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Old 11-06-2014, 11:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by L.C.Gray View Post
A long distance straight line back up and parallel parking were part of the CDL test when I took it in 1995. As far as I know they still are.

If you touched the curb during the parallel parking it was considered an accident and -31 points triggering a failure. The smart guys would only make a half hearted attempt at it staying far from the curb and take -5 and go on rather than risk failing.

I was told before the test by my CDL friend that had to accompany me to the road test...."Don't hit a curb when you are backing or turning a corner, it's an automatic fail". I actually got within 6 inches or so of the curb during the parallel park. I had a few deductions but passed.

The test administrator told me before we started we will use the same road tests as administered for a car but your won't have to do a 3 point turn....lol. I couldn't picture doing that unless we were in a half empty Walmart parking lot.

I do think (as well as many of my friends who have CDL's) that it is good we are tested when hauling something this large. It really isn't about money (at least in NY) because they only charge $10 and that would cover up to 2 road tests. NY isn't making a dime at that price.

I am betting as time goes on more and more states will be requiring some sort of endorsement for us.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:27 AM   #16
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I also live in Ny and have went thru several license upgrades, ending in an Commercial CDL and I have endorsments to drive anything on the road, (and have drove most) ALL my road tests have included parallel parking. And one co that I worked at included it before they hired.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:45 AM   #17
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kimbashaw; being from NY, yes I'm aware of this requirement, and you were right in that the law doesn't differentiate between MH's, 5th Wheels, etc. It's any unit/combination that's 23,000 lbs or over. I'm willing to bet that at least 30% of NY'ers with units over 23000 are NOT licensed properly. When we bought our MH (GVW 34000) the dealer straight up said they didn't care if I was licensed properly or not, that that was my problem not there's.
Hi D Lindy.......,did you mean 26,000#
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:05 AM   #18
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Apparently most states have a law if the combined Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings for your tow vehicle and fifth wheel exceeds 26000 Lbs you must have an R endorsement to legally be on the road.
kimbashaw
That may be true of NY and many other states, but that's NOT true for Wisconsin.
An ordinary Wisconsin drivers license is all that is required to legal drive, (or tow), ANY non-commercial/personal RV in Wisconsin...(and/or in ALL other states ...and in Canada).
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Old 11-08-2014, 09:28 AM   #19
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In California the weight is 15,000 for the trailer, then an endorsement is needed. A simple written test is what is required.

If over 15,000 lbs. a Non-Commercial license is needed.

It is about the money... If your in an accident and the officer determines you are not properly licensed or qualified it could be costly for you...
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:03 AM   #20
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Texas has Class A, B, and C non CDL licenses that follow the same weight guidelines as the Federal standard for CDL. 26K is the gross and 10K is the trailer breaking points. Larger Class A MH's need a B, and larger 5th wheels require an A. Air brakes is a restriction designated by code "L", not an endorsement, and only applies to CDL's.
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Old 11-08-2014, 11:43 AM   #21
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Air brakes is a restriction designated by code "L", not an endorsement.
That's a concept I have had a hard time getting across to people.....

An endorsement says "you can", a restriction says "you can't".

When I built a toter truck out of a class 8 Volvo, I purposely kept it under 26k to where anyone with regular license could drive it. People tried to tell me "no that's a CDL vehicle because it has air brakes". I explained to them there's no such thing as a air brake endorsement, but there is such a thing as an airbrake restriction, therefore, anyone can operate it, unless they have an air brake restriction.

That's another thing, people have a hard time understanding that there's more than just 2 licenses out there, CDL and not a CDL. Drivers licenses come in more than just 2 flavors...
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Old 11-08-2014, 12:53 PM   #22
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It is about the money... If your in an accident and the officer determines you are not properly licensed or qualified it could be costly for you...
If you are in an accident, I don't think license type is going to determine your end of the cost. Fault will remain with who caused it. Some of the most aggressive drivers on the road are those with commercial DLs. A lot of not-so-bright RV drivers out there too though. I was taking pics on the side of the road on HwY 101 yesterday in N. CAL, a FW towing Rver comes screaming around the corner! FW leaning into the turn, tires screeching the turn. Same with the Semi drivers. Speed limit was 55 mph around a fairly sharp turn and down a hill. Duh. Maybe that limit is meant for cars and not trailers? Ya think?

