DOT Question/Hearing

Topic 7814 | Page 1

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Robert McD.'s Comment
member avatar

So I'm in the stages of getting my NY license transferred to an Illinois license and then taking the written exam within the next month. As I'm crossing my "t"s and dotting my "i"s, I can't help but worry about the physical. I'm in otherwise good health (my BMI is ~31-32, no back/neck/muscle problems, vision is good with glasses), except for my hearing. It's not really that bad, but I have slight trouble hearing things in my right ear. I get by just fine without a hearing aid (mostly because over the years I haven't had the insurance to get one). Does anybody have a similar problem? Many moons ago I was disqualified from joining the Army because of my hearing and I'm worried something similar might happen here.

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.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Robert, I've been through probably seven or eight D.O.T. physicals, and I'm not sure how much trouble you are going to have, but here is how I've seen the hearing test done. In all of the physicals I have taken (with the exception of one) the person administering the test would simply stand a few feet away from me on each side and whisper something - then have me tell them what they whispered. In the one that was different the physician actually had a device that he inserted in my ear canal and it produced a tone which gradually increased in volume from nothing at all until it got to the point where I could hear it and I was to indicate by lifting my hand that I could hear the tone. Just putting that information out for you so you can have an idea what to expect.

There are exemptions that you can apply for if this becomes a problem for you. And if you end up having to go that route, I think you would be able to get the exemption as long as you have good hearing in one ear. I met a driver with hearing aids in both ears who was able to get the exemption.

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.
Robert McD.'s Comment
member avatar

Old School, thanks for the detailed reply! This makes me feel really positively, actually! I didn't realize the Whisper Test was actually a whisper test. I won't have too much of a problem in this case.dancing-banana.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

There's not a whole lot of information to be had on it, but we have some information on the hearing test for the 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.

Pv's Comment
member avatar

There are exemptions that you can apply for if this becomes a problem for you. And if you end up having to go that route, I think you would be able to get the exemption as long as you have good hearing in one ear. I met a driver with hearing aids in both ears who was able to get the exemption.

To politely correct you, you do not have to have hearing in 1 good ear in order to qualify for the hearing exemption. I know of a number of profoundly deaf individuals with CDLs that have been driver interstate for a number of years now with zero issues. Some became deaf later in life and others were born deaf. The hearing exemption applies to all levels/degrees of hearing loss. You have to make sure you meet the other physical requirements. The hearing exemption can be renewed up to every 2 years.

I am well versed on the hearing exemption that FMCSA issues so if you have any questions, you can contact me any time.

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.

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

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

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.
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