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Kansas trucker with disability faces hurdles to maintain CDL

Collyn Metzger, a Kansas-based trucker born without half of his left arm, struggles to find a new physician to conduct a specialized evaluation after his original doctor retired, risking his ability to keep his commercial driver's license (CDL).

What's happening: To legally operate commercial trucks without a prosthetic, Metzger must pass a Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE) biennially, which certifies his capability to drive safely. Despite his previous doctor confirming his adeptness in truck operations, locating a professional to administer the necessary test has become an unforeseen hurdle.

The challenge: Metzger and his wife have contacted each doctor listed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in their area, but have met with responses indicating lack of familiarity with the SPE or outright refusal to perform the evaluation on someone who's not an existing patient.

  • "I think a one-and-done thing would be appropriate, especially for people like me," said Metzger, questioning the frequency of the renewal requirement, reported KWCH.

The backdrop: Metzger's prior SPEs have been successful, with a government official even praising his superior gear shifting skills. Nevertheless, the current impasse has put his job at stake and affected his company's service ability due to the difficulty in finding a qualifying medical examiner.

What they're doing: The issue has reached the offices of U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall, who offered contacts to assist Metzger in navigating this bureaucratic challenge.

For now, Metzger's situation highlights a gray area in federal regulations potentially impacting other truckers with similar conditions, emphasizing the need for improved awareness and processes within the medical community serving the trucking industry.

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