Commercial Driver License Manual Commercial - Driving

Maryland
Commercial
Driver License
Manual
(July 2014)
CDL Driver’s Manual
COPYRIGHT © 2005 AAMVA
All Rights reserved
This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration under Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH6197-X-00017. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations
expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily
reflect the view of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
COPYRIGHT © 2005 AAMVA. All rights reserved
This material has been created for and provided to State Driver License Agencies (SDLAs) by AAMVA for the
purpose of educating Driver License applicants (Commercial or Non-Commercial). Permission to reproduce,
use, distribute or sell this material has been granted to SDLAs only. No part of this book may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,
or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author /
publisher. Any unauthorized reprint, use, distribution or sale of this material is prohibited.
i
INFORMATION FOR THE COMMERCIAL DRIVER
FOREWORD
In 1986, the Congress of the United States passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act. This Act
requires the states to adopt uniform minimum licensing and testing standards for drivers of commercial
motor vehicles. By April 1, 1992, all drivers of commercial vehicles needed a Commercial Driver’s License.
Maryland’s Commercial Driver’s License Program became effective January 1, 1990.This was the beginning
of a new era that resulted in each commercial driver to be looked upon as a professional.
COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE
A “Commercial Motor Vehicle” means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used to transport
passengers or cargo if the vehicle fits any of the following conditions.
•Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more
pounds.
•A vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds (GVWR for
a single vehicle or GCWR for a combination of vehicles means: The value specified by the
manufacturer as the maximum gross weight).
•Any vehicle which is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
•A vehicle of any size which transports hazardous materials, which requires placarding.
Note: GROSS COMBINATION WEIGHT RATING (GCWR) AND GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT RATING
(GVWR) MEANS THE VALUE SPECIFIED BY THE MANUFACTURER. This is determined from the
manufacture plate on the vehicle/trailer.
MARYLAND COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE CLASSES
Each driver applicant must possess and be tested on his/her knowledge and skills, for the commercial motor
vehicle for which he/she desires a commercial driver’s license, and obtain the appropriate endorsement(s)
where required.
Class A License: Authorizes the licensee to operate Tractor/Trailer or Combination of vehicles with a GCWR
of 26,001 or more pounds if the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Class B License: Authorizes the licensee to operate any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more
pounds; Any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
Class C License: Authorizes the licensee to operate any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR; or
any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR, and is designed to transport 16
or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous
for the purpose of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which requires the motor vehicle to be
placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations.
Pages 1 through 13-3
of this CDL Driver’s
MANUAL
Copyright AAMVA
All Rights Reserved
USED BY PERMISSION
AAMVA
ii
VEHICLES THAT HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED
Waivers have been granted for the operation of some commercial vehicles. You are not required to have a
Commercial Driver’s License to drive a vehicle that has been excluded. However, you must have a Maryland
non-commercial driver’s license of the appropriate class to operate a vehicle that has been excluded.
(With the exception of fire apparatus, that may be operated by the use of an operator’s card and a valid
State driver’s license. See your fire chief for details).
The following vehicles have been excluded from CDL requirements in Maryland:
1.
Controlled and operated by a farmer;
•Used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm;
•Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and
•Used within 150 miles of the person’s farm;
2. An emergency vehicle;
•Equipped with audible and visual signals (fire apparatus); and
•Operated by a member of, or a person in the employ of, a volunteer or paid fire or rescue
organization;
3.A vehicle owned or operated by the United States Department of Defense if it is controlled and
operated by;
•Any member of the military reserves or National Guard on active duty including personnel on fulltime National Guard duty and personnel on part-time training; or
4.A motor vehicle designed and constructed primarily to provide temporary living quarters for
recreational, camping, or travel use.
PHYSICAL QUALIFICATIONS (49 CFR 391.41)
A person shall not drive a commercial motor vehicle unless they are physically qualified to do so and has
on their person the original, or a photographic copy (no alterations or erasures), of a medical examiner’s
certification that they are physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Based on a medical disqualification you may be eligible to process for an Intrastate (Maryland Only) or Interstate
(Federal) Waiver. Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will only consider issuing CDL Intrastate Waivers for
the physical/medical conditions listed below.
•Vision
• Amputation and loss of limb (Must have working prosthesis)
• Power grasping and prehension
• Insulin dependent diabetes
• Deaf/Hard of Hearing (LIMITED Eligibility)
The Motor Vehicle Administration will not consider an intrastate waiver for an individual who maintains a
Hazardous Materials, Passenger and/or School Bus endorsements.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may issue a waiver to individuals who do not meet the
qualifications of 391.41 Title 49 CFR the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations that cover amputation,
loss of a limb, power grasping or prehension problems, insulin dependent diabetics and deaf/hard of hearing
(LIMITED eligibility).
iii
MEDICAL CERTIFICATION AND SELF-CERTIFICATION
MEDICAL CERTIFICATION
Effective January 30, 2012, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) will be enacting new procedures
for commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders in order to comply with requirements recently adopted by the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
These new procedures require all CDL holders to declare a self-certification category relating to their type of
commerce, and provide a valid updated medical certification (Med Cert) information to the MVA throughout
their licensing period (where required). The MVA will add the medical certification status and the information
from the medical certification documents (DOT card, waiver/exemption if required) to your commercial driving
record.
All CDL holders are required to comply with these requirements no later than January 30, 2014. You DO NOT
need to submit your medical certification (MED CERT) information or declare a self-certification category
with the MVA until you have been directly contacted by the Administration. If you are contacted by the MVA
to provide them with this documentation and you fail to do so within the time frame indicated, your entire
driver’s privilege/license both commercial and noncommercial will be cancelled. However, if you visit a
MVA branch office to renew or obtain a duplicate, corrected or new CDL, you will be required to present
valid Med Cert documentation at that time. You must also declare a self-certification category relating to
the type of commerce.
