The Department of Transportation (DOT) maintains stringent safety standards for commercial drivers and their employers. Regardless of whether you are a new or experienced transportation service, staying up to date on the latest DOT compliance requirements can be challenging. DOT compliance consulting is an efficient and cost-effective solution that will ensure you and your employees understand not only the latest DOT regulations but how to comply with them on an everyday basis to avoid fines and other serious consequences.

Prevent Unwanted Financial Consequences

Failure to comply with DOT regulations can result in far-reaching consequences for your company. When employees cannot work due to safety violations, they will lose productivity and may struggle or even fall short as they strive to meet customer expectations and deadlines. The weighty fines associated with violation of many types of DOT regulations can also affect your expenses, unbalancing your budget and causing your profit margin to shrink or even disappear.

Protect Your Company’s Reputation

Your company’s reputation is comprised of a combination of several factors, including your dedication to the employee, client, and public safety. Failure to follow DOT compliance regulations will not only result in fines or other types of reconciliatory action, but it will also become a matter of public record. This information can seriously damage your reputation by making it appear as though your business is not concerned with the well-being of its employees or its clients. Even if your noncompliance resulted from a mistake or misunderstanding, it can still have serious long-term effects on the perception of your brand and your business’s ability for growth.

At HDS Safety and Compliance, our goal is to make it easy for you to comply with DOT safety requirements in Tucson. We are pleased to offer services that include DOT compliance auditing and consulting to provide you with a better understanding of how you can ensure employee and supervisor compliance at all times. If you’d like to learn more, please visit us online or call (520) 622-0419.

If your business is in the transportation industry, then you know there are several types of training that your employees need to remain compliant with DOT/DPS regulations. In the modern age, training is easier to keep up with, because many courses can take place online, freeing up more of your employees’ and supervisors’ time for daily operations. Below you can get a look at some of the online courses available through HDS Safety Services to keep your employees up-to-date in their certifications.

Suspicion Testing
It is important for supervisors to maintain a sober and safe workforce, so they need to know the signs of drug and alcohol abuse to recommend testing when necessary. Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training can be completed online, and the program is available to access 24/7, so it can be completed on any schedule.

Driver Awareness Training
Supervisors are not the only ones who should have drug and alcohol training. Drivers may take an awareness course to recognize the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse in the workplace, and they will also learn when and how drug and alcohol testing may take place within their organization.

CDL Knowledge
Your drivers will need to have current Commercial Driver’s Licenses, but their training might go a step further with the CDL Knowledge Test Review. This course provides a comprehensive overview of subjects covered on the written CDL exam, and it may be beneficial for supervisors as well, since they will need to know the rules and regulations their drivers must follow.

Defensive Driving: Light Vehicles
If your fleet includes passenger vehicles or lighter-duty trucks and vans, your drivers may benefit from this defensive driving course. It focuses on defensive driving for light vehicles, which will help keep your assets and drivers protected on the road.

To be sure that you’re in compliance with all DOT safety regulations, connect with HDS Safety Services in Southern Arizona. You can reach us online or by calling (520) 622-0419.

You want to know as much about your employees as possible, even before you hire them. This way you can make the most informed decision and create a team that’s suited to carry out your mission. Hiring the right team means limiting injuries, damages, and accidents, and helping people make the most of themselves. Continue reading and see why pre-employment drug screening is necessary.

Building the Right Team
You need to know who you’re bringing on board, which is why background checks and drug tests are standard procedures for the hiring process in many cases. Pre-employment drug screening helps you hand-pick exactly the people you want to represent your brand and carry your business forward. Bringing someone with a drug problem onto the team can be bad for your business, your team morale, and the employee that you hire.

Avoiding Accidents
A drug-free workplace stands to be more productive and efficient, which is crucial if you want to stay ahead of the competition. No matter what kind of business you run, chances are someone else runs a similar business, so make sure your team is in top shape to attract and keep your customers. Pre-employment drug screening makes it easier to do this. Accidents set you back, damage inventory, and can sideline employees due to injury, so do your best to avoid them.

