Disabled Drivers....

Discussion in 'Trucking Industry Regulations' started by bandit24, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. bandit24

    bandit24 Light Load Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Near Charlottesville, VA
    I haven't posted since 2007, so want to see if anything has changed?

    I am a 46 yr old man with ONLY one working arm/hand. I drove a Freightline FL112 equipped with a Eaton 10 Autoshift for almost 3 years. It was equipped and licensed as a motorhome with a 48 foot gooseneck trailer. "NO CDL REQUIRED".

    I would like to become a Professional Truck Driver. USDOT says I may obtain waiver provided is Cosigned by a sponsoring trucking company. Does anyone on here know of any companies that are most likely to offer an oppurtunity to a disabled veteran?

    I know that I can drive a truck, as well as hook it up and disconnect. Loading shouldn't be a huge problem as I have heard of terminal to terminal drops, alot like Walmart where loading is not required.

    I would really appreciate anyone / everyones opinion / knowledge on this issue. Thank you!!!!
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  3. Kabar

    Kabar Road Train Member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Pell City Al
    Here is the problems you will face.

    1: you have no exp. so you will have to go school which will require you to shift a straight 10.

    2: you will most likely start with a training company most of which have straight 10's which will require you to shift.

    3: most company require you to have the ability to move 70lbs repeatedly even thou they will hire a lumper to unload the freight.

    4: you will have to be able to put on tire chains by your self weighting 70lbs.

    5: you will be requiring a company to sign off on a special situation in a time when there are plenty of drivers who do not require going out on this limb

    Don't want to rain on your parade, Just want to point out the reality of the situation.
  4. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    I don't know of companies off hand that you might start with but ADA requires employers to make reasonable accomodations, and autoshift is a pretty reasonable accomodation if they are already buying auto trucks.

    I don't see using chains as a problem unless you work for a company using chains. Most of the big fleets don't have chains available or require chain experience for drivers. Chains are more common out west or in the rockies areas. Here in the S.E. chains are less common than UFOs. In 15 years there has been no mention or use of chains for me and no company I've worked for in the S.E even mentions them in applications or interviews.

    Unloading freight is not very common, and ALMOST always there is an option to hire a lumper to unload.

    I'd probably concentrate your research among the disability forums as they would probably have more experience and remember company names. I've seen stories in trucking magazines about a driver or two who are essentially wheel chair bound and that was back in the days before anyone saw the first auto tranny. They may have been Owner-Operator.

    I'd guess you best bet is to find a big fleet that is already buying and using auto trucks and offer to pay for waiver process if they will hire you. My feeling is that some of the very big fleets, not the bottom of the barrel big fleets, already have been through the waiver process if not the exact waiver you may require.
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