Qualifications for getting a trucking job

by Dennis Shipman
(New Castle, DE)

A lot of companies have been disqualifying drivers, me included, for relatively minor infractions like non-moving violations resulting in suspensions.

A large part of the problem seems to be a glut of non-traditional drivers entering the industry who ordinarily would not be driving trucks.

So, the economy has created an employer's market, which allows potential employers to pick and choice among the best drivers -- screening out those with even minor blemishes. Those with major ones can practically forget about driving except for some boiler room operation run by Mutafa and his newly emigrated cousin paying slave wages that would have you out 6 weeks at a shot pulling down 3,000 miles for $200/week after expenses for driving their set back, barely road worthy equipment until the rags on your ass began beating you to death as a result, which is akin to indenture servitude.

It never used to be that way in this industry. If you had a reasonably safe driving recording, no major moving violations, roll-overs, rear-ends, DUI/DWIs, and a pulse, you were guaranteed a decent driving job.

Thankfully, it has not adversely impacted me because I have other skill sets, a college education, and will eventually rebound but forewarned is forearmed. Keep your gold card clean, and fight everything even if it costs you a little money that you may not have.

I had a lawyer once who I used to pay $250 to represent me on minor traffic violations but we fell out over strategy in one of the cases, which caused me to almost get arrested. Although the charge was dismissed, the court neglected to notify law enforcement. So, I was driving around for years with an active arrest warrant. My license was not suspended. Consequently, I honestly did not know I had one, because it was an equipment violation on a truck I did not own.

It got straightened out. I found out from a kindly civilian employee of the local police department when I went down on an unrelated matter, and was told if I did not leave, I would be subject to arrest. I immediately went to court to get the warrant quashed, which New York allows.

The supervising court clerk asked me to come back later that day because the records were so old they had been archived in the basement. When she pulled the court records later that afternoon as promised, she realized that someone had neglected to mark the case closed and alert law enforcement to this serious error. It was a close call, though.

No one should have to risk spending a night in the pokey over a clerical error. That being said, I am also disputing the two suspensions that are causing my applications to be denied by virtually every company to which I have recently applied. The flip side is some jurisdictions like Delaware do not quash warrants.

If you get one, you have to go through their system, post bail, and risk getting an arrest record in turn. It's a tough economic situation confronting us in these United States. So, if you're gainfully, but unhappily employed, unless the company is outright cheating you out of money, stick with it until this economy starts to turn around, or you risk being out-of-work longer than any driver ever reasonably expected with a valid Class A CDL. 10-4?

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