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Old 04-05-2012, 06:27 PM   #15
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Its not that we need more rules but it would be nice that the Feds would stiffen up and take over from the states so that all the rules were the same. I was hauling a 46' boat behind a Freightliner FL60 crew cab for a friend when we got pulled over by the Ok. Corporation Commission DOT first he wanted CDL (dont have one) then log book (dont have one) then fuel tax stamp (don't have one) then wheres my DOT number (don't have one) then he finally wised up that I wasn't for hire. So we went from tickets to a warning on to call each state that I was going to go through and see what there rules were. At the last he said he didn't like calling other states because the first thing they ask you on the phone was press 1 for english or 2 for spanish and that there shouldn't be any damn spanish its America and if your here you should have to speak english. He checked tags also of course the Fl60 had a used dealer tag and he didn't like that but that everyone does it then wanted to know where bill of sale for boat was and why it was a Florida boat on a New York trailer. When all was said and done he let me go with nothing 2 hours later. The only thing he didn't check was the only thing he could have gotten me for and that was over width it was 9.5 feet and the limit is 8.5
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:34 PM   #16
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And the driver was 17 years old .why?
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:38 PM   #17
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We drove by this accident about two hours after it happened. Traffic was very slow and the left lane was open with traffic moving about 10 mph. There were a ton of emergency vehicles there so I couldn't see the pavement for skid marks but I could see the guard rail and concrete bridge railing. The metal guard had damage from the beginning all the way to the concrete railing. The metal was not mangled like you see from some impacts but appeared the vehicle "skated" up it as it rose from ground level to the height of the bridge railing. There was some damage to the first 2 or 3 feet of the concrete railing. There appeared to be some fuel/oil spill where the damage stopped. The crashed vehicles could not be seen and fell, according to news reports, 30 feet or so. The impact point is in the middle of a reverse "S", ie, the roadway crests a hill and curves right descending to the bridge, rising and then curving left. The wind was moderate with some gusts but not bad (we were in a Class A with toad).

(from local news reports and film) The crashed vehicle was a Freightliner box truck that had been adapted for living quarters and transport. It was towing a triple axle trailer. All of the occupants were members of an extended family and 16 of them were in the "box". I have not heard or read whether there were any seat belts in the back or not however according to the Kansas Highway Patrol none of the passengers in the box "wore restraints". The driver was 17 yoa and his license allowed him to drive this vehicle [and I quote local news] as long as passengers wore seat belts if installed.

You can visit "kansascity.com" and in the search box enter '5 killed 13 injured'.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #18
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A commercial driver has to pass a cdl test to drive the big rigs. Part of that is a in depth air brake course and learning to deal with and stop heavy vehicles. Take someone that has never driven anything bigger than an suv and put them in a 30,000 pound and most likely alot more weight rv, with air brakes is dangerous. Some people here will say that is a stupid comment but air brake systems are a complex system and people should have a basic knowledge of how they work. Lots of people buy a coach and jump in and drive them away and everything is fine. I have seen posts where people complain about their air brakes don't hold like they should, and they did not realize that they have to be adjusted periodically. You have to have a basic idea how a car works to get a licence to drive, why would heavy rv's be different, especially air brake equipped ones. The same applies to trailer towing, I would say most accidents that happen there are inexperience.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #19
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Our 18 year-old granddaughter is studying at the University of Montana. She recently had a weekend get-together on "Job Skills'. She expected it to cover resume writing, interview techniques, etc.

She was surprised when the class included learning to drive a stick-shift F450, backing a 35' horse trailer with said F450, learning how to trap wolves without injuring them and how to track wildlife that had been fitted with radio collars, using those antenna arrays that you see on wildlife shows!

Admittedly, she is studying for a Wildlife Management degree, but it isn't what you'd normally expect a "job skills" class to cover.

