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Truck Driver Loses Job as Child Dies


Child's DrawingTruck driver, Andre Walls had been trucking over the road for two and a half years.  He had never had an accident and had never received a ticket.  Two and a half years of perfect driving and being an excellent employee.   Then, he was terminated by his company for violating a company policy :  having an “unauthorized passenger” in the truck with him.  The company reported it to his DAC Report and just like that . . . Mr. Walls found himself out of the job he loved and now, cannot find another employer to hire him.

Yes, he made a mistake by allowing an unathorized passenger to ride in the truck with him . . . but here’s the rest of the story:

Andre had been running hard all week with very little rest in order to make extra money for himself and his family.  He was taking every run he could so they could get “back on track” with their finances.  He was dispatched on a load to Northern Arkansas and even though he had little rest, he headed off under dispatch.  During the run, he received a phone call from his brother-in-law who was on his way home, but his car broke down.  The brother-in-law’s child, Andre’s nephew or neice, was dying.  He asked Mr. Walls if he could give him a ride home.  Andre did.

Andre completed the load to Arkansas, but was then called in to the company and was advised that he was terminated due to violating company policy.  He was asked to write a statement explaining his side of the story, which he did.  He was still terminated and with an “unauthorized passenger” on his DAC report, he has not been able to find another trucking company that will hire him.

Before the next morning, the baby died.

What would you have done?

This driver is now at the point of “losing everything.”   I mention often that there are good and decent trucking companies.  I know there are, because I’ve worked for several of them.    Is there one trucking company out there that will prove me right?    Will you give Andre Walls a job?   Will you look past the fact that he had an “unauthorized passenger” in the truck?   Will you understand that a baby was dying?

Help prove me right.   If you’ll hire this driver, email me at : and I’ll forward your email to Andre.  I won’t post about it . . . I won’t talk about it . . . it will just be between you and this driver.

What would you have done?   What if it had been your child?

Will you hire Andre? email me . . . and thanks.

Allen Smith

© 2009, 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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12 Responses to Truck Driver Loses Job as Child Dies. - Post a Comment

  1. Don

    DAC must be stopped. I don’t know how we’re going to do it with the ATA being as powerful as it is, but it has to be done.

  2. Allen Smith

    Thanks Don,

    It’s the real life stories like this that will create awareness and make people WANT to fight for THEIR rights.

  3. Tachoblog


    Hope you don’t mind this:



  4. Allen Smith

    Don’t mind at all . . . thanks for getting the word out – Allen

  5. Steven

    DAC must be stopped or regulated better! Companies can report what they want and no one questions it or even checks to see if it is true. They can basicly kill a drivers career and there is very little he or she can do about it. I been there trying to fix errors on my DAc, but no one cares. They side with the company 100% of the time. They said I need to prove it’s wrong. Thats such bs, the company needs to prove its right!

  6. Dave Shaver

    I was impressed with the recruiter from Windy Hill when she visited our school. It sounded like a small company would be nice to work for. I asked her if drivers were paid for empty miles. Of course she said yes.

    In school we learned about Hours of Service and why the 10/14/10 rule was important to keep us alert and safe.

    I worked for Windy Hill for about 3 months and finally had it with the 700 mile per day dispatches. It wasn’t every day, but at least once a week. Of course I would love to drive 700 miles per day, I could make a lot of money. But driving an International with a 280 hp engine, I can only go so far in the hills and mountains of TN, WV, etc..

    I found out that dispatchers were paid bonuses when drivers delivered on-time. It didn’t matter if drivers had the hours availabe. We usually had no choice but to drive 14 to 18 hours a day to make the appointment.
    Windy Hills safety officer’s job is to ensure we faked our logs and we were “warned” when we wrote accurate logs.

    Last long-haul I did was from Hialeah, Fl to Christiana, Tn. They gave me the route and said it was 480 miles.

    I left South Florida at 7am. I was outside Macon around 3 and dispatcher called me and told me I had to deliver that night at 10. I had already driven 8 hours and I had at least 6 more to go.

    After 13 hours I was getting tired, after 9pm, I was starting to swerve. I stopped for an hour nap then went on. I arrived at 10.
    On my odometer I drove 740 miles.

    Windy Hill has done this several times before and I got tired of it.

    On May 22, I was scheduled to go home, so when I pulled into the yard, I cleaned my truck out and told the manager that I won’t drive for them any more.

    I have tried to get another job, but Windy Hill has reported that I was fired.


    But I have no recourse with DAC.

    • Allen Smith

      This is a perfect example of both DAC abuse and the point we were making on our sleep apnea show when we stated that more drivers are tired because of the industry lifestyle and abuse than they are with sleep apnea problems. The industry uses sleep apnea as a cover screen for the real issues such as: drivers being pushed by dispatch, shippers and receivers not keeping appointment times, etc… Sleep apnea is one more way to get rid of drivers and DAC is a tool for trucking companies to control drivers by threats and retaliation. have you signed the petition yet for Dac Abuse?

  7. Jake

    Well I was at prime inc. 2 years ago and I was involved in left roadway accident. It went on dac as preventable and that was terminated. After terminated they determined accident to be no preventable and wouldnt hire me back. However they did request dac to remove the accident completely.

    It has been on going for weeks. Dac got the request (according to rebecca at dac) however it will take 30 days to remove this information.

    It seems to me if they can report it withing 3 days of being fired they can remove it within 3 days. Correct? Apparently not according to hire right. I am ready to stick my foot up their rear ends.

  8. Jake

    Also just want to say I wish andre the best. I see this was from 2009 but maybe he got something else. I feel if I was company owner and he explained the situation an exception could have been made.

    Although he probably should have just had the paperwork faxed to him and signed stating the rider at a truck stop (if the company had a rider policy).

    But I do see with the circumstances that might have been the last of his worries as he was losing his niece or nephew.

    I do wish him the best with the whole situation and hope all works out.

  9. eclipse

    As soon as possible please publish the trucking company’s name and the owner’s name Shame is sometimes the best medicine for trucking companies and their owners to take in a bad economy.

  10. eclipse

    Also I see many of you are still running around with your pants down tape and or video what you do in regards to the day you quit and or get fired. I taped my company telling me a bold face lie about their lobbying efforts to get speed limits dropped for trucks and after I quit I will more than likely put it up on the web so drivers can see them for what they really are…. Two faced backstabbers!!!

  11. Allen Smith

    UPDATE on DAC – California Law Firm establishes the DAC Report Class Action Registry – Read more about it:

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