Owner-operator Chris Miners was in a “very dark place” last year. His right leg was amputated below the knee in July 2022 due to flesh-eating disease. Things quickly slid downhill after that. “I lost everything I worked for – my truck, credit, home, everything. It was a vicious cycle,” the 54-year-old Halifax truck driver told TruckNews.com.
Miners realized he could either wallow in self pity and feel sorry for himself, or choose not to let his disability dictate how he would live. He chose the latter path.
“The first step was to accept what happened. It’s not like my leg is going to grow back.”
He was walking with a prosthetic limb by Christmas last year and returned to work in a non-driving role in March 2023.
A major setback and a new road test
While he passed a driver rehabilitation program for amputees, Access Nova Scotia wanted him to retake his Class 1 test to drive a tractor-trailer. “When they took my Class 1, it was a major setback,” Miners said.
He set out to prove that he could still drive a tractor-trailer, operating the throttle with his prosthetic limb. Miners reached out to the media, and Global News first published the story about his struggles to get back behind the wheel. The Nova Scotia premier’s office reached out to smooth things over and Access Nova Scotia scheduled a road test last weekend.
You’d expect a smooth ride from there, but Miner’s road had more unexpected twists.
Fellow trucker steps up to help
He had lined up a truck for the test, but its motor blew out a few days that could happen. A buddy contacted a local driving school owner, asking if he could help.
Harvinder “Harvy” Singh, owner of Truck Training Center, showed up with his truck and trailer for the road test.
“I wanted to help a fellow trucker. I saw that he had the determination to drive. Just because he lost his leg doesn’t mean he can’t drive,” Singh told TruckNews.com.
Miners passed the road test, regaining his Class 1 licence.
“Singh is now like family to me. I never met him before the road test. I offered him money and he refused to accept it. It meant the world to me,” a thankful Miners said.
Singh said Miners has lost a lot due to his disability. “I wanted to offer him an opportunity to resume his driving career.”
Miners said Premier Tim Houston also called to check on him, and is grateful for the help and attention received.
Looking for work
He is now looking for local driving work or a job in fleet operations. For the past 35 years he’s hauled tankers, over-dimensional loads, van trailers, reefers, flatbeds and step decks.
Miners has attended a couple of interviews but is wary of being underpaid despite his experience. “They are sympathetic but want to pay me as if I just came out of truck driving school. I will not do it,” he said.
He is willing to relocate anywhere in Canada for work. His kids are grown, and he is single.
“I don’t want handouts. I want to go to work everyday,” Miners says.
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