FMCSA Compliance For Small Trucking Companies

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For safety and compliance, operators of trucks in the United States have a responsibility to comply with DOT and FMCSA regulations for drug and alcohol testing. For small trucking companies and bus companies looking for an all-in-one solution, National Drug Screening offers a turnkey program for fast and easy compliance.

What are the Requirements for FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Testing?

DOT FMCSA compliance for drug and alcohol testing is comprised of certain requirements, including:

  • Written Policy
  • Supervisor Training and employee education
  • Pre-employment drug testing
  • Random drug & alcohol testing random pool or consortium
  • Post accident, reasonable suspicion, follow-up and return to duty testing
  • Substance Abuse Professional

National Drug Screening offers all of above for one low price. We are an industry leader in DOT compliant drug and alcohol testing. Our clients not only appreciate our great customer service, but we also have some of the lowest priced programs in the nation. Our programs include assistance at no extra charge when you have your new entrant examination or safety audit. Purchase your DOT compliant drug and alcohol package for owner operators today.

Small Trucking and Bus Drug Test
eCCF Paperless Drug Testing


How Do You Know If You’re Required To Follow FMCSA Regulations?

According to FMCSA, anyone operating a vehicle requiring a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, is subject to the drug testing regulations set forth by the FMCSA. This includes all vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 pounds. It also includes any vehicle that is placarded for the transport of hazardous materials as well as any vehicle designed to carry 16 or more passengers.

Some state laws also require a CDL for the legal operation of other types of vehicles, such as limousines, taxis and buses designed to carry less than 16 passengers. These drivers are not subject to DOT drug and alcohol testing regulations.

Any employee who operates or is expected to operate, even occasionally, a vehicle that requires a CDL is defined as a driver for purposes of DOT drug and alcohol testing. This includes dispatchers, supervisors, mechanics, fill-in drivers, and anyone else who operates a CMV meeting the criteria despite his or her job title.

FMCSA DOT testing programs must include drivers from staffing services or owner-operators who drive vehicles under the carrier’s U.S. DOT number. Even if the carrier does not sign their paychecks, it is still responsible for their safety compliance.


What Happens if I Have Questions?

At National Drug Screening our services include free ongoing consultation for the small trucking companies and bus companies. Our drug screening compliance experts become your consultant for the FMCSA drug and alcohol testing requirements.

Common Mistakes Made With FMCSA Compliance

When it comes to FMCSA drug and alcohol testing compliance, we see many types of mistakes made by small trucking and bus companies. Some of the most common issues are:

  1. Using a local medical clinic for your drug testing. These facilities know how to collect your drug test specimens but do not know anything about compliance and your responsibilities with the regulations.
  2. Random testing not conducted or not conducted properly. The smaller companies need to be in a random testing consortium in order to insure compliance with the random testing. Make sure the company selecting your random testing knows the regulations, many don’t.
  3. No drug testing program. Often small trucking companies and bus companies have no drug testing program at all resulting in fines and potential revocation of your operating authority.
  4. Pre-employment tests not conducted – this is a violation that occurs over and over. At National Drug Screening we can provide immediate service to get your pre-employment testing done fast and east at the most competitive price in the nation.
  5. Using a driver who tested positive for drugs on a DOT-required test. This is a common serious violation and will cause fines and potential revocation of your operating authority. After a positive test result or refusal to test, the employee or applicant must be removed from the safety sensitive position and be referred to a Substance Abuse Professional.

Why Choose National Drug Screening?

At National Drug Screening, we provide DOT FMCSA compliant services for small trucking and bus companies throughout the U.S. Our process is fast, easy and is very affordable. Our programs include the following:

  • Step by step instructions and all required documents – all in one great compliance manual.
  • As required – A policy statement on controlled substances use and alcohol misuse in the workplace – your customized DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing Policy
  • As required – educational materials to be distributed to all covered employees
  • As required – supervisor training materials and access to live or on line additional supervisor training
  • As required – employee assistance programs, rehabilitation, and treatment programs information.
  • As required – access to Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) for DOT violations
  • As required – copies of DOT regulation 49 CFR Part 40 and FMCSA regulation 49 CFR Part 382
  • As required – A controlled substances and alcohol testing program for persons, used in duties requiring the driving of CMV’s.
  • Random testing instructions required random testing.
  • All required forms for compliance.
  • Instructions for required record keeping.

If you get a notice from DOT or FMCSA regarding an audit of your drug and alcohol testing program, call National Drug Screening immediately.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILURE TO COMPLY:

Penalties are assessed administratively by the FMCSA for violations of parts 382 and 40 and administrative orders may be issued to bring about satisfactory compliance. Criminal penalties are also authorized to be sought in U.S. District Court under certain circumstances.

