Con-way Truckload Requiring Agility Testing

July 2012, - Feature

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Con-way Truckload is one of a growing list of carriers that are requiring pre-employment agility testing for drivers.
A step test measures the ability to perform sustained work activities such as loading and unloading and repetitive clutching.
A step test measures the ability to perform sustained work activities such as loading and unloading and repetitive clutching.

According to Con-way's "Steering Your Health" blog, the testing, a condition of employment, is to be certain truckers can perform the demands of the job safely.

The American with Disabilities Act provides that "an employer may give a physical agility test to determine physical qualifications necessary for certain jobs prior to making a job offer if it is simply an agility test and not a medical examination."

During the screening process, a driver's heart rate is monitored. The screening includes tasks such as:

- Stepping on and off of a 12-inch step for one minute, mimicking the ability to perform activities such as repetitive clutching, walking to and from a truckstop, loading and unloading freight

- Squats, 10 reps, checking for the ability to do tasks such as pre- and post-trip inspections, repeated clutching, and getting in and out of the cab and trailer.

- Carrying a 25-pound weight and a 50-pound weight for 50 feet, looking at the ability to carry cargo the length of the trailer.

- Floor to waist lift, three reps of 25 and 50 pound, measuring the ability to load and unload freight.

- Horizontal pull, 100 pound average, three reps, looking at the capability to perform tasks such as cranking dollies, opening and closing trailer doors, pulling the fifth wheel, sliding tandems, and using a pallet jack.

Drew Bossen with Atlas Ergonomics, a company that helps employers administer these tests, says "more and more carriers are requiring this type of pre-work screening in an effort to hire healthier work-forces who are more capable to do their jobs safely. And in the trucking industry, that means safer roads for everyone."

(For a detailed PDF of the testing, click here.)

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