DOT physicals are medical examinations required for operators of commercial motor vehicles in the United States. Mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT physicals are a standardized test that can only be performed by a certified physician. DOT physicals involve a thorough physical and mental evaluation, as well as a detailed review of medical history.
What is a DOT physical?
The DOT physical is a medical examination required for any individual wishing to operate a commercial motor vehicle. It is a standardized test that is designed to ensure that all commercial drivers are in good physical health and can operate at peak performance. DOT physicals certify that drivers are physically able to handle the long hours and stress of operating a commercial vehicle without complications caused by medical conditions. Some medical conditions may disqualify prospective drivers from passing the physical, including any condition that may cause harm to the public.
When would you need a DOT physical?
A DOT physical is needed before being able to operate a commercial motor vehicle. The FMCSA defines a commercial motor vehicle as any self-propelled or towed vehicle that is driven on the highway and is involved in transporting passengers or property and interstate commerce. It also applies to any vehicle that meets one or more of the following requirements:
- A gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds
- Used to transport over 8 passengers (including the driver), for a fee
- Used to transport over 15 passengers, drivers included
- Used to transport hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding (signage and warnings)
Only medical examiners that have been certified by the FMCSA and are listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners can conduct a DOT physical and issue a certificate, including the physician at NuMedX in Punxsutawney, PA.
How often do you need to have a DOT physical?
A DOT physical is required every 24 months, although some pre-existing conditions, including diabetes and hypertension, mandate re-certification at more frequent intervals and may be required annually.
What does a doctor test for in DOT physicals?
A DOT physical consists of several different tests and examinations, including:
A Vision Test — The minimum vision requirement is 20/40 vision for both eyes, with or without corrective lenses. Be sure to bring any prescription glasses or contacts to the appointment. A color test is also performed.
A Hearing Test — Drivers must be able hear what is known as a ‘forced whisper’ from less than five feet away, with or without the use of hearing aids.
Urinalysis — A urine test is performed to help determine any medical conditions or irregularities that require immediate attention.
Blood Pressure/Pulse Rate — Blood pressure and pulse is measured to check for any abnormalities and to ensure that sitting for prolonged periods will not cause any health problems.
Physical Examination — A physical examination is part of the DOT exam, and tests for:
- General appearance (weight, tremors, drug/alcohol problems)
- Mouth & Throat (breathing and swallowing)
- Lungs & Chest (breathing)
- Abdomen & Organs (unusual masses, hernias, weakness)
- Vascular System (weak pulse, blood flow, varicose veins)
- Limbs (Loss or damage, weakness)
- Skeletal (limitation, tenderness)
- Neurological (balance, reflexes, speech)
Review of Vaccination Record — The examining physician will go over previous immunizations, which may need to be updated. These can include:
- Hepatitis A (Hep A)
- Hepatitis B (Hep B)
- Influenza (Flu)
Come to NuMedX for your trusted DOT physical today. Our medical professional is certified to perform DOT physicals and can help you get on the road! Call us today to book an appointment. We serve patients from Punxsutawney PA, Big Run PA, Sykesville PA, Reynoldsville PA, Mahaffey PA, Home PA, Rochester Mills PA, Marion Center PA, Stump Creek PA, Rossiter PA, Dayton PA, and Luthersburg PA. Looking forward to serve you!