Drivers' Corner - DAC Stop
The Recession and Dealing With it as a Driver
I first began working in the commercial driver screening and employment industry in the mid-1980s and
have been through a few business cycles. The recession we are in feels different than previous cycles.
For one thing, some are doing better than ever and some haven't had this bad a time in decades.
In late 2008, when things headed south, the Department of Transportation had one employee earning
more than $170,000 per year. Eighteen months later there were 1690 making over $170,000. And not to
pick on the Department of Transportation, during the same period when over seven million Americans
lost their jobs, the number of federal employees earning $100,000 or more went up from 14% to 19%-
-that is before overtime pay and bonuses are counted. So, about one of every 5 federal employees is
making better than $100,000 per year.
Did you throw the magazine across the truck or are you still with me? It's not just that public employees
are doing well and private employees are all doing badly. In my business I talk with a many drivers who
are doing very well and some who have shot their driving career in the foot. I hear a lot of advice about
what drivers should not do or what behaviors to avoid. In talking and working with drivers who are
doing well, they all seem to do some common things.
-They don't have a current job, they have a career. Their current job may not be the one they
want-but they understand future employment depends on their track record. They are choosy
in picking companies. If the company does not have a strong safety effort, they understand with
CSA that they will be affected.
-If they get a ticket, they challenge it. Tickets are a little like concrete-you can often work with it
before it sets-but once set, it's really hard to work with. If you get a ticket, don't wait until it is
-If they're not happy with their current employer, they do not do anything rash or half-cocked,
but prepare. Sometimes opportunity knocks and if you're not prepared, someone else answers
the door first. The drivers I talk with making some bucks have a file with their employment
history listed and a copy of their MVR from the past year. They know what's on their DAC Report
and PSP report and have disputed/corrected any information before it bit them. Some of the
drivers use DOTJobHistory.com, some of them have printed the information and put it in a file-
but they can get to it when they need it.
-They have a plan and their plan may be to stay with the company they're at-but move into a
preferred route, pay scale or other position. Some of the drivers I talk with have been with a
company for 5 or more years and when they have that kind of longevity with a single company,
they have many employment choices with other companies-but have decided to work within
the company rather than leave for the unknown.
If you are one of those who is not doing so great in this recession, it's time to prepare. There are some
good jobs out there.
Derek Hinton is the CEO of TIES, LLC, better known as http://www.dotjobhistory.com/. DOTJobHistory allows drivers to obtain and verify their employment (DAC), driving and criminal records. They may then make this information available over the web to employers who can access the information instantly.
Derek has over 20 years experience in the areas of employment screening, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and Motor Carrier Safety regulations. He began his career at DAC Services in 1984 and is the author of The Criminal Records Manual, a book that details criminal records in the hiring process.
Contact information for Derek can be found at http://www.dotjobhistory.com/