Dot Tests And Regulations

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Ashley D.'s Comment
member avatar

I have an issue that google is not been able to answer for me. I began training recently for one of the larger trucking companies. I left home, went to their facility 5 hours away and began the training process. Both of my urinalysis came out clean but my hair follicle test did not. The only thing I have a history with is cannabis. I haven’t touched it since I decided to try and drive. Even when I used, it wasn’t frequent. The company wasn't sure if they would send me home but did in the end. I had another opportunity with a 2nd company already lined up, just in case. Unfortunately, they seem to have the same drug test database and rescinded my offer. I was looking forward to my new career on the road. I am serious about this job and everything involved in it. I want to be OTR flatbed. What are my chances of finding someone willing to give me a chance to drive?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Banks's Comment
member avatar

How much time did you put between the last time you used cannabis and when you got drug tested?

It sounds like you failed a DOT drug test. There's no way around this, especially with clearinghouse being in effect. You'll have to complete a SAP (substance abuse program) on your own dime before a carrier will when look at you and even then, they may turn you away because you have no experience and you'd be competing with people of a similar skill level with less baggage.

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.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

There is a national database that tracks individuals that failed drug tests. Thus keeps applicants from going to a different company and not disclosing the failed previous tests.

As Banks pointed out, you will need to complete a SAP program. It won't matter if you wait a week or ten years, this will be a prerequisite if you want to get another opportunity in this industry following a failed test. There is no mix of drugs and driving.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ashley D.'s Comment
member avatar

It has been months. Since September I believe. Before that it was on occasion, not even weekly. Like I said, I passed both urinalysis tests. I took my CLP test passed that. Had to change my DL to a different state in order to get my CLP. I assume my CLP is no longer good either? I am just shocked that they had me do all of this just to send me home. Why wouldn’t they do their testing offsite to keep this from happening? Now I am heading back home with no idea what to do next.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

First off - HAIR TESTING IS NOT DOT TESTING. It is PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTING. Hair has NOT YET BEEN ACCEPTED FOR DOT TESTING.

There is a national database that tracks individuals that failed drug tests. Thus keeps applicants from going to a different company and not disclosing the failed previous tests.

You CANNOT LEGALLY BE PUT IN THE FMSCA DATABASE FOR FAILING A HAIR SCREENING.

Legally - carriers that use hair - HAVE TO DO BOTH (even though many do not) - because a FAILED HAIR IS NOT REPORTABLE - and ALL TESTS are now reportable to the clearinghouse. And DOT still requires URINE for a "DOT Employment Drug Screen" (also for RANDOMS).

Now - this will likely change soon - BUT - it is NOT IN THE REGS YET.

That being said - the DATABASE is likely the DAC - and you can & will get put in there for failing a PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING.

This brings up some interesting technicalities - as far as SAP/Return To Duty (DOT) protocols go.

Since you (technically) did NOT FAIL A DOT SCREEN - this may (or may not) apply.

We're in "grey area land" here.

Now - your CLP will still be valid. A failed PE doesn't invalidate it - in fact - even with a CDL , a failed DOT screen doesn't cancel your CDL - YOU JUST CANNOT DRIVE A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE IN A DOT REGULATED CAPACITY - until you complete the RTD Protocol (SAP/Etc.).

Sorry about the yelling - but we need to be giving out CORRECT INFORMATION - that jibes with the ACTUAL REGS.

Now sadly - for a newbie - the odds of getting a TRAINING HIRE after recently failing a PE screen, are VERY LOW - EVEN AFTER YOU DO A SAP.

And there's very little recourse for you. Either way - you will likely have to do a SAP to EVEN BE CONSIDERED FOR EMPLOYMENT (even though you technically didn't fail a DOT Screen, only a PE screen).

Sadly - I think you might be SCREWED. Even though it's not a DOT fail - very few (if any) "training companies" are going to take the risk with someone that failed ANY TYPE OF DRUG SCREEN.

Rick

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.

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.

Fm:

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.

DAC:

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Totally agree with Rick. This is not a failed drug test that is going into a database. It was a pre-employment drug screening. He's right about us needing to be accurate with our information. I let him do the yelling and I just jump in to agree with him. smile.gif

Unfortunately I have to agree with his other point. This is going to probably keep you out of the industry. You made a huge mistake by not giving yourself a minimum of six months clean without burning a joint before giving up a hair sample. That is going to make it next to impossible to move forward in a trucking career.

Ashley D.'s Comment
member avatar

First off - HAIR TESTING IS NOT DOT TESTING. It is PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTING. Hair has NOT YET BEEN ACCEPTED FOR DOT TESTING.

double-quotes-start.png

There is a national database that tracks individuals that failed drug tests. Thus keeps applicants from going to a different company and not disclosing the failed previous tests.

double-quotes-end.png

You CANNOT LEGALLY BE PUT IN THE FMSCA DATABASE FOR FAILING A HAIR SCREENING.

Legally - carriers that use hair - HAVE TO DO BOTH (even though many do not) - because a FAILED HAIR IS NOT REPORTABLE - and ALL TESTS are now reportable to the clearinghouse. And DOT still requires URINE for a "DOT Employment Drug Screen" (also for RANDOMS).

Now - this will likely change soon - BUT - it is NOT IN THE REGS YET.

That being said - the DATABASE is likely the DAC - and you can & will get put in there for failing a PRE-EMPLOYMENT SCREENING.

