The dos and don’ts of quitting your Trucking job!
So you’re thinking about quitting your job and want to just leave your current company with no hassles. How do you do it with out hurting your new job? How do you do it without making your current employer mad? Is there a way for everybody to win? The answer is “Not really”. As you read this article you may pick up a few tips from a witness that has seen many drivers leave their job and go to another, me.
Over the years I’ve watched drivers for many reasons turn in their notice of quitting in many ways. Some leave what they think is the respectable two weeks notice and some leave one week and some leave none. So what is the correct time period for a notice of resignation?
The answer is there is no correct time. It really depends on the situation you are in when the need to quit comes and how long of a notice to give, if any. For example one driver might be quitting because of an incredible offer he just received. Another driver may be working for a carrier that has not lived up to their promises. Maybe the current carrier promised a certain wage and had changed it after employment started or maybe a carrier promised a driver a certain dedicated run and it fell thru leaving the driver with running OTR. As you can see not every situation deserves a 2-week notice whatsoever. If you are a driver that accepted a job only to find out that everything you were told was false then very little notice if any would be expected.
Lets say a driver is happy with their current job but has been offered a better opportunity. This situation should come with a respectable notice after all we did say this is a happy driver and you would not want to burn a bridge with a good carrier. Your new carrier should understand the need to leave a good notice behind.
We are by no means suggesting you “not” leave a notice for a carrier you’re not happy with after all most reasons for quitting is because you are “Not happy”. Even if they lied to you or broke a promise, which is, pretty much the same thing. The reason you are better off giving some kind of notice is they have the power to give you a bad reference, which can be very important in the nearby future. In the case of the employer that broke the promise in the first example you might want to find out what their reputation is when drivers exit their company. You also might want to sit down and talk to the safety director and ask him/her what kind of reference you are going to get with a short or no notice. Maybe explain to them the circumstances behind your quitting.
Besides leaving a notice there are other ways to do the right thing when quitting a job. Here is a quick outline
- Make sure you bring the truck back to the agreed terminal. That way you are not getting “abandonment” on your record. Abandonment’s in the industry are very frowned on and many carriers will not hire drivers with recent abandonment.
- Make sure the truck is clean. Having a reference that says you destroyed or brought back damaged company property is also something that can keep you from getting that real good job in the future. Also make sure the carrier inspects the Truck and get a copy of the inspection just in case.
- Make sure there is no discrepancy with money especially fuel cards. Many drivers have tried to grab cash advance before the fuel card gets shut off and if you quit with owing the carrier money they can put “Misuse of company funds” on your DAC/Hireright
- As much as you might hate this but shake the bosses hand and thank him/her for the opportunity to work for them. This goes along way and shows good temperament.
- Turn in any company issued items
- Buy a box of chocolates for the terminal Manager. Ok so that’s never going to happen but you have to admit I had your attention there lol. No chocolates necessary. Just do the right thing when quitting a job. Don’t base the way you are quitting on your emotions. Just think about how your potential employers in the future will be reading the current reference of the carrier you are in the middle of leaving and then quit accordingly.
OK so the article is titled the “dos and don’ts of quitting”. Let’s get down to the don’ts. I have seen so many bad ways of quitting I am going to give you only a few for now.
First off I believe drivers are traditionally non-Confrontational when it comes to saying either “no” or “I’m quitting”. Many don’t want someone sitting them down and making what they believe to be more false promises just to keep them on board. Many drivers are afraid also of letting someone down and basically breaking up with them. Drivers are generally nice people and hate to be the bearer of the bad news of “I’m quitting”.
Here is a quick outline of the Don’ts
- Do not make a scene when quitting. Don’t act rude to the boss and don’t make a scene in front of incoming drivers in orientation. You may find yourself escorted off the property only to have to find a way home.
- Do not Abandon a Truck. Find out what the carrier considers abandonment. Some want you to return the truck to the terminal you were issued it. Some carriers want you to get it to any company terminal or drop yard. Do not, under any circumstances, get into a situation where the carrier is going to come to your house to pick up the truck, this is Abandonment and will hurt you in the long run.
- Do not sneak into the terminal on the weekend and clean out the truck and leave the keys on the seat. This is the coward’s way out and besides this you have not gotten a receipt showing you returned it clean and not damaged. Again look them in the eye and say thank you, be strong.
- Do not return the truck under a load you were dispatched on. Make sure you deliver that load.
- Do not deadhead your truck a big mount of miles back to the terminal to quit unless you were authorized it. Remember your reputation follows you around in this industry.
Here are a few more things to consider when quitting your Trucking job
- Transition Period – when you leave your current carrier it is normally 1 to 2 weeks till you get your first good paycheck after you start working for your new carrier. This means if you leave a 2 week notice at a carrier that you’re not making money with you will be up to 5 weeks with out pay. Example – 2 weeks notice Plus 1 week of orientation (that week is always shot) Plus your first full week of running and then it 1 more week till you get the first check, this equals roughly 5 weeks without a good paycheck.
- DAC/Hireright – Be careful with carriers that use this service, they can ruin your reputation if you quit in a manor not according to what they want. This is a big reason you want to maintain your emotions and quit knowing your next employer will be getting a reference from the current carrier.