Did Background Research - Now Practical Questions On DOT Exam And Meds

Topic 22915 | Page 1

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Wendy F.'s Comment
member avatar

Ok, husband narrowed down to a company he wants to go with. He’ll get approval as soon as they process his DMV and background check, both of which are good. Next he will be sent to DOT physical and CLP test (he’s ready for that.) Our concern is the medications part of the physical. We’ve researched the medications and there aren’t any total dealbreakers (no painkillers or seizure med, etc.) The issue is he has long term depression/anxiety that is managed successfully with medications. He functions just fine. It’s a genetic problem. He’s on Cymbalta, Wellbutrin, and Seroquel (low dose.) His doctor favors combining medications, but we think he could drop the Seroquel if needed. He had been on Xanax for a while due to unemployment anxiety, but when he started looking at trucking he asked the doctor to take him off. He’s been tapering off of it and dr gave him Buspar instead (a totally different class of drug, not a benzodiazepine like Xanax.)

From my research I understand the DOT medical examiner essentially makes a judgment call on his fitness. From your knowledge and experience, what if any additional documentation will he need to get approval? If he needs to get a letter from the prescribing doctor, are there any key phrases/words/statements that are key to convincing the DOT examiner?

Thanks in advance for any tips. Wendy

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Big Scott (CFI Driver and's Comment
member avatar

I can't answer your questions about the DOT physical. What company did he choose? Someone from that company may be able to help you more specifically. Has he gone through the info provided earlier? Has he studied High Road CDL Training Program?

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Wendy F.'s Comment
member avatar

He was about to go with Roehl but is now going with Cypress. He made that choice because he really prefers regional , it’s the Southeast (we’re from South Carolina and they can dispatch him very easily from where we are in Columbia. ) He talked to his Cypress recruiter today. She’s been very helpful about the process. He did tell her what meds he is on and he said she didn’t seem concerned about that. She has been very knowledgeable whenever he’s talked to her. Her boss was out of the office so it will probably be Monday before he gets the offer to come to training. Recruiter thought he could start in the July 23 class. Yes, he and I have both gone through lots of info here. I read everything I could find on this but threw this question out in case someone has had a similar experience.

He is using the High Road to prepare for his CLP. He really likes it. He’s found this whole site very helpful. So glad we found it! He might get on the forum here himself at some point- right now he’s been studying and also finishing a few house projects that we need done before he is gone for CDL and road training.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Wendy, Congratulations on all the progress and the decisions made! I'm assuming that he will be driving a flat bed if he's going with Cypress, is that right?

I recommend you go ahead and have a letter written from the prescribing doctor stating that the medication your husband is taking will not interfere with him driving a commercial vehicle. It will be something his new employer would like to have on file.

Best of luck to you guys, and stay in touch. I can assure you there will be a few issues here and there, and we all know how to help you see the way through them.

Robert H.'s Comment
member avatar

I m about to start the process myself going thru CFI sponsored cdl school training program and I will have to get my DOT physical and CLP before going as well. also I am on a medication myself straterra for ADHD.

He was about to go with Roehl but is now going with Cypress. He made that choice because he really prefers regional , it’s the Southeast (we’re from South Carolina and they can dispatch him very easily from where we are in Columbia. ) He talked to his Cypress recruiter today. She’s been very helpful about the process. He did tell her what meds he is on and he said she didn’t seem concerned about that. She has been very knowledgeable whenever he’s talked to her. Her boss was out of the office so it will probably be Monday before he gets the offer to come to training. Recruiter thought he could start in the July 23 class. Yes, he and I have both gone through lots of info here. I read everything I could find on this but threw this question out in case someone has had a similar experience.

He is using the High Road to prepare for his CLP. He really likes it. He’s found this whole site very helpful. So glad we found it! He might get on the forum here himself at some point- right now he’s been studying and also finishing a few house projects that we need done before he is gone for CDL and road training.

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.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

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.

CLP:

Commercial Learner's Permit

Before getting their CDL, commercial drivers will receive their commercial learner's permit (CLP) upon passing the written portion of the CDL exam. They will not have to retake the written exam to get their CDL.

Robert H.'s Comment
member avatar

Question Old school what if Dr. refuses to write such letter state whether or not the med will interfere with driving ability, stating its a liability issue I have had this in past when I was trying to go with maverick this is a state mental health dr.

Wendy, Congratulations on all the progress and the decisions made! I'm assuming that he will be driving a flat bed if he's going with Cypress, is that right?

I recommend you go ahead and have a letter written from the prescribing doctor stating that the medication your husband is taking will not interfere with him driving a commercial vehicle. It will be something his new employer would like to have on file.

Best of luck to you guys, and stay in touch. I can assure you there will be a few issues here and there, and we all know how to help you see the way through them.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Robert, you've moved on to CFI, and as long as they're not concerned about your meds then you are good to go. I merely advised Wendy to have that letter ready to go just in case they hit a snag like you did at Maverick. That way they are proactive and ahead of the game.

Here's the deal though, if you continue to encounter trouble with this issue, you may need your physician to change your medication to something more widely accepted in the industry. A lot of people have to do this to get their foot in the door of the trucking career.

Robert H.'s Comment
member avatar

Yes sir I understand what your saying the med is only for ADHD and I didnt take it when I was in Navy for 7yrs

Robert, you've moved on to CFI, and as long as they're not concerned about your meds then you are good to go. I merely advised Wendy to have that letter ready to go just in case they hit a snag like you did at Maverick. That way they are proactive and ahead of the game.

Here's the deal though, if you continue to encounter trouble with this issue, you may need your physician to change your medication to something more widely accepted in the industry. A lot of people have to do this to get their foot in the door of the trucking career.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Wendy, you two need to think long and hard about this career. read bretts book and some of our blogs about the lifestyle. most people on bipolar/depression meds do better with a regular schedule. this is a solitary job and isolation can make depression worse.

there is no set schedule and there is a huge amount of stress. is this really worth the risk of your hubbys mental state?

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