Drug tests, AB5 and more on the latest “Live From Exit 24”


The latest episode of “Live From Exit 24” saw OOIDA experts tackle a medley of trucking topics.

Host Mike Matousek was joined by Dale Watkins, Director of OOIDA’s Business Services Department, and Amber Schweer, OOIDA Drug Testing Consortium Supervisor, for the live broadcast on Wednesday, September 22.

Watch “Live from Exit 24”

Whether it’s helping drivers obtain licenses or establishing their own authority, resolving brokerage issues or ensuring a trucking company is in compliance, the business services department OOIDA covers a wide range of issues.

The show covered some of the hot topics that the business services department covers for members, as well as more information on drug and alcohol testing requirements.

“We answer questions all day about everything trucking,” Watkins said.

Many of these questions relate to how to stay in compliance with industry regulations, including drug testing.

Federal regulations require that truckers who carry more than 26,001 pounds, transport hazardous materials, or carry more than 16 passengers, be subject to a random drug testing program. The OOIDA CMCI offers drug testing to more than 16,000 registrants.

With the OOIDA program, registrants can be called twice a year.

“We put all these drivers in one group and we just mixed everyone up. And then you just select at random, ”Schweer said.

Schweer said one of the biggest misconceptions about drug and alcohol testing requirements involves the legalization of marijuana at the state level. She reminded drivers that while they live in a state that allows for medical or recreational smoking, commercial drivers should not get drunk.

“Even if they have an ordinance for it, it’s still illegal federally, so you can’t do it,” she said. “And that includes CBD oils, which is a big no-no.”

More drivers looking for their own authority

One trend that Watkins says has surged in recent years has been the decision of more drivers to gain their own authority.

He said a variety of factors, including regulatory changes and healthy freight rates, have more business drivers wondering if they should go into business for themselves. He also said some drivers were reacting to the uncertainty caused by California’s AB5 worker classification law and the PRO law in Congress.

“The way (CSA 2010) imposed itself on the carriers, they had to manage a tighter vessel. They look at some of these great brokers like CH Robinson, they make some of the best profits in the business. They have no equipment… no responsibility, ”he said. “Then last year, maybe two years, we were looking at some AB5 stuff from California and then the possibility of PRO law. I just think all of these things are snowballing right now.

Guilty By Association Truck Show Preview

OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh also joined the program by phone from the Guilty By Association Truck Show in Joplin, Missouri. OOIDA plans to hold a town hall with the FMCSA on Friday.

“There’s a lot of cool stuff (at GBATS),” Pugh said. “It’s called a truck show, but it’s nothing like Louisville. There aren’t a lot of vendors or anything. They are just trucks.

OOIDA talk show

Live From Exit 24 is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Central every other Wednesday. Listeners can tune into the show on the Live From Exit 24 website, the OOIDA Facebook page, or the OOIDA YouTube channel. The next episode will air on Wednesday, October 6.


“Live From Exit 24” was launched as a way to expand OOIDA’s communication with members and to hear directly from drivers across the industry. OOIDA is asking truck drivers to complete a survey to let the Association know how you like the show so far. Help guide what is discussed during the program. The investigation is here. LL


Comments are closed.