Evaluating A Motor Carrier - Advertising And Recruiters

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by TurboTrucker, Aug 7, 2005.

  1. TurboTrucker

    TurboTrucker Road Train Member

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    Feb 23, 2005
    Rossville, Georgia
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    One of the biggest problems in this industry is that drivers who are seeking a driving job, fail to take the time to size up a Motor Carrier they are considering applying to. This includes getting a clear picture of what the working conditions are like, how drivers are treated, and if the job offers terms that they are seeking.

    Misrepresentation by carrier representatives, to inquiries of criteria that drivers base their decisions on is totally out of control, and there seems to be no shame whatsoever in how far some people will go to do or say anything that will at least temporarily fill empty seats. It begins with the advertisements one can read in the industry publications, and ends with the recruiter on the end of the phone. You're going to be told what you want to hear, by most people involved in the process of luring you into working for them. Once they have you in the door, some seem to think that you'll magically stay on a job that you were not seeking to begin with.

    Advertisers use catch phrases to grab your attention. In the advertisements themselves, you'll read cleverly worded phrases that are easy to read, but have deeper meanings when you think about them.

    "Excellent Compensation and Benefit Package" - This means that they are currently paying less than the average company is offering, and that their benefits are more than likely not up to par as well. If they were, then they would offer details.

    "Quality Hometime" - As defined by who? This probably means that you can expect a day off per week or even less.

    "Voted The #1 Carrier To Work For In An Independent Survey" - The source of the survey is never revealed, so it's easy to imagine a group of advertising employees sitting in a room and voting for their client.

    "Our Top Driver Earned $65,000 Last Year" - Hhmmm...What did the bottom driver make that stuck it out all year long?

    "Nobody Beats Our Pay Package" - It's blatantly false, because if it was so good, the best way to prove it is to put it right there in black and white.

    "Recognized By Forbes Magazine As One Of The 200 Best Small Companies In America"
    - And what measurement gauge do they base this upon? Profit. All this tells me, is that they are extremely profitable, and I'll bet I know the part of the equation that suffered to allow the company to profit so well. They pay their employees peanuts for their time.

    You get the idea. Advertisers are not going to tell it like it is. Their job is to generate responses that will make people pick up the phone, and enter the next phase of the luring process.

    Recruiters can be even more deceptive. Some carriers do in-house recruiting, where the person you speak with is actually on the premises, and is an employee of the carrier. A more recent trend however, has evolved to using independent recruiters that do NOT work for the carrier, who are compensated per warm body that actually makes it into a carrier's truck. If you digest this for a moment, which person would be more likely to tell you exactly what he/she thinks you want to hear, rather than the truth? When you contact a carrier, this should be the number one question you ask of that person. "Where are you located, and are you an actual employee of the carrier?" Off-site recruiters are not going to shoot you straight. Their only goal is to get you signed on with one of their customers. Actual employees of a carrier are under the same type of pressure to produce applicants, so you still have to measure responses to your inquiries to determine if this person is being honest.

    Newspaper advertisements are where you will most likely run into off-site recruiters. Their ads are easy to spot. The name of the carrier will be absent from the ad, and the description will be very generic. If there are a large selection of ads, you will often see the same toll free number repeated as a contact number in several of those ads, with perhaps a different extension number. It's a sorting process. Many of these recruiters have several carriers that they attempt to recruit for at the same time.

    Let me repeat something here. Independent recruiters have one goal in mind. They want you to hire on with ANY carrier that they can get you on with. They then get paid. Taking the time to assure that the job is right for YOU, just isn't one of their objectives. You simply cannot expect honesty and the facts as they may be. They know that far too often, if the truth is offered, they will be hear that dreaded "click" on the other end of the line.

    Quite a few years ago, I contacted a company located in Jacksonville, Florida, which is still in business, and is a sister company to one of those "Forbes top 200 small businesses". The advertisement appeared to offer a position I was seeking. My criteria was simple. I did not desire to run north and east of New Jersey. I did not want to work for a carrier that had an extremely high turnover rate. And I needed to be home on a weekly basis. After speaking to the recruiter, I was satisfied that this was a job I could live with. I was approved for hire. I will not travel by bus, and drove down there in my car, as I had relatives in the area. If everything worked out, I'd get the car later. That was not necessary as it turned out.

