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Old 06-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #43
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My wife took the air course to get her endorsement
just in case she would NEED to drive the coach.

And....yes. she still does practice runs.
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:01 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
Anybody want to take bets that the lawyers won't battle long and hard over which takes precedent ... the 26,000 pound limit on a "regular" license or the RV exemption of the CDL requirements?

I contacted the Secretary of State to ask about this specifically. The manager I spoke with affirmed both requirements.
Random employees at the Michigan Secretary of State's office, even managers, aren't necessarily going to know the ins and outs of every law in Michigan.

But you can, if you look at the actual statutes. What you quoted from the Secretary of State's Office website is just a description of the applicable laws. It's accurate, but it doesn't tell the whole story (and isn't intended to cover every single possibility).

Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.301 says:

Quote:
Except as provided in this act, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless that person has a valid operator's or chauffeur's license with the appropriate group designation and indorsements for the type or class of vehicle being driven or towed.
Pay attention to the "except as provided in this act" part. Always pay attention to the "except as provided in this act" part any time you see it.

Michigan Vehicle Code Sections 257.312e(1)(a) and (b) contain the requirement for a CDL for vehicles over 26,001 pounds, but you can't stop reading there because Section 257.312e(12) says:

Quote:
This section does not apply to a person operating a vehicle used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members for nonbusiness purposes.
There's no ambiguity: CDL requirements don't apply to our situation.

But note that in Texas, there is a special non-commercial Class B license requirement for RVs over 26,000 pounds. Michigan doesn't appear to have that, and if that's the case, Michigan drivers don't need a special license to drive a big motorhome.

(Michigan drivers do need a special license to tow a fifth-wheel trailer and another trailer at the same time, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if most employees at the Michigan Secretary of State's Office don't know that.)
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Old 06-12-2016, 02:23 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by powerboatr View Post
my insurance company gave me a break in pricing on my rv policy because i do have a non com class B license.
The fact that they give you a better price if you do have the Class B license says the insurance company doesn't require it to insure your RV.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lloyd in S.C. View Post
Both insurance companies came after us, weighed the truck, trailer and race car trying to prove we were over weight. As it turned out we were within 200lbs. They also accused my brother of speeding, a professional investigator was hired,, and his calculation showed my brother was within 5mph of the limit. Twice they interviewed my brother on his level of experience towing trailers. This all dragged on for many months. I asked, I had a lawyer, had any of these things contributed to the accident, we (my brother and I) would have been assigned a % of the fault.
...
My take away from all that. Be legal. You never know when it will all go wrong.
This is just what I posted about upthread--the lack of a motorhome endorsement on a person's driver's license could be used in a lawsuit as some evidence the driver wasn't properly trained, but that's no different from the other ways they were trying to determine whether your brother was partially at fault for the crash.

I assume your brother had the proper license for what he was driving. If he had been driving a motorhome with the proper license, the same thing could happen--questioning the driver's level of experience.

If the driver doesn't have the proper license, that could be some evidence the driver isn't properly trained, but the driver could rebut that. No automatic "you lose because you don't have the right license," in any case.


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Originally Posted by luckyd View Post
My neighbor and his wife left on a holiday, got 300 miles from home and he became ill. She put him into the toad and drove back home so he could see his own doctor.
Three days later their son took the bus to get the MH.
On the way back he was involved in an accident. He did not have an air endorsement to allow him to drive the MH.

Result...No insurance, charged with no drivers license, and all the expenses fell on him. Luckily there were no injuries.
Just to make sure...your location is listed as Canada. Did this happen in the U.S.? If so, which state?

I'm assuming the insured (your neighbor) is Canadian--was his insurance company also Canadian? Was it his insurance the claim was filed under, as the owner of the vehicle who had given another person permission to drive his vehicle?
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Old 06-12-2016, 03:13 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
But note that in Texas, there is a special non-commercial Class B license requirement for RVs over 26,000 pounds.
To clarify one point, the Texas non-commercial Class B is for driving a MH >26,001 pounds for personal, non-commercial use. The same MH used for commercial or even charitable work would require a Class B CDL.

