Returning To USA After 3 Years Abroad - Will Any Companies Hire Me? I’m A Former OTR Driver Who’s Looking For Work.

Topic 30845 | Page 1

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Jerry G.'s Comment
member avatar

I’m a US Citizen, US Navy veteran and a former OTR driver. I was out of the country working as a teacher abroad for three years. Knight Transportation and some other companies that I’ve spoken with have stated that they cannot hire me because they require “one year of US employment within the last three years”. All of my past employment is verifiable (including the overseas employment) and I maintained an excellent safety record in the past as a CDL driver. Does anyone know of an OTR company (big or small) that may be interested in hiring me? Thank you to everyone who took the time to read this.

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.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

Have you used this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs? Fill out one application and it'll be sent to many companies. Did you keep your CDL active, including DOT exams Many? Many companies will likely require you take a refresher course at a minimum if you still have an active CDL.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Having kept your US drivers license current will also matter, since you have to had it active at least 1 year. Then proving where you were abroad, get letters from 2 people attesting to your past. Just in case I needed em, 2+ years back I had 2 people who've known me 20 & 50+ years write them, but didn't need them ( I was unemployed & self-employed a bunch years )

Good luck , just apply everywhere, and see if they bite.

Jerry G.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the response and the information. I had forgotten about that link! One application sent to many companies - Cast a big net! Yes, I kept my CDL active. Oregon has a temporary sleeper mode option that lets up you keep your CDL without maintaining current DOT physicals if your not working in the industry anymore. I’m comfortable with and totally support the idea of a refresher course. After being out of the drivers seat for a long time, a refresher course is good idea. Thanks again! J

Have you used this link to Apply For Truck Driving Jobs? Fill out one application and it'll be sent to many companies. Did you keep your CDL active, including DOT exams Many? Many companies will likely require you take a refresher course at a minimum if you still have an active CDL.

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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Jerry G.'s Comment
member avatar

That’s a good idea. Thank you for that information. I’m coming back prepared with all of the documents needed to verify employment in a foreign country. I hope it’s enough. I like your idea about reference letters from friends. Every little bit may help. Thanks again! J

Having kept your US drivers license current will also matter, since you have to had it active at least 1 year. Then proving where you were abroad, get letters from 2 people attesting to your past. Just in case I needed em, 2+ years back I had 2 people who've known me 20 & 50+ years write them, but didn't need them ( I was unemployed & self-employed a bunch years )

Good luck , just apply everywhere, and see if they bite.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

One thing on any references is to have these notorized if possible.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Sorry for the tardy response, by now you may have already resolved this, but in case you haven’t… I was in the same boat as you, returning from abroad after spending 3+ years out of the country. I had pre-hires from six or seven companies who agreed to hire me despite my being out of the country for over three years; I can remember only four of them: Schneider, Werner, Covenant, and CR England. I went with Schneider, who I am still with today. Hope this helps and welcome back!

Pre-hire:

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.

Pre-hires:

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.

Randolph D.'s Comment
member avatar

Jerry G., where do you live now?

Jerry G.'s Comment
member avatar

Portland, Oregon.

Jerry G., where do you live now?

Jerry G.'s Comment
member avatar

Wow!! That is great information, thank you! I was feeling a bit low after Knight Trans turned me down… thinking that all the mega carriers would share the same policy. Your input really reopened the door to hope. I drove for Schneider off and on three different times over the last 18 years and left on good terms with them very time. I’ve always felt they were a good company to work for and I’m glad to read that you’ve stayed with on with them. I know they have a Portland, Oregon terminal these days and a great refresher course in Fontana, so I will be giving them a call for sure next week when I return to the USA! I actually tried to contact them first but for some reason their system wouldn’t accept a VPN from Cambodia, lol… which is probably a safety precaution and a good idea. Thanks again for your input… I’m feeling hopeful about things again :).

Sorry for the tardy response, by now you may have already resolved this, but in case you haven’t… I was in the same boat as you, returning from abroad after spending 3+ years out of the country. I had pre-hires from six or seven companies who agreed to hire me despite my being out of the country for over three years; I can remember only four of them: Schneider, Werner, Covenant, and CR England. I went with Schneider, who I am still with today. Hope this helps and welcome back!

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.

Pre-hire:

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.

Pre-hires:

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.

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