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Posted: 11/22/2012 9:07:19 AM EST
I'm going for my class a drivers license because I need to move some heavy equipment (non commercial application) using a five ton m900 truck. How hard is the test?

Thanks..
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 10:30:09 AM EST
Originally Posted By fadedsun:
I'm going for my class a drivers license because I need to move some heavy equipment (non commercial application) using a five ton m900 truck. How hard is the test?

Thanks..


Being a class "B" cdl driver, my best advise is, study the book, especially the pre-trip and air brakes sections. Study, study, study......
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 11:07:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/22/2012 11:17:31 AM EST by JBnTX]
Wouldn't it be cheaper to just hire a driver, especially if it's just a one time move?

A lot of people can't pass those tests without some type of professional instruction.
I drove an 18 wheeler for 13 years, and there's a lot to know other than just how to drive the truck.

Driving the truck for the examination is the easiest part, but as mentioned you've got the pre-trip inspection,
air brakes, road rules for big trucks, chain requirements for your heavy equipment, height and weight restrictions and a lot more.

Even if you pass the test and get the licence, one mistake on the road could result in thousands of dollars in fines.
Regulations for heavy trucks are complex and aggressively enforced.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 11:52:03 AM EST
I had a CDL for years but dropped it about 7 - 8 years back when the laws changed to effect laws and fines even when you are not driving a commercial vehicle.

IIRC, when you have a CDL, the blood alcohol level at which you can be charged with drunk driving a non-CDL vehicle is the same as if you were in a commercial vehicle.. 0.02 instead of 0.08. That means one drink, after work or with dinner, puts many people over the limit.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:14:25 PM EST
new rule requires you keep active medical card on file with state or they will cancel your cdl anyway, if your not driving it isn't worth the hassle and expense to keep it anymore
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 12:26:29 PM EST
I'm not going for a CDL. I'm going for a Class A Drivers license.

Comments still remain the same?
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 4:32:44 PM EST
There really isn't a non commercial class A anymore as far as I know. As for the CDL, unless you have a drinking / speeding problem I don't reall see any drawback or notable expense to maintaining a CDL even if you don't drive commercially.

As far as getting it goes in Texas:

- Get a copy of "Bumper to Bumper the complete guide to tractor trailer operations" and read it until you understand it.
- Go to DPS office and take the writen (computer) tests. Make sure they give you all the tests in one sitting (~8 if you do everything but the passenger and school bus).
- Get your test results and your CDL learner's permit.
- Schedule with one of the "Rent our truck for your CDL test" places for a date to take the road test.
- Meet the truck rental folks early AM and drive the truck through the DPS road course with their driver instructing you.
- Wait in line at the DPS office to get a DPS inspector.
- Drive the road test with the DPS inspector.
- Wait in line at the DPS office to finish paperwork and get paper temp CDL. Get forms for the hazmat endorsement.
- Get DOT physical (Concetra, CVS Minute Clinic, etc.) and send paperwork off to DPS.
- Schedule for fingerprints for the hazmat endorsement.
- Recieve CDL wo/ Hazmat in the mail.
- Receive letters from TSA and DPS indicating hazmat approval.
- Receive updated CDL w/ hazmat in the mail.

Around $850 or so end to end to get licensed for pretty much anything (class A, double, tripple trailer, tanker, hazmat).

Link Posted: 11/22/2012 5:08:03 PM EST

Originally Posted By wp6529:
There really isn't a non commercial class A anymore as far as I know. As for the CDL, unless you have a drinking / speeding problem I don't reall see any drawback or notable expense to maintaining a CDL even if you don't drive commercially.

As far as getting it goes in Texas:

- Get a copy of "Bumper to Bumper the complete guide to tractor trailer operations" and read it until you understand it.
- Go to DPS office and take the writen (computer) tests. Make sure they give you all the tests in one sitting (~8 if you do everything but the passenger and school bus).
- Get your test results and your CDL learner's permit.
- Schedule with one of the "Rent our truck for your CDL test" places for a date to take the road test.
- Meet the truck rental folks early AM and drive the truck through the DPS road course with their driver instructing you.
- Wait in line at the DPS office to get a DPS inspector.
- Drive the road test with the DPS inspector.
- Wait in line at the DPS office to finish paperwork and get paper temp CDL. Get forms for the hazmat endorsement.
- Get DOT physical (Concetra, CVS Minute Clinic, etc.) and send paperwork off to DPS.
- Schedule for fingerprints for the hazmat endorsement.
- Recieve CDL wo/ Hazmat in the mail.
- Receive letters from TSA and DPS indicating hazmat approval.
- Receive updated CDL w/ hazmat in the mail.

Around $850 or so end to end to get licensed for pretty much anything (class A, double, tripple trailer, tanker, hazmat).


After reading that I'm glad I dropped mine a few years ago. Mine was grandfathered from the late 70's and I was renewing it up to the point where you had to retest every renewal for hazmat. When the company I work for got rid of all of our big rigs I dropped it. Don't think I could afford to keep one now.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 10:07:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By wp6529:
There really isn't a non commercial class A anymore as far as I know.



There are still the class "A" and "B" "Exempts" for firefighters and R.V. owners, AFAIK. I know for sure though about the class "B" "Exempt" for firefighters is still in effect, as of a year and a half ago...
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 3:50:20 AM EST
Originally Posted By Blade_Runner79:
Originally Posted By wp6529:
There really isn't a non commercial class A anymore as far as I know.



There are still the class "A" and "B" "Exempts" for firefighters and R.V. owners, AFAIK. I know for sure though about the class "B" "Exempt" for firefighters is still in effect, as of a year and a half ago...


But it's still a CDL, and the vehicle and/or vehicle use is exempt from some of the CMV regulations.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 1:30:24 PM EST
Originally Posted By wp6529:
Originally Posted By Blade_Runner79:
Originally Posted By wp6529:
There really isn't a non commercial class A anymore as far as I know.



There are still the class "A" and "B" "Exempts" for firefighters and R.V. owners, AFAIK. I know for sure though about the class "B" "Exempt" for firefighters is still in effect, as of a year and a half ago...


But it's still a CDL, and the vehicle and/or vehicle use is exempt from some of the CMV regulations.


Wrong again, bud....


Here's the form..
Read the prologue.....
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 2:01:51 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/23/2012 2:03:05 PM EST by wp6529]
Originally Posted By Blade_Runner79:
Originally Posted By wp6529:
Originally Posted By Blade_Runner79:
Originally Posted By wp6529:
There really isn't a non commercial class A anymore as far as I know.



There are still the class "A" and "B" "Exempts" for firefighters and R.V. owners, AFAIK. I know for sure though about the class "B" "Exempt" for firefighters is still in effect, as of a year and a half ago...


But it's still a CDL, and the vehicle and/or vehicle use is exempt from some of the CMV regulations.


Wrong again, bud....


Here's the form..
Read the prologue.....


Not clear which of those very limited exemptions the OP would fall under. It doesn't sound like the truck the OP mentioned will fall under the definition of recreational vehicle unless it's been built into a camper. If he's going interstate then he'll have even more obstacles.
Link Posted: 11/23/2012 2:15:20 PM EST
My best advise O.P., would be to call your local DPS office, and see what they say...
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