So, yeah, rural residents often get good skills in driving big things at a relatively early age.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickest1 View Post
A commercial driver has to pass a cdl test to drive the big rigs. Part of that is a in depth air brake course and learning to deal with and stop heavy vehicles. Take someone that has never driven anything bigger than an suv and put them in a 30,000 pound and most likely alot more weight rv, with air brakes is dangerous. Some people here will say that is a stupid comment but air brake systems are a complex system and people should have a basic knowledge of how they work. Why? I just want to use them, not fix them. Lots of people buy a coach and jump in and drive them away and everything is fine. I have seen posts where people complain about their air brakes don't hold like they should, and they did not realize that they have to be adjusted periodically. That's true with all brakes. would heavy rv's be different, especially air brake equipped ones. You have to have a basic idea how a car works to get a licence to drive, The same applies to trailer towing, I would say most accidents that happen there are inexperience.
I don't know that there is a major correlation in needing to know how something works in order to be competent in using it. I really don't know much about how the electricity in my house works, but I do know how to turn the lights and applicances that use it on and off.
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Old 04-06-2012, 07:56 AM   #21
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I'd have to check to be sure, but I believe operating a vehicle with more than 9 passengers requires a Class A, regardless of weight, in my state at least.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #22
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It does help to know how air brakes work to use them.
My brother in-law can attest to that while training emergency response personnel on a rescue truck. Despite the fact that the new driver knew the mechanics behind air brakes, she did not remember when presented with a quick stop until after she applied additional pressure to the brakes when they did not react as fast as standard hydraulic brakes. It was interesting to watch. We also use to take the trainees to a location where they could drive as if in an emergency situation, as of course in those cases you and everything else acts differently.
As to farm driving, I was driving grain trucks when I was 12, was legal as long as it was off of the 'hard top', also a multitude of tractors and combine harvesters.
Never did learn a split shift gearbox as we did not have tractor trailers.
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:39 AM   #23
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This tragic accident that claimed all of those precious lives could have been prevented by using some common sense.

First, this was NOT a RV by any stretch of your imagination. This vehicle was a flatbed Freightliner truck with an enclosed two seat cab. The "box" in the back was a homemade coffin sitting on top of the flatbed. The whole thing was put together as if you were building an addition onto a stick house. Plus the "box" didn't even stay attached to the flatbed when it went over into the ravine.

A RV would have had a superstructure along with access between the house and the cab, no such thing.

Then to top it off, you have a 17 year old at the wheel with a triple axle trailer behind the Freightliner coffin truck.

This was an accident waiting to happen and it did. Unfortunately many lives were lost because of it. Fortunately it did NOT affect innocent driver's that were on the same road around them. Unfortunately, even if they had insurance, I don't believe they stand a chance of collecting one penny due to the circumstances around the age, ability and licensing of the driver.

Only my opinion.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #24
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Richard, where did you get your information. The picturers would indicate the unit was a Showhauler, ShowHauler Products.

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Old 04-06-2012, 12:51 PM   #25
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According to Business Week, (NTSB looking into Kan. RV crash that killed 5 - BusinessWeek) It was a "57,000 lb. vehicle" and "The Kansas Highway Patrol described the vehicle as a truck that had been set up with living quarters and was towing a trailer."

In another article from the AP, it was described as, "semi pulling a box trailer converted into a recreational vehicle when the 57,000-pound rig..." It was further described as, "Freightliner cab and Haulmark trailer" a neighbor described it as, "the box trailer was divided into two sections, with furnished living quarters in the forward end with a refrigerator, store,(SIC) TV, toilet, and a separate bedroom. Motorcycles and equipment were kept in back. As far as he knew, there were no seatbelts in the trailer."

Quite a bit different than most of the RV's we drive. The NTSB seems mainly interested in the driver's age and license restrictions. Minnesota legislators don't anticipate changing laws, considering this an anomaly.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #26
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I read 'Freightliner box truck' that was converted to a RV ...what ever that entails, and the NTSB mentioned a combined weight of 57,000 lbs. that included the large three axle Haulmark trailer. I did wondered why one of the adults were not driving and apparently, it requires a special license with the number of passengers on board. There was a 'loophole' in the law that somehow allowed the 17 year old teen to legally drive the rig...Holy Cow! Bob

Edit: If you click 'loophole', the article describes the combo a little better.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #27
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An acquaintance (model railroader) has a unit like this 'showhauler' and it has a fifth wheel on the back that he hauls a 40' trailer full of his toy trains to various large scale riding railroads. It is fully equipped as a Motorhome.

BTW rules are funny things and are written by bureaucrats who usually don't have a clue what they are doing. We have 'air care' requirements here in BC and although the cars have to be inspected and are required to pass, the gentleman responsible for the writing of the rules was an electrical engineer, made redundant in his department of the government, was transferred to DOT and then put in charge of writing the regs.

Not all laws are good laws.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:55 PM   #28
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We will have to wait for the review by NTSB to get answers then.
As for trusting the media..... I got home from a call (EMS) one night and caught the tail end of a news report. Not seeing the pictures only hearing the talking, I asked my wife where that happened because I was just on a call similar to that one. She stated that was the one I was on.
Let's just say that there were 2 factors in the story... they got one wrong, and they were there!
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