Helping People
Addiction is a disease, and it’s a difficult one to deal with. Pre-employment drug screening makes it clear that your business won’t tolerate drugs, which can motivate drug users to try to kick the habit, so they can be employed at your company.

If you’re looking for qualified professionals to help you craft the best team possible, contact HDS Safety Services. Our drug screening services can help you identify the best candidates for the job. Give us a call at (520) 622-0419 or look through our website.

Accusing someone of having a problem is tricky, as you should be respectful of the other person’s feelings. Some people get defensive when others intervene in their lives, which makes the process even more uncomfortable. Reasonable suspicion testing aims to address certain kinds of problems in the workplace, so read on and find out what it is.

Noticing a Problem
A drug addict probably won’t come out and tell you about the problem, so employers should look out for warning signs that might indicate addictive behavior. If you suspect that one of your employees is using illegal drugs or abusing prescription drugs, don’t hesitate to take action. Drug abuse and illegal drug use can both cause substantial problems that affect the user as well as everyone around him or her. Reasonable suspicion testing gives you the opportunity to find out for sure if one of your workers might be into something unhealthy.

Protecting the Team
Your operation relies on the entire team, so everyone needs to contribute. There are situations where one person weighs the rest of the group down, and sometimes this is due to drug use. You can use reasonable suspicion testing to administer drug tests to anyone who seems like they might have a substance abuse problem that impacts the team. Identifying and dealing with the problem may make the rest of the group more comfortable in the workplace.

Helping the Employee
A drug problem impacts the business, the team, and the individual who is struggling with addiction. Thanks to reasonable suspicion testing, you can acknowledge the problem and talk to the person who is suffering. This kind of caring attention can make a world of difference, and it can even save lives.

You can always count on HDS Safety Services to make your workplace safer, healthier, and more productive. Our areas of expertise include drug testing and compliance consulting. Visit our website, or call our offices at (520) 622-0419 if you have any questions.

People are pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol every day, and the last thing you want is for this to happen to one of your drivers. You can’t take drugs like amphetamines, marijuana, or non-prescribed medications if you are a commercial driver, even when you aren’t on the job. Continue reading for a closer look at the prohibited drugs for truck drivers.


People use various forms of amphetamines for all different reasons, but truck drivers have been known to use them in order to stay awake during long trips. Using amphetamines like this is not only illegal but also extremely dangerous for truck drivers in particular. Amphetamines can change your mindset and behavior, which can present hazardous situations on the road. Consistent use of amphetamines can also affect a person’s personality and lead to a host of personal problems.


While marijuana is legal in certain states for recreational use and in many states for medical treatment, the active ingredient is still mind-altering. Marijuana can delay your reaction time and compromise your attention, both of which are important elements for people who spend a significant amount of their time on the road.

Non-Prescribed Narcotics

In some cases, drivers need certain types of medications in order to alleviate symptoms of an injury, but they can only take them if they have a prescription and when they are not about to get behind the wheel of a big rig. It’s always a good idea to talk to your supervisor and let him or her know about your situation, and you should also talk to your doctor about your medication options.

For more on the drugs that truck drivers are not allowed to take, consult the team of professionals at HDS Safety Services. We are happy to do our part in keeping your workforce safe, productive, and comfortable. Feel free to give us a call at (520) 622-0419 to find out how we can help you.

Use of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Clearinghouse is mandatory beginning January 6, 2020. This means that commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers, medical review officers, consortiums/third-party administrators (C/TPAs), and employers will be required to register with the Clearinghouse. Registration is currently open and it is important to start to familiarize yourself with the system. 

If you run a trucking company, here is some information you should know about the new FMCSA Clearinghouse:

The Purpose of the FMCSA Clearinghouse

The FMCSA and Department of Transportation (DOT) established the new Clearinghouse system to make it easier for motor carriers to get real-time information about CDL holders’ drug and alcohol program violations. This makes it harder for drivers with violations to conceal these issues from a prospective employer. It also makes it easier for motor carriers to complete proper pre-employment screening. The system includes positive test results, refusal to test, and information on whether a driver has completed a return-to-duty process after any violations. 

