Hello And Drug Testing Question

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Skyler H.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Skyler, and welcome to our forum!

I think you are misunderstanding a few things. Let's talk about this so you can move forward.

First... nobody will be taking hair samples from other body parts as long as you have hair available from your head. They aren't trying to trip you up with a surprise visit to your armpits.

Second... I don't see that misspelled name as an issue. I don't even think the vicodin will show up, but if you have a prescription and list it with the questions they have you answer pre-test, you will be fine.

Third... you said this:


I shall be avoiding this for an entire year I think.

Shouldn't be any issues for me going forward though. I sorted out the schedule with 160 and my work so I'll be training from the 13th of this month to June 21st!


It's a big mistake to wait a year after obtaining your license to start seeking employment in trucking. These companies want you to start fresh out of school whenever possible. Most of them consider any time period longer than two or three months as making your CDL "stale." It's really difficult to get hired without trying immediately after obtaining your CDL. This problem is exacerbated right now during the current freight recession.

If you're going to do this, you need to pull the trigger with a full commitment to get started now. Delays will only hinder your progress if you're already licensed.

The stuff I'd read said it was pretty unlikely that they would pull body hair as well but I keep my hair cut under a half inch usually so I would certainly fit into the body hair category. I'm glad the prescription name won't be an issue though. I'll let my hair grow out while I do training so I can avoid any follicle issues afterwards.

Its crazy the cdl stales out that fast though! When I said I would avoid it for a year I was meaning the follicle test not necessarily getting a new job with my cdl. I won't finish my cdl training until the 21st of June. I was intending to wait until September to look for a cdl position though. I'm up for a promotion to transportation manager at Amazon when the geg5 center opens but that's mid September. My chances seem pretty high but getting the cdl increases it as well. I was planning on going otr if I don't get it, nothings guaranteed at that place, but if my cdl won't be very legitimate at that point I will just hit the highway after training. I definitely don't want to this whole process to be a waste and honestly working at Amazon isn't exactly my cup of tea. I'll definitely start looking at otr companies immediately after training.

Thanks for helping me dodge that bullet! I could have ended up in a bad spot in a few months if you hadn't said anything.


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.


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.

Zen Joker 's Comment
member avatar

Hello and welcome,

Due to the never ending influx of “Hey man, I smoke weed and I need a trucking job, how do I pass a drug test?” posts that happen in here on a very regular basis, here is a blanket reply that cuts right to the chase…

THE GOLDEN RULE OF MARIJUANA, TRUCKING, and DRUG TESTS is to wait 12 months from last use before applying for a trucking job for (2) reasons. First, it will guaranty that any THC compounds and/or cannabanoids will be thoroughly purged from your system regardless of your health, body mass, and how much you previously used. Second, you will have proven to yourself, and the trucking industry that you are in full control of yourself and are a “past user” versus an addict. Users can walk away and stay away. Addicts are dependent on the THC and cannot quit without professional intervention or alternate therapies. The problem is so many chronic “dependent” users think they can cope without it moving forward and relapse. If you relapse, reset the 12 month clock.


- 70% of first year drivers (the majority of which don’t use drugs) wash out and quit due to the stress, job demands, and social isolation.

-Tractor/trailer combos are nearly 70 feet long and can weigh 40 tons and can potentially injure or kill scores of people if the driver is impaired by controlled substances. Loss of limb or life and multi-million dollar losses to carriers and/or their insurance companies are not uncommon in severe trucking accidents. Think about that.

-You can and will be tested at random intervals and can face strict penalties if you test positive.

-Do you honestly believe that you will avoid using literally 100% of the time (including your time off)? That is what is will take to even stand a chance at making a go of this.

-Trucking is the 7th most dangerous job in America, has the 4th highest suicide rate of any occupation, and is always near the top for divorce rate. Do you have the mental constitution to ignore stress and make quick and correct decisions in an emergency WITHOUT having your mind numbed by drugs? An average sober person does not. Ponder that for a minute as it’s a huge question “Can I manage extreme stress while sober for the long haul?”


“Anyone can get a trucking job, it’s easy and there is high demand”

-Ridiculously incorrect. On the contrary there are very few that actually CAN do this job. It is stressful, demanding, requires a 12-14 hour workdays with a constantly changing schedule and altered sleep patterns.

“I can still use on my time off as long as I am sober for duty”

-Wrong. THC has lasting effects which impairs your short term memory, ability to focus, cognitive function, and motivation. These are all CRITICAL characteristics of a good driver. And NO, how strong and cool you think you are does not matter...it applies to everyone equally .

“If I fail a drug test, I deserve a second chance!”

- If you failed a DOT drug test your career is most likely over already. YOU made a choice to use and YOU are responsible for this outcome. The purpose of the test is to keep unsafe drivers off the road. You will now likely need to find another career field (preferably non-OSHA).

