This is episode two in the series discussing truck driver files and what is needed in your truck driver file.
This episode is all about the truck driver application form. John and I are discussing common errors that we find far too frequently when we visit our clients.
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Hey, good morning, everybody. Thanks for joining Chris and I here at the trucking and trucking risk and insurance podcast. I to think about that for a second, see Friday, it does that to you anyway. So we're, we're glad you could join us. And we're going to have a little fun today. We're going to carry on with our driver qualification series. And today we're going to talk about the application form different things that you need to know about it, how to understand it and whatnot. And we'll provide you some guidance to some recommendations. So with no further ado, Chris, my buddy and cohost let's get her going. Hey well, and we're going to be hitting common errors Because John, when you go to see clients, don't you often see the same error. It's almost as if You go like, that'd be UTF guys. Can't, you know, so It's, it's a fairly simple document, you know, you would think, but apparently everybody construed it in a different fashion. Yes, it is so true. Well said. Yep. And for those who go cross border, I thought we would start off by if I can find it, where to go right there. Bye. Oops. Look at you. You're doing some funky stuff. It's it's it's crazy Friday down here in LinkedIn. Okay. Let me see if I can fix that. There we Go. Kind of alright. So what I wanted to show everybody was if you are a cross border guy, trucking company, see if you are a holder, whatever it starts with the FMC essays and what amazes me is people don't realize that there are rules here in the actually stipulate quite specifically, what needs to be on the application form and Johnny, how often do you look at an application form? And it does not have the name and the address of the employing motor carrier. A lot of times at the top, it just says driver application. And yet as our audience can plainly see right here, it says it's got to have, I mean, Let's go back, let's give our audience some perspective perhaps on why is it so important to have a great driver file? And it starts with an application for, Yup. Yup. So, you know, you have your basic compliance. There are regulatory just as we're talking here, 3 91 0.2, one regulatory compliance that has to be met. We need to, we need to make sure that the driver is qualified to opt for operate for us. And that's why a lot of times we call it a driver qualification file. You, I think probably section a right at the top, there really spells it out. Good. A person shall not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless he or she has completed and furnished the motor carrier that employs him or her with an application for employment that meets the requirements of paragraph B of this section. So this is where it's so important to have this information and it needs to be complete. Correct. You know? Yep. Sorry. Did you just stop there complete and correct? Yes. Oh yeah. I did my sentence silly. Like I was waiting for another one, but Hey, So, but you're absolutely right. And of course the next thing is if this applicant is hired and has a serious crash, this document here, sorry, this document here becomes evidence in court. Correct. And if the first thing the whole, the lawyer can point out is they don't even have their name on the application form. Do they really even know how to hire a drivers? So Exactly It just, I tell ya, it just confounds me. So the name on the application form, and of course the next thing, the F the federal motor carrier. And let me ask you this, I'm talking about federal motor carrier here and the cross border companies. How about the companies that stay here in Ontario only, or Canada only, is this a good tool? I, you know, what are your thoughts? This is best practice by all means. Yes. Right. You know, so whether you run a cross border Canada or within your province, this is excellent. I think we've all said that many times the federal motor carrier regulations in the U S set Canada for best practice. So it's great. Just apply this across the board to every driver you bring on. Yes. And sorry. I, for some reason I had the chat buried. We do have Chad, Hey, Chad, Have ready check. That's ready. See, he doesn't know how to spell check. C H E K. He probably didn't have enough room. He had to cut back one letter. Yeah. I had a low what it was, but he left, he dropped the C from ready check. So if you're looking for Chad, you can go to <inaudible> dot com, but without the seed, just wanting to make sure that it was clear. Good morning, Chad. So yes, it's absolutely best practice. And then the CVOR manual. A lot of this, not all of it, because in the CVR manual, I don't believe they make reference specifically to the carriers up carriers address. But it does say you got to have an application for the CVR manual. So a lot of this, as you say, it's just best practice, you know, the name. So, so, so, so how about this question? Why do I need the employer's name on the application? What's they're not applying for a job, so why do we have to have the employer's name on the apps application? Tell me It's because we need to know who we're applying to, you know, so because you could be applying to multiple jobs, you could, you could maybe work part-time for this carrier. Part-time for that carrier part-time for another carrier, or I quit this one and go to that one, but you just can't take the application with you. So it has to be unique to the motor carrier so that we can say, so hence why, that's, why you want to have the motor carriers name and address on there just helps to complete the file. Well, and at the top here somewhere, it says the motor carrier is the one who must furnish the applicant right here, furnished by the motor carrier. So that, as you're saying a driver, can't just create one application form and quickly apply to 10 