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Old 04-04-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
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In light of the recent motorhome crash and various comments on qualifications of drivers, what is your current license rating?
Mine is Class 1 & 6-this allows all vehicles including tractor trailer and motorcycle.
It looks like in British Columbia, all you need to drive TC is a car license with an air brake endorsement.
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Old 04-04-2012, 01:51 AM   #2
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All that's required in Texas is Class B (Air Brake) Endorsement...and you only need that if youre over 26k lbs
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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PA requires a class B for any vehicle over 26000, and a class A for a combination of vehicles over 26000 AND the trailer is over 10.000. All this has nothing to do with how it is registered.

You can get a non-commercial Class A or B, all you have to do is show up with one at the DMV for a test. No need to take any knowledge tests.

The non commercial operation of a commercial vehicle is not very well addressed.

I am working on getting a CDL so I don't have to worry about anything in any state.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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MN has you all beat, or we're behind you all, depending how you look at it. If it's legally licensed as an rv you can drive it with what MN calls a class D license. The D is the lowest of the lowest license class. You can take your road test in a Smart, and if you pass it then you can go jump in any rv and go. No air brake endorsement needed either. And, as far as anybody can tell you can pull any weight trailer with an rv. It's kind of not clear there. With a class D you can only pull a 10k lb trailer. But, if it's an rv trailer it appears there is no weight limit. Even if it's just any old trailer being pulled by an rv I don't think there is a weight limit. So anybody can pull a 22k lb. 5th wheel trailer down the road with their p/u truck. Or, if you're driving an rv you can pull any weight trailer with it. Now, if the trailer is too heavy for the tow veh. to pull it (check the weight sticker inside the door) then I think you could get a ticket. But, most cops have very little working knowledge of all this stuff.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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But, most cops have very little working knowledge of all this stuff.
Until the cops are sitting outside the race track or horse show or campground with portable scales and a van load of "state motor carrier inspectors". Then we're all done dancin'. Get your checkbook out and call a friend with a CDL to get you home ... or at least over the next hill.

Someone in either this thread or the Kansas tragedy thread mentioned they thought that adding stiffer requirements to drive a larger motorhome would meet resistance from the "retired RVs". I would kinda expect that ... but aren't 100% sure.

Why wouldn't a retired RVer who is getting a larger motorhome NOT want to have to take a reasonable written and road test, especially if the motorhome had air brakes or was large (say 33' or more) or was going to pull a trailer over say 8,000#.

I mean come on. If they can drive the monster, they shouldn't have trouble passing a reasonable test. I agree about the money thing. But I think a $50 charge to take the test and its an additional $20 for the endorsement on your license which is good for what ... usually 5 to 8 years ... would not be unreasonable?

If they can't pass the test ... then get a smaller motorhome or travel in a car.

But ... has this been a problem? Has the Geeeezer with the 45' Prevost and 28' enclosed trailer been a problem? Or are we reacting to the unfortunate event in Kansas?

Insurance companies. Where are the insurance companies on minimum requirements for drivers of larger RVs and T/Cs? You can get a multi-engine pilots rating from the FAA, but you probably can't get insurance to fly without 100 to 250 in "type" and often 10 to 25 hours in the same model of A/C. I've seen some companies require time in model for retractable single-engine.

So apparently the insurance companies aren't providing any more than the minimum requirements for motorhomes and T/Cs.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:34 PM   #6
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passing a test proves NOTHING...understanding how air brakes work (or deplete the tank) is MORE important...and i dont see where ANY state test educates a driver on that !

as an example - its EASY to obtain a motorcycle endorsement....yet STILL there are plenty of deaths !
the same is true for INEXPERIENCED <teen> drivers !
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:45 PM   #7
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I personally know some of the geezers that shouldn't even drive a car. one of them barreled up and down the interstate in a class A. Maybe you have seen the resistance to re-testing senior citizens. As needed as it is, this would be the resistance that I was talking about. It would get totally political.