For your reference, below is a brief explanation of the self-certification categories and the related medical
certification requirements
SELF-CERTIFICATION
All CDL holders will be required to select one of the categories listed below:
•NON-EXCEPTED INTERSTATE (NI) - The CDL holder is qualified to drive a commercial motor
vehicle across state lines in accordance with 49 CFR Part 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulation (FMCSR).
•
NON-EXCEPTED INTRASTATE (NA) - The CDL holder is qualified to drive a commercial vehicle
ONLY within the state of Maryland and has an approved MVA CDL Medical Waiver.
•
EXCEPTED INTERSTATE (EI) - The CDL holder drives a commercial motor vehicle across state
lines ONLY for specific excepted activities, such as to transport school children or staff, sick or
injured persons, corpses, etc., in accordance with 49 CFR Part 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations (FMCSR). Since the driver must meet all Maryland requirements without an MVA
CDL Medical Waiver, the CDL holder may select NI to maximize his/her driving options.
•
EXCEPTED INTRASTATE (EA) - The CDL holder drives a commercial motor vehicle ONLY within
Maryland. Although exempt from the qualification requirements under 49 CFR Part 391 of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) based on the type of driving performed, the CDL
holder must meet all Maryland requirements without an MVA CDL Medical Waiver and may select NI
to maximize his/her driving options.
iv
COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE LEARNERS INSTRUCTIONAL PERMIT:
You will be required to provide:
• Proof of age
• Lawful admission into the United States (for Hazardous Materials only)
• Proof of Maryland residence
• Valid full Maryland Non-Commercial Driver’s License (must be off provisional license).
• Valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DOT Card), or Intrastate/Interstate Waiver.
• You must be 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across state lines (Interstate).
• You must be 18 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle within Maryland (Intrastate).
• You must be 21 years of age to haul hazardous materials.
•You must provide Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DOT Card); Intrastate/Interstate Waiver prior to
taking required tests which includes passing the vision screening and any required CDL knowledge
tests before a learners instructional permit will be issued. You will be required to provide the Medical
Examiner’s Certificate (DOT Card) during any transactions at the MVA.
When you apply for a Commercial Driver’s License you will also be asked to:
•Certify that you do not have a driver’s license from more than one state or country and;
•Surrender your current license and;
•Certify that your driver’s license and driving privilege is not suspended, revoked, cancelled or
disqualified or subject to any of these actions;
•Provide information to the Motor Vehicle Administration of previous State licenses (to include
Washington, D.C.) held in the previous 10 years including previous addresses and license numbers.
KNOWLEDGE TESTS/ENDORSEMENTS
Depending on the class of license and what endorsements you are requesting will determine what CDL
knowledge tests are required. You must obtain an 80% passing score on each required test. You must provide
a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DOT Card) or a valid Intrastate State/Interstate Waiver. After failing any
knowledge test for the second time, you must wait a minimum of seven days before you can re-take that
specific test again.
•
General Knowledge Test is required by all applicants. (Must be successfully passed to proceed to
additional knowledge tests).
•
Air Brake Knowledge Test is required if your vehicle is equipped with air brakes.
•
Combination Vehicles Knowledge Test is required if you want to drive combination vehicles (Trailer
over 10,000 lbs. GVWR).
•Tanker Knowledge Test is required if you want to haul liquids in bulk.
•Double/Triples Knowledge Test is required to pull double or triple trailers.
•
Passenger Knowledge Test is required by all bus drivers to include school bus operators. (You
must perform a skills test in a bus of the appropriate class/endorsement).
•
School Bus Knowledge Test is required by all school bus operators, as well as the Passenger
Knowledge Test. (You must also perform skills test in a school bus of appropriate class).
•
Hazardous Materials Knowledge Test is required if you wish to haul hazardous materials. You
must pass the hazardous materials knowledge test. You must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship
or lawful permanent resident status. Individuals are required to schedule an appointment for the
completion of the electronic Hazmat application and fingerprint/background record check process.
The Admin¬istration may not issue a hazardous material endorsement to a commercial driver’s
license holder without the approval of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of the Federal
Department of Homeland Security. You are required to pay the appropriate fees. The Administration
may not issue a Learner’s Instructional Permit with a Hazardous Materials Endorsement
v
a)Maryland law requires that each out-of-state CDL license holder with the Hazardous Materials
Endorsement must complete a new TSA Hazmat Threat Assessment Background Record check here
in Maryland, even if they completed one previously.
b)Additional Hazmat information may be obtained by contacting the MVA at 1-800-950-1MVA,
1-800¬950-1682 or at www.MVA.Maryland.gov or by contacting the TSA at their website, www.TSA.
gov and inserting CDL Hazmat in the Search field.
c) Hazardous Materials endorsement
SKILLS TEST ARE ADMINISTERED BY APPOINTMENT ONLY:
The CDL Skills Test consists of a:
1) Pre-Trip Inspection to include an air brake test if vehicle is equipped with air brakes;
2) Basic Maneuvers Test; and
3) Public Road Test.
NOTE: YOU MUST PASS THE PRE-TRIP INSPECTION TO CONTINUE ON TO THE BASIC MANEUVERS
TEST, AND YOU MUST PASS THE BASIC MANEUVERS TEST TO CONTINUE ON TO A PUBLIC ROAD TEST.
If you fail any portion of the test you must pay a retest fee before scheduling another appointment.
QUALIFYING SCORES:
•A Pre-Trip Inspection score is based on the type of vehicle.
•A Basic Maneuvers Test is based on total points (13 points are a failure). An automatic failure will
oc¬cur if an individual hits a cone, the side of the dock, etc.
•A Public Road Test is based on total points (31 points are a failure) or an automatic failure will occur
if there is an accident, running a red light or stop sign, etc.
TIME LIMIT (All Vehicle Classes A, B, & C) (subject to change without notice):
•A Pre-Trip Inspection is 45 minutes.
•A Basic Maneuvers Test is 10 minutes per maneuver.
•A Public Road Test on average is 35 to 40 minutes based on MVA location and route.
NOTE: Skills Tests are not available at all Motor Vehicle locations.
Skills Tests are given only by appointment.
Knowledge Tests are given on a walk-in basis.