First off, thank your very much for the detailed reply. I am all for blunt but correct information. I am confused on part of the response. You said hair follicle tests are not reportable. Then said all tests are now reportable. I am not sure how to understand that. If only urinalysis are reportable, then I did not fail a reportable drug test as both came out clean. I was tested with urinalysis and hair follicle on the same day, passed the urinalysis, given my CLP test, passed that. Then passed the secondary urinalysis. I received my CLP last week and got the word today about my hair follicle. They thought about keeping me so I figured it was a company test and not DOT. Then I found out the second company rescinded. Seems counterintuitive of the trucking industry to have such a high demand for drivers and yet rely on a test that isn’t even technically in their regulations.

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.

Fm:

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.

DAC:

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
member avatar

It has been months. Since September I believe. Before that it was on occasion, not even weekly. Like I said, I passed both urinalysis tests. I took my CLP test passed that. Had to change my DL to a different state in order to get my CLP. I assume my CLP is no longer good either? I am just shocked that they had me do all of this just to send me home. Why wouldn’t they do their testing offsite to keep this from happening? Now I am heading back home with no idea what to do next.

Ashley,

Howdy, and welcome to T.T. ~!!

Sorry it's under such crappy circumstances, however. Had you come to us prior to this venture; we would've told you to wait a few MONTHS before testing; frequency an issue nonwithstanding.

These guys are right; the SAP is the only way to go, with this new Federal Clearinghouse mandate, sadly. Some states may help with the cost, under a JOBS type program; couldn't hurt to check. Sorry.

Wish you well;

~ Anne ~

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar
First off, thank your very much for the detailed reply. I am all for blunt but correct information. I am confused on part of the response. You said hair follicle tests are not reportable. Then said all tests are now reportable. I am not sure how to understand that. If only urinalysis are reportable, then I did not fail a reportable drug test as both came out clean. I was tested with urinalysis and hair follicle on the same day, passed the urinalysis, given my CLP test, passed that. Then passed the secondary urinalysis. I received my CLP last week and got the word today about my hair follicle. They thought about keeping me so I figured it was a company test and not DOT. Then I found out the second company rescinded. Seems counterintuitive of the trucking industry to have such a high demand for drivers and yet rely on a test that isn’t even technically in their regulations.

What I said was - hair tests are NOT DOT TESTS. They aren't reportable to DOT.

But they are reportable to a company that all the companies use called HireRight - that does background checks for companies and produces a report called the DAC. Terminations for drug screens of any type are likely to show up there. You have a right to get a copy of your report.

How Do I Get A Copy Of My DAC Report?

And because they are regulated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) you can also dispute entries on your DAC - but the company will likely verify the termination.

As far as "relying on tests that isn't in their FEDERAL REGULATIONS". Anyone can beat a urine - 95% of substances (except weed - ESPECIALLY TODAYS WEED) - 72 hours and you can pee clean from most substances. But you CANNOT BEAT HAIR.

The only reason it's not in the regs - is because, well, governments are slow at doing anything (except TAKING/SPENDING OUR TAX $$'s). The surface transportation act a few years ago - created the law where DOT was supposed to implement hair testing as an official method - they just haven't gotten around to it.

COMPANIES use it for pre-employment testing, because it reveals long term/historical use (even though the amount they test, is only supposed to be a 90 day detection window) - and it is perfectly legal for them to terminate you as AN EMPLOYEE (having zero to do with your CDL - but your EMPLOYMENT) - therein lies the difference between that and a DOT Test. ANYONE CAN QUIT FOR A WEEK TO PASS A URINE - your hair is like the internet - it's (almost) FOREVER.

The devil is in the details, but the results are the same.

If I wanted to go get a driving job now - I WOULDN'T - because I've only been off my (legally prescribed) pain meds for a month - and I don't feel like having to explain myself to some stranger - or create additional scrutiny on my medical history.

Where you are getting hung up is the DAC - and you DO have to report that you were at company #1. And if the app asked if you have EVER FAILED A DRUG TEST - you better be honest, as LYING is as BAD AS FAILING if you are caught. Now - if the question asked: Have you ever failed a DOT DRUG SCREEN - you could honestly answer NO - because LEGALLY YOU HAVE NOT.

And I'm not here to judge or argue - just to give the facts.

What you do with them is up to you...

Rick

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.

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.

DAC:

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Seems counterintuitive of the trucking industry to have such a high demand for drivers and yet rely on a test that isn’t even technically in their regulations.

Ashley, you just got schooled in a lesson that most newbies don't understand. So many of us see all these ads for trucking jobs, and we read about the high demand for truck drivers thinking we are just going to walk in there like a rock star and get ourselves a high paying job. The demand is for highly motivated professionals who can get the job done safely. There are so many people who do just like you did. They show up unprepared with high hopes that these companies just need warm bodies to put in the seats of their trucks. It's not so. Most of the people who try this career never even make it to their one year anniversary. Sadly, and I say that sincerely, you have become one of those statistics. You simply weren't prepared for this. You didn't give yourself enough time to be clean. You can be clean for a urine test in a matter of about four weeks. You were good on that, but that hair test is really serious. You need a good six months or more to pass that test.

These trucking companies have huge liabilities. That's why most of them are doing hair tests now. It is a more reliable test. Their regulations are always behind the times - imagine that - our government being slow to make needed adjustments to our industry. It doesn't surprise me at all that they made the decision to send you home. Had they put you in a truck, and you had an accident that killed or maimed someone, the lawyers would have a hay day in court when they discovered you failed a pre-employment drug screening.

I am sorry about what happened to you, but you have to realize who brought this on you. It wasn't some greedy trucking company.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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