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Registration

In order to conduct queries and stay compliant once the Clearinghouse takes effect, you must be registered. You can complete registration on the Clearinghouse site. You will need a account and if you do not have one you will be prompted to register. Then, you can continue Clearinghouse registration by selecting the role “employer.” 

If you have an existing FMCSA Portal account, you can sign into it to link your company information to the new Clearinghouse login. Otherwise, you will need to enter this data manually.  

You will need to designate your C/TPA if you have one, in order to give them access to your Clearinghouse information. This is required for all owner-operators. If your C/TPA does not appear in the search results, they may not have registered for the Clearinghouse yet. 

HDS Safety Services has shared a guide to registering for the FMCSA Clearinghouse on our LinkedIn page. This gives more detailed information about the process. 

Compliance in 2020: Queries and Violations

Once the Clearinghouse mandate takes full effect in 2020, you will need to use the database during the pre-employment process for all new CDL drivers. You will also need to properly report any violations.

Limited and Full Queries

Before hiring a safety-sensitive employee, your company will need to run a search through the Clearinghouse to determine if they have had any violations. A limited query allows you to determine if a driver has any information in the Clearinghouse system. A full query will give you access to the complete records of that driver and will require their consent. Until 2023, you will need to complete a manual query as well to determine if a potential driver has any violations on record with their previous employers. 

In addition to querying the system for new drivers, you will need to search the Clearinghouse database once a year for your current safety-sensitive employees. 

Reporting Violations

Employers will be required to report any adverse drug and alcohol testing information to the FMCSA Clearinghouse. This includes positive test results, refusal to test, or other non-test violations of FMCSA regulations. You will need to report these violations within three business days of their occurrence. 

You must report “actual knowledge” violations along with complete documentation and information of any witnesses to the event. An “actual knowledge” violation is a situation where an employer is aware that a safety-sensitive employee has used alcohol or a controlled substance based on direct observation, information from a previous employer, or a traffic citation for driving under the influence. 

We Can Help with FMCSA Clearinghouse Compliance

The FMCSA Clearinghouse database will make it easier for trucking companies to ensure they are compliant with drug and alcohol testing regulations. However, it may be difficult to get familiar with this new system. At HDS Safety Services, we are here to help you stay compliant. 

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you prepare for the implementation of the FMCSA Clearinghouse.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) require DOT physicals for safety-sensitive transportation employees. These medical exams ensure truck drivers are in good health and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Motor carriers must keep up-to-date records of their drivers’ DOT physical exams and test results. 

It is important to understand what DOT physicals are, why they are necessary, and how trucking companies can maintain proper records. 

What Are DOT Physicals?

A DOT physical is a medical exam that determines if a commercial driver is healthy enough to perform their job duties safely. Drivers will need to complete an exam before the start of their employment in the trucking industry. Additional exams must be performed every 24 months. When the driver has a health condition that requires regular monitoring, a DOT medical examiner may require more frequent physicals. For example, this may apply to drivers with high blood pressure, insulin-controlled diabetes, or a variety of other conditions.

The physical includes vision and hearing tests, a blood pressure and pulse rate check, a urinalysis to check for underlying conditions, and a full physical examination. The certified medical examiner will consider the driver’s general appearance and overall health. They will also examine the eyes, ears, lungs and chest, heart, spine, extremities, and other areas of the body to ensure that the driver’s health is up to FMCSA standards. 

After the DOT physical examination, the provider will fill out several forms that the driver and their employer will need to keep on record. As an employer, these forms must be stored according to DOT regulations. At HDS, we can streamline your DOT paperwork and securely store your files electronically. 

Why Are DOT Physicals Necessary?

The FMCSA and DOT outline clear regulations for motor carriers to help ensure that those traveling on our nation’s roadways are as safe as possible. DOT physicals are an important aspect of trucking safety. They protect not only the drivers themselves, but also others on the road. 

