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Old 04-27-2015, 10:29 AM   #1
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Texans Beware! Class B Drivers License

Bought a 40' Fleetwood Discovery, 33400 GVWR and air brakes. Anything over 26001 Lbs requires a Class B Drivers License, non CDL. Studied the Driver's Handbook for 2 weeks. Went to take the written test. NOT 1 question was related to non CDL class B (recreational vehicles) or air brakes. Test was entirely on CDL requirements, ie. width, lengths, mudflaps, colors, heights, etc. Wife's and mine were different tests. Not one question on safety either.
Read section 14 mostly. We asked and were given the correct written tests.
Typical gov't stupidity. I passed barely, wife has to go back a second time.
The driving test is in 3 weeks...., if I don't pass it could be 3 more weeks.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:48 AM   #2
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If you don't mind telling, which place did you go to take your test? I've read that there is a lot of variability in this depending on which location you go to... some are knowledgeable about the non-com-B, others not.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:56 AM   #3
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Be prepared to do full air brake test in coach prior to road test. Do it by the book exactly. If not you will not be given test-at least not in Dallas area. My coach did not have a low air buzzer so I had one installed prior to going and I'm glad I did. By the way they gave me all the wrong tests (including for a new car license) then all the correct ones (written tests). Good luck.


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Old 04-27-2015, 05:58 PM   #4
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From what I've read over the years on the different forums......every TDL office is different. I took mine in Austin......No air brake test, No backing up test, just had to drive around Austin on some tiny roads that were busy as hell.....and they were not made with a 40' motor home in mind. Passed mine with flying colors.....and was even able to take the written test in the morning and the driving test the same day in the afternoon. I've heard that some offices make you parallel park

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Old 04-27-2015, 06:33 PM   #5
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Is a low air buzzer required,if my coach has one it don't work.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:37 PM   #6
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It was at the DPS office in Garland (DFW). I had a radio shack buzzer wired into the wire to the low air light. If you can find an office that doesn't make you do the check they won't notice. Garland was horrible. Glad that is over.


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Old 04-27-2015, 07:07 PM   #7
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I'm glad I kept my class A CDL. Never know when an over zealous policeman decides to get picky. In Louisiana no special license is required.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:33 PM   #8
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Texans Beware! Class B Drivers License

I took mine last year. They gave me the written and it too was mostly widths, lengths, lamp colors and other cdl stuff. (I guess they figure you already have a regular DL so what's the point of the regular questions)

On the drivers part the testing person walked out with a pair of wheel chocks but I was one step ahead of her. She then had me go thru the air brake test. She said that it was just to see if I had a the basic understanding of the air brake system. I have no buzzer for low air, just a light. Nothing was said.

As I pulled out she said "if you hop a curb with the rear tires just head on back because you failed". She also told me over exaggerate looking at my mirrors so that I can tell that you are checking them often. Drove thru a residential and made a series of turns and stops. No problems. Got back to the test center and she said to pull up to the front and back up until I tell you to stop. I backed in a straight line and stopped and she said that was it.

All in all not too bad of an experience, plus you can sign up and they will text you a time for the drivers test so you don't have to wait as long. The test site was in Lubbock.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:41 PM   #9
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I got my Class A CDL in CA a few years ago. Did like 6 months of practice tests online, so I could pass all tests at once. It was like 8 written tests or something, woman thought I was nuts. Did fail my Motorcycle test, which I've had since I was 16yrs old 😜

Then paid a trainer $1000 for 3 days of driving training and the use of his rig for the driving test. Then the DMV test was broken down into 3 parts... Brake test and interior/exterior pre-trip. Driving test of an hour. Then parking and backing up test. Not an easy thing too get. You gotta remember these are big, heavy, rigs and can cause a lot of damage very quickly.

Don't even use the license, but I guess the info/practice is worth it.... When I moved too TX I had license dropped to a Non-commercial Class A. If I get tickets I hope/think the penalties are less 😜 Good luck too those getting their Class B...😜


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Old 04-28-2015, 12:31 PM   #10
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I just took the driving test in San Antonio. They don't ask how the RV got there. They will do the brake test just like on the you tube CDL videos. You tell the instructor what you are doing and he/she watches. Make sure you chock the wheels. Then sit down and put on your seat belt. Start the engine and tell her when the air is full. Shut the engine. Don't for get to turn on the key. If you fail this part she fails you and you come back. Then do the static test, then the brake on air loss, then alarm and brake button pop out. The rest of the test which took almost 45 minutes was driving on streets, highway and then backing up and parallel parking in the parking lot. When they gave me the results she took off 2 points for being too close to the curb and said my step was on it. Got a 98. Common sense driving. Use your horn if you need to.


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Old 04-28-2015, 01:06 PM   #11
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Hood County

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaetonRob View Post
I just took the driving test in San Antonio. They don't ask how the RV got there. They will do the brake test just like on the you tube CDL videos. You tell the instructor what you are doing and he/she watches. Make sure you chock the wheels. Then sit down and put on your seat belt. Start the engine and tell her when the air is full. Shut the engine. Don't for get to turn on the key. If you fail this part she fails you and you come back. Then do the static test, then the brake on air loss, then alarm and brake button pop out. The rest of the test which took almost 45 minutes was driving on streets, highway and then backing up and parallel parking in the parking lot. When they gave me the results she took off 2 points for being too close to the curb and said my step was on it. Got a 98. Common sense driving. Use your horn if you need to.


GOOD LUCK
Here in Hood County they take a more realistic approach, seem to realize that in practice those who opt for the Class B are largely doing so because they want to comply to the letter of the law, do things right.

The written test needs to be completely reworked, obviously. About 15% pertains to what we do in the motorhome world. No, I don't need to know how fast taxicabs can drive on Texas roads... In the age of computers, a motorhome-specific exam would be a nice touch and could address some of the things we so sorely need to discuss among neophytes, like tire inflation and safety, the critical nature of the rubber on our steering axle, how to safely navigate a blowout scenario, steps to avoid overloading, etc. I came away instead knowing how to position reflectors and a better understanding of how to utilize engine braking. Period.

Our office in Granbury kindly showed me the parts of the book that would be tested, and I faithfully regurgitated upon request.

The driving test was exactly as it should've been: we walked to the rig I'd obviously driven there for the exam, she chocked it and gave me a pleasant briefing about air brakes and how to test them. Then, she walked me through the test, explaining each step. We drove through some of the wider streets of our small town, and adjourned to an abandoned stretch of pavement. Standing outside across the street, the examiner called for me to back up; I heard "back in to park," and obligingly tucked the wheels near the curb. She smiled and understand the miscommunication, clambered back aboard and announced that I'd done okay, but forgotten my turn signal at one point.

So, with a single check mark against me, we went back to the office and I watched her shoulders slump a bit as she was faced with another three hours' duty behind the counter.

Hats off to our little hamlet southwest of Fort Worth for understanding that us gray-haired old folks who voluntarily submit ourselves to this minor ordeal are by nature cautious, conservative, courteous and forever vigilant when it comes to our own safety and that of our loved ones. It sounds like other offices need to step back and look at the larger picture.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:28 PM   #12
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No driving test in the "Hood" anymore!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RVNeophytes2 View Post
Here in Hood County they take a more realistic approach, seem to realize that in practice those who opt for the Class B are largely doing so because they want to comply to the letter of the law, do things right.

The written test needs to be completely reworked, obviously. About 15% pertains to what we do in the motorhome world. No, I don't need to know how fast taxicabs can drive on Texas roads... In the age of computers, a motorhome-specific exam would be a nice touch and could address some of the things we so sorely need to discuss among neophytes, like tire inflation and safety, the critical nature of the rubber on our steering axle, how to safely navigate a blowout scenario, steps to avoid overloading, etc. I came away instead knowing how to position reflectors and a better understanding of how to utilize engine braking. Period.

Our office in Granbury kindly showed me the parts of the book that would be tested, and I faithfully regurgitated upon request.

The driving test was exactly as it should've been: we walked to the rig I'd obviously driven there for the exam, she chocked it and gave me a pleasant briefing about air brakes and how to test them. Then, she walked me through the test, explaining each step. We drove through some of the wider streets of our small town, and adjourned to an abandoned stretch of pavement. Standing outside across the street, the examiner called for me to back up; I heard "back in to park," and obligingly tucked the wheels near the curb. She smiled and understand the miscommunication, clambered back aboard and announced that I'd done okay, but forgotten my turn signal at one point.

So, with a single check mark against me, we went back to the office and I watched her shoulders slump a bit as she was faced with another three hours' duty behind the counter.

Hats off to our little hamlet southwest of Fort Worth for understanding that us gray-haired old folks who voluntarily submit ourselves to this minor ordeal are by nature cautious, conservative, courteous and forever vigilant when it comes to our own safety and that of our loved ones. It sounds like other offices need to step back and look at the larger picture.
Wish it was still the case, but while one can still take the written test in Granbury, I have to go to Weatherford or Waxahachie for the driving portion. Oh well...hope I pass so I can drive home legally!
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:00 PM   #13
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Check this out about driving a big rig & no CDL

I was discussing with my coworkers here in Texas about this same lic. issue. One of the guys that rodeos a lot says..... His buddy's that pull big horse trailers with semi tractors don't have to get the non commercial cld. They simply put a decal on the tractor that say's " RV,not for hire". Now these big fifth wheel horse trailers have living quarters in them but the tractor is still way over the 26,000lb GVWR.
So can we just put a decal on our RV's stating "RV, not for hire" and be legal for our owne personal use?
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:33 PM   #14
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Texans Beware! Class B Drivers License

Mikee the short answer is no, and neither can his buddy. Any single vehicle in excess of 26k or trailer in excess of 10 must have a non commercial B or A if a trailer and the license is issued in Texas. Other states do have different requirements.
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