Profile For Jamal S.

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    1 year, 3 months ago

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Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Drug questions

Yeah that's some nice references you posted there. Be sure to tell everyone else to put that in their appeal when the fail the tests. CDC and the FMCSA are two different entities. Don't forget the CDC wanted everyone vexed and 17 boosters.

I think I'm being taken out of context here.

I was merely stating federal law. Not for drivers or pre-hires or even federal employees, but for regular citizens not employed in an occupation requiring a drug test. You've take things I've said out of context a lot and commented on my posts with condemnation. As a matter of fact, I see a lot of your posts, and you seem like an angry bitter person with too much time on your hands. Makes me think you're sitting at a truck stop somewhere with no loads watching news or one of those toxic political rant jockies.

I'm just waiting to go off to an orientation. After that I probably won't be on here ranting and looking for people new to this job that I talk down to in order to feel better about my own personal inadequacies.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Drug questions

...right at this moment, while people are bickering about drug tests on the internet.. someone is flying the wrong way down I-85 tripping their brains out on the shrooms they found in the cow pasture next to the TA Travel Center in Lake City, FL.

Lucky (or not) for them, their drug of choice won't show up on a hair follicle test.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Drug questions

Try again. You break federal law every time you partake in "it's just weed." THATS where my issue with it stems from. Beyond those of lack of testing time from usage, and quantifying usage.

"CBD Use in the United States In 2018, the U.S. Congress passed and signed into law the Agriculture Improvement Act. This law removed hemp from the federal Controlled Substances Act, effectively legalizing CBD if it comes from hemp.2 However, a few states have not removed hemp from their state’s controlled substances acts, so legality of CBD products differs across states."

Taken from the CDC website. In other words, unless it's banned in the state where it's being used, it's legal on both a federal and state level.

This doesn't mean I'm advocating its use..

Simply stating the law as of 2018.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Drug questions

I think that most people's focus is just trying to pass a test. It needs to be to adopt a lifestyle that doesn't include drugs.

I'd be willing to bet that with at least three quarters of the people out there who fail company drug tests, it's exactly like you say. Unfortunately, for the rest it's a lot more complicated than that.

I can speak for my own experience when it comes to this. The problem has less to do with someone's commitment to lifestyle habits compatible with a skilled trade, and more to do with a lack of reliable information combined with drug testing methods that can trace a person's use of a substance back to well before they even considered a new occupation.

Some of these people may have even held down jobs requiring just as much skill and responsibility but were not subject to random or pre-employment drug tests. It might be hard to imagine if you've worked mainly in a sector of the economy where drug tests are mandatory but in others- even ones of high importance, they aren't.

When you consider this age of medical marijuana and CBD, such persons could have taken something medicinally, as opposed to recreationally, been extremely judicious about its use, and not have even broken any laws.

The worst part is someone may have tried something a few times, decided it wasn't for them, and never touched it again. Or, they may have bought something, as was my case, from a gas station (next to the stackers, energy drinks, and tobacco) but touted by reputable medical professionals across the board as an effective yet benign treatment for a number of common conditions, not realizing it contained an added chemical that WILL show up in a drug test.. and if it's a hair follicle test, that may be long after they completely forgot about it.

Don't get me wrong, people with a "but it's just weed" attitude don't belong in any profession involving heavy machinery- plain and simple. I've worked enough jobs where safety was the no. 1 concern to know. But, should a person be penalized for something they did over a year ago when operating heavy machinery wasn't even on their radar? Because this is sadly the case for a handful of people who fail company hair follicle tests- after they'd committed themselves to adopting lifestyle habits appropriate to the job. Yes, a substance CAN show up over a year after it's use.

For the time being DOT regulation only requires a UA. That's why there are some companies that don't require pre-hire hair follicle tests. However, from a company standpoint it just makes more sense to eliminate anyone who might be that much more of a liability to the company.

Every new hire is a liability until they learn enough of the trade to be an asset. It's in a company's interest to weed out those who would continue to be a liability in the long run. That includes anyone with a "but it's just weed" attitude. They get shown the door and that's it for them. One less deadly fool on the road.

Sadly in this scenario a few people who might have excelled in an industry are done before they even started. All because they did something that might not have even been a problem before they considered a trade like trucking.

