Talk Directly To My Company Of Choice Or No?

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mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Hey,

A few weeks ago, I wrote about doing really well in school but then being harangued by the instructor-from-hell on the range and then during the exam that followed. Even though my overall GPA for the month-long school (including road testing grades) was 98.8%, the highest at that school in 6 months, including 3 achievement awards, the instructor who referred to me as "a natural" to another student, a week before, refused to endorse me, claiming my shifting wasn't good enough for his "ok." ...Even after 8 hours with another instructor who rated me 100 and 95% the two nights before without mentioning that my shifting had any serious flaws.

As many of you so helpfully recommended, I returned to the school and spoke with the director who backed the instructor 100% and wanted very little to do with hearing me out.

On the same day, just before speaking with the director, I got inside word on this company that the terminal manager to whom the school referral would go, quit. The director never mentioned this when we spoke.

Last night, on my spontaneous road trip over mountain passes, with one of my kids, I saw a tanker in my rear view mirror approaching, so I moved to the right lane. ...and it was next to us ....(sigh) Therrrrre it was. A truck from my favorite company, and true-to-form the driver sailed passed me as smoothly as an experienced pilot, all shiny and pretty, red and blue lettering on the tank, silver tank, the day after the 4th, looking all beautiful and proudly American. (The word "America" is part of the name of the company) My desire to work for them, renewed in an instant. Again ...he was the smoothest operator on the freeway and oh-by-the-way, was not doing a whole lot of shifting of gears anyway, rather he appeared to know this back-country mountain route (common for this company) so well that I'm telling you, he just sailllled through, using his jake brakes on the way down the mountain. Inspiring, truly.

I've thought of taking my (newbie) credentials right to their terminal tomorrow (or Tuesday) and asking them to consider me, even without the blessing of my school because this is what I want while the school has already abandoned the notion of helping me. There are various reasons I like this company: hours, shifts, local, ability to coordinate this with the demands of single-parenting, etc. The pay is less but many things about this company work for me and my particular situation.

I should mention that the school and this company have an arrangement whereby the company will accept and train students from this particular school only, as long as the student earns a 90% GPA or above and is recommended by the director. I believe this company has leased out a training truck to the school too, so business ties are close.

No doubt, they'll call my school and ask about me, and the director will not endorse me, as that's been made clear.

Well? Would it be worth a try, speaking with my contact with this company and/or going straight to their terminal? (I'm good at projecting my professionalism and just a week before the CDL exam, the director told me, personally, this company would be crazy not to take me on.)

What else have I not thought of, regarding consequences for a move like this?

Does this show that I diligently go after what I want or does it make me look bad?

Is this a recommended approach or ...h*** no?

-mountain girl

(btw, I have applied to over a dozen other companies in the past few days, have 3 pre-hire letters, and expect to hear from several tomorrow, after the holiday weekend)

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Mountain Girl, you've got a unique situation that many of us do not have to face. I see no reason why it would hurt to at least give it a try. You are a smart girl who knows how to present herself in a professional manner. Look the worse that can happen is that they say no. I would give it a try, it's not like they have any power to black-ball you in the industry or anything. It may hurt if you get rejected, but you've just got to prepare yourself for that and realize that it may be a long shot, but that it is worth a try.

I'm hoping they take you on, Good Luck! good-luck-2.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Well first of all, showing you're determined to work somewhere is always a helpful way to get consideration. Most managers will tell you they'd rather have someone with a great attitude that's willing to listen and learn than to have someone with a ton of talent and experience who won't listen and won't put in the effort. That being said, this is trucking and the stakes are very high. A great attitude may at least get you someone's ear, but ultimately the decision is going to be based upon whether or not they think you have the potential to be a safe, productive driver. How they determine whether or not they think you'll be safe will mean everything.