“Drug addicts can’t be discriminated!”

-Back to reality, yes they can and they will be with no legal recourse (even though there are attorneys who know this but will gladly take your money to make you feel better). Your ability to earn an income does NOT supersede Federal Regulations for Motor Carriers which are designed to protect the general public. Every day people are turned away due to failing a DOT physical for a variety of reasons: high blood pressure, uncontrollable diabetes, etc. You are in the same league as them...physically unfit to operate a Commercial Motor Vehicle.


This may not be what you wanted to hear but perhaps what you needed to hear. Trucking is brutally stressful and demanding lifestyle change. Frankly, if you can’t face and handle stress and react quickly under pressure and have any severe emotional problems, then you likely have a 99% chance of failure. Not trying to be harsh, but most people with mental health and/or chemical dependency issues will have a nearly impossible uphill battle in this field.

I myself am a prior marijuana user myself who has permanently quit prior to trucking. You can do it too! Please come back if/when you are clean for 12 months and there will be an abundance of support to get your career off to a great start! If you cannot stay clean, then there is no shame, in fact there is great respect if you will do the right thing and scratch trucking off of your list of options and find a career better suited to your situation. I pray that you will find not only employment soon, but also greater peace and fulfillment in your life.

Commercial Motor Vehicle:

A commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used in commerce to transport passengers or property with either:

  • A gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more which includes a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds
  • 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.

Stevo Reno's Comment
member avatar

I'm guessing the biggest hurdle in quitting these days, are the potency of the herb.....When I was 15-17, back in the '70s I smoked weed daily @ school....All day usually, plus add in the days were "scored" beer/booze lol Back then the THC levels, when you got GOOD weed, were "maybe 2%+. The stuff now days, can knock your socks off, especially when you're new at it.....

2014, I took a job at a shop in AZ. Our body guy smoked weed all day n night !. Slept in his RV in back, he could work during the night, boss was cool with it. He was an amazing custom body guy, stoned 24/7 almost...

Well, from my knee op in 2012, I had to take breaks every few hours, n rest my knee. 1 day Marty gives me some of his "sift" weed. Tell's me "try this it won't put you to sleep,it will relax you, and take your pain away"

Well, at home,I empty a 100's cig tube to pack the weed in, it looked just like a ciggy. I hit that bad boy like the old days, right down to the nub. Within 20 minutes,total,it hit me & I went to bed. Next day, I told Marty, "Dude, WTF was that stuff??"....."Awww man, it was just a little Chronic" pffft "well dude ya lied, it knocked me out for the night"

So yeah, I can see how daily puffers of this new age stuff would have a hard time keepin' clean, V.S. back in the olden days lol

Best of Luck to ya Skyler, and keep on, keepin' on

Skyler H.'s Comment
member avatar

Alright your post is too long for me to quote it Zen! There's definitely a lot of good information regarding the issues new drivers face getting into the industry and I appreciate your reply. I understand you were speaking in general terms with your warning but I'd like to better explain where I'm at with this and hopefully dispel any illusion that might make someone think things about me that are not the case.

I know I mentioned that I quit smoking Marijuana the beginning of February and perhaps the way I phrased it could give the wrong impression. The end of January I smoked 6 or 7 joints in a one week period when I broke up with my girlfriend.

I've always had a bit if a nomadic side to me. I quit my job in aerospace and left washington at 19. I just drove to North Dakota to find an oilfield position. I stayed on the Missouri River sleeping in my car at night and hunting for a job during the daytime. It wasn't long before I got picked up by a hydrovac company I ran into on one of the job sites and I moved into company housing in Minot. The first time I ever smoked any weed was while I worked for them but it was a one off thing. Hydrovac isn't exactly a sought after job generally and we had a lot of employees who were not allowed to operate company crew trucks at all. So at the time I was one of two who were and I was getting "random" drug tested at least once every couple months. I stuck it out there for a few years before they shut down operations in ND and I moved back to Washington.

After that I spent probably a year, maybe a little longer, doing logging and concrete work before going to work at the beverage company. At the time all my friends from home had gotten themselves into this synthetic Marijuana stuff called spice gold which I really didn't approve of. I tried it a couple times and I certainly don't recommend it to anyone ever. Legal or not it was a bad drug and my friends were smoking it all the time. I started working at the beverage company as a batcher, so it was my job to actually make all this juice for our company to bottle up. At the time I was smoking weed maybe once every couple days and a little more often on weekends. One day I roll into work stoned. Bad idea, I call a 3000 batch of nfc orange juice to a tank with the door still open at the bottom, leave to check the temperatures on our pasteurizor, come back to a sea of orange juice all over the floor. I radio my boss to come back to the batching room and he does. I'd worked there just over a year at this point and luckily we were pretty good friends so when I told him I was stoned and didn't check the door, he covered for me saying a pipe burst and I kept my job. Needless to say I was thoroughly spooked and swore off drugs and alcohol for quite a long time after that. I got into yard dog driving maybe 6 months after the incident and I was back to being routinely drug tested. I think this is where the idea of trucking really started. I liked backing all these reefers into doors and pulling tankers from our lot. There was an inherent challenge to it and our yard always had trucks parked in random locations waiting for unload. I think the thrill of knowing if I screwed up even a little bit I'd be destroying thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of equipment and cargo really kept me interested for a long time.

