Amputee issues getting job and SPE

Discussion in 'The Welcome Wagon' started by VaMan, Nov 24, 2021.

  1. VaMan

    VaMan Bobtail Member

    Nov 24, 2021
    Hi everyone, I am brand new to trucking and this forum. I see a lot of great information here though so thought I'd share my situation. I'm 52 and am a below the knee amputee of 35 years. I get around very well. Many people tell me they didn't realize I was am amputee when they see me in shorts for the first time. I was a business owners for many years and lost my recent businesses due to covid. I didn't want to work for someone else again, in the corporate setting, and don't have the means to start another business so I decided to get into trucking. I've thought about it several times in the past but was not at the eight point in life for it to work. It is now...I think. So I started cdl training at a local school and the owners told me that they were familiar with the requirements of the SPE process. I soon found out they were not. They told me I did not need to go to a Dr to be evaluated for my SPE and that I would only need to test with the VA dmv once I'm ready to test cdl. The test with DMV was in addition to the Cdl test but that was it. Now after several weeks in I learned that I did need to be evaluated by a board certified Physiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon before I was even supposed to be I a CMV. So I stopped school for now in order to get evaluation and do by the book but I cannot find any Dr who knows what the SPE is much less perform the evaluation. I am struggling to get this done and to start driving because I can't find a frickin Dr that is willing to help. I feel my possibilities of getting into this business are fading and I really want to do it. I don't give up easily but I'm running out of money while trying to get through school and deal with the red tape. I have not made any money since the beginning of Covid so I'm hurting but don't want to give up to settle for a job I don't want. Any advice on finding a Dr from anyone would be great. It sucks that finding a Dr has to be do hard and that I can't continue if I don't. Have a great day all
    Speedmaster and pumpkinishere Thank this.
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  3. Hawkeye72

    Hawkeye72 Light Load Member

    Feb 20, 2015
    Speedmaster and VaMan Thank this.
  4. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    You shouldn't have quit the school.
    Lots of drivers out here that are missing limbs. It talked to one at a truck stop that had both legs missing. He walks as well as someone with both legs. The only reason I noticed it was because it was windy and his pants legs blew up against his artificial legs and then it was noticeable. He lost his legs in the military.
    Maybe @Moose1958 can give you advice.
    pumpkinishere Thanks this.
  5. jason6541

    jason6541 Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Have you contacted OOIDA. You may have to joinn but they are a good organization. They helped a friend of mine who has a prosthetic arm from elbow down. He has since passed away.
    that was about 12 years ago they were able to put him in touch with a docto in his area. Good luck
  6. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    I can't add anything more than what was posted above this is the best advice. I am going to assume @VaMan is from Virginia. if so he needs to contact the SPE Service Center in Matteson, IL and they should assist him!
    Speedmaster and Chinatown Thank this.
  7. pumpkinishere

    pumpkinishere Medium Load Member

    Apr 21, 2021
    Sorry to hear your loss of business especially due to Covid.
    VaMan and Speedmaster Thank this.
  8. Speedmaster

    Speedmaster Bobtail Member

    Dec 14, 2021
    There are many reasons the DOT can and must disqualify drivers. Mental and Physical and considering you are a handicap with a disability to a certain degree. Yet, because you are missing all the nerves and muscles in your lower extremities, you must make being a full blown Class A professional driver the exception. There is an exception to the rule, you must prove you are qualified, a doctor must validate your exception and the government has the legal right to challenge your appeal to be granted a CMV license. Then you have to convince some safety expert at some carrier that all is well and you can deliver on time without fail. So I ask, Would all this be worth the risk of time and effort only to find out at the end of the day, you are still considered a moderate risk to the company and the insurance carrier that must underwrite you as a disabled driver. Are there any other ways to find a life outside of the realm of trucking that would and could better suit you and your needs?

    Look at the bright side, at least you still have use of your fingers...

    Speed Master
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2021
  9. VaMan

    VaMan Bobtail Member

    Nov 24, 2021
    Obviously you know nothing about disabilities and assume everyone with one is "handicapped or disabled." I am not unable to do anything. I ride motorcycle, climb on ladders and roofs, and climb around on equipment to make repairs without much issue at all. To say I should find something else to do because of my leg is not reasonable to suggest. You seem to feel that people with any sort of disability should just give up on anything that's challenging. I hope you don't ever have friends or family members with any sort of disability because it sounds like you would encourage them to just give up.
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