Health and Fitness

DOT/CDL Physical Exam for Becoming a Commercial Truck Driver

DOT/CDL Physical Exam is a mandatory federal examination for all qualified commercial drivers who wish to get their driver’s license. DOT (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) is the federal agency that supervises and administers the exam. This means that if you are a driver, you have to pass this DOT/CDL physical examination before getting your driver’s license. DOT exam is available for those who can afford to pay the fee and those willing to undergo the gruelling exam. Those who cannot afford the cost can take help from non-profit organizations, which provide DOT training.

Before you start taking the DOT/CDL physical exam, you should have enough knowledge about what to expect during the exam. It would help if you first understood that the exam consists of two parts. The first part is comprised of both reading and writing portions. The second part of the exam consists of a written test, a visual examination, and an oral test.

Purpose of DOT/CDL Physicals

The purpose of DOT/CDL physicals is to ensure safe driver performance. For commercial drivers, the purpose of the exam is to determine whether the person is physically fit to drive a commercial vehicle. To this end, the exam includes two parts: a visual driver examination and a physical exam.

Be Prepared for Physical Examination

Before taking the DOT/CDL physical examination, you should prepare your physicals. If you always prepare to answer any questions asked by the medical examiner will be better for you. It would help if you tried to remember all the information you have learned in your classroom and on the Internet. It would help if you also prepared for any questions that the medical examiner may ask you during the examination. To help with your preparedness, you should review your medical history, any other information provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles, and any other information that pertains to your driving record.

Pre-scheduled Tests

The first part of the DOT/CDL physical examination is the visible portion. You will be asked to pass a vision test to show that you can see well. This test will last about forty-five minutes and is usually done on the part of the road where you can see other cars and trucks. If there are traffic obstacles or other conditions that could slow down the examination speed, the examiner may ask you to complete additional visual tests before proceeding. In addition, you will be asked to do two dry runs. These pre-scheduled tests will let the medical examiners know how well you respond to the physical exam.

Written Test

Next, you will be asked to sit for a written test. On this test, you will have to demonstrate your knowledge of the laws of commercial driving. In addition, you will be required to explain how you will handle situations that occur while operating a commercial motor vehicle. For example, you will be required to demonstrate that you can read and understand a motor vehicle management manual before you drive it on the road. By completing this part of the physical exam, you will pass.

After Receiving CDL

After successfully passing the DOT/CDL physical exams, you will be issued a CDL. However, you will be required to wait at least six months before you can operate a commercial vehicle. Until the six-month waiting period is complete, you cannot use a commercial vehicle unless flying to another state. Although you may be asked to pass a background check, you should not be asked to submit to a criminal background check as well.

Benefits of Passing the DOT/CDL

The benefits of passing the DOT/CDL physical exam demonstrate your responsibility as a safe and competent driver. It helps to build your record, which in turn makes your credibility as a commercial driver. The physical exam also helps to ensure that you have safe and reliable skills when driving. If you fail the exam, you can be suspended or terminated from the program. In most cases, failure to complete the training will result in the cancellation of your CDL.

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