Getting fired from your trucking job is painful especially if you were just getting comfortable. To make it worse, your employer will outline the reasons why you were fired in your DAC report which will be cross-checked by potential employers when you are applying for another trucking job. Now you know why quitting your job is less painful than getting fired. Although truck drivers don’t get fired that often, it does happen even to the most experienced truckers. You don’t want to end up sitting in a couch at home eating snacks and watching t.v the whole day, do you? Well, prevention is better than cure and it is wise to know the most common reasons companies give for firing truck drivers.
Of course accidents do happen that the driver could not possibly avert. But trucking companies have a problem when a trucker causes preventable accidents on numerous occasions. Keep hitting bridges with height plaque or random stuff in the parking lot and the company will likely do away with you. By all means, take the necessary precautions and avoid accidents that could have been prevented just by using common sense. The worst case scenario is damaging the client’s property due to an incident that could have been prevented.
Bad Attitude/ Language
Have you ever tuned in to channel 19 on the CB radio? The first thing you will notice is how truck drivers tend to curse and talk tough all day. Probably it is because truck drivers have aggressive personalities that they don’t really care about what others think about them. It comes with the territory and you are unlikely to understand if you have never been a truck driver. Regardless, the tough trucker talk should have its limits and you should not take it to the office. Remember, you are usually the face of a company in a long chain of command and whatever you say especially to a customer portrays the image of the company. Dispatchers, mechanics, and other support personnel don’t take it lightly too when a truck driver curses or talks with a bad attitude. Even bashing your employer indirectly on social media can get you fired nowadays. It doesn’t hurt to be polite, does it?
Non-adherence to basic company procedures
There are carrier companies that follow up on basic procedures very seriously. Not doing simple tasks such as completing paperwork, not wearing uniform, getting late to haul, falsifying log book information and ignoring reasonable management requests can get you on the front-line to get fired. The company can overlook small incidents such as smoking in the cab but the day you will cost them an important contract because you did not follow the procedure will most likely be your last day on the company. Of course, there are unavoidable circumstances which interfere with schedule but communication is crucial. For example, if you are late to deliver a load due to bad weather or a truck break down, the best course of action is to alert your dispatcher what just happened for support.
Theft or damaging equipments
Nothing gets a truck driver fired faster than being caught stealing either from the customer or company. Most employers won’t even negotiate if they find you liable. In fact, getting fired could be the least of your problems if the customer or company decides to report to the authorities. On the other hand, damaging equipments can also send you packing but mostly on severe levels. Trucking companies understand equipments are prone to damage in the long run but not many employers will tolerate carelessness.
Driving Under the Influence/ Distracted Driving
If a company knows a certain driver is under the influence of drugs while on the job but allows the driver to continue operating anyhow, that company will likely be sued for negligence if an accident occurs. That is why carriers perform random drug tests and drivers who fail the crucial test are likely to be sent home with immediate effect. Distracted driving will not get you off the hook either. In fact, DUI and distracted driving is a felony in most states that could get you to serve serious jail time. Don’t forget, DUI and distracted driving are a major causes of accidents on the road.
Violence/ road rage
If you have been in the trucking industry long enough then you know sometimes it can get ugly to the point punches and kicks are exchanged between drivers. The end result is blood, stitches, broken teeth and sometimes concussion. Some truckers even go to the extent of deliberately breaking the side mirrors of other cars in a road rage episode. Violent altercations are strongly forbidden in the trucking industry and if the company finds out, you will be shown the door.
There have been cases of truckers getting fired after getting too many over speeding tickets. Even bypassing the legal speed limit by 10 miles or more can get you fired in some trucking companies. Not just over speeding will get you on the edge but if you are unfortunate to get more than 3 points in traffic violations within 3 years, don’t be surprised when you get that dreaded phone call or letter.
Truck drivers are part of a moving component in an industry that is essential to move freight around the country. Before a trucker is assigned a load, there are other supporting personnel who are involved to make sure things run smoothly. There are mechanics that prepare trucks to get on the road. There are also sales personnel to find available freight and supervisors to assign loads and coordinate communications through various departments. Since a trucking driver can never be truly independent, the key to survival is to always be professional. The saying, ‘actions have consequences’ is 100 percent true in the trucking industry. Even if you do not get fired after not adhering to certain rules, the supporting personnel can make your life on the road a little bit harder. But as long as you follow company policy and get along with everybody from the customer to the supporting staff, your job will likely be smoother.