Medical Disqualification For Unfit Drivers

by Rhonda

This is a topic that all of us need to be concerned about and not just drivers. America is overweight for eating way to much of the wrong foods. The concern for getting unfit drivers off the road is coming at us and it has already started. With more to come.

I have collected articles about many drivers being taken off the road after many miles (millions) of accident free driving because they failed their DOT physical when they had one of the disqualifying factors for years. Your medical card is taken away and you have now lost your job. But on the other hand I have an article about a driver who had his CDL taken away by the DOT but it was just fine letting him get/keep his pilots license and saying you are fit for flying. You can be missing an arm and be qualified to drive with a prosthetic limb. You can even be a paraplegic and drive a big rig.

I do not understand why you are allowed to take away a person's job/CDL because youhave the disqualifying factor for years andit was caught at theDOT physicaland there is no grey area to discuss.It is so cut and dried with everyone being put into the same category.Your perfect record does not matter to the ones who made the rules. You can get an attorney and sue and maybe win like others have done.But that is a long process.

When drivers have been taken off the road for the above examples, being out of shape is now coming and I know many of you have read about it in the trucking magazines. Recently in our forum, I said "I could not fathom being dismissed from your job, having your CDL taken away from you when you failed certain guidelines, but your job performance and driving record are perfect.So don't worry about it". I was wrong. I went and looked up my articles I kept and read about the latest article on this issue. Like it or not, this is fast approaching and trucking/truckers are going to be made the scapegoat in this. (who is next? people who sit at desks all day? Is fast food going to be outlawed? Food police at the grocery stores telling you what you can not buy?? This is all silly, but look around at some of the laws we have now)

The powers to be have spoken and it can't be changed quickly but we can do thingsnow tochange the results of many drivers who are borderline on the UNFIT area.Now is the time to take control and drop the weight and get healthy to keep your job.

This includes me and I have lost 20 pounds in the last year. I ate when my father died to get thru the grieving process and I also did not care about me and how I looked. I hid the weight well and could not believe I could weigh so much. April 2008, I had to take another DOT physical per new employers rules even tho I had plenty of time left on my current medical card. The weight put on my medical papers for my employer to see shocked me. It was a nasty number. I had been working on losing and toning up before this, but it was not enough to lower the number as much as I preferred. I was SKINNY while being an OTR driver so this was not right.

I cut out white processed bread and tators daily and did leg liftsand walking. Yes I have a job where I am home nightly but thatdoes not matter. Eating right is something we need to do and I even did it on the road. I did lots of leg exercises in the sleeper and I walked every chance I got at shippers and during your break. I had fresh fruits and veggies with me. Even bought them at the truck stops which costs you more,but it was the better choice. I also did some cooking at home and brought about 2 days worth and keptit in my cooler with iceand re-heated the food in the lunch box cooker. I even bought soups and with all their salt which is not good for you, it made a cheap and fillingmeal. And you need to eat breakfastand Ido not mean donuts. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. On the road or now, I eat somethingevery 3 to 4 hours, may be a meal or parts of it or a good or bad snack. I drank very little pop. I am a lots ofwater and blackcoffee (no sugar/cream)person. When you get enough points on your fuel card, you can then use them to get some of the more expensive items at the truck stops so that way they are free or will cost you much less. (for the new readers, professional drivers can get theDriver Payback cards at participating truckstops. For every gallon of fuel pumped, you get 1 point/cent put on the card. When enough points are on the card you can then get your free food/drink/clothing item.)

Here are a few choices of good things to eat and havein the truck/car/at work.

Oranges, peaches,plums, grapes, strawberries, cucumbers, celery, apples,air popped popcorn,peanut butter, fruit smoothies, sunflower seeeds, olives, herbal tea, water, non-fat yogurt, frozen yogurt. I go thru a lot of canned mandarin oranges--in the truck and at home. For your meals, eat in moderation and make the better choice of grilled verses fried for your meats.

Many companies are starting the Employee Wellness program and if you drive for a major carrier, some of the terminals do have a work out room. This is also a great place to get your walking in.

It is not going to be easy to accomplish this weight loss as quickly as it went on. Together WE can do it and get fit and healthy and be ready for our next physical and maybe even your employers new rules being implemented. And this still includes me. Iwant to get back to my weight I had in 2004. No, I am not going to tell what that was. I will tell you I will achieve that goal and will be here to motivate you and cheer you on your results. So come on over to the trucking forum where this will take place.


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.


The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.


A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.


Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.


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.

by Brett Aquila

Related Articles:

Keep Entertained While You're Out There On The Road

by Pappy

There are a lot of fun things to do on the road during your downtime. Here's a few ideas.

To Fuel Or Not To Fuel? It Is To Question.

by Pappy

There are a number of factors to consider regarding when to fuel up your rig, and how much to put in. Here we cover many of them.

Preparing Myself For A Truck Driving Career

by TruckerMike

I'm getting ready to begin truck driver training and here's what I've done leading up to the start of school.

Women In Trucking: Tips For Safety And Comfort

by Rhonda

Women truck drivers can do a number of things to stay safe and comfortable on the road and I cover a lot of them here.

Truck Driving Jobs Increase From Dec '08 To Jan '09

by Brett Aquila

Truck driving jobs have shown a noticeable increase from Dec '08 to Jan '09 on our website. We list thousands of trucking jobs here!

Trailers: Some Common Problems, Fixes, And Items To Carry With You

by Rhonda

There are some common problems that truck drivers run into with their trailers. Here are a few, along with fixes and tools to carry.

Trucker's CB Radios: Fire On The Wire!!!

by Pappy

Trucker's CB Radios - One of the funniest, most informative blogs you'll ever find on the history and terminology. A must read!

The Magical, Mystical “Hot Load”.

by Pappy

We all learn lessons the hard way sometimes. This blog will help new truck drivers avoid learning one themselves.

After My Graduation - Final Thoughts And Advice For Those Considering Truck Driving School

by TruckerMike

After recently graduating from truck driving school and getting my CDL, here is my best advice for those considering becoming a truck driver.

Truck Drivers Must Be Flexible, Committed, And Adaptable

by Brett Aquila

Truck driving is more of a lifestyle than a career. You have to dedicate yourself to it and live it.

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More