The “Drug Free Commercial Truck Driver Act of 2015” is a bill that would allow the Department of Transportation to authorize hair testing instead of urinalysis.
Critics of hair testing claim that science doesn’t support hair testing, and that it’s simply not as accurate as urinalysis for detecting controlled substances by an operator.
The bill currently is receiving support from bi-partisan co-sponsors, along with support from the American Trucking Association along with some fleets.
According to Dr. Kent Peterson, president of Charlottesville, Virginia Occupational Health Strategies and Former Exec. Vice President of American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM):
“Hair testing has a window of testing for the previous months or weeks. If you take one and a half inches closest to the scalp it will give an indication of drug use for the past 90 days,” he says. “Hair testing may be used for pre-employment screening to show long-term use but it gives no indication of current use or recent impairment.”
Some critics argues that hair testing unfairly biases some drivers. According to Peterson,
“Curly haired and persons of color are more likely to test positive [because they have more melanin in their hair which binds more strongly with markers]. It’s believed that if hair testing were to be used and brought to court, it would be thrown out on that basis alone.”
It will be interesting in the coming months to see if the bill will garner additional support and pass into law, as it seems that the science justifying the bill isn’t concrete.
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Now this is an impressive maneuver.
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The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is participating in a Congressionally-required study on the 2013 implemented hours-of-service changes.
By participating in the study, drivers can receive up to $2,000 in compensation. As of last month, the FMCSA needs an additional 250 drivers to participate in the 5 month study.
Drivers who decide to participate in the study will be involved for at least five months, and researchers will compare their schedules, crashes, near-crashes, crash-relevant events, operator fatigue and alertness and short-term health.
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Check out this amazing collection of custom Big Rigs!
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There’s a current shortage of truck drivers – skilled drivers are in extremely high-demand. Watch the video below to learn more:
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From our friends at Schneider Trucking: Are you considering Schneider for your career after driving school? It can be hard to sift through all the different perspectives, but nobody can explain what it’s like to be a Schneider driver better than an actual Schneider driver. Read below as Schneider Team driver Sharon Nader gives her perspective.
We might drive trucks for a living, but drivers have several jobs that come with the territory and need many skills to accomplish the job. Here are just a few:
Safety Officer: A driver’s first job is safety. We represent the ability to deliver freight safely and in a timely manner while following the DOT’s rules. You are always a safety representative of Schneider and our industry, even at home. Many people are worried that the new rules will hurt their ability to deliver freight. I disagree. In my opinion, the new rules force everyone to deal with what is possible — be advocates for safety on our highways. Drivers are the most important component of success. It can’t happen without safe drivers! Driver compliance, safe equipment and technology will keep Schneider on the top of the list of preferred carriers.
Customer Service Officer: Customer service is everyone’s goal. Schneider wants the shipper and the consignee to be happy with their performance. It’s just good sense and job security to want the customer to book freight repeatedly with Schneider. There is a great need to communicate equipment, routing and shipping issues or problems.
Keep in mind that we are humans, and being polite – even when hot and tired – is also a part of the job. You want your load to be safe, legal and damage-free. It can make or break business for our employer, our customers and even ourselves. Every time a problem is identified and you take the time to correct it or communicate it to the customer and Schneider, you are a customer service representative! Whether you are a good representative or a bad one is a choice you make on a daily basis.
Billing Agent: A driver who completes business by submitting paperwork helps Schneider get paid in a timely manner and ensures that the flow of business – and your pay – is uninterrupted. Accuracy is vital to the completion of a transaction. Knowledge of the business system will only improve your scorecard and get you more miles. It pays to know the system. Drivers are billing agents every time they complete a load and get that Transflo receipt!
Recruitment Officer: Here is an area that I need to improve. Did you ever have someone ask you a question about Schneider while you are cleaning your windshield or in the middle of fueling? It’s one of those “I could have had a V8!” moments! I can’t tell you how many times I have been approached and was never ready to answer the questions that were put to me. Sometimes I want to go find the person after they leave and complete the conversation.
Here are a few things I would tell them: First, I can’t imagine working for another company. Hauling freight is hard work and it can be dangerous. I want to work for Schneider because of its commitment to safety and for helping me be safer.
Secondly, I would say that Schneider’s technology has greatly improved and is continuing to get better to make my job more productive and safer. I think Schneider has the best of the best technology available.
Finally, I would say that Schneider’s equipment, especially trailers, has never been better. We have updated most of our equipment and more is on the way. From what I have seen, Schneider is concerned about driver satisfaction and they don’t just look at pay, they are trying to stay on top of all areas of business.
Find out for yourself why drivers have chosen Schneider for 80 years, explore all your opportunities and apply at schneiderjobs.com.
Take a moment to think about your current health status. Are you as healthy as you’d like to be? Could you improve your diet and exercise habits? Is it time to perform a little preventive maintenance?
As a driver, you can appreciate the importance of performing regular maintenance on your vehicle. You want that vehicle operating at peak performance. The same approach can be used when it comes to your health. A basic “maintenance plan” for a healthy lifestyle should include these Top 5 ideas:
1. Eating a healthy diet
Everyone knows they should eat healthy, but it’s not easy. Fortunately, truck stop restaurants are starting to offer more healthy options, so go out of your way to choose them. You can also pick out some healthy snacks to bring with you on the road, stay hydrated by drinking more water and set up an accountability system with someone to report on what you’ve been eating.
