Unlike regular vehicle driving, truck driving requires long hours of rides on the highway, which requires the driver to be perfect for the job. And while law enforcement doesn’t care about your physical fitness, it is essential to pass your driving test and get the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) Certificate. But before that, you must know about the physical requirements to be a good truck driver.
First of all, it is important to have stable blood pressure, good eyesight, and hearing. Then you should be physically fit, which you must prove by lifting and pushing weights. You will also have to take alcohol and drug tests to pass the physical test.
Well, that’s not enough information, is it? Then I urge you to read the entire article to find out all the details.
Physical Requirements To Be A Good Truck Driver
Before you start your career as a truck driver, it is mandatory to meet all the physical requirements. That is the most ideal way to prove that you are fit enough to become a good driver.
Having a good vision is one of the vital yet crucial requirements for being a good truck driver. You must have an eye test done, and your vision should be at least 20/40 with or without contact lenses.
And the peripheral vision should be at least 70 degrees. But don’t stress too much because you will be able to wear glasses or lenses during the test.
Ability To Identify Colors
Not many people talk about it, but your ability to distinguish color is just as important as having a good vision. If you have color blindness, you won’t be able to identify yellow, red, and green traffic lights. You must consult an eye specialist to wear special lenses for that. It might help you pass the CDL test.
You must also have a good hearing ability. Without that, you cannot pass the test. You can pass the test even if you wear hearing aids as long as you can prove it meets the hearing requirements.
How so? Well, you should be able to hear whispers in one ear from more than 5 feet away. If not, you will be disqualified.
To be a truck driver, you must have stable blood pressure. If it is above 140/90, you will be disqualified. If you have any medical history regarding high blood pressure, doctors would recommend you avoid caffeine and smoking.
Being a truck driver is not an easy job. You have to sit and drive for an extended period of time. And this often goes on without any sort of break. On top of that, you have to climb up and down the truck, tow and lift heavy weights, check the cargo, fix parts, and more.
That’s why it is essential to have physical strength and endurance. The examiner will also check your medical history and information to see if you had any surgery or condition that can limit such activities.
Did you have any previous cardiovascular issues? If you did, it can prevent you from meeting the physical requirements to pass the CDL test. You have to be cleared off by a professional cardiologist regarding it.
Medical Conditions And Medical History
Doctors will check your medical history to know if you have any serious medical conditions that can affect your ability to drive. This is more like determining whether you will be safe to drive trucks. You have to collect a statement from your physician stating that you are in good health and don’t have any condition that will affect your driving ability.
Urinalysis And Drug Test
Having drug and alcohol tests is part of the CDL physical tests. You will be required to provide the examiner with a urine sample. This will determine whether you have any drug substance present in your body. It will also be tested to check your protein, sugar/glucose levels, dehydration or gravity, underlying health issues, etc.
As part of the physical requirement, you must also prove that you have no sleep-related issues. It is one of the most common issues with truck or commercial vehicle drivers. And often, it results in fatal accidents.
Having acute sleep apnea can make you disqualified. However, you can pass the test if you can prove you sleep without much trouble or keep the condition under control through medication.
Related Post: Why Do I Need A Lawyer After A Car Accident?
Physical Fitness Test To Be A Truck Driver
The Department of Transportation has set some mandatory requirements for candidates who want to be truck drivers. And here are the tests you should be prepared for.
- First, you must pass the required physical and drug tests by the Department of Transportation.
- You should be able to walk 20 minutes daily without any kind of physical exertion.
- You must be able to enter and exit various equipment by kneeling and stepping.
- You must lift 30 lbs. of weight from the floor to your head and 40 lbs. of weight from your weight to your shoulders.
- Push and pull 80 lbs. and 100 lbs. of weight (accordingly) horizontally.
- You have to crouch and square before and after the trip for inspection.
To pass the driving and physical test for the CDL Certificate, it is essential to learn from a trucking school, such as go4cdl.com in California. This school educates and trains those who want to become professional truck drivers. You can check their website for their professional courses and related programs.
Conditions That Can Disqualify You
You now have some ideas about everything that’s required to be a good truck driver. Nevertheless, here are some physical and health conditions that can disqualify you and prevent you from passing the tests.
- Respiratory or cardiac diseases.
- Seizures or epilepsy.
- Poor eyesight and hearing ability.
- Loss of one or more limbs.
- Diabetes (if you fail to manage it properly).
- High blood pressure or heart condition.
- Untreated sleep apnea.
How To Maintain Physical And Mental Fitness As A Truck Driver
Being out on the street and driving for hours can be stressful. That is why your physical health and mental well-being are the key resources when it comes to becoming a good truck driver. So here are a few things you need to keep in mind whether you are preparing for a CDL test or already passed it.
Make Healthy Food Choices
The best way to stay fit is by making healthy food choices. Take more vegetables and protein meals. You should avoid taking too much sugar and carbs.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Make sure to have water bottles nearby, even when driving. Avoid drinking alcohol at least 12 hours prior to driving.
Exercising will help you take mental loads off just as it will build you physically. So make sure to take some time to exercise regularly.
There is no alternative to sleep when it comes to staying mentally healthy. You can also try meditating regularly to relieve stress.
I can understand that being a truck driver seems like a lucrative profession. But to get into the profession, you must meet the physical requirements to be a good truck driver because when you drive on highways, you are also responsible for the safety of other vehicles and bystanders.
That is why you have to retake the tests every 2 years to prove you are fit and healthy enough for the job. You should also remember that different trucking companies can have their own specific physical requirements for truck drivers. So make sure to check on with your preferred company before applying.