If you are starting a new trucking career, you need to understand the CDL medical requirements and expectations for the CDL medical exam. This guide reviews the CDL medical exam requirements, expectations, and what conditions might require further documentation or disqualify you from earning a CDL.
What is a DOT Medical Exam?
The Department of Transportation (DOT) sets the CDL license medical requirements. The DOT Medical Exam is a physical examination that a licensed medical examiner must perform before obtaining a commercial driver’s license. You can find a list of eligible providers on the FMCSA National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website. Based on the listing, doctors of medicine (MD), physician assistants (PA), doctors of osteopathy (DO), doctors of chiropractic (DC), and advanced practice nurses (APN) can perform the exam. The DOT exam determines that the driver is physically, emotionally, and mentally fit to operate trucks. All results are valid for 24 months, but there are times when more monitoring is required, or a lesser term is provided.
Why Do Drivers Need A DOT Medical Exam?
The DOT CDL medical card requirements require a complete physical examination, including limb function, blood pressure, vision, and hearing. It also includes a drug and alcohol screening. Aside from this, drivers are required to prove mental and emotional capability. All of these factors are important to ensure maximum safety on the road.
CDL Medical Requirements
Among the medical requirements for CDL drivers, here are a few aspects to examine.
All drivers must have natural vision that reaches these criteria:
- 70” peripheral vision
- 20/40 acuity in each eye
Corrective lenses are authorized if the driver’s vision does not meet these criteria without them.
It’s important that your hearing is at optimal levels so you can hear what’s happening on the road. The CDL testing requires that you hear a forced whisper from five feet away. If you can’t meet this requirement, you must use hearing aids that allow you to pass.
The CDL medical requirements for blood pressure require that it remains within safe limits. If it doesn’t on its own, blood pressure medication can be used. However, some of these can lead to drowsiness. Additionally, your heart rate is monitored to ensure you don’t suffer from an irregular heartbeat.
What are the CDL medical requirements for diabetes? A blood sugar level above 200 could signify a problem. A urinalysis is performed to check for diabetes and other kidney ailments. Additionally, this test looks for controlled substance abuse.
During the DOT exam, the doctor will also look for the following issues.
- Cardiovascular concerns
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neurological or brain disorders
- Digestion system concerns
- Chronic pain
- Psychiatric issues
- Kidney disease
- Sleep apnea
Medical Conditions That Disqualify You from Getting A CDL
It’s impossible to create an entire list of the medical issues that might disqualify you for a CDL. However, the main ones involve heart conditions, uncontrolled diabetes, sleep apnea, and epilepsy. As with the CDL medical requirements for sleep apnea, any condition affecting on-road safety must be properly treated with medication and physician supervision.
Medical Conditions that Might Require a Waiver to Get a CDL
Some medical conditions can be monitored while you have a CDL license, as long as you receive a waiver from the physician showing that you are being treated. It’s possible to have high blood pressure, respiratory issues, and other ailments, as long as it is manageable.
Pass All CDL Medical Requirements? Apply with LCL Bulk Transport
If you have passed the CDL medical exam, it’s time to start your trucking career. Apply for a driving position at LCL Bulk Transport. We make it easy to apply for a truck job online.
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