2. Exercising regularly
Exercise doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Instead of exercising for a solid hour or setting unrealistic expectations, exercise throughout the day. Spend five minutes stretching before hopping in the driver’s seat, do some pushups during your 30-minute HOS break and squeeze in a quick workout while you’re being loaded/unloaded. Did you know that walking around the truck and 53-foot trailer 32 times equals one mile?
3. Getting adequate sleep
Changing schedules and strange hours can be tough to get used to, but as you plan your trip, prepare some designated time for sleep. If sleep apnea is or could be an issue, get it checked out — now.
4. Limiting or coping with stress
Truck driving can be stressful, with deadlines looming and time away from home, but there are all kinds of ways to tackle that stress. First of all, if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. You don’t have to go it alone. Some of the best ways to handle stress are by addressing some of the other items on this list. If you’re getting better sleep and eating healthier, you’ll feel better. Lastly, focus on what you can control, not things you can’t (like other motorists).
5. Not smoking
It’s an easy concept: Stop smoking and be healthier. Of course, for smokers, there’s nothing easy about quitting. Fortunately, there are many different methods out there for conquering the habit. Schneider offers a tobacco cessation program available to drivers enrolled in the company medical plan. If you haven’t quit yet, find a way.
This post is compliments of our friends at Schneider Trucking. Schneider understands that driver health directly affects performance and happiness, which is why they provide tools to help drivers stay healthy and improve their health.
Learn more about Schneider’s commitment to driver health and apply to join the team by visiting schneiderjobs.com or calling 800-44-PRIDE.
Safety isn’t just a buzzword in the trucking industry — it’s a lifestyle. It has to be, for a reason more than familiar to military veterans: neglecting safety comes with consequences. Fortunately, veterans transitioning into trucking will find a familiar — and enduring — commitment to safety. The statistics prove it.
According to the American Trucking Associations, the number of truck-involved fatalities fell 21% between 2002 and 2012 (the most recent range data is available for). The number of truck-involved injuries fell 20% during the same period. Altogether, trucks have overall crash rates almost half that of other vehicles.
The numbers are even more impressive considering in 2012 there were nearly 3 million more registered large trucks on the road than in 2002. Every day, the drivers of those trucks travel millions of miles, facing challenges like careless motorists and fluctuating weather conditions.
A combination of factors contributes to safety progress made in the industry, including better equipment and technology. Ultimately, it comes down to each driver making safety a top priority, and working for a company that never compromises that commitment.
For example, Schneider, an industry leader for 80 years and the number eight G.I. Jobs Military Friendly employer, has a core value of “safety first and always.” No freight matches the value of a human life, and Schneider’s policies reflect that.
Learn more about Schneider’s commitment to safety, see why those with a military background choose Schneider and apply to join the team by visiting schneiderjobs.com or calling 800-44-PRIDE.
A reputable trucking company has a set of core values it lives by and a track record to prove it. Anyone can claim to value safety, but what do the statistics say? Every company boasts respect for drivers, but what do the men and women behind the wheel really say? All carriers strive for excellence, but do they have decades of proven success to stand on? There are some fly-by-night operations in this industry, but you won’t regret working for a company with a reputation of integrity.
2. Fair Compensation
Every driver deserves to be rewarded appropriately for the hard work they do, but it isn’t all about money either. Some companies will fill your wallet but treat you terribly. Others promise hefty pay per mile but don’t have the freight to make it worth it. Still others follow through with a great paycheck but don’t offer benefits. When you pick a carrier, look into the entire compensation package, along with opportunities for bonuses and career advancement.
3. Career Options
The trucking industry has a notoriously high turnover rate, but finding the “green grass” right away will be just as helpful for you as it will for the company you choose. The best carriers will treat you right and pay you fairly, but they’ll also provide opportunities for advancement and movement within the company that meet your work-life balance needs. Some carriers put you through their school and funnel you in the direction that helps their bottom line or fits their limited freight base. Wouldn’t you rather be able to pick your driving school, and then find a company where you can continue to pick the best driving option for your life situation?
4. Home Time
Let’s be honest: truck driving is more than a job – it’s a lifestyle. Being away from home is simply a reality as a truck driver, but a carrier worth choosing understands how to maximize that home time. Whether it’s special programs to get over-the-road drivers home for longer periods, or regional routes more conducive to drivers supporting families, or even part-time options, the best truck driving companies will encourage a healthy work-life balance.
The trucks you drive and the technology you use aren’t just accessories on the job. They impact your quality of life and even your livelihood. If you work for a company that promises great mileage-based pay, frequent home time and steady freight, but your tractor keeps breaking down before you can rack up miles, get home or haul your next load, what’s the point? What if the poor condition of equipment negatively impacts your CSA score? Look for a company that continually invests in new equipment and has a track record of technological innovation that makes a driver safer, more comfortable and more productive.
If you’re looking for a company with all of the above, and 80 years of proof, check out Schneider.
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