Deadline To Begin Using National Registry Certified Medical Examiners, May 21, 2014

ChiroStop at Sapp Bros truck stop in Salt Lake City, Utah is the place where commercial drivers have been stopping to get their medical cards for more than 10 years.

Now that the NRCME deadline is approaching, drivers are asking if they can still get their medical cards at ChiroStop.
The answer to that question is – YES!

Both Dr. Seals and Dr Parkes are registered medical examiners on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

What’s changed?

The qualifications to get your medical card aren’t new.
The DOT physical exam still checks the same health qualifications for drivers as in the past.

What’s new is that as of May 21, 2014, medical examiners have to be certified and registered, and drivers must get their medical exam and medical card from a certified examiner.

At ChiroStop we’ve got you covered.
Dr Kenn Seals is a certified examiner ~ National Registry #7664520988.
Dr Derek Parkes is a certified examiner ~ National Registry #8335907287.

Be prepared for your next DOT physical exam

Trucker Docs has a guidebook – How To TAKE THE STRESS Out Of Getting Your DOT MEDICAL CARD.
You can get a copy here on our new DOTPhysicalDOCTORS website.
The guidebook is a $15 value but is free for Commercial Drivers.
Get the Guidebook now!

The guidebook will walk you step by step through all the requirements to pass a medical exam.
Make sure you know the requirements before you get to your DOT physical appointment.

Most important is the section on medical conditions and medications.
In the past you may have gotten by without documentation from your primary care physician. Now you will need to take documentation with you for the medical examiner’s reference.

Your current medical card is still valid until the expiration date

The deadline of May 21, 2014 is somewhat confusing. This is not a deadline to get a new medical card. Your current medical card is still valid. You do not have to get a new DOT examination until your current card expires.

We recommend you set up an appointment for your next physical exam at least a few weeks before your card expires. That way you’ll have enough time to get your medical card updated on your CDL record with your state driver license agency.

Walk-ins are welcome at ChiroStop, but to ensure we’ll be available at a time you want, call 801-972-2332 to set up an appointment.


FMCSA Final Rule & Compliance

Published in the December 27, 2011, Federal Register

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) final rule includes:

  • Limitations on the 34-hour restart
  • A mandatory break
  • Changes to the definition of on-duty time.

34-Hour Restart

For a driver who uses the 34-hour restart provision, two periods of time between 1:00 am and 5:00 am must be included in the 34 consecutive hours off duty. Also the driver may only use the restart once within a period of 168 consecutive hours. According to FMCSA, this change would limit a driver to (on average) no more than 70 hours in a work week.

Mandatory Break

Also included in the final rule is a provision that requires a driver to take a break of at least 30 minutes once he/she has been on duty for a maximum of 8 hours. The driver may take this break prior to the eighth hour, and meal breaks or any other off-duty time qualifies as a break.

On-Duty Time

The definition of on-duty time for drivers of both property-carrying and passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles has been amended to no longer include time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle.

Also, for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles who operate in a team driving situation, the 2 hours spent riding in the passenger seat of a moving commercial motor vehicle before or after a sleeper berth period of 8 hours may count this time as off-duty time.

The basic limits, including 11 hours of driving time, the 14-hour duty window, and 60/70 hour limits for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles, remain intact under the latest version of the hours-of-service regulations.

The compliance date for the amended definition of on-duty time is February 27, 2012.

The compliance date for the changes to the 34-hour restart and the mandatory break provision is July 1, 2013.

FMCSA New Hours-Of-Service Rule Released

Trucker Doc here with an update on the upcoming Hours-of-Service rule. We’re expecting the final rule to be published officially on December 27th, 2011 – Federal Register.

Limitations on the 34-hour restart, mandatory breaks, and changes to the definition of on-duty time highlight the new version of the hours-of-service regulations released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on December 22, 2011.


The new regulations retain the 60/70 hour limit, but the driver of a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle who utilizes the 34-hour restart provision must include two periods of time between 1:00 am and 5:00 am in his/her off-duty period of 34 consecutive hours. Also the driver may only use the restart once within a period of 168 consecutive hours (7-day period).

Driving Limit

The final rule maintains the 11-hour driving limit and the 14-hour duty window for drivers of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles, but includes a provision that requires a driver to take a break of at least 30 minutes once he/she has been on duty for a maximum of 8 hours.

