Are pulmonary function tests required for smokers?

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | 7/31/2017

In his nearly 25 years as a truck driver, OOIDA Life Member Michael Weaver said he had never been ordered to undergo a pulmonary lung function test.

Well, at least not until recently.

During his most recent Department of Transportation physical, the 54-year-old truck driver from Virginia said he was told the test was federally mandated because he indicated that he was a smoker.

“They said that if you smoke, then you have to do this,” Weaver said. “They said I had to do it if I wanted my CDL.”

Weaver passed the test, which cost him an additional $40 out-of-pocket. However, he said he still questioned whether taking the test was really mandated by the FMCSA.

Dale Watkins, of OOIDA’s Regulatory Affairs department, said there isn’t an FMCSA regulation that requires the test, but it is a guideline for certified medical examiners.

“It’s a recommendation, but it’s not mandatory to have to take a pulmonary function test,” Watkins said.

For truck drivers who believe it’s an unnecessary test, Watkins said they are free to go to another certified medical examiner as long as it is OK with the driver’s motor carrier.

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