Need Info On Medical Exam For CDL License

Topic 29312 | Page 1

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Ken D.'s Comment
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I am seriously thinking about going to school in May of 2021 to get my CDL. The timing seems right since my children are grown, all of my wives have ran off, and I just got laid off my job of 17 years and had to take a job making a third of the money. But as a 56 year old guy I'd like to make sure I can pass the physical before I get my hopes up and put a lot of time, effort and money into this venture. Can anyone tell me who can give me a physical that will be equivalent to the physical one must take to get a CDL so that I am sure beforehand that I can pass the CDL physical? Is a physical from my family doctor equivalent to what one must pass for a CDL, or do I need to go to someone who knows specifically what is required for the trucking industry? Thank you in advance for your help.

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.
Banks's Comment
member avatar

Hey Ken,

It's a basic physical. It's nothing too crazy. You start out filling out a form that asks you about your medical history and medications. Then you take an eye exam that includes peripheral and color blindness. Then the doctor checks basic motions like squatting and bending. Some doctors do the awkward hernia check and some don't. And there's the usual vitals like blood pressure and heart rate.

You can pay to have this done, most of us have because it's a requirement before licensing and in some states before getting a permit. I paid 90 to get it done. It has to be a DOT approved doctor to do the physical, but usually any occupational doctor can do it and almost all of the urgent care clinics around me do them.

It's not as intimidating as it sounds and it's the easiest part of the entire 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.

J.D.'s Comment
member avatar

If it were me, I'd just go in to an office that does 'em and ask, get the free expert advice that way, then you can go to your PCP or get one to test you on all that... But like Banks said, it's very basic, though does include a little physical activity (is that part universal?). And then work on your health in the meantime before you have to have that certification...I.e., healthy food, minimize unhealthy habits, get good exercise... It's what I did 13 months ago at an older age than you and the only thing that was even close to a concern was my borderline BP. You've got enough months to prep yourself...good planning, Ken!

Ken D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you for your replies. They were very helpful. I appreciate it.

Dean R.'s Comment
member avatar

I was 55 when I had my DOT physical. Nothing much to worry about. They did ask about my use of Prozac and some surgeries. I told them the truth - the surgeries are due to a line-of-duty injury in the military and the Prozac came from the VA.

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.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

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.

Hypertension:

Abnormally high blood pressure.

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.

BMI:

Body mass index (BMI)

BMI is a formula that uses weight and height to estimate body fat. For most people, BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat. The BMI's biggest weakness is that it doesn't consider individual factors such as bone or muscle mass. BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or other people with low muscle mass
  • Overestimate body fat for people who are very muscular and physically fit

It's quite common, especially for men, to fall into the "overweight" category if you happen to be stronger than average. If you're pretty strong but in good shape then pay no attention.

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