They did everything they thought they needed to, committed themselves, and had the right attitude. They waited long enough to make sure they were guaranteed an opportunity, but because they didn't realize they WEREN'T actually in the clear after 90 days, or 6 months, or in some cases a year after they used something, they paid the price of an irresponsible fool.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Any advice on physicals?

On thing I’ve had to do at both companies I’ve driven for is to demonstrate that I could climb in and out of a trailer safely, without a ladder. That is very difficult for me, but I did it successfully, much to the amusement of the younger guys watching. I received no style points, btw.

BK, that's good to know! I'll too see how the younger kids react if I have to do the same. I'm expecting more laughs than style points myself.

Come to think of it, I was in better shape than 70% of my class even though most where half my age.

I think I'll still try to avoid the caffeine and drink plenty of water. I'm 49 (which ain't that old) but I feel like I'm going on 99. My mother says I look like a trucker.. I don't think she means that as an insult though.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Any advice on physicals?

It's just a basic physical. It's possible they may not even require it depending on the date of your other one. Don't count on that though.

Old School, that definitely sets my mind at ease a bit.

I decided I'll probably start with van just to get a feel for how the business works. My main interest was flatbed as it involves more physical activity and some problem solving, which appeals to me. Overall it seems like it might be more rewarding.

I know van will come with its own sets of challenges but is maybe a little less demanding physically and mentally. My thought is I'd focus my attention on the fine details of running freight and see what I'm made of first.

Or do you think going straight into flatbed would be just as good a route for a beginner? Personally I'd like to give them all a try at some point.. I'll probably get my hazmat and tanker endorsements if it all works out. I'm open to the possibilities.. that's why I'm leaning towards van for my rookie year. Either way I know it won't be easy.

BTW, I've been reading some of your diaries. They've been super helpful..

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Any advice on physicals?

Man, I hope I get that kind of doctor!

So it sounds like they do a similar procedure to the physical I had when I got my DOT card. Is there anything extra a company might do for their physical.. like blood work, a stress test, heart monitor, etc? Will they have me lifting anything or look at my spine?

If they do the same basic tests, I probably won't be as worried.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Any advice on physicals?

Okay, very good to know.

..and I'm glad I'm not the only one who worries about them.

The fasting is a really good idea! I'll do something similar and try to avoid caffeine or anything inflammatory.

Sorry about the $100.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Is this right for me?

Check out XPO Logistics. They're one of the biggest LTL companies out there. You can go to their site and see what jobs they have available in your state or area. I'm pretty sure they have schools and will hire people with no experience.

Posted:  1 year, 3 months ago

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Is this right for me?

Taylor, you might consider checking with the community colleges in your state. Some states offer CDL programs and there are usually grants available from the state that would cover the cost of tuition.

I just got my Class A CDL from the community college in my area. It was free, I didn't have to quit my part time job, and the schedule was flexible so getting a CDL didn't interfere with other responsibilities. They also offered training for Class B.

There may be similar options available with private schools in your area but those would require you to pay out of pocket.

PJ is 100% correct- going to an OTR training school is not something you'd want to get yourself into. It would require you to be away from your kids during the duration of the CDL training, they will require you to sign a one year contract in order to offset the cost of schooling, and then you'd be doing OTR for weeks at a time. After signing their contract you're liable for the cost of the school if you decide not to drive for them.

I'm not sure what industries are big in your area, but here in western Virginia and WV, logging and paper production is the mainstay of the economy. For that reason my school had us learn on 10 speed Freightliners and Internationals.

There is no automatic restriction on my CDL which means I can drive a logging truck or carry pulp to the paper mill. This opens up more options for me. Those companies that hire drivers from my school still only use 10 speeds.

Many schools, particularly the OTR schools, will train you on trucks with automatic transmissions, you will test on one of those trucks, and when you get your CDL it will have an automatic restriction which might greatly limit your options if you want to drive local routes.

Just a thought. I think it's doable in your situation but you'll need to do a lot of research. You might also consider doing something that would only require a class B, such as driving a school bus. Often you'll get hired for one of those jobs and the state, municipality, or company will have you trained at no cost to you. Best of luck!

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