Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

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alabamajoe55
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Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by alabamajoe55 » September 17th, 2009, 6:44 pm

Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver after ICD in GA?
Joe

BillB
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by BillB » September 17th, 2009, 8:18 pm

Joe,

If your cardio or you tells the state of Alabama that you have an ICD, the state will revoke your CDL. The states are supposed to follow the Federal DOT regulations. If you look into your driver handbook (all commercial drivers have them), in the driver's medical qualification section, it lists the medical requirements and it is specific in stating that an ICD is a disqualifying item because of the danger of syncope (passing out). I have first hand experience with Alabama since they revoked my CDL in Dec 2006 when it was due renewal. The medical form required from my cardio stated that I was safe to drive but it didn't matter. I've never passed out from a medical condition; that didn't matter either. I was given 10 days to turn in my CDL before suspension.

Sure you could probably get away without anyone knowing but if you ever got into a fatal accident and the fact that you have an ICD came out, guess who would lose in court. The sad fact is that most doctors (even trucking company docs) either don't know the requirements or they let them slide. I passed an annual physical for 4 years (turning in the state required form each time) before the state realized I wasn't supposed to have a CDL. I was slightly PO'd since I'd just leased a truck and was in Laredo, TX when my wife gave me the news. It cost me to get out of the lease but my wife didn't mind a lot since I'm home every night. Good luck to you, Joe. Do you live in Alabama, or is alabamajoe your handle? I live in Millbrook (just north of Montgomery).

BillB

Mark

Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by Mark » September 17th, 2009, 8:41 pm

We have had this discussion before, and I still stand my statement as I did before- I feel it is discrimination. by this determination then every CDL driver that has to have an ICD should be given complete full disability. Why? Well most ICD'ers don't have syncope or so it seems, and each of us has determinate situations as we are all different. If they want to damn you CDL license holders with that argument, then any CDL holder that has had a heart attack should lose their license also. Hell any CDL holder with any documented arrhythmia should lose their CDL. In fact, any CDL that has been to the emergency room for chest pain should lose their license even if it is heartburn!

Sarcasm? Yep you bet because having your ICD better protects you from arrhythmia and dying while driving then those that have no device. If you have documented syncope, then yeah it is time to hang up the CDL. But for many of the other reasons you have an ICD, you would be more likely to pull over and park after a shock then someone suffering a heart attack or v-tach not cracking up and killing someone.

I'm sorry, but I am with my ICD brothers and sisters that have CDL's and are forced to give them up without proper review of their individual health ailments.

BillB
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by BillB » September 17th, 2009, 9:02 pm

Mark,

Needless to say, I agree with you. But as we all know, the wheels of government turn exceedingly slow. It was only a few years ago that insulin dependent diabetics were allowed to keep their CDL and for much the same reason (danger of diabetic coma). Now they can regain their CDLs . My disability is based on neurological damage not my heart. I still have a POV license although I do have to get approval from my cardio every 12 months to keep it. If I ever black out from an arrhythmia, all bets and license are off as we all know. We'll have to wait for our government to catch up with medical technology.

BillB

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codman59
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by codman59 » September 18th, 2009, 7:53 am

This sounds like an issue that needs some noise made... even the ICD manufacturers themselves would (or should) likely be in favor of helping out, since the publicity can do nothing but help them.

Makes no sense to me to take your license away when as Mark said, this kind of approach should mean a lot more people with "untreated" health conditions are banned..

You've got me curious as to what they do here in Canada... will try to find out.
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by ROBO Pop » September 18th, 2009, 11:20 am

All ICD'ers should band together to fight this, otherwise we may find non-commercial licenses could be pulled next.
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codman59
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by codman59 » September 18th, 2009, 6:35 pm

It's looking like they have some of the same rules here in Canada... but some people are trying to do something about it.

http://www.heartandstroke.on.ca/site/c. ... _drive.htm
Cardiomyapathy (reason unknown; suspect viral infection 1998), chf, gout, diabetes, asthma, bad hair.
Medtronics Virtuoso VR implanted Aug 28/08, single lead.

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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by mrag » September 18th, 2009, 9:43 pm

There was/is a recent post regarding driving requirements and health in Victoria Australia. Basically, "any" heart condition (high BP and myriad other conditions) requires YOU to send in annually a form completed by YOUR doctor. The government then reviews the situation and 'determines' if you get or keep a driver's license. They state on their site: "Collapse from heart disease accounts for 15 percent of all crashes where the driver suddenly becomes ill.
http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home/Lic ... onditions/
That is of course a politician's statement-"where the driver suddenly becomes ill." When I had my heart attack and ended up with an ICD, that was "sudden." With a known heart condition AND an ICD, nothing is "sudden" anymore.

