Hair Follicle Testing Question

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Brian C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello, I am currently in the process of finding a paid training program to get my CDL.

I am having a concern about hair follicle testing as it relates to marijuana. I came back from a vacation in California a month ago and enjoyed some recreational marijuana while visiting from out of state. In your experience, will a paid training program hair follicle test you before having you onboarded with the company?

If not, great. If so, how long will marijuana register in a follicle test after having smoked it? Do you think I should wait a few months before I'm in the clear?

Or do they only use urine tests?

Thank you, -Brian

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Jay G.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is a link to a page here on Trucking Truth on a breakdown of which companies do follicle testing. It seems to be quite a majority of them that do it.

The thing about THC and its metabolites, there are too many factors to determine how long it will be traceable for in your body. Hair is said to be 90 days, but could depend on the rate of hair growth, thickness of hair, etc. A common turn around time for urine testing is 30 days, however that really varies as well depending on metabolism, BMI , and honestly no one really knows what, lol. There are a lot of calculators online to give you an estimate. I had a friend who took about 50 days before he could pass a urine test. He wasn't too big of a guy, just smoked a couple times a week.

Honestly it really varies, but 3 months+ if you are looking at a company that does a hair follicle test.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

If you did this then, when Swift did a bunch of us back in December, it was 4 months. But as Jay G. Said it could be different with the BMI and the length of hair. Also the fact that so.e shaved their head and the lady was forced to take hait from other places. So, I would wait at least 3 months before applying to company sponsored training programs. Then you will have a better chance. But it would have been better if you hadn't done it at all. Just remember that if you test positive, you might be out of luck getting on with any of the major companies.

Raptor

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Brian C.'s Comment
member avatar

Here is a link to a page here on Trucking Truth on a breakdown of which companies do follicle testing. It seems to be quite a majority of them that do it.

The thing about THC and its metabolites, there are too many factors to determine how long it will be traceable for in your body. Hair is said to be 90 days, but could depend on the rate of hair growth, thickness of hair, etc. A common turn around time for urine testing is 30 days, however that really varies as well depending on metabolism, BMI , and honestly no one really knows what, lol. There are a lot of calculators online to give you an estimate. I had a friend who took about 50 days before he could pass a urine test. He wasn't too big of a guy, just smoked a couple times a week.

Honestly it really varies, but 3 months+ if you are looking at a company that does a hair follicle test.

Well that really took the wind out of my sail, if I had known my future plans, I would not have smoked marijuana. I guess I'll need to wait a few more months. Thank you for all the information!

If you did this then, when Swift did a bunch of us back in December, it was 4 months. But as Jay G. Said it could be different with the BMI and the length of hair. Also the fact that so.e shaved their head and the lady was forced to take hait from other places. So, I would wait at least 3 months before applying to company sponsored training programs. Then you will have a better chance. But it would have been better if you hadn't done it at all. Just remember that if you test positive, you might be out of luck getting on with any of the major companies.

Raptor

So if I test positive for marijuana with a paid training program through a company or a DOT exam, that will be on the record and available to any future prospecting employers to see?

Thank you -Brian

DOT:

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

A Swift medical examiner told me when I asked that the hair test was for 90 days.

However you look at it, if either test (hair or pee) comes out hot, your career is over. So better to wait a bit and be safe.

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar
So if I test positive for marijuana with a paid training program through a company or a DOT exam, that will be on the record and available to any future prospecting employers to see?

Yes. You will also need to complete a SAP even if you dont have a problem. Even after completion many carriers will reject your application due to a zero tolerance for drugs/alcohol. There is a database that's in the works that will list those who have failed a drug screen for a DOT drug screen. It really is in your best interest to hold off until you know 100% the test will come back clean. Also know that there's a zero tolerance for illegal drugs, and even some legal prescriptions. Even if you partake in activities in a state it's legal, if you get sent for a random and it comes back positive you will likely be terminated immediately.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brian C.'s Comment
member avatar

A Swift medical examiner told me when I asked that the hair test was for 90 days.

However you look at it, if either test (hair or pee) comes out hot, your career is over. So better to wait a bit and be safe.

double-quotes-start.png

So if I test positive for marijuana with a paid training program through a company or a DOT exam, that will be on the record and available to any future prospecting employers to see?

double-quotes-end.png

Yes. You will also need to complete a SAP even if you dont have a problem. Even after completion many carriers will reject your application due to a zero tolerance for drugs/alcohol. There is a database that's in the works that will list those who have failed a drug screen for a DOT drug screen. It really is in your best interest to hold off until you know 100% the test will come back clean. Also know that there's a zero tolerance for illegal drugs, and even some legal prescriptions. Even if you partake in activities in a state it's legal, if you get sent for a random and it comes back positive you will likely be terminated immediately.

Well, given the implications that will follow if I fail a follicle test, which will basically end my career before even starting it, I'll need to wait this one out, perhaps even wait 120 days just to be extra safe.

The only other option would be to find a paid training program with a company that does not follicle test, but that still has risk involved considering no company policy is set in stone and subject to change.

Thank you to everyone who responded, I really appreciate your input!

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

DOT:

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Big Scott (CFI's biggest 's Comment
member avatar

Just wait it out. CFI tests you before training. Any failed drug test will seriously harm your trucking career.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

Best advice is wait 30 days for it to show in your hair, then cut your hair very short. It takes a while to show up, as your hair grows slowly.

Then wait 90 days. You will need 1 to 1 1/2” of hair to test.

Then never smoke again, because you will get caught.

ChrisEMT's Comment
member avatar

Hello, from what I have heard from various sources, it depends on BMI and how much you had smoked and for how long... THC is usually stored in fat cells... Hair follicle testing can detect various drugs for anywhere from 60 - 180 days with the norm being about 90 for most drugs. I have heard rumors (and only rumors) that HFT can detect drugs up to 1+ years. My recommendation would be wait 120 days and go for it...

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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