If you want to be behind the wheel of your truck, keeping up on DOT physicals is a must. You shouldn’t try to cheat the system and pass the physical if there’s actually something wrong with you, but here are a few techniques you can do to prepare and increase your odds for passing.
Avoid Caffeine and Salt
For a week before your DOT physical, you should limit your intake of caffeine and salt. Caffeine is likely to cause an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. Salt can also increase your blood pressure if you consume too much. An elevated heart rate or high blood pressure are surefire ways to get disqualified from driving or be given strict driving restrictions that make it harder to find work. When you’re avoiding salt, don’t forget to check the sodium content on the nutrition label of everything you eat.
Prepare Your History
Go into your DOT physical with the answer any questions they may have. That includes medications, medical history, and concerns you have for the physician. If you wear glasses, you should bring them with you too. Drink some water before your appointment so you’ll come with a full bladder, ready to give a urine sample. If you’re on any medications, you should take them before the exam begins so that they’re fully in your system and working before the physician comes into the room.
Relax before your DOT Physical
Just the act of being in a doctor’s office is enough to make many people fail an exam. If you’re stressed out or nervous you’ll have higher blood pressure and heart rate, causing you to fail the exam. Try to take deep breaths and don’t think about anything going on in your life that adds to your stress.
Ask Questions about any DOT Physicals
If you’re concerned about the exam you’re receiving, don’t be afraid to ask questions along the way. The unfair or improper examination could lead to you losing your driving abilities and your career. If all else fails, ask for a second opinion from a different physician.
Don’t delay or try to skip a DOT physical just because you’re afraid of not passing. If you fail, you can always seek treatment for what made you fail and try to retest and re-certify at a later date. Speak with your current employer about restricted positions available in the event of a failed DOT physical.