Another beautiful day in the Ozarks, I Love being home with my family, but I feel a bit guilty, I feel like I should be running down the road with a hot load, or backing up to a dock somewhere for a delivery making money.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the process of obtaining my wavier for insulin use while driving truck from the FMCSA. I did know that it would be a process that would make me uncomfortable but the one thing I didn’t expect was that it would be such a hassle, so I thought today I would write about the process so others drivers who might be facing having to get a waiver might be able to streamline it a bit better.
Once your Doctor has told you that you need to go on insulin you have a choice to make, do I or don’t I. Well you better do it. Out of control diabetes is bad news for your body, it does all kinds of damage, some of it very painful, I am not going to get into it right now because I assume that you have already been diagnosed and have researched the disease
So you tell the Doctor ok, you stop and get your prescription on the way home and start with the injections the next day..
Next get on-line and download and print the application package. You can get it here Application package, FMCSA
Hopefully you have scheduled another appointment with you doctor that does your physical, if you haven’t then you need to for one month (for type 2 diabetes) after the day you start the insulin. If you haven’t then you need to now.
You will also need to schedule an appointment with and endocrinologist and an eye doctor.
Be aware that they cannot fill the paper work out until after you have been on insulin for one month, and, this is critical, the paper work must be done exactly as the FMCSA wants it
It helps to have as much of the paperwork you can fill out done before you get to the Doctors office. If the Doctor doesn’t have the DOT physical paperwork and you want to get it before your appointment, you can download and print it here http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/safetyprograms/Medical-Report.pdf
Follow the directions in the wavier packet exactly.
One of the requirements is that you must have five years of medical records for your Dr and endocrinologist to review. If you have had several Dr’s over the last five years this may be a problem, especially if you have moved several times or out of state as I had.
I did not know this but when you move from Doctor to Doctor not all of you records follow you. Say 3 years ago you went to Dr.A but you changed insurance and had to change Doctor’s. So you fill out the form at Dr. B’s office to have your records transferred, so far so good, but now it becomes necessary for you to go to Dr. C and you fill out the paperwork requesting your records from Dr.B and assume Dr. A’s records will come with your records from Dr.B however this is not so. By Law Dr B can only send his notes to Dr. C and Dr A’s notes are left behind.
So the moral of the story is get and keep your own set of records.
You must have five years worth of your medical history for the Medical Doc and the Endocrinologist to review and they must certify that they have reviewed them.
Keep your appointments have the Doctors fill out the paperwork then mail the required documents to the FMCSA office listed in the in the application form.
When the FMCSA receives your documents, a staff member will review them and if there are any errors or need for clarification they will send you a letter requesting that you have the doctors correct the mistakes or make the clarifications. When this has been done and assuming everything else is correct, your application is then sent to the Medical Review Board.
At the Medical Review Board, Doctors that have been retained by the FMCSA will review your application and if in their opinion you are complying with your doctors treatment plan they will recommend for approval of your application.
Next, your application will be printed in the National registry for 30 days for public comment. If at the end of the 30 days no one has come forward to counter your request a waiver will be granted and mailed to you with all the requirements that make your wavier valid.
According to the staff member that I talked to at the FMCSA, about 98% of all applications that have been received since the program began have been approved.
Another thing is that once the FMCSA receives your application they have 160 days to approve or deny your waiver, so at worst this process should only take about 7 months and you have a very good chance of being approved.
The down side of this is that you can not drive truck during this 7 month process, if your lucky you can qualify for unemployment, or maybe your employer may be able to keep you on doing dock or yard work. At any rate you are on your own to keep money flowing into you home.
Truck driving can be a mighty good living in spite of all the government hassles. If your not already a truck driver and think you might like to Drive the Big Rigs for a living I have written a book just for you. It will give you all the information you need to determine if you are right for the job or if the Job is right for you, you can get it here So, You Want to Be A Truck Driver