Pre-employment Screenings for Commercial Drivers

Nov 12, 2023 | Business Insurance, Personal Insurance

It’s challenging to find qualified semi-truck drivers. Many potential drivers are turned off by long commute times and difficult working conditions. There are a ton of jobs available for those who are still around. Truck drivers are impossible to retain, even if you are successful in hiring them. Companies must constantly hire new employees due to the industry’s 94 percent turnover rate for large fleets and 73 percent rate for smaller ones. A hiring war for truck drivers has resulted from a constant need for new employees. There is a heated competition for candidates among trucking companies. Businesses frequently employ these strategies when attempting to attract candidates: increasing pay and expanding benefits. To find the best employees in this fierce candidate competition, you must streamline your hiring process.


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Why Do Companies Not Conduct Background Checks?

Employers looking to streamline their hiring process are focusing heavily on background checks. Costly and time-consuming is applicant screening. Conducting background checks incorrectly can result in serious legal issues as well. Examining potential employees’ costs money. The costs quickly mount up when each background check costs between $10 and $20. Your hiring costs could skyrocket if you conduct background checks on every prospective employee. Performing background checks also takes a while. It takes at least 3 to 5 business days to receive accurate results; if you’re performing multiple checks, it may take longer. While your results are processing, applicants have the chance to accept a different job during a lengthy wait. There are still problems. Additionally, background checks are strictly regulated. Background investigations are regulated by federal, state, and local laws. Legal requirements that conflict with one another can be confusing and result in serious legal issues. If conducting background checks will result in so many issues, you might wonder why bother. Because background checks are necessary for your company to remain viable.


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The transportation sector must interview prospective employees.

The transportation sector is facing some challenges. Employers must strike a balance between hiring new drivers quickly and adhering to legal requirements. Background checks assist businesses in striking this delicate balance.

The results of the applicant screening show which drivers are qualified for the position. Background checks guarantee the suitability of your truck drivers for the position. But applicant screening goes beyond merely determining whether your drivers possess the necessary abilities. It also maintains legal compliance for your company.


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New hires must be screened by your company. Potential drivers must undergo background checks as required by law for the transportation sector. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) demands that truck drivers undergo specific background checks. Background checks shield your company from legal issues. You also need to be protected from other things. When a semitruck driver hit a car and lost control, he killed seven people. If the driver’s trucking company had investigated his driving history, lives might have been saved. Before this collision, the driver had received five tickets, including ones for speeding and careless driving. One driver’s reckless driving could destroy everything you’ve worked for, causing everything from property damage to human life loss. Background checks make known any previous convictions for offenses related to driving. By preventing you from making an unsafe hire, knowing your candidate’s history protects other drivers.


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Making an informed hiring decision also protects your company from claims of negligent hiring. You don’t have to hazard a guess as to whether a candidate is trustworthy around your staff, customers, and equipment. Instead, research candidates before hiring.


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Car accidents are only one of the issues caused by careless drivers. If they disregard the law, unsafe drivers may also result in the closure of your establishment. When the FMCSA found that the drivers were unplugging the monitor tracking their driving hours, one trucking company was shut down. Five of the drivers additionally lacked the proper license classification for commercial driving. Additionally, four of the drivers tested positive for illegal drugs. Background checks done correctly shield you and your business from the hurtful problems that bad drivers cause.


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The background checks that your company must conduct on new drivers

  • Check for criminal records

Pay attention to convictions for controlled substances or offenses involving motor vehicles. These point to a driver who isn’t a safe driver or who requires rehab.

  • Alcohol and drug testing 

A standard Department of Transportation (DOT) drug panel must be completed as part of pre-employment, as mandated by the FMCSA. Testing for marijuana, cocaine, phencyclidine, amphetamines, and opioids is part of a DOT panel.

  • Verification of employment.

 Some applicants make up their employment history. Verifying a candidate’s employment history reveals whether they’ll be a trustworthy employee.

  • Verify your license

Candidates must possess the appropriate license type to operate a semitruck. The license needs to be current. It cannot be severely restricted, suspended, or revoked.

  • Verification of vehicle records

Driving infractions like drunkenness and recklessness point to a pattern of poor driving. The FMCSA mandates that you review the records of each state an applicant has held a license in during the previous three years.

  • Physical examination

This examination, which is also required by the FMCSA, verifies that applicants are fit enough to drive for extended periods.


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Records and results from the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). 

To make driver information more easily accessible to employers, the PSP score was developed. It provides employers with a thorough picture of a potential employee’s driving when combined with motor vehicle records. A registered sex offender is probably not someone your business should hire.


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Run background investigations on job candidates:

The laws governing background checks. Look into the background check laws in your country, state, and city. Use them as the foundation for your selection procedure. Use a reputable background check business. The business needs policies that guarantee accurate results. It must also adhere to any applicable screening laws. Apply a uniform background check procedure to all candidates. As a result, hiring practices are fair and hiring discrimination is prevented. For drug and alcohol tests, use a medical review officer. Results of drug and alcohol tests must be examined by a medical review officer. Examining physicians vouch that test results are accurate.  They also safeguard a candidate’s personal medical data. Get candidates to sign a form of authorization. Any background investigation must have authorization.


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