Fired for drinking off duty while on the road?

Discussion in 'Trucker Legal Advice' started by kablerat, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. kablerat

    kablerat Bobtail Member

    Jan 3, 2019
    I started driving for Swift in early November and was assigned a mentor. I was required to drive 200 hours before getting the chance to upgrade. After the first couple of days, my mentor was so comfortable with my driving, he took that as an opportunity to sleep and play video game every chance he got. We drove between S. Carolina all the way to Salt lake city with lots of loads in between. One time at a truck stop I told him I was going to go get a beer during my 10 hour. Said I'd be back after I finished. He said, just bring it back to the truck and stay warm. You are off duty so what does it matter? I asked if Id get in trouble and he said no problem. This happened a couple of times while on the road but only when off duty. Never got hammered and he never complained. I drove us to the home terminal because I needed a 34 hour. I had been on the road for over a month because he decided he wanted to change to a direct route right when we got started. We eventually went back to OTR because I was going to be on the truck forever the way things were going. He texted me the next day after getting home and said they were going to upgrade me even though I had 23 hours BTW to finish and to contact my driver leader the following Monday. I called and was told they were getting me a different mentor. A week went by with no call. I called retention because nobody was returning my calls or emails. I get a call from a security officer from Swift and asked about one night when I got off the truck and bought some booze and brought it back to the truck. I told him the truth because as far as I knew, it was okay as long as I was off duty. Now I'm terminated and my DAC prevents me from getting another job. I'm not naive but if the Mentor told me was okay and then throws me under the bus for doing what he said was alright, how am I at fault? I was cool not bringing it back to the truck.
    Rideandrepair and x1Heavy Thank this.
  2. Snakeschasingcars

    Snakeschasingcars Heavy Load Member

    Mar 22, 2018
    What exactly are you asking?

    Yes you are at fualt... If your mentor told yiu it ok to smoke crack... Would you?
    A little common sense goes along way.
  3. BCV

    BCV Light Load Member

    May 26, 2018
    I guess you missed the fleet email regarding that policy ? what career path you getting into now?
    Rideandrepair and buddyd157 Thank this.
  4. tommygun58

    tommygun58 Light Load Member

    Sep 22, 2015
    East Texas
    Find a small rock hauling company or dirt . They may give you a second chance. And never drink in a commercial vehicle!
  5. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    I wonder if there is another side of this story
  6. shogun

    shogun Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2009
    Doing a regen
    I think we got the entire story. The tragedy is reaching the pinnacle of trucking so early and throwing it all away. I once got fired from Swift for wearing a Bud Light shirt off duty, I didn’t even work there! @snowman_w900 can vouch for me, he was in training at the time.
  7. Smokinjoe 364

    Smokinjoe 364 Bobtail Member

    Jun 17, 2011
    Like tommygun58 said, find a small rock hauling company or wood chips or log hauling companies to get the experience under your belt and KEEP trying to get your foot in the door, if you have a tanker or haz mat endorsement then i would get started applying at local gas hauling companies, i haul butane and propane now and came off of otr in 1997 and i’m actually making better money than i did being otr, now i’m working a 5 days on duty, 2 days off duty and 5 days on duty 3 days off duty schedule and as long as you get that X endorsement then i would keep applying because there is ALWAYS someone who will give second chances but if you do get it then NEVER drink around your truck, do it at home only on your time away from the truck. Good Luck.
    Rideandrepair, T.Rucker and Badmon Thank this.
  8. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Where is your location? There's companies that will hire you.
    Remember, your mentor told you. "Hey, we're off duty, run get us a couple of beers."
    "Are you sure?"
    "Yep, we're off duty; I do it all the time and so do the other drivers; perfectly legal; we're off duty."
  9. Rickspacecommand

    Rickspacecommand Bobtail Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    No no. It’s was a problem to drink your beer. The problem was your trainer didn’t want to tell you no and it was to prevent a conflict between you and him on the road. His Safety Director was informed and you and him was routed to the terminal. The company made sure that you and the equipment and trainer was safe and equipment secure. I’m sorry you’re were fired listen to me never assume it’s all good you knew the policy it’s illegal to drink in the cab or truck parking area. Study the FMCA rules about Alcohol and drugs.
  10. Tb0n3

    Tb0n3 Road Train Member

    Oct 5, 2012
    Umm. What? Having a beer or two before bed is not illegal. Have you tried finding another company and explaining the over reaction? I'd only drink on a 34 myself, but what you did was not illegal.
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