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Old 05-08-2013, 08:05 PM   #15
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NYS Road Test - Completed

So, in NYS you do need to have an 'R' endorsement for MH with GVWR greater than 26,000#.

I completed the Road Test this afternoon in Albany, NY. The test took 25 minutes and started where they perform the auto road tests - not where they perform the bus and truck exams!

The streets were narrow with cars parked along the curbs. We proceeded on to a wider street and took several turns on to multiple back streets. Then arrived where the truck exams are started. Here I was asked to pull along side a curb; then position for a parallel parking; then pulled out and asked to backup straight for 50'. Then more driving and some maneuvering around vehicles turns on and off differing width and marked roads.

I was not asked about the air brakes, although he did want assurance the air pressure was above 90#s so, requested I move forward, stop and acknowledge air pressure. I did offer knowledge of the air system, alarm points and PB activation - but he did not request the information.

There was no pre-inspection, although he did state it is required for the CDL, as was the air brake tests and knowledge. I was not required to call out non-marked bridge heights but, was asked the height of the MH.

The examiner was the only one available who had knowledge of administering the MH road test. He said they only do about 10 MH exams a year in Albany. The examiner was through and professional.

I did pass without loosing any points - but have a whole more to learn about this MH thing. Thank you to all who provided information for me.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:16 PM   #16
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John, Congratulations on passing your exam. Sounds like your examiner made you do more maneuvers than mine did, like backing up. I only had to pull along a curb. I also did the exam on the car route, not a truck route.

My advice to others is that if the examiner asks you a specific question, answer it, but don't offer any more information than what you are asked. There is no requirement on the 'R' endorsement in NYS to demonstrate knowledge of how the air brakes work, other than a basic understanding of the sytem. A potential wrong answer might just get the ire up of the inspector, and ask you to do more maneuvers than he might otherwise. I would recommend knowing your air brake system, such as psi requirements, etc., in case you are asked.

Lots of folks driving diesel pushers are new to driving such a large and complex rig. I highly recommend you get comfortable with your coach, possibly including professional driving lessons, for your safety and the safety of others, including knowing how the chassis and air brakes system works. But you don't have to make the 'R' test any harder than it has to be.

I have over 10 years experiences driving a DP. I guess it was time to get my 'R' endorsement.
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Old 05-12-2013, 01:14 PM   #17
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Good thing your not taking your " Non-Commercial Class B " test in Maryland. You are required to do a full and complete vehicle pre-trip inspection that includes identifying all the dash indicator lights, checking seat belt operation, inspecting windshield wiper insert condition, having operable fire extinguisher, fuses, warning triangles/flares etc. The list of things to be checked is two full single spaced pages!! Then there is the air brake test. If you miss three things on the pre-trip or get anything out of sequence on the air brake test you fail. You have to make another appointment which are scheduled two months in advance, and drag your " supervising driver (class B or CDL)" with you again.

I spoke with a State Police Sargent, about the test procedures and he just shook his head. He said he was unaware any motorhome required a special drivers license and he estimated that probably only one in four drivers who were required to have them actually did!!!
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:09 PM   #18
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I spoke with a State Police Sargent, about the test procedures and he just shook his head. He said he was unaware any motorhome required a special drivers license and he estimated that probably only one in four drivers who were required to have them actually did!!!
I would bet this is true for almost all states that require a special RV driver's license. However I'd also be willing bet that all personal injury lawyers in those states are well aware of the license requirements.

Like the saying goes from an old TV show, "Let's be careful out there".
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Old 05-12-2013, 03:58 PM   #19
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Good thing your not taking your " Non-Commercial Class B " test in Maryland. You are required to do a full and complete vehicle pre-trip inspection that includes identifying all the dash indicator lights, checking seat belt operation, inspecting windshield wiper insert condition, having operable fire extinguisher, fuses, warning triangles/flares etc. The list of things to be checked is two full single spaced pages!! Then there is the air brake test. If you miss three things on the pre-trip or get anything out of sequence on the air brake test you fail. You have to make another appointment which are scheduled two months in advance, and drag your " supervising driver (class B or CDL)" with you again.
Same procedure in Pa. We then had to drive the full CDL road course. They had a trick turn that sent you down a road with a commercial vehicle weight limit. When the tester was asking if I had seen the sign and was about to tell me why I failed, I reminded him that we were not in a commercial vehicle. He said I was correct, chuckled and his attitude changed back to a regular guy.

