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Raising the Standards of the Trucking Industry

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How a Truck Driving School Can Ruin Your Driving Career


There are those truck driving training schools that will use one technique that will insure a new drivers’ failure at a driving career every time:

Another email from a CDL graduate with the same story:

“Just because my teacher at XXXX Training School told me not to put my DUI on my application because the DUI was over 5 years old, they fired me because I did not put it down.  I was out on the road with my trainer for a week and they red flagged me and then fired me.  I can’t seem to get any trucking company to even look at me now.”

When I receive emails like this one, and I get a lot of them, it simply makes my blood boil.  As author of the first and original, Truth About Trucking, I want to reiterate the TRUTH about what some truck driving schools will do that will end your truck driving career before it even has a chance to begin.  It’s not like I haven’t already made this SCAM known, but it’s time to let it be known again.

It is true that trucking companies will normally do a back-ground check for the past 5-7 years.  The above email was sent to me by a new driver that had experienced a DUI back in 1996.  So, here’s the truth AGAIN:

The trucking company means absolutely NOTHING when it comes to the completed hiring process.  The ultimate decision will nearly always come from the insurance carrier.   The employment application will always ask the question in similar form such as, Have you ever been….?” or “Have you ever had a…?” or “Have you ever been convicted of…?” and so forth.  The key word here is:  “EVER“.

If the question is, “Have you ever been convicted of a DUI?” –  then it means “ever.”  Even if the DUI was 75 years ago, ever means ever.  By not putting it down on the application constitutes “falsifying a Commercial Motor Vehicle Application” which is a very serious offense.   State and Federal Laws are very clear about this matter:

“Any person who falsifies any information in an application or test for a commercial driver’s license shall not be licensed to operate a commercial motor vehicle, or the person’s commercial driver’s license shall be canceled, for a period of one year after the director discovers such falsification.”

These truck driving school instructors, recruiters and driver trainers know this.  By telling you not to write it down on the application because they only go back several years, is nothing but a lie and a scam.  The school still keeps your money and you could very well be in a situation where you may never find work as a truck driver.  At the minimum, you will be out of luck for at least one year.  Then, after one year has passed, you will be required to go through CDL training all over again, and yes, you will have to pay for it once more.

Because you may have driven for one or two weeks before the insurance carrier caught it, the trucking company will then turn around and place a “falsifying” report on your DAC.   All future employers will see this report and thus, the reason for not accepting you within a driving position.  Also, the HireRight DAC Trucking Solutions, who oversees the DAC report, could care less about the truth.  You have the right to place your side of the story on your DAC and try to have it removed through the use of an attorney, but this can be very time consuming and costly.

REMEMBER:  When a recruiter or truck driving school official or driver trainer tells you not to worry about writing down a violation that occurred over 5-7 years ago … they are either lying or they are just ignorant.  It is a SCAM!

Doing so, will end your driving career and landing another truck driving job could take a very long time.

ALWAYS list EVERYTHING down on the Commercial Motor Vehicle Application no matter what the offense and no matter how long ago it was.

Allen Smith

© 2009 – 2010, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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19 Responses to How a Truck Driving School Can Ruin Your Driving Career. - Post a Comment

  1. Pete

    Aint that the truth…… I just returned from C1 in Indy yesterday 05/14. We started with 28 students on the 27th of April. by CDL testing, there was only 9 of us left to test.
    Background law violations and work history killed about 10 folks…. I was told by an old wise trucker to believe about 1/3 of what was told to me by the recruiter.. Glad I took that advice to heart.

  2. Allen Atkinson

    As a professional recruiter I say AMEN. If a background search company can find it – LIST IT. I dont care how old, embarrassing, stupid or pointless or if its been adjducated, expunged or whatever else. They will find it and if you failed to list you are screwed.

  3. Tanya from Eagle

    The truth is always the best way to go. If you THINK something is on your record but you’re not sure, don’t ignore it and hope it will go away, it won’t. Do some research and find out exactly what is on your record. Run your MVR, (Motor vehicle report), contact county court houses and verify that everything you put on your application is true. Assume they know more about you than you know about yourself and all will be good.

    I saw a student lose a job because his start and end dates of a job did not match with what the company said, and it was a difference of days, not months, not years.

    It’s more important now to do thorough checks….–truck-driving-jobs-in-2009.aspx

    So – be honest – it’s near impossible getting information removed from your DAC.

    Drive Safe,
    Tanya from Eagle

  4. Allen Smith

    Attention: All Drivers: If you have EVER been woken up in Virginia and forced to break HOS Federal Law by not completing your 10 hour break, Please call:

    Steve Szkotak 804 643 6647

    Explain your story to him.


