Trucking Risk and Insurance Podcast

References, Truck Driver Files (DQ Files)

June 03, 2022 John Farquhar & Chris Harris Season 2 Episode 31
Trucking Risk and Insurance Podcast
References, Truck Driver Files (DQ Files)
Show Notes Transcript

Video #3, Truck Driver Files. 

We are discussing the references for truck drivers.

Contact John for your CV PAM

John Farquhar
Summit Risk Solutions:
1 226 802-2762

Chris Harris
Safety Dawg Inc:
1 905 973 7056

Hey, how are y'all doing today? Glad to see you're back here to visit with my cohost, Chris and myself, John Farquhar here on the trucking risk and insurance podcast, where we talk about everything trucking, trucking risk and Truckee insurance. And today we're going to carry on with our series of the driver qualification file. You'll probably remember a couple episodes back where we started talking about what you need to have in that driver qualification file. Well, today we're going to talk about references and I'm here to have a good chat with the DAWG references References. Well, and the common errors that we see in references and maybe a tipper too. Yep. Exact cause John, what's one of the biggest things that people in the safety department complain about. Lack of information for references, you know, like maybe a phone number or an email or even a name, you know, might have the company name, but I don't have a contact name. Well that, and the other thing I get all the time is, Hey, I emailed these people and I don't get a response. Yes, Yes. So I think Johnny and I will come up with a couple of tips for you, how to increase your response rate on reference checks. Yep. Sorry. I think that's what we're talking about. Hey, so yep. References. What, John, let me ask why are references so GD important? Well, we need to get a little bit of background history on this new employee owner operator, driver worker, whatever be. So it, we need a little history. We, we gotta find out what your past is like before we go hiring you on here. Cause as they say, you know, we don't want to bring in any bad people. We want to bring in good people. So we need to have a better understanding of, of what you've done in the past. And John, do I have to do references when I'm hiring, you mentioned an owner operator, or if I'm hiring a driver Inc fella or girl, do I have to do references for them? They're self-employed Well, unfortunately yes we do. Because it's the regulations basically apply to anybody that you're going to hire to fill in, in this case, a driver's role doesn't matter, the type or class of driver, it's still a driver or a worker. We need to get that information. And I just thought, I'd pull this one up here. This is w I'll go over here pointing this way. This is, this is the perfect list. This, this is what really helps us to kind of go here's here's a checklist to go with, you know, what, what, what better thing to have at your disposal then? What information do we need to gather? And the reason I threw it up there, if the, our viewers are wondering, what order are they going in? Well, this is the order. And you know, we did the application already. Oh, this isn't the order. Look at, we skip drug testing. We'll talk about that maybe in later, but the three years of references completed. So just wanted to throw that up there. And of course there is a copy of that. If you want it in the show notes down below, get my finger down below, click the link, you know, in, yeah. It costs you a whole email address, which you can unsubscribe to, you know? Wow. Easy, easy beat you get, you get, you get to talk to the DAWG. So anyway, cool. You know, just to give a shout out, Johnny, you know, I collect email addresses, right? I think everybody does nowadays. It's not an unusual practice on my iPhone there. I have a program called bones, bone journal, I think is how you say it and what it is. It's a very quick video. I think the videos have to be under a minute, but I've got it set up now where if somebody subscribes to certain things on my list, I get notified and I make a quick one less than a minute video just to say, Hey, welcome. And, and you know, if I was sending one to you, I'd say, Hey, welcome Johnny. Cause it's, it's only going to you. Cool. Anyways, just having fun with a new program. I might just, I just might go on there and subscribe. See if I can get that one minute video from the DOE. I would send you a video. John had a nightmare last night. He was telling me about this before, before we decided to record. All right. So just very quickly, Johnny, because this has nothing to do with references, but what was your, We should have been, we should have had our references done before this happened. So yeah, so I was telling Chris earlier, I had this dream and God knows why I had this dream or where it came from. But anyway, picture this let's set the tone. It's a late model, late, late eighties, early nineties, a w 900 Kenworth, conventional single bunk, one stack, two pair of west ghost mirrors, old paint, job, rusty wheels, and a single bunk. Okay. Got that picture. And, and then inside you look inside and there's only one seat. That's the driver's seat. There's no seat in the passenger side. And Chris and I are running team to Nebraska and I'm trying to figure out what the hell. Yeah. On a spring ride suspension. So don't ask me why we were running to Nebraska as a team and I'm sitting on a bucket because he's driving I'm on a bucket and I'm, I just, I woke up from that and it just went, what the heck happened here? I got a question for it. Did you at least have