If you are interested in gaining your commercial driver's license, there are plenty of benefits to this career path. You get to travel, have independence, and have good pay for an entry-level position. However, while there are many pros to this job, one downside is the physical toll that driving can take on your body. The Mayo Clinic says that sitting for long periods of time can increase the risks of weight gain, high cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure. You can counteract these effects by getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising.
Because commercial driving can affect one's health, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires drivers to take DOT physicals (sometimes known as DMV physicals). Read on to learn more about the DOT physical.
Why is this physical required?
Because you will be operating heavy machinery on the road, it's imperative that you're in the best possible shape so that you don't hurt yourself or others. Physicals follow guidelines that are set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The FMCSA requires physicals because they help trucking companies reduce crashes and fatalities Physicals also help trucking companies cover their bases in terms of insurance.
What is tested during the physical?
Your DMV can provide you with your state's guidelines to see what your physical will consist of. Generally, you'll be tested on your vision, hearing, blood pressure levels, and blood sugar levels.
Who can administer the DOT physical?
There are many professionals who can provide this physical, but you need to check your state's guidelines to see who they approve. You can get a DOT physical from professionals like chiropractors, primary care physicians, registered nurses, or physician's assistants.
What if you don't pass in a certain area?
The good news is that even if you aren't in perfect health, you can still pursue this career as long as you make the necessary corrections or have a doctor's permission. For instance, if you have diabetes, you'll need to have updated logs of your blood sugar levels. If you've been able to manage your blood sugar well, then you'll be able to drive.
If a chiropractor or other professional finds issues with your hearing or eyesight, you may still be able to drive as long as you wear a hearing aid or prescription lenses.
Do you have to pay for the physical?
If the company you work for provides benefits, then they may be able to cover the DOT physical since it can fall under preventative care. However, if you don't have benefits, these physicals are about as much as you'd pay for your regular annual physical. Costhelper says that physicals can cost between $50 to $200 without insurance coverage.
For more information on the DOT or the DMV Physical, contact a chiropractor in your area today.