carriers. Yeah. Well, you know, and, and, and that's a perfect example where, where some drivers will provide you with a resume and say, well, here it is, this is all you need. Well, no, that doesn't have the motor carriers name on it. And it doesn't have particular details and credentials that the motor carrier is looking for. So hence why this has got some excellent guidelines to say, no, this is what's required on an application form. So Yeah. Hey, the next one, three, the address at which the applicant has resided for three preceding years. Yep. And it's the same in Canada. Every application form has give us at least three years of your residence on Exactly. How often do you see an application form that doesn't have a date number for? Oh, geez. Yeah. It's so simple. It's like, Hey, they're applying for a job. When are they applying for this? That would be nice to know. And I suggest you also need a document that says, what date was the person hired on? Because it would be nice to know when they actually started. Well, we both seen a number of times where your application might be both three, four pages long. And usually on the last page of the page of the application, there's a section down the bottom that says, what's the driver hired, you know, was the driver employed for this and whatnot. And a lot of times that area is blank. So we don't even know what date, the height the driver was hired. You know, we would have a, a date at the top possibly that says when they applied for the job, but it doesn't actually say that it was hired. And it doesn't say who approved the hire. So the sections are blank sometimes. And, and it's like, these are important information to have in there, But you know, you and I can both audit driver files and probably find mistakes in, I would say in most. Yes. But what we're trying to highlight today, at least what I'm focusing on are the most common ones were stay tuned because we're going to give you some best practices when we start talking about CVRs and PSPS and things like that. So stick around, all right. The, the applicant, sorry, where are we? Number five, Number five. We need a driver's license basically is what? That same. Cause it's got to have the issuing state or province and the expiry date and all that. And in Ontario, both sides. Yes. Yes. A lot of people forget this and they just get the front of the driver's license. Make a copy of it. No, you need both sides. There's information on the back of that driver's license. So I always say it doesn't matter what state or province you're operating in best practice. Get both sides every time. Yep. So, you know, now here's one of my favorite little ones, number seven. Let's see if we can't make that even bigger yet. Number seven, Johnny, three years. Oops. Where did it go? Where did it go? Oh, There we go. Number seven, three years of job history, basically preceding the application. Yep. Johnny. I was only driving information. No, this is all information. So even if you, even if you drove maybe for a year or something like that, and then prior to that, you were working at a grocery store or pumping gas at the gas station. We need three years of history. It's to find out so we can do reference checks and whatnot. So you'd have to provide the details of your employment, contact information, emails, phone numbers, whatever, where you were location and timelines from. When did you start that job? And when did you end the job before you knew, moved onto the next one And we're going to get into, and I'll show you an application form in a minute, but we're going to get into some common errors again in it. And the reason it's so important, we're going to hit some of it right here. But Yeah, The next thing, number eight, a list of all motor of all violations. Well, this is the MVR, but also here in Ontario, the CVR safety manual says you've got an old boat, all the previous violations as well. So this isn't the best practice. This is right in the CBR manual. Even though in Ontario, you can't get a ticket for it, but you got to know about it for three years prior to the application form. Yep. Yep. All right, Johnny what's number nine. Yep. Number nine is a statement saying that you only have one license and that if your license is for whatever reason, suspended, denied, revoked, canceled, or whatever, you will inform the employer. Yep. Burrs. And I know you like this one. Well, It is something that a lot of employers don't have the drivers sign. And if it's not covered somewhere, either in your policy manual, or as part of your application process, why would the driver tell you? You never told them to tell you, right? Number 10, here we go. A list of names and addresses, listen to this, everybody, because this is a common error, that list of names and addresses of the app of the applicant's employers during the pre I can't even read during the proceeding, the date, you've got to have the names and the addresses as well as, so you got to have the names and the addresses, the dates, the reason for leaving. How often do you see the reason for leaving just blank, Johnny, Most times, most times. And, and the next one here, you got to have these two questions on your application form. Assuming that somebody's applying after 2004 and on a Canadian application form, I often see these missing as well. What's your take? What's your experience? Oh, exactly. Same thing. You know, I think we fall under the pretense that, oh, well, if he's going cross border, we got to do a drug and alcohol test anyway. Yes. But hang on. Was he ever subjected to alcohol and drug and alcohol testing prior to coming on board with this operation? You know, was he subject to the FMC SRS? Meaning w was he traveling into the U S he or she traveling into the U S before? So these are, these are things that are very important. And the concern is if you're missing this information or let me rephrase that. If the applicant fails to provide this information in the, in the application form, then that should raise a red flag. Why have they not answered these