Becoming a truck driver has medical requirements that most other jobs do not have. When we consent to the terms of being a commercial driver's license holder, we also have to comply with Federal regulations to have a current Medical Examiners Certificate (MEC) Form MCSA-5876.
The MCSA-5876, or “medical card” shows that the driver has been examined by an authorized medical examiner listed in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration National Registry of Certified Examiners and that the physician has deemed the driver to be physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
But what about pre-hire agility tests?
While some types of CDL driver jobs also require physical labor to load, unload, throw tarps or chains that are quite heavy, a growing number of companies that are strictly dry van and reefer with no touch freight and do not require driving in winter chain up conditions by company policy have been requiring applicants to perform agility tests.
These tests can range from having to walk up and down steps quickly for a few minutes without stopping, lifting a crate full of heavy chains onto a shelf repeatedly or other “strength tests” such as a “CRT test”. The isokinetic strength test, named “Cost Reduction Technologies, Inc.” (CRT) has been the source of a few sex discrimination lawsuits in the trucking industry.
Generally, these tests are used at the pre-employment level and may disqualify qualified women CDL holder applicants. In some cases, trucking companies have utilized post-employment agility and strength tests to terminate a CDL driver who is pregnant, has a cancer or is returning to work following a worker's comp claim.
One company requires all drivers to sign a "job duties" form that lists lifting requirements of up to 100 lbs. when the job itself is a “no touch” dry van/reefer freight account that requires no such lifting.
Often, getting in and out of the cab of the tractor is the most strenuous activity a CDL driver may have though some qualified drivers have reported that upon requesting light duty for a period of time or a few days off, the “job duties” form they signed is utilized as a way to terminate their employment.
Women have also reported that they been disqualified during an agility test when they brush their chest area while lifting a milk crate of chains while their male counterparts who use their tummy to help them lift the milk crate of chains are not disqualified.
In an effort to determine how many companies are utilizing “agility” or “strength” testing, we are asking for anonymous survey respondents to tell us what companies require these tests in their various forms for pre-employment, post-employment and what the tests consist of.
Are they manual or a machine like the CRT isokinetic system?
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