Every commercial truck driver when applies for a CDL license need to take a DOT medical examination. The truck driver medical exam is required to ensure the healthy condition of every truck driver on the road.
Since the truck drivers are spending most of the day transporting goods from one place to another they are always present on the highway among other drivers.
The truck driver medical exam will give information about the ability of the truck driver to provide safe and reliable transporting service. Better truck driver health brings better safety on the road.
In this way, the highway will be cleared from accidents caused by the poor health condition of the drivers.
Things to Know when Taking Truck Driver Medical Exam
Commercial vehicle driver examinations can be completed only by Medical examiners that are Certified and listed on FMCSA’s National Registry.
Where can I find certified medical examiner (MEs)? This is a good question because it is important your medical examiner is under National Registry of certified examiners. In this way, FMCSA will be sure that the truck driver medical exam results will be reliable, not just given by some local doctor.
The National Registry will provide for you a list of certified medical examiners that are in your area and in that way will ensure the proper commercial driver examination and determination of drivers condition to get safe highway performance, without any possible traffic endangerment caused by bad drivers health.
Truck Driver Medical Exam requirements
If you are preparing to become a commercial truck driver you need to be mentally and physically in shape. To get your medical certification you need to fulfill the requirements of the DOT commercial driver medical examination to be qualified as a reliable driver to operate a heavy vehicle with certain class and weight.
Here is what you need to start your career behind the wheel
- To have clean driving record
- To get clean medical exam report
- To repeat the truck driver medical exam every two years
The gathered truck driver medical exam information’s will be stored in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). They will be available for further reviewing and comparison together with the new information about your driving behavior.
Segments of Truck Driver Medical Exam
Truck driver medical exam consists two parts of examinations
The first segment is the interview with the certified doctor for your possible medical conditions that may affect your driving performance.
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The examiner will want to know about your medical history and your previous road violations if you have one. FMCSA require filed medical examination report like a first presentation of the truck driver abilities.
Important to remember is that you need to be honest about everything when you take the medical examination report because even if you lie you won’t be able to get away with that, your background will be checked and reviewed.
The second segment is the real deal; it will be more specific than a general conversation. Now is the time when your driving ability will be put in a valuation. The physical and psychological outcome will give detailed data on your general health.
- Neurological Problems – driver with this type of problem can be a real threat in the traffic. That is why the neurological segment is part of the truck driver medical exam. Diseases like blackouts, epilepsy, Alzheimer or Parkinson, multiple sclerosis, brain surgery will be part of this revealing test.
- Mental Health – Stability of the driver is also a factor to pass the truck driver medical exam successfully. The medical examiner will want to know about your mental health and ability to deal with the pressure. Depression, dementia, and similar mental diseases are part of this test.
- Blood Pressure – High blood pressure can be a dangerous thing when you have the steering wheel in your hands, that is why this segment is part of the truck driver medical exam
- Heart Conditions – having heart diseases like murmurs or aneurysms can be a reason for not passing the truck driver medical exam
- Eyesight – your eyes activity will be tested for the potential of medical eyes diseases that can endanger the safety on the road
- Diabetes – This is not some big issue in your way of passing the truck driver medical exam. If this is a case you just need to learn to keep it in control with insulin or other medical prescriptions.
- Alcohol and Drugs – For this I think I don’t need to explain a lot, we all know how danger is to drive a car with alcohol in the system so multiply that danger with more than 100,000 lb. heavy trucks. The drug abuse is much worse. The chronic users are great danger and not suitable candidates for passing the truck driver medical exam.
- Sleep Disorders – Since fatigued truck drivers are a major issue and cause for a lot of traffic accidents the sleep disorders are taken by the magnifying glass but If the candidate has a sleep disorder, disqualification may not be a case if it is managed properly with medications.
List of What you need to Bring to a DOT Physical Exam
The purpose of the FMCSA Medical Program is to provide the safety of United States roadways through the implementation of the truck driver medical exam to ensure commercial drivers are physically and mentally qualified to do a safe performance in and out of the roads.
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The truck driver medical exam is your first and most important step and that is why you need to be prepared when you start with the procedure. These are the things that you are required to bring to the DOT physical exam:
1. This applies to all truck drivers
- Make a list of all of your prescribed medications that you are taking
- Information about the medication dosages is also required
- Put the information about your doctors’ name and address (if you have more than one doctor you need to put the information of each doctor)
- Complete the first page of the truck driver medical exam to save time
2. For drivers who have high blood pressure
- At the day of examination, your blood pressure needs to be below 140/90 to pass the DOT truck driver medical exam
3. For driver s with heart issues
- Bring an overview from your cardiologist with your medical heart history and medications that you are taking which confirm that you are reliable to drive a commercial vehicle
- Also, you need to bring an ECHO cardiogram and stress test results in the 1-2 years period. (bring every test result that is connected with the condition)