questions? Why have they not provided this information? Right. And look at, I made up a fictitious company, Safety Dawg, transport Safety Dawg, transport hall, A bunch of BS. I think I just wanted to show this because here's those two questions that we're talking about. And again, can I make that bigger? Is that possible? Well, Nope. I'm screwing it all up. Bernay anyways. The other part of it here is all of this stuff needs to be completed as we just showed you in the U S law, but it's a best practice here in Canada, the name and the address, the phone number, you know, and the dates and the reason for leaving all have to be there. And then of course, these two questions, which are just guests are no questions. Yup. Yup. But there's simple, but they gotta be there. What else is happening Johnny? In the way of common area? Oh, do you want to address the one here where the date and You know where I'm going without one? So a lot of times, you know, you'll put your date in here when you hired on with this company. And when you left this company along with the reason for leaving, but one of the, one of the things that employers need to be cautious of is looking at those dates and looking for gaps between one employer to another so that you can ask those questions. Oh, this is interesting. You worked at this place for, you know, six months, and then it was three months before you went to work at the other place. What were you doing during that three-year period? What is that gap? You know, were you working for somebody else under the table? Did you go on vacation, moved back into your, the basement of your mother's house, whatever be, so it's a matter of what, what, what are those gaps? Why are those gaps there? And that's, what's important. So Yeah, no gaps. Exactly. And the other thing that I want people to look at is to match the dates with the drivers abstracts, And which also could be the PSP report. And if you're not familiar with PSP, pre-IND splint, preemployment screening program, a us thing that is very similar, by the way, it was based on the Ontario truck drivers CVR. So it's similar to that, but it has names of employers and inspections and things like that. Same as the CVOR. So you want to match the employment date that you see here to the documents that you have in your file that would verify this because if you don't the darn lawyers. Yep. Exactly. So, well, so, so what would, what would it tell you then, Chris, if you were looking at this and you found a gap between those dates, say between one employer to another, say you've seen a two or three month window that wasn't covered off. And yet when you did your cross-referencing and found something on the PSP report that showed that he got stopped for an inspection, and it was with a motor carrier that was not listed as one of the two during that time period, what, what would that kind of indicate and tell you? Well, it is the driver. One is he telling me the truth did is the driver being, we'll call it creative. We'll be polite. Is the driver beyond creative in his job history, trying to hide a past employer that he doesn't want me to contact to do the references. So that would be my concern. Sure. Well, and it's, and it's possible that he may have had some major altercations or a crash or something, and he doesn't want it known that he was terminated for a crash. It was a short period of time. Now I don't even want you to know that I had that. Well, unfortunately, it's going to come out and especially if there's a gap, then the employer does his investigation properly. The question should be, well, why is this gap? And why did I find this on your, on your CVR or your PSP profile? And the, the other point there that I like to make is drivers have caught on that. If they have, perhaps I'll make a number up six employers in the past two years, they become very difficult to hire. Yes. So they want to drop an employer or two or three, so that it looks much better on their application form. Well, this is what your job is to ferret through all the information. And if it's possible, you use all this information and you come up with the conclusion to hire the driver. Because again, going back to the worst case scenario, you're in court and it comes out in court because the lawyers will dig much better typically than I did, you know, and they're going to prove that he had six jobs. And well, now that doesn't match your hiring standards and why did you hire oh, goodness. Well, and then, and then add to the fact that, you know, you collect this previous reference information, previous employer reference information, the employer must act on it. Now we'll talk about, a bit more about that in, in another episode with reference Jags. But I want to kind of use an example that I just recently ran upon was they said, they said the employer said they did the reference checks, but interestingly enough, they had no proof of the reference checks. And when they crop, when, when I cross reference the application with the driver abstract, we found a falsified driver abstract. He had altered the abstract and said that he was a driver a year before he actually got his license. And it was interesting. Cause what triggered it was the company had just recently pulled new abstracts on all the drivers. Okay. And it was in this particular driver that I hit selected yet. They did not. Cross-reference the existing abstract with the previous abstract. Cause I brought it up, went, whoa, this is a Dre. He got his license in 2021. They said, no, no, 2020, I'm going well, this says, oh, it must be an error. I'm going well, I don't think the government of Ontario makes errors on their, you know, did you want to validate this? So when we started looking and then we cross reference that with the dates we found out, I said, have you called this number? I bet you, this number doesn't even work. So Yeah. I thought truck drivers are pretty smart. Right? That's The savvy savvy guys, seven guys, well, they want a job. Right? They want the job. And so, you know, and anyways, we're, we're nearing