PennDot was so clueless about Class B non commercial licensing that I had to get our state representative to get the permit processed. It then took the supervisor at the testing station an hour on the phone with Harrisburg to even figure out what test and paperwork to give us.

We also had to get a person with a class B or higher ride along with us.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:41 PM   #20
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John,

Was the confusion with the "R" endorsement or the registration of the MH? I am registered, no problem, but am thinking of getting the endorsement (for all those reasons). My issue is the same as your's, not sure who would go with me to the DMV for the road test. I understand it could be someone with "C" license also, is that what you understand? It may be esier to find a C than an R endorsement to ride along.

Dan,

The registration was also a test of patients as it took (3) trips to the DMV to get everything correct and for the supervisor and County Clerk to understand what was needed.

But in this Posting I was referring to the "R" endorsement. And yes a "CDL" for whoever is accompanying is just fine. If you pass the examiner will let you drive away otherwise your CDL person will need to drive.

The story didn't end there, however, when I returned to the DMV with my stamped and signed permit to get my new license - it did not go smoothly. The clerk couldn't process the license so she got her supervisor who also didn't know the process. Together and with my insistance based on information from the examiner I walk out eventually with a temporary license but the endorsement not printed on the paper license - they said it will be on my "new" license when it is mailed to me. I kept paper work proving i completed the test, despite them wanting everything because my confidence that my new license will be correct is - low.

But, should anything happen I have sufficient documentation.
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Old 05-12-2013, 04:59 PM   #21
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John, Congratulations on passing your exam. Sounds like your examiner made you do more maneuvers than mine did, like backing up. I only had to pull along a curb. I also did the exam on the car route, not a truck route.

My advice to others is that if the examiner asks you a specific question, answer it, but don't offer any more information than what you are asked. There is no requirement on the 'R' endorsement in NYS to demonstrate knowledge of how the air brakes work, other than a basic understanding of the sytem. A potential wrong answer might just get the ire up of the inspector, and ask you to do more maneuvers than he might otherwise. I would recommend knowing your air brake system, such as psi requirements, etc., in case you are asked.

Lots of folks driving diesel pushers are new to driving such a large and complex rig. I highly recommend you get comfortable with your coach, possibly including professional driving lessons, for your safety and the safety of others, including knowing how the chassis and air brakes system works. But you don't have to make the 'R' test any harder than it has to be.

I have over 10 years experiences driving a DP. I guess it was time to get my 'R' endorsement.

Everything you say is so very true. Just answer the question. I did offer a little more that I was very confident of. And to your point - I hired an instructor from a local CDL school for (3) hours of training. Even though he didn't know a MH from a sail boat he sure knew trucks and the exam process, so I went very well prepared. I also had a friend with a CDL accompany me on my very first drive to an empty parking lot for 2 hours of close quarter maneuvers.

These DPs are a lot to understand if you have no previous MH experience. Aside from driving there are systems and technical "things" you need to know about. If everything worked perfectly and everyone drove well it wouldn't be such a concern BUT we all know it will break and someone will do something stupid when driving.

I have gone thru this process for my first ocean sail boat, then glider pilot license, then motor cycle license, then first ocean power boat and now the MH - ALL I took time to have training the read prolifically on the subject. This forum has been more help to me than any previous book or course - it complies many years of many experienced people - read and learn and enjoy the lifestyle.

My wife and I are now sitting in the overflow parking lot at Newmar for a couple weeks of service starting Monday morning. We took 2 days to drive the 740 miles, but everything went well thanks to many people contributing their experiences with MH on this Site. This trip was our very first trip and with dingy in tow...
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:10 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by lllkrob View Post
Good thing your not taking your " Non-Commercial Class B " test in Maryland. You are required to do a full and complete vehicle pre-trip inspection that includes identifying all the dash indicator lights, checking seat belt operation, inspecting windshield wiper insert condition, having operable fire extinguisher, fuses, warning triangles/flares etc. The list of things to be checked is two full single spaced pages!! Then there is the air brake test. If you miss three things on the pre-trip or get anything out of sequence on the air brake test you fail. You have to make another appointment which are scheduled two months in advance, and drag your " supervising driver (class B or CDL)" with you again.

I spoke with a State Police Sargent, about the test procedures and he just shook his head. He said he was unaware any motorhome required a special drivers license and he estimated that probably only one in four drivers who were required to have them actually did!!!

