Watch Out For This At Your Next DOT Physical

Topic 10138 | Page 1

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Eddie F.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi folks,

I just had my DOT physical exam. First thing I noticed was a wide range in costs for the exam - I received quotes ranging from $39 to $139. No joke. The $39 clinic was over 100 miles away, so I took the next lowest price, $65, a half-hour drive away.

I was told I had to bring in my previous long form to the exam. It looks like they want to track your condition over the years.

The doctor asked me if I had sleep apnea , so I truthfully replied, no, I didn't have it. He then made a speech how many drivers will have sleep apnea and not know it. Fortunately, he didn't push it any further than that. I saw that a driver on another forum also had the sleep apnea question, and the doctor required him to have an overnight sleep apnea test (cost $500) before he would sign him off.

The doctor asked me if I took any other meds besides insulin (I am a type 1 diabetic, and carry the Federal Diabetes Exemption). I replied that I took Lisinopril. He then said, "Oh, so you have high blood pressure". I replied (truthfully) that i did not have high blood pressure, that I was prescribed Lisinopril as a kidney protectant medication. This fellow was a chiropractor at a truck stop, so he had only a $50 home blood pressure wrist cuff, not the professional versions found in doctor's offices. The cuff indicated a blood pressure of 155, then on a second test, 138. When I told the guy that my blood pressure was higher because of my nervousness, he replied that truck driving is stressful, and that an examiner would want to see the driver's blood pressure under stressful conditions (!!!!).

I was signed off for a year, but this fellow said that he could have only given me 3 months. Then he has the nerve to say he is a "driver's advocate".

Bottom line: it looks like the exam is getting more rigorous, and there are more ways to flunk a driver (or only give him 3 months). I would say it's best to throw out your previous exam's long form, and don't volunteer ANYTHING to these characters.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

I would say get your physical from a regular doctor or a company locally that usually handles large company account DOT physicals. The basic exam you got isn't rigorous. It's pretty normal. Before I chose my company I was quoted $100 for a physical from a local place that handles them for many companies in the area. They said they would do the whisper test for hearing, blood pressure, medication questions, apnea questions, fitness questions. They said this was a pretty basic exam for them.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Tyler Durden's Comment
member avatar

I would say get your physical from a regular doctor or a company locally that usually handles large company account DOT physicals. The basic exam you got isn't rigorous. It's pretty normal. Before I chose my company I was quoted $100 for a physical from a local place that handles them for many companies in the area. They said they would do the whisper test for hearing, blood pressure, medication questions, apnea questions, fitness questions. They said this was a pretty basic exam for them.

Just had mine done as well and was similar to what all is listed here. They also did a vision test as well. I have glasses and a recent eye exam but damn the line they made me read wasn't easy. I got it but strained a little to see it. Not sure if I could have still passed the next line up or not and didn't think to ask. I think my exam and drug test was around 130 total for both. I also take lisiniprol but for HBP. Only got a one year card but knew that was coming.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

Just had mine done as well and was similar to what all is listed here. They also did a vision test as well.

I knew I was forgetting something. They also had vision listed for this test. And they were recommended to me by a local hazmat driver and he said they handled his whole company which is decently large.

HAZMAT:

Hazardous Materials

Explosive, flammable, poisonous or otherwise potentially dangerous cargo. Large amounts of especially hazardous cargo are required to be placarded under HAZMAT regulations

Eddie F.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the helpful answers, Jessica and Tyler.

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