Truckers have a tough go of it – they work long hours, and are often pushed well beyond their sleep limits by the owners of large trucking companies. They have a reputation of being a rough bunch and are no strangers to the dangers of the road. You’d think the job is pretty simple in the sense that the sole task is to deliver and unload, then head to the home base for more. You’d be surprised at just how much can go wrong during this process.
Truckers have done some pretty crazy things while on-shift; some of them being fireable offenses. While we can definitely see how some mistakes are clearly punishable, there are several stories of truckers that were fired for reasons that just didn’t quite make sense. Let’s take a look at 18 dumb reasons truck drivers lost their jobs….
18 Refusing To Drive In Dangerous Weather
In July of this year, Kentucky – based trucking company was under fire for firing a trucker that refused to drive through dangerous weather conditions. He was awarded $200,000, according to a court ruling, reported by Overdrive News. While we all understand that business is business and the job has to get done, it should never come at the risk of someone’s safety. We hope the trucking company learned their lesson.
17 Riding With Jesus
In 2015, Ramiro Olivarez had to fill out his driving log, as per the usual routine. In the little spot that asks him to identify any co-drivers he may have, he filled in the words “with Jesus”. While he claims he was stating his religious belief, the company took this to be a case of falsifying a legal document. He lost his job as a result of this, and we’re wondering if he thought this was really worth it.
16 Only Unloading Half The Truck
It’s pretty easy to not get fired – just do your job! There’s an entire website called “You’re Fired” that documents some really dumb things people have done to get canned. They reported on a driver named Z, who unloaded half his load then went home. So…yeah – the other half was still in the truck, yet he decided to tap out. Refusal to work led to termination in this weird case.
15 Abandoning The Truck
Sometimes it’s more like self-termination, than actual firing. This was one of those times….A trucker was driving with a full load and just suddenly decided he was over it. He abandoned the truck on the side of the road in Gas City, Indiana, and even left the key in an obvious place. So obvious, in fact, that the drivers from Swift were able to locate it within seconds when they were called to assist.
14 Rights Violation
The case of Alphonse Maddin was a disturbing one. His truck broke down in the middle of a blizzard, and after several failed calls for help, and a very long freezing cold few hours, he started exhibiting signs of hypothermia. Barely able to maintain normal body function in the freezing cold, he finally had to leave the roadside and seek warmth. Kansas-based company Trans Am fired him despite the dire circumstances. The courts ended up setting them straight.
13 The Puddle Splasher
Sandy Hill, Ottawa is where we find our next dumb-truck firing story. A Black and McDonald driver was spotted swerving close to the curb and into puddles – on purpose, splashing pedestrians in a very intentional manner. CTV News blasted the story, and of course, he lost his job. What an inconsiderate thing to do. We know “don’t splash people with puddles” isn’t published in a rule book anywhere, but we’d hope common sense would prevail on this one.
12 Swearing At The Boss
A trucker in Australia was fired for swearing at his boss during a heated conversation on the phone. The Financial Review reported on this story in February of 2015, and interestingly enough, that’s not a fireable offense. Aussie Waste Management lost the court case, with a judge citing that this was a disciplinary offense, and should have been handled as one.
11 Road Rage
Road rage is a real and present danger, and road rage incidents are definitely on the rise. Just ask the driver that worked for Earthtech in Australia. He got into a heated exchange with some cyclists in March of this year, and the Mirror reports that he jumped out of his truck and escalated the matter by confronting them. It’s safe to say that threatening to punch them in the face and yelling profanities was the main cause of his firing.
10 Refusing To Drive The Overloaded Truck
It’s pretty dumb when the trucker has more concern for safety than the trucking agency does. In August of 2016, a trucker that worked for Neier refused to drive his truck as it was overloaded and unsafe. After being fired for this noble and respectable gesture, he was then awarded $200k by the carrier, as part of a court ruling. It’s sad to see the driver was more responsible than the company he worked for, and we’re glad it ended well for this guy!
9 Speeding In Their Own Car
This is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever heard. A trucker was fired from Werner Enterprises in 2018 and the reason for it…well…..he was caught speeding – in his own car! If we’re wondering how that correlates to his trucking job, we are wondering the same thing. If we all got fired from our jobs due to things we did on our own time, nobody would ever be employed.
8 Refusing To Succumb To Testing
Failing to participate in a sleep study ended up costing Robert J. Parker his job. This driver for Crete Carrier Corp. refused to attend a mandatory sleep study, citing that he didn’t feel it was the company’s right to test him to see if he had a sleep apnea. Apparently, the court disagreed, and he not only lost his job, but he lost the case, too.
7 Denying The Service Dog
What do you do when you suffer from PTSD, and require assistance from your chocolate lab service dog? We can tell you what not to do – don’t work for Jade Transport in Winnipeg. Apparently they’re not ok with this. Lucinda Brummit was fired due to the fact that she failed to inform the company about her desire to have the dog in the truck, and they cited issues with safety and sanitation as part of their reasons for her dismissal.
6 The Good Samaritan
Long-haul driver Tim McCrory was fired for being a good Samaritan. You heard that right. This Florida driver gave away his load of plywood to those in need just before Hurricane Irma struck. His truck was loaded with 960 pieces of plywood, intended to be delivered to a Home Depot. When he blew a tire on his truck, he ended up missing the store’s closing time, and ended up handing the wood to those in need. While this was a great humanitarian effort – someone has to pay for that lumber, at the end of the day…
5 Serial Crasher
A driver named Larry was involved in 3 minor collisions within a relatively short time frame. Despite that there were no injuries, citations, or points involved, this bad luck streak ended up costing him his job. It wasn’t clear as to whether the collisions were in his own vehicle or if they took place in the company’s truck, but either way, it doesn’t seem like he’s a safe driver and this firing may have been the lesser of two evils.
4 Being Too Early
We’ve all heard of being let go from a job due to being late. The opposite was true for Brett Aquila. After 5 years of employment with his trucking company, he was picking up a load from a customer in Dallas TX, and this proved to be his last day on the job. After a breakdown in communication, Brett arrived 30 minutes early, and decided to wait for the client to be ready. Sadly, the communication that wasn’t relayed properly was the instruction to NOT arrive early. This is a really dumb reason to lose a job he was being responsible and the communication flaw was not his error.
3 Taking Time For The Ladies
It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway. It’s not a good idea to take part in …errr….. "extracurricular activities” while driving a truck. Thugbible reports of a man and his “lady friend” who were engaged in some X-rated activities while the truck was in motion, on work-time. Not only is this dangerous, it’s also illegal anywhere you go. Get a room folks, or at the very least – swing by the truck stop!
2 Padding The Weight
Padding the weight of your truck is not only a bad idea – it’s one that will ultimately cost you your job. In Milton, Ontario, a trucker was caught shoveling snow onto his garbage truck, which is a huge no-no. Not only did he not get away with this stunt, but he actually lost his job as a result of it. This has to be one of the most ridiculous ways to lose a job that we’ve ever heard. Not a smart move, buddy!
1 Shredding Under The Bridge
This is one of the most rookie moves a truck driver can make – underestimating bridge height. The driver of a box truck that hit a bridge in Central New York has learned this the hard way. In December of 2018 he shredded his work truck, belonging to Retail Delivery Service, and was promptly fired 2 hours later. He claimed he was never trained to drive this truck and was just a 5 month-new employee of the company. That job came to a quick, grinding halt!
Sources: CTV News, New York Post, The Guardian, The Globe And Mail