Does Swift drug test? Yes. Swift Transportation is one of the largest trucking companies in North America.
To drive for Swift you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and all CDL holders have to pass a Department of Transportation-approved drug test before they can start driving for any trucking company. To drive for Swift, you’ll have to pass a drug test.
In this article, we’ll tell you what type of drug test Swift uses, explain the testing procedure, and go over how often you can expect to take a drug test.
Does Swift Drug Test in 2023?
The Swift Transportation drug test takes place during orientation at one of Swift’s terminals. There’s also the possibility of taking the test beforehand, and if you want to do that, let your recruiter know so they can arrange it.
For many drivers, their nearest Swift terminal is a long distance from home and even though Swift provides the flights and an overnight hotel stay, it’s a long way to go to fail a drug test.
If you fail the Swift drug test, you cannot reapply in the future, so it’s sensible to wait until you know you will pass before you apply.
Failing a drug test when you’re a CDL holder can have long-term consequences because the results have to be reported to a federal database. These drug tests aren’t like most other employment drug tests.
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What Kind Of Drug Test Does Swift Transportation Do?
No matter which trucking company you want to work for, you will have to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) drug test. But trucking companies can ask you to pass other drug tests as a requirement for employment if they want to.
So what kind of drug test does Swift Transportation do?
In addition to the DOT-mandated urine test, Swift Transportation also asks drivers to take a hair follicle drug test. This drug test will pick up any illegal drugs and some types of prescription drugs you’ve used over the last 90 days.
If you don’t have your CDL yet, and you’re thinking about applying to Swift’s CDL training school, you’ll have to pass both drug tests on your first day in the program.
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Here’s What You Need to Know About Hair Follicle Drug Testing
Hair follicle drug testing uses a sample of your head, facial, or body hair for testing, and because these tests have such a long detection window, hair follicle testing is used to reveal drug habits that can remain hidden with a urinalysis.
The standard urinalysis test has a much shorter detection window for most drugs, and a pre-employment urinalysis is a fairly easy test to pass because drivers can prepare in advance by abstaining until they’ve taken the test. Some drivers also “finesse” a urinalysis by substituting clean urine or fake urine.
Many trucking companies then rely on repeated random urine testing to keep drivers clean. But the threat of random drug testing doesn’t keep all CDL holders clean. Many drivers fail these drug tests every year, and many others simply know how to beat a urine test.
Swift doesn’t want to hire drivers who are a safety risk and they don’t want to deal with drivers who fail the random drug tests and have to leave a truck halfway to its destination, so they make every new hire take a hair follicle test.
Because Swift uses a hair follicle test alongside the DOT urinalysis, you won’t be able to hide your drug use unless you’ve been clean for at least 90 days. And if you’ve been clean that long, why not stay clean and make your life easier?
Is there anything you can do to cheat Swift’s hair follicle drug test? No, unlike a urine test, there’s no way to beat the test. The only way to pass the drug test is to stop using drugs at least 90 days before you apply to drive for Swift Transportation.
The Swift Transportation hair follicle drug test looks for the following substances:
- Amphetamine and methamphetamine
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Marijuana (THC)
What’s The Detection Window On A Hair Follicle Drug Test?
The detection window usually quoted for a hair follicle test is 90 days. Most hair testing uses a sample of your hair that’s 1.5 inches long, and that’s long enough to show any drug use during that period.
Slower growing body hair shorter than 1.5 inches will also show drug use over the last 90 days.
According to drivers who’ve taken a hair follicle test for Swift Transportation, the company is only interested in that 90-day window. So even though a body hair sample can show drug use for up to one year, as long as you’ve been clean for 90 days, you should be fine.
Some drivers hoping to get a job with Swift Transportation to wait even longer than that, making sure they’ve been clean for 6 months, just to be safe.
A hair follicle drug test doesn’t show very recent drug use, and won’t pick up drug use in the last 7 to 10 days. Hair follicle testing isn’t an approved DOT drug testing method at the moment, so the results of a failed hair follicle test will not be sent to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database.
Let’s move on to the Department of Transportation-mandated drug test.
Swift Transportation Urinalysis
Every truck driver driving a vehicle that requires a CDL has to pass the DOT drug test. Under Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules, an employer must obtain a negative drug test result before a new employee can drive for them.
The DOT drug test is a urinalysis that looks for the following substances:
- Opioids (codeine, heroin, morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxycodone, oxymorphone)
- Amphetamine and methamphetamine
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
- Marijuana (THC)
You should know that some prescription and over-the-counter medications can give a positive amphetamine result. When you fill out the paperwork for your drug test, you’re asked to list all the medications you take, and if you test positive, you’ll need to supply your prescription.
A urinalysis will pick up recent drug use, and if you fail this drug test, your positive result will be recorded in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse database.
If this happens, you won’t be able to drive with your CDL until you’ve completed a Return to Duty process at your own expense. Once you’ve completed the RTD process, your positive result will remain in the Clearinghouse database for a further 5 years.
Most trucking companies ask about failed drug tests on their application forms, and they’ll check the Clearinghouse to verify what you tell them, so a positive drug test will really throw your trucking career off the rails.
Just to be clear, a positive urinalysis result must be reported to the Clearinghouse. A positive hair follicle test will not be reported to the Clearinghouse, because hair follicle drug testing isn’t a federally approved testing method.
A positive result on either drug test will result in termination from Swift.
The DOT also requires a negative result on an alcohol breathalyzer. Abstaining from alcohol for 24 hours is sufficient to pass this test.
Random Drug Testing At Swift Transportation
If you pass the pre-employment drug tests at Swift Transportation, you aren’t in the clear. The Department of Transportation also mandates regular random drug tests for CDL holders.
This means you can be asked to report for a drug test at any time, even on your days off.
Once again, Swift Transportation goes beyond the DOT-mandated urine test and uses both urine and hair follicle testing for random drug tests.
If you fail a Random drug test, your employment with Swift will be terminated and your result will be recorded with the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.
Like all trucking companies, Swift Transportation carries out drug testing on new drivers. They use DOT-mandated urinalysis testing, as well as hair follicle testing to ensure that employees are drug-free. Their random drug tests also use both drug testing methods.
Hair follicle tests can show drug use over the previous 90 days, and you can’t do anything to cheat the test. Make sure drugs are out of your system before you apply for a job at Swift.
If you fail either drug test, you won’t be able to work for Swift now or in the future, and your urine test result will be recorded with the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, which will cause you problems finding a new employer.
Robert Eric (a lover of Cats and Dogs) is the co-founder of HireFelonsJobs. In our search for a better life, after… A platform was created for the purpose of easing the search for ex-convicts.