Drivers' Corner - Ask the Recruiter

The competition within the trucking industry can be quite intense at times, and this intense competition often leads to some uncertainty. That is where this column comes in. Send me your questions about your truck-driving career and I will do my best to answer as many as I can. If I don't answer your question in this column there is a good probability that a similar one has already been answered in a previous column. So, I encourage reviewing the archives when possible (this is especially true for questions regarding felonies, DAC and DUIs). Thank you for making this column the great success that it continues to be.
Q I failed a pre-employment screening and it is not stated on my DAC, but when another company calls them they tell them. I admit I made a mistake, but I don't want my family to suffer for my stupidity. I've done the SAP thing and gotten my status back, but still no company will take me on. I need to get back to work soon or I will lose everything. Can you please tell me who I can call or what can I do? It's been two years.


Failing a pre-employment screening is a very big issue, and although it may not be listed as such on the DAC, it is unlikely any major or legitimate carrier will not learn of the failed test. The fact that you are admitting this as a mistake is a good first step for you personally; however, it will not help in the job hunt. I am guessing that the carrier which you failed the pre-employment screening does list themselves on your DAC, perhaps with a request for a phone call from other carriers. This is likely how other carriers are learning of the failed test.

Based on your message it looks as though you failed this test about two years ago. Well, you can expect carriers to continue to learn of this for the next 5-8 years. Your challenges will continue for some time with major carriers. Your best bet, if you want to remain a truck driver, is to find a small independent carrier that is willing to take a chance on you. The other option is, unfortunately, to seek work not as a driver. If you want to remain in the trucking industry perhaps try recruiting or dispatching, but driving for any major carrier in the near future is unlikely.

Q I am currently attending class to obtain my class A CDL license. I am 48 years old. Will my age be a factor against finding employment?


Congratulations on your efforts, which I have no doubt will be successful, to receive your CDL. Age will not be an issue for you. Even without the driver shortage, carriers are always in need of qualified, safe drivers. One area where your age may actually benefit you is with maturity. Carriers do appreciate a higher level of maturity and real-life experience, both of which I am assuming you can bring to the table.

Even though you??TMre older, you will be required to not only complete your CDL classes, but also to be trained by a trainer at the carrier you go to work for. The trainer may be younger than you, so that may be a dynamic relationship, but you should be fine. The only way age may factor in a hiring decision is if you are experiencing health issues.

Q I want to go back to driving, but driving just does not pay! The responsibility placed on a driver (I drove for nearly 1 year) to earn $550.00 per week does not seem like a fair exchange. It??TMs no small wonder trucking companies keep looking for drivers. I paid for my own truck driving school and have my CDL-A with all the endorsements. Trucking companies apparently think this is worth nothing. I don't expect you to print this and there is nothing really you can say, guess I'm just venting. Sorry about wasting your time. I do have a question: why don't trucking companies pay a fair wage that a family of two can live on?


I am sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with the trucking industry and its rate of pay. Certainly truck driving is not for everyone, but for those who want to drive and who are safe, professional, and dedicated to the career, they can find a great deal of success. The average truck driver, during the first year, will earn around $30,000-$35,000 annually ??" not a bad start. Naturally, some make more, some make less. It all depends on the loads available, the willingness to take loads, and the ability to manage money.

True, truck drivers do deserve to earn much more, but I do not know how much more would be fair and I did not see your recommendation either. This is not the only profession that deserves more though, just look at nursing or teaching. The great thing about America is that we can all choose our own career, so if we are dissatisfied with the income in one, we can move to a new career.

Best of luck!

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