No test will start after 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
No test will start after 10:00 a.m. Saturday
DRIVING, DRINKING, AND DRUGS
Signing a Maryland’s driver license or a learner’s permit application form enters you into an agreement. It
says that if you are detained by a police officer who suspects you are driving or attempting to drive under the
influence or intoxicated by alcohol and/or drugs, you agree to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath
or urine. This is called a Blood Alcohol Concentration, or BAC test.
An alcohol concentration of 0.04% or more when driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle will:
•Disqualify you from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year (three years if the vehicle was
required to be placarded for HAZMAT) for the first offense, and;
•Disqualify you for life for a subsequent offense
vi
An alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more while operating on a commercial driver license, regardless
of the vehicle type, will:
• Disqualify you from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year for the first offense, and;
• Disqualify you for life for a subsequent offense.
Implied Consent:
In Maryland, any person who drives or attempts to drive a motor vehicle on a highway or on any private
property used by the public in general, consents to take a test to determine alcohol concentration or
a test to determine the concentration of a drug or a controlled dangerous substance. Testing is free of
charge to the driver and shall be a breath test to determine alcohol concentration, unless the driver or
other persons require medical treatment for serious or life threatening injury or the test equipment is
unavailable. In that event, the test shall be a blood test. A test to determine drug or controlled dangerous
substance content shall also be a blood test.
A refusal to submit to take a test will:
•Disqualify you from driving a commercial motor vehicle for one year for the first offense, and;
•Disqualify you for life for a subsequent offense.
CDL holders are also subject to driver disqualifications and penalties under Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulation 385.51.
ALL INDIVIDUALS MAINTAINING A CDL ARE REQUIRED TO PRESENT A VALID MEDICAL EXAMINER’S
CERTIFICATE (DOT CARD), OR APPROPRIATE INTRASTATE OR INTERSTATE WAIVER, DURING ALL
MVA TRANSACTIONS.
DRIVERS MUST
•Notify their home state Motor Vehicle Administration of any convictions in other states.
•Notify their employer of any convictions.
•Notify their employer of any revocation, suspension, cancellation or disqualification.
•Provide information to the Motor Vehicle Administration of previous State licenses (to include
Washington, D.C.) held in the previous 10 years including previous addresses and license numbers.
•Provide Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DOT card) or Intrastate/Interstate Waiver during all MVA
transactions.
•Maintain only one driver’s license.
CONVICTIONS
Effective September 30, 2005, any convictions you receive for moving violations will be viewed as a cause to
disqualify you from driving a commercial vehicle, regardless of whether the moving violation happened while
you were driving a commercial vehicle, non-commercial vehicle or your private vehicle.
•Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) is considered a conviction under federal regulations and MD TA §
16-803(d).
•The Administration may not issue any type of temporary, conditional or work restricted license per
COMAR 11.11.12.07 and 49 CFR 384.210.
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) works closely with The American Association of Motor Vehicle
Administrators (AAMVA) in testing procedures that meet Federal requirements. Although we make every
effort to ensure that the information we provide is accurate, it is not intended to take the place of
published State and Federal Laws and Regulations.
vii
Table Of Contents
Introduction....................................................................... 1-1
Driving Safely.................................................................... 2-1
Transporting Cargo Safely................................................. 3-1
Transporting Passengers Safely........................................ 4-1
Air Brakes.......................................................................... 5-1
Combination Vehicles........................................................ 6-1
Doubles and Triples........................................................... 7-1
Tank Vehicles..................................................................... 8-1
Hazardous Materials.......................................................... 9-1
School Bus...................................................................... 10-1
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection.............................................. 11-1
Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test..................................... 12-1
On-Road Driving.............................................................. 13-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 1
INTRODUCTION
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
Commercial Driver License Tests
Medical Requirements
Driver Disqualifications
Other Safety Rules
International Registration Program
There is a federal requirement that each state have
minimum standards for the licensing of commercial
drivers.
This manual provides driver license testing information
for drivers who wish to have a commercial driver license
(CDL). This manual does NOT provide information on all
the federal and state requirements needed before you
can drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). You may
have to contact your state driver licensing authority for
additional information.
You must have a CDL to operate:
Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
(GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
A combination vehicle with a gross combination weight
rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the
GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of
10,000 pounds.
A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers
(including the driver).
Any size vehicle which requires hazardous material
placards or is carrying material listed as a select agent
or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. Federal regulations through
the Department of Homeland Security require a
background check and fingerprinting for the Hazardous
Materials endorsement. Contact your local department
of driver licensing for more information.
(Your state may have additional definitions of CMVs.)
To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills
tests. This manual will help you pass the tests,
however, it is not a substitute for a truck driver training
class or program. Formal training is the most reliable
way to learn the many special skills required for safely
driving a large commercial vehicle and becoming a
professional driver in the trucking industry. Figure 1.1
helps you determine if you need a CDL
Section 1 - Introduction
Determining Class of CDL Required
Is the GCWR
26,001
or more
pounds?
Yes
Is the GVWR
of the trailer/
toward unit
10,001 or
more pounds?
Yes
Class “A”
Yes
Class “B”
Yes
Class “C”
Yes
Class “C”
No
No
Is the GVWR
of the power
unit 26,001 or
more pounds?
No
Is the vehicle
transporting
hazardous
materials in
a placardable
quantity
No
Is the vehicle
designed
to transport
16 or more
passengers
including the
driver?
No
No CDL Required
Gross combination weight rating (GCWR)
Means the value specified by the manufacturer of the power unit, if the value is
displayed on the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) certification
label; or the sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs) or the gross vehicle
weights (GVWs) of the power unit and the towed unit(s), or any combination
thereof, that produces the highest value.
(The underlined and italicized text above is for use by roadside enforcement
only for the purpose of determing whether the driver/vehicle is subject to CDL
regulations. It is not used to determine whether a vehicle is representative for
the purposes of skills testing).
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) means the value specified by the
manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle.
Figure 1.1
NOTE: A bus may be Class A, B, or C depending on whether
the GVWR is over 26,001 pounds or is a combination
vehicle.
