Long Covid And Trucking

Topic 32657 | Page 1

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Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Howdy folks!

Long time, no see. On my last adventure I was back at Schneider after tending to family matters.

Somewhere along the way I ended up with COPD-like issues after having Covid. Coughed so hard one night that I had to park on the side of the road after almost passing out. I went too far over and got stuck, needing assistance. I called the sitrep in and started the process of getting help. Started coughing heavily again while the IL State Trooper was there. The trooper began the usual inspection of myself, my rig, and my logs. (I was on-duty for about 1.5 hours before the incident.) I was cleared, and did not receive any tickets. I had no diagnosis of any COPD before that.

Unfortunately Schneider didn't see it that way. The Walmart Dedicated safety officer looked at the photos and how straight I parked (although too far over in the mud) and he said "the position of your rig is what I see when people fall asleep at the wheel." ??? I figured someone sleeping would have been crooked and/or turned over/hit another vehicle. Although cleared of any wrong doing by law enforcement investigation, needless to say I was terminated for safety.

Since then I've had an official diagnosis of "very mild COPD." I take Fluticasone powder twice a day to control the symptoms. I really hope to drive again someday, but I don't have my hopes up. My pulmonologist will approve me driving so long as I keep inhaling the Fluticasone as prescribed.

The point of the story - long Covid sucks. If you've had Covid and experience more coughing than usual, go see your primary care. I likely don't have a chance to go back to Schneider, but perhaps another carrier will allow me to drive.

Take Care,

Dean

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

BK's Comment
member avatar

Dean, can you appeal the termination decision? I also got sick when at Schneider. Fortunately, I made it in to an OC and parked. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I was diagnosed with diabetes that required treatment. So I wasn’t terminated but I also wasn’t going back by choice. I seem to recall that Schneider has an appeal process if you think it would be worth pursuing. Good luck, being sick sucks.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Dave T.'s Comment
member avatar

I had the “rona” back in January and I’m still experiencing the long term effects. I’ve got a cough I can’t shake and just this past weekend started on a cpap. I can’t breathe nearly as deep as I used to and get outa breath much more easily with a burning sensation in my lungs. I’m a big guy but before covid (and my leg surgery) I was able to do some pretty strenuous hiking and whatnot with no problem but now, even after losing almost 40 pounds, it’s much more difficult. I got the ****s and still ended up catching it at work.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

I apologize, but I'm confused about something;

The Walmart Dedicated safety officer looked at the photos and how straight I parked (although too far over in the mud) and he said "the position of your rig is what I see when people fall asleep at the wheel."

What kind of parking do attentive, alert drivers do, if not straight?

So, if this guy looked at a picture of a sleeping person, would he also assume that person is dead? They sometimes look pretty similar. I mean, I'm sorry, but Schneider fired you because a guy says the straight parking position of the truck looks like a driver asleep at the wheel? After only 1.5hours on duty? AND after a Police Officer cleared you of any wrongdoing?

Now, if they fired you because of the tow fee or some other reason, okay, maybe I get it. And I'm not questioning your truthfulness, but it just sounds like an odd reason to fire an experienced driver.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

I had the “rona” back in January and I’m still experiencing the long term effects. I’ve got a cough I can’t shake and just this past weekend started on a cpap. I can’t breathe nearly as deep as I used to and get outa breath much more easily with a burning sensation in my lungs. I’m a big guy but before covid (and my leg surgery) I was able to do some pretty strenuous hiking and whatnot with no problem but now, even after losing almost 40 pounds, it’s much more difficult. I got the ****s and still ended up catching it at work.

I had the first two injections AND the first booster before I caught it last July. Go figure. I was still being cautious.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

I apologize, but I'm confused about something;

double-quotes-start.png

The Walmart Dedicated safety officer looked at the photos and how straight I parked (although too far over in the mud) and he said "the position of your rig is what I see when people fall asleep at the wheel."

double-quotes-end.png

What kind of parking do attentive, alert drivers do, if not straight?

So, if this guy looked at a picture of a sleeping person, would he also assume that person is dead? They sometimes look pretty similar. I mean, I'm sorry, but Schneider fired you because a guy says the straight parking position of the truck looks like a driver asleep at the wheel? After only 1.5hours on duty? AND after a Police Officer cleared you of any wrongdoing?

Now, if they fired you because of the tow fee or some other reason, okay, maybe I get it. And I'm not questioning your truthfulness, but it just sounds like an odd reason to fire an experienced driver.

I understand. Safety's full explanation was that he assumes that people who fall asleep "wake up, hit the brake, and straighten the wheel." I felt myself stating to go under and pulled over and braked. Yes, I was coughing more than usual when I came on duty that day. I admit that I had the opportunity to "captain my own ship" and refuse to run, but it was only coughing and I did not know I has a mild COPD issue.

I checked my PSP and it showed my one and only inspection (a level 3 that same day) and I was cleared. I asked for a DAC report but HireRight couldn't generate a report (looks to them like I don't have a CDL)?

My experience is 1.5 years. Safety said if I had a million miles it wouldn't be an issue. I can appeal to go back but it would be a tough road. thanks for the comment.

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.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Dean, can you appeal the termination decision? I also got sick when at Schneider. Fortunately, I made it in to an OC and parked. I was taken by ambulance to the hospital where I was diagnosed with diabetes that required treatment. So I wasn’t terminated but I also wasn’t going back by choice. I seem to recall that Schneider has an appeal process if you think it would be worth pursuing. Good luck, being sick sucks.

I can appeal, but Safety said without a million miles under my belt I'm unlikely to win.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Dean in the 1.5 years driving on the Walmart account, we’re there any other issues, events or preventables? How is your performance record; on time and no missed deliveries?

Your vehicle remained upright… we’ve all seen trucks that were in far worse condition than yours. Wheels up Is a likely result of falling asleep at the wheel.

Highly unusual and downright odd that Schneider would jettison a driver for 1 incident in 1.5 years of driving.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

Dean in the 1.5 years driving on the Walmart account, we’re there any other issues, events or preventables? How is your performance record; on time and no missed deliveries?

Your vehicle remained upright… we’ve all seen trucks that were in far worse condition than yours. Wheels up Is a likely result of falling asleep at the wheel.

Highly unusual and downright odd that Schneider would jettison a driver for 1 incident in 1.5 years of driving.

Hi G-Town.

No incidents or problems I'm aware of. I was doing fine... getting .70/mile plus accessorial pay, up from .53/mile. I left for a while to do Schneider Regional and then take care of a family member but I didn't have any incidents. I had enough time in to get better routes (not as many trips into Cook or Lake County). Schneider has tightened up on safety since the $70 Million verdict a few years ago. I sent an email to manager I used to work with today and his idea was that I violated the "Captain of your own ship rule" by driving when I wasn't 100%.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Sorry to hear this Dean. Tough lesson. Hopeful for a full recovery and that you land on your feet.

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