Category Archives: Trucking

Turn Your Head and Cough

The Biennial DOT Exam

It’s that time again.  Have to comply with Federal Regulations.  Can’t operate a large commercial vehicle without the little piece of paper.

Time to help the owner of the clinic make a boat payment, or increase his vacation fund.  Donate to the cause, so to speak.  Money out the window for a sham.

The Process

These are generally “walk in” affairs.  No appointment necessary.  (Really, why should there be I guess, they don’t do anything meaningful, and it only takes a few minutes)

Sign in, and they throw a handful of papers at you.  “Fill these out”

WHY AM I FILLING OUT ALL THIS CRAP??!!  I gotta pay you folks $125 for this stupidity, so I’m thinking y’all ought to do SOMETHING for that kind of money.

The receptionist (Who, by the way, is dressed in scrubs…………..NOW WHY DOES A RECEPTIONIST NEED SCRUBS???????????)  (I’m thinking this is their way of justifying charging $125) smiles at your question like your just some grumpy old man who has to be tolerated.  It’s a wonder she doesn’t pat you on the head, and give you a lolly.

The medical assistant pokes her head out of the door, and calls your name.  It’s showtime.  (She’s dressed in the medical outfit too)

101 Questions

“Do you have a history of…………………………..(insert some awful disease)”

“Do you smoke, drink, or otherwise enjoy life”  (To which you answer NO, with your toes crossed…remember……she can see your hands)

“Any problems with………………..(insert some bodily function)”

“Are you taking any prescription drugs”  (NO…….I try to stay away from pill pusher, quack, get-in-your-wallet, know-nothing, health care professionals)

The Exam

Blood pressure:    Has to be under 142 over something.  Otherwise you might be in danger of having a stroke while charging down the highway in your overweight death truck.  Never mind that “Soccer Mom” is driving about 20 kids to practice while on BP meds, and Prozac, with some weight loss pills thrown in for good measure.  And she’s probably texting while doing this.

Color blindness:    She has you stare at a bunch of colored dots on a computer screen to see whether you can pick an image out of a background of green dots.  (I think what they really want to find out, is whether you’ll be able to distinguish which President is on the bills you have to haul out of your wallet when all of this is done)

Eye test:    Stare at some charts taped to the wall out in the hall, and try to actually see what’s on them.  I believe they had some letters on them, dunno……..I can’t see for crap.   (I think we’re back to the President thing here….good enough to see Andy Jackson, and you’re good to go)

Grip test:   Your guess is as good as mine.  I haven’t a clue what it’s for.  They give you this squeeze thing with a pound meter on it, and you squeeze as hard as you can.  (My thinking is, that it’s their way to judge just how hard you might hold onto your money)

Urine sample:    Little cup, and a trip to the bathroom (the medical assistant follows you to the bathroom door to make sure you don’t have a bottle of the good pee stashed somewhere in the waiting room)

Few taps on the back, and a look-see down your throat:    I’m sure there’s a good reason for this, at least it looks professional.  (The good Doc wondered why my throat was irritated………..”hayfever” says me……..still got my toes crossed)  (Fact is, I probably smell like I smoked the entire output of the Marlboro factory prior to the exam)

And, that’s it folks.  The entirety of the medical process.  Does it make you feel any safer out there on the road with me, in my 80,000lb Truck of Terror??

The time, and money, would be better spent enforcing Anti Texting Laws.  Texting kills more people than runaway trucks, believe me.


Any day above ground is a good day