On-Time Duty

The definition of on-duty time has changed. Under the final rule the definition does not include time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle. Also, the definition does not include up to 2 hours in the passenger seat of a commercial motor vehicle immediately before or after spending 8 hours in a sleeper berth. This definition applies to both property-carrying and passenger-carrying drivers.

Compliance Dates

The compliance date for the changed definition of on-duty time is February 27, 2012.

The compliance date for the changes to the 34-hour restart and the mandatory break provision is July 1, 2013.

CMV Drivers Hand-Held Cell-Phone Ban

Texting Ban Now Extended To Hand-Held Cell-Phone Calls

In September 2010, the FMCSA issued a regulation banning text messaging while driving a CMV, and PHMSA followed with a companion regulation in February 2011, banning texting by intrastate hazardous materials drivers.

Starting 2102 , commercial drivers may not use a hand-held cell phone while driving.

Penalties Starting January 3, 2012

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has set January 3, 2012, as the effective date of the new hand-held cell-phone ban that was announced in late November and published in the Federal Register on December 2, 2011.

Inter-state Drivers

The rule — issued jointly by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) — prohibits interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

Intra-state Drivers

For intrastate drivers, the ban only applies to those hauling hazardous materials for now, but the states are expected to apply the ban to all in-state commercial drivers in coming years.

Hands-free Only

Under the new rule, CMV drivers will not be able to hold, dial, or reach for a hand-held cell phone, including those with push-to-talk capability. Hands-free phone use is allowed, as is the use of CB radios and two-way radios.

Specifically, the rule prohibits drivers from:

  • Using at least one hand to hold a mobile phone to conduct a voice communication;
  • Dialing or answering a mobile phone by pressing more than a single button, and
  • Reaching for a mobile phone in a manner that requires the driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated, belted, driving position.

Drivers will not be able to use hand-held phones while temporarily stopped due to traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays, but they will be able to use them after moving the vehicle to the side of, or off, the highway and stopping in a safe location.

Save Yourself From Penalties

Drivers who violate the new ban will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification for multiple offenses. Companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000.

Is It A Pulled Muscle Or A Pinched Nerve?

Drivers who come into Chirostop for their DOT physical, often ask me about upper back pain they’re experiencing, and I get this question all the time:

“Doc – I have this pain that starts at the base of my skull, goes to the top of my shoulder and moves into the middle of my back – between my shoulder blades. Is it a pinched nerve or a pulled muscle?”

The answer is “Neither!”

Most of the driving community suffers with a chronic over-utilization syndrome that I call “Truckers Shoulder”. It comes from the constant small repetitive utilization of the shoulder while keeping the truck in a straight line. Most drivers don’t realize that they pull about 9000 pounds a day through the shoulders while they drive. And the only time they ever pay attention to it, is when it’s been hurting for a while.

They ask their driver friends “What is it?” — and the normal answer is a ‘pinched nerve’ or a ‘pulled muscle’. But the reality is “It’s a completely exhausted muscle that’s full of lactic acid and adhesions in the soft tissue that cause the muscle to tighten up and get weaker all at the same time”.

So what can you do about it?

  • Change your active driving hand every 20-30 minutes for a short period of time.
  • Be aware of the discomfort before it becomes painful and give the tired shoulder a rest for a few minutes.
  • A hot shower will help until you can get your back and shoulder worked on.
  • Find a good doctor who understands the condition and have him / her work on the problem.

These a just a few things that will help you get through this until you can get it corrected.

Hope this helps answer the question. Travel safely

Trucker Doc

P.S. One of the treatments I use to help patients with ‘soft tissue’ injury that shows up as a pulled muscle or pinched nerve is called Active Release Technique. (read more here about how it works)

Women Truckers – Whiz® Anywhere A Man Can!

Good Day Drivers,  Dr. Kenn here.

I had a very interesting conversation with a woman driver a couple of weeks ago.  It was a discussion regarding sitting on a public toilet seat –  which is your only option in a truck-stop.

She said, “If I’m just to tired to care if I sit on the dirty toilet, then I’m really too tired to drive.”

