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JeffTow

Marijuana and a positive test result...A Policy question.

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I have two questions to pose on this topic:

Without all of the debate about it being illegal in commercial driver's systems, I'm aware of all that.

But my first question here is how has your zero tolerance attitude changed in the past year or three?

 

(Disclaimer: My tolerance is zero across the board, from drivers to office persons, to mechanics, to lot help. I perform 7 random checks every year, either for narcotics or breath alcohol.) (I also check MVR and criminal history four times a year.) (Yes, I still have employees!!)

 

I'm having a hard time with debating people that are of the opinion that there's not a lot of people that (probably) don't smoke weed, so I'm not sure I can expect to keep a well staffed fleet if, at any given time I test any percentage and they result hot.

 

In a company with a half dozen employees there may be a workforce available that can be clean at any random check, but it's becoming difficult to expect the zero tolerance level after 50 people, or ever 30 people.

 

With more and more states legalizing weed, that brings me to my second question. How are we as otherwise compliant motor carriers expected to random test and hope for a negative result when society accepts weed as okay?

 

There are steps to re-enter an employee into the workplace and monitor for future uses, but that's not going to help us. That will just be another responsibility of babysitting in an already over-tasked person, to say nothing of the additional testing expense. (Right now I'm paying $30.00 for a 10-panel screen.)

 

I'd just like the thoughts of my counterparts.

 

Thanks. Jeff.

 

 


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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Jeff,

If your driver is involved in a crash that is determined to be his fault, and he is tested for alcohol or narcotics as a routine part of the investigation, and is determined to be positive, how does that reflect your attempt at due diligence to promote operators who are safe? The drivers you hire agree to the terms, rules and conditions of your company. You have every right and all the more responsibility to ensure that your staff is operating in a safe manner. Your company, your standards, your rules. If you do not like it go work somewhere else.

 

Far too many companies in this industry have a seat for any ass with a drivers license and a pulse. Far too many ignore alcohol as well as drug abuse simply in order to get the job done. Before any one gets their shorts in a bind, if you are doing the right thing, I am not addressing you. If you are doing a good job, great, no, outstanding.

 

If you are one of the owners, managers, or so called leaders that looks the other way when alcohol and or drug abuse is concerned, then I am directing my concerns toward you. When you send a particular driver you are absolutely certain will test clean for random UA's because you are reasonably certain others will be positive, when you look the other way when a driver is observed to reek of alcohol or weed, or when you get multiple reports, even from law enforcement, and when you find roaches or syringes in YOUR vehicles and continue to look the other way, then you have no standards for your staff.

 

For your second question, one has to constantly be on the hunt for the perfect candidate. I once worked at a company who hired a guy who would not work Sundays due to church as well as the desire to spend time with his family. For 144 hours a week he was the perfect employee. Customers and clients loved him and would request him by name. Just because a person cannot commit 168 hours of the week to your business, does not necessarily rule them out as an ideal fit for your company. There is a young man who works at a local grocery store who I have attempted to recruit for some time. We are currently very close to a deal, but not quite there.

 

I have a zero tolerance policy for drugs, alcohol, as well as visible tattoos. It is my policy. It is also my company, investment, blood, sweat, and tears. If you do not like it, then roll up all of your nickels, dimes, and quarters and start your own company. Then you can smoke weed, drink beer, and get tattoos all over your face. It is your company to do so as you please.

 

My company, my standards, my rules.

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Goodmichael has the right thought process here. Just google Reptile Strategy of Litigation and see what the plaintiff's bar will do to you if you are not running a tight ship, in a split second you lose all that your hard work has biult to a nuclear verdict. I have been selling insurance for nearly 30 years and I haven't seen a time like we are in today where we are seeing such large demands, no only in towing, but across the board. Remember, you don't have to be totally at fault. In some jurisdictions you only have to 1% at fault to have a large judgement against you. I have seen companies that for many years had no or very few claims all of a sudden have fatal accidents. Ask yourself, is closing your eyes to bad behavior really worth it?

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Zero tolerance and make sure you have a signed employment contract saying to.Many prescription drugs are legal would you put a driver behind the wheel with a drug in their system that makes them drowsy or slow reacting?