the end of this, the application forum part. Let me just scroll down a little bit more. So that was page one, basically. And page two now, because this is all job history, but make sure for those people that are watching this, that all of this information is completed and that you go back the three years, a minimum of employment. Yep. Oh, sorry. I thought you were going to say something there. Nope. And, and if I switched back, can I switch back to the federal motor carrier to find the seven year, ah, here it is number 11. So many people say, what is this three years? And then I got to go back an extra seven. What I'm confused And It's really, it's not confusing. What it says here is you've got to go back an extra seven years over and above. The three already mentioned if there's an, if there for drivers applying to operate a commercial motor vehicle, define that. And I don't know the names for the seven year period proceeding the three years, if the applicant was operator of a commercial motor vehicle. So basically if the applicant was doing truck driving, work, operating, or using work, using the CDL commercial driver's license in the proceeding seven years, they've got to list that on their application form, which makes a grand total of 10 years And years, Which is why we have this statement up at the top that says, please provide a complete record of all employment, starting with your current employer. I cannot believe many drivers, but For the past three years, including any unemployment or self-employment, and then please also provide all commercial driving experience for the past 10. Well, that's, we're taking it out of the federal motor carrier and applying it to this. Yep. And, and, and I, and I, I know we've seen this many times and I know we encourage applicants and employers as well, that if you've got like six years of driving experience and then four prior to that was doing something else, do yourself a favor and don't create a gap. We're looking for 10 years. So three years needs be verified. And then the next three would be nice to be listed. But rather than leaving it blank to go, oh, well, I didn't do anything for the four years. And question it then go, oh no, I was in school during that time. Or I worked at the grocery store at that time. Okay, perfect. That's all you need to know. It helps to close that gap to say, what did you do for 10 years, particularly if you were driving truck beyond that first three years. Yes. And the other point I would also add to that is, let's say you only go back six years in job history because prior to six years there was no CVL activity or the driver didn't have a driver's license. Well, write that on the application for previous truck driving experience after the six years perfect. Or the other thing I would say, cause this often happens. You only go back a number of years, the three years, there is no exception, but beyond that, just immigrated to Canada five years ago. Perfect. Exactly. The other reason you don't go back the pin, Right, right. Helps to complete that gap process. Right? Making sure there are no gaps. It answers the question and go, oh, okay. No problem. We're good. We have all the information we need now. Interesting chat. Yep. Chad's got a comment here. Do you, or question, do you list jobs, even if you're driving for someone who stays within the a hundred and hundred and 60 kilometer radius. Yes. It doesn't matter kilometers. It's all about the driving. The fact that you are a driver holding a, a, a commercial driver's license. And of course that's important to somebody like Chad because his company supplies the hour, I want to say hours of service and vehicle inspection documentation for those carriers who stay within the 1 68 A and does a great job doing it. It does. Yeah. It's simplifies the process. I love this. I love this tool. It's great. Oh, love this section. I was just leaving your common alone there that, Okay. You love this section while you talk about this section, Driving history and experience. This is, oh my gosh. I don't know how many applications I see where this is blank. You know, we don't have any information. I think the driver thinks, well, Hey, you've got my previous employers, what do you need this for? Well, this helps us better understand what type of commercial vehicles you have operated over the course of your employment with others. So like what the heck? So, Yeah. And well, I mean, you are supposed to best practices, not me. The CVS program, certified director of safety number of, of other programs say that you should have a job description or a task analysis. Well, if you've got no flat deck experience, why am I hiring you? This was all this part here would help me determine, do you have flat deck experience, tanker experience? What experience do you have? And again, the lawyers are going to go through this Much more thoroughly than we were. Exactly. Exactly. So that's, And then even as you go, yeah. And then as you need to go down to the next section, your collisions, your traffic convictions, you know, your, your driver's licenses that you've held in the past, cause maybe you've changed provinces or a state, you know? So it's like, oh yeah. I was in BC for four of those five years and now I've come to Ontario. Okay. Well what was your driver's license number and the information out there, you know, what endorsements did you have? So Perfect. And then look at this. I very seldom. Do I ever see this checked off? Yes or no, but have you ever been denied A license? Correct. You know, drivers hate answering that? Well, They hate answering unless they can check. No. Right. And has any license permit or privilege ever because driving is a privilege let's not Have ever been suspended or revoked. Yeah. Well, you know, you could, you could be well with, with the new laws in place now, stunt driving, distracted driving. Right. Maybe even I didn't get my medical examination submitted to the MTO in time. So all of a sudden I get downgraded, well, Hey guys, that's having your license revoked. So you need to