DOT Physical, What Are The Requirements?

Topic 7623 | Page 1

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Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

So, I've been dreaming about driving a truck for as long as I can remember. After spending 30 years in an office drawing plans for engineers half my age, and being unemployed now, I'm strongly looking at driving.

Questions:

DOT Physical: What's involved? I'm 54, Disabled Vet, High BP under control, use a C-Pap, Type II Diabetic under control.

Does anyone know what kind of numbers they're looking for on BP, diabetes, etc?

Is there any physical test involved? Pushups, Situps, that kind of thing?

My missus straight up thinks I'll never pass the DOT physical but, she's never looked into what required to pass it.

I'm in Washington State but, I think all the states are or should be the same in the DOT requirements.

Any help is greatly appreciated. I've looked at WADOT and it tells you what docs do the physical but, not what they're looking for.

GG

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.

Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay then.

CPAP has to be the kind that LOGS USEAGE - and you have to use it at least 4 hours per night - EVERY NIGHT and be able to PROVE IT (including the 30 days prior to your physical. You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN stating that your condition is stable, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

Diabetes - if you are INSULIN DEPENDENT - you will need to apply for a WAIVER. You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN (endocrinologist) stating that your medications are stable and well tolerated, and your sugar is under control, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

High BP with meds - you MUST BE UNDER 140/90 - You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN stating that your medications are stable and well tolerated, and your blood pressure is under control, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

You've got like a TRIPLE WHAMMY HERE - you are going to need to be SPECIFIC ABOUT YOU CONDITION(s) with any recruiter you talk to - and have them double check with medical/safety.

Some companies DO HAVE some PHYSICAL AGILITY TESTS - and may do a treadmill test also - they will MONITOR YOUR BP - and your ability to be physically able to perform your job functions as a driver (climbing in & out of the truck/trailer, doing pre-trip inspections of truck & trailer, etc.).

Many companies will not want to risk taking you on - with SO MANY MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

If ANYTHING - it's the DIABETES that's going to present the biggest issue. If you are on the needle, you are going to have to go for a WAIVER/EXEMPTION.

FMCSA Diabetes Exemption

Rick

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

Fm:

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.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oh man. My first opportunity to point someone to the DOT Physical information in our new wiki. Check it out. There's a ton of information there.

DOT Physical

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 R.'s Comment
member avatar

Okay then.

CPAP has to be the kind that LOGS USEAGE - and you have to use it at least 4 hours per night - EVERY NIGHT and be able to PROVE IT (including the 30 days prior to your physical. You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN stating that your condition is stable, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

Diabetes - if you are INSULIN DEPENDENT - you will need to apply for a WAIVER. You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN (endocrinologist) stating that your medications are stable and well tolerated, and your sugar is under control, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

High BP with meds - you MUST BE UNDER 140/90 - You will need a LETTER FROM YOUR TREATING PHYSICIAN stating that your medications are stable and well tolerated, and your blood pressure is under control, and you are able to OPERATE A CMV SAFELY.

You've got like a TRIPLE WHAMMY HERE - you are going to need to be SPECIFIC ABOUT YOU CONDITION(s) with any recruiter you talk to - and have them double check with medical/safety.

Some companies DO HAVE some PHYSICAL AGILITY TESTS - and may do a treadmill test also - they will MONITOR YOUR BP - and your ability to be physically able to perform your job functions as a driver (climbing in & out of the truck/trailer, doing pre-trip inspections of truck & trailer, etc.).

Many companies will not want to risk taking you on - with SO MANY MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

If ANYTHING - it's the DIABETES that's going to present the biggest issue. If you are on the needle, you are going to have to go for a WAIVER/EXEMPTION.

FMCSA Diabetes Exemption

Rick

I can't really speak to the rest, but with the CPAP compliance, it is a minimum of 4 hours per night, for 70% of days (not necessarily EVERY day). That is the DOT/FMCSA recommendation. Individual companies may require different standards of use, but it's unlikely.

To the OP: Trust me when I say that there are many hoops to jump through, getting into this biz (Some hoops may be on fire). Health issues, particularly the ones that you've mentioned, are only a few. Go for if you are prepared to jump and scramble.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

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.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

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.

Fm:

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.
Paul J.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the info and the DOT Physical link.

As far as the CPAP goes, I use it whenever I'm sleeping. Have been since the day I got it. The only time I don't use it is when I'm sittin in my recliner and take an hour nap plus or minus..

The BP number might be close but, I should be able to get my doc to up my BP med so the numbers are where they should be.

The diabetes is Type II, no needles there, just time release capsules I take in the mornings.

I was a bit more worried than the actual physical itself. If they require situps or anything like that, I'll need to definitely start working on that.

I'll take a look at the DOT link and see what they have to say there.

Thanks!

GG

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.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I was a bit more worried than the actual physical itself. If they require situps or anything like that, I'll need to definitely start working on that.

A lot of companies have basic physical tests they'll have you do. Schneider National has a video showing their pre-work physical. Scroll down that page a bit and you'll see "Schneider National Pre-Work Screening Video". Different companies might have you lifting a certain amount of weight and putting it up on a high shelf, climb up into trailers, carry weight while walking underneath a trailer, and things of that nature.

Here's a question coming from a guy who's big on health and fitness.....why not start working on that now? I mean, you have some pretty serious problems already. If you weren't taking medications all this time there's a chance you'd be dead already. Even a month or two of counting calories and doing some very mild exercising can make a radical difference in your health and well being. You don't have to go crazy and train like an olympic athlete like they try to convince you of on television. Just eat the right number of calories each day and start some very mild exercising. No big deal.

Getting started in trucking is incredibly difficult. It's really stressful at times and there's a lot of hoops to jump through. You're really behind the 8 ball going into it with a lot of health concerns because you're always going to be one small step away from a failed physical and a temporary end to your career. A DOT physical really is the very basics. It's pretty much meant to make sure you're not about to drop dead at any moment and nothing more. Anyone who has trouble passing a DOT physical is in seriously bad health and has a lot more to worry about losing than a career.

If you're ready to make a new start on life with a new career then why not go for it and add a healthier lifestyle to the mix at the same time? Really do it right.

smile.gif

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.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bob L.'s Comment
member avatar

Paul, the physical is my biggest concern as well - I'm pretty sure I'll be ok, but am going to do a visit to my Dr. beforehand, just to be sure. What's helpful in my case (and that I just found out yesterday) is that my Dr. does DOT physicals, so I'm assuming he would be well-versed on the particulars of required/desired meds (if any are needed), etc. I agree wholeheartedly with Brett's advice - you don't have to make huge changes, just eat a little less, and move a little more

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.

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