I agree on the $20 $50 licensing if only the government could be trusted to keep it at that rate. Check with your trucking buddies. The government taxes, titles, and fees them to death.

The problem, as I see it, is the same one I have many times. You are looking at the problems logically.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:49 PM   #8
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The problem, as I see it, is the same one I have many times. You are looking at the problems logically.
Rather than approaching at it to steal someone's money, redistribute the wealth, and satisfy a whining constituency?
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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Rather than approaching at it to steal someone's money, redistribute the wealth, and satisfy a whining constituency?
HAHAHAHA. now you got it
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:33 AM   #10
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Default My 2 cents

Responding to the OP.. I have a Class A with all endorsements. (plus a motorcycle endorsement). That means I can drive literally anything on the road with wheels and an engine.

To GTSC: I think as often is the case, it's a kneejerk reaction to the accident. Tragic as it might have been, it's not exactly a daily occurence either.

To BushPilot: nothing personal man, but clearly you do not have a CDL. In order to drive a truck equipped with air brakes, it requires a separate test. And that is true in all 50 states.

And lastly (but certainly not least) Doc has the right of it. SOMEone is going to use this incident to pick our pockets for more money, either from higher premiums or added regulations.
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Old 05-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #11
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the Air Brake endorsement/test (written and driven) is a joke imo - that was my point.
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Old 05-01-2012, 11:06 AM   #12
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the Air Brake endorsement/test (written and driven) is a joke imo - that was my point.
That certainly might be the case. But it's the same test for 'professional' drivers. Many dont bother to DO the brake testing every day, which leads to issues. Only a handful of drivers (myself included) have the technical ability to repair/replace the gear they are driving. Doing a good pretrip every day will get minor problems noticed long before they become incidents like the ones that always seem to make the front page when they happen.
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Old 06-24-2012, 01:21 AM   #13
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The trouble is someone can drive a Prius and jump into a motorhome thinking it's like driveing a car. I spent time learning to drive a PU, then pull a 14' trailer and finally a 20 foot box truck. With air brakes.
I took my time learning and I do not drive much over 55. At the most it is 60 on very open roads. About twice a year we pull our 84 Jetta. When I am doing that the max is 55 and I am very carefull
I check my brakes before trips, during and have a shop do a safety inspection once a year. Yes I am paranoid.
My truck is a total of 30' before we add the car. Add car and we are talking about over 40 feet. I do have a class A but have never taken a test on pulling. I think if people start off slow, work their way up in size and take care learning they would be a lot safer.
For Gods sake don't take a 40 footer pulling a car and do 70 or over thinking you can stop like a sports car.
Just my 1/2 cents worth.
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:16 PM   #14
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Am I wrong in guessing that if you are licensed in a state which is more lenient with their requirements, that is still sufficient to travel through a state that is a bit more strict? The point of these vehicles is to travel so would you have to get the highest level possible to be sure you're legal in all states?

I agree there are some who have no idea about the size and stopping distances of large trucks and they should get SOME training. I've never driven a semi but I have been driving a big ladder fire truck for the past 15 years (exempt from any special licensing) so I'm confident I may do OK.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:53 AM   #15
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It's not the size of the rig (I see the smiling)but the weight,a 10' rig and a 40' rig will stop about the same if they weight the same and are going the same.I see daily pickups pulling 30' 5ers and still driving 75!can the brakes stop that weight at that speed?Just because you can pull it, doesn't mean you can stop it.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:25 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by daddywoofdawg View Post
It's not the size of the rig (I see the smiling)but the weight,a 10' rig and a 40' rig will stop about the same if they weight the same and are going the same.I see daily pickups pulling 30' 5ers and still driving 75!can the brakes stop that weight at that speed?Just because you can pull it, doesn't mean you can stop it.
One of the best posts yet!
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:24 PM   #17
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It's not the size, it's how you drive it! I should sell the t-shirt!

