Medication/disqualifying Medical Conditions Question

Topic 15617 | Page 1

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Tweak's Comment
member avatar

Okay, so I stated in another thread that I am medically retiring form the Army shortly. Without getting into personal details, it's several behavioral health issues. Basically, my body is in tip-top shape; it's my mind that's the problem. Is there a list somewhere of mental health conditions that disqualify drivers?

On the same note, I currently take three different medications, but only one of them cautions about driving ability. But even then, I've taken it for over a year, and have noticed no impairment in my driving abilities in my truck or my motorcycle. No excessive drowsiness, no slowed reaction time, no dizziness, etc. Would this be an automatic disqualifier, or something that would be on a case-by-case basis? I ask because as of now there is still time for me to either switch medications, or wean myself off the one.

Thanks!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

FMCSA What Medications Disqualify a CMV Driver

List of controlled substances

The above links will provide you with some answers. The FMCSA Link references 21 CFR Part 1308 which is the second link. My suggestion is to print this information and discuss it with your Doctor.

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

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

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

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

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.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

In addition to medications that are STRICTLY PROHIBITED by FMSCA regs - trucking companies do not like certain other medications (specifically psych meds) that are not specifically prohibited by the regs.

Sadly - these companies will not tell you ahead of time, exactly which meds these are. The companies claimed fear of being sued for discrimination as the reason they would not provide applicants with a "company prohibited meds list" before the person showed up for orientation.

We have had members here, relate stories where they were on a medication, had a letter from their doc stating they were stable and the med wouldn't affect their ability to safely operate a CMV - and were SENT HOME to get off the medication (with an invitation to return once they were off it for 30 days).

This is more a matter of the safety/insurance departments fearing liability in the event someone on meds gets in an accident - rather than whether or not the driver can actually operate safely with the meds.

Don't want to PRY or anything - but if you'd care to disclose what you're on, perhaps we can offer a little more guidance based on what we've heard here on the board.

DON'T GET OFF YOUR MEDS without medical guidance/supervision. You're on them for a reason, and there's a way to safely get off or stabilize on new meds that won't put your well being at risk.

And THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE. Must suck with all your time in, to get kicked on a medical. I assume you will be getting some service related disability out of the deal also?

Rick

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

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.
Tweak's Comment
member avatar

In addition to medications that are STRICTLY PROHIBITED by FMSCA regs - trucking companies do not like certain other medications (specifically psych meds) that are not specifically prohibited by the regs.

Sadly - these companies will not tell you ahead of time, exactly which meds these are. The companies claimed fear of being sued for discrimination as the reason they would not provide applicants with a "company prohibited meds list" before the person showed up for orientation.

We have had members here, relate stories where they were on a medication, had a letter from their doc stating they were stable and the med wouldn't affect their ability to safely operate a CMV - and were SENT HOME to get off the medication (with an invitation to return once they were off it for 30 days).

This is more a matter of the safety/insurance departments fearing liability in the event someone on meds gets in an accident - rather than whether or not the driver can actually operate safely with the meds.

Don't want to PRY or anything - but if you'd care to disclose what you're on, perhaps we can offer a little more guidance based on what we've heard here on the board.

DON'T GET OFF YOUR MEDS without medical guidance/supervision. You're on them for a reason, and there's a way to safely get off or stabilize on new meds that won't put your well being at risk.

And THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE. Must suck with all your time in, to get kicked on a medical. I assume you will be getting some service related disability out of the deal also?

Rick

Yes, it sucks that I was aiming for my 20 but only made it to 13. But it's the best thing for me at this point. I am not capable of doing my job, nor effectively leading soldiers. I'm rated as 70% disabled by the Army, and 80% by the VA, so I will be getting compensation for the rest of my life.

My issues mainly stem from major depression, but it is controlled by taking Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Abilify. The Wellbutrin is the one that has been shown to cause impaired driving, but like I said, I've had no issues. I left a message at Prime Inc's recruiter asking about the medical portion of application. Once she calls back, I'll have better knowledge.

And I know not to change my meds without my doctor, Mom! rofl-3.gif

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

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.
BigGrumpy's Comment
member avatar

Tweak..(and anyone else) please let me know anything you find out about Wellbutrin. I'm on it as well. I have a Medical Release Opinion form filled out by my Doctor but I'm still a little concerned....thanks

Tweak's Comment
member avatar

Just got an update from the recruiters at Prime. They said I'm good to go with a note from my doctor detailing no side effects! I know Rick said some people were sent home even with that, but I'm taking this as a good sign. Woo! I was freaking out all week waiting for that phone call, afraid my trucking career was over before it even began.

Also, Big Grumpy, they said the Welbutrin is okay, same as above, with a note from your doc.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Tweak wrote:

Just got an update from the recruiters at Prime. They said I'm good to go with a note from my doctor detailing no side effects! I know Rick said some people were sent home even with that, but I'm taking this as a good sign. Woo! I was freaking out all week waiting for that phone call, afraid my trucking career was over before it even began.

Tweak, wow, I really do wish you the best. Not sure I am ready to "jump up and down" that the above is a good sign, it's a "pass" to take the next step. What Rick said was based on actual examples we have seen take place on this forum. As you proceed I sincerely suggest taking an approach of cautious optimism. Reality; the recruiters are not the people that must be convinced these meds together are not causing undesirable side effects for you. It's Prime's medical examiners that must be certain you are medically qualified to drive a 40 ton CMV while taking the Meds. They are responsible (not your Doctor and not the Prime recruiters) if they give you a valid medical card and something unforeseen happens in the future requiring them to surrender medical proof; formal documentation justifying their decision. Comprehensive, validated proof has got to be there or they risk the possibility of criminal charges and civil action if their proverbial butts are not covered. Their approach to the medical certification is scientific, statistical, uncompromising and void of compassion. Nothing personal, all business.

Prepare yourself for this process possibly taking longer than just presenting a note from your Doc and walking out with a two year medical card. Expect questions that you may not be able to answer, possible studies, and requests for additional, more formal documentation from your Doc,...etc. Be brutally honest with your answers to any question they ask. Remember, your personal physician will not be attending your physical. If the Prime medical examiner requires additional information, your Doc will not be there, in-person to provide it.

Not sure if anyone else can add anything of merit or encouragement, but that's my suggestion. Please trust me when I say this Tweak, I want you to come back and emphatically tell me that everything went as planned.

Good luck!

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards
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