To start your CDL trucking career, you need to pass what’s called the “DOT physical exam”. Professional bus drivers and truckers need to pass the exam, which has been made mandatory by the Department of Transportation, to get the CDL, or Commercial Driving License. The test itself is a comprehensive one, with numerous tests included, and a doctor/physician is required to administer the exam.
In this post, we are discussing more on the topic and what all it includes, so that you can start preparing for the DOT physical to get your CDL.
Tests at a glance
- Visual test. A trucker or anyone with a CDL must have good vision, and 20/40 vision is the least that’s needed in minimum of one eye. In case you don’t have perfect vision, you can always wear contact lenses, but the exam is necessary.
- Hearing test. Listening to all the noises and sounds on the road is a must for CDL drivers, which is why this test is necessary. During the exam, they are tested to recognize or hear a forced whisper from a distance of five feet. You pass if you can listen clearly.
- Cardiovascular test. If you want to be a Class A Driver, cardiovascular health will be considered. Keep in mind that drivers often have to be in the same position and drive for hours, which can cause considerable stress. During the DOT physical exam, the doctor will check their blood pressure and pulse, to ensure basic aspects are fine.
- Neurological test. To check if a driver has any sort of brain issues or disorders, a neurological screening will be done too. For example, if you have epilepsy, a CDL may not be permitted. However, in some cases, if the driver decides to continue medicines, exceptions can be made.
- Drug testing. This one is a no-brainer of sorts. When you are driving something like a truck, you are expected to be sober. DOT physical exam includes a test for drugs, to ensure that the person is not taking any illicit drugs, cannabis, opioids or other substances.
Things to know
You need to bring your existing prescriptions, medications, glasses, hearing aids, if any, for the DOT physical exam. Make sure that you check for all the requirements, which can be found online, and a CDL driver has nothing to worry, if he is open about his health and current physical condition.