How Can Trucking Companies Stay Compliant?

Motor carriers are required to keep driver qualification files. This is necessary when you first hire a new driver. You will also need to add updates, including copies of their most recent DOT physical results. If you do not have records for these medical exams, your company may be subject to fines if you are audited by the DOT. 

HDS Safety Services

WE Audit and Manage DOT Physical Records

At HDS Safety Services, we offer driver qualification file management. We organize files and track expiration dates for DOT physicals, driver’s licenses, annual reviews, and more. This makes it easy for you to stay up-to-date with renewing and updating your files. We update you weekly so you know you are compliant and prepared in the case of an audit. In the event that you do get audited, this will streamline the process. 

Contact us today to learn more about our services to manage, organize, and audit your DOT physicals and other driver qualification files.

Motor carriers must follow regulations from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These guidelines ensure that truck drivers as well as others on the road are as safe as possible. Because there are so many different rules to follow, it can be difficult to keep track. HDS Safety Services is here to help motor carriers develop and maintain DOT-compliant safety programs.

Here are some of the basic areas of DOT compliance:

Hiring DOT-Compliant Drivers

When you hire drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), you must ensure that they meet all federal requirements. You will need to keep a file that includes all records pertaining to each driver. This will include commercial driver’s license (CDL) information as well as a list of all driving violations or accidents that the driver was involved in. You will need to verify all incidents within the last three years with previous employers. 

The qualification file must also contain ongoing updates. One of these updates is the motor vehicle record for each driver, which motor carriers must update each year. CMV drivers must also undergo a physical by a licensed medical examiner every 24 months. HDS Safety Services can help you maintain detailed and compliant driver qualification files. 

Drug Testing

One of the most important components of motor carrier safety is drug and alcohol testing. DOT/FMCSA guidelines require you to test at specific times during the course of a driver’s employment. These include: pre-employment as well as randomly, after accidents, before returning to duty, or if there is reasonable suspicion (both drug and alcohol testing). We can help you make sure you know when to drug test your drivers and we operate one of the largest random testing consortiums in Arizona. 

Hours of Service

The DOT and FMCSA have strict rules for hours of service (HOS). These guidelines outline required rest periods and maximum driving time. Some of these regulations for property-carrying drivers include:

11-Hour Driving Limit:

A CMV driver may only drive for 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.

Required Rest Breaks:

A driver may not operate a CMV unless they have had a break of at least 30 minutes within the last eight hours.

Weekly Time On-Duty:

The limit for cumulative time on-duty is 60 hours for seven consecutive days or 70 hours for eight consecutive days. After this time period, a driver must have 34 consecutive hours off-duty before they can begin driving again. 

The easiest way to manage HOS compliance is by using an electronic logging device (ELD). HDS Safety Services offers ELD auditing to ensure that you are adhering to federal regulations. 

We Can Help Ensure DOT Compliance

Driver qualification, drug testing, and hours of services are only a few of the many rules and regulations that the DOT and FMCSA have implemented to ensure motor carrier safety. Managing these requirements is time-consuming and any mistake can lead to serious consequences. When you hire HDS Safety Services, we will do the hard work for you and will make sure you meet and exceed all DOT safety standards. 

Contact us today to learn more about our DOT and FMCSA compliance services.

Trucking companies must follow strict safety regulations from the DOT (Department of Transportation) and the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). These regulations help keep those working in the trucking industry safe. Additionally, they protect other travelers on the road. It is incredibly important that all motor carriers follow DOT and FMCSA guidelines. Because there are so many complex regulations, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. When you work with HDS Safety Services we help you stay safe and compliant.