I've had 8 "shocks" in 3.5 years and never passed out although I've jumped off the ground in one case and in some others, I had to give some thought to what happened. So on average "every" 5+ months I get a shock and I only drive some 10,000 miles per year. Assume an "average" rate of 20 mph and that's 500 hours a year of driving or 41 hours per month or 205 hours of actual driving between shocks. 5 months times 30 days times 24 hours is 3600 hours. 205/3600 is around 5% of the time when I would be driving and when I "might receive a shock." Personally, and no offense meant, but I sometimes wonder how some 85, 90 year old drivers I've seen are doing on the road. I'd even question their "reaction time" to some 35 year old that just had three beers. They still have their licenses. And yet, I still seriously wonder what would happen if I received a "shock" while driving at 70 mph on the local turnpike.

A big tractor trailer going 60 mph can cause a hell of a lot of damage. Caution and conservatism apply. But I would like to see some numbers/statistics before making this call (taking away anyone's license or CDL-you're potentially taking away someone's job).
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking

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Sparkydog
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by Sparkydog » September 19th, 2009, 9:51 am

Commercial drivers may just be on the unfortunate side of a learning curve that the governments and general public are going through. As ICD technology becomes more tested, these prohibitions will drop by the wayside. Most of these rules currently in place were formulated long before the current drugs and ICDs even existed.

Ron

alabamajoe55
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by alabamajoe55 » October 27th, 2009, 1:36 pm

I have found out by DOT, that in The state of Georgia anyone with a ICD cannot drive a commercial vehicle. Not because you have it but because what may happen when it works.

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sunny4az
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by sunny4az » October 27th, 2009, 4:35 pm

alabamajoe55 wrote:I have found out by DOT, that in The state of Georgia anyone with a ICD cannot drive a commercial vehicle. Not because you have it but because what may happen when it works.
If you have a heart event and your device fires could lead to serious consequences. But, is that worse that someone that has the same event and does NOT have a device? I don't think so.
Joel in sunny Arizona


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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by FLGreyhound » October 27th, 2009, 4:44 pm

I think Mark had the best idea. That if they take your CDL because of your having an ICD, then that ought to make you pro forma "totally disabled" and eligible for all governmental benefits. That would give them some food for thought.
Bentley

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Clint
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by Clint » October 27th, 2009, 10:37 pm

I sympathize with commercial drivers. For gawd’s sake that is their livelihood. At the same time I am pissed because the technology will not let me SCUBA dive deeper than 35 feet and I am pretty sure that I can’t renew my physical to allow me to pilot a plane with passengers.

I can fly a single person “sport” plane, ride a Harley down any given freeway, direct the operation and consequences of 500,000 volts – but, unless things change, I can’t take anyone for a ride in an air plane………………………….we are in an interesting, albeit exclusive club.

C-)
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by *karenb* » October 28th, 2009, 12:55 pm

Same problems in the UK. If anything it's getting worse becuase now if you pass out before, during or after a shock you lose your license for 2 years!

The other thing is that if you're driving having been told not to then insurance is void.

I've just been told that I need a medication change but I can't make it until Christmas when I get a three week holiday as I can't drive for a month following any changes to medication or my ICD. I was on the verge of a programming change today (I was having my check) and was so relieved when they decided not to!

It's just another facet of the burden of a heart problem....
CPVT
First ICD 2004.
Current ICD implanted 09/06

alabamajoe55
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Re: Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver?

Post by alabamajoe55 » August 2nd, 2010, 9:32 pm

alabamajoe55 wrote:Can you still be a Commercial Truck Driver after ICD in GA?
Joe
Hi Everyone,
Well we found out you can't drive a commercial vehicle after you have a ICD in Georgia. Joe has always been a truck driver. He was approved for SSA disiblity (thank god). He was out of work for a year before he could apply. He applied in April and was approved in July. From some of the stories I have heard this was very fast. He did not have to go to court or have any additonal test, just the reports from the heart dr and the surgeron. If he is shocked and passes out he cannot drive a car for 6 months.
HAVE A GREAT DAY
Margie and Joe

:tooth: wavhi

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