Page 1-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
1.1 – Commercial Driver License Tests
1.1.1 – Knowledge Tests
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests,
depending on what class of license and what
endorsements you need. The CDL knowledge
tests include:
School Bus
Passenger
Tank Vehicles
Double / Triple
Page 1-2
ENDORSEMENT
Hazardous
Materials
Basic Vehicle Control. You will be tested on your
skill to control the vehicle. You will be asked to
move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn it
within a defined area. These areas may be marked
LICENSE
TYPE
Class C
Vehicle Inspection. You will be tested to see if you
know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will
be asked to do a Vehicle inspection of your vehicle
and explain to the examiner what you would
inspect and why.
What Sections Should You Study?
Class B
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can
take the CDL skills tests. There are three types of
general skills that will be tested: Vehicle inspection,
basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You
must take these tests in the type of vehicle for
which you wish to be licensed. Any vehicle that
has components marked or labeled cannot be
used for the Vehicle Inspection Test.
Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual you
should study for each particular class of license
and for each endorsement.
Class A
1.1.2 – Skills Tests
On-road Test. You will be tested on your skill
to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic
situations. The situations may include left and right
turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves,
up and down grades, single or multi-lane roads,
streets, or highways. The examiner will tell you
where to drive.
Sections to Study
•The general knowledge test, taken by all
applicants.
•The passenger transport test, taken by all
bus driver applicants.
•The air brakes test, which you must take if
your vehicle has air brakes, including air over
hydraulic brakes.
•The combination vehicles test, which is
required if you want to drive combination
vehicles.
•The hazardous materials test, required if you
want to haul hazardous materials as defined
in 49 CFR 383.5. In order to obtain this
endorsement you are also required to pass a
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
background check.
•The tank vehicle test, required if you want to
haul any liquid or gaseous materials in a tank
or tanks having an individual rated capacity of
more than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated
capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is either
permanently or temporarily attached to the
vehicle or chassis
•The doubles/triples test, required if you want
to pull double or triple trailers.
•The School Bus test, required if you want to
drive a school bus.
with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something
similar. The examiner will tell you how each control
test is to be done.
1XXX
2XXX XXX
3XXX
4X
5*XXX X
6XXX
7X
8X
9XX
10X
11XXX XX
12XXX XX
13XXX XX
* Study section 5 if you plan to operate vehicles
equipped with air brakes.
Figure 1.2 – What to Study
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
1.2 – Medical Documentation
Requirements
1.2.2 – Inter/Intrastate Commerce: Status
Non-excepted or Excepted?
Starting January 30, 2012 and no later than January
30, 2014, if you are applying for a CDL Permit; or
are renewing, upgrading, adding endorsements to
a CDL; or transferring a CDL from another state,
you are required to provide information to your
State Driver’s License Agency (SDLA) regarding
the type of commercial motor vehicle operation
you drive in or expect to drive in with your CDL.
Drivers operating in certain types of commerce
will be required to submit a current medical
examiner’s certificate and/or any medical variance
documents that you have been issued (i.e. Vision,
Skills Performance or Diabetic waivers, or other
exemptions) to your SDLA to obtain a “certified”
medical status as part of your driving record.
You must contact your State Driver Licensing
Agency (SDLA) to obtain information regarding the
requirement for submitting these documents.
Once you decide whether you will operate in
interstate commerce or intrastate commerce, you
must decide whether you will operate (or expect
to operate) in a non-excepted or excepted status.
This decision will tell you to which of the four types
of commerce you must self-certify.
If you are required to have a ”certified” medical
status and fail to provide and keep up-to-date your
medical examiner’s certificate you become ”notcertified” and may lose your CDL.
For the purpose of complying with the new
requirements for medical certification, it is
important to know how you are using the CMV. The
following information will help you decide how to
self-certify:
1.2.1 – Interstate or Intrastate Commerce
Do you, or will you, use a CDL to operate a CMV in
interstate or intrastate commerce?
Interstate commerce is when you drive a CMV:
•From one State to another State or a foreign
country;
•Between two places within a State, but during
part of the trip, the CMV crosses into another
State or foreign country; or
•Between two places within a State, but the
cargo or passengers are part of a trip that
began or will end in another State or foreign
country.
Intrastate commerce is when you drive a CMV
within a State and you do not meet any of the
descriptions above for interstate commerce.
If you operate in both intrastate commerce and
interstate commerce, you must choose interstate
commerce.
Section 1 - Introduction
Interstate Commerce:
You operate in excepted interstate commerce
when you drive a CMV in interstate commerce only
for the following excepted activities:
•To transport school children and/or school
staff between home and school;
•As Federal, State or local government
employees;
•To transport human corpses or sick or injured
persons;
•Fire truck or rescue vehicle drivers during
emergencies and other related activities;
•Primarily in the transportation of propane
winter heating fuel when responding to an
emergency condition requiring immediate
response such as damage to a propane gas
system after a storm or flooding;
•In Response to a pipeline emergency
condition requiring immediate response such
as a pipeline leak or rupture;
•In custom harvesting on a farm or to transport
farm machinery and supplies used in the
custom harvesting operation to and from a
farm or to transport custom harvested crops
to storage or market;
•Beekeeper in the seasonal transportation of
bees;
•Controlled and operated by a farmer, but
is not a combination vehicle (power unit
and towed unit), and is used to transport
agricultural products, farm machinery or farm
supplies (no placardable hazardous materials)
to and from a farm and within 150 air-miles of
the farm;
•As a private motor carrier of passengers for
non-business purposes ; or
•To transport migrant workers.
If you answered yes to one or more of the above
activities as the only operation in which you drive,
you operate in excepted interstate commerce
and do not need a Federal medical examiner’s
certificate.
Page 1-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
If you answered no to all of the above activities, you
operate in non-excepted interstate commerce
and are required to provide a current medical
examiner’s certificate (49 CFR 391.45),commonly
referred to as a medical certificate or DOT card,
to your State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA).
Most CDL holders who drive CMVs in interstate
commerce
are
non-excepted
interstate
commerce drivers.