a seatbelt? I don't remember any seatbelt involved at any point in the game. Yeah. Cause I, I, I remember I was standing because I couldn't sit on a bucket. My butt was so sore, so I don't even know what we were hauling and I don't even know why we were headed to Nebraska. So I don't even know how you even got in my dream. That was the funny part. I don't Know. That's what it was Like that, so for instance, all right, everybody needs a reference. Okay. So if you had done your references for your company, you would never have hired me. So Exactly. How, what information are we looking for on a reference check for me that you talk for a minute and let me see if I can find my reference check full. Perfect. Perfect. So reference, reference farm is, is basically the previous employee or right. And we're looking to go back. We were looking for 10 years of history, but we need to get references on the most current three. So what we're looking for is we're looking for the company name, the employer you were previously worked for a contact name, who is it that we were in contact, maybe the supervisor safety manager, whoever be right, a phone number so that we can contact them an email address so we could email them. And even what would be helpful is a, a website, you know, to kind of help in that communication process. And then what we want to know is we want to know what were the dates the month and year that you started working there and when you left that employment. So making sure that we go back over a period of three years, so, and that'll give us some information so that we can reach out to that individual, that previous employer to ask a few questions and go, Hey, how was this guy? Yeah. He seems to have a great attitude. Great personality. Can you tell me a bit about them? Would you rehire this person? Did you have any issues with this person? Did you, you know, any crashes, violations, damage that they did any issues with customers or anything along that line? So, so it gives us opportunity to get that. And then as, as the new employer, we've got to make sure we document this process and document this information we're getting. And so let me just, oops. I was going to do that. Yeah. You got to love when we record live. Oh Yeah. Technology's going back. Maybe I'll edit this out and maybe I won't, but this, I better edit part of this Oak because it's got one of my clients' names on here. Oh, you can't see it yet. So that's okay. That's right. Yep. Yep. So, Oh, damn. I just downloaded this from the cloud. K drive. See, I get I, yes. We're going to have to edit this part out here. So problem Drivers. There we go. Driver's safety history check. Was that references or is this 14 day log form a reference for employment history? What the fuck? Oh, this is a Canadian carrier. Personal references. Okay. Yeah, this is, it took me, took me forever. I had to play with it in a while. Good. Damn. Okay. Let me go through that. And then we can carry on as if we didn't do all this. Yeah. Flip, flip, flip that up and we can carry on with it There. Now maybe I could make that a little bit larger. Yup. But there you go. There's where we're going to have our collect the information for our driver Preferences. That larger. Okay. Marwell. Hey, I know those guys. Yeah. We used to insure them at the guarantee. They mentioned you actually Good guy. He's No, he's terrible. That's the sad part. Nice guy. Real nice guy. Nice little operation. Nice equipment. So, but say This kind of like that. There we go. And then I can cut it at the bottom or one of us can move over there. I was just going to say, Hey, so get rid of that. There, There you go. That works. So we can come over here and be a little closer. Ooh, I like that. There we go. Cuddly. I'm feeling the fuzzy parts now. Cool. Awesome. Let me go back to here and we can say, Hey Johnny, let me show you a common form that many people use. Perfect. Right? And Here we go. Look at this, that way. Something like that. I don't know. It's up there. It's up there. That's right. Everybody else can see it. Yes. Yes. As long as they can see it. So this is a form that is commonly used to do the references, pretty standard, generic little thing. However, one of my common areas that I see all the time is a lack of a driver signature on this form. So, or the applicant's signature is what I should say. And of course, with privacy issues nowadays, that's a huge problem. It is going to say that drivers, that driver's signature is consent, right? Yeah. And I mean, whether you're trying to get a reference or if you are giving a reference because somebody else has asked you for a reference, don't ever answer it. If you don't have that driver's consent. Right. Or that signature on there, please, you know, and the other thing I'd like to mention at this point is this form, by the way, the U S the federal motor carrier safety administration says, you have to keep a record of all references that you give. And many employers don't understand that. So you've got to actually write down what it is that you said about the person and record it and keep it on file. Yep. And one of the other problems that I see a lot is of motor carriers afraid to give references because they go privacy. I can't disclose that because it's private. No, I'm sorry. That's not the case. You have privacy requirements under PIPEDA Canada law, but you have a consent form from that new potential employee that that employer or previous employer is required to release that information. That's why they have that. So there is no privacy from you