Are you a professional truck or bus driver? If so, you know how demanding your work can be. You must take a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical to ensure your and the public’s safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires this checkup for all commercial vehicle drivers. The purpose of the exam is to ensure you meet the physical requirements of your job. That includes tolerating potential health risks resulting from sitting for long periods.
Definition Of A DOT Physical
If you want to drive commercial vehicles for a living, you will need a valid DOT medical card and a commercial driver’s license. To acquire the DOT card, you must pass a physical exam. Also, you will need to have a physical every one or two years for the duration of your driving career
The point of a Department of Transportation physical is to ensure commercial motor vehicle drivers are physically, emotionally, and mentally fit. The MCSA uses this test to determine your physical health and ability to operate a large commercial vehicle. You must be mentally qualified to handle the emotional stress, physical demands, and intense schedule of driving a truck or bus under all types of conditions.
Do You Need A DOT Physical?
Drivers required to undergo and pass this physical are those who:
- Transport hazardous materials requiring them to display a hazmat placard on their vehicles.
- Operate vehicles with a gross combined weight rating of at least 10,000 pounds.
- Operate vehicles that carry over 15 people.
- Are paid to operate vehicles that hold more than eight people.
Once you pass the physical, you will get a medical certificate to operate a commercial vehicle for two years. However, that will depend on whether you have an underlying mental or physical condition that requires more frequent testing. Some of the conditions that require commercial vehicle drivers to have annual physicals include:
- Heart disease.
- Diabetes mellitus.
What To Expect During The DOT Physical
Health History Information
Your medical examiner will ask you questions about your health history and have you fill out a medical health history form. You will provide detailed information about any medications you take, medical conditions or health symptoms you currently have, and past surgical procedures, if any. You will also provide information about your use of tobacco, alcohol, and other substances.
During your physical, your examiner will give you a complete physical examination. This exam aims to test your vision, hearing, blood pressure, and other health indicators. The exam will also include a urinalysis. These tests will help determine whether you have an issue that may put you or others at risk while operating a commercial vehicle.
How To Prepare For The DOT Physical
If you are in good health and physically fit, you do not need to do much to prepare for your physical. But if you are overweight, have a severe health issue, or recovering from a significant health condition, it may help to make additional preparations.
For example, you should update your medications and prescriptions. These include eyewear and hearing prescriptions for those with vision or hearing problems.
Generally, DOT physicals are nothing to worry about or avoid. Medical examiners merely want to ensure commercial vehicle drivers are healthy and fit enough to operate large vehicles. If you have any concerns, consult your primary physician.
For more on DOT physicals, visit Stiegler Chiropractic and Rehabilitation at our Zanesville, Ohio office. Call (740) 454-2729 to schedule an appointment today.