    I arrived 30 minutes early for orientation, and struck up a conversation with the person who was there to conduct class. Everything was going well. He stepped out of the room for a few minutes, so I began walking around. They had a bulletin board on the wall, with polaroid pictures of new hires over the course of the year, to date. This was in mid-March. The company had approximately 120 trucks at the time. On this bulletin board were 43 new faces, and all had been hired since the first of January. Do the math. If the rate continued, that's 147 people over the course of a year for 120 trucks. That's a 123% turnover rate.

    What had the recruiter told me their rate was? Less than 50%. The instructor returned about the time that I digested this undeniable fact and blatent lie, and I started inquiring into the other two key issues. "He told you what? New York City and New England is about 80% of our business." Lie number two. Surely I was going to be home each week like I was told...right? "No...I'm sorry, we ask our drivers to stay out a minimum of three weeks at a time." Strike three...you're out.

    I politely apologized and informed the gentleman, who was very nice by the way, that I would not be taking the job after all. He apologized to me, and acknowledged that there was a real problem with the recruiters not being truthful about the terms of the job, and he wished that he could do something about it. Apparently, without lying, they were not having any luck getting people to Jacksonville. He also told me that "most come here on a bus, and they don't have the means to leave, and they usually get to work them for at least a few weeks at a time".

    It was at that very moment, that I vowed to never...EVER rely upon a carrier to transport me to a point of orientation again. It also prompted me to obtain an ATM card, so that I would never be without means to leave a virtual, if not actual slave camp on my own, and at my own expense.

    Would you believe that this same company had the audacity to try and blackball me, after all that deception? They didn't get away with it, but they tried nonetheless. DAC Services, Inc. and I went round and round over that one, but I made them see the error in their ways, when I pointed out a lesser known aspect of employment law, as it pertains to references offered in consumer reports. You actually must receive wages from an employer to be considered to have been hired by them. Since I was never hired, the reference had to be deleted from their databases.

    Don't expect truth in advertising, and don't expect truth in recruiting.

    (To be continued)
     
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  3. kc0rey

    kc0rey Medium Load Member

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    Macomb, IL
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    The same can be said for drivers who recieve a Recruitment "bonus" for every driver they recruit. They will tell you what they think you want to hear.
     
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  4. asphaltcowboy762

    asphaltcowboy762 Bobtail Member

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    Feb 10, 2007
    Virginia
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    Turbo,
    I more or less have the same problem as you did. I had filled out an application with a company while being on workmans comp and I asked the fellow that was doing the hiring not to turn my application in yet since I didn't want anything to happen to my comp benefits. Well, guess what, he did and according to the company I was hired. I didn't find this out, until I had put another application with another company after getting off of comp and the recruiter for that company asked me why I didn't put down the name of the first company on my application. I told her that I was not hired by them and she said according to DAC I was. To make a long story short, I got with a big wig with that company and he told me that my name would be removed. Now whether or not it has been I don't know. How can you get in contact with DAC, if you can?
     
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  5. Light Traveler

    Light Traveler Light Load Member

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    Feb 5, 2007
    Somewhere out there...
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    Sounds like you put up a heck of a fight, but came out on top. I wonder how many of those new guys on the hire board wanted to leave, but couldn't? It really does pay to prepare and look out for #1. Finally, it would seem that DAC would so some sort of pre- investigation prior to recording any type of negative feedback. Unbelieveably unbelievable!
     
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  6. Dr Demented

    Dr Demented Light Load Member

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    Feb 25, 2007
    Delphi, IN
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    I had the exact thing happen to me at Sharkey Transportation...can you tell me how to get the black mark removed from my DAC. I'm familiar with the law, could you send me a link to the actual state or federal code that says this?

    Thanks!
     
