Trucking Exemption For Diabetics On Insulin

Topic 21873 | Page 1

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Whitewolf's Comment
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Hello all, Have wanted to get into trucking for almost a decade and only recently did the opportunity present itself. Now that my situation allowed me to get into trucking, i found that being diabetic and on insulin placed a road bump in my path. So I scoured the internet and forums on trucking sites looking for an answer. At first I was told that it was against regs or only type 2 diabetics not on insulin could get a cdl. I'm glad I didn't let those answers deter me. To quote another gentleman on your forums one must have "patience and perseverance." Those i have. One of the reasons I am writing this is so there is updated information out there to be found. Rules have changed over the last 10 years. In fact the FMCSA is trying to change the rules again to make things a little easier. More on that later. So how does an insulin diabetic get into trucking? The answer is easier than the process. To begin one must download the diabetic exemption form from the FMCSA website. I will list all links at the end. The exemption consists of 3 main forms. The first and most obvious is for the DOT medical examiner to fill out. He examines you the same as everyone else except for insulin diabetics he checks off the box that basically states you are certified but must get a diabetic waiver (exemption). The 2nd form is filled out by your optometrist.

The last form, and i use the word form loosely as its more a section of the exemption form, is for your endocrinologist to fill out. This is probably the most important part. The FMCSA guidelines state you need to have an a1c between 7 and 10. I know what some folks may say to that, "but that means my average bg (blood glucose) needs to be between 150 and 240." For those who are not aware a normal bg range is 80 to 120. For comparison a non diabetic a1c is around 5.7 or lower. Anything higher up to around 6.4 is considered prediabetes. To get back on track the FMCSA wants to know from your endocrinologist that you have your diabetes under control. Your daily bg is not all over the chart and that it's been maintained for at least 2 months. Also your endocrinologist and optometrist needs to provide some of their information on paper with the company letterhead. All of this information is provided in the exemption form.

Once you have all that completed you must also send a picture of your license (front and back) along with a certified and seal driving record history. Then the next process begins. Yay. (Sarcasm) To start all original documents are mailed to the FMCSA. Address is provided in the form, along with a fax number (to get things moving, and a number to contact them for questions. There is a 3 step process once they receive your papers. The first group enter your information into the system and make sure everything is correctly filled out. A bit of a warning. If there are any mistakes or something is not filled out properly they will mail it back to you asking you to correct it. The process with the FMCSA can take up to 180 days and that time does not start until the form is complete and correct. Anyway, as i said, this first group makes sure everything is correct and then moves you to upper management. This is where I am currently having called the FMCSA and asking.

If upper management approves you your information they send you a letter to notify you are being placed on the FMCSA regulations website for 30 days for comments. This time is included in the overall 180 days. I am not sure what comments can get you denied at this point but saying there are none, after the 30 days your exemption is approved and you receive your medical card. Fingers crossed. Things I know from my phone call to the FMCSA. The process can slow down if you are applying for multiple exemptions. For example if your applying for a diabetic exemption and also applying for a missing limb waiver. Something else that can slow the process down, that i was told, is if the medical examiner has passed a large number of people in a certain time frame. I am not sure about the specifics but they said in this particular instance they had to verify each person individually which took a long time. It seems the less issues you have reported from your doctor's, the faster you get through.

My process started 2 weeks ago. Will see and update everyone as to how long it takes me. The person I spoke with said my information is pretty basic and she saw no reason why i wouldn't be approved. As we were talking i mentioned I was on a pump (which is called an omnipod). Having heard this i was told they have the least issues with those drivers that use insulin pumps. I also use a dexcom unit which takes my bg every 5 minutes and gives a fairly accurate visual as to where my bg is and how fast or slow it is rising or falling. This has made a world of difference for me.

Lastly, once approved i must see my endocrinologist quarterly and reapply for the "waiver" on an annual basis. The FMCSA does send you the forms for this but it's up to you to get it done. None of this has discouraged me from becoming a trucker. I'm close to my maximum character limit so...

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/medical/driver-medical-requirements/diabetes-exemption-application This link is in regards for the new rules that the FMCSA is trying to put into effect. https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/07/27/2017-15835/agency-information-collection-activities-information-collection-revision-request-medical

Whitewolf signing off

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CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

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State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

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Patrick C.'s Comment
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I wish you the best of luck

Pianoman's Comment
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Hey Whitewolf...

I so feel your pain! I've posted a little about it on this forum before--sorry you weren't able to find it. I also have type 1 diabetes and I've been driving now for a little over two years. Getting the exemption was a pain in the butt, but it gets a tad easier once you have the exemption. Don't get me wrong--it's still a major inconvenience, but nothing like all the trouble you have to go through to get the dang thing in the first place.

I don't have much time right now, so sorry I don't have more to say at the moment. Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one on here with type 1. Glad you were able to find what you need, and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have about the process. Best of luck, although it sounds like you won't need it :)

Whitewolf's Comment
member avatar

Hey Whitewolf...

I so feel your pain! I've posted a little about it on this forum before--sorry you weren't able to find it. I also have type 1 diabetes and I've been driving now for a little over two years. Getting the exemption was a pain in the butt, but it gets a tad easier once you have the exemption. Don't get me wrong--it's still a major inconvenience, but nothing like all the trouble you have to go through to get the dang thing in the first place.

I don't have much time right now, so sorry I don't have more to say at the moment. Just wanted to let you know you're not the only one on here with type 1. Glad you were able to find what you need, and don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have about the process. Best of luck, although it sounds like you won't need it :)

In planing for trucking i have been trying to put together a good meal plan. How many meals do you have through out the day? Also what types of food do you find work while otr? Right now the meals i eat are prepackaged and may not be possible to continue while driving. As far as the process i have read others that have had a more difficult time. Usually they were required to see more doctors due to eye or organ damage. I consider myself lucky in this. Of course my doctor has been a great help. She is behind me 100% in wanting a career in trucking. Hopefully the FMCSA is able to change the rules to make the process easier. Guess we will see after August if anything changes. Thanks

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Big Scott's Comment
member avatar

As with the rest of the world most food you find on the road is poison to a diabetic. Lot's of carbs. It is possible to stop at a Walmart every couple of weeks to stock up. Many people cook in their trucks to eat better. I have a microwave and will be adding a George Forman Grill. It is also much less expensive to eat that way. Hope that helps. Good luck.

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