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Todd Dills

Podcast: Due diligence on the drug testing consortium

| May 29, 2014

Any problem with drug or alcohol use by drivers or violation of testing protocols among carriers large and small can ensure that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be “watching you for a long time,” says independent regulatory consultant Richard Wilson in the podcast below.

TCRG Consulting's Rich Wilson, longtime former owner-operator, was lone among commenters Day 3 of the recent MCSAC meeting -- hear his viewpoint on the need for driver input on regs and more in the podcast.

Richard Wilson

It’s a revisit with a conversation I had with Wilson last year about federal safety interventions in the CSA program, and in the audio he urges those shopping for a testing corsortium to make every effort to ensure the consortium is equipped to its job. Namely, to random-test pools of drivers for alcohol at the rate of 10 percent in any given year and for drugs at 50 percent. And to be able to provide documentation they’ve done so. (Wilson can be found via the website for his TCRG Consulting.)

Related

How the national drug/alcohol clearinghouse could save you

Food for thought: In defense of the national clearinghouse for positive test results for drug and alcohol.

With the national test-results database proposed rule at the end of the comment period, and associations and assorted individuals having officially weighed in, another story Wilson told me last year came to mind as well. You can read here about the ringer FMCSA sent one owner-operator through after the operator put on another truck and hired a driver with a past positive drug test he didn’t know about, despite taking all the appropriate cautionary measures.

Related

Carrier groups want expansion of drug database rule, petition FMCSA

Some trucking and enforcement groups have asked FMCSA to expand its drug and alcohol clearinghouse rule to require carriers to report “actual knowledge” of drug use by drivers. OOIDA says such "unverifiable" information should not be used against a driver.

As I wrote then, had the test-results database been around, it’s likely said ringer could have been avoided. The database could well become a useful screen for small and large carriers alike, provided it’s not a garbage-in-garbage-out type of system. But some want to turn it into an employer-reporting well, whether or not positive test results exist. As reported here, ATA, TCA and CVSA among others asked for a supplemental proposed rulemaking to require carriers to “report all instances of actual knowledge of misuse, including direct observations of misuse and acknowledgements of misuse, to the proposed clearinghouse.”

Related

Clearinghouse rule comments: OOIDA wants protection in reporting, carrier groups want expansion

OOIDA says the rule needs safeguards against carrier reporting measures, while groups like ATA are pushing for an expansion of the ability of carriers to report drug or alcohol violations to FMCSA's database.

Misuse of controlled substances, that is. OOIDA objects that the database should not be a repository of unverifiable he-said/she-said-type information. It would no doubt give rise to disputes that have long mired drivers similarly after contentious employer statements on drivers’ DAC Reports. 

Read more about the issues via the stories linked above. 

Related

What to expect during Roadcheck 2014

During the 72-hour Roadcheck program, in operation now for more than two decades, a motor carrier is three times more likely than usual to see one of its trucks/drivers inspected in the U.S. and Canada.

Stop by a scale, get some information!
And should you be in need of some CSA-related information, you could read Overdrive from time to time, or you could stop into your friendly neighborhood scale house next week , says the FMCSA, to pick up materials to educate yourself and others on the CSA program. Yes, next week Tuesday-Thursday is the annual Roadcheck inspection blitz and outreach program taking place across the nation. I have it on fair authority that that information, if you show up in a big truck, will well likely come with a complimentary Level 1 as a cherry on top. If you’d rather forgo the extras, you can access the same material, part of the agency’s “Get Road Smart” initiative, here.

  • simon burruel

    I don’t. F`n do drugs and i don’t. Concent to an invasion of my privacy. If that’s. What it means to be a driver let me know and I’ll. Try to find something else to do

  • Kast55

    Simon, if you are a company driver you are in for a surprise! If you are an O/O per this article the goberment will force you to go thru a screening.

    You might as well hang it up.

  • guest

    I doubt many driver will be taking much GO FAST drugs today coz you damn sure aint GOING anywhere…with electro logs and COPS swarming on you like Locusts….maybe they will smoke weed..as they sit for endless delays at Shippers..for FREE twiddling their thumbs??
    What in the Hell would you need DRUGS for today??? You aint going to SOLO coast to coast in 3 days ANYMORE….so what DRUGS are going to be needed?? WEED will help you CRASH on ICE or in Heavy metro traffic…..alcohol is out of the question…..seems kind of STUPID today to think that alot of drivers are interested in Dope??

  • polack

    Fuck the government. !!!!

  • Keith Stancato

    Yes there still are drivers and co’s even with elect logs onboard that solo c to c in 3 days and proud of his and is upset if at least 5300 miles are not made. And that is every week

  • guest

    Im sure there are a few left..PA trooper pulled over a produce hauler who was doing this…the article is here on overdrive…recent….the Trucker gets aggressive with the Trooper when told his LOG is in Violation..he will be shut down…a fight starts….the COPS shoots the Trucker twice……the Trucker MAY have been doped up….or not…..certainly ON EDGE from all that driving(from west coast)…..not a big Payoff on that load….those days are ending quickly.

  • simon burruel

    I have no problem taking a drug test. Its the cameras inside the truck that i wont put up with

  • whooops

    Here’s problem I have w/random anything:
    1. Since 9/11/2001 USDOT still has not made it a requirement for all CMV’s to hav electronic (solar powered?) SECURITY SYSTEMS.
    2. No door alarm security allegedly because of cost & issues extreme cold weather.
    3. Some companies since 2008 budget crunch, & to ensure CTPAT compliance, have ONE (1) KEY, SAME KEY for entire several thousand truck fleet.
    3A. FEMALE DRIVERS (near 100% solo) in my informal amateur surveys clearly alleged experienced ‘home invasions’ during sleeper break in truck.
    3B. Women alleged use of gas which causes no memory of event
    3C. These women awaken sore, headach, large sometimes finger pattern bruises, buzz cut privstes down under, larger surgical slit ear – ring holes, 1.5″ big TAZER BURN BLISTER under shoulder blade causing Ulmer nerve pain in arm to wrist, etc.
    3D. Bottom line these women were drugged.
    3E. And, these women had/hav absolutely zero memory of event.
    3F. These women’s companies allegedly asserted never a problem before ever & allegedly did nothing & asserted belief some u/i health problem was cause.
    3G. Additionally, police asked each & every one of these women if she was “sure” & whether SHE had been “having fun” &/or “gotten carried away” with “good time”.
    3H. ofcr allegedly behaved somewhat strangely harsh to threatening with a woman who was a likely VICTIM of Assault &/or rape!
    4. Back to basics.
    Bottles must be iinitialed by driver onto a SEAL that is applied immediately to said “random” drug test sample. Failing this military grade standard I was subject to at one time, drivers should decline random test & take it to supreme court if necessary & if necessary mount a CLASS ACTION suit & stop rolling.
    5A. Men/gentlemen of these United States please support the women/ladies & men/women& children around these United States who could become victims too if a commercial vehicle of any size is STOLEN or hijacked & subsequently used in a criminal/terrorist act.

    5B. PLEASE US-DOT MANDATE smart solar powered integrated truck & trailer electronic security systems in everything that rolls
    5C. And ADD/EMBED PORK FAT in trucks, trailers, planes, taxis, buses as Israel did which signif reduced terroristActs public gathering locales.

    Ok, thx 4 brk. But this has been pet peeve of mine going on 20yrs. Things cleaned up out here after Pres.Bush elected. Now see folk again hanging around truck stops panhandling up/down fuel lanes & by main driver entrance appearing as if bird dogging…