As a new truck driver, there are a number of different things you need to be aware of. Virtually everything about your new position has regulations and requirements, from the equipment on your truck to your condition and ability to perform behind the wheel. These requirements are in place to make sure that you and other road users are safe. However, these requirements are also in place for all commercial truck drivers, not just those that have recently acquired a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Thus, it’s important for both trucking companies and drivers to stay informed about the latest regulations and comply with drug testing requirements, which are put in place by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA). Understanding what these requirements are can give you a better idea of what to expect as you begin your career as a truck driver.
Full-Service Drug Testing Options For Your Company
When you need to ensure regulatory compliance by having a comprehensive, full-service drug testing program, you may be wondering where to turn. In these situations, Fleet Drug Testing has the solution you need. Our team of experienced professionals provides clients with everything they need to stay up-to-date on compliance with DOT and FMCSA drug testing requirements. Contact us today if your company is looking for new drug testing solutions.
What Drug Testing Requirements Are There For New Truck Drivers?
Like all commercial truck drivers, new truck drivers are subject to the same set of drug testing requirements. These requirements are codified under federal law and apply to all “safety-sensitive” employees in the transportation industry, including commercial truck drivers. The requirements include the following:
- Pre-employment testing – Prior to being hired, all drivers and other safety-sensitive employees must undergo a drug test. If the test result is positive, the employee may not be hired.
- Random testing – By law, truck drivers and safety-sensitive employees must be subject to random drug testing throughout their employment. The testing must be unannounced and conducted on a random basis.
- Post-accident testing – If a driver or safety-sensitive employee is involved in an accident that meets certain criteria, they must undergo a drug test as soon as possible following the accident.
- Reasonable suspicion testing – If a supervisor has reasonable suspicion that a safety-sensitive employee is using drugs, the employee must undergo a drug test.
- Return-to-Duty testing – All truck drivers and other safety-sensitive employees that have violated drug testing requirements must undergo a return-to-duty drug test prior to resuming safety-sensitive duties.
- Follow-up testing – Following a return-to-duty drug test, safety-sensitive employees may be subject to follow-up testing. The frequency and duration of follow-up testing is determined by a substance abuse professional (SAP).
The DOT drug testing requirements also establish the drugs that must be tested for, including:
New truck drivers need to be especially aware of these requirements because ensuring compliance is a necessary component to being able to stay on the road. However, it’s also important for new drivers to understand how the drug testing process works so that they can be better prepared.
What is the Drug Testing Process For New Truck Drivers?
Not only are the regulations the same for both new and veteran truck drivers, but the collection and testing process is also the same. Under Part 40, the drug testing process for commercial truck drivers generally occurs in the following way:
- Collection of specimen – The driver must provide a specimen for the drug test, usually by either breath or urine. The collection process is observed to prevent tampering with the sample. The driver will be provided with instructions on how to provide the specimen and must follow these instructions carefully.
- Laboratory testing – The urine specimen is sent to a certified laboratory for testing. The laboratory tests the specimen for the presence of drugs and reports the results to the Medical Review Officer (MRO).
- MRO review – The MRO reviews the test results to ensure that the test was conducted properly and to interpret any positive or negative results. If the test result is positive, the MRO will contact the driver to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the positive result.
- Notification of results – The MRO notifies the employer of the drug test results. If the test result is negative, the driver may be hired for safety-sensitive duties. If the test result is positive and there is no legitimate medical explanation, the driver may not be hired.
The drug testing process for new commercial truck drivers is an important step in ensuring the safety of the transportation industry and the traveling public. It’s important for new drivers to comply with the drug testing requirements, but there are a number of other requirements that new truck drivers also need to be aware of.
What Are the Other Requirements and Regulations For New Truck Drivers?
While drug testing requirements are extremely important, there are a host of other requirements in place that are necessary to ensure overall compliance with federal regulations. These requirements are put in place to ensure the safety of both the driver and other individuals on the road. These requirements include:
- Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) – All truck drivers must obtain a CDL in order to operate a commercial vehicle. To obtain a CDL, drivers must pass both a written test and a driving test.
- Age requirements – In order to obtain a CDL, drivers must be at least 18 years old for intrastate (within state lines) driving and 21 years old for interstate (across state lines) driving.
- Medical certification – Truck drivers must pass a medical examination to prove they are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle. They must also maintain their medical certification throughout their career.
- Hours of Service (HOS) regulations – These regulations limit the number of hours a driver can operate a commercial vehicle each day and week to prevent driver fatigue and improve safety.
- Vehicle inspections – Drivers must conduct pre- and post-trip vehicle inspections to ensure the truck is in good working condition and safe to operate.
Altogether, these regulations are in place to make sure that drivers and other road users are safe. While every one of these requirements is important in this regard, it’s often the drug testing requirements that are the most high-profile. As such, having a system in place to ensure the accuracy and reliability of these results is among the most important aspects of your business.
Fleet Drug Testing Can Keep Your Business Moving
Whether you are a new truck driver, manage a fleet of trucks, or own and operate your own commercial vehicle, Fleet Drug Testing can help ensure your compliance with federal regulations and keep your business moving. We offer a full range of services for companies looking to streamline their testing procedures. To get started with our team, contact us today.