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Whack–a– Gopher Tactics for Getting a Driving Job

I have helped several drivers recently and the situation they have been in has reminded me of the old “Whack-a-Gopher” arcade game.

For you youngsters, T.Vs used to be something you watched shows on, calculators were the computers you knew about and to play a video game, you went to an arcade, pizza parlor or bowling alley. The “whack-a-gopher” game was one in which you had a padded mallet and in front of you, a plastic gopher would pop his head up for a second, then drop and another gopher would randomly pop up for a second. Your goal was to give the gopher a good satisfying whack.

That’s kind of amusing as you wait for a pizza. Doing that kind of thing with your employment, driving, criminal and other information when you’re trying to get a job is not. And to add to the difficulty, there’s a whole new gopher in town—the Commercial Driver Pre-Employment Screening Report (PSP).

One recent driver had been putting in applications and hearing nothing in reply. He obtained his “DAC Report” and all the employment history it contained was mostly satisfactory, but he got one minor discrepancy corrected. The DAC report did not have all his employment history and it did not have his driving record (MVR), so he obtained his driving record from the DMV. Sure enough, he had forgotten one minor moving violation from out of state in late 2007. So he began the application process again, this time listing the moving violation in case that was the problem. He still received no response. Finally, we uncovered a past employer that was not on the DAC report that was providing an incorrect date of employment –which had made it look like he was falsifying the employment application. He did get a job, but the process was frustrating—about the time he whacked one problem, another was discovered and it took weeks.

Another driver recently obtained his DAC Report, MVR and other employment history and it looked fine. He applied for a local company and was turned down. In that case the employer had ordered and received a criminal record (again it was not on the DAC Report) and the criminal record reported was on a person with the same name and date of birth---but was not his.

And now, another totally new report is available to employers—the “Pre-Employment Screening Report” (PSP). This information consists of records from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Information System (MCMIS). It contains the most recent 5 years of crash data and 3 years of roadside inspection data from the FMCSA MCMIS system. Many employers will be using this information and it would be wise to see what yours says—and correct any errors before they bite you.

In fact, the point of all this is to try and obtain all your information before you apply instead of having to piecemeal it after the fact. If you register or are already registered with DOTJobHistory (www.DOTJobHistory.com) , we can obtain this information on your behalf, help you correct errors and facilitate providing this information to employers for whom you choose. But even if you want to obtain all the information on yourself, we would recommend you gather, correct and organize the information all at once rather than going through a gopher-whacking exercise.