Topic 8834 | Page 1

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Philip K.'s Comment
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Hello everyone, I decided after taking care of my parents for the last ten years and them passing away in there mid and late 90s , i thought i was getting to old for construction work . i have a couple of buddies that drive trucks and it sounded like something i could do. I signed up for swift while my parents were still alive and for one reason or another got delayed postponed for what ever reason for a little over a year. when i finally buckled down and got serious was after my dad past away. i took some hard blows , i wasnt expecting the sibling battle after my parents passed and found my self slipping back into my old ways . I broke my sobriety / clean time of a year and half so i knew i had to start my new career before its to late. i walked away from everything my inheritance, siblings, house , furniture, etc. started my classes made it thru the first week, got my permit, my medical certificate, things were looking real good. started my second week moved out into the yard to start driver training. Then my world came to a halt. they let me go , gave me the boot, said my drug screen came back positive. Now i have this positive test on my record and im not even able to finish school to get hired by any company. i have to do what is called Return To Duty process if i ever want a chance at working in the transportation industry. Im willing to do what ever it takes , but is there someone out there that can give me some advice and straight up facts about getting hired and driving trucks with testing positive for drug screening on my record or am i wasting my time. I know i have alot of obsticles to face and alot more testing in the future. I dont have the experience i need to getr hired . i doubt if i can even get acccepted into another school. Any imput from my future trucking family would be greatly apprieciated.

Sincerly, phil stuck in bakersfield

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Hey Phil. Sorry to hear you're having such a rough go of it.

Unfortunately your chances of taking the normal route into trucking are pretty much gone now. None of the major trucking companies will hire you and the Company-Sponsored Training Programs won't give you a shot either.

Your main option at this point would be to pay for classes at a Private Truck Driving School and find any job you can find. It will likely be something like hauling dumpsters, logging trucks, farm trucks, or working for a small mom-n-pop company or owner operator.

You would have to scrape and scrounge for any job you can get and slowly work your way into better and better jobs over time. It will likely be a long and difficult road involving old, ratty equipment and questionable practices by companies that operate on the fringes.

It's impossible for me to say if the effort would pay off. It will depend on the number of opportunities in the area you're in and how hard you work to find opportunities. And a little luck will likely play into it.

If you had no choice in life but to figure out a way to get your trucking career underway I would say eventually you would be able to figure it out. But trucking is all about liability and trust, and it's not about giving people second chances. It's just too risky. There are people in trucking with DUI's, felonies, and failed drug tests but for the overwhelming majority of those people their last encounter with the law was 10+ years ago. They have proven their ability to stay clean and be responsible over a period of many years before anyone in trucking was willing to give them a shot.

You can take a shot and try to grind it out. It's certainly possible. But it won't be easy and I'm not sure it would be worth the effort. You may be better off looking for opportunities elsewhere.


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.

Owner Operator:

An owner-operator is a driver who either owns or leases the truck they are driving. A self-employed driver.

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.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.


Driving Under the Influence

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