Kevin's American Towing Service
Ph: 631-654-8811

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My view has changed to grey from black/white.

A good employee goes on vacation for a week and smokes out on day 5 of 7. 

Comes back ready to work and then gets random drug tested. 

Now what?

Is he now deemed a tweeker/pot head and should be fired on the spot?

Personally, I don't think so.  Company policy on the other hand, fired.

We want employees like LE has... but we only pay a fraction of their salary.

"under the influence" and a "hot" test are different to me, but I know lawyers think different.

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On ‎3‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 10:46 AM, BlackAutoload said:

My view has changed to grey from black/white.

A good employee goes on vacation for a week and smokes out on day 5 of 7. 

Comes back ready to work and then gets random drug tested. 

Now what?

Is he now deemed a tweeker/pot head and should be fired on the spot?

Personally, I don't think so.  Company policy on the other hand, fired.

We want employees like LE has... but we only pay a fraction of their salary.

"under the influence" and a "hot" test are different to me, but I know lawyers think different.

A good employee is aware of company policies, and has the self control, as well as the cognition to know that if he gets popped with a test and is dirty he will have to face the consequences. If one wants to go party, then get a job waiting tables, working as a clerk, or washing cars. Operating equipment, or vehicles is a big boys game. If you want to be a teenager and act like a teenager then suffer the consequences of your actions.

The livelihood of not just a companies owners are at stake here. A catastrophic indecision behind the wheel, or behind a spool valve can have devastating results.

Try explaining to a jury how your positive screen was not a factor in a catastrophic failure event. Your carrier will be writing the settlement check as you spit and sputter.

Also, people given an inch generally will take a quarter mile.

I once worked for a company with a driver who would, upon returning home after the workday, down two or three bottles of beer, regardless of whether he was on call or not. The owner had smelled alcohol on his person numerous times. No corrective action was ever taken. One evening he responded to a two car as my backup. The trooper stated that he appeared to be more intoxicated that the occupant who had caused the crash. Who he had arrested for suspicion of DWI.

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Thanks for replies. 

My post and y'alls replies made me thing of these things:

   In 35 years, I've never had to use the rehab and re-entry clause in my policy.

   I've also never received a reply from a Previous Employer Inquiry where someone checked a box indicating a drug test        issue. Actually, for all the PEIs that I send out I receive only maybe a 10% return.

 

I do a true random breath and drug screens, and I do a few more than the required percentage to cover myself, as per a suggestion from a consultant I hired for a compliance review. Also, imo a test of an employee you think may be high is not a random test. I have a random number generator. I've went the extra step and became certified to perform Reasonable Suspicion evaluations for cases where someone reports another person. 

 

I guess if I had a fourth question it would be 'Why doesn't all motor carriers follow compliance regulations?' It could be they just don't know. My answer to that is if you are operating a motor carrier organization you should be schooled in the compliance of it, or hire someone that is and follow his or her guidance. 

 

Thanks again for the replies and views, Jeff.

 

(My comments and thoughts are those of my own and may not represent those of anyone else.)


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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Michael, I'd like to meet you one day, maybe at a two show. There are few in the industry who share our goals, beliefs, and opinions. There may be more, they're just hard to find. Probably because they're too busy looking for qualifiable (I know, that's not a word) candidates than to spend time on a forum talking about it.

 

Thanks again. Jf.


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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We live in a not my problem, not my responsibility, hooray for me and screw you culture today. Far too many have zero regard for doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason. Parents do not want to parent, they want to relive their lives through their children, and have a desire to be their children's peers, rather than their parent. Children do not get the love. structure, and discipline they need to become self sufficient and successful, with the capacity to stand on their own two feet. Parents on average spend more time on social media than they do speaking with their children. Yet we blame guns, a piece of steel, plastic, and wood as the number one cause of school shootings.

A seven or eight year old shot their sibling to death over a video game controller last week. A seven or eight year old was the perp!

We pay direct tv over 100.00 a month to pipe crap into our homes. We pay them to do it. I have not had a tv at home in three years.