stopping of giving that information. It's very important. You do. And if I'm not mistaken, the FMC essay also has a section in place that says you, if you're a U S a, if you have us operating authority, you can be fined by the USDA for not releasing previous employment information. So, because you're not helping the motor carrier industry here by, you know, not talking about the guy that was not good. Exactly. And John, I always tell my clients, there's four things, four, where's my farmer. They're right there. Four things that you should say, and you can say them with absolute confidence. So the first one is length of employment or dates of employment. You know, he started at this day and she quit on this day. That's the first thing. So employment dates a function. This is really important. Were they a tractor trailer, drivers, straight truck driver, forklift driver, like what function that they do. And then I also say to include all references to tickets and accidents. Yep. So those four items, if you included those, there are factual. Yes, Exactly. It's my non lawyer opinion that we can never get in trouble reporting facts, Right? You're not giving an opinion you're giving what is the actual truth based on that interaction with that driver. And, and more than likely as that previous employer, you have that information documented anyway, you would have their tickets documented their access, documented the service period that they were there and what they did, what training they went through and stuff like that. So, you know, the classification of their license and what they did. So just include the function, the dates and tickets and accidents. I like to issue employment letters when somebody says, Hey, I quit in the exit interview. I will. I encourage my clients to give them a letter on company letterhead that says those four items. Sure. And then when somebody phones you or does a reference checks, certainly shouldn't phone you because you need it in writing with permission, but they should only be asking, Hey, I got I'm in possession of this letter that appears to be signed by you, Chris, did you really issue it to John Farquhar? And did he really work for you and just confirm the information? Sure, sure. Makes doing the reference so easy. Now, Now I got to document It all. So you've got two things. You've got the permission, the sign, a release form. And you've got a letter signed by me in this case saying, Hey, John was a good driver. Didn't have any tickets and accidents and I'm not answering any opinion-based right. Questions. Right. Exactly. Exactly. Darn it. I hate that one. How did they get along with this? Yeah, yeah, exactly. You know what? That, that's going to be so different from one company to another company, to another company because of the attitude of everybody and personalities of everybody. There could have been a clash there that you don't want to hold against that person, because maybe they don't have that clash at your employment. You know, maybe things went well. So, or maybe it's just the attitude of the driver that you're looking to hire. And I'm thinking you're going to pick that up during the interview process anyway. So, but what's one area that I, not a lot of people, but I see some people miss Chris, when you're looking at timelines of one reference to another to another, there's something in between there that some people miss, what would you say it is? You might be talking, I'm hoping you're referring to employment gaps. Yes, exactly. That's what I'm referring to. Yes. All right. Yeah. And you can't, you can't allow an employment gap to be on the application form. So make sure that as when you're doing the interview that you inquire, Hey, there's eight weeks missing. What happened? Well, we know that here in Ontario, Southern Ontario, especially, and probably in BC, in Calgary, we have many people that are as truck drivers. We have many applicants that aren't born here, Canadians, and often when they go back home it because it's so, gosh, darn expensive to fly back home. They go for extended periods often for six, eight weeks, 12 weeks. So you've got to win in inquire is the word, and then make a note on the application for them as to what happened during this app. Yeah. Well, and, and as a driver, who's applying, don't be afraid to put in there that time period. And you know, so instead of putting an employer's name, you could simply put, Hey, went back home for vacation, gone from this period to this period that would explain the gap right away. And that will help appease any questions that may get posed because you didn't devolves that information. So very, very important. So now with that same gap, one thing I want to caution, a lot of people on is when you're hiring say a fairly new driver and say your standards are, oh, I don't know. Let's say you say, got to have a minimum two years experience or one year experience, maybe in order to work for our company. Well, if you're looking at an application form and he's had his license for over a year, but he's not driven for a year and I keep saying he, but it could be a he or her. You know, maybe that person is not as only driven for nine months, because three months out of that period, they went back home. Well, I'm sorry, that's not 12 months experience. That's not a year experience. And one of the downfalls that we see is we get a lot of drivers who will actually go back home during the winter months, because it's better weather back at back home to see family. And they miss out on the winter driving, Hey, smart people