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5 Tips for Fleet Managers Handling DOT Medical Exams

December 21, 2016
medical test

Regulatory compliance is required for all professional drivers, as per the Department of Transportation. And while fleet managers may not look forward to the costs of these exams in bulk, the fines that accumulate from unperformed medical tests and misfiled physicals are much worse.

As a fleet manager, you are required to ensure that each of your drivers undergoes these medical tests and receives the necessary care.

From an employer or manager’s standpoint, the repercussions are much different than they are from the driver’s standpoint. As someone who isn’t going to step into the doctor’s office, what should you know?

Here are some simple DOT basics that you need to know when it comes to your drivers’ medical compliance.

  1. Not just any physician can examine these drivers and sign off for the DOT. The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) lists all registered medical professionals that can perform this examination. These are the only people who can perform a DOT medical examination.
  2. A driver who receives a “DQ” on their physical is out of service — or disqualified — even if their valid medical card says that they are still eligible to drive. You must comply with the most recently issued medical card, or you will risk being fined. Even something as simple as high blood pressure can cost you a day’s worth of shipment, and leave your driver, truck, and cargo stranded.
  3. If a new hire receives a DQ or a short term medical card that bars them from diving immediately or sends them home from orientation, that doesn’t mean you can say goodbye forever. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is extremely active in the trucking industry and strictly enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act to ensure proper treatment, regardless of medical condition, of all workers. Unless explicitly said otherwise, you should plan to bring a new hire back on post-treatment.
  4. Remind your drivers of their medical card expiration at least 30 days in advance, but preferably sooner. This will allow them to allocate the proper time and resources for receiving the medical tests and examination. If they don’t, they have no one else to blame.
  5. If your driver receives a DQ and/or believes that they did not receive sufficient patient care services, they are able to undergo testing from a different certified physician. However, if this is the case, the diver must bring in all of the medical information that the first doctor provided.

As a truck driver, schedules are tight, and only 29% of primary care providers offer after-hours care. Check to see if there’s an urgent care center in your area that provides DOT medical testing. Here in Arizona, Phoenix Urgent Care does. Call to see when our certified medical professionals will be in and feel free to walk in on your own time.