Unsanitary toilets – the problem all women face

It’s a problem all women face, whether they’re traveling across the country, hiking in the mountains, or camping in the wilderness. They can’t pee just anywhere, the way a man can. Or so I thought, until I came across the Whiz®. Wow, do I have something that would make my wife happy! So I bought three, because I knew she’d love it and tell her friends about it.

Here’s what my wife had to say:

“It’s so nice not to have to struggle in that weird squatting position, and those silly lightweight tissue toilet seat covers are a joke. When you’ve been holding on for so long to get to a rest stop, and then you have to squat over an unsanitary public toilet trying not to touch anything, it can feel like forever before you’re done.
I love the Whiz®. It’s a perfect travel accessory. Every woman needs one!”

The Whiz® travel accessory – female urine director

Here’s the feature rundown from the manufacturer:

“The Whiz® means no more waiting, squatting, holding on or hiding. The device is highly hygienic, liquid repellant, anti-fungal, bacteriostatic, spill free, easy to use, small, flexible and externally positioned. It can be used sitting or standing, indoors or outdoors. It’s simply held against the body – once you start, nature’s gravity does the rest.”

Now available to our customers

My wife has had her Whiz® for more than a year and I’d put it in the back of my mind, until this woman driver and I got to talking about the ongoing challenge women drivers are faced with when nature calls.

So, we’re now making this product available to our customers.

The Whiz® is reusable and machine washable. It’s hydrophobic which means you can rinse it under running water and shake dry in an instant. It comes with a neoprene /polyester traveler bag and can be folded and squished into a pocket or any small space.

If you’re passing through Salt Lake City, visit us at Sapp Bros. truck stop. We have the Whiz® and traveler bag available in our office for purchase – combo price $25.95.

If you would like to order the Whiz® – traveler bag combo, call our office at 801-972-2332 and we’d be happy to ship the package to you – $30.95, including shipping and handling.

A gift for yourself, or someone you care about

Ladies, I know you’ll love the freedom and peace of mind the Whiz® will give you, not to mention the envy you may generate amongst friends.

Men, I know how surprised and appreciative my wife was that I should come up with such a unique gift. Who do you know, who would love you for such a gift?

I wish you happy travels in this holiday season.
Dr. Kenn

Utah Business – Who Needs A DOT Medical Card?

Are you a Utah business owner?

Being located in Salt Lake City, we get quite a few calls from local business owners asking whether or not they, or their employees, need a DOT medical card.

UDOT Driver Qualification Rules

Here is a brief summary of the Utah Department of Transportation driver qualification rules:

  • Operates a commercial vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight of over 10,000 pounds
  • Operates a vehicle that is designed to transport more than 8 passengers for compensation (8 includes the driver)
  • Operates a vehicle that is designed to transport more than 15 passengers not for compensation (15 includes the driver)
  • Operates a vehicle used to transport hazardous material (49 U.S.C. 5103)

You can find more information at this link for the Utah Motor Carrier Division.

Do You or Your Employees Qualify Under the UDOT Rules?

UDOT rules do not apply only to large companies or interstate transporters. You may be as surprised as many other small business owners have been, when they were stopped by a local law enforcement officer.

These are some of the local businesses that have been to Chirostop to get their DOT physical done.

  • A lawn service operating from a pickup truck, towing a trailer with mowing equipment.
  • A small landscaping company, moving a small tractor, bobcat or ditch witch.
  • A small recycle business, using a pickup truck to haul potentially hazardous materials.
  • A company truck hauling a trailer with quad runners.
  • A company truck pulling a trailer, helping a family member move.
  • Hotel guest transportation vehicles.
  • A small transportation business.
  • Van transportation for employees at army or air force bases.
  • Movie camera crew moving equipment in a small van.

DOT Physical Exam

The DOT physical exam is completed in 3 simple steps – brief health history, medical exam, and paperwork – and at Chirostop we do our best to get you wrapped up in under 30 minutes. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions on our website. For more information you are welcome to contact us at Chirostop in Sapp Bros. truck stop.

We look forward to helping you get your DOT medical card needs taken care of.

Dr. Kenn

She Failed Her DOT Physical Exam

Yes, it does happen. Occasionally we get a driver who is unable to pass the DOT required physical exam.

I recently had a woman driver come in for her DOT medical card and she failed her examination with flying colors.