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  7. TurboTrucker

    TurboTrucker Road Train Member

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    Feb 23, 2005
    Rossville, Georgia
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    Here's what you need to do to fight an inaccurate entry on your report...

    First of all, DAC reports are covered in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Any agency that collects information on a person, and sells that information to another, is considered to be a consumer reporting agency.

    You can read the entire wording of the FCRA here:

    http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/031224fcra.pdf

    Now, to fight a report that is inacurate, you have to do this in writing. You will need to know exactly what is wrong on the report and to be able to cite it as it is written on the report. When you make your FIRST challenge, you do this WITHOUT any proof offered that substantiates your side. If you offer any proof, the company may come back and offer manufactured proof of their own that looks better, and you'll never be able to overcome that. Let them go on record FIRST with proof.

    Send your written challenge by certified mail, return receipt requested. They have 30 days to take action. When they sign for your letter, the clock starts ticking. They are required to contact the company to let them know that you are offering a challenge to their entry. The company will be requested to either stand by that entry or asked if they want to remove it. Most of the time, if the company KNOWS it is inaccurate, they will back off.

    DAC is then required to remove it, and send you official notice of the removal and a corrected copy of your report that will then be sent out to prospective employers from that point on.

    If the company refuses to back off the complaint, then you have the right to challenge the entry and demand that the company offers PROOF of the entry.

    Again...do this by certified mail, return receipt requested. If the company cannot submit proof or justification of the entry, then DAC is required under law to remove it despite the company's insistence that it is correct. I still recommend that you never respond with any proof that an entry is incorrect UNTIL the company has offered their's first. They cannot change their story once they bite once. You play your trump card when they jump.

    Let's say they charge you with abandonment of a truck. You have proof that you turned it in, via a police report from an officer that witnessed the fact that you took to one of the company's terminals. That is your trump card.

    If they offer up a phony tow bill, dated for the same date you terminated, then a police report will place their evidence in complete doubt. It will be removed.

    Accidents? Make them pony up a police report as evidence. Make them offer pictures of damage. Make them offer up a signed document by you, that acknowledges the accident. They cannot charge you with an accident or incident without proof of the incident or accident having taken place.

    As a general rule, NEVER quit a job without getting a signed statement that you have met all of the requirements for terminating that job, even if you are so mad that you can't see straight. Turn in everything you were issued. Turn in all of your logs. Try to get SOMEONE there to sign a written statement that you have terminated your employment in a satisfactory manner. If you have to deal with several people, get them each to sign off on a check sheet that you have prepared, that states you met all of their requirments up to the minute you left the company, and that there are no outstanding issues. Take pictures of the truck as it was when you got out of it for the last time. Have someone sign for the keys and your fuel card....everything that you signed for when you hired on.

    Do all of that, and they cannot hurt you. If you cannot get someone to do sign off on your termination, contact the local police department on a non-emergency line, and ask the officer to assist you in either getting them to cooperate, or to witness himself what you are doing and request a public contact number in case your termination ever becomes an issue in the future.

    Ask for copies of everything that the company has in it's personal employment file that they are required to keep. You have every right to this information, and they are required by law to provide it to you upon request. You are allowed to request a copy of each and every sheet in that file.

    ALWAYS get a copy of anything you sign for an employer, no matter how trivial it may seem. Any sheets with blanks on them can be filled in later. Get a copy BEFORE that occurs. It's YOUR proof of the terms and conditions under which you signed it.

    Keep this stuff for at least ten years.
     
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  8. Dr Demented

    Dr Demented Light Load Member

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    Feb 25, 2007
    Delphi, IN
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    Thanks! Much appreciated.
     
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  9. stranger

    stranger Road Train Member

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    NC
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    This job was posted on my local State Employment Agency website (some items x'ed out). I am confident everything in this ad is true, especially the salary for a driver with one month experience.

    I wonder why a company from Nebraska has to advertise in NC?