If I were you I would march in there with a big smile, in person, and take a shot. You already have pre-hires elsewhere so you have absolutely nothing to lose. And you're intelligent and insightful enough that you're not going to say or do anything to put your future with them in jeopardy, so no concerns there. You'll get the job one way or another. If not now, then soon enough after a little OTR experience. So once again, you really have nothing to lose.

I don't think you need any help or advice about how to handle them once you're there, but let me throw this out there for anyone that might find themselves in a position where you're hoping to talk your way into a job. Whatever you do - don't get defensive about anything regarding the schooling. Don't mention the instructor not endorsing you or personality conflicts or the way the school was run or anything like that. You don't want to give the impression that you're difficult to get along with or you're the type that's going to throw a fit every time something doesn't go your way. No matter how good you are or how much potential you have - if they think you're going to be a huge pain in the *ss they'd rather not bring that upon themselves. Just tell em how you'd love to work there, how hard you worked to be the top in your class, and how much you care about being a safe, productive professional driver. Positive, positive, positive. Talk about all of the benefits they'll get by having you onboard. Tell them how great you're going to do. Don't talk about what happened at school if you can help it. If they do ask, try to say positive things about your experience there and move the conversation back to the benefits of hiring you as a driver and how good the future will be.

It might work, it might not. But it's certainly worth a shot. And most of all, remember that you will have a job there soon enough one way or the other. So don't push too hard to get in there and accidentally leave a bad impression. If you get in now....great! That's where you wanted to be. If not....great! You get a chance to do a little travelling and check out life behind the wheel of a different company before moving on to this job.

Smile a lot! Truckers as a whole are often times extremely difficult for the office staff to work with. Not only was I a driver for all those years, and sometimes hard to work with, but I have friends that work in the offices of trucking companies. The appalling lack of professionalism they have to deal with from some of their drivers on a daily basis is almost hard to believe. Just having a pleasant attitude will give any driver an advantage in so many ways, from hiring to getting out of tickets to getting loaded and unloaded early. smile.gif

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.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Flatwater 's Comment
member avatar

I get the impression that "Give up" ain't in your vocabulary. Atta girl!!! What do you have to lose? The worst they could say is, "No". Keep it professional and let your good attitude shine through. Oh, and let us know how it goes! I'm pullin' for ya!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Mountain Girl, everything Brett and Flatwater said is true and precisely what I meant by being presenting yourself in a professional manner. Do not speak against the school, even if you are tempted to, it leads nowhere. I understand your dilemma completely, those who were in here when I first started know that my first choice company rejected me, and I kept trying to get in, even spent a lot of money on some surgery to get past the physical, but it was not meant to be. Sometimes the door we want to walk through just will not open up for us, but you hang in there because you've got all the right qualities to make a real good go at this - we're all pulling for ya!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Phil P.'s Comment
member avatar

I can remember 15 years ago when I was looking to change my life from Salesman to truck driver and going to a local truck stop to look for a company I could see as my next commitment. I had picked out 2 or 3 from appearance that lookedgreat, however after I started driving for another company it didn't take long to get the skinny on a lot of different jobs from the drivers on the CB and at the truck stops. In short, trucking company's like women look good until you are with them for a while, and that time spent will teach you a tremendous amount about who is who. You will get experience the same way we all get it, (going through it), sometimes more than once. Good luck, keep the positive attitude.

Mountain Girl, everything Brett and Flatwater said is true and precisely what I meant by being presenting yourself in a professional manner. Do not speak against the school, even if you are tempted to, it leads nowhere. I understand your dilemma completely, those who were in here when I first started know that my first choice company rejected me, and I kept trying to get in, even spent a lot of money on some surgery to get past the physical, but it was not meant to be. Sometimes the door we want to walk through just will not open up for us, but you hang in there because you've got all the right qualities to make a real good go at this - we're all pulling for ya!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Freightdog (Shaun)'s Comment
member avatar

Hey,

A few weeks ago, I wrote about doing really well in school but then being harangued by the instructor-from-hell on the range and then during the exam that followed. Even though my overall GPA for the month-long school (including road testing grades) was 98.8%, the highest at that school in 6 months, including 3 achievement awards, the instructor who referred to me as "a natural" to another student, a week before, refused to endorse me, claiming my shifting wasn't good enough for his "ok." ...Even after 8 hours with another instructor who rated me 100 and 95% the two nights before without mentioning that my shifting had any serious flaws.

As many of you so helpfully recommended, I returned to the school and spoke with the director who backed the instructor 100% and wanted very little to do with hearing me out.

On the same day, just before speaking with the director, I got inside word on this company that the terminal manager to whom the school referral would go, quit. The director never mentioned this when we spoke.

Last night, on my spontaneous road trip over mountain passes, with one of my kids, I saw a tanker in my rear view mirror approaching, so I moved to the right lane. ...and it was next to us ....(sigh) Therrrrre it was. A truck from my favorite company, and true-to-form the driver sailed passed me as smoothly as an experienced pilot, all shiny and pretty, red and blue lettering on the tank, silver tank, the day after the 4th, looking all beautiful and proudly American. (The word "America" is part of the name of the company) My desire to work for them, renewed in an instant. Again ...he was the smoothest operator on the freeway and oh-by-the-way, was not doing a whole lot of shifting of gears anyway, rather he appeared to know this back-country mountain route (common for this company) so well that I'm telling you, he just sailllled through, using his jake brakes on the way down the mountain. Inspiring, truly.

I've thought of taking my (newbie) credentials right to their terminal tomorrow (or Tuesday) and asking them to consider me, even without the blessing of my school because this is what I want while the school has already abandoned the notion of helping me. There are various reasons I like this company: hours, shifts, local, ability to coordinate this with the demands of single-parenting, etc. The pay is less but many things about this company work for me and my particular situation.

I should mention that the school and this company have an arrangement whereby the company will accept and train students from this particular school only, as long as the student earns a 90% GPA or above and is recommended by the director. I believe this company has leased out a training truck to the school too, so business ties are close.

No doubt, they'll call my school and ask about me, and the director will not endorse me, as that's been made clear.

Well? Would it be worth a try, speaking with my contact with this company and/or going straight to their terminal? (I'm good at projecting my professionalism and just a week before the CDL exam, the director told me, personally, this company would be crazy not to take me on.)

What else have I not thought of, regarding consequences for a move like this?

Does this show that I diligently go after what I want or does it make me look bad?

Is this a recommended approach or ...h*** no?

-mountain girl

(btw, I have applied to over a dozen other companies in the past few days, have 3 pre-hire letters, and expect to hear from several tomorrow, after the holiday weekend)

Yep, I'd say go for it! I'll just echo what Brett already said; don't get defensive or go into the situation at the school--just emphasize your GPA and performance there and accentuate the positives. Other than that, absolutely go for 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.

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.

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Dang, Gentlemen! Thank you!

Some good news ... My count was low. I think I applied to more than 20 companies over the weekend and the phone's blowing up.

I'll get back to you!

good-luck-2.gifthank-you.gif

-mountain girl

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mike H.'s Comment
member avatar

Atta girl!! Like I said, you , would have made a good Marine. Marines dont quit, and neither do you :)

mountain girl's Comment
member avatar

Atta girl!! Like I said, you , would have made a good Marine. Marines dont quit, and neither do you :)

Aw, thanks, Man. Got plenty of 'em in my family and I was in the military, too.

I actually do have a motto I say to my kids. "(...my name here) never quits."

(I might get beat to s*** sometimes but I never quit.)

I'm going to visit them in the morning. There are a ton of terminals in Henderson, CO clustered together; so I'm going to go visit my tanker people and a few others. I haven't been in a truck in a few weeks and I have to admit - I miss it. It's time for me to roll. I consulted with my "board of trustees" (the kids ...teenagers) and they voted down any OTR (they still like my cooking) so I have to fight a little, to stay local.

-mountain girl

good-luck-2.gif

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.

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.
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