Transport truck drivers move heavy trucks to transport goods and materials over urban, interurban, provincial, and international routes. This also includes drivers of special purpose trucks who move trailers to and from loading docks within trucking lots. Here are some reasons why you need a truck driver’s medical exam and a certificate to maintain your license.
Ministry of Transport Standards and their Importance
Heavy-duty truck drivers (or truck drivers) are exposed to many occupational risks during road transport of goods. Some of them include road accidents, while others are related to handling loads during loading and unloading of the vehicle or even managing tarp during transport. Others hazards include disorders due to vibrations and prolonged sitting, psychosomatic ailments linked to the stress of time constraints, safety and the possibility of theft, or the impact of inhalations of hydrocarbons.
The transport of goods by road (TDG) is most exposed to severe accidents compared to other modes of transport. With dangerous consequences following a spill, explosion, fire, or toxic cloud posing hazards to not just the driver but also public (trauma linked to the blast, burns, asphyxiation), and material damage to infrastructure and the environment (soil and water pollution).
Who needs a truck driver’s medical?
While all drivers in the province of Ontario are required to meet basic medical and vision standards to operate vehicles, commercial drivers are held to a higher standards.
With the new rules coming in effect for Class D drivers on July 1, 2018 now all A, B, C, D, E, and F licenses are required to submit a medical report when they file an appliaction:
- every 5 years, if under age 46
- every 3 years, if between age 46-64
- every year, if between age 65 and over
How is the Exam performed?
A thorough preventive medical examination can determine whether transport workers are fit to drive. This examination consists of a general questionnaire and clinical examination completed by a physician or a nurse practitioner (RN-EC) licensed to practice in Ontario to ensure that the driver meets the standards defined by law regarding physical and mental fitness.
What if you have a particular illness or medical condition?
Just because you have a medical condition or illness does not mean that you would be allowed to drive. The medical exam is designed to determine fitness to drive.
How long is the medical report valid for?
While the drive medical report is valid for up to 2 years, depending on your medication conditions it can be valid for 1 years, 6 months, 3 months or any length of time as determined by the qualified examiner. Most drivers submit their report within a few days after getting the examination done.
If you have missed submitting your report by the due date, your license will be downgraded to G but you have a year to submit you medical report and automatically get upgraded to the class you held prior to the downgrade. After an year/period additional tests may be in need.
Why Do Truck Drivers need it?
These requirements are in place for ensuring that drivers are medically fit to perform their duties safely. These are tied into the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and form the basis of the U.S./Canadian Reciprocal Agreement for commercial drivers crossing the Canada/U.S. border.
The United States has reciprocity recognizance of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) with Canada. A Canadian CDL generally confirms that the Canadian driver is medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in the United States.
Classifications of Truck Driver Medical License
Class G: Class G drivers can drive any vehicle up to 11,000 kilograms (including the towed vehicle’s weight, given the car towed is not over 4,600 kilograms). In cases where a pickup truck pulling a house trailer exceeds 4,600 kilograms, the operation is allowed as long as the total mixed weight does not exceed the limit of 11,000 kilograms.
Class F: Regular bus with a maximum capacity of 24 passengers and ambulances. You can also operate vehicles in Class ‘G.’
Class E: School bus – maximum capacity of 24 passengers. It can also operate vehicles in Class ‘F’ and ‘G.’
Class D: Any combination of truck or motor vehicle that exceeds 11,000 kg, as long as the towed vehicle does not weigh more than 4,600 kg. You can also operate vehicles in Class ‘G.’
Class C: Any regular bus with seating capacity designed for more than 24 passengers. You can also operate vehicles in Class’ D’, ‘F,’ and ‘G.’
Class B: Any school-purpose bus with a seating capacity designed for more than 24 passengers. You can also operate vehicles in Class ‘C,’ ‘D,’ ‘E,’ ‘F’ and ‘G.’
Class A with R condition: Drivers with a restricted Class A license condition would not operate a motor vehicle hauling double trailers or a motor vehicle towing a trailer with an air brake. You can also drive vehicles in Class’ D’ and ‘G.’
Class A: Any tractor-trailer or combination of a motor vehicle and towed vehicles where the pulled vehicles exceed a total weight of 4,600 kilograms. You can also operate vehicles in Class’ A with Condition R’, ‘D,’ and ‘G.’
Physicians perform the medical tests at an affordable cost that the Ministry of Transportation requires drivers for a commercial license (A, B, C, D, E, and F). In addition to drivers applying for Class G and Class M licenses, they need to meet the peripheral vision standards, in order to obtain the license.
Depending on an individual’s age, you may be required to submit a medical assessment form as often as every year to once every five years (See details above). Drivers medical forms can be obtained from the ministry website or visit your nearest driver health clinic.
While most physicians are authorized to sign on a driver medical report specialized medical clinics give a proper medical assessment to ensure that you do not waste your time with reports that get rejected by the ministry of transport. These clinics know what information is required to maintain your license and so focus on those aspects and are able to quickly give you the paper work that you need.