  • Her blood pressure was 190 over 120.  Yet she had no symptoms of high blood pressure, just a long-standing headache. More on how high blood pressure affects your DOT medical card.
  • She was taking a prescription medication that made her drowsy while she drove and if she began to feel ill she had about 30 seconds to get the truck stopped before she basically passed out.

I had to fail her on her DOT medical examination.

Fortunately she wasn’t too surprised when I failed her. She had half expected it because she knew she was having problems with her medications. It’s amazing what she was going through, and still trying to keep on driving, and ignoring the possible consequences of her behavior which was a danger to herself and others.

How do you feel driving next to this driver while you’re busy trying to earn a living?

I figure if I have to drive next to you on the highways of America, I want you to be as safe and as healthy as possible, for you and for me.

Thanks drivers.
Travel Safely

Dr. Kenn

Many Truckers Experience Shoulder Pain

You know, I see a lot of drivers during the year with the same problem – ‘trucker’s shoulder’.

What the heck is ‘trucker’s shoulder’?

A repetitive strain injury

It’ a repetitive strain injury that builds up over time in long distance drivers. It occurs because OTR drivers use their left arm predominantly to steer the truck for long periods of time. I figured it out once that the average driver pulls about 9,900 lbs a day just to adjust for the built-in pitch on the road and keep the truck steered in a straight line.

Often misdiagnosed

Early this week I had a woman driver from New Mexico come in with ‘trucker’s shoulder’. She said she had had three different doc’s take a look at her shoulder and they all came up with different diagnoses – torn rotator cuff, shoulder strain / sprain, bursitis, arthritis, and old age. Unfortunately when the condition is misdiagnosed, the prescribed treatment will not address the cause. Sometimes the treatment prescribed may be unnecessary and expensive surgery, which the driver may try to avoid and just live with the problem.

So I did a session of active release technique on this patient, and she was thrilled with the difference it made in her back, shoulder and arm.

Experienced by many drivers

Then 10 minutes later another woman comes into my office. She says she was in the truck stop restaurant talking to the woman from New Mexico and she had the same type of problem with her upper back and shoulder. She also said that lots of people had looked at it and she’d heard all sorts of weird diagnoses. I worked the injured area to release the bound up tissues and told her what she needed to know to help reduce the pain and prevent further onset of ‘trucker’s shoulder’.

She left a happy woman. Only to send me another driver, a man this time, with the same thing. So I worked with him and gave him the same explanation so he could give his shoulder a break and get it back to normal.

Can be treated and prevented

‘Trucker’s shoulder’ is prevalent among long distance drivers. Pain is the last thing to show up and the problem can be can be very distracting and sometimes debilitating. It can also start to cause pain to radiate into the upper arm, shoulder and may cause numbness in the hand, usually the thumb and first two fingers.

Understanding the cause of ‘trucker’s shoulder’ – that it builds up through repetitive strain – and then knowing how to treat and take preventative measures can go a long way to relieve back pain and give you back strength and range of motion in your shoulder and arm. Here at the Chiro Stop we work with OTR drivers to help them resolve ‘trucker’s shoulder’ and the onset of this painful problem.

If we can help you we will. If we can’t help your condition, we’ll tell you that too.

Be well.

Doc Kenn

Customer Appreciation Week at Sapp Bros Utah

A heads up to all our DOT PHYSICAL and CHIROPRACTIC customers.

Save the dates – August 16th to 20th – we have a fabulous line up of activities at Sapp Bros Utah for the entire week.

Free BBQ the night of Wednesday, August 18th.

If you’re already a customer of Chiro Stop, please stop in and say ‘hi’. We’re always happy to see a smiling face and hear how things are going for you.

Not a customer yet?

Come on by and meet Dr. Kenn. Find out how quick and convenient it’ll be for you to renew your DOT medical card next time it comes up. If you need to stop by every now and then to get your blood pressure checked, we’ll be happy to do so. If you happen to have a ‘crick’ in your neck, back, shoulder, leg or other parts that take a beating over the road, you may want to know more about the chiropractic and muscle release techniques that Dr. Kenn uses to help patients to get out of pain.

We look forward to seeing you. If you can make it on the 18th there’ll be music and fun, plenty to eat and drink, and friends to meet.

Be safe. We appreciate you.

Doc Kenn