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Hair Follicle vs. Urinalysis Drug Testing:
Breakdown By Company

Last Updated: Aug 25, 2016
On December 4, 2015, the FAST Act transportation bill was signed into law by President Obama. Among other provisions, it allows for hair follicle drug testing as a DOT-approved method, but not until the Department of Health and Human Services establishes guidelines for testing, which must be completed within a year.

What New Drivers Need To Know About Trucking Companies That Do Hair Follicle Testing:

Currently, hair follicle drug testing cannot be used by trucking companies to satisfy Federal DOT drug testing requirements, but can be used internally as a prerequisite of employment. Results cannot be reported to the DOT as a failed test, nor can they be shared with other companies. A failed hair follicle drug screen CAN and MAY be reported on your DAC report as a failed test, depending on the trucking company's policy.

Detection Time: Hair follicle testing can detect traces of illegal substances from as recently as 10 days to as far back as 90 days (using a typical 1 1/2-inch hair sample) from their use or ingestion, which is the standard length many companies will use. Substances will remain in the hair and detectable until that section of hair is cut off. Technically, a trucking company could test back 30 days for every 1/2-inch of hair, if they wanted to.

Use of hair from elsewhere on the body is normally acceptable if the hair on the head is too short or non-existent. Body hair grows significantly slower than head hair, allowing companies to test for a greater period of time. Some companies are reportedly testing up to 1 full year prior.

A driver who does not have enough hair on their body to be tested may be classified as a "refusal" and denied employment by a particular company. Showing up with a completely hairless body, outside of a medical condition, would generally raise eyebrows and suspicion, anyways.

Companies that use hair follicle testing will still require urinalysis (UA), as well, as hair follice drug testing is not yet allowed to be used by carriers as a substitute for UA testing to satisfy Federal requirements, and pre-employment screening is required by the FMCSA. Trucking companies can, and may, use hair follicle results internally against drivers and potential drivers, but cannot report it to the DOT as a failed test.

Information on trucking companies that are performing hair follicle drug testing is updated on a regular basis, based on information as we get it, and is as accurate as possible. Be advised that the lists of companies that do hair follicle drug testing is based on reports from actual and potential truck drivers, and NOT the trucking companies themselves.

**Please check out the following discussion forum threads:**

DOT Drug Testing: Urinalysis or Hair Follicle?

UA vs. Hair Follicle, Updated list of companies

Trucking Companies That Have Been Reported To Require Hair Follicle Testing:

Trucking Companies That Have Been Reported To Require Urinalysis (UA) Drug Testing Only (and date last updated):


Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).


Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.


Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.


Operating While Intoxicated

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