I ran with that job for a couple more years then ended up having an altercation with a new manager who I assume didn't understand the processes very well at our company. I resigned a few weeks later and went back to logging and concrete work for a while. After summer had ended and I was out of work during the winter months I applied to a bunch of fishing companies up in Alaska. I got a call back from a company in the Aleutian Islands for a cannery position and hopped a flight to Alaska. The cannery was dull work for sure and all the warnings of having to work 16 hours a day 7 days a week didn't translate to much when I was there. We had weeks of no fish, no work, nothing to do at all. So I spent my time fishing off the dock and talking to the guys coming off the ships that arrived for unload. After a while I got poached by a longlining company and headed out into the pacific for my first season as a greenhorn. I wasnt ready. Not even a little bit. I had sea sickness and spent days upon days just throwing up non stop. The work was brutal but being sick made it beyond anything I'd encountered before. I stuck it out because there weren't very many of us on the ship and the team needed me to do my damn job. After I got used to the ocean it wasn't nearly as bad. Everything has a kind of routine to it and once I found my groove and stopped throwing up every 20 minutes I actually enjoyed being out there. We finished out the season and I stayed in Prince William sound doing Shipdock work for a while and id talk with the truckers up there while they were loading up and getting ready to hit the highway. I was always interested in the way these guys lived on the road but I was perfectly content with my position at the time. I'd be out on the sea for a few months at a time then back at the dock yard for a month before hopping another boat back out again. I worked like that for nearly 5 years and I came back to the lower 48 to visit my mom and ended up meeting my now ex girlfriend. She hated that I was gone all the time so I stopped doing shipyard and started coming home when I wasn't out at sea.



A refrigerated trailer.


Operating While Intoxicated

Skyler H.'s Comment
member avatar

---- After a while of doing this we'd gotten pretty serious in our relationship and were even considering getting married. She asked me to not go back and I foolishly agreed to stay and find work. She was always a big time stoner but it didn't bother me at all. It simply wasn't an option for me and it hadn't been for a long time. I did another summer doing concrete work before I started at Amazon full time. Things were going pretty well I guess at the time but I had a lot of difficulty adjusting to the boredom of shift work. I'm restless I guess. Or had become that way after spending so much out on the ocean. I think that ultimately lead to the downfall of our relationship. I just struggled to get used to the 9-5 lifestyle people tolerate nowadays. I worked at Amazon for about a year and a half before I finally changed my schedule to flex and started doing concrete again whenever the weather was well enough. I hadn't smoked in quite a long time at this point but Amazon has a no thc testing policy and I certainly wasn't expecting to get tested from my concrete company. So I smoked a little bit here and there thinking it might calm me down and id be better at this boring lifestyle. It never did and I quit again after a little while. Things started not working out at home and I'd realized my girl just didn't share the same level of ambition or drive that kept me moving for years. We ended up breaking up the beginning of this year and during the shuffle I smoked some more weed. Still never worked for me like I'd hoped and I definitely regret that decision at this time. A couple months after the fallout I decided that maybe I should get my cdl and hit the highway. I'd thought about it for a long time and always been interested but it never seemed to fit for me timing wise. I found myself, once again, uprooted and able to just go wherever I felt like I wanted. So I switched back to full time at Amazon. Found out I didn't have to wait an additional 3 months to be eligible for Career Choice because I'd technically worked here the entire time and I put in for training at 160 academy.

Here we are today.

I know that was a long winded story but I hope it clears up a bit of the drug related concern. I don't think I've ever been anything close to a drug addict in my life. I feel like the way I've lived for most of my adult hood lends itself toward the possibility I could make otr work for me. I know it's something you can't prepare for. I know it's not all sunshine and scenery. I know I've never dealt with that kind of isolation even doing the work I used to do. But I found myself captivated by the idea for quite some time and I'm in a position to pursue it now. So that's what I intend to do. I hope I find it to be enjoyable. They say you can't prepare for a kick in the nuts and I know all too well that it's true. I'm as ready as I think I can be though and I'll do my very best to see it through to the end.

Thank you all for your replies and the information you've given me. I'll keep you updated on how it all goes for me and with any luck I'll see you on the road someday.


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.


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.

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