‘I don’t know what to do’: CPAP machine recall puts Spokane truck driver out of work indefinitely

SPOKANE, Wash. — There’s already a nationwide shortage of truck drivers and that affects all of us, but now even fewer drivers may be hitting the roads. Truck driving is a hard job- late nights, long hours, lonely miles. Many truckers have serious sleep problems.

Phillips issued a recall to many of their CPAP machines in June.

John Alford is one of many who is off the roads because of the recall.

“Right now, I’m deleting my saving account trying to pay rent, and so forth and pretty soon I’ll be flat broke,” he said.

He’s always worked until now. He suffers from sleep apnea and he needs a CPAP machine to be on the road.

“To be in compliance, you have to use your machine so many hours a night. Well, no machine, no hours. Compliant,” he said.

Since Phillips is the largest manufacturer, smaller companies are struggling to keep up.

“The thing is that they don’t produce like Phillips does,” Alford said. “They do like 500 in 2 months. So, they’re having to do 500 in a day.”

He’s left waiting while at the same time potentially losing his job.

“Meantime companies are replacing the drivers with people who don’t need a CPAP,” he said. “So that’s a concern, so guys who’ve been out of work since June like me, they may not find another job right away, take three or four months to have the work available.”

Alford has ordered a CPAP machine from a smaller company but he’s still six weeks from getting it.

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