Advice For New Driver Who Messed Up

Topic 32059 | Page 1

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Aaron B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi,

I got my CDL in January and started work in February. I live near Seattle and saw that many of thr jobs required at least a year of experience. I went with Western Express because I knew they'd take a rookie. My plan was to acquire 6 months experience and look around for a better job.

Literally the day I got off my 3 week OTR training and got my own truck, I was heading home and got pulled over. I didn't have a mount yet so I was STUPIDLY changing a song on my phone. I admiyted it and explained I was on my way home and he said that I didn't need a ticket on my record so he issued me a warning.

Last week I applied for a job at CRST and was denied. They sent me my PSP report and I saw that I have Texting While Driving on my 3 year violation list. I worked so hard to get off the streets the past 5 years and get an apartment and put myself through trucking school and I'm worried that my career may have ended.

Is it still possible for me to get a job with this mark on my record or will it be 3 mkre years with Western Express for me?

I know I was stupid, and I do NOT text and drive, but I don't even touch my phone. Any advice from veterans welcome, just please dont bash me I know I screwed up.

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.

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

I’m not sure why a warning shows up on your psp. Is it on your MVR also??

If Western is willing to keep you I would consider it lucky. My old carrier terminated people immediately for use of a handheld device while driving.

All you can do is apply everywhere and see if anyone is willing to hire you.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

As PJ said, see if Western Express will take you back. If they will, plan on doing a full year with them, beyond the 6 months you have with them now. Old School, a moderator here, drove for Western Express and did very well with them for the 1.5 yrs or so he drove for them. Then another opportunity came along and he went with that, where he's been ever since... I believe 7 or 8 years now.

You need to read Old School's post about Western Express and how well he did with them. When you can do like he did, that's when you know you have learned more about driving than being a beginner, which you are, and then you can go look for better companies, if that's what you want. But to go from one beginner company to another, is just defeating the purpose. Stick with one company, learn all you can, and then move on.

Laura

Aaron B.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm still with Western, they hardly cared. They just had me watch safety videos.

No it isn't on my MVR , but warnings go on your PSP report for 3 years, its considered an inspection.

I want to apply elsewhere but dont want to burn bridges. Worst thing is I'm stuck for 3 years here until it falls off.

MVR:

Motor Vehicle Record

An MVR is a report of your driving history, as reported from your state Department of Motor Vehicles. Information on this report may include Drivers License information, point history, violations, convictions, and license status on your driving record.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Aaron, this may be a blessing in disguise for you. Stay with Western Express for 1 year and then re-visit this issue about changing companies.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I agree. You are damn lucky on several fronts…

- with most companies this is grounds for immediate termination. It’s a safety policy violation. A serious one. I knew a triple Diamond driver at Swift who received a citation for messing with his phone while driving. His 10 year career was over in an instant. Zero tolerance.

- it only takes a fraction of a second to lose control of a semi. You took your eyes off the road and at least one hand off the wheel for at least a full second. A charitable LEO witnessed this…giving you the benefit of a doubt.

Damn lucky is what you were. Get very comfortable at WE… be professional, become a top performer (and that takes more than a year) and don’t assume the grass is greener on the other side.

Any potential, future employer will likely pass on you until it’s gone from your PSP. Be happy you have a job.

Aaron, this may be a blessing in disguise for you. Stay with Western Express for 1 year and then re-visit this issue about changing companies.

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

I want to apply elsewhere but dont want to burn bridges. Worst thing is I'm stuck for 3 years here until it falls off.

First thing is to change your attitude and then strive to be a top-tier driver. It is not the end of the world to be with Western Express. You have barely any driving experience and you committed a major violation. It doesn't matter if you never have done it before, you were caught holding your phone and it doesn't matter that you were only putting music on.

Companies don't tolerate that, ask me how I know. I've had to eat humble pie because I was let go in May from my company where I was in the top five of all the drivers. All I did was put on YouTube music and tossed the phone on my dash and I had my driver facing camera covered. Well safety knew I did back in August when I got the new truck, the office manager didn't and he saw my truck at the yard with it covered. Gone, just like that.

You aren't stuck with Western Express. You are being given a second chance! Become one of their top drivers over the next year or so and then look to see if they actually put it on your record and how it's worded.

Laura

Aaron B.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks folks for the veteran wisdom. You're right, I do need to work on a better attitude. I am grateful I have a job.

Thanks!

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

Well, if you were not texting, get a copy of the phone logs for that day from your cell carrier. Verify it matches your memory, then present this to your company.

As far as the Warning Citation, there is no fighting it, so it will stay on your record for 36 months. Never accept a warning. Always ask for a ticket so you can fight it in court.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

Yep, my last co driver went to Legends to drive local, since his elderly mom was sick. He didn't last 6 months there, #1 because, on his way home 1 night with his day cab , the camera caught him texting as he neared home to open the gate for him. #2 he also was caught peeing ina bottle! in a day cab? really? hahaha I told him he has plenty of opportunities to pull over to go to a bathroom. Called in for those 2 things, then he said he joking said "Oh did someone get excited seeing me pee?".......Immediate termination, now he drives for hub group locally, lucky he got hired so fast (couple months) 2 lack of common sense problems got his azz fired !! He knows better !

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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