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Old 07-27-2010, 10:24 AM   #1
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PA Drivers License Non-Comercial "B" Test

FWIW I have just completed a real "Goat Rope" getting my PA Drivers License upgraded, because my rig weighs more than 26,001 pounds. I have spoken, by PM, with others that were tested in PA and their performance requirements were different. Strict compliance to the following Air Brake Test was required from memory. I copied this off the internet.

PennDOT air Brake Test

- With the engine running, build the air pressure to governed cut-out (typically 100-125 psi).
Shut off the engine. Turn on the key but do not start the engine, chock your wheels, if necessary, release the parking brake(s). Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more than two (2) psi in one minute for single
- Then, fully apply pressure to the foot brake and hold for one (1) minute. Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more than three (3) psi in one (1) minute for single . If the air loss is greater, check for leaks and fix before driving the vehicle. You could lose your brakes while driving.
- Begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly applying and releasing the foot brake. Low air warning devices (buzzer, light, flag) should activate before air pressure drops below 60 PSI.
- Continue to fan off the air pressure. At approximately 40 PSI to 20 PSI the parking brake valve should close (pop out).
- Check rate of air pressure buildup. When the engine is at operating RPM, the pressure should build from 85 to 100 psi within 45 seconds.


No walk-around was preformed. No questions about the rig. Performed the Air Brake Test followed by a complete light function test on the outside, then a 15 minute driving test on all the local roads. No parallel parking and no backing up!

My test was not the same as others I have spoken with. It took 5 weeks to get the appointment and the appointment was 5 weeks after that.
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Old 07-27-2010, 01:39 PM   #2
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Similar to my test. Except I did have to parallel park. However, living up here in the sticks an appointment wasn't a big issue. The proctor said I was the fourth or fifth person he'd tested for Class B Non Commercial in the last two years.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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Congratulations on getting your license Flagelpater!

I have a Class A Commercial and as I recall (it's been many years now) that my pre-trip was quite extensive and I had to do some trick parking with an 18-wheeler, the road trip wasn't to bad though.
The air brake test you describe looks pretty much the same as the commercial test and it was very strict for me.
Since the actual test guys are third party examiners who get paid directly by the driver (they do here anyway), maybe he wanted to be somewhere else and was in a hurry?

At least you got them, so that is all behind you now.
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Old 07-28-2010, 02:50 PM   #4
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Thank you Phobos. Yes, I feel better having it in my wallet. Especially after over 80,000 miles in motorcoach for the last 7 years without it . PennDot took the position that I really did not need the upgrade "because we do not enforce it." No help if I get involved in an accident and someone has a sharp lawyer! Also, it would be nice if PennDot would spell out exactly what is required for the upgrade. They have some type of cryptic matrix, somewhere. I have Air Brakes but am Not Required to take the written Air Brakes test, but was required to take the practical part. Also, no mention, at all, on my license about being tested for Air Brakes. At least I no longer need to worry about providing for a starving lawyer while in our retirement!
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Old 07-28-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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FWIW After having said all that. I do realize it is the preparation for the test, and continued safe driving, that counts. If I demonstrated enough capacity, the examiner may have reduce the length of the test.
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:22 PM   #6
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Congratulations both on getting your upgrade and on the wise decision to do so.

It sounds very similar to my experience in Texas. Stories were all over the map. When time came, there was a brief light check and a drive around town to make sure I knew how the signals worked and that I could keep a 40 footer in my own lane. I was asked to back up in a straight line for about 100 feet but no real tricky stuff.

The written test (26 questions I believe) included a few on air brakes but they weren't mentioned during the driving test.

I think more of us could benefit from the prep work that goes into taking these tests as we still see quite a few posts from people driving rigs who don't really know much about how they work.
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Old 08-01-2010, 04:09 PM   #7
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Thank you RickO. I agree, although we do not want to discourage any questions from fellow RVers, a lot can be learned just from the Air Brake Test.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Time to resurrect this old post...
We are going for our Class A test in early April - We are located in the Lehigh Valley in PA. The test will be at the Allentown Driving Test site. Anyone else have experience going for the their Class A test? We will be driving a 45 ft MH with a 20 ft trailer.....
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #9
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Thanks for the brake procedure. I am taking my practical skills test in a week. I figured since the PA law is so ambiguous and you never can tell what you might want to drive I'd go for my class A cdl's with a passenger endorsement. That way I can drive a bus at Disney when I snow bird in Orlando after I retire.
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:33 PM   #10
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I saw in a different post you stated you were taking a written test? Now your taking your skills test?

and what are you using for a trailer if you are taking the Class A test?
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:58 AM   #11
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Fabman, passed the written tests on Friday. There is a place up in Kerwinsville, PA called Kip's Bus Center (814)236-1342. You can use their equipment to take the test. It is a box truck with a trailer (about 50' long overall I believe). They told me the box truck is an automatic. A few years ago when my friend used them for his Class A's, they had an old PennDot dump truck. Back in my early 20's I drove a Mack triaxle and a 30 ton EUC (in the quarry only) so I thought that would be comfortable.....but an auto should work great for a guy who gets test anxiety.

I could take it in my Dad's conventional Pete and 48' City, but I think it is right at 80' overall. Plus the trailer has an 11' spread so I would have to dump axels, etc, etc. Think I'll work up to that.
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Old 07-16-2016, 08:19 AM   #12
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Arrow

Hello all,
I realize this thread is a bit old, just thought someone might know what I should expect...LOL

I received my Class B Noncommercial permit about 18 months ago and was told I did not need a Class B licensed driver with me to drive, I even asked the lady at the Chambersburg office to double-check so she called her supervisor in Lancaster to confirm. Said I could renew*it as many times as I liked for $5 each time. Which I have done once.

So I really would like to take the test and stop wondering about my legality. Has anyone taken the test at the Chambersburg location? *I've scheduled my test for Saturday the 20th of August. I still need to find someone to go with me, and it would be nice to know what that particular test center requires. *

Thanks for all the info...
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:55 AM   #13
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It's hard to tell what they will expect but if you study for the commercial test you will be prepared. They can't ask for more than that.
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Old 10-07-2016, 01:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewE2 View Post
Hello all,

I received my Class B Noncommercial permit about 18 months ago and was told I did not need a Class B licensed driver with me to drive, *

Thanks for all the info...
================================================


This is an excerpt from PA Title 75, Chapter 15...

...(b) Learner must be accompanied.--A learner's permit entitles the person to whom it was issued to drive vehicles and combinations of vehicles of the class or classes specified, but only while the holder of the learner's permit is accompanied by and under the immediate supervision of a person who:
(1) is at least 21 years of age or, if the spouse of the learner's permit holder, is at least 18 years of age; or, if a parent, guardian or person in loco parentis of the learner's permit holder, is at least 18 years of age;
(2) is licensed to drive vehicles of the class then being driven by the holder of the learner's permit; and
(3) is actually occupying a seat beside the holder of the learner's permit unless the vehicle is a motorcycle.


I'm proceeding assuming the worst case scenario is true; ie, you need a licensed driver with you in order to drive and to take the test. Does anyone know (aside from the obvious suggestions; please spare us) how to go about finding someone who is licensed and can be available on the arbitrary date the DMV sets for the driving test? Also, what happens if you show up for the test without a licensed buddy?

Joe
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