motor truck cargo insurance

A Guide to the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse: Do Owner Operators Get Drug Tested?

When you operate a vehicle, compliance with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations includes drug testing and motor truck cargo insurance—to name a few.

Both large and small motor carriers must abide by these rules, and businesses having a single driver should too. Although the standards for owner-operators’ drug tests are generally identical to those for other types of drivers, there are some special factors to take into account.

In addition to having to source loads on your own or negotiate a contract to haul goods for a particular business, you also have to deal with all the Department of Transportation’s bureaucracy.

Coming to terms with all the necessary paperwork is a major hassle. Maintaining your logbook is merely a drop in the ocean of remaining in compliance.

How Does the Clearinghouse Work?

In order to ensure carrier compliance with federal regulations, the clearinghouse will serve as a central location for test results. In addition to positive drug and alcohol test results, which are violative of current regulations, it will also include refusals to take tests.

In order to maintain complete, accurate information on these drivers, this software will identify and link the commercial driver’s license (CDL) of drivers who move frequently and acquire one in different states.

Employers will be able to use the clearinghouse to ensure that potential and current employees do not have unresolved drug and alcohol program violations that prevent them from driving trucks.

A driver’s pre-employment investigation and monitoring of current employees’ performance must both include this question.

How do Owner-Operators Conduct Drug Testing?

A random drug testing consortium is required when you’re an owner-operator. DOT drug and alcohol testing is managed by a consortium in whole or in part. You use them to communicate with other service agents. Aside from laboratories, collection sites, and Medical Review Officers (MROs), other service providers include evaluators and specialists.

DOT recognized that consortia were the best solution because owner-operators cannot choose themselves randomly. There are several companies involved in a random consortium, which is a pool of participants.

In order to be in compliance with the random testing rate for the whole year, the consortium must meet the rates yearly.

Legal Coverage and Settlements

It is important to have resources to tap into for legal coverage and settlements, such as commercial truck insurance, however, it is even more necessary to stay true to the law and avoid major fees and violations.

It is mandatory for an owner-operator to produce a negative drug test result before performing safety-sensitive duties. You are required to take a post-accident test depending on the circumstances in which the accident occurred. An alcohol and drug test should always be conducted when human life is lost in an accident.

Owner-operators are unlikely to be tested for drugs or alcohol based on reasonable suspicion. As a result, physical observations are required. There is a possibility that an owner-operator’s representative has a reasonable suspicion that he or she is abusing drugs. If drug and alcohol testing is deemed necessary, they will conduct it.

What Happens in the Event of a Drug or Alcohol Violation?

If a safety-sensitive task is carried out by owners-operators who are intoxicated or on drugs, their duties should be immediately terminated. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) must be informed of your activities by the consortia.

It is inevitable that an official will contact you at some point. The process of returning to duty is crucial if you want to maintain your trucking business.

It is highly likely that trucking companies will have legal and business problems if they violate these terms and regulations. Thus, it’s crucial to keep operations running smoothly and above board by investing in commercial truck insurance to protect against liabilities.

How Can You Return to Work After a Violation?

Owner-operators should always seek the assistance of the consortia to get back into the business. The substance abuse professional (SAP) evaluation, referral, and treatment process must be completed by a driver before he or she is allowed to return to work. Seek one for a face-to-face assessment.

It will be easier for you to understand how owner-operators are tested for drugs. There are many benefits to joining a consortium. Owning and operating a business is a responsibility that must be understood by owners and operators.

What Commercial Truck Insurance Do You Need?

The occupation of a commercial truck driver has many benefits but comes with many risks, such as violations of clearinghouse standards. In order to ensure the protection of your business and vehicles in the event of an accident, trucking insurance was specifically designed for the needs of businesses in the trucking industry.

The reason why you should have a reliable commercial truck insurance policy is because of this. Here are a few things to keep in mind when buying big rig insurance from a trucking insurance company.

Your accident will be covered if you have a general liability policy that covers damage you cause to other people’s property. It would pay for a person’s bodily injury and medical bills, for example, if your truck hurts someone.

Despite having general liability coverage, business owners’ insurance does not cover injuries to their truck drivers, damages to their own trucks, or even loss of their motor truck cargo. Consider taking a look into buying motor truck cargo insurance.

How to Keep Insurance Costs Low

It can be overwhelming to choose a provider of commercial trucking insurance because so many costs are involved. Truckers can lower the costs of commercial insurance by doing a number of things.

Our team at SoCal Truck Insurance is available to assist you in complying with FMCSA regulations, as well as your big rig insurance needs. We can also help you find the right bobtail insurance coverage for your business.

A good way to find affordable truck insurance options is to get quotes. For your property or business, most companies offer free commercial truck insurance rates on their websites. The cost of your insurance can be reduced with a multi-car policy. Consider combining your insurance policies and using one company rather than paying for each separately. 

To get started, contact us at 888-891-4304 at SoCal Truck Insurance today!