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Old 03-23-2018, 09:22 AM   #1
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Default Anyone take a CDL test with a gooseneck toter?

Instead of constantly being prepared to fight the system, I decided last winter to go ahead and just get my class A cdl. I'm really not commercial, but my state doesn't care and has relaxed the laws to allow motorhome/trailers to be used for a test. My question is, will my gooseneck hitch be considered a fifth wheel or will I get a non tractor trailer restriction? I don't care either way, except I've had so many "laymen" call my rig a semi truck, that I would hate for an officer to believe my license is not good due to my "semi truck".....lol. Anyone deal with this before? I called the local Federal Motor Carrier and could tell over the phone it was a "deer in the headlights" look.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:08 AM   #2
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I wouldn't do it. If it's a motorhome and your state doesn't require any special endorsements for motorhome operation then I would just leave it at that. Even if the cops might think you need something more, take that as an opportunity to educate them if you get stopped. If you were to get a CDL that might make the stopping cop think you needed it. And that might make him/her think you actually might be commercial. And that might make them look deeper to try to take enforcement action. Other BIG reason not to is that if you were to get a citation for something, anything, there is NO negotiation allowed by Federal law. Very hard to get a tag reduced or dismissed if you have a CDL. Even if the tag was issued to you while driving a regular old car. I know a guy very well that has a Class A CDL in MN. Endorsed for doubles, triples, and liquid too. He got a minor traffic tag while driving his car. Went to court and the prosecutor was more than happy to let him plea to something even less to keep it off his record. Until they spotted that he had a Class A CDL. Then the prosecutor told him nope, can't bargain with those. Federal law prohibits.
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:03 PM   #3
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I have two issues. 1) Michigan will allow me to be 75' with a CDL. So I would be totally legal in my home state. 2) The only thing that would most likely ruin a racing trip is if the DOT considered me commercial and parked me until a CDL holder could drive my rig away. I realize there may be steep fines involved, but most likely a logbook and CDL will allow me to drive away. Just my take on all this.
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:09 PM   #4
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I also am not going full commercial. I don't plan on using the "CDL card" unless I needed it and would continue claiming I'm not commercial.....which I am. I have not heard one bad story about a non professional racer, with a unmarked toter/trailer, getting pulled over having a CDL. So far, all officers I have talked to, whether they believe I need a CDL or not, tell me I could probably drive away after a stop.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:02 AM   #5
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Just as a side note. I would encourage you to look at the other liabilities of a CDL. one being a MUCH lower DUI threshold. The second being that if you have a cdl and no DOT numbers that is also a red flag for the DOT cops.
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Old 03-26-2018, 08:23 AM   #6
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I don't drink and drive, not an issue. I don't NEED a CDL to drive my race rig........unless an officer decides I do. How do I get around that? I'm not going to be three states away and not be able to drive my rig. I don't plan on telling the officer I have the CDL for my race rig. I will still claim non commercial, but at least I have the license to fall back on.
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:54 AM   #7
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Slippery slope. I have a class A CDL with all endorsements including hazmat and passenger (School bus has an extra background check now.). The comment about being held to a higher standard is exactly right however two things about having the CDL...1. You are legal driving anything and you should be acting like a professional driver since you are driving "Big Rigs". 2. When I have been pulled over in my pickup for something I did wrong, the officer understood the gravity of the situation when I hand him my CDL and talked about how if he gave me a speeding ticket or running a yellow light it could effect my CDL and they were more lenient as I was very polite and apologetic. I have been pulled over probably 5 times in the last ten years and have never received a ticket including a speed of 80 in a 65.
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Old 03-27-2018, 06:14 PM   #8
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I kept my cdl current for the above reasons. I have doubles, triples, tanker, and motorcycle endorsement. Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. That being said I just hauled my big mud truck 1600 miles round trip North Carolina to Florida with no issues. One officer was taking pics when he went past. I was a little nervous that he may be asking another officer if it was legal or not, but we had no issues. Even in Georgia the "truck must enter weigh station" light came on and we rolled past.
I was a little nervous as we are over width by about a foot, did this trip two years in a row no issues, but you never know.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bottomland4x4 View Post
IEven in Georgia the "truck must enter weigh station" light came on and we rolled past.
I was a little nervous as we are over width by about a foot, did this trip two years in a row no issues, but you never know.
Never enter weigh stations myself. I have gotten the "must enter weigh station" light many times on various interstates and never have actually entered one. It is obvious I am a motorhome once anybody in the weigh station sees the side profile. Towing a car trailer with an old car, or flat-towing further emphasizes being non-commercial. I have never had anyone come after me for driving by any weigh station. I am not over width or over length with my std two-axle car trailer. I would be if I tow my 26 ft enclosed, but right now haven't tried that yet. I would still be around 75 ft total, so not real excessive, but certainly over 65 ft. One key is no signage of any type on any of my trailers.

In my old state prior to moving (New Mexico) I had a class E license endorsement. This allowed to drive any vehicle over 26K for non-commercial use. That seemed an easy way to avoid trouble if ever questioned. However in my new state of Ohio there is no such thing. However in the Ohio rulebook it specifically exempts RV's from the weight issue; I keep a copy of that rulebook in the MH. So I now have just a std license with no special endorsements like CDL or the non-commercial over 26K weight.

Here is the crazy thing about the NM Class E. No written test or driving test required. Just fill out a form and provide a reason "drive RV with GVWR of 45K" or similar. Pay $10 for new license to be issued and done.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:48 AM   #10
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Well, I failed my first try. I ace'd the pre trip and air brakes. I set up wrong for the straight line(stupid.....the easiest one!) That got me panicked and used up a bunch of points. I completed the offset fine, but hit max points on the alley dock. I have since found a loophole that will allow me to get a class B with air brakes(using just motorhome) then later take a dually and trailer to get a combo class A upgrade and the air brakes will not be restricted.
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