Pacific, WA-based Gordon Trucking is requiring hair samples for drug testing well as urine samples in a move to tighten pre-hire screening of truck driver applicants, according to a report in the Journal of Commerce.
The trucking company began testing hair samples in July. Since the program began the drug testing lab determined that 10 out of 170 potential driver candidates tested positive for drug use.
“We also routinely have candidates dismiss themselves from orientation classes once they confirm a hair test will be conducted,” said Scott Manthey, vice president of safety and compliance at the company, which has about 1,950 trucks.
Hair testing, while more expensive than urine testing, can detect drug abuse over a longer period and almost twice as many samples test positive than in urine tests, according Omega Laboratories, that provides the hair testing service to Gordon. Each half inch of head hair provides a 30-day history of drug use, while urine tests provide a two- to three-day history.
Gordon is expanding their drug testing program to address shippers’ concerns about potential accident liability. Gordon is raising the bar for new drivers they hire and tightening standards, including drug testing, to assure compliance with FMCA’s CSA thresholds, the report said.