  5. Allen Smith

    Also, it is true that some of the larger trucking firms have their own insurance company. But it still comes down to the “insurance” dept. telling the “company” about the absent information. This way, the company can still say, “our insurance company just notified us……” – the insurance carrier, whether it be an outside agency or an inside dept., will always be the “one” that investigates further and will find the missing information……Allen

  6. Allen Smith

    Hi Tanya: If these trucking company schools operated with the professionalism like Eagle Training Services, we wouldn’t have stories like this one …. thanks for the comment…..Allen

  7. edward e rudd

    yes I got the big one from SWIFT I was told not to put my past driving record down and thats the reason thet fired me after the frist week out on the road and I was driving just fine doing my logs right and driving really good and safe I want the chance to drive and take care of my kids and give them a good life so if your school tells you not to put something down on your app put it down Im very pissed off I paid $3900 to get my cdl and and work for a week its not right if theres any company out there that will give me a shot at driving I would make a good one please give me a shot

  8. ron


  9. michael

    all of you are great allen guys like you is the only reason i am still driving standing up for the little man and careing for all drivers , yes all the bad things that are wrong with trucking world pisses me off and the state of virginia can kiss my opppppppp ! i will not spend one cent in that state ever again . thats how i do them kind of states that dont like us drivers. and thanks for all the great info you put out here .

    thanks: matchalight

  10. Joey D

    I want to enroll in a truck driving school but I did get a wet and reckless in August this year, I paid the fines and did the schooling, this was my first DUI in 18 years and I had a .09 which no matter what is still a mark on my record. I now carry SR22 insurance and required to do so by the courts for 18months. Does this diminish my chances of being able to obtain a CDL. I dont even drink any more and never had a drinking problem. Can you give me some advice, or let me know if I should not even try to obtain a career in trucking. Thank you.

  11. Robert Hemingway

    I am the Simulation Training Supervisor for an east coast wholesale food distributor. We have purchased 2 Simulators and I was wondering if you have any articles, stats or feedback on trucking simulators and the effects of training on such equipment. We have seen an increase in fuel conservation and a reduction in accidents all across the board since implementing this new equipment. Training new hires as well as retraining seasoned drivers is showing results and I was curious if you echo that through the industry.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Robert Hemingway

  12. Allen Smith

    Hi Joey: If the DUI is showing on your record, it may cause you some problems because right now, what I’m seeing and hearing from CDL schools, is that any kind of mark will make it more difficult due to the fact that companies have “their pick” of drivers, at least until the economy turns around. A good reputable school will tell you the truth. Your DUI was 9 months ago, and most companies/insurance require no dui’s within the last 3 years . . . . check out our Driver Qualifications report to get a better idea of what the companies require from a driver:

  13. Allen Smith

    Hi Robert: I know that some schools such as “RoadMaster” are utilizing the TranSimVS simulator in training: —- I myself, have not researched this aspect very much, but I would be a believer in simulation training, only because I know it is used in Pilot Training (Aircraft, etc.) and has much success. When I was training for my pilot license, I couldn’t wait to get to the simulator, which counted towards the pilot certificate. Be it aircraft or a big rig, I would consider simulator training an extra plus … just my opinion…… Allen

  14. T. Meador

    Hey, I’ve been out of trucking for 1 year now due to a jackknife accident. No injuries, no fatalities, no charges. I was terminated, and was told it would be 2 to 3 years before I could drive again. I just switched back to a regular driver’s license, didn’t have a choice, but now I want to get back on the road. Any advice? The accident is not on my MVR, but on DAC. I’m looking for a way to get my CDL back, and a company willing to hire me. Thanks….

  15. Eric G.

    Hello T. Meader,

    Since the listing is only on your DAC, you can submit a request to have it updated or removed considering it is not on your State MVR.
    I did just that last year considering a Speeding ticket in a 4 wheeler that had not been updated in their files. The speeding Charge was reduced to a non speeding conviction and I submitted a request to have the information changed to reflect the current information.
    I was then sent a copy with the new updated and correct info.
    Go to and download the DISPUTE form and submit with the usual identification information.
    It took about a Month from initially sending it in through snail mail or one can overnight it.
    – –
    Since you relinquished your “A” license (what do you mean you didn’t have a choice??), you’ll probably have to either try at your local DMV to reacquire or possibly attend ANOTHER driving school.
    One need not have a DOT physical to retain an “A” license.

    Case in point:
    My wife rolled a Combo in ’00 and she since has not driven a Combo yet she retained her “A” License.
    She decided logically that even though she needs it not, she will keep it because of the massive difficulty in reacquiring it.
    – –
    Good Luck in reacquiring the “A” license.

  16. Eric G.

    I still have a DUI listed on my State MVR from 8/91, and I had to wait 7 years before acquiring the upgrade to an “A” here in NC.

    I’m extremely tired of stating it on applications since it is NOT RELEVANT to what I’m doing. I quit drinking Alcohol in June ’92.
    The listed DUI STILL HAS RAMIFICATIONS with some trucking companies as well as other driving related companies.
    A DWI (DUI, OUI) is a Criminal Misdemeanor.

    I suggest you do NOT attempt to attain a career in Trucking since most companies state very clearly in the qualifications/requirements of NO DUI (DWI, OUI) within 3-10 years. Some state NEVER like Old Dominion, Averitt, Keystone Freight to name but 3.

    Waiting 3-7-10 years may or not make a difference.

  17. Allen Smith

    Good info, and as I’ve mentioned many times, there have been drivers who have been successful in following DAC’s procedures and have gotten items removed from their DAC report . . . but it can be a long and difficult issue. In a higher number of cases, nothing is ever removed and the report will remain the same. In the case above, however, they were able to provide tangible “proof” … evidence and proof will only strengthened their case … I edited the link in the post because this site makes it much more easier to locate the downloadable forms needed to request a copy of your DAC report and/or to begin the dispute process . . . thanks for the post . . . Allen

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