    Job Title: O.T.R. Truck Driver
    Job Number: xxxxxxxxxx
    Date Posted: 02/28/2007
    Occupational Code: xxxxxxxxxx
    Location: Omaha
    Salary: $0.01
    Education Required: 0
    Experience Required: 1 Months
    Minimum Age: 21
    Hours Per Week: 50
    Duration of Job: Over 150 days Full-Time
    Job Description: Days and hours vary. Must have class 'a' C.D.L. and at least 1 month tractor trailer truck driving job experience. Home time varies from daily, weekly, 2 weeks or 3 weeks. May drive van, refer or flat bed. Pays up to $100,000 per year.
     
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  10. Short Stack

    Short Stack Bobtail Member

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Tennessee
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    To TurboTrucker from your post #6 above regarding "Here's what you need to do to fight an inaccurate entry on your report."

    Accidents? Make them pony up a police report as evidence. Make them offer pictures of damage. Make them offer up a signed document by you, that acknowledges the accident. They cannot charge you with an accident or incident without proof of the incident or accident having taken place.

    Regarding your comments from above quote, they did have a police report, but it listed a different vehicle than the one in the pics which I alone took of an alleged accident. What is this statement about my signed statement acknowledging an accident? I have never even been offered the opportunity to sign anything regarding an accident by my previous employer. The problem in my case is that a car driver accused me of hitting their vehicle (which I did not hit at all) and yes, a police report was filled out (police put in a Ford Expedition and the vehicle was a Nissan Pathfinder, and police never took any pictures.).

    Ask for copies of everything that the company has in it's personal employment file that they are required to keep. You have every right to this information, and they are required by law to provide it to you upon request. You are allowed to request a copy of each and every sheet in that file.

    In the above statement, you state "You have every right to this (personnel file) information, and they are required by law to provide it to you upon request." As a discharged employee, I have requested in writing, return-receipt requested, a complete copy of each and every piece of paper in my personnel file, WHAT LAW REQUIRES THAT THEY DO THIS? I NEED THE SPECIFIC LAW TO QUOTE TO THEM! They are telling me that they only provide a copy of my original application, that the rest of my file is company papers ONLY! Please give me the specific LAW to help me.

    Thanks for you help and assistance!

    TURBOTRUCKER, Do you know of any attorneys who deal with these kind of things? My previous employer put 3 preventable accidents on my DAC report and I am unable to get another job as a result of it. By the way, one of the alleged accidents, I was not even at the location I am being accused of on the day in question.
     
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  11. TurboTrucker

    TurboTrucker Road Train Member

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    Feb 23, 2005
    Rossville, Georgia
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    They didn't do a review with you and determine it preventable or non-preventable? No, of course not..that's what you are saying.

    Did you submit ANYTHING in writing to them, in the form of a statement of the events on that day? Did you fill out a form provided to you for reporting accidents?

    If this is not the case, then the company has no right to report the accident on your DAC report. You can challenge the report on the basis that the company has never declared the accident to have occured, nor reviewed it with you, nor had you acknowledge a finding of the disposition of that accident upon review, as to whether it was preventable or non-preventable.

    The company however, can reduce it to the status of an "incident", but cannot disclose the details to others.

    That's a minor sticking point, and nothing that would necessarily discount the accident report. Officers make mistakes too. If the license plate was recorded correctly, it is an alternative way to identify the vehicle in question.

    In order to help you with a specific law, I need to know what state you live in, and what state that the former employer holds your personnel file in, as in where the office is located. Most, but not all states have laws on the books mandating employers provide copies of their employment files.

    Or you can bypass this, and contact your local Department of Labor for their assistance and advice. If you reside in a state that mandates this, and the employer is also in the same state, they can get results faster than you ever will on your own.

    Notify them in writing that because they have reported negative information about you to a consumer reporting agency, and that you have reason to consider part or all of that information to be either in error or false in nature, that unless they are forthcoming with the contents of your personnel file that have been reported to such an agency, you intend to file a complaint with the FTC for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

    Then you DEFINITELY need to start challenging this information with USIS. A copy of your log is enough to make a legal challenge to this false reporting, and to have everything else removed due to doubt.

    Read this post to learn how to go about starting your challenge:

    All You Need To Know About USIS
     
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