A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is necessary for anyone looking to operate a commercial vehicle. There are certain tests and screenings that need to be passed in order to deem someone as fit to operate a vehicle. Peak performance and the ability to handle long hours are crucial to being a commercial driver. AFC Urgent Care Boulder County provides DOT physicals to all patients that need them. We have certified providers on staff that can conduct these physical exams. Be sure to call ahead to ensure our approved providers are available.
What is a DOT Physical?
A DOT physical evaluates a person’s vitals and conducts tests needed for operating a commercial vehicle. They are designed to ensure drivers are at their peak performance and they can handle all aspects of the job. DOT physicals are required to be renewed every two years by the state of Colorado. The physical can only be conducted by those certified by the FMCSA.
A vision test is conducted to ensure the driver has at least 20/40 vision in each eye. It is advised to be prescription glasses if they are needed for daily use. A color test will also be conducted to distinguish between colors, with and without the prescription glasses.
With a hearing test, the driver must be able to hear a forced whisper up to 5 feet away. This can be done with or without hearing aids if they are needed.
Urinalysis is used to determine if there are any medical conditions or irregularities that may need immediate assistance. They are also used to determine if there are any unqualifying factors, such as drug or alcohol abuse, including cannabis.
Blood pressure and heart rate are taken during the physical to determine if the driver is healthy enough to sit for extended periods and to check for any potential conditions. The rest of the physical exam will include testing of:
- Mouth and throat- for breathing and swallowing issues
- Lungs and chest- for any breathing issues
- Abdomen and other organs- for masses, hernias, or general weakness
- Vascular system- for blood flow, varicose veins, or weak pulse
- Limbs and skeletal- for loss, damage, weakness, limitations, or tenderness
- Neurological- for balance, reflexes, and speech
At this point, any necessary vaccinations can be administered, such as Hepatitis A or B, polio, tetanus, typhoid, or flu shot. Once completed, the certification will last between 3 to 24 months, depending on the driver’s health.