For those of you who have young children, sit and read to them for at least fifteen minutes a day. If you do not have fifteen minutes to sit and spend time with your child, then go get the crowbar from your truck and smash your television screen, align your priorities to your responsibilities. Or better yet, throw it in the middle of the street and then all your neighbors will think you are crazy until you tell them you are giving up tv to spend more time with your children. 

Your children need at least a few hours of your time, your most precious asset, each and every day.

If more people spent more quality time with their children, and took the time to invest in their children, maybe we would have less people who prioritized smoking a bowl over having stable employment.

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I had a problem one time--I had a drug policy in place-was involved in a random type deal,set-up thru a association---had a employee who I felt was abusing his smoking abilities and could see a change in his work,attitude,forgetting things (from one day to the next)--so I called my company doctor and scheduled drug test for everyone(so as not to single out 1 person)  -was told I couldnt do that???--anyway--I loaded 6 people into my dually(I also took one,knowing I was clean)-----we went on a Wednesday--Monday Am my doctors assistant called and had results---5 good---1 very bad----the test showed he smoked Cannibus regularly and would be under the infulance daily---I confronted him and his words were--Was just waiitng for you to get the results,I knew I was dirty---  He never tried to file Un-employment ,but did later ask for his job back,this time I asked if he would pass the drug test( his answer was no,still smoking)-----Its there  ---  Ive know people who have smoked(Pot) all their life and seem to function regularly ----but its such a liability to us a a employer not to take steps  to protect us and our customers----the work force today is limited to say the least---getting close to my retirement years and I will not give in to trouble just to have a steering wheel holder,I can still drive and recover if needed----

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It really helps and makes your life easier as an employer or a manager if you have a clear expectation of what being prepared for the workday really means. Being well rested, drug and alcohol free, and having the capacity to being able to function on company business by leaving your baggage at home once you climb into the cab is not such a cut and dry process.

I managed an auto restoration business years back, and the number one priority was putting out the highest quality product humanly possible. We got it done, but it was a nightmare to manage. We had people who did great work but it was a nightmare for me. I was more of a childcare expert than a shop manager most days. We had people who did the best work, very detail oriented, and hardly any comebacks. But they brought so many personal issues to work. I certainly understand if your child gets sick, your dog is ill and needs to go to the vet, these are unexpected emergencies. But the relationship issues would kill me. I did not want anyone coming in to work after being up all night handling domestic issues, but honestly, Dr. Phil has nothing on the stories and issues I have had to navigate through. I now always meet the significant other as well as the children for a meal (at my expense) before I complete a hire.

Many people view a job or career as a stumbling block that gets in the way of their substance abuse.

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"Many people view a job or career as a stumbling block that gets in the way of their substance abuse."

 

Isn't that the dang truth.

 

Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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I am late to the party but goodmichael covered it perfectly. Jeff, I completely agree with your zero tolerance policy and the societal acceptance of substance abuse does not sway my opinion. As for why do so many that run motor carrier organizations fail to comply with regulations? If I had that answer I would be retired! Seriously, I still spend most of my time trying to convince towers they are in fact motor carriers, trying to convince them they need to be 100% compliant seems like an impossible task.

 

Keep an eye on American Towman's Tow Industry Weekly for my upcoming article on drug testing and the towing industry. I'm not sure when it will publish but should be sometime in April. Hope to see both of you at one of the shows this year. I am presenting in Vegas, Dallas and Baltimore again this year.

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It seems that I did not make myself clear on my initial post.

This forum is Tow411, but some busybodies have forgotten that.

Historically, 411 has referred to 'Information'.

I am (was) simply searching for the opinion of other managers or owners on that subject.

I was not looking for an answer on how to handle, hire, test, discipline drug addicts.

I don't need to know that because we do not have drug addicts working here.

If I could delete the post I would...No, no I wouldn't, it's my job to help other people in this business,

that's why I've been in Tow411 for over 15 years.

I should have known that someone would take that post out of context.

I am available 24/7 for comments, either here, by phone, by text, by eMail, snail mail, sky writing, Greyhound bus, Western Union or any other means of getting words across. Comments and opinions can (Should) be made to me, not anyone else.

Jeff Payne.!. (I)


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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I really like this Phil Messina quote.