The examiner I had was clear with me what he wasn't going to require but, I had come prepared for everything you mentioned including the the 2 brake test sequences because that is what my CDL instructor had prepared me for because he didn't know anything other than the CDL exams - 15 years as an instructor.

I would imagine there are quite a few DP drivers who haven't taken the time to get appropriate State licensing despite they know very well how to operate a DP. The State representatives sure are not aware of specific State legislation. Maryland has a through MH license requirement on the books - what everyone will need to learn sooner or later.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:43 PM   #23
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Same procedure in Pa. We then had to drive the full CDL road course. They had a trick turn that sent you down a road with a commercial vehicle weight limit. When the tester was asking if I had seen the sign and was about to tell me why I failed, I reminded him that we were not in a commercial vehicle. He said I was correct, chuckled and his attitude changed back to a regular guy.

PennDot was so clueless about Class B non commercial licensing that I had to get our state representative to get the permit processed. It then took the supervisor at the testing station an hour on the phone with Harrisburg to even figure out what test and paperwork to give us.

We also had to get a person with a class B or higher ride along with us.

Sounds like your examiner took the law seriously but you were prepared.

I really had to chuckle when you described what you had to go thru to find someone in a State capacity who knew what was required. One would expect that in a capacity of a DMV management at least they would understand the law. Sounds like the efficiency is not isolated to just a couple States.

As someone wrote - even if the State workers don't know the licensing requirements for MH in certain States - if it comes to a legal proceeding or insurance case - attorneys will conveniently find the State laws.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:19 AM   #24
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NC state troopers and weigh station cops are also experts on out of state laws. I became $935 poorer because of their education.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:47 PM   #25
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NC state troopers and weigh station cops are also experts on out of state laws. I became $935 poorer because of their education.
Interesting. It's my understanding that a motorhome is not required to stop at any weigh stations, since the coach is licensed as a passenger vehicle. I would never stop at a weigh station unless I was instructed to do so by a police officer. Cause if you do stop, and they do weigh you, and you are overweight, they MUST write you a ticket.

I had this specific conversation with a high-level sheriff deputy in our county, who is also a motorhome owner. I suggested to him this is a good way to get your coach weighed. He said 'yes it is, but beware the consequence'.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:37 PM   #26
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Just took my road test for the "R" endorsement today in Syracuse. The start is in the upper parking lot across from the State Fair Grounds. There was no pre-inspection as this is not a CDL. First issue was with my ride along driver who only has a CDL B license. I was told by the office that a B was good enough, but the examiner said no - that a CDL A was required. The examiner talked to the same guy at the office and let me take the test anyway but others may not be so lucky. The test was mostly just driving on interstate 690 and local streets near the Carousel mall. I was required to parallel park (the office warned me about this) which went OK, not great. I was about 2 feet from the curb, but got a passing grade anyway. The biggest challenge was a very tight right hand turn onto a small street. Prior to the test, one of the other drivers warned me that crossing into on coming traffic to swing a turn was automatic failure. I tried to make the right without crossing the yellow line but the trailer tires hit the curb. I stopped, waited for traffic to clear, backed up and swung wide enough to make the turn. After the turn I asked if the tractor-trailers could make that corner. Examiner told me that hitting the curb was not a failure, that the tractor trailers almost never make the turn and the purpose was to see that I was aware that I was going to run over the curb and to take the right actions. In hind sight, I should have waited for all on-coming traffic to clear and swung wide enough to make the turn in the first time.
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:49 AM   #27
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Interesting. It's my understanding that a motorhome is not required to stop at any weigh stations, since the coach is licensed as a passenger vehicle. I would never stop at a weigh station unless I was instructed to do so by a police officer. Cause if you do stop, and they do weigh you, and you are overweight, they MUST write you a ticket.

I had this specific conversation with a high-level sheriff deputy in our county, who is also a motorhome owner. I suggested to him this is a good way to get your coach weighed. He said 'yes it is, but beware the consequence'.
Sorry to confuse anyone. I should have said it was not with a motorhome. It was with a crew cab truck pulling a 5th wheel race trailer. We never stopped at scales either. The cop pulled us over and made us go in. Nothing was over weight but the truck did not have an in combination registration. I and no one at PennDot or the Pa. State police or the trailer mfg. knew anything of it. The cheap shot NC weigh station cop did. Welcome to NC. I got an 11,000 lb over weight fine. Had to pay cash on the spot or it did not move.

Anyone pulling a heavy 5th wheel camper would be in the same boat when the cops start generating revenue off the RV community.
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