You are correct, it's the stopping that's the problem. None of these trailers with electric brakes stop worth a @##$% no matter how often you adjust them, so you are reliant on the tow vehicle for stopping power. I am very happy to be upgrading to a 6500 Topkick to pull my 40' 20000# trailer for improved braking and peace of mind. Should be making the maiden trip in a couple of days, in my shop putting on the finishing touches now.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:17 PM   #18
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I have started the conversation with a number of my state legislature friends, we talked at length of the need for something between a class C (car) license and a Class A CDL.

Something that could cover everything from Rodeo trailers, race car trailers, over 10,000# travel trailers and all Class A RV's it might also be applicable to seasonal farm trucking. Just a step up written test, covering braking, passing wind conditions, maybe a section on transporting fuel (race gas barrels, RV propane tanks) why its important for those tanks to be turned off and the fuel drums secure type questions.

What to do in case of a break down, the requirement to carry triangles, fire extinguishers etc. Whether or not we are required to go though scale-houses the kind of stuff we all should know, but it so gray everyone seems to have a differing opinion.

It might require in lieu of DOT numbers a RV, Private, Not for hire or Farm logo on the door to let the officer know that the rig falls under the state statute.

As recreational vehicles get bigger and the trucks towing them get more powerful, I think its time to step up and come up with a 15,000# RV/Farm endorsement

At the very least it adds some legitimacy to the hobby racer or Rodeo/Horse show driver, to make them all aware of some of the more obscure safety rules.

It also would educate anyone who uses the vehicle for Commercial use outside the hobby world that may pay a Rodeo purse or a race winning, or perhaps the Food vendor / craftshow trailer type uses. It could be even broad enough to cover landscapers and lawn services who like my neighbor has to have DOT numbers on his 3/4 ton pickup because his lawn mower trailer can carry over 8000#. Why would they need to be CDL? but should they be educated ?

We have to be careful not to get the Camels nose in the legislative tent, but the potential for our 30,000# rigs zooming up and down the freeways with little or no education is really scary if you ask me.

we are a long way from drafting any legislation, and the feds get involved in some of their requirements too. But I know a few Congressman and both of my Senators so maybe down the road...?

-blizz
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:13 AM   #19
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Good idea. I agree.

If you can't pass a reasonable written test and a reasonable road test ... you don't belong behind the wheel.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:44 AM   #20
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Blizz, I think you are on the right track. I too fear that camel nose, but I have been an advocate for a trailer endorsement (any trailer!) for a common everyday license, much like a motorcycle endorsement. Pass a simple written test, and prove you can stop it and back it up. I've seen way too many fools on the road over the years doing dangerous things that had no business pulling any sort of trailer.

Makes no sense that I need a file cabinet full of paperwork to pull my 14' "commercial trailer", but any old codger with a fat checkbook can roll down the road with a 48' fiver and no training whatsoever. My favorite scary tow story (true), several years back in downtown Nashville on the freeway, I passed a Dodge Ram 1500 (1/2 ton) with the nose pointed at the sky towing about a 36' fiver down the highway at a blistering pace of about 45 mph and swaying to beat the band. But wait, this is the good part, he had a PONTOON boat hooked to the back of the fiver! Where's a cop when you really need one?

Anyway, I am wondering if there is some organization that could spearhead such legislation? For example the NHRA to represent the 1000's of weekend racers that are affected by overzealous dot cops, or some such organization. Or I am sure the rodeo types have some sort of organization as well. I am a member of SEMA (aftermarket auto parts and accessories) and they work with all state goverments on issues concerning modified vehicles. For example a standard way to title a street rod like a replica 32 Ford. The idea is they have model legislation all drafted and ready to go, and work with their contacts in each state to try to have a common thread nationwide. I am not sure what organization could help, but it could move your idea up to a more national platform.
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