Trucking Compliance: What You Need to Know About DOT Drug Testing and Physicals
Driving a commercial vehicle is a big responsibility. It is also a job with many physical demands. It not only involves heavy-duty and large vehicles but going across state lines and sometimes transporting delicate cargo. The trucking industry has come a long way in ensuring safety, training, and efficiency of driving. The federal and state governments created compliance standards to ensure that all trucking companies follow similar rules that help protect drivers, consumers, and other motorists.
The Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for creating many of these regulations, and it is on the trucking companies to ensure that they are following these rules. A central component to compliance is the health and safety of the drivers. That often begins by ensuring drivers are physically apt to handle these large commercial vehicles. As your trucking compliance consultation company, we guide companies to achieving compliance and ensuring complete efficiency.
Quick Review: What is Trucking Compliance?
Trucking companies that transport goods across state lines and international borders need to comply with federal and state regulations. Like any other industry, the trucking industry is always changing and being affected by new understanding, technology, advancements, and awareness of new information and policies. For up-and-coming trucking companies, navigating the convoluted world of federal guidelines is tough. Using a third party to help you understand the regulations that apply to you and your particular business model, vehicles, etc., ensures that you stay within the law and maintain productivity in your operation.
Staying within the law means several advantages for your company and operations including:
- Saved time: When you are confident about your operations and are fully aware of all laws that apply to you, your company saves time.
- Avoid fines: Non-compliance can mean hefty fines for your trucking company. When you understand regulations from the start, you avoid fines and can make better use of your resources.
- Have peace of mind from honest assessments. When working with a trucking compliance company, you will get honest assessments about adjustments or changes your company might have to make.
DOT Drug Tests: What You Need to Know
Many professions and jobs require regular drug testing. This is the case with anyone that is interested in driving a commercial vehicle. The U.S. Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act was passed in the early 90s, as Congress recognized the need to ensure a drug and alcohol-free work environment in certain professions. This bill passed after several transportation accidents that drew attention to the matter. DOT is involved in testing people in transportation such as school bus drivers, truck drivers, certain limo drivers, railroads, mass transit, and pipeline industries.
The DOT drug test will check for:
- Marijuana metabolites/THC
- Cocaine metabolites
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
When it comes to alcohol, the tests look for .02 concentration and greater.
In addition to DOT testing, the federal government does not prohibit or stop companies from instituting their own company drug policy and testing regimen. Employes can choose to test for other drugs.
DOT Physicals: What You Need to Know
Driving commercial vehicles can be physically demanding. The misconception is that driving a truck does not constitute a very physical job. Yet, anyone that has taken a long road trip understands that the body takes a toll from being on the highway for so long. Driving a commercial vehicle doesn’t just entail driving either, it requires the ability to secure loads, make inspections, etc. This means that the Department of Transportation wants to ensure that all drivers on the road are able to perform the necessary tasks for the job.
For a DOT physical, the examining physicians will:
- Determine if a person is qualified to drive. This means if a medical condition is found, that condition will be assessed as to whether it will interfere with the main duties of the job.
- There may be a temporary disqualification if a condition is found.
- There might be a need for an exemption. DOT has determined certain conditions that disqualify drivers. These might include medical conditions such as hypertension, respiratory dysfunction, diabetes, vision impairment, epilepsy, and other mental disorders. If a driver has any of these conditions, they will have to apply for exemption and see if it is accepted.
Want to Ensure Full Compliance of Your Trucking Company?
Don’t waste time and money on fines or non-compliance complaints. Don’t risk your employees or your company name. Ensure that your truck company is following the guidelines and regulations. This can be a hassle and involve sifting through a lot of information. Border Trucking Compliance has been helping local trucking companies with compliance for many years. Working in the Southwest region, we know the difficulties of inter-state and international travel.
Are you starting a trucking company or want to ensure you are in compliance with DOT regulations? Call us today for a trucking compliance consultation.