TCA changes policy on drug testing, sleep disorders, on-board tech

By CCJ Staff on

EOBRAnnounced this week at the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual convention at the Wynn in Las Vegas, the TCA board of directors made changes to its official policies to support drug testing via hair samples, establishing standards for sleep disorder screening and treatment and developing and testing on-board technologies to improve safety and productivity.

TCA says the revisions come from its Regulatory Policy Committee, which “had been tasked with examining the regulatory landscape and timelines for upcoming government rulemakings pertaining to the trucking industry,” said an announcement from TCA.

Per its drug testing policy changes, TCA says a new clause notes that it now supports changing federal standards — either to regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or the Department of Transportation — to allow fleets to use “alternative specimens” like hair to be tested instead of urine to ensure employees comply with federal regulations.

Its updated language on sleep disorders contains two changes. TCA says that if FMCSA implements screening standards for sleep disorders, it should do so via rulemaking and not regulatory guidance. Moreover, any future regulation on establishing standards for screening and treating sleep disorders should “focus on conditions that pose a substantially elevated crash risk based on sound data and analysis,” TCA says, in addition to being cost-beneficial and promoting treatments that minimize impact to motor carriers and drivers.

Lastly, TCA’s policy changes now includes support for developing, testing and using “cost-effective on-board technologies that improve vehicle safety, driver performance, productivity, vehicle maintenance and management,” adding that it favors “federal motor vehicle safety standards for those technologies which have a proven significant safety benefit and a reasonable cost.”

The policies take place immediately, TCA said.

4 comments
Cortez aka TopCat
Cortez aka TopCat

Honestly WTH is going on in trucking? I mean, you have drivers that have over 20 years experience, no tickets or accidents, who had some family problem at home BECAUSE he is gone so often SERVING America...so wifey leaves and takes the kids (not uncommon in the industry, i've heard it a LOT), and THAT is like "...why am I a truck driver again?". So, the driver is emotionally 'messed-up'....agreed?? THEN, this poor sap has a brother , friend or SOMEONE who sees the pain and takes him for a 'night out' when he gets HOME to forget his problems. There's a 'good buddy' !! The driver is amongst a group of folks who are drinking, and fire up a single joint, pass it around. And, this usually drug-free, uptight, slave to the industry, ...feels free for just a single moment in time. Then 3 days later, returns to work after this single 'night out', and the company knows he is having family issues...SOO, they random pop, hit him for a drug test. Ok...smart? right? ..to the haters. Anyway, he loses his big rig, if you think that's funny you're a heartless ass. After losing his family...still laughing? Loses EVERYTHING except his house and sanity before he pulls the reigns and says, ..."I have to put things back together". (Which is NOT an easy thing to do after your world falls apart, of which you had NO control over!!) This driver has worked HARD ALL his life, helped a lot of people, done EVERYTHING he could to make life good for himself and everyone around him. He has pulled motorist on America's Interstates out of burning cars, putting his own life in jeopardy to save others...something taught in the service, now a Veteran of the Army. This guy is a 'HERO OF THE HIGHWAY'. And if YOU ever had ANY kind of problem out on the road, even needing money or gas,...HE is the guy you want to be coming your way for help...because that's the kind of guy he IS ! This guy deserves a second chance. He BELONGS out on the road AND 'TO' the road. They are synonymous. Now insurance companies are controlling EVERYTHING? How did THAT happen? They've got the motor carriers by the balls and squeezing tighter every year, so much so...that this guys exemplary career is over. All that is left is rookie drivers...It makes ZERO sense. Because the rookie is aloud to roll a truck over , kill someone to 'learn'. But God forbid you smoke a little weed one time...you are labeled as a drug addict. The quality of trucking has gone to shit...there is NO better way to state that. If the industry is not making ANY sense and will not work with the driver's on an 'AMNESTY' (<definition means: 'wipe clean') program, so that they can get past a mistake, then I can only assume that the freight will generally increase in using railways, and the trucking industry will grow more obsolete. The driver IS the money maker for the company...NOT the motor carrier, not the insurance company, AND definitely NOT the government !! So make allowances for the LIFE that the driver gives up for you to have a job, to have food and everything else delivered. Otherwise, the industry is in DEEP denial, AND the government can give all the truckers grants & loans to start new careers...and the insurance companies can keep paying claims for inexperienced driver roll-overs and deaths. Whereas the industry will have an ever increasing turn-over in drivers because there will always be an ever increasing shortage of drivers. It is a rare breed who want to dedicate their life to the road. Let them do it ! They already lost everything to driving...don't take the one purpose they have in life away from them !  ...Thank You, J.Cortez

Ghostrider96988
Ghostrider96988

@ladytrucker. With all due respect and I do respect your opion. BUT, I have been in trucking for 33 years and I have seen first hand what big companys can and will do to the drivers. Now let me say this "Back in the day" I was total surprize that there was drivers useing "LSD" and driving right out of Wildwood truck stop, I was shocked. Now days your right its meth, and we the good drivers will have  to do our part to get these drivers out of the industier, and I have done my part at the TA truck stop in south Florida as I seen a driver useing drugs sitting right next to me and I call the police told them what I seen and watch as that driver was taken away from his truck. Now I don't use drugs But you must not fully understand what your hair (DNA) holds and what it can do in the hands with the wrong company and by you so easy giving it up your going to get a eye opening the hard way, and you will and I repeat NEVER be able to change it. This is your "DNA" it tells ever thing about "EVERTHING". You must really trust people, I just had a though of some thing can I have your S.S number Its safe with me? Your thinking right now I must be out of my mind asking you for it.(No I don't really want it) And you would not give it to me anyway, Because you know what someone could do with it, Well giving your hair to someone you don't know in my opion is doing the same thing. THINK ABOUT THAT. Be careful out there,have a safe ride.

ladytrucker
ladytrucker

I am in this business for 15 yrs.  Small carrier and can tell you that it is shocking how many drivers are using drugs in spite of the drug testing already in place.  I for one was not aware of how quickly a driver can give a clean drug test after using meth.  If the driver is not using drugs then there should be no reason not to give a strand of hair for a drug screen.  Any driver who refuses this test would be questionable as far as I'm concerned. 

 

Ghostrider96988
Ghostrider96988

This is the main reason I got out of trucking after 33 years. (hair sample) I was working fo Schneider National as a I/C making great money when they told us we would start doing hair samples for drug testing and I told then you will not get any of my hair, I do not use drugs and you will NEVER get any of my hair, So I left them and sold the truck. I can not under stand why you the drivers wold let any one have your hair for any reason. When you (the drivers) start showing that you have a brain and know how to use it then and only then you will start having some say so but until then you will be the "Slaves" to the trucking companys........ I'm just saying

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