"When young men seek to be like you,

When lazy men resent you,

When powerful men look over their shoulder at you, When cowardly men plot behind your back,

When corrupt men wish you were gone, and evil men wish you were dead,

Only then have you done your share!

 

I am not that sophisticated. I like to aggravate all I can, and those who will listen twice!

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It would be interesting to see where this would go within a different form of social media. No, I'd be afraid to see the replies.

 

Michael., such a Great Quote, but I've no time for what others think. A few have said I could not bring this message board back.

 

I just went quiet and went to work to prove them wrong. Although, I should explained with the strength of positive members and supporters. The negative voices would be drowned out and sure enough the strength of the past is returning. Multiple Forums will always draw more attention then multiple pages and groups. There is a place for all forms of social media, but professional conversations/discussions withing a message board will always dominate.

 

A favorte quote of mine:

It Couldn’t Be Done

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
 
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
 
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
 
note: Edgar Albert Guest also wrote the Optimist Creed I try to live by.
 

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Well Ron, It really didn't go where I thought or hoped it'd go.

Hell, I'm not all that sure I thought it'd go anywhere or at least which direction it would go.

 

I will say that I'd wish we ("we" as in an industry as a whole, just to be clear for all the lurkers and overly presumptuous people looking but not replying) could be able to comply with federally mandated regs, or at a minimum, comply with our own values and policies, without having someone call us out, stand in our way, or file a complaint. 

 

Just "doing my share", thanks for reading.

 

My opinions and posts are that of my own, and do not suggest or imply consent or approval of others.

Jeff.

 


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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Really, not thinking about the lurkers as much anymore. Reason being is they seem to be joining ahead of the 18 month norm we have seen in the past. That could be attributed to it being easier to join or a desire to become involved in these topics.

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I wonder is there any number crunching data on views vs replies for any forum topic.

For example, we all do it...read a topic and not reply, at least maybe not right then.

Say that there's a post in a forum with 500 views with 27 replies, would that be above, below or about average?

After that, there would be the unusual case where you see a post with several pages of replies. I think you call that a 'hot topic'.

 


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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Wow, I have never actually studied this because each forum would likely have a different assigned to it. We'll have to give this new venue a few months to settle in before attempting to assign View/Response numbers. Those require close to 4000 members, by the currently daily join rate average we are set to reach that number by years end if not sooner. Note: this number does not include lurkers which are at least twice the number of members. 1000 equals 3000 and 4000 will equal 9000 towers watching the message board.

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I know we're a little off topic, but I'd like to see the numbers like it was back in the day. By the way, what was the name of the forum that we were all moved over to 411 from, I don't remember the year, but sometimes I remember a name or a screen name. Years gone by and I can't remember like I used to. 


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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Way back in 2001 which one of the boards which later endorsed Tow411 were you a part of?

 

Tow Times Talk had about 300 members and American Towman had around 160 members.

 

It took a year for Tow411 to reach 300 members and there were 7 or 10 forums back then.

 

Does that come anywhere close to answering your question. In addition, some disgruntled

members did attempt to create 4 other message boards. All are defunct now.

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Yeah, that was it Ron. I was brought over from Talk.

I do remember checking out another forum that you mentioned,

but sorta had the feeling I'd stay with who brought me, after all I already had a relationship here.

Hey, I even have a couple of friends from here, a couple of 411 shirts, and a M.O.M. picture so I think I did good.


Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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Lookin' Good, we should do the covers again some day. I think they ended around 2011, many are archived. There was a data issue, the only one I know is missing is John auto rescue, have not found that one yet. Seems so long ago now.

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Ron. Are you familiar with the Wayback Machine?

I found this image of John's truck from a November 2004 Tow411 Cover.

See the rest of the 2004 Covers here.

Click on the Site Map link here and you'll have access to 2001 through 2017.

Remember not all information is archived, the Wayback Machine only hits periodically, I don't know it's algorithm on how or when it archives. But it's a good source when looking for an old website. 

Tow411 has been captured 325 times since 2001, according to the site.

#JefftowOrNoTow

Edited by JeffTow

Jeff Payne - Operator Services & Fleet Services Administrator

Statewide Wrecker Service, Inc - 263 Luxomni Road - Lilburn, GA 30047

SWS Logo 2015.JPG

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