DOT Medical Card Trouble - Sleep Apnea - Need Advice

Discussion in 'Driver Health' started by tjoy, May 23, 2022.

  1. tjoy

    tjoy Bobtail Member

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    Hello Drivers, fellow trucker here. I will go into depth to see if anyone else in here has had a similar situation happen to them and how to go about getting around the issue.

    I pulled Milk for my first company for a long time, and was able to be rewarded with 2 year DOT medicals cards 4 times now. Passed blood pressure, eye exam, hearing, all of that with flying colors. Decided I wanted a local job, and went to work at Pepsi doing bayside delivery. When I started at Pepsi, they sent me to the same CME to get a medical card, and walked out of there that day with a 2 year card, no issues. Didn't last long at Pepsi due to low wages, and found a bulk company locally. I applied with them and got hired, and they sent me to the worst CME office in the area. The CME was Caduceus in Macon, GA.

    When I arrived, I noticed that there was no vehicles in the parking lot. It was 2:30 in the afternoon. At the other place I got my DOT medical cards at, it did not matter what time of the day it was, there was no place to park and there were 40+ people in the occupational CME place to get DOT exams. Anyways, when I went in and told them I was there for a DOT physical and Drug Screening, they told me to come on back and got me through the piss test. Then they got my height and weight, and went back to one of the medical exam rooms. A old lady Nurse Practitioner came in to do the exam and asked me the sleep apnea questions. I answered them all. She had me squat, lift my arms in different directions and all that stuff and basically told me that I had sleep apnea.

    I asked her how can she just say that I have sleep apnea without taking the test. I have never had an issue falling asleep, or staying awake. She told me based off my BMI and neck size (always have been a big stocky guy with a 20 inch neck from all my years playing baseball and football in high school ten years ago, and now weight lifting). My BMI is a few points over and my neck size meets the requirements of being tested for sleep apnea. She hands me a 3 month DOT card and says she recommends that I be tested for sleep apnea. My initial response was "I am not signing the card because I have had 5 DOT medical cards in the past year from different companies and the doctors office I went to did the same tests and said that I was fine." She acted like I was stupid and that I needed to go to a local doctors office and get a sheet of paper telling her that they don't see a reason why I should be tested for sleep apnea.

    So basically what I am asking to see if any of you drivers out there have had a similar situation happen to you. I talked with a friend that is a nurse at a DOT physical office in Alabama, and she told me to go to a chiropractor and explain the situation to him so he can give me a 2 year medical card. I am concerned that this is going to conflict with DOT rules and regulations and when I have searched this up, it's a gray area. I see some drivers on other forums said they just went to another office and got a 2 year card and never mentioned the sleep apnea thing. I am looking for a experienced drivers opinion on it as well. I am healthy, don't snore, don't wake up in the middle of the night, or even get tired behind the wheel. I feel like Caduceus is a bunch of snake oil salesman looking to screw with a drivers livelihood in hopes of them getting more business, i.e. having to spend the insane amount of money to be tested for sleep apnea, and having to spend the 100 dollars to go back and get another DOT Physical done. When I talked to a bunch of owner operator friends, they told me something is up with that place and to refuse to go back.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated. Keep the greasy side down and the shiny side up drivers.
     
    Need4Speed Thanks this.
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  3. Lazer

    Lazer Heavy Load Member

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    Some employers won’t accept a medical card if not from the facility they authorized.
    Find another employer, don’t fall down the rabbit hole of the sleep apnea craze, it will haunt for the remainder of your driving career.
     
    a.paul, Need4Speed and Chinatown Thank this.
  4. YumDinger

    YumDinger Bobtail Member

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  5. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Some of those quack DOT doctors have financial interests in sleep apnea clinics.
    If you still have the 2 yr. card, then find another job. If the next job wants you to get a physical, ask which clinic you'll be sent to before going there.
     
    a.paul and Aamcotrans Thank this.
  6. tjoy

    tjoy Bobtail Member

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    May 23, 2022
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    Yes, I had a DOT medical card before September working non commercially for a automotive parts company. Then, I went to trucking school in September of 2021, had to mandatorily get DOT medical card. After trucking school, got one while at a visit to my doctors office. Then I got one at the beginning of milk company career even though I had a valid one on file, then got one mandatorily at Pepsi, and then this happened.

    I still have the 2 year card. I am worried about compliance with FMCSA. I don't want to loose my CDL and don't want this 3 month card to haunt me. I was under the impression that as soon as you got a new DOT medical card, the doctors office sent the medical information to FMCSA. In Georgia, they can't send the information to the state, we have to go to DDS to self certify and upload the documents to DDS. If I can use my two year DOT card, I should be good.
     
    Chinatown Thanks this.
  7. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Which milk company were you driving for?
    `
    If you want local work, should be plenty available around Macon.
    Which endorsements do you have?
     
  8. tjoy

    tjoy Bobtail Member

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    May 23, 2022
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    I was working for Southeast Milk out of Montezuma, GA under what I was promised to be local but ended up spending 5 out of 6 nights sleeping in the truck, usually in Dacula, GA each night at the Publix Distribution Center on Hurricane Trail. I am looking into hauling feed for a company right now. I have a tanker endorsement and non restricted CDL, can drive manual and automatic.
     
    Chinatown Thanks this.
  9. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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    Looked at the website; says need 12 mos. experience.
    ~
    Yeah, spending the night at a Publix warehouse 5 nights a week isn't worth it.
     
  10. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

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  11. tjoy

    tjoy Bobtail Member

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    I live near there, about 20 minutes southwest
     
    Chinatown Thanks this.
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