I use my CDL to drive a 40' MH owned by a Texas charity that has been configured as a mobile medical clinic. The charity provides free health care through the clinic but its driver still needs a CDL according to TX DPS.
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:06 PM   #47
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To clarify one point, the Texas non-commercial Class B is for driving a MH >26,001 pounds for personal, non-commercial use. The same MH used for commercial or even charitable work would require a Class B CDL.
Right. The non-commercial Class B is for non-commercial use.

And in Texas, it's a vehicle "26,001 pounds or more," not "more than 26,001 pounds."

So technically, we're both wrong. You said a vehicle has to be more than 26,001 pounds, but a vehicle exactly 26,001 pounds is included.

I said "over 26,000 pounds," but a vehicle 26,000.4 pounds would not be included because it's less than the 26,001 pound threshold.

Michigan's use of "over 26,001 pounds" is kind of odd. There, a vehicle 26,001 pounds isn't included, but a vehicle 26,002 pounds is.

The feds use "26,001 pounds or more," btw.
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Old 06-12-2016, 06:15 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by oatmeal View Post
Right. The non-commercial Class B is for non-commercial use.

And in Texas, it's a vehicle "26,001 pounds or more," not "more than 26,001 pounds."

So technically, we're both wrong. You said a vehicle has to be more than 26,001 pounds, but a vehicle exactly 26,001 pounds is included.

I said "over 26,000 pounds," but a vehicle 26,000.4 pounds would not be included because it's less than the 26,001 pound threshold.

Michigan's use of "over 26,001 pounds" is kind of odd. There, a vehicle 26,001 pounds isn't included, but a vehicle 26,002 pounds is.

The feds use "26,001 pounds or more," btw.

I wasn't being critical of your definition. All I was trying to point out is that if you use an RV for anything other than personal recreational purposes then the non-commercial license doesn't apply.
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Old 06-12-2016, 07:46 PM   #49
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I'd be interested to know why some states require a specific license level of licensing ??? I live in VT and we are required to hold a drivers license. No CDL. If I am good enough to travel in VT and in all other states with my license, then why is someone in TX required to hold a specific CDL ??? We can both drive and just because one holds a CDL doesn't necessarily make you a better driver. I just don't follow the thinking, what ever it might be, in some states requiring a special license.
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Old 06-12-2016, 08:02 PM   #50
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In PA I found it pretty interesting.... I have 2 brothers-in-law that are booth PA State Troopers. They couldn't answer the question about PA requirements. I called PA motor vehicle (Pendot) and finally got the answer. Non commercial class b is required because of the weight. I got a "learners permit" no questions asked for $5.00... Was told when I was ready, "we would go for a ride"... No written test, just take a drive and do "pre trip inspection"... Going next week... Film at 11...
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:01 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by PPAinPA View Post
In PA I found it pretty interesting.... I have 2 brothers-in-law that are booth PA State Troopers. They couldn't answer the question about PA requirements. I called PA motor vehicle (Pendot) and finally got the answer. Non commercial class b is required because of the weight. I got a "learners permit" no questions asked for $5.00... Was told when I was ready, "we would go for a ride"... No written test, just take a drive and do "pre trip inspection"... Going next week... Film at 11...
It's this kind of thing that keeps this subject alive. Here in Texas I wouldn't have even known a Class B was required for 26,001 or above had it not been for this site.

The wording in the Texas law can be somewhat misleading if you only read the part that indicates a CDL is not required. Many take that to mean they can drive a 26,001+ motorhome on a class C license. It doesn't help that the DPS Driver's License office - at least in the past - gives out bad information. I called once and was told "no special license is required to operate your personal motorhome." I'd be willing to bet that to this day if you started calling different offices around the state, eventually one of them will serve you up the same bad information. Confusing.

Let us know how your road test goes!
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:48 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by LSC9901 View Post
I'd be interested to know why some states require a specific license level of licensing ??? I live in VT and we are required to hold a drivers license. No CDL. If I am good enough to travel in VT and in all other states with my license, then why is someone in TX required to hold a specific CDL ??? We can both drive and just because one holds a CDL doesn't necessarily make you a better driver. I just don't follow the thinking, what ever it might be, in some states requiring a special license.
I think it is a good example of something that should no longer be state driven, and should be federal law. S.C. found it important enough to have the restrictions, Vermont has not,,,, so far. There are more states going that direction, the rigs get bigger, there are more and more of them and the drivers are in heavier traffic every year.

