, and meals while you are obtaining your CDL. You are going to get some rejections - you have already figured that out. Don't let it bother you. Make sure you explain the reckless driving ticket on your application just like you did in here. It is possible that someone will take you after hearing the explanation. There is no guarantee, but it is worth taking the time to do it that way. These programs will determine whether they can hire you before you get an invitation to their training program.

You didn't really say how long you have been off weed. I strongly suggest you wait at least one full year before applying for trucking jobs. So many of the companies are doing hair follicle tests now, and if you fail one of those pre-employment drug screenings you are going to have an almost insurmountable problem on your hands.

You mentioned the ticket was a couple of years ago. Many of these companies want to know if you have had any tickets in the past three years. If you wait until that ticket is older than three years you will have a lot easier time at this vetting process. That will also give you time to clear your system of THC. So, your best strategy might just be to wait a little. I know that is probably not what you wanted to hear, but it certainly means you are not shut out from this forever. Just take the time to get things in order. Get that reckless driving ticket behind you a little further and continue your detox efforts. You should be good to go at that point.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

How long has it been? 2.5 years. Nothing else within the past 10 years. No felonies. No trouble. And no pattern of bad driving or law breaking. Just that single incident.

Ricky C.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, I'm a skinny fellow and I don't smoke a lot of weed... time to clean out my system is nothing for me... I've done it before... takes about 3 months for me. My plan is to get the permit soon because according to Florida it's good for 180 days... plenty of time to move forward because I hear that as of Feb 2022 if I don't get it before then that it will be mandatory to go to truck driving school which I just can't afford out of pocket nor in debt with a student loan hanging over my head... It's just that rd on my record that bothers me because they make it seem so much worse than it actually was, ya know?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Cleaning out your system is one thing. Your hair holds a record. Three months will not remove that record from your hair.

You don't have to take our advice, but you will find your life a lot easier if you do. We have watched so many people screw up their entry into this career. We teach "best practices." We do that because we genuinely want to see you succeed. It is heartbreaking watching some people try to make their start at this. You absolutely don't want to fail a drug test. You are done at that point.

My plan is to get the permit soon because according to Florida it's good for 180 days... plenty of time to move forward because I hear that as of Feb 2022 if I don't get it before then that it will be mandatory to go to truck driving school which I just can't afford out of pocket nor in debt with a student loan hanging over my head

I understand being broke and in debt. I've been there done that. I advised you to take a path that keeps you from having to lay out any money. The Paid CDL Training Programs are perfect for a person in your position. You have got several strikes against you already.

  • THC in your system
  • Reckless driving ticket
  • Located in Florida

I am not sure how you are thinking you will go about getting your CDL. Can you tell us what your plan is? You seem concerned with some sort of information claiming you will have to go to truck driving school after February 2022. I hate to break it to you, but you will need to go to truck driving school now. I know it is possible to get a CDL without going to school. I also know that no reputable company is going to hire you without a training certificate. The FMCSA does not currently require a training certificate, but any reputable company hiring rookie drivers will insist on it. The only way for you to obtain that certificate showing 160 hours of training will be to go through a truck driving school or one of the programs I have suggested to you. Having a CDL is great, but most of us want one so we can get a job. I am assuming that is also why you want your CDL. You will have to take the proper steps to get into this industry. One of the first ones is to get some training.

I'm not saying it can't be done without a training certificate, but it is not recommended by those of us who have made great careers out of this. You are concerned about a ticket you have, but you are going to find far more rejections due to the fact that you have no experience and no training certificate. A CDL is no guarantee of a job. The insurance companies have made sure of that. They want to see you having some training. Every time an employer wants to hire a new truck driver, the insurance company wants to verify their experience or proof of training. Without one of those things they refuse to insure the driver. Therefore the company cannot hire them.

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.

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

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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

Ricky C.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, that was actually my plan... to apply for the paid cdl training programs. See I was under the impression that they did on the job training as a prehire , and I thought I had to get my cdl permit on my own before I could apply for the training, because I thought that the paid cdl training was inhouse, like through the company itself. I didn't know they were going to make me go to a school anyway. I thought the paid cdl training was a different thing than truck driving school. And yes I live in Jacksonville, Florida but why does that count against me? There's a truck driving school just down the street from me, Roadmasters, but they cost $7000 out of pocket or the loan thing which I don't qualify for because I have no credit. And as for the hair test, well, if I have to wait a little longer and go to an actual school then I guess that's what I'll 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.

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.

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.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, that was actually my plan... to apply for the paid cdl training programs. See I was under the impression that they did on the job training as a prehire , and I thought I had to get my cdl permit on my own before I could apply for the training, because I thought that the paid cdl training was inhouse, like through the company itself. I didn't know they were going to make me go to a school anyway. I thought the paid cdl training was a different thing than truck driving school. And yes I live in Jacksonville, Florida but why does that count against me? There's a truck driving school just down the street from me, Roadmasters, but they cost $7000 out of pocket or the loan thing which I don't qualify for because I have no credit. And as for the hair test, well, if I have to wait a little longer and go to an actual school then I guess that's what I'll do.

Hay, Ricky;

To answer (in part) for O/S, many companies don't hire out of Florida; there's not much freight coming OUT of FL, so they have a harder time getting you back for home time.

When you click on & apply with that link O/S shared with you, they will let you know who does & doesn't. Here's some excellent starter links, too:

Tons to help you study for your permit; Best wishes!!

~ Anne ~

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.

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.

Ricky C.'s Comment
member avatar

Anne, I see... so some truck driving schools are actually a part of the company itself, actually owned by the company... that makes more sense now, and I will look into those, ,thank you much!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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