Here are just a few key safety tips for trucking companies to know:

Drug Testing

The FMCSA requires trucking companies to complete drug and alcohol testing under specific circumstances. You must always test potential employees for drug use before hiring them for safety-sensitive duties. This means that all new truck drivers must have negative test results confirmed before they can start driving. Alcohol testing at this stage is optional. There are also requirements for drug and alcohol testing after accidents, before a driver who failed a test returns to duty, if a supervisor has reasonable suspicion of drug use or alcohol abuse, and randomly to ensure continued compliance. HDS Safety Services can help you manage all of these different testing requirements. We operate one of the largest random drug and alcohol testing consortiums in the State of Arizona. We offer DOT-compliant testing as well as additional testing for trucking companies who wish to go above and beyond required regulations to help ensure a safe workplace.

Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

Hours of service regulations dictate how long a truck driver can drive, how often they must take breaks, and other requirements for time on and off duty. In the past, these needed to be tracked manually. Recent advancements in technology have resulted in electronic logging devices (ELDs) becoming the standard for tracking hours of service. In fact, the FMCSA requires the majority of commercial motor vehicles to use an ELD, with limited exceptions. We can help you stay on top of hours of service regulations through ELD auditing services. We monitor your fleet to make sure your trucking company meets FMCSA and DOT regulations. This allows us to identify potential violations before they occur, keeping you and your truck drivers safe and compliant.

DOT Compliance Training

Regular training can help trucking companies ensure that both drivers and supervisors are up-to-date when it comes to DOT and FMCSA regulations. At HDS Safety Services, we offer both online and in-person classes for your employees. These classes include:

Maintenance and Inspection Training

Truck drivers will use their own trucks to go over the steps of a proper inspection. This helps them meet DOT requirements while also minimizing risk when heading out for a long haul.

Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion

One of the times when a trucking company must perform drug or alcohol testing is when a supervisor has reasonable suspicion a safety-sensitive employee is under the influence. This class goes over the requirements for identifying and reporting reasonable suspicion.

DOT Compliance Training

This comprehensive training is intended to help supervisors develop a more successful safety program. Our trainers will go over DOT regulations and requirements and will give you helpful tips on staying compliant.

DOT and FMCSA Compliance for Trucking Companies

HDS Safety Services offers a variety of services to help motor carriers stay on top of DOT and FMCSA compliance. This not only protects you in case of an audit but also helps keep your employees and others on the road safe.

Contact us today to learn more about our safety services for trucking companies.

With so many commercial vehicles on the road, safety is essential in the trucking industry. One of the most important requirements to maintain safe travel is drug and alcohol testing for truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), sets the requirements for when trucking companies must drug test their drivers. 49 CFR Part 382 C of the FMCSA regulations outlines when screening is required by law.

You will need to screen your drivers for illegal drug use and alcohol abuse at these times:

Pre-Employment Testing

Motor carriers must screen their CDL (commercial driver’s license) drivers for drug use before they perform any safety-sensitive functions for the company. This means that you must complete the drug test and confirm a negative result before the new employee drives a CMV (commercial motor vehicle). The FMCSA does not require alcohol testing before employment, but it does set regulations if you do choose to screen for alcohol. For example, you must perform the same testing on all safety-sensitive employees, so if you desire to alcohol test, you must do this for every new hire.

Random Drug Screening

Random drug tests help continuously ensure that your employees are not using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol. For random screening, the FMCSA does require both drug and alcohol testing. You must randomly select employees to test from a pool of all safety-sensitive workers. The FMCSA sets a percentage each year of how many employees you must screen during each testing period. This is based on the number of violations in the industry as a whole.

Reasonable Suspicion

When a supervisor has a reasonable suspicion that a driver is using controlled substances or alcohol on the job, they are required to perform a drug test or alcohol test for that employee. Once reasonable suspicion is identified, the driver in question must complete screening promptly. Only officials who are trained in reasonable suspicion can request this type of test. HDS Safety Services offers training to help your supervisors understand the reasonable suspicion guidelines set by the FMCSA.

Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing

If a commercial driver is involved in an accident while on the job, it may be necessary to screen for drug or alcohol use. This is based on the type of damage. If there was a human fatality, the FMCSA requires you to test your driver under all circumstances. If there was an injury to another driver that required immediate medical treatment away from the scene, or if another vehicle was damaged and towed away, you only need to screen for drug or alcohol use if there was a citation.

