What Trucking Companies Do Hair Drug Testing?

What Trucking Companies Do Hair Drug Testing

Image Credit: Transport Executive

Transport jobs are very sensitive. Driving trucks is a serious business and it is important that our highways are kept safe at all times. The safety is important for the drivers themselves, passengers and other road users. In other to ensure this is done, trucking companies have strategies in place to ensure this. One of such is hair drug testing. In this piece, we are going to be looking at trucking companies that do hair drug testing. On the other hand, an Austin DWI lawyer believes that as truck drivers, maintaining sobriety is not just about obeying the law; it’s about safeguarding lives and livelihoods. The DWI attorney shares that any potential legal consequences resulting from drug use while driving can have serious repercussions, not only for the driver, but for everyone on the road. In this sense, it is crucial that truck drivers understand the gravity of their role and take the necessary steps to prioritize safety at all times.

An Austin truck accident lawyer shares: “Hair drug testing is a proactive approach by trucking companies to ensure safety on the highways. Trucking accidents in particular can have especially catastrophic consequences, so it’s only logical to ensure that those behind the wheel are in the best possible state, mentally and physically.”

Trucking Companies That Do Hair Drug Testing

The following are trucking companies that do hair drug testing:

What Is Hair Drug Testing?

For those who may not be too familiar with the concept and idea of hair drug testing, this section is going to provide more details. Hair drug testing can be compared to a urinalysis. This is because the carrier company you want to work with fixes a date at a hair follicle testing center.

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At the testing center, an expert will slice off a tiny part of the hair. This is the hair sample that will be used for the testing. There are two things that a hair drug test seeks to establish. The first is the presence of a drug. The second is the byproduct of a drug that was used.

Every drug that has been ingested is further broken down in the body into several byproducts and these can be found in the bloodstream. The essence of hair drug testing is to establish the presence of either the drug itself or any of its byproducts. A byproduct can give very good detail of the original drug itself.

That explains why hair follicles are of great importance in hair drug testing. The follicles are the sources of blood supply. Whenever someone consumes a drug, its byproducts enter the bloodstream. These seep through the hair follicles into the hair strands. That is why the hair strands are actually what are subjected to the testing in the laboratory.

What Is The Duration Of Validity Of The Tests?

This is still somewhat controversial. The convention is that the result of a hair drug testing can detect drugs in a period of up to three months prior. This is the standard used by many of the trucking companies.

Why Hair Drug Testing Is Important

This testing is not a federal obligation in the United States. But hair drug testing is nonetheless very important. Various carrier companies have integrated hair drug testing into their systems.

As a CDL truck driver, it is important that you are aware of this practice. The main reason these tests are conducted is to be able to save lives and ensure safety on the roads for all. It also has another excellent side. The truck drivers ensure that their counterparts have safety and protection.

It is not an easy task driving trucks; only responsible people should be allowed to handle trucks. It is a very dangerous thing to allow drug abusers to take control of these massive machines. For this reason, it is important to establish a fact. That is, any driver who is to be employed is someone who is drug-free.

Trucking companies have to be very sure their hefty trucks are in safe and responsible hands. In situations where these trucks are not handed over to responsible and sober people, the results are often fatal and devastating.

Interesting Details About Hair Drug Testing

1. Government Involvement

The whole idea of hair drug testing became a mainstream one in the year 2015. On the 5th of December of that year, United States President Barack Obama signed the FAST Act transportation bill into law. The law made provision for hair follicle drug testing as a method given approval by the Department of Transport.

Since that time, the practice has grown in use and prominence. The testing alone is not enough to meet all the requirements. These are requirements outlined by the Department of Transport. But it is still in wide use. As a matter of fact, many trucking companies have adopted hair drug testing as a rule. They do this before they consider any candidate for job placement.

2. Environmental Marijuana

There are also those who do not smoke cannabis but for one reason or the other, are exposed to others who smoke them. Drivers in this category worry about the impact of such environmental marijuana smoke. The fact that you are around those who smoke marijuana is nothing dreadful. It does not mean that your result is going to come out positive for marijuana. This is because of the nature of the test itself.

During hair drug testing, what is being tested is the presence of drugs or its byproducts. The drug has to enter your bloodstream in the first instance. Then it can undergo metabolism to release byproducts into your system. If environmental smoke lands on your hair, there is no way it will enter your bloodstream. That way, it cannot appear in the results.

3. Baldness

There are some cases where the person to be tested is bald and there can be no hair strand that can be taken from the head. But, in such a case, all hope is not lost. This is because body hair too can be used. As long as the body hair reaches about one and a half inches, it can be used.

In some other centers, it is possible to take the hair samples from the leg, armpit or even the chest. But it must be stated that there can be a disadvantage to this. A driver with insufficient hair for the sample can be categorized as a ‘refusal’. Such a driver often loses the job offer from the venture.

4. Natureof Results

After a hair drug testing is done, the results remain confidential. As a matter of fact, even negative results cannot be sent to the Department of Transport. It is also not allowed for one company to show the results to other enterprises.

5. Effect of Hair Products

Some drivers worry if the use of hair products is going to have any impact on the results of hair drug testing. Trucking companies often decide who to hire and who to refuse. This is all based on the outcome of these hair drug testing processes.

Well, the good thing here is that it is not all that horrible even if a driver is a lover of hair products. Gels and creams do not change the structure of hair strands in any way. They remain on the surface and that is about it.

As for those who make use of shampoos, there is also nothing to worry about. This is because there is no proof that shampoos have any effect on the outcome of hair drug testing.

Some drivers have also changed the color of their hair. For those, the hair drug testing also remains intact, alongside the results. You may be a driver making use of different hair creams and preparations. If that is the case, you can still get your hair drug testing done with no problems.

6. Extra Testing

Trucking companies as of today engage in hair drug testing. But that alone is not enough. This is true if the goal is to meet all the drug testing requirements as outlined at the federal level by the Department of Transport. In such an instance, there is a need to go for more tests. What is done is to add a urine test, which in some other cases, is referred to as a urinalysis.

But that is if the goal is to meet all the requirements and conditions of the Department of Transport. That does not in any way stop the trucking companies from making use of hair drug testing as the basic factor when considering candidates for jobs.

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  1. I work in HR for a large OTR trucking company and we take drug testing very seriously. We want our drivers safe as well as the people on the road with them. We test our drivers monthly.

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