Life and Family

Doing Your Job

Why do trucking companies make you explain, in writing, what you were doing in between driving jobs while unemployed?

American trucking regulations require all motor carriers to conduct background checks on perspective employees. As part of those checks, the carriers will want you to explain any gaps in your employment history.

It may seem intrusive, and it is when you get right down to it, but the carriers are subject to certain legal requirements in the hiring of drivers. As well, at the end of the day the carrier’ll come under the gun if an accident occurs and the driver’s experience or employment history comes into question. They’re just trying to protect themselves.

The carriers are obliged to contact your past employers, both trucking and non-trucking. What they tell the carrier is up to them, but your employment history will come under scrutiny. If there’s a gap between driving jobs, or a period of unemployment, it’ll be up to you to explain them. When all is said and done, what you’ve done during that interval is your business, but the carriers will want an explanation.

The alternative, of course, is to forget about your driving career. You don’t have to tell them anything, and the carrier doesn’t have to hire you.

Jim Park