Dot Preventable. Making It Tough To Get Jobs.

Topic 34038 | Page 1

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Lou L.'s Comment
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Pretty new driver, had a dropped trailer accident earlier this year got fired and have had issues getting jobs ever since. I know that as a professional driver everything is our fault and we have to take accountability for whatever happens when it comes to trucking. Anyways, I started with a company and had been out of a truck for a few months but ofc I still do everything I’m supposed to do as a driver. I was on day 2, and with me being new to this company I was with a trainer. The day had already started off pretty frustrating because when I arrived it took an hour and a half for the manager to get me rolling with my trainer so I had to sit in my car until the trainer could come pick me up. It was freezing cold on this day and the heat went out in the car literally the day before on the way home. I was layered up properly but it was freezing temps and snowed a few hours later.. that’s besides the point but if I’m going to tell the story I have to tell the whole story because everything plays a factor and can affect how I perform my job… So once I got in the truck with the trainer it took another hour for anything to become available as far as work goes so we sat another hour in the truck. Again pretty frustrating but I let it go when we finally got the call to pick up the trailer.. I was backing and the trainer was spotting me, etc. I back up under the trailer and the trailer is too high so my trainer says hey pull back out from under the trailer. I do that very carefully and slowly but the trailer pin caught onto the fifth wheel lifting the fifth wheel plate upwards. Soon as I felt the contact I stopped. My trainer tells me to keep giving it gas to get it unstuck. I give it a little gas and it doesn’t work so I stop and tell him I can’t, that it’s stuck so we need to lift the trailer with the landing gear. He says quote “no I know what I’m doing just give it gas and get it out from underneath.” I give it one more go it didn’t work so I back up the tractor far enough so we can get the trailer lifted and get out. I tell him that I’m not trying it anymore and if he wants to get in and do it he can. He tries and realizes that he can’t and we have to lift the trailer anyways. I can tell that he’s irritated and tells me to wait in the truck and he’ll do everything on the outside, hook up etc. All that is done and I always check my fifth wheel bar to make sure it’s locked in place and the jaw and also seen him look under the trailer at the locking jaw. Once everything is done we go to pull out and the tractor starts jerking back and forth really hard. The trailer comes off the fifth wheel completely, falls onto the rear tractor wheels and bar and the fifth wheel plate lodged into the front of the trailer. No damage to freight only to the front of the trailer.

The day before the tractor had done the same thing as far as the jerking motion and I hit the brakes and the trainer says “don’t worry about it sometimes it just does that this truck is messed up and has all types of issues, when it does just push down on the gas hard and it will drive normally.” So when it happened I again hit the brakes but he told me “go, go, I told you it’s nothing.” So I start going and that’s when the trailer came off.

Manager did a report and everything and I made an honest mistake when he asked me questions and asked if I G.O.A.L I said no even though I did and I know I did but I was nervous I had just gotten the job and a million other things was going through my head because I know I messed up, I know I’m in the wrong even if I’m not as a professional driver. I’m thinking about everything all at once and I hate messing up because I’m very careful and particular about everything I do. But in this moment I think I just kind of freaked out.

The trainer mentioned that the tractor was having issues before that and another driver who uses the tractor that was at the scene mentioned the tractor had issues and had dropped trailers on him but caught on the tires but never happened where the fifth wheel went through and he could just lift the trailers and get back hooked up without anybody knowing it ever happened. So I’m not the only person that had that problem.

After the investigation they concluded that I bent the bar on the locking jaw when I backed under the trailer and tried to pull out is what the manager told me and ruled it as a Dot preventable accident. The manager didn’t say anything to the trainer because we spoke days after. He didn’t get anything, no consequences not even a speech, and I got a preventable on my record that’s preventing me from getting a job.

If I have to take all the blame then it is what it is but how can I get this off my record because I need a job and nobody is giving me a break on this and I call the company to try to get this removed every other day and they always say they will get back to me but never do. Someone who has any answers please help me out on what I should do. Thanks for reading all this.


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.


Operating While Intoxicated

ID Mtn Gal's Comment
member avatar

I'm confused.

Is the dropped trailer the only accident you had? How long had you been driving when that happened? Is that your first company? What type of company was it and how big?

Have you gotten a copy of your DAC record? You can request a free one at this link:

Hireright DAC

Give us some more information and we can help you better. You do have to realize that the economy has tanked and it's going to be hard to get another driving job.



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.

Lou L.'s Comment
member avatar

Hey Laura,

Yes this is my only accident in a truck, it was a small yard jockey company and they are currently being taken over by a larger company. I’ve driven for about a year give or take and this accident was within my first year. We moved trailers for another company and the boss there that fired me was recently let go. I’ve been applying for months and a lot of companies are turning me down because of this accident. Atleast that’s what they are telling me. Thanks for that link I’m going to check into it.

And I’m aware of the tank, I’ve filled out over 100 applications all to no avail though. It’s been a few months and people aren’t hiring me because of a few factors, 1 being that the 2 previous carriers I had been with only for 4 months max each but it was out of my control. And the fact that I’ve been out of a truck for a bit but that’s because no one will hire me!!

The first one company in my previous statement, I lost my personal vehicle at the time because someone rear ended me at a light and totaled my vehicle this was all within my first few months of being a truck driver. The company let me go because I had no vehicle to get back and forth every day while they were trying to get my truck situation sorted out. I did not have a truck anymore either because the one I was in died out. It was very old with a lot of mileage and they were going to let it run out anyways. I was at the terminal waiting for a new truck to become available at my home terminal, that’s the only reason I was even in my own vehicle and not in the truck. That night I left the terminal to wait for a new truck over the weekend, until they called me with a truck ready Monday morning, but a car hit me at a light on my way home.

The second company shut down within my first few months of working there. The phone numbers, emails, nothing from that company works anymore the email gives an error and the phone is out of service. That sucks for me right? Because when companies need verification they don’t have a way to get that info and neither do I. The company looked sketchy from the beginning but I gave it a shot, plus most trucking companies look sketchy now days. They stole my last payment and never paid me (scammers) and I didn’t understand when they told me that I had to turn my truck in because I didn’t do anything wrong and they didn’t give me any information on why they were making me turn in the truck but within 2-3 weeks they shut down and everything stopped working. I only knew because I was trying to understand why they didn’t pay me and going back and forth with them until everything went quiet and I couldn’t contact them anymore. I thought they had blocked me and one day my old manager there finally told me that they had went out of business and there’s no way to contact them besides an email he gave me which also doesn’t work and gives an error message. Ever since that one time I talked to him I am unable to reach him anymore. None of this is relevant but I’m going to give you my whole story.

This is all the additional information that I have but companies bring up the trailer accident and some companies bring up not being at my previous carriers for long. But those two combined they are very indifferent about. No employers “recruiters” want to really hear the details and even after explaining they don’t care they are going to go with what’s on their screen. Which would be DOT accident and short employment times.

Maybe I am making excuses for myself because of all the unfortunate events that took place all within my first year of driving a cmv but I don’t know what I could have done differently. Even after all the self blaming and trying to look at it from other perspectives I don’t know I’m feeling hopeless because I’m trying everything I can to get this sorted out so I can go back to work. I got into trucking to get away from the old regular 9 to 5 but I’m almost out of hope since I can’t find a company that will give me a chance to prove that I’m worth more than my past experiences that have knocked me down.


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.


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.


Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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