News, Interviews, and Happenings From The Trucking World
ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for
Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks
Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings
Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels
Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business
Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise
Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need
Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border
Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules
Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates
Don't get scammed by skimmers
Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking
Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers
Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy
Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap
Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising
FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website
Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award
The hidden danger of looking but not seeing
Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout
Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire
Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases
Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness
Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports
New tax changes hit drivers hard
FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military
Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use
Congress committee looks at state of America's highways
Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same
Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks
Detention - A problem still in search of a solution
February Highway Angels honorees named
Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets
Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage?
Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage
Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team
Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards
Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers
LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30
2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry
Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018
TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award
TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year
Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup
Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks
Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017
Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way
Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road
Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach
Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal
Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice
The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers
The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017
We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better
Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon
New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018
Note: This is a guest article written by Anna Jankowska, a Chicago-based mental health counselor certified in substance abuse as a CADC Counselor, Employee Assistance Program (CEAP) and DOT-SAP. You will find more information for contacting Anna at the end of the article.
With the dawning of a new year come not only resolutions but new laws and regulations. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance has announced that the DOT's drug testing program will require testing for four semi-synthetic opioids beginning Jan. 1.
Testing For New Drugs
The semi-synthetic opioids being added to the panel include hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone and oxymorphone. These drugs are commonly known by such names as OxyContin and Percocet. Employees will no longer be tested for MDEA as a result of the change, which was published in the Federal Register.
Department of Transportation officials believe that the ability to test for a broader range of opioids will improve not only transportation safety on the roads, rails, water and in the sky but deter opioid abuse.
The four new drugs will be added to the current DOT drug testing panel that already includes marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, PCP and opiates. Urine drug testing is the only form of testing permitted by the DOT.
It is also mandated that urine specimens can also only be taken and tested at laboratories that have been certified by Health and Human Services. DNA testing may also not be done on the specimen.
The changes impact all DOT agencies and will bring the DOT drug testing panel into alignment with a Department of Health and Human Services panel change that went into effect Oct. 1, 2017. By law, DOT drug testing must mesh with DHHS mandatory guidelines.
The Return To Duty Process
The return-to-duty process includes an evaluation by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), who may require either education, treatment or both. The employer must also get back a negative result from a directly observed return-to-duty drug test before the employee can return to a job that includes safety-sensitive work. Finally, the employee is subject to directly observed follow-up drug testing for a period of one to five years, based on the findings and recommendations of the SAP.
It is also important to note that an MRO can assume that an employee is using drugs illegally and purchasing them off the street if he or she cannot produce a valid prescription. SAPs are likewise prohibited from taking what an employee says about a prescription into account if those claims cannot be verified.
Truck or bus drivers, pilots and mariners whose jobs are regulated by DOT medical standards should remember that their particular agency may require them to report all their prescribed medications to those who okayed their medical qualifications.
Informing Your Doctor About The Nature Of Your Job
Employees in sensitive-safety transportation work should be proactive in making sure that their prescribing doctor understands the work they do. Provide your doctor with details about what you do at work or simply ask your employer for job description that you can give to your physician. This information will help your doctor prescribe the medications that will have the least impact on your ability to perform your job.
Employers are also not required to give blind specimens to a laboratory under the changes. Drug testers are also mandate to discard any urine specimen when the employee does not supply an adequate amount at the end of three hours.
The DOT is not requiring that employers provide education and training to their employees about opioids. In order to help employees become aware of the risks posed by opioids, the National Safety Council is providing Opioids: Warn Me self- stick labels at no charge. The labels can be placed on insurance cards or prescription labels without covering up any important information. These labels also let medical providers know the employee wants to talk about opioid risk and whether there are safer drug options available.
Employees, employers, MROs SAPs and all those impacted by the rule change can read about it in further detail at Part 40 Federal Register, Court Decisions and Legislation.
If you have any questions regarding drug and alcohol testing policy or SAP Evaluations, please contact me.
Article written by Anna Jankowska MA LCPC CADC SAP.
Counseling Center Of Illinois
Private Practice Consulting of Anna Jankowska
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Understanding The Laws