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Old 10-17-2013, 06:35 PM   #1
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Pennsylvania Class B Drivers License

We recently purchased our 1st Motorhome, a 42ft Class A, Fleetwood Excursion the unit has air brakes and rated for 31,000 lbs. After reading some posts regarding a special drivers license Iwas very confused and contacted PennDot by phone. I was told I needed a Class B Non-Commercial drivers license. I was told I would have to take a basic driving skills test.
I also stopped by a local testing facility and received the same information and was told there wasn't a handbook to study.
I got my permit and scheduled the Class B test. My buddy that has a CDL went with me the day of the test. The test was very short as the instructor stated that I should have studied the Air Brake Section and testing procedure that is in the CDL testing handbook. He told me to go home and study the test, reschedule the test and come back when ready. I asked why I wasn't told about this and he stated that appears t be a communications problem within PennDot but that wasn't his concern that I should have studied.
I did study and took the test passing the airbrake test well and also the driving part which did consist of pulling up to cross bars but not going over. backing up in straight line and stopping before the stop bar. I also had to parallel part the beast inside a 100ft rectangle which was much easier than I thought. We finished by driving in the pubic up to a local mall and back.
I think the 2000+ miles I put on in the time between failing the test and retesting helped with my driving skills.
I definitely didn't like the lack of communications within PennDot that led to me being failed the first time but was glad to have to study about the Air Brakes which I found interesting and important things to know. I do feel better knowing I am legal to drive the Beast both for Police and insurance purposes.
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Old 10-18-2013, 01:46 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your experience. We don't hear a lot about non commercial DL requirements in Penn so I'm sure this will help a lot of folks.

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Old 10-19-2013, 10:53 AM   #3
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I think PA is the norm, with no specific instructions for the non-commercial "CDL". Few, if any states, have a special manual or test for it - it's basically a CDL test but without the need for a medical certificate, driver log, etc.
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:00 PM   #4
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So just to make sure I understand this correctly,

if you already have a normal license in PA a class c non commercial, then to move up to a class b non commercial all you need to do is pay 5 bucks for the permit, study the air brake system from the cdl manual and do a minor road test?

no eye tests and medical like on the cdl?

I find some of this to be a bit confusing, sorry if this is basic stuff. Dealer claims no extra licensing required.

We are considering moving up to a diesel and am just trying to figure all the hoops to jump through.
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Old 10-22-2013, 07:57 AM   #5
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Clearing up

I had the standard license with Motorcycle class added. I found out on my own about having to upgrade to a Class B Non-Commercial as the unit weights in at over 26,000 lbs.
After it was all over the examiner told be that if the MH had standard brakes then a permit and then a test consisting of basic driving skills with the unit would be the only thing required. The air brakes on my MH required me to study and pass the air brake section Only of the CDL Handbook.
As I stated I didn't like the lack of communications within PennDot but did appreciate learning how the Air system works.
I am 59yrs old but nothing was ever brought up as to me retesting vision, medical, etc.
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Old 10-23-2013, 08:10 AM   #6
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Pa class b?

Don't mean to beat a dead horse here but the coach we are looking at is rated at exactly 26000 and actually weighs less loaded. The class b is req'd when the gvw is 26001 and greater correct?
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:32 AM   #7
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That is correct
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