DOT Physical Requirements

Written by: on August 27th, 2015

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Con-way Truckload recently had a guest speaker during our August Driver Safety and Awards meeting to discuss the Department of Transportation requirements for yearly physicals. Linda Sitton, FNP-C, is a Certified DOT Medical Examiner and is the Operations Director for OccuMed based in Joplin, Mo. Her professional achievements include participation on the 2007 Education Working Integrated Product Team (WIPT) that developed the current online medical examiner handbook. This group incorporated and expanded the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) 49CFR Part 391 Qualifications of Drivers/Guidance for the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical. With this knowledge base, Linda performs more than 850 DOT physicals a year. She has been a Certified Medical Examiner since February 2013.

The top five issues medical examiners come across are high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac events, sleep apnea and issues with weight. Different tests are required by the DOT and based on your individual results, you will receive a card that states when you need to get recertified. Typically, drivers can go a full year before recertification, but if you have a history of high blood pressure or heart problems those dates can differ.

A stress test is one test that is required and can be administered one of three ways; physically, chemically or by using a nuclear test. If you have history of heart problems you will need to bring a copy of your current exercise tolerance treadmill test with you. If you have had open heart surgery in the last five years, a stress test may not be required.

Blood pressure is another prominent issue in the driving community that can lead to bigger problems if not handled properly. High levels can be dangerous and are most commonly attributed to behavioral issues such as smoking, excessive caffeine intake and poor sleeping patterns.

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The table above is used by medical examiners when determining the length of time before recertification.

Sleep apnea is another common problem professional drivers may have. If you have a sleep history that is irregular, a BMI ³ 35, and are taking any medication, examiners look for these red flags when determining if you suffer from sleep apnea. You will be disqualified if you are non-compliant with treatment, have a crash specifically related to falling asleep at the wheel or suffer from excessive sleepiness. Screening and treatment for sleep apnea can be done via home sleep screen or CPAP machine and may be covered by your insurance.

New standards for the exams have been introduced and will go into effect December 22, 2015. Meeting the requirements for the yearly exams are important for two reasons. The first reason is our driver’s health has a direct impact on their safety. Our number one goal is to have everyone to return safely to their family and friends and by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you are helping us achieve that goal. The second reason is that staying healthy and passing your exam helps keep you on the road and rolling.

 

Last weekend, we sent our Con-way Truckload True to the Troops truck to a Wounded Warrior charity ride and poker run hosted by our sister company, Con-way Freight, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The ride consisted of bikes, cars, trucks, motorcycles and tractor-trailers and it started and ended at Con-way Freight In total, Con-way raised $9,177 for the nonprofit organization.

Wounded Warrior Project is a veterans’ charity organization that helps ensure that wounded service members are well adjusted and taken care of when they return from war.

Below are a few photos from the exciting event. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who participated!

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Driver Interview: Casey Wortham

Written by: on August 13th, 2015

Casey Wortham

Ever wonder what you could do if there were more hours in the day? Con-way Truckload driver Casey Wortham has the same number of hours as the rest of us, but with some impressive scheduling skills and a whole lot of passion, she is on her way to starting her own nonprofit. Last weekend, Casey coordinated and hosted (along with her sister, Jodie) an event called Kicks for Kicks that took place in Casey’s hometown of Lubbock, Texas. The goal of the event was to collect new shoes for school-aged children in need. The event was a huge success, and thanks to Casey, 26 children in Texas will begin the new school year with a newfound sense of confidence.

We took some time to chat with Casey about her passion for volunteering and charity work. We are so proud to have Casey on the Con-way Truckload team!

Q: How did you become so passionate about giving back to the community?

Casey Wortham: Giving back has always been something that I’ve been interested in doing. As I got older, and pursued better jobs, and met more people, my passion evolved into an idea: “Let’s do fundraisers!”

Kicks for Kicks was the brainchild of my sister, Jodie and myself. Separately, she and I have been hosting fundraisers for a while and this was our first one together. Between the two of us, it was really cool to see our ideas and resources come together.

Q: What are some examples of events and fundraisers you have hosted?

CW: We did a breast cancer awareness fundraiser for a woman in Amarillo, Texas a few years ago. It was a huge tri-state event. We ended up raising about $11,000 to help with her medical bills – it was amazing. That was my first taste of how big fundraisers could be. Every November we also do a “Thanks-4-Giving” food drive.

If a situation arises and we think we can give back, we will.

Q: Have you come across any challenges? And how have you overcome them?

We have come across a lot of challenges. The biggest challenge is that we don’t have a 501c3 certification as an official nonprofit organization. It’s a big deal, especially when you are dealing with fundraising for an individual. It affects how people view you, and it can be difficult to get donors when you don’t have that certification.

We have overcome this challenge so far. I will literally sit down at work on my lunch break, grab a phone book and start making calls in the “As.”  Usually I get more “no’s” than I do “yes’s” but I do get a lot of “yes’s.”

Q: What do you foresee in the future for your charity campaigns?

We are definitely looking into getting our 501c3, which apparently is a long process. We are taking that slow. Hopefully by the end of next year we will have it ready to go. We would like to expand our fundraisers to something big. Next year, I think Kicks for Kicks will run tandem in Abilene and Lubbock, Texas, to bring in shoes for children in the entire South Plains area.

Also, our Thanks-4-Giving event is so fun because it is a carnival, and I love carnivals. This year will be our second year hosting that activity and the public is welcome!

Q: How has being employed by Con-way Truckload helped make your charity activities successful?

When I reached out to Con-way Truckload’s communications team to help with Kicks for Kicks, the response I got was so awesome. It opened up a new broader connection as far as helping to get support. It is extremely awesome to have a trucking company behind you, especially because I have such a small car! The support is really overwhelming. I would like to thank the communications team, load planners, fleet managers and everyone who worked to get me home for Kicks for Kicks. I also want to shout out to some of my fellow drivers, Becky Kerr, Becky Austin, and Mindy and Chris Breen for their support and donations. It is really cool to have the backing of a company and friends who don’t live locally but are willing to help make a fundraiser happen for the good of the community.

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To stay up-to-date on Casey’s fundraising activities, visit her Facebook page, Come One, Come All, Come Get Your Fundraiser On!