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Old 11-10-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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School Bus Drivers License

Am thinking about obtaining a school bus drivers license to increase my value as a National Wildlife Refuge volunteer. I'm becoming confused. Anything I've read says I need a CDL with a Passenger and a School Bus endorsement. Does this mean I need to go to 18 wheeler school or is there an easier way?
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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please take no offense by my questions. you don't know about a cdl. how much experence have you had driving a large vehicle? not in years but in hours behind the wheel ? what you're wanting to do is take peoples lives in your hands. not having any other information, i'd suggest going to a certified school first. (i've had a commerical lic. since i was 18. i'm 61. i'm licensed to drive everything except hazmat and carring people, in california.) ( everything needs to be a reflex, not thinking, what do i do now). only a suggestion.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #3
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I'd suggest going to a school bus charter co. or even a local school district with their own fleet. They often offer training to increase their driver pool. They may charge you, but lots cheaper I'd imagine than a truck driver's school. Might even get a part-time job as a substitute driver. (how many trips do you have to accept to get the training free?)
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Every school bus company around here will help you or train you to get your license.
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wonderer1 View Post
please take no offense by my questions. you don't know about a cdl. how much experence have you had driving a large vehicle? not in years but in hours behind the wheel ? what you're wanting to do is take peoples lives in your hands. not having any other information, i'd suggest going to a certified school first.
Anything you drive, from 80,000 lb 18 wheeler to a bicycle is taking peoples' lives into your hands. Your own life and those you interact with on the road. The OP is trying to get certified so he can volunteer for NWR. Having known, worked as, and even helped fired one or two school bus drivers, they aren't doctors or judges. If people think they have such an important responsibility, why aren't they paid more?
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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I work in a school district and we do our own training courses for folks interested in working for us or anyone currently employed in any position. Even if you don't want to drive a standard schedule, we are ALWAYS in need of substitute drivers as well as field trip drivers. Field trips are generally easier because there is always at least one other adult on the bus and the driver is not expected to provide the level of behavior monitoring they are on a standard route.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdickson View Post
Am thinking about obtaining a school bus drivers license to increase my value as a National Wildlife Refuge volunteer. I'm becoming confused. Anything I've read says I need a CDL with a Passenger and a School Bus endorsement. Does this mean I need to go to 18 wheeler school or is there an easier way?
Check with both your state DMV and a local CDL school. You may get different answers. IN NY State, you can drive a passanger bus with no more than 15 seats with only a standard driver's license as long as you are not getting paid. I used to drive a Mercedes 12 passanger bus as a church shuttle, as well as Ford Econovan passanger vans.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:08 PM   #8
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How much experience does the O/P have driving a "Large Vehicle" ... Many Class A motor homes are LARGER than a school bus by at least six inches (Width) Length varies both with the class A and with the bus,, Many motor homes started life as school busses and/or are built on school bus chassis and in some cases even the original bus body.

And in many states this does not require a CDL

CDL. and in some states teh chauffer's license, Are not necessarly "18 wheeler" licenses, that's a CDL with an endorsement in many states. Called a "Class A (Or whatever) In some cases it might even have more endorsements, A-H-T for example.

Go to your driver's license place (In Michigan that is the Secretary of State branch office, many states call it the "Department of Motor Vehicles") Most of them have a book, In Michigan it is called "What every commercial driver must know"

That is your first step The book is free.

SUGGESTION To anyone who drives an RV

Get a copy of that book, Does not matter if your rig is Gas, Diesel or something else, Get a copy of that book, Much info in there, Keep it as a REFERENCE book.

Also get a set of DOT triangles, Just in cuss.. I have used mine like 4 times (Not once for my own ride) The book tells how to lay 'em out.

Now that you have read the proper way to lay 'em out you can have fun commenting on the increadable way the idiot with the lincense set his out (one of 'em dang near killed me it was that bad). Oh yes, I did read the book.
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:35 PM   #9
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You will need a Class B CDL. It's for large vehicles, but not with large trailers. You will need the Passenger endorsement. I don't see why the "School Bus" endorsement, but if that's what they want it's just another written test. Just to be sure you get what you need make sure to take the Air Brake test, and take the driving test in an air brake equipped bus.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdickson View Post
Am thinking about obtaining a school bus drivers license to increase my value as a National Wildlife Refuge volunteer. I'm becoming confused. Anything I've read says I need a CDL with a Passenger and a School Bus endorsement. Does this mean I need to go to 18 wheeler school or is there an easier way?
i have a CDL school bus license----maybe i can help you.

1st. don't go to a 18 wheeler place. go to a school district & ask to take
the test.
2nd. a school bus requires a class B license which is harder to get than
a class A license.

school district will probably charge you $100+ for test. you'll have
several written tests to pass, air brake test, your driving record
background checked, an every other year physical to pass, driving
test to pass, eye & hearing test, complete knowledge of school bus,
a passenger endorsement, drug test etc. etc.

failure to stop at a railroad---your disqualified (failed)

this is some of the things you'll go thru. i just trained a driver of 18
wheelers & couldn't believe how hard tests were.

if you drive for a school district like me, there's a yearly test from the
state to pass, random drug & alcohol tests.

school bus drivers are underpaid but i'm retired & it keeps me busy.
you couldn't make a living on it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:55 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by BFlinn181 View Post
Anything you drive, from 80,000 lb 18 wheeler to a bicycle is taking peoples' lives into your hands. Your own life and those you interact with on the road. The OP is trying to get certified so he can volunteer for NWR. Having known, worked as, and even helped fired one or two school bus drivers, they aren't doctors or judges. If people think they have such an important responsibility, why aren't they paid more?
i wish i had the answer for way we aren't paid more!!!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by two slides View Post

i wish i had the answer for why we aren't paid more!!!!
All of public education is under funded. I was in the game for 30+ years. The district I worked in only had 3 out of 10 homes with school age kids. Trying to get the other 7 homeowners to vote themselves a tax hike was a losing battle (Ohio has tax levies to approve school funding, the state chips in so little their funding was declared unconstitutional 15 years ago, but other than the ruling, nothing has changed.) Teachers are required to have an advanced degree and a license, but still don't have a phone on their desk. Like Rodney Dangerfield, we get no respect.

bdickson, good luck on getting certified to drive a bus, I admire your desire to volunteer.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaycocamprs
You will need a Class B CDL. It's for large vehicles, but not with large trailers. You will need the Passenger endorsement. I don't see why the "School Bus" endorsement, but if that's what they want it's just another written test. Just to be sure you get what you need make sure to take the Air Brake test, and take the driving test in an air brake equipped bus.
That sounds like what I need. The Ranger talks about a school bus license, but I now see that what he means is a license to drive a passenger bus with more an 15 passengers. I have NO intention of ever driving a big yellow bus full of yelling school kids. Other than possibly air brakes, the buses are about the length and width of a good sized Class C RV. Thanks to all who posted.
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