DOT Physicals

Ensuring Safe Roads with Fit Commercial Drivers

A nurse holding a stethoscope up to a man's chestEnsuring the health and safety of commercial drivers is paramount not only for the individual but also for the community at large. At Cañon Professional Wellness Clinic in Cañon City, Colorado, we specialize in DOT (Department of Transportation) Physicals, designed to evaluate a driver's fitness for the demands of the road.

Adhering to FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulations, our comprehensive exams ensure that drivers meet all necessary medical standards for their commercial driver's medical certification, promoting transportation safety across the board.

A DOT physical is a comprehensive health assessment designed to ensure the safety of commercial drivers. This examination delves into your medical history and current health status.

Key Components of a DOT Physical:

  • Blood Pressure & Pulse Rate:
    We'll will monitor your blood pressure and pulse, ensuring there's no irregular heart rate (arrhythmia).

  • Drug Testing:
    Though not a direct part of the DOT physical, the Department of Transportation mandates a drug test. It's advisable to undergo this test concurrently with your physical.

  • Hearing Assessment:
    This test identifies any scarring, perforated eardrums, or hearing loss. To qualify, drivers should discern a "forced whisper" from 5 feet away without aids and have no more than 40 decibels of hearing loss in the better ear.

  • Urinalysis:
    A urine sample will be analyzed to detect protein, blood, and sugar levels, helping identify potential health issues.

  • Vision Examination:
    This evaluates for conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, or muscular degeneration. Passing criteria include 20/40 vision in each eye (with or without lenses) and a 70-degree horizontal field of vision in both eyes.

  • Additional Vitals:
    Your height and weight will be recorded as part of the assessment.

Detailed Body Examination:

During the DOT physical, the doctor will conduct a thorough examination of specific body regions to ensure optimal health and safety for driving:

  • Heart:
    Checking for any murmurs or the presence of a pacemaker.

  • Limbs:
    Assessment of any impairments or abnormalities.

  • Lungs & Chest:
    Evaluation for irregular breathing patterns or compromised respiratory function.

  • Mouth & Throat:
    Inspection for any issues related to breathing or swallowing.

  • Spine & Skeletal Muscles:
    Testing the range of motion and checking for any abnormalities.

The entire examination process typically spans around 45 minutes. Upon successful completion and meeting all DOT requirements, we'll provide you with a DOT medical card. This card, also referred to as a Medical Examination Report or Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), is essential for maintaining and renewing your commercial driver’s license.

DOT Physical Eligibility:

While the necessity for a DOT physical is often stipulated by your employer, you're typically required to undergo one if you align with the conditions below:

  • Professional Drivers:
    If you're compensated to drive a vehicle accommodating more than eight passengers.

  • Large Vehicle Operators:
    For those who drive vehicles, like buses, that can carry over 15 individuals.

  • Interstate Commercial Drivers:
    If you drive a vehicle for commercial purposes across state lines, and it has a combined gross weight exceeding 10,000 pounds.

  • Hazardous Material Transporters:
    Those who convey hazardous substances in vehicles necessitating a designated placard.

Validity of the Medical Card:

Generally, a CDL medical card remains valid for 24 months. However, there are situations where the card might be issued for a shorter duration, especially if you have a condition requiring regular monitoring, such as high blood pressure.

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