6 Months Safe Driving With A CDL A Carrier

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Hydra M.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello all,

I am in a huge predicament and I no longer know what to do. In February of this year, I made a stupid mistake while working for my first ever company and I believe it has costed me my chance in truck driving.

I hit a fire hydrant and made the stupid mistake of panicking and driving off instead of reporting the incident.

As such, and rightfully so, I was terminated for a safety violation. I have given this incident a lot of thought and wish I could go back and do things differently, but I can not.

Now it is 8 months later and it is nigh impossible to find a job anywhere. Every company I've applied to either auto declines me or tells me I need 6 months clean driving with a class A carrier before they consider me. The problem is, no class A carrier will consider me, and I've heard that B class work won't count as it isn't a combination vehicle. Even second chance companies won't give me one.

Give me your honesty here. Is it over? Should I just throw in the towel? Any feedback is much appreciated.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Turtle's Comment
member avatar

You will indeed find it nigh impossible to land a job until some distance is put between the accident and the present.

I can only suggest to get on Google and find literally every class a carrier you can and apply to them all. Your only shot is to hope someone gives you a chance.

Leaving the scene is a big deal.

BK's Comment
member avatar

You will indeed find it nigh impossible to land a job until some distance is put between the accident and the present.

I can only suggest to get on Google and find literally every class a carrier you can and apply to them all. Your only shot is to hope someone gives you a chance.

Leaving the scene is a big deal.

Hydra, what Turtle says makes sense, like it or not. A class B driving job may be possible for you. You apparently know how to drive, except not around fire hydrants, so why not get another driving job where you can keep your head in the game?

Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

Western Express, CR England, CRST are probably your best shots. Leaving the scene changed it from a rookie mistake to a possible career killer.

Hydra M.'s Comment
member avatar

Western Express, CR England, CRST are probably your best shots. Leaving the scene changed it from a rookie mistake to a possible career killer.

I started with Western Express (no previous convictions or anything, just stupid), and I'm unsure of their rehiring policy. Alas, that's what I was afraid of. Thank you for your honesty.

Ryan B.'s Comment
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What is your location?

Hydra M.'s Comment
member avatar

What is your location?

Jacksonville, Florida. I've also read a ton that Florida makes it even harder to find a CDL A job because of how little freight goes out, but I'm willing to go to/do just about anything to get back into driving. I made a dumb mistake and just wish I could fix it.

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.
Ryan B.'s Comment
member avatar

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What is your location?

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Jacksonville, Florida. I've also read a ton that Florida makes it even harder to find a CDL A job because of how little freight goes out, but I'm willing to go to/do just about anything to get back into driving. I made a dumb mistake and just wish I could fix it.

Can you relocate? By that I mean move to another location and then start applying with companies. Jacksonville isn't as bad as further south in the state. A company with a mostly SE footprint would probably be your best bet. Even then, you need some distance from that incident, which you already know. I would suggest apply everywhere. Use the app Driver Pulse. If the apply at all the known big hitters fails, then start scoping out smaller companies that are SE regional. If that falls through, you are just going to have to wait.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Hydra M.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

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double-quotes-start.png

What is your location?

double-quotes-end.png

double-quotes-end.png

Jacksonville, Florida. I've also read a ton that Florida makes it even harder to find a CDL A job because of how little freight goes out, but I'm willing to go to/do just about anything to get back into driving. I made a dumb mistake and just wish I could fix it.

double-quotes-end.png

Can you relocate? By that I mean move to another location and then start applying with companies. Jacksonville isn't as bad as further south in the state. A company with a mostly SE footprint would probably be your best bet. Even then, you need some distance from that incident, which you already know. I would suggest apply everywhere. Use the app Driver Pulse. If the apply at all the known big hitters fails, then start scoping out smaller companies that are SE regional. If that falls through, you are just going to have to wait.

How long do you think I'd have to wait? Another 4 months for it to be a year? 2? 3 years?

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

We're you with Western Express when you hit the hydrant? You said you were fired from your first job for hitting the hydrant, but it sounds like you started at Western and left and then get fired from a different company.

How long do you think I'd have to wait? Another 4 months for it to be a year? 2? 3 years?

Waiting isn't beneficial to you. You need to accept any job offer you get and get some safe driving time under your belt.

As a CDL holder, you have to list 10 years of employment on each application and your prospective employers will reach out to your previous employers.

The longer you wait the harder it will be to find a job. You'll end up with a stale CDL due to your lack of experience and have another hurdle to overcome.

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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