don't get me wrong. Smart people. You don't want to drive in Canada, no weather. But that part is then they come back and they'll work for a company. And then maybe the next year they don't go home. So I could have been driving for two, three years, but I've never driven in a winter. And now this is my first winter. The motor carrier needs to be aware of this and should do some extra training with that driver. Some mentoring, maybe some one-on-one in winter environment. Yeah. It's just huge because I mean many drivers, I mean, frankly, do you like driving in winter? So, And I don't like winter anymore. I wish I could move out of this country during the winter time. And I love Canada, but my gosh. So I don't blame anybody if they can escape and go to a warmer climate for a period of time, but you're right. They've got to do the investigation. Yes. I just want to bring up that a couple of points. W w some of the things that I do to encourage responses on references. So first of all, is there a rule about how many times you have to inquire if you're not getting a response from a previous employer, is there a rule anywhere that says how many times you actually have to inquire? Yes, there is not, you know, there's no rule Yeah. I think the concept is, you know, to put out a concerted effort to try and get that information and documenting that each time, you know, whether it be, if I send an email or a fax, or if I tried to call document each time that you tried, you know, print off the fax machine, the confirmation of the fax that was sent for email, What the heck is the fax machine? I don't have one anymore, but I used to have one years ago. And I'll tell you what, I don't know that I could even operate one today. I think it went by the wayside with the model T Sorry, I, and I'm just looking over here to see if I can find the section that actually says, sorry, I'm looking at the FMC essay of the regulation, by the way, for our listeners and our viewers, this is regulation 3 91 0.23, and the Canadian provinces and jurisdictions look at this as a best practice. If you cross the border, you've got to follow this regulation 3 91 0.23. But if you aren't the insurance industry, MTO, DLT, everybody else says, Hey, this is a best practice to do this. So there is no specific number of attempts that you have to do. I often hear three is the number Same here. Yes. I was going to say, you know, I think, cause you know, there, a lot of things happen in three. So if we have three good attempts, that's, that's going to give you some due diligence. Yeah. And I believe the, the wording in the FMC is, is, is something to the effect of reasonable attempt. I can't see it right here, but you gotta make reasonable attempt attempt. And it's my opinion that, well, that I had an argument with a safety guy one day, Johnny, he said one was reasonable. Okay. I'm in agreement with you that I kinda think one isn't reasonable. And, but, and I lost a client over that because I didn't want to work for that client because they agreed with their safety person, which is fair. But I said, no, that's not. In my opinion, reasonable. We don't have the same ethics that are for just doesn't work. But so often three, I say five. Sure. Okay. And the reason why I say five is often nowadays we're using email. So I got one email and then I follow that email up with a phone call that I document and then another email. So two emails and then another phone call and then a third and last email. That's actually five attempts. Yep. That's pretty good. That's almost going overboard, which is excellent. There's nothing wrong with that. Well, the more, the better. Yeah. And I mean, you make the note somewhere saying, Hey, I phoned John Farquhar at this time and left a message on his voicemail. Yep, Exactly. Right. Yep. And then the second phone call, Hey, I spoke to John and John promised me he would complete the reference check date and time and all of these initial, these notes. So that in court you could verify them. But one of the things I wanted to throw out at you is how to increase response rates. All right. And show Up on their door with a big stick. It does say in regulation 3 91 0.23 that a carrier, a DLT carrier. So anybody with a DLT number has to respond to these reference inquiries. And again, you can tell to our listeners and viewers that Johnny and I don't rehearse these things. John, do you know how many days a carrier has to respond? If I'm not mistaken? I think it's 30. Yes. Yeah. You actually have 30 days to respond, but it's like, gosh, darn it. That's way too long when you're trying to hire somebody. Exactly. Because that driver is not going to wait. He's going to cross the street in 30 minutes. Yeah. So I mean, do try to get them, you know, if you are answering a reference check, be quick, help your fellows out. I mean, the drivers not working for you anyways, get that piece of paper off of your desk and respond. Here's a, here's a good time to implement the golden rule. Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you. You're trying to hire a driver. You'd like those references, check those reference checks to come back as quick as possible. Do yourself a favor just as you said, your, your industry buddies and get the references back to them, you know, like karma will come back and bite you in the butt. So, Well, I used to, one of the things I used to do when I was a recruiter and truck world just ended a few weeks ago when I was on in the event, like a truck world, I would walk around and meet the other recruiters and introduce myself as a recruiter. And that way, that was one way to increase response rates. Because now you're emailing a friend that does that. But one thing I did want to say about increasing response rates, it does say in 3 91 0.23, that you've got to respond. So what I always do on the second email is I include a link to the section 3 91, 2, 3. And I say, Hey, by the way, you know, according to 3 91 0.23, I do expect a, a, a timely is how I word it, timely response. And then on the third attempt, if I have to go to three, then a highlight it and I put it in bold. And I actually cut and paste this section that says prospective employers should report failures of previous employers to respond to an investigation to the F M C S a and use the complaint procedures. And it goes on a little bit longer, but I cut and paste that onto the reference check to say, Hey, if you don't do this, I follow the rules and I'm going to have to report you to CSA and exactly. Does it get anything to, oh, and by the way, I do report them. So, and the reason I report them as not to be a, a pain in the ass, which it is, but can you imagine if that carrier, head anything that would've changed my mind about hiring this driver? Yes, didn't get it. This driver goes out and kills somebody now. And had I had that information, I would never have hired the driver. Well, I want to say that I followed the letter of the law and the blame goes to the previous employer, not to me because had they responded and followed the rules. I would never acquire this guy. Talk about neglect. Wow. That'll come up in court. I'm sure the judge would just love to have that previous carrier on, on the stand to kind of go, why did you not share that information, Mr. Motor carrier? Yeah. And you know, quite honestly, a lot of motor carriers would say, well, you know, I knew he couldn't get a job and it was just trying to <inaudible>. Yeah. Unfortunately he's killed three people and you know, now, now we have another bigger problem other than him not getting a job. So yeah, Just huge. Anyway, is that that's a tip. So that is regulation 3 91 0.23 specifically, section three of that regulation is where that prospective employers should report failures. That's the section there. I think it would be great to put that link in the show notes down below. Well, maybe I should. I think that's awesome. Look at that. Awesome Dude. Disturb is on reminder. Popped up. Yep. All right. What else? Anything else we gotta talk about when it comes to references and then of course doing them? Yeah. I, I think the big thing is just that exactly. You know, get the references, review each reference, you know, and then again, making sure you have 10 years history, particularly for those drivers that are operating in and out of the U S we need to obtain years' history, but we need to verify the, the most current three, which is where the references come into play. Right. And just kind of tied into that is your FMC is a required accident register, which also, so you're required to have a list of all your crashes, according to the federal, federal motor carrier for three years, we'll quit suddenly it's three years of history driver references, and three years on the crash. You see where I'm going. Exactly. Exactly. I get carriers. Tell me all, I keep crashes for two years. Hmm. Hmm. Wow. Interesting. Why, why don't we just keep crashes? And definitely like, if you're, you know, you should be monitoring and trending and whatnot, that's for a different subject and conversation, but nonetheless, you know, why, why would we stop it two? We should be looking at everything because there's possibly history there that could tell us an opportunity to prevent a future crime. Yeah. I think that's awesome. I think that's cool. One thing I'd like to say to our viewers or listeners, if any of the topics that we have brought up on any of the podcasts, for instance, I mentioned the crash register. Well, if you want a copy of one, reach out to John or I, because I've got one, I know John's got one we're here to share. Yep, exactly. Yeah. I was going to say the CV, Pam went over well, we had some conversations I had, we had a couple of people, a few people actually reach out for a copy of the CV, Pam. So that was great. So it's all about what can we do to help you? And jeez, you know what? We're not even charging anything for it. We're giving it away for free. So You just used an acronym that not everyone might be familiar with. Pam CB. Pam has commercial vehicle preventable accident manual was developed by the USDA back in the early nineties. And it's an awesome tool. It still works today. Yeah. So reach out to that. One's a Johnny. He's got that. I mean, John shared it with me and I think it's a great tool, but that one is a Johnny thing where there was an episode, John Go back and check them out. It was really good. And if I can find it, I'll put it in the link. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe it will be up here or up here. Who knows? Yeah. So it'll actually be above Johnny's head the links go. Alrighty with that, John. Thanks. References. Awesome partner, cohost DAWG References. This episode is now complete. If you need any help, reach out to John or I, we would be out. We would just be ecstatic to answer your questions and to give you any assistance. So our contact info is in the show notes down below. Awesome. Thanks Johnny. Perfect. Chris, have a great weekend and Hey everybody make sure you like subscribe and hit that little bell icon. Let you know when we're coming back on again, every Friday.