What To Expect At A DOT Physical.

Topic 1706 | Page 1

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Zachary J.'s Comment
member avatar

I searched, and searched, and never found a good answer as to what to expect at a DOT physical. Atleast in terms of what exactly they put your body through, their checks, etc.

So after having my very first DOT physical, I thought I might give a general idea of what to expect.

When you are first called in to the examiners room, they ask you a series of questions. (Age, height, weight, past medical issues, past surgeries) Just a basic medical questionnaire.

My examiner happened to be a very sweet, older woman. Who took her time. (Albeit, I was in a hurry that day.)

After the questions she/he will take your vitals. Blood pressure Must BE under 140/90. Mine was 122 over 80. (She checked once before and once after)

You will than pee in a nice little cup, where they swirl a test strip to test for sugar content. High sugar content = High risk diabetic.

You will be led into this cold little room, asked to strip down to your skivvy's, and put a gown on. (In my case, the old woman never left)

She/he will make you walk to the furthest wall in the room. She then whispers a series of numbers. You are asked to repeat the whispered numbers, the minute she stops saying them.

She will test your peripheral vision by moving a pen in and out of your vision zone. You must acknowledge the pen the minute you see it.

She will ask you to cover one eye, read the board 15 feet away. Cover other eye, repeat.

She will attempt to push your arms down, you must not allow her.

She will attempt to push your arms up, you must not allow her.

At this point, you will be thinking...THIS IS THE EASIEST THING EVER!

And then comes the Hernia test. The doctor will usually place a finger right under your pelvis, ask you to turn your head and cough.

There now. That wasn't painful.

Time to crawl! Now she will ask you to kneel down, as far as you can, and walk.

Now she will ask you to transition from a kneeling position, to a crawling position. Crawl 5 feet.

She now pulls out the ledges of the bed, and asks you walk up three steps, turn around, and walk down.

She signs a piece of paper, signs your medical card, and tells you to keep it in your wallet.

YOU'RE DONE!

Walk out of the office with your head held high! After all, you just breezed through a 70 year old woman touching you awkwardly!

This was just my experience, and a general idea of what will take place at a DOT physical. My understanding is that each one may vary slightly, but most are similar to mine.

Now on to the hard part...getting the CDL.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

Joe S. (a.k.a. The Blue 's Comment
member avatar

Each one will vary more than slightly.

Mine was very different. I never disrobed. I never crawled around on the floor. Nor did I climb steps.

Some of what you did is required but not all of that was required by DOT. Most of what you had to do was required by the company you are going to work for.

Keep it safe out here. Joe S.

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.

Steven N. (aka Wilson)'s Comment
member avatar

It sounds also to me that they included some company stuff. In my research, I found a video from Schneider that shows their physical that they conduct. They call it their pre-work screening. It is a very informative video and explains why they check for the things they do. When you shared the part about crouching and crawling, I thought of this video.

Schneider National Pre-Work Screening

DOT physical pre-work screening process">

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.

Tracey K.'s Comment
member avatar

Good video.

Yes, a great deal of DOT physicals are not as complex. The company may have more requirements.

I did not disrobe either. They checked my blood pressure, my heart rate, asked me a boatload of questions, checked my hearing (whisper test), my eyes (that was funny) and that was really it. No steps, No bending or real physical activity.

I think they should have done more, but I'm not complaining.

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.

Tom V.'s Comment
member avatar

Just had a DOT physical in May 2015 and it was the most thorough yet. The doctor explained they had to be certified now to give the physicals and the requirements were much more stringent. I did the usual step on a scale, vision test, blood pressure, and pea into a cup to check for sugar. They checked my hearing with high pitched beeps in each ear that I had to raise my hand when I heard the beeps. They measured my neck to make sure it wasn't bigger than 17". If it was, I would have to have a sleep study done for sleep apnea. It wasn't. The nurse left and the doctor came into the room. He had me strip down to my underwear. He checked my eyes, ears, nose, reflexes. He had me do a series of arm and leg movements to see how flexible I was. This seemed really thorough. He had me remove my underwear and checked both sides for a hernia. That was about it. I passed for 2 more years.

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.

Greenhorn Trucker's Comment
member avatar

Yeah mine was very strange since I was expecting some things to be done but they weren't, not complaining mind you just thought it odd. The little tone machine was a bit annoying not because I couldn't but because when we started it a semi went roaring by the clinic. Also no hernia test, squat/crawl thing, and no measureing of the neck although to be fair I do not really have a neck LOL.

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