Return-to-Duty After Testing Positive

When a driver refuses a drug or alcohol test, has a positive result, or otherwise violates FMCSA regulations, they will need to cease safety-sensitive duties immediately. A DOT- qualified substance abuse professional will supervise the return-to-duty process for this individual. The driver will need to meet all of FMCSA’s requirements, which includes an observed drug and/or alcohol screening. A negative result is required before they can resume safety-sensitive tasks.

HDS Safety Services

Helping You Meet Drug Test Requirements

If you operate a trucking company, it is essential that you follow all DOT and FMCSA regulations for drug testing. HDS Safety Services can help you stay compliant for drug and alcohol testing. We also offer non-DOT tests for employers who want to take extra steps to keep their employees and others safe on the road.

Contact us today to learn more about our drug testing services.

Safety training is a critical part of complying with Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and in keeping your team on the road. At HDS Safety Services, we offer a number of different training courses for drivers and supervisors that can be tailored to the specific needs of your business. These courses can be taught in person or online. Here is a closer look at some of the safety training courses we offer.

Compliance Training

DOT compliance regulations are complicated, but even a minor error can lead to significant fines and can take your fleet off the road for an extended period of time. In our compliance training course, our team will teach your compliance staff how to build an effective safety program for your business and how to manage safe working conditions on an ongoing basis. The course also covers DOT compliance rules, so that your team understands the guidelines.

Maintenance and Inspection Training

Your drivers are on the frontline of safety compliance, and proper vehicle inspections and maintenance are part the process of staying safe on the road. During this course, our team teaches your drivers to inspect their vehicles and perform basic maintenance tasks. This course is taught using your drivers’ own vehicles, so they get to see exactly how the process should be conducted on the vehicles they will take on the road.

Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion Training

Reasonable suspicion drug and alcohol testing is an important part of maintaining a high level of safety in your business. During this course, we teach your supervisors how to spot signs of alcohol and drug abuse and how to conduct reasonable suspicion testing in accordance with DOT guidelines. Anyone who takes this course will receive a Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion certification from the DOT.

If you’re interested in providing safety training classes in Tucson to your team, call HDS Safety Services today. Dial (520) 622-0419 to learn more or to register for a course.  

Random drug tests are one of the best ways to make sure drugs are not an issue in your workplace. When drug tests are randomized, every employee understands his or her responsibility to be sober and knows the consequences of violating that expectation. Randomized testing is also fair to your entire team and gives employees an easy way of avoiding social pressure to take drugs since they can blame workplace testing. If you’re interested in setting up a randomized drug testing program in your workplace, the Department of Transportation, or DOT, recommends these strategies.

Know Your Randomized Rate Requirements

The DOT requires randomized testing for safety-sensitive employees, but the rate at which you are required to test varies between transportation industries. The rates change annually, and they can always be found on the DOT website. There are different randomized test rates for drug and alcohol testing. Keep in mind that these rates are minimum requirements. You can decide the rates that are appropriate for your company, as long as you meet these minimum standards.

Test According to Job Function

To meet DOT requirements for random drug testing, you should decide who to include in the random pool according to their job function. Anyone with a safety-sensitive position, regardless of their job title, should be subject to random drug tests, according to DOT guidelines. You can have a separate randomized test policy at your business that includes other people in the test pool, but if your purpose is to set up a DOT-compliant randomized test program, then you should only include safety-sensitive roles.

Make Test Selection and Timing Unpredictable

Everyone in your test pool should have the same chance of getting selected for a test, and tests should take place on different days for each round. Generally, tests should be performed quarterly, but within each quarter, the date should be unpredictable.

If you need help setting up or executing a random drug testing program, call HDS Safety Services. Our safety and compliance experts in Tucson can help you build the right testing program for your company’s needs. For more information, call (520) 622-0419.