Do you have any information as to vendors, dealers, fabricators, etc. that offer accelerator, brake and clutch hand controls for large trucks?

  1. First off, if you're going to apply for a CDL license, contact the CDL testing agency you plan to use and ask if they have any requirements or suggestions for hand controls.
  2. If you have a choice, you should choose a truck with an automatic transmission, which will make the driving much easier. Modifying a manual transmission truck can be so time and monetary consuming that often times it is better to trade for one with an automatic transmission. Even large heavy-duty trucks and semis are available with automatic transmissions that will eliminate the need for clutching.
  3. If you must drive with a manual transmission, a possible alternative is an electric clutch. Butterfield, MN, farmer Dale Baerg built one for his tractor, which also might work for a truck. He is willing to share his 'solution" with others, Dale can be contacted at 507-956-2074.
  4. Go to the Hand Controls Corporation Web site ( and look at the photos of their hand controls on automobiles to see if you think any would work on your truck. You can call them at (800-470-7067); they have installed such controls on semis, but applicability depends on how the brake pedal goes through the firewall and how the accelerator is located. By sending them photos from the steering wheel on down, they can advise you. (For other distributors of hand control units for cars and truck, go to and click on "Assistive Technology Database," then on "Truck Modifications.")
  5. If interested in modifying the accelerator from right foot control to left foot control, search on the Internet for "Left foot accelerator" and "Left foot gas pedal" to find manufacturers and photos, or go to the Able Data site at for a listing of eight companies that sell left foot accelerators.
  6. The following Web site discusses two designs of hand controls that utilize different hand motions to apply the brakes and accelerator. Go to —, and click on "Vehicle Hand Controls." You will need to decide which technique of operation you prefer.
  7. There are a few companies that make custom-manufactured hand controls or perhaps provide design plans that you or a local machinist could use to make the conversion. Three such companies are Life Essentials of Brookston, IN (765-742-6707 or; John Hancock of Lexington, KY (859-227-7099), and Northend Mobility of Welland, Ontario (905-735-5552 or
  8. Two companies make joystick controls for cars and pickup trucks that could possibly be adapted for large trucks—Electronic Mobility Controls ( and Creative Controls ( Also, Butterfield, MN, farmer Dale Baerg, with quadriplegia, has tractors that have been modified for joystick control and he is willing to share with and help others, he can be reached at 507-956-2074. His ideas may help in modifying a large truck.
  9. Breaking New Ground (BNG) Resource Center at Purdue University has two publications in its Plowshares Technical Reports series that you might find beneficia—"Hand Controls for Agricultural Equipment" (Plowshare #2) and "Farming with a Lower Extremity Amputation" (Plowshare #24). They can be viewed and downloaded from the Center's Web site—
  10. Check out the "Toolbox," which is a catalog of commercial and farmer-modified equipment and assistive devices for farming with a disability. It includes sections on tractor/self-propelled equipment control modifications and truck access and controls. It is available for purchase in CD-ROM and hard copy format at and available on-line (in pdf format) at Your county Extension office and local high school agricultural education teacher should have a copy of the CD to view (perhaps borrow).