Call today for expert service for compliance at the most competitive prices in the nation. National Drug Screening is a one stop show to help you with this process and we make it simple, easy and turnkey.

More on DOT Drug Testing and Trucking Companies

Trucking plays a vital role in the American economy. It helps transport raw materials and goods across the country. Close to 60% of all commercial freight is hauled by trucks in the US, that’s a substantial share. With so many trucks plying on the nation’s roads, there are safety regulations put in place by FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) in regards to alcohol and drug testing for drivers. FMCSA is an agency within US DOT (Department of transportation)

Operating a trucking company comes with it’s own set of challenges and it requires the owner to always comply with safety rules and regulations. If your company has commercial vehicles requiring drivers with CDL (Commercial Driving License) than you come under the purview of drug testing regulations of FMCSA.

This includes any vehicle:

  • With a gross vehicle weight of over 26,001 pounds
  • Vehicles used for hauling hazardous materials
  • Vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers including the driver

Drug Testing Rules for Trucking Companies

As per regulations laid out by FMCSA, CDL drivers are required to go through a pre-employment drug screening round before the driver performs any safety-sensitive function. This is a standard 5-panel DOT mandated drug test and tests for Amphetamines, Cocaine, Marijuana (THC Metabolite), Opiates (Heroin included) and Phencyclidine (PCP).

After the initial pre-employment screening, the employer has to perform the tests in the following circumstances:

Post accident: Drug testing maybe required after accidents based on the FMCSA criteria for the accident.  The FMCSA requires the employer to test as soon as practicable following an accident involving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on a public road in commerce with a  driver:

  1. Who was performing safety sensitive functions if the accident involved the loss of human life (fatality); or
  2. Who receives a citation within 32 hours of the accident under State or local law for a moving violation arising from an accident, if the accident involved either: 
  • injury of any person requiring medical treatment away from the accident scene, or
  • a vehicle has to be towed from the accident scene

Random Testing: CDL drivers are subject to random testing throughout the year. Random testing introduces a surprise factor and acts as a deterrent. An employer who employs himself/herself as the only CDL driver (owner operatory) in the company shall join a random testing program of two or more covered employees in the random testing selection pool as a member of a consortium.

Selection of drivers randomly should be done based on a scientifically valid method like a random number table or a computer software. Employers can hire service agents like National Drug Screening to set up a random selection technique. Employers need to ensure that drivers on being notified about random drug testing should reach the test site immediately.

The start of 2016 saw FMCSA reduce the rate of random testing for drugs from 50% to 25% of the average number of driving positions. This drop is based on the fact that data collected from Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) showed the positive rate for random drug tests fell below 1% threshold for years 2011, 2012 and 2013. It can be increased to 50% again if the positive rate is equal or more than 1% based on data in MCMIS.

At the start of 2020, the annual random testing rate for FMCSA for drug tests increased back to 50%. The annual rate for alcohol remained at 10%.

Reasonable Suspicion: CDL supervisors should be trained appropriately by employers to raise a red flag when they suspect something off in driver’s behaviors or notice driver impairment symptoms. A drug and alcohol test should be ordered ASAP by the employer when there is reasonable suspicion.

Return to Duty: When a driver returns to safety sensitive duty after being tested positive, he needs to undergo a return to duty drug and alcohol test to ensure he’s clean and safe to return to work. The driver by this point would have undergone the return to duty process by a DOT qualified substance abuse professional (SAP).

Follow Up: If a driver tests positive for a drug test or refuses to submit to testing. He has to complete the due process of evaluation, education and treatment with a DOT qualified substance abuse professional (SAP) along with a return to duty drug test before he can resume working.

A driver who has been tested positive earlier and undergone the return to duty process with a substance abuse professional (SAP) and got a return to duty negative result is now subject to a follow up drug and alcohol testing test. This testing is prescribed by the SAP.

Urinalysis vs. Hair Follicle

Urinalysis and Hair Follicle are two widely used formats for drug testing. Currently DOT drug testing is urine only.  Testing urine samples for drugs is a federally accepted method used by trucking companies and mandated by FMCSA. However, a growing number of trucking companies primarily the big names like J.B. Hunt and Schneider are adopting non-DOT hair follicle drug tests as part of their pre-employment checks. Trucking companies are free to adopt their own tougher non-DOT testing rules but results of these tests cannot be shared with anyone except their human resources departments.

Hair follicle tests can detect traces of drugs as far back as 90 days thus making it a favorable point of argument for trucking companies to keep the roads safe.

Many driver unions on the other hand are united and determined for not allowing hair follicle tests to be a part of the FMCSA testing process. Their view is hair follicle tests are not accurate and ready for prime time.

Get Advice from Experts

If you are the owner of a trucking company or a CDL driver supervisor, get in touch with us to know more about the compliances and regulations involved for drug testing.