To be able to work as a truck driver, you need to have excellent health.
It is an important aspect as you need to spend lots of time seated while driving a truck.
It includes a significant risk to your health.
In other words, before hiring you, your potential employer needs to make sure you are healthy and can deal with your job.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires each driver to pass a DOT medical exam so they can obtain their commercial driver’s license.
It is important because in such a way it is possible to minimize risks on roads.
Article Table of Contents
What is Tested During a DOT Physical?
The FMCSA has a very specific protocol any medical examiner should follow while filling a federal form for trucking physicals.
You can improve your state of health especially in those aspects you have problems with.
However, to make it, you need to know what points are mentioned in the form.
First of all, you need to provide info about your health history.
It should include information about any surgeries, medications you use, diagnosis, symptoms, and substance issues.
After it, an examiner needs to test your health including such aspects as your pulse, blood pressure, vision in both eyes, and hearing.
Also, you need to pass a test for drugs as well as blood, sugar, or protein in the urine test.
During this whole process, your whole body and each system will be tested in order to reveal whether they are normal or abnormal.
As soon as the DOT form is fulfilled, the physician sends it directly to the local licensing agency.
After the form is completed and sent, it may lead to three different results:
- You will pass the examination and be allowed to work as a truck driver for two years;
- You may be allowed to drive but be obliged to complete periodic monitoring;
- In case you haven’t passed the test in which case you need to follow the FMCSA protocol and seek the second opinion.
Improving Your Health for the Physical
As you understand, walking into a physical appointment, you should as healthy as possible.
If you don’t pass this test, it may lead to delays in your career or even prevent you from enrolling in it.
You can be disqualified if you have blood pressure, poor vision, uncontrolled diabetes, and epilepsy.
According to DOT medical examiners, you need to follow some tips to pass this examination:
- Eat and drink as healthfully as possible at least a week before the examination. You need to avoid caffeine, salt, sugar, and junk food.
- Follow the scheduled if you take any medications as it may lead to inaccurate readings during the physical exam.
- Make sure you have your prescribed medications as suddenly withdrawing from medication can significantly impact your test.
- If you use contact lenses or glasses you need to have your prescription up-to-date and make sure to bring it with you as well as your glasses and lenses.
What Do You Need for the DOT Physical?
It is better to bring some specific papers to the examination.
It can help your doctor to get more info about your health and assess whether you meet DOT requirements.
The list includes such papers as:
- comprehensive medical records from your primary care doctor;
- the name and contact information for the doctor who treats you for each condition if you have any;
- high blood pressure, diabetes, or sleep apnea information including sleep test results and stress test results;
- a complete medication list that includes every medication you take, its strength, its dosage, and the prescribing doctor.
The DOT physical aims to ensure that you have good health and won’t cause any issues on the road.
You just need to be active, eat properly, take your medications to pass the exam easily.
- CDL Schools by State
- Car Hauling Driving Jobs FAQs
- How to Become a Truck Driver
- First Year as a Truck Driver
Read the full guide: How to Become a Truck Driver