Truck driving is one of those careers that doesn’t just rely on what you do on the job. Your non-working time can have a huge impact on your career, sometimes bringing it to an end altogether. Like bus drivers, taxi drivers, airline pilots and ship captains, your ‘license’ to operate can be affected by a wide variety of activities. Consider some of these, and remember, sometimes it’s the silly things that have the potential for great harm.
Drugs – both illegal, prescribed and over-the-counter. Drugs are a big no-no in the trucking industry, at least when it comes to having a commercial drivers license. If you return a positive to drug testing (and trucking companies are using these more often), are arrested for possession of drugs or drug paraphernalia (syringes etc), or arrested for selling drugs, then you can almost forget your career. Take note – when it comes to drug possession, it doesn’t matter if they were your drugs or belong to someone else – if they are in possession and you are convicted, then you wear the results. For prescription and over-the-counter drugs, be sure to follow the recommendations when it comes to driving or operating machinery.
Alcohol – the laws relating to alcohol are far more relaxed. You can have the occasional drink, however, you do need to be aware of alcohol’s lasting quality. You can have several drinks tonight and still record a positive over-the-limit test tomorrow morning – many party goers have been caught out on their way to work after a late night party. If you know you are scheduled to leave at a certain time, abstain from alcohol for at least twenty four hours prior to starting.
Road laws – breaching road laws may result in the suspension of your commercial drivers license.
Criminal acts – criminal acts, even as minor as shoplifting, may create a record that prevents you from entering some workplaces. Acts of violence can result in problems with endorsements such as your HazMat endorsement.
As truck drivers, you need to be cautious in all areas of your life. You can lose your commercial drivers license for actions that occur away from your truck. As a truck driver, you need the cleanest record possible, and that means paying attention to those areas in your private life as well as your working life.