If you operate in both excepted interstate
commerce
and
non-excepted
interstate
commerce, you must choose non-excepted
interstate commerce to be qualified to operate in
both types of interstate commerce.
¨
Intrastate non-excepted: I certify that I
operate or expect to operate entirely in
intrastate commerce, that I am subject to and
meet the medical requirements for my State;
and that I am required to obtain a medical
examiner’s certificate.
¨ Intrastate excepted: I certify that I operate
or expect to operate entirely in intrastate
commerce, that I am not subject to the
medical requirements for my State; and
that I am not required to obtain a medical
examiner’s certificate.
1.3 - CDL Disqualifications
Intrastate Commerce:
1.3.1 – General
You operate in excepted Intrastate commerce
when you drive a CMV only in intrastate commerce
activities for which your State of licensure has
determined do not require you to meet the State’s
medical certification requirements. (contact your
SDLA about their requirements).
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if
you are disqualified for any reason.
You operate in non-excepted intrastate
commerce when you drive a CMV only in intrastate
commerce and are required to meet your State
of licensure’s medical certification requirements
(contact your SDLA about their requirements).
If you operate in both excepted intrastate
commerce
and
non-excepted
intrastate
commerce, you must choose non-excepted
intrastate commerce.
1.2.3 – Self-Certification Statements
When completing an application for your CDL,
you will be required to check the box next to the
statement that describes your status. The actual
statements on your application may vary from
those shown below:
¨ Interstate non-excepted: I certify that I
operate or expect to operate in interstate
commerce, that I am subject to and meet the
Federal DOT medical card requirements under
49 CFR part 391; and that I am required to
obtain a medical examiner’s certificate.
¨
Interstate excepted: I certify that I operate
or expect to operate in interstate commerce,
but engage exclusively in transportation or
operations excepted under 49 CFR §§390.3(f),
391.2, 391.68 or 398.3 from all or parts of the
qualification requirements of 49 CFR part 391;
and that I am not required to obtain a medical
examiner’s certificate.
Page 1-4
1.3.2 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an
Accident, and Commission of a Felony
It is illegal to operate a CMV if your blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. If you operate
a CMV, you shall be deemed to have given your
consent to alcohol testing.
You will lose your CDL for at least one year for a
first offense for:
•Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol
concentration is .04% or higher.
•Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol.
•Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
•Driving a CMV while under the influence of a
controlled substance.
•Leaving the scene of an accident involving a
CMV.
•Committing a felony involving the use of a
CMV.
•Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended.
•Causing a fatality through negligent operation
of a CMV.
You will lose your CDL for at least three years if the
offense occurs while you are operating a CMV that
is placarded for hazardous materials.
You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense.
You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to
commit a felony involving controlled substances.
You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you
have any detectable amount of alcohol under
.04%.
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
1.3.3 – Serious Traffic Violations
Serious traffic violations are excessive speeding
(15 mph or more above the posted limit), reckless
driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following
a vehicle too closely, traffic offenses committed in
a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents,
driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or having
a CDL in the driver’s possession, and driving
a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or
endorsements.
You will lose your CDL:
•For at least 60 days if you have committed
two serious traffic violations within a threeyear period involving a CMV.
•For at least 120 days for three or more serious
traffic violations within a three-year period
involving a CMV.
1.3.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
You will lose your CDL:
•For at least 90 days if you have committed
your first violation of an out-of-service order.
•For at least one year if you have committed
two violations of an out-of-service order in a
ten-year period.
•For at least three years if you have committed
three or more violations of an out-of-service
order in a ten-year period.
1.3.5 – Railroad-highway Grade Crossing
Violations
You will lose your CDL:
•For at least 60 days for your first violation.
•For at least 120 days for your second violation
within a three-year period.
•For at least one year for your third violation
within a three-year period.
These violations include violation of a federal, state
or local law or regulation pertaining to one of the
following six offenses at a railroad-highway grade
crossing:
•For drivers who are not required to always
stop, failing to stop before reaching the
crossing if the tracks are not clear.
•For drivers who are not required to always
stop, failing to slow down and check that the
tracks are clear of an approaching train.
•For drivers who are always required to stop,
failing to stop before driving onto the crossing.
•For all drivers failing to have sufficient space
to drive completely through the crossing
without stopping.
Section 1 - Introduction
•For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control
device or the directions of an enforcement
official at the crossing.
•For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing
because of insufficient undercarriage
clearance.
1.3.6 – Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Background Check and Disqualifications
If you require a hazardous materials endorsement
you will be required to submit your fingerprints and
be subject to a background check.
You will be denied or you will lose your hazardous
materials endorsement if you:
•Are not a lawful permanent resident of the
United States.
•Renounce your United States citizenship.
•Are wanted or under indictment for certain
felonies.
•Have a conviction in military or civilian court
for certain felonies.
•Have been adjudicated as a mental defective
or committed to a mental institution.
•Are considered to pose a security threat as
determined by the Transportation Security
Administration.
The background check procedures vary from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Your licensing agency
will provide you with all the information you need
to complete the required TSA background check
procedures.
1.3.7 – Traffic Violations in Your Personal
Vehicle
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA)
of 1999 requires a CDL holder to be disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle if the
CDL holder has been convicted of certain types of
moving violations in their personal vehicle.
•If your privilege to operate your personal
vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended
due to violations of traffic control laws (other
than parking violations) you will also lose your
CDL driving privileges.
•If your privilege to operate your personal
vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended
due to alcohol, controlled substance or felony
violations, you will lose your CDL for 1 year.
If you are convicted of a second violation in
your personal vehicle or CMV you will lose
your CDL for life.
Page 1-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•If your license to operate your personal
vehicle is revoked, cancelled, or suspended
you may not obtain a “hardship” license to
operate a CMV.
1.4 – Other CDL Rules
There are other federal and state rules that affect
drivers operating CMVs in all states. Among them
are:
•You cannot have more than one license. If
you break this rule, a court may fine you up to
$5,000 or put you in jail and keep your home
state license and return any others.