answer the question appropriately and provide an explanation. If you need to just say what happened, you know, even the, you know, in your car, if you've been stopped for drinking and driving, but you were within that tolerance limit where they said, we're just going to suspend you for three days and then you're good to go. That's still needs to be declared. And unfortunately for truck drivers, it may immediately put the application form into the garbage. Yup, exactly. As does a trucking insurance company, want to insure somebody with that type of a violation, a different perhaps depending on company policies, once you're employed in that happens to you. But certainly if it happened within the last three years, I suspect you are not going to be switching companies very soon. Right. All right. Well, and, and the thing is, don't think you can hide it because if the employer does their job properly and cross-references yours, you're a driver abstract with your application. And it says here, oh, he was suspended for beyond the alcohol limit. And it was just a three-day suspension. It's like, well, yeah, it happened in your car, but it's still the point you didn't declare it. So now my question is you falsified on the application and people get a little concerned going, well, if you falsify this, what else have you falsified within this document? Wow. And who wants to hire a liar? Yes, exactly. Cause You know what exactly to your point, what else are they going to lie about? So we've just hit about the 30 minute mark. So we got to wrap this up. Perfect. Do you want to address this one? Because how many times do I see it not signed? Oh God. Yes. You know, this is that. Well, it's perfect. It's just what we talked about. You know, this is saying that everything in here is true. I'm not falsifying anything and everything is correct and accurate to the best of my knowledge, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Well, if you haven't signed it, that's a red flag right away. So I would be thinking the applicant, did he just miss it? Or did he really not want to sign this? So this is where it should create questions and having a conversation with the applicant. Well, and you know, if I go back to, cause you just reminded me of what I think is an important point. Let's say a driver leaves the collision thing. Thanks, Chad. I'll just throw that on there too. But leads the collision or the convictions blank with no indication that he actually answered the question, Right? What happens there, especially with a collision when you question the driver, because you've discovered the collision, The driver Goes, oh yeah, I left it blank because I wanted the happy about it to see if it should be listed. Yeah. Yeah. Well, and so the opposite is also true where I haven't had any collisions. Okay. Then put none. Right. You know, that would be great because then it's like, oh, okay, perfect. He's had no. And then as my cross-reference would prove, oh yeah, there's nothing on any of the abstracts, nothing on the PSP. And his previous employer said, oh no, he's never had a crash. So, but it helps to show a complete process. Yes. And just last things here. Most companies abide by what's written here. The driver abstracts have to be within 30 days of this application. The CVOR abstract if you're Ontario or now Alberta to should be within 30 days. And if you're asking for a criminal record search, the standard is within 90 days, most companies would accept it. You furnish those documents, you sign it and date it. And Bob's your uncle. The application form is completed. Yay. We're we're we're getting ready to talk about, are you a worthy applicant to be hired now? Oh, Lordy Lordy. So a lot of problems with an application form. Yes. Yes. There's lots there. As simple as the document looks, there's lots that needs to be double checked rechecked and make sure there's no gaps in it. Yeah. Johnny, I think that was awesome for the aspiring safety people out there. I think they're gonna find this. Well, I take that back. I know they're going to find this informative for some truck drivers out there. I think they would also find this informative as to the reason why is the application to become a truck driver? So dang long, because honestly I do feel sorry for the truck drivers when they have to complete this document expression. I mean, right now it's pretty easy. The truck driver can pick the company that they want to go to and just complete one application for Lots of opportunities out there. You know, back in my day, I might have to complete three or four application forms to get one job because it wasn't as easy as it is today. Yeah. Well a perfect example, like I know there's a job fair that a, is it coming up or is it just tomorrow? Tomorrow. Okay. So yeah, the big job for you might as a driver go to that job fair and there might be four or five potential opportunities that you like keep in mind, you're going to fill in an application for each one of them. So, you know, so be as truthful as you should be, because it could determine whether you get a job or not. And I mean, lastly resumes are great. They assist you in filling out the application form. Yeah, Exactly. But now you can see by the regulations that the tr the companies should not accept only a resume, right. You need to have, have this all done. So, Hey, great show John permission, you all the best next week, you're doing your motorcycle driving. Hey. Yup. And we'll be outgoing from, Well, no, didn't you get a Harley Harley. What did you Kinda sounds like that? Yeah. Okay. Well, you didn't get any ways that we won't go there. All right, John. So that is the trucking risk and insurance podcast for this week where we are continuing our series of a driver driver files, truck driver files is the series. And today's episode was talking about the application for a stay with us. I believe we've got a guest for next week, but after that, we will be continuing with the truck driver application series. So thanks for joining us, John Farquhar, and I wish you all the best.