Planet China

Single handed

This year’s Paralympic Games were dominated by the Chinese team, which scooped 107 gold medals – almost double its nearest rival, Great Britain. But despite demonstrating how some of its physically-impaired nationals can triumph as world-class athletes, a more recent story shows there’s one field in China where they aren’t permitted to advance: truck driving.

During an operation to make sure that trucks weren’t being overloaded, police in Hunan province pulled over a driver who had stacked his vehicle too high with cargo. From inside the cab, the driver handed over his insurance details and planned route to the officers as requested, but stalled when he was asked to produce his driving licence.

Following his hesitation the officers asked the man to step down from the truck and were shocked to find that he only had one arm. According to, the driver had bought a truck at the beginning of October, planning to engage in the logistics business. But since hiring a driver was too expensive, he undertook the role himself.

Missing an arm prohibits a person from getting a driving licence in China, but despite the legalities this truck driver had travelled over 9,000km delivering goods. Even more impressive is that he is missing his right arm – the one closest to the gear stick.

The police impounded the truck and demanded that a driver with two arms come to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Tencent media picked up the story of a one-armed haulier from Hubei province who has been making his living as an express courier. During Singles’ Day, he worked a 15-hour shift, delivering over 400 packages in his van. Hopefully the media attention won’t cost this lawbreaker his job too.

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