•You must notify your employer within 30 days
of conviction for any traffic violations (except
parking). This is true no matter what type of
vehicle you were driving.
•You must notify your motor vehicle licensing
agency within 30 days if you are convicted in
any other jurisdiction of any traffic violation
(except parking). This is true no matter what
type of vehicle you were driving.
•You must notify your employer within two
business days if your license is suspended,
revoked, or canceled, or if you are disqualified
from driving.
•You must give your employer information on
all driving jobs you have held for the past 10
years. You must do this when you apply for a
commercial driving job.
•No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle
without a CDL. A court may fine you up to
$5,000 or put you in jail for breaking this rule.
•If you have a hazardous materials
endorsement you must notify and surrender
your hazardous materials endorsement to
the state that issued your CDL within 24
hours of any conviction or indictment in
any jurisdiction, civilian or military, for, or
found not guilty by reason of insanity of a
disqualifying crime listed in 49 CFR 1572.103;
who is adjudicated as a mental defective or
committed to a mental institution as specified
in 49 CFR 1572.109; or who renounces his or
her U. S. citizenship;
•Your employer may not let you drive a
commercial motor vehicle if you have
more than one license or if you’re CDL is
suspended or revoked. A court may fine the
employer up to $5,000 or put him/her in jail for
breaking this rule.
•All states are connected to one computerized
system to share information about CDL
drivers. The states will check on drivers’
accident records to be sure that drivers do not
have more than one CDL.
Page 1-6
•You are not allowed to hold a mobile
telephone to conduct a voice communication
or dial a mobile telephone by pressing more
than a single button when driving.
•You are not allowed to send or read text
messages while driving.
•You must be properly restrained by a safety
belt at all times while operating a commercial
motor vehicle. The safety belt design holds
the driver securely behind the wheel during a
crash, helping the driver to control the vehicle
and reduces the chance of serious injury or
death. If you do not wear a safety belt, you
are four times more likely to be fatally injured
if you are thrown from the vehicle.
Your state may have additional rules that you must
also obey.
1.5 – International Registration Plan
International Fuel Tax Agreement
If you operate a CDL required vehicle in interstate
commerce, the vehicle, with few exceptions, is
required to be registered under the International
Registration Plan (IRP) and the International Fuel
Tax Agreement (IFTA). These federally mandated
programs provide for the equitable collection
and distribution of vehicle license fees and motor
fuels taxes for vehicles traveling throughout the
48 contiguous United States and 10 Canadian
provinces.
Under the IRP, jurisdictions must register
apportioned vehicles which includes issuing
license plates and cab cards or proper credentials,
calculate, collect and distribute IRP fees, audit
carriers for accuracy of reported distance and fees
and enforce IRP requirements.
Registrant responsibilities under the Plan include
applying for IRP registration with base jurisdiction,
providing proper documentation for registration,
paying appropriate IRP registration fees, properly
displaying registration credentials, maintaining
accurate distance records, and making records
available for jurisdiction review.
The basic concept behind IFTA is to allow a licensee
(motor carrier) to license in a base jurisdiction for
the reporting and payment of motor fuel use taxes.
Under the IFTA, a licensee is issued one set of
credentials which will authorize operations through
all IFTA member jurisdictions. The fuel use taxes
collected pursuant to the IFTA are calculated
based on the number of miles (kilometers) traveled
and the number of gallons (liters) consumed in
the member jurisdictions. The licensee files one
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
quarterly tax return with the base jurisdiction by
which the licensee will report all operations through
all IFTA member jurisdictions.
It is the base jurisdiction’s responsibility to remit the
taxes collected to other member jurisdictions and
to represent the other member jurisdictions in the
tax collection process, including the performance
of audits.
An IFTA licensee must retain records to support
the information reported on the IFTA quarterly tax
return
The IRP registrant and the IFTA licensee may
be the vehicle owner or the vehicle operator.
The requirement for acquiring IRP plates for a
vehicle and IFTA license for a motor carrier is
determined by the definitions from the IRP Plan
and the IFTA for Qualified Vehicle and Qualified
Motor Vehicle:
For purposes of IRP:
A Qualified Vehicle is (except as provided below)
any Power Unit that is used or
intended for use in two or more Member
Jurisdictions and that is used for the transportation
of persons for hire or designed, used, or maintained
primarily for the transportation of property, and:
(i)has two Axles and a gross Vehicle weight or
registered gross Vehicle weight in
(ii)excess of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401
kilograms), or
(iii)has three or more Axles, regardless of weight,
or
(iv)is used in combination, when the gross
Vehicle weight of such combination exceeds
26,000 pounds (11,793.401 kilograms).
While similar, the Qualified Motor Vehicle in
IFTA means a motor vehicle used, designed,
or maintained for transportation of persons or
property and:
1)Having two axles and a gross vehicle weight
or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding
26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or
2)Is used in combination, when the weight of
such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or
11,797 kilograms gross vehicle or registered
gross vehicle weight. Qualified Motor Vehicle
does not include recreational vehicles.
If the vehicle you operate is registered under
IRP and you are a motor carrier licensed under
IFTA, then you are required to comply with the
mandatory record keeping requirements for
Section 1 - Introduction
operating the vehicle. A universally accepted
method of capturing this information is through
the completion of an Individual Vehicle Distance
Record (IVDR), sometimes times referred to as
a Driver Trip Report. This document reflects the
distance traveled and fuel purchased for a vehicle
that operates interstate under apportioned (IRP)
registration and IFTA fuel tax credentials.
Although the actual format of the IVDR may vary,
the information that is required for proper record
keeping does not.
In order to satisfy the requirements for Individual
Vehicle Distance Records, these documents must
include the following information:
Distance
Per Article IV of the IRP Plan
(i)Date of trip (starting and ending)
(ii)Trip origin and destination – City and State or
Province
(iii)Route(s) of travel
(iv)Beginning and ending odometer or hubometer
reading of the trip
(v)Total distance traveled
(vi)In-Jurisdiction distance
(vii)Power unit number or vehicle identification
number.
