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Trucking Alliance Pulls for Hair-Testing

Trucker by his truck.

J.B Hunt is among the many member corporations of the Trucking Alliance searching for an exemption to allow them to conduct hair-testing for pre-employment drug testing of driver applicants. Picture: Drivewyze

The Alliance for Driver Security & Safety (a.k.a. “Trucking Alliance”) has submitted a set of detailed feedback to the Federal Motor Carrier Security Administration that strongly assist  a petition calling for motor carriers to be exempt from having to use urinalysis to check for drug use by CDL driver candidates. 4 of the six petitioners are member firms of the Trucking Alliance.

If the exemptions are granted, the petitioning carriers will not have to attend for FMCSA to provoke and full a rulemaking that may permit hair-testing in lieu of urinalysis or one that will mandate hair-testing as a substitute of urinalysis.

In line with a Feb. 16 letter to FMCSA containing the feedback (Docket FMCSA-2017-0002) and signed by Trucking Alliance Managing Director Lane Kidd, the petitioners search to as a substitute use hair evaluation to fulfill federal drug check necessities for business driver job candidates.

“Hair-testing is a extra dependable (albeit twice as costly) methodology for figuring out way of life drug customers, than the much less costly and fewer dependable urine examination,” states Kidd.

Kidd notes within the letter that the Alliance “concurs with petitioners of their said causes for deserving an exemption, however provides that “within the broader context, the petitioners are using a extra dependable methodology [hair-testing] for figuring out drug customers than the overwhelming majority of U.S. freight and logistics carriers.”

He then contends that the petitioners are “deserving of an exemption and for the next public security causes:”

The function medication play in large-truck accidents.
“’Life-style drug customers’ don’t have any place within the business truck driver career. Truck driving is an occupation that exposes most people to doable security dangers, as a result of motorists share the highways with hundreds of economic truck drivers each day. Freight transportation corporations, the federal authorities and state industrial automobile enforcement companies have an ethical duty to make sure that industrial truck
drivers are nicely skilled, rested, and drug and alcohol free, as they ship our merchandise.” Kidd states that per the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration, between 2012 and 2014, there have been 560 deadly accidents involving giant vans wherein the truck driver examined optimistic for unlawful drug use. “All of these 560 truck drivers have been presumed to have handed their urine examination earlier than employment. But, they have been recognized as drug customers after these deadly accidents occurred.”

Way of life drug customers skirt the system.

“At present, there are quite a few merchandise obtainable to buy on-line and at truck stops throughout America that allow an individual to masks their drug use in a urine examination. However hair- testing is harder to disguise an individual’s drug use. In truth, Psychemedics, a main hair-testing laboratory, estimates that 85% of the drug customers recognized by its hair testing course of can be missed by a urinalysis.”

Kidd provides that “an untold variety of way of life drug customers aredoubtless working giant vehicles in the present day. “Take into account that one petitioner, Maverick USA, has reported that 108 individuals who utilized for employment as truck drivers on the firm handed the urine examination however failed their hair check.” He additionally says that one other petitioner, J.B. Hunt Transport, has voluntarily performed hair exams on industrial driver candidates for 10 years. “Since then, greater than four,700 J.B. Hunt driver candidates handed their urinalysis however the hair examination recognized them as drug customers.”

Congress acknowledges advantages of hair-testing.
“The Petition for Exemption shouldn’t be with out help, benefit or precedent. For instance, in 2013, after recognizing the efficiencies of hair testing over a urinalysis, Congressman Rick Crawford (R-AR) was joined by Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) and others in introducing ‘The Drug Free Business Driver Act.’ The laws would have directed the Secretary of Transportation to switch laws and permit a motor provider to make use of hair-testing in lieu of a urinalysis, as a
technique for detecting use of managed substances by an operator, however just for pre-employment testing and random
testing. Nevertheless, the laws didn’t obtain consideration.”

Kidd factors out that extra just lately, the FAST Act freeway invoice contained a provision that directed the Division of Well being
and Human Companies to situation scientific and technical tips for hair-testing, as a technique to detect managed substance
abuse. “After these tips are adopted, FMCSA could provoke a rulemaking to allow hair testing as a suitable various to urine-testing for sure drug assessments. Nonetheless, this rulemaking course of to acknowledge hair-testing might take years.”

In closing the letter, Kidd says that “Trucking Alliance corporations report that not one lawsuit has been filed towards their firms by an individual who failed a hair examination, through which they claimed a false positive end result, employment prejudice, or for every other purpose.

“In abstract,” he provides, “the petitioners are dedicated to protecting way of life drug customers out of their vehicles and off the nation’s highways. Granting the Petition for Exemption will allow the petitioners to proceed their efficient, established and nationally acknowledged protocol for reaching their worthy
goal, with out incurring unnecessary bills, and whereas HHS and FMCSA full their legislatively mandated duties and rulemakings relating to hair-testing.”

The member corporations of the Trucking Alliance firms and the states wherein they’re headquartered are: Cargo Transporters (North Carolina), Dupré Logistics (Louisiana), JB Hunt Transport Companies (Arkansas), KLLM Transport Companies (Mississippi), Knight Transportation (Arizona), Maverick USA (Arkansas), and US Xpress (Tennessee). These transportation and logistics firms collectively make use of 46,475 folks in 49 states, function greater than 39,000 vans, personal greater than 110,000 semitrailers and containers, and ship merchandise “safely and effectively all through North America and internationally.” 

Kevin Hicks
Kevin Hicks has been in the CDL and Transportation industry for over 30 years. He currently provides CDL training material to trucking and bus companies around the United States.

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