If you’re a bus or truck driver, you’ve most likely heard of the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. Required to ensure the public’s safety and your safety, this check-up verifies employees are in the best of health to work safely. Here’s everything you need to know about the DOT physical.
Who Needs a DOT Physical?
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates a DOT physical for everyone applying for a commercial vehicle driver’s license. This includes people who operate:
- Vehicles that carry more than 15 people or more than eight people if the driver is paid
- Vehicles that transport hazardous material and have a placard
- Vehicles that have a gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more
What Does a DOT Physical Consist Of?
All DOT physicals must be completed by a medical examiner licensed by the FMCSA. In the first part of the physical, you will need to fill out a medical examination form with your detailed medical history. This form can also be filled before the appointment to save time.
For the medical checkup, your doctor will test:
- Blood pressure
- Urinalysis (drug testing)
- External and internal health including, but not limited to: motor skills, lungs, neurological reflexes, heart conditions, sleep apnea, and limb impairments.
What to Bring to a DOT Physical
Before you come to your physical, bring a complete list of all medications with dosage amounts and the prescribing doctors’ names and addresses. If you’re a driver with medical issues, you’ll have to bring documentation from your physician. Below are a few examples:
Drivers With Vision or Hearing Problems:
- Bring contact lenses, glasses, or any device you normally use to see
- Hearing aids
Drivers With Heart Issues, Brain Tumors, or Previous History of Strokes:
- A detailed history of your health and a letter that designates you as safe to work from your cardiologist or neurologist.
- For heart issues, results from a recent stress test or cardiogram test
Drivers With Permanent Limb Loss:
- A Skilled Performance Examination (SPE)
- An overview from your doctor about any work restrictions of the injury