Biggest thing a Buddy of mine ever drove was the large Lexus. Last year he sold everything, went to Florida and bought a 43' 41,000 lb RV, jumped in it and off he went with the car behind him. No training, no experience at all. I don't think that is a good idea. The license don't make you a better driver,,,, but if the testing is done correctly it ensures you have the proper knowledge, and skills to do the minimum.

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Old 06-13-2016, 06:22 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Lloyd in S.C. View Post
No training, no experience at all. I don't think that is a good idea. The license don't make you a better driver,,,, but if the testing is done correctly it ensures you have the proper knowledge, and skills to do the minimum.
I agree completely!!! I know when I first purchased my coach, I know I was not adequately prepared. I know this because I took out two mail boxes on my test drive.

I also spent time and money with someone who gave me the benefit of his many years of experience driving his own motor coach which helped tremendously. Worth every penny.
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:32 AM   #54
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Old 06-13-2016, 06:50 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by FlaRider View Post
I have a CDL class B. I do not drive commercial, I have it from when I did I long time ago. When I went to renewal my license a few years ago they just changed the law about CDL, (I can't remember what the change was, maybe it was the need of a medical ) they were not going to renewal it as a CDL because I wasn't driving commercial at the time. Since it just changed and I was adamant about keeping it encase I needed it they let me keep it. My friend went to renewal his license a few months later and they would not let him keep his CDL class B (with other endorsement). He now has just a plane Jane license. This is in Florida. Has anyone else had a problem keeping their CDL if they weren't driving commercial?


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Several decades ago, I had that problem for a few years. On renewal, I used the politicians ploy. I lied. Told them I was part time. Made up miles. Never a problem.
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Old 06-13-2016, 08:44 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by Lloyd in S.C. View Post
I think it is a good example of something that should no longer be state driven, and should be federal law. S.C. found it important enough to have the restrictions, Vermont has not,,,, so far. There are more states going that direction, the rigs get bigger, there are more and more of them and the drivers are in heavier traffic every year.

Biggest thing a Buddy of mine ever drove was the large Lexus. Last year he sold everything, went to Florida and bought a 43' 41,000 lb RV, jumped in it and off he went with the car behind him. No training, no experience at all. I don't think that is a good idea. The license don't make you a better driver,,,, but if the testing is done correctly it ensures you have the proper knowledge, and skills to do the minimum.

L.
Merely for the sake of continued discussion I would ask for some sort of facts and figures that verify the positive results of testing. In my former life as a working stiff I was required to take an exam to be hired. Over my 31 plus years I found that the test only proved the ability to pass the exam. The common sense factor and the ability to actually do the job didn't always correspond. In my career I drove some box trucks on occasion. Never anything bigger. My first RV was a 27' class C. From there we moved to a 32' class A. The only training I ever received was an hour or two on the box truck with no official state license issued. I'm not convinced that a program of training would improve my abilities. I'm not saying that it absolutely wouldn't but I feel as though I am a safe driver, observant, do not speed and keep our bus in good condition maintenance wise.

I was required to get a motorcycle endorsement but I feel that if you look at the numbers of accidents on bikes, it shows that the bike training does little to reduce any cycle accident numbers. In a very recent short time period here in VT we had an alarming number of motorcycle deaths. Yes it is likely very true that it isn't always the bike drivers fault just as the same would apply to RV drivers.

I would also throw out there that it would seem that most RV owners know what they are getting into and consider the pro's and con's of handling such a large vehicle. I also believe that, overall, government intervention in such a case as this, does nothing to improve any problem no matter how large or small.

My state of VT requires no special endorsement yet I am permitted to drive anywhere legally. I don't necessarily understand the thought process there. If I chose to live 5 months and 29 days in a state that requires a special license I'm still legal since I would still be considered a resident of VT.

Again I understand the importance of training but I'm just not convinced that the feds taking it over is the answer. I'm willing to put my abilities up against any driver. I believe I am a safe and conscientious driver without any specific endorsement.
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