What are the CDL Physical Requirements?
Before you can even begin working as a truck driver, you are mandated to meet CDL physical requirements that will be checked by a DOT-approved medical examiner. Once you start work, you’ll have to retake the test every two years to show that you’re in top shape to work. Here are some of the CDL physical requirements that will come up on your test.
Because it’s so crucial to see clearly when driving, you must meet the CDL vision requirement of at least 20/40 on the Snellen eye test in both eyes with or without corrective lenses. Glasses or contact lenses are allowed when taking the test.
Color blindness can cause difficulties if you have trouble differentiating between the red, yellow, and green colors used in traffic lights. If you’re unable to distinguish between these hues, contact your eye doctor. You may be able to wear special contact lenses to correct this issue so that you can meet CDL physical requirements.
To be certified to work as a truck driver, your blood pressure should be less than 140/90. If you have a history of high blood pressure, doctors recommend that you avoid smoking cigarettes and consuming caffeine.
It’s important that truck drivers are aware of their surroundings. To meet CDL physical requirements, you have to be able to hear a forced whisper from five feet away. Hearing aids are allowed during the test, as long as you can still perceive the sound from five feet away in at least one ear.
You will have to get your doctor or cardiologist to sign off on your exam if you’ve had any cardiovascular health issues in the past. You should meet CDL physical requirements as long as you’ve recovered from any previous cardiovascular issues.
If you’re taking any medications, they must not affect your ability to drive a truck on the road. If you are taking any medications or have a medical condition that presents a safety risk, you may be disqualified from obtaining a medical card. You will most likely need to get your primary care physician to provide a release stating that the medication or condition will not affect your ability to drive. If you have questions or concerns regarding personal medications or medical conditions, call your doctor.
In addition to taking a drug test, you will need to provide a urine specimen. The sample will be tested for specific gravity/dehydration, proteins, glucose levels, and the presence of blood, and the results will rule out any underlying medical conditions you might not know about so you know you’re fit to drive.
When driving a truck, you have to sit and steer for extended periods of time, and you need to be able to climb in and out of the cab, couple and uncouple trailers, climb ladders, and inspect the vehicle and cargo. The medical examiner will consider any surgeries you’ve had in the past and make sure there are no limits to your range of motion.
As part of your CDL physical requirements, you’ll be required to submit your complete medical history, including a list of past and recent surgeries, medications you’re currently taking, ongoing medical conditions, and any history of substance abuse. You’re also required to list if you have a history of diabetes, sleep apnea, epilepsy, or any other conditions that might make driving unsafe.