Drug Screen Classification

Topic 30740 | Page 2

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Old School's Comment
member avatar
you were probably driving when they didn't have drug screening

I've been driving big trucks for eight and a half years. I've been drug tested 26 times during that time period. I seem to be a drug test magnet.

how many times have you driven a car or truck under the influence?

The answer to that question is zero, nada, never. My life may seem very dull to you. I'm sure you would consider me extremely boring. If you wanted to get high with me you would be disappointed. If you wanted some help from me you would be surprised at how I would go out of my way to help you. I spend much of my time right here helping folks make a good start at this career. I am nobody's tool and am not compensated for any of my efforts. I am just willing to pay forward what has helped me enjoy a successful and lucrative trucking career. If I make any money related to the trucking business it is when I am driving. If I make any sense to people wanting to be truckers it is because they are serious about their pursuit of this career.

There are days in here where I cannot figure out what I have done to initiate the ire I am receiving. We try to help folks out with facts and truth. I guess some of us don't appreciate the stubborn facts related to this career. Please realize if you want to be a professional driver of a CMV you have to meet certain standards. One of those is a clean drug test. I don't make these rules. I don't enforce these rules. I may not even like these rules. But I must abide by them, as does everybody else.

I try to help folks understand how it works out here. It will hinder you greatly if you can't pass a drug test. Don't put yourself in a position to be tested if you can't pass. Put off any entry into trucking until you know you can pass the drug test. Just googling information that confirms your own bias won't help you get into trucking. Being clean for one year will do the trick. I am no scientist or medical professional. I make no claim of any expertise. I do know what works though.

Hair folical, really ... what will the government want next besides my DNA folical... a blood and a sample of my stool. That's going too far and is an invasionof privacy.

The driving of a commercial vehicle is a safety sensitive position. You will have to give up a little of your privacy to be a part of it.

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Mark K.'s Comment
member avatar

Vincent, as an addict in recovery, who has passed both hair follicle tests and urine tests for this job, allow me to weigh in.

The purpose of a hair follicle test in a safety sensitive occupation such as trucking is to weed out the chronic offenders (no pun intended). The rationale is, that anyone with just a casual interest in truck driving can quit a substance for only the 5-7 days needed in order to pass a urine test. (Unless someone is a hardcore heroin addict, of course, in which case staying clean for even a few hours without medical assistance can be next to impossible. But I doubt they’d find the motivation to pursue a trucking career in the first place if they were that bad off, so that’s not who we are talking about.)

But by going back an average of 90 days, a hair follicle test does a much better job of restricting the applicant pool to those who are committed enough to remain substance-free for at least that long. The assumption is that they will continue to do so while out on the road and keep America’s motoring public safe in the process. However, since no two bodies are the same and everyone metabolizes substances at different rates, the 90 days are never a guarantee. As mentioned above, some may pass a hair test after having used just a few weeks ago, when someone else may fail even if they haven’t used in six months. The risk calculation breaks down two ways, both for the company and for potential drivers:

1) for the company, why risk only a urine test, if there’s a higher risk you may have chronic substance abusers in your fleet who are merely getting lucky? Sign a contract with Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp to get a good deal on bulk hair follicle testing to reduce your liability and protect your company.

2) for potential new drivers, why risk skating so close to a 90 day cutoff when it’s not a sure thing and you could still end up failing it even with twice the wait? Take old school’s suggestion. The risk to your career is too much and there’s no reason to rush: if you aren’t absolutely 100% certain you can pass a hair follicle test, do NOT risk diving into this career! It will be over before it starts. If nothing else, go get yourself hair tested at a private lab to be sure. A cursory google search tells me that you can walk into a Quest Diagnostics affiliate without an appointment, pay $120 out of pocket, and have your results in 48-72 hours.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Andrew N.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm in the process of getting started in trucking and I was just wondering, for those who can pass a urine test but don't want to wait 6 months to a year to pass a hair test, why not just work for a company that does urine testing only? Is there something I'm missing? Hopefully someone can please clarify that for me.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

The rules imposed on commercial drivers are more stringent than the general motoring public for a reason. If potential CDL students or drivers cannot accept this, it may be best to try another occupation.

We attempt to help others on here, but some don't want assistance. That's fine. Good luck.

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Andrew, and welcome to our forum!

for those who can pass a urine test but don't want to wait 6 months to a year to pass a hair test, why not just work for a company that does urine testing only? Is there something I'm missing? Hopefully someone can please clarify that for me.

That's a great question!

Yes, you can do that very thing. The problem is these companies sometimes change their policies at the drop of a hat. The other problem is that many of them are doing hair follicle testing now, which greatly limits your options. If you know for sure that your potential employer is only doing urine tests, then that's great - go for it!

We understand everybody is not ready for a hair test. We don't condemn them for that, nor do we have any animosity toward them. We just want people to understand how bad it will be if you fail a drug test. Some people think you just pack up and go to the next company, but it doesn't work like that. If you fail a drug test at a trucking orientation, you will have a terrible time getting into trucking. I wouldn't wish that torture on anybody. I want each of you to get in and get started on your new career. I don't want to see anybody putting the ball and chain of a failed drug test on themselves.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

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

double-quotes-start.png

I am always curious why a person submits to a drug test knowing it will be dirty. The facts are that even though your CDL is a state issued license, your CDL falls under federal regulations. Anyone having a CDL or attempting to get a driving job understands they will be drug tested. This is a safety sensitive career. We can't expect there to be any leniency or special classification for drivers who can't pass a drug screening.

We don't have to agree with how the federal government looks upon marijuana usage, but if they insist commercial drivers don't use it then we must comply with their rules or settle for some other type employment.

I'm sorry you failed a drug screening. I don't have to tell you how difficult that will make your entry into trucking. You already know. That's probably why your first post here is as it is.

Please folks, take a lesson from Vincent. Don't start applying for driving jobs until you are certain you can pass a hair follicle test. That means you really should be clean for one year to be safe. Right now the D.O.T. standard is a urinalysis test, but most companies are stricter than the D.O.T. It won't be long and the D.O.T. will be wanting to see hair follicle tests. It is simply a matter of time.

double-quotes-end.png

You are old school, so you were probably driving when they didn't have drug screening.... how many times have you driven a car or truck under the influence? So, don't try to play Mr. Innocent with me OLD SCHOOL. I don't need you to feel sorry for me. Hair folical, really ... what will the government want next besides my DNA folical... a blood and a sample of my stool. That's going too far and is an invasionof privacy.

Since there may be an aversion to "an invasion of privacy" by The Man, trucking will not be a path for you.

We are tracked and monitored 24/7/365. Scale houses, ports of entry, the ELD, GPS on our phones, sensors on the roads, tracking devices on trailers, tractors, tracking devices on certain cargo, chips in our fuel cards, etc. Someone, somewhere is tracking us all the time.

Government intrusions? This deregulated industry is the most regulated professional occupation I can think of.

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.

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Andrew N.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for answering my question Old School.

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