Applying For A Job

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The most important thing to keep in mind when applying to the trucking companies is that if there's something in your past, they're probably going to find it. You don't want to leave anything out that could be construed as trying to hide something, and many times the omission itself, rather than

the item on your background check, is enough to trigger a rejection on your application.  Here are a Few Questions and FAQ's You Should Consider When Applying For your Next Trucking Job

1. How soon should I apply for a  Job?

Pretty much right away. You want to avoid getting your CDL and then sitting on it without driving, as most companies will want some sort of recent driving activity, even if you just got your license.

2. Where should I apply for a job?

If you attend private truck driving school, then they should be able to provide you with the names of some companies that typically hire their students. Get as many pre-hire letters as possible. Beyond that, if your past is a little more "checkered" with potential problems, you're going to want to apply to more companies, or at least companies that give a little more leeway, at least until you gain some experience.

3. Getting A Job With A DUI Or DWI:       

FMCSA regulations state that a second conviction for a CDL-holder for operating a vehicle, commercial or otherwise, under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, or a second refusal, will disqualify a driver from obtaining a CDL for life.

Some companies will hire drivers with a DUI or DWI , and most will require a certain amount of time to have passed since the incident occurred. Keep in mind, that in most cases the clock will only start ticking after final remediation of the incident, i.e. driving privileges have been restored. If possible, it is recommended that new drivers with DUI's or DWI's on their record look to company-sponsored CDL training, or, at the very least, get as many pre-hire letters as they can before attending truck driving school. Most states will use the terms DUI (Driving Under the Influence), DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), or OWI (Operating While Intoxicated).

4.   Finding Truck Driving Jobs With Felonies:

Nearly every trucking company will have different policies regarding the hiring of felons. Some will not hire felons at all, while some will require a specific amount of time to have passed since the felony occurred. It is absolutely essential that drivers be honest on their applications regarding their past. The trucking companies have access to vast resources to find out what they need to know about a potential employee.

  • Any conviction of a CDL-holder for using a CMV in the commission of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or dispensing a controlled substance will disqualify a driver from holding a CDL for life, with no eligibility for reinstatement.

  • Drivers with a felony will generally not be able to drive for companies that regularly service Canada, as they will usually not be allowed to cross the border.

  • You should expect all companies to take felonies on a case-by-case basis, with those involving drugs, theft, and/or violence making a driver particularly "less desirable". 

  • Multiple convictions for CDL-holders for things such as leaving the scene of an accident, or driving with a revoked or suspended CDL , or multiple refusals of drug and alcohol tests, will result in a lifetime ban from getting a CDL , eligible for reinstatement after completing State-approved rehabilitation.

  • A longer list of offenses will permanently bar a driver from getting a hazmat CDL endorsement, due to TSA regulations.

5. Trucking Company Pet Policies:

Many trucking companies will allow their drivers to take pets in the truck with them, and may charge a refundable or non-refundable deposit, flat fees, and/or cleaning fees.

The FMCSA has not issued any regulations regarding pets in the truck, as long as safety is not compromised. Driver's should always carry proof of their pets' vaccination against rabies, at least, and many states require a Certificate Of Veterinary Inspection to bring animals across state lines.

  • Generally, any damage that a pet does, or any additional cleaning necessary, will be charged against a drivers deposit, or deducted from their paycheck.

  • Drivers will normally not be allowed to take a pet along for either CDL training school or while on the road in company training. Companies that operate mainly local, LTL , or regional routes will generally have a "no pets" policy, as will companies that primarily haul refrigerated freight.

  • As trucking companies are constantly changing their policies on allowing drivers to bring animals on the road, and policies vary wildly from company-to-company, it is very important that drivers double-check with the companies themselves.

  • As companies are constantly updating and revising their pet policies, you should double-check with each company. 

6. Trucking Companies & Hair Follicle Testing:

Currently, hair follicle drug testing cannot be used by trucking companies to satisfy Federal DOT drug testing requirements but can be used internally as a prerequisite of employment. Results cannot be reported to the DOT as a failed test, nor can they be shared with other companies. Detection Time: Hair follicle testing can detect traces of illegal substances from as recently as 10 days to as far back as 90 days (using a typical 1 1/2-inch hair sample) from their use or ingestion, which is the standard length many companies will use.

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