Fuel
Per Section P560 of the IFTA Procedures Manual
.300 An acceptable receipt or invoice must include,
but shall not be limited to, the following:
.005 Date of purchase
.010 Seller’s name and address
.015 Number of gallons or liters purchased;
.020 Fuel type
.025 Price per gallon or liter or total amount of
sale
.030 Unit number or other unique vehicle
identifier
.035 Purchaser’s name
An example of an IVDR that must be completed in
its entirety for each trip can be found in Figure 1
below. Each individual IVDR should be filled out for
only one vehicle. The rules to follow when trying
to determine how and when to log an odometer
reading are the following:
•
•
•
At the beginning of the day
When leaving the state or province
At the end of the trip/day
Not only do the trips need to be logged, but the
fuel purchases need to be documented as well.
You must obtain a receipt for all fueling and include
it with your completed IVDR.
Page 1-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Make sure that any trips that you enter are always
filled out in descending order and that your trips
include all state/provinces that you traveled through
on your route.
There are different routes that a driver may take,
and most of the miles may be within one state or
province. Whether or not the distance you travel
is primarily in one jurisdiction or spread among
several jurisdictions, all information for the trip
must be recorded. This includes the dates, the
routes, odometer readings and fuel purchases.
By completing this document in full and keeping
all records required by both the IRP and the IFTA,
you will have ensured that you and your company
are in compliance with all State and Provincial
laws surrounding fuel and distance record keeping
requirements.
The IVDR serves as the source document for the
calculation of fees and taxes that are payable to
the jurisdictions in which the vehicle is operated,
so these original records must be maintained for a
minimum of four years.
In addition, these records are subject to audit
by the taxing jurisdictions. Failure to maintain
complete and accurate records could result in
fines, penalties and suspension or revocation of
IRP registrations and IFTA licenses.
For additional information on the IRP and the
requirements related to the IRP, contact your
base jurisdiction motor vehicle department or IRP,
Inc. the official repository for the IRP. Additional
information can be found on the IRP, Inc. website at
www.irponline.org. There is a training video on the
website home page available in English, Spanish
and French
For additional information on IFTA and the
requirements related to IFTA, contact the
appropriate agency in your base jurisdiction.
You will also find useful information about the
Agreement at the official repository of IFTA at
http://www.iftach.org/index.php.
Figure 1 – Individual Vehicle Mileage & Fuel Record (Example)
Page 1-8
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 2
DRIVING SAFELY
This Section Covers
• Vehicle Inspection
• Basic Control of Your Vehicle
• Shifting Gears
•Seeing
•Communicating
• Space Management
• Controlling Your Speed
• Seeing Hazards
• Distracted Driving
• Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
• Night Driving & Driver Fatigue
• Driving in Fog
• Winter Driving
• Hot Weather Driving
• Railroad-highway Crossings
• Mountain Driving
• Driving Emergencies
• Antilock Braking Systems
• Skid Control and Recovery
• Accident Procedures
•Fires
• Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
• Hazardous Materials Rules
This section contains knowledge and safe driving
information that all commercial drivers should
know. You must pass a test on this information
to get a CDL. This section does not have specific
information on air brakes, combination vehicles,
doubles, or passenger vehicles. When preparing
for the Vehicle Inspection Test, you must review
the material in Section 11 in addition to the
information in this section. This section does
have basic information on hazardous materials
(HazMat) that all drivers should know. If you
need a HazMat endorsement, you should study
Section 9.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.1 – Vehicle Inspection
2.1.1 – Why Inspect
Safety is the most important reason you inspect
your vehicle, safety for yourself and for other road
users.
A vehicle defect found during an inspection
could save you problems later. You could have
a breakdown on the road that will cost time and
dollars, or even worse, a crash caused by the
defect.
Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect
their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also
may inspect your vehicles. If they judge the vehicle
to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until
it is fixed.
2.1.2 – Types of Vehicle Inspection
Vehicle Inspection. A Vehicle inspection will help
you find problems that could cause a crash or
breakdown.
During a Trip. For safety you should:
Watch gauges for signs of trouble.
Use your senses to check for problems (look,
listen, smell, feel).
Check critical items when you stop:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Tires, wheels and rims.
Brakes.
Lights and reflectors.
Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
Trailer coupling devices.
Cargo securement devices.
After-trip Inspection and Report. You should
do an after-trip inspection at the end of the trip,
day, or tour of duty on each vehicle you operated.
It may include filling out a vehicle condition report
listing any problems you find. The inspection report
helps a motor carrier know when the vehicle needs
repairs.
2.1.3 – What to Look For
Tire Problems
•Too much or too little air pressure.
•Bad wear. You need at least 4/32-inch tread
depth in every major groove on front tires.
You need 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric
should show through the tread or sidewall.
•Cuts or other damage.
•Tread separation.
•Dual tires that come in contact with each
other or parts of the vehicle.
Page 2-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Mismatched sizes.
•Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
•Cut or cracked valve stems.
•Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on
the front wheels of a bus are prohibited.
•Wheel and Rim Problems
•Damaged rims.
•Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts
are loose--check tightness. After a tire has
been changed, stop a short while later and
re-check tightness of nuts.
•Missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs
means danger.
•Mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings are
dangerous.
•Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs
are not safe.
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
Suspension System Defects. The suspension
system holds up the vehicle and its load. It keeps
the axles in place. Therefore, broken suspension
parts can be extremely dangerous. Look for:
•
Spring hangers that allow movement of axle
from proper position. See Figure 2.2.
KEY SUSPENSION PARTS
Hydraulic Shock Absorber
Leaf Spring
Frame
•
Cracked drums.
•
Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid
on them.
•
Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or
broken.
Vehicle Frame
Front Axle Hanger
Bearing Plates
Auxiliary Spring
Spring Shackle
Steering System Defects
Torque Rod
•
Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other
parts.
•
Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering
column, steering gear box, or tie rods.
•
If power steering equipped, check hoses,
pumps, and fluid level; check for leaks.
