Marijuana Time Out

Topic 7797 | Page 1

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Kevin H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi all! Been reading the posts and cruising this site, and I really appreciate everyone's input. I have a question I'm hoping you can help me with. Maybe my story sounds familiar.

Five years ago this month, I was caught in a police checkpoint and arrested for a DUI-Marijuana. This is no excuse, but I want to mention the circumstances because I meet a lot of guys going through the same thing. I had lost my carpentry business of 6 years, lost our two houses, declared bankruptcy, then got divorced, all happening within 18 months. And, during that time my dad had a stroke and I took care of him for two weeks, then my brother almost died from misdiagnosed malaria, had to nurse him back to health for a few weeks out of country. Each time I lost my security guard job, or got pushed back into low seniority positions. With all that going on, plus my failing marriage, along with living with my mother because we were broke, I made some decisions I regret. It seemed I deserved something for all the pain. I was wrong. Weed just made my eyes close a little more at a time when they needed to be fully open. And, I drove slower and dreamed a lot about pop tarts.

There was no license suspension or any driving privileges taken away. I just ended up plea bargaining for a lesser charge that equaled a failed equipment charge, and paid the $100 fine. Now, I'm motivated to become a truck driver for my career, and the companies I've applied to want 10 years time between the charge and getting the job. This is not the same as having a DUI , because that's just 3-5 years, but it's the Marijuana charge that is hurting me. This really makes me sad. I made some bad calls back then, and this ghost is still haunting me. Feels harsh. I've long since cleaned up my act. Is there any options for getting into trucking? I keep hearing about companies having a very difficult time hiring and keeping drivers, but hear I am wanting to take this job! And I'll be damn good at it!

I know life isn't fair. Already had a bunch of that, and somehow the good Lord has given me a grateful heart and kept me from getting bitter. It's a miracle. Losing everything that ever meant something to me was a horrible blessing. I thought "who I was" was defined by my successful business in Maui, Hawaii, sexy wife, my two homes, portfolio, and alllllllllll those friends who pledge their faithfulness. After everything was gone (EVERYTHING), I was still alive. So, I figure, I'm not dead, so I have to be someone. Working in the trucking industry is a part of how I want to REdefine myself. Along with keeping away from collecting a lot of stuff, again.

If anyone can advise me as to getting a truck driving job with a marijuana charge that's 5 years old, I will be very appreciative. Thanks. Kevin

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DUI:

Driving Under the Influence

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Kevin, what a story! Thanks for posting it.

I can relate. What you've got to do is apply like crazy. You didn't really indicate whether you are interested in Company-Sponsored Training or going through one of the many Truck Driving Schools. You will probably have some trouble getting in a sponsored training program, but I'm not for sure. I would try them first. You can follow that link above and start trying to apply to some of them. Always be upfront and honest about what happened - if you try to hide it and they find out (which they will) it will not go well for you.

Okay, if that ends up a dead end street then you will have to attend a private school to get your CDL and then try to get a job. Here's the important thing about going this way in your situation: you need to have a few pre-hire letters in your possession before you spend the money on a school. Check out this section on Understanding Pre-Hires so that you understand what I'm talking about. You can apply to trucking companies even before you have a CDL, and they will issue you a pre-hire letter indicating that when you are ready they can hire you. It is not a guarantee of employment, but it does indicate that they have checked into the information you provided them concerning your background, etc. and they have determined that you will be hire-able with their company. Sometimes this may come in the form of an e-mail, but that is still the same thing. You need to go about this in that order so that you don't waste your money on a school and then be out the money and out of a job at the same time.

Another thing to consider is that around the end of April and the beginning of May hiring really gets ramped up in this industry. So If you can time things out so that you are finishing school up around that time you have increased your chances of success. When these companies start really looking for available drivers they will sometimes lower their standards a little just to fill the vacant seats. Somebody who refused to hire you in December may be more willing to overlook your past indiscretions in April. Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is more important than all other things combined.

If you are completely out of funds for training and can't get on with the training companies there are sometimes funds available through your local unemployment office (I think it is called WIA funding or something like that). If they say it's not available ask if they know when it will be. Sometimes I've seen this happen where it is not available one week and then it is the very next week, and it kind of varies as to when they can have access to it. A lot of folks have gotten their training that way, but again you will need to get those pre-hires in place, in fact I think that may even be a requirement of that funding program before they can make the funds available to you.

We've got a really great (and free) training program designed to help you make a really great start on your career and get you to the point where you can pass the written exams for your permit. You should go ahead and get yourself started on the High Road Training Program.

Kevin, I got rejected multiple times when I first started my career, and I soon found out that some companies were a little less stringent in their hiring process. I ended up starting at Western Express. You might just try giving them a shot. I know they are hiring all the time, and when I was there we had some ex-felons, and some folks who had issues like yours working there. They will at least work with you and try to get you in a drivers seat. I had a great experience there. Ignore all the bad reviews yo might come across on the internet. They give a lot of people a chance to get behind the wheel who didn't have a prayer elsewhere, and because of that approach they've hired a lot of losers who couldn't handle the job in the first place. That is where the bad reviews come from, but you don't have any way of knowing that when you read them. I'm no longer employed there, but it is only because I received a much more lucrative offer elsewhere. If you can bust your tail and get the job done you will be able to make a great start over there, and after a year of doing just that you will be surprised at how many of the other trucking companies who wouldn't give you a chance today will be more than happy to bring you on board after they see you've been out there doing it for a year.

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.

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.

Company-sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Meper's Comment
member avatar

Hey Kevin,

Old School is 'the man' on this forum. He's giving it to you straight. Old School is right - pre-hires are a prerequisite for funding through the Workers Investment Act (WIA). I am currently going through my states WIA program for funding to attend a local school and this is one of the requirements. I have heard that it has been changed to WOIA due to some people scamming the system. It is intended for individuals who are currently unemployed, yet there have been people in the past who were working and received the funding. Good luck in your pursuit!

Meper

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.

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