California Skill Performance Evaluation Questions For Aspiring Driver With Foot Drop Corrected With Brace

Topic 29491 | Page 1

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:
Garet S.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello,

I am 31 and in great physical health except for footdrop of my right foot. It is corrected by a brace that allows me full range of motion down and side to side and then returns my foot to neutral. My DOT examiner where I currently work (in a health clinic) said that foot drop is an automatic fail, which I understand. He had me attempt to walk across the exam room crouched and barefoot. Without my brace, I cannot do that. With the brace I was able to do everything he asked effortlessly. He did not process the application, as he told me to speak to a neurologist for a letter saying I could drive with the brace. I have no limitations attached to my regular drivers license, nor is my life/physical ability affected by my foot drop due to the brace. I want to make a career change to drive commercial vehicles. I know I am fully capable of performing safely, or I wouldn't even consider this field of work. In searching for a way forward, I discovered the SPE certificate. When I look through the application for that, it seems you can apply without having a job offer. I was wondering if anyone has experience or knowledge with what the process (SPE) is like? I have never driven a commercial rig before, so I guess I am confused about the cart before the horse. To take a class to get your CDL or apply for a sponsored program you have to have a permit. How do I get a permit with my limb impairment? Am I able to apply for the Skill Performance Evaluation without a permit? Because I seems like you have to take a skills competency test. I have zero doubt about my ability to operate a commercial vehicle with some instruction, but seeing as I have never had an opportunity to drive one, my chances of passing a test that requires actually driving would be difficult without some instruction and practice. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. I hope I have communicated my situation clearly. To further clarify the nature of my impairment, my nerve that lifts my foot was severed in an accident as a teen. It will not heal more than it has at this point. The condition is stable though and I can't imagine the condition ever worsening. Using my brace, I am more active and able than most people I encounter in life. I prefer driving manual, my truck is a manual and I also ride motorcycles with no issues or limitations. Most people are completely unaware that I have any form of limb impairment unless I share it with them. I also want a license that will allow me to operate manual and automatic, not just automatic. I firmly believe there is a way forward, it just may have hoops. I am attempting to identify my next hoop and the proper order. Thank you!!

Garet garetrose@live.com

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hello Garet, welcome to our forum!

This is something very few of us have knowledge on. I am going to give you a link to another conversation in here on this subject. Make sure and follow the links the person who started the thread provides. Some of them are links to some advice from one of our members who has dealt with this issue. I hope you find your answers there. If not, I am sure Robert will see this and respond when he can. He's a busy man - he's a truck driver. He's great with this stuff and he's very helpful.

Information On SPE Certificate

Garet S.'s Comment
member avatar

Thank you Oldschool. I am reading through that thread now, and just came back to thank you, but right in the first thing on that page is more info than on the SPE Cert website!! I appreciate that link and your time!!

Old School's Comment
member avatar

You are welcome sir!

I've always remembered how helpful the information was that Robert shared. These government bureaucracies can make something so difficult to understand. A regular citizen who has had to navigate this mess can break it down and make it a lot more understandable.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Thanks O/S !!! I’ll definitely try to be as helpful as I can. You’ll fall into a different division than I did but the process should still be very similar in regards to the paperwork and testing. If you can get paperwork that will allow you to work around it, I’d definitely suggest it. In my particular case, I’ve been released from the program because after 4 years, I was able to prove that I legitimately didn’t need it (I consider myself somewhat lucky).

Garet S.'s Comment
member avatar

I asked the examiner who didn't complete my first attempt (PA) at a DOT about the SPE process and he claimed he never hear of it. He maintained that Footdrop is an automatic fail and there is no way forward or around it. So is this something that some providers may not be familiar with? I have two Dr. Apts tomorrow. One with a different examiner (MD) that can do DOTs, but its questions about the DOT and not an actual one yet. Second is with a Neurologist which is what the first examiner suggested I go to for a letter saying with the brace I have no restrictions or concerns.

Is there different levels of the DOT or is it just pass or fail? Do I need to go and fail a DOT officially for the process of SPE? Does it help to go to a provider that actually knows what an SPE is?

I am trying to cover my bases and take the correct step forward. Thanks!

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.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

It’s a tough question to answer because different DOT certified doctors can make different assessments. Mine started at Knight with the chiropractor who did my exam there. I already had a current medical card that didn’t require the certificate but he decided I needed it. My 2 year re certification didn’t check the box and follow up appointments with my orthopedic surgeon stated that there was no reason for me to have it and that’s when FMCSA released me from the requirements. Even the skills test examiner couldn’t understand why I was there because my situation in no way impacted my ability to perform the skills required in our profession. Many medical professionals don’t know what it is and even fewer companies are aware of it. Out of the 3.5 million drivers out there, roughly 3,000 fall into the criteria requiring it. I’d suggest asking any company you’re interested in to prove that they’re aware of it and how it works. If you can get that letter from the neurosurgeon, it’ll be a huge help and possibly keep you from having to deal with it at all.

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.

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.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

One thing I just thought about that might help you out. Part of the process includes meeting with a certified SPE examiner who effectively runs you through the entire pre trip, skills and driving exam. It’s the last thing you do before receiving the actual certificate but there’s a kicker. Before the process became so wrapped up in bureaucracy, that examiner would have been the first person you would meet with to determine whether or not you actually needed the certificate, NOT the doctor performing your physical. It might take a bit of digging, possibly contacting the FMCSA representative for your area. If you can contact that examiner, he or she might be able to determine whether or not you’ll need the certificate to begin with.

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.
Garet S.'s Comment
member avatar

That is not a bad idea at all. I will contact FMCSA tomorrow (I have called twice but didn't leave a message as I was hoping to get someone on the phone when its convenient for me) and leave a message. Hopefully I can locate this person and gain some insight from them.

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.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

Garet S.'s Comment
member avatar

When you said that "he decided that you needed it" he was aware of the existence of the SPE?

Page 1 of 2 Next Page Go To Page:

New Reply:

New! Check out our help videos for a better understanding of our forum features

Bold
Italic
Underline
Quote
Photo
Link
Smiley
Links On TruckingTruth


example: TruckingTruth Homepage



example: https://www.truckingtruth.com
Submit
Cancel
Upload New Photo
Please enter a caption of one sentence or less:

Click on any of the buttons below to insert a link to that section of TruckingTruth:

Getting Started In Trucking High Road Training Program Company-Sponsored Training Programs Apply For Company-Sponsored Training Truck Driver's Career Guide Choosing A School Choosing A Company Truck Driving Schools Truck Driving Jobs Apply For Truck Driving Jobs DOT Physical Drug Testing Items To Pack Pre-Hire Letters CDL Practice Tests Trucking Company Reviews Brett's Book Leasing A Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Learn The Logbook Rules Sleep Apnea
Done
Done

0 characters so far - 5,500 maximum allowed.
Submit Preview

Preview:

Submit
Cancel

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More