•
Steering wheel play of more than 10 degrees
(approximately 2 inches movement at the rim
of a 20-inch steering wheel) can make it hard
to steer.
STEERING SYSTEM
Main Spring
Axle
Figure 2.2
•
Cracked or broken spring hangers.
•
Missing or broken leaves in any leaf spring. If
one-fourth or more are missing, it will put the
vehicle “out of service”, but any defect could
be dangerous. See Figure 2.3.
SAFETY DEFECT:
BROKEN LEAF IN SPRING
S teering Wheel
Broken Leaf
Tie R od
S teering S haft
P ower
S teering
C ylinder
S teering Arm
Hydraulic F luid R es ervoir
Main Spring
Drag L ink
G ear B ox
S pindle
P itman Arm
S teering K nuc kle
Figure 2.1
Page 2-2
Axle
Figure 2.3
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves
that have shifted so they might hit a tire or
other part.
•Leaking shock absorbers.
•Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or
other axle positioning parts that are cracked,
damaged, or missing.
•Air suspension systems that are damaged
and/or leaking. See Figure 2.4.
Frame Reinforcement
Bracket
Method of Inspection. You should do a Vehicle
inspection the same way each time so you will learn
all the steps and be less likely to forget something.
Shock Absorber
Upper Bellows Support
Spacer
U-Bolts
Clamp
Bolt
Bellows
Eye Bolt
Control
Arm
Axle
Axle Seat
Anchor
Plate
Lower Bellows
Support
FRONT
Figure 2.4
•Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame
members.
Exhaust System Defects. A broken exhaust
system can let poison fumes into the cab or sleeper
berth. Look for:
•Loose, broken, or missing exhaust pipes,
mufflers, tailpipes, or vertical stacks.
•Loose, broken, or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts.
•Exhaust system parts rubbing against fuel
system parts, tires, or other moving parts of
vehicle.
•Exhaust system parts that are leaking.
Emergency Equipment. Vehicles must be
equipped with emergency equipment. Look for:
•Fire extinguisher(s).
•Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with
circuit breakers).
•Warning devices for parked vehicles (for
example, three reflective warning triangles or
6 fusees or 3 liquid burning flares).
Cargo (Trucks). You must make sure the truck
is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and
secured before each trip. If the cargo contains
hazardous materials, you must inspect for proper
papers and placarding.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
In order to obtain a CDL you will be required to
pass a Vehicle inspection test. You will be tested
to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to
drive. You will be asked to do a Vehicle inspection
of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what
you would inspect and why. The following sevenstep inspection method should be useful.
2.1.5 – Seven-step Inspection Method
AIR SUSPENSION PARTS
Height Control Valve
2.1.4 – CDL Vehicle Inspection Test
Approaching the Vehicle. Notice general
condition. Look for damage or vehicle leaning to one
side. Look under the vehicle for fresh oil, coolant,
grease, or fuel leaks. Check the area around the
vehicle for hazards to vehicle movement (people,
other vehicles, objects, low-hanging wires, limbs,
etc.).
Vehicle Inspection Guide
Step 1: Vehicle Overview
Review Last Vehicle Inspection Report. Drivers
may have to make a vehicle inspection report in
writing each day. The motor carrier must repair
any items in the report that affect safety and
certify on the report that repairs were made or
were unnecessary. You must sign the report only if
defects were noted and certified to be repaired or
not needed to be repaired.
Step 2: Check Engine Compartment
Check That the Parking Brakes Are On and/or
Wheels Chocked.
You may have to raise the hood, tilt the cab
(secure loose things so they don’t fall and break
something), or open the engine compartment door.
Check the following:
•Engine oil level.
•Coolant level in radiator; condition of hoses.
•Power steering fluid level; hose condition (if
so equipped).
•Windshield washer fluid level.
•Battery fluid level, connections and tie downs
(battery may be located elsewhere)
•Automatic transmission fluid level (may
require engine to be running).
•Check belts for tightness and excessive wear
(alternator, water pump, air compressor)-learn how much “give” the belts should have
when adjusted right, and check each one.
Page 2-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Leaks in the engine compartment (fuel,
coolant, oil, power steering fluid, hydraulic
fluid, battery fluid).
•Cracked, worn electrical wiring insulation.
•Lower and secure hood, cab, or engine
compartment door.
Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside the
Cab
•Lights.
•Headlights.
•Dimmer switch.
•Turn signal.
•Four-way flashers.
•Parking, clearance, identification, marker
switch(es).
Get In and Start Engine
•Make sure parking brake is on.
•Put gearshift in neutral (or “park” if automatic).
•Start engine; listen for unusual noises.
•If equipped, check the Anti-lock Braking
System (ABS) indicator lights. Light on dash
should come on and then turn off. If it stays
on the ABS is not working properly. For
trailers only, if the yellow light on the left rear
of the trailer stays on, the ABS is not working
properly.
Look at the Gauges
•Oil pressure. Should come up to normal within
seconds after engine is started. See Figure
2.5
•Air pressure. Pressure should build from 50
to 90 psi within 3 minutes. Build air pressure
to governor cut-out (usually around 120 – 140
psi. Know your vehicle’s requirements.
•Ammeter and/or voltmeter. Should be in
normal range(s).
•Coolant temperature. Should begin gradual
rise to normal operating range.
•Engine oil temperature. Should begin gradual
rise to normal operating range.
•Warning lights and buzzers. Oil, coolant,
charging circuit warning, and antilock brake
system lights should go out right away.
Check Condition of Controls. Check all of the
following for looseness, sticking, damage, or
improper setting:
•Steering wheel.
•Clutch.
•Accelerator (“gas pedal”).
•Brake controls.
•Foot brake.
•Trailer brake (if vehicle has one).
•Parking brake.
•Retarder controls (if vehicle has them).
•Transmission controls.
•Interaxle differential lock (if vehicle has one).
•Horn(s).
•Windshield wiper/washer.
Page 2-4
40
60
20
80
0
100
ENG OIL
Pressure
OIL PRESSURE
• Idling
5-20 PSI
• Operating 35-75 PSI
• Low, