50 Year Old Accident Disabled Man Seeks Grant Money For Trucking Business
(ShowLow, AZ, USA)
I am a 50-year-old man who finally found the love of my life 6 years ago. We married 5 years ago.
I have a 27-year-old daughter, a 15-year-old special needs son and two sons by marriage, 33 and 28.
We were recently displaced because of a wildfire in Northern Arizona. We are looking forward to our life settling down and being able to work again.
I am an auto mechanic. In 1994, I was working on a car on a hoist, which lost pressure, crushing my ribcage and bruising my heart.
I was advised by family members to not pursue a lawsuit, and signed a paper to that effect.
I was movement restricted and applied immediately for social security.
With hereditary health issues (asthma, allergies, depression), I was awarded social security for the rest of my life. The depression is worse, then improves, but never goes away.
After gaining weight to 640 pounds, I had developed sugar diabetes and minor heart problems. I chose to have the gastric bypass in 2004.
As I began to lose weight, I gained energy and ability to move around. In October 2008, I was riding a horse on our property. It got spooked, and I was bucked off.
I broke my lower back (L1-2-3) and am in constant pain that doctors cannot get under control. I now have side effects that are a direct result of the gastric bypass, and are not medically fixable.
I have struggled since my original injury to earn money to provide for my family. I attended Wyoming Technical University in 1995, and was told that Arizona Vocational Rehabilitation would cover the cost.
They bought my tools, but did not pay for the school. I recently got the loans discharged off my credit because I am disabled.
I have worked for short periods of time at a steady job, but the constant demands are difficult for me to maintain.
I have tried to do odd jobs, but many people are very difficult and very picky about the jobs they want done.
I have driven equipment all of my adult life, and retained my Commercial Drivers License in 1991. I have been a professional truck driver since 2000.
Because of my back injury, I could not drive for two years because of the pain and the medication I was on. Now I am learning to control my pain, but cannot get hired as a truck driver because I do not have recent experience over the road.
Since my divorce in 2006, I have been the custodial parent of my special needs son, who also receives Social Security. His mother does not pay child support because of our joint custody agreement.
In October 2010, we got temporary custody of our 8-year-old grandson, who returned to live with his father in May 2011.
Because of negligence by our grandson's mother, her visitation had not been ongoing for 5 years.
She went back to court when she found out her son was living with us, and forced a 3 hour visitation every weekend. We had to drive 360 miles every weekend just so she could see him, at our expense.
Then, the end of May 2011, a wildfire started in northern Arizona (the Wallow Fire) and we were evacuated on June 1, 2011. We were not able to return because of severe asthma.
We notified our landlord that we were evacuating, and expected to return when the evacuation was lifted. We owed them 2 months rent, and they filed paperwork that we had abandoned our belongings, and to our knowledge, they sold them at a yard sale.
I've been in and out of the hospital since July because of stress related issues that the doctors are not able to diagnose.
We own a 1997 Dodge Ram Pickup, 4WD, that we rely on for transportation, and it needs some repairs that we cannot afford.
In August 2008, I met a man who was looking for a yard helper and truck driver. We came to a workable agreement, and I began working for him. We then worked an agreement for me to work and receive a Peterbilt to haul for him.
In January 2009, state and federal officers raided my residence because the vehicles he owned and drove were all stolen, including the one that I was working to obtain. No charges were brought against me, and I am testifying as a state's witness.
We moved for a year to Colorado, but could not find steady work there, either. We moved back to Springerville, AZ and could not find work there.
I have tried to make some furniture at home and sell it, but was not very successful.
We are members of the LDS church, and have not gotten any help from them in the past year and a half. Salvation Army helped us for a month in July with a motel room, and we are still in the motel room, but we are paying for it, so we cannot save money to get into a home of our own.
My wife went back to work, so we will lose the small amount of food stamps that we were receiving.
I have applied for driving jobs locally, statewide and regionally. I keep getting told that I have to have recent driving experience to be hired for over the road.
The logging business has not started yet after the wildfire here, but should start in a month or so. The friends I have in the business say that they may have a truck for me to drive.
At this point in time, we need a truck to drive over the road with a trailer. My wife will ride with me, and I know of three loads, that are continuous runs, with hauls back to home.
Once we get established loads, we would be able to buy a small manufactured home to stay in when we are not on the road.
I know that I can make the money I need to make, and still have time out of the truck for my health issues.
My idea is to be an independent truck driver and keep the truck busy to make money to provide for my family. I have been getting load information from a couple of online load boards, and am familiar with the loads, prices and schedules.
The trucks we have priced are between $35,000 and $50,000 for a truck and trailer. Taxes, licenses and permits will cost about $5,000 to start, and approximately $250 per month.
Fuel expense will be approximately $10,000 a month, tires about $500 per month, brakes about $30 a month, $70 a month for oil and service, for a total of $10,850.
Our personal expenses will be $650 a month for food, $100 a month for clothes, and $25 a month for laundry, for a grand total of $11,625 for expenses.
Our projected income will be $38,104, for a net profit of $26,479.
If a major repair is needed, the cost would be $2,000 to $5,800 for each repair.
We would not need to market our business, because we would select our loads online.
My wife has a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from University of Phoenix, so she will handle our accounting and management.