When I'm pulling my FW, I take plenty of time to account for wide turns, slowing down and followings speed limit changes, and keeping a huge gap of distance for the cars in front of me.

Two days ago a kid (maybe 4 yrs old) jumped out of a parked minivan right into traffic in a small Coastal Oregon town. I was doing 10 mph UNDER the speed limit, because it was a small town. Had I been going any faster, it wouldn't have been a good situation. But his parents would have shared most of the blame for allowing him to egress the van on the traffic side of the street, then run into the middle of the street!!! I've been there with my own kids trying to keep control of them when they were little but why they allowed the street side of the sliding doors to be opened is beyond me. I have never allowed that, and still don't with my kids to this day. Point is, nothing wrong with driving a little slow and no license requirement is going to instill that commons sense.
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Old 11-08-2014, 03:34 PM   #23
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Hi LC, Here in NY there IS an endorsment for air brakes, I have a class A CDL, my wife has a CDL class B and she has an endorsment for air brakes.
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Old 11-08-2014, 07:28 PM   #24
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Hi LC, Here in NY there IS an endorsment for air brakes, I have a class A CDL, my wife has a CDL class B and she has an endorsment for air brakes.
All over there is an endorsement for air brakes. There is a difference between a RESTRICTION and an ENDORSEMENT. That is what LC was saying.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:08 AM   #25
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Have to take the written test for the endorsement here in California too. I actually discovered this online several years ago and told my husband...35 years as a LAPD officer, and he had no idea it existed!! He went to the DMV to take the test and THEY didn't even know about it..finally someone figured it out, they didn't have the test and had to get it faxed down from Sacramento! Highway Patrol is probably more aware of it here. I still need to take the test myself, so I can take over driving sometimes...we currently have a 38' fiver, and are upgrading to a 40'. If you get in an accident, and it's your fault, better have the endorsement because it's one more thing they'll cite you for.
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Old 11-09-2014, 12:48 AM   #26
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Glad you passed, but I don't see a problem with asking a driver to parallel park. If you can't manage that trick you better never try to get into an odd campsite, or have to back out of a tight gas station, etc. In other words, if they can't maneuver it, better stay in the driveway. And I have been in many situations with a 40' fifth wheel where I had to do the equivalent of a parallel park.

When I did my cdl class B back in the 90's, parallel parking was part of the deal. Had to put it in a space 10' longer than the rig. Lose a point every time you pull up. Plus backing it in a zig zag through cones spaced 10' longer than the rig. Plus back in an alley dock and stop within a foot of the end. Plus a 3 point turn. Plus a bunch more. Not everything in the real world is a straight back with a spotter. However I did a cdl class a upgrade 2 years ago and there was not nearly as much maneuvering as the first time around. Probably had to relax the test so the dimwits straight out of truck driving school could pass.

I guess my long winded comment is that as a professional driver that also tows fifth wheel camper, it appalls me that in most states anybody can hop in a 45' 30000# air brake pusher diesel, or hook to a 48' fifth wheel trailer and just tear down the road with no experience or testing whatsoever. And I've seen enough bonehead moves out there by my fellow RVers to know some them have no business being in the rig they are in.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:50 AM   #27
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I live in ny state. back in the late sixties I had to parallel park a tractor trailer during a road test, back then they were called chauffer licenses. I also talked to a dot inspector and was told in ny you can drive a class a motorhome with regular operator license. so im a bit confused on the op mentioning an r endorsement, what is that anyways
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Old 11-09-2014, 07:01 AM   #28
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I live in ny state. back in the late sixties I had to parallel park a tractor trailer during a road test, back then they were called chauffer licenses. I also talked to a dot inspector and was told in ny you can drive a class a motorhome with regular operator license. so im a bit confused on the op mentioning an r endorsement, what is that anyways
Read the top of this page RV Driver's License Requirements then scroll down the page and find your state, it will tell you what each require. If you want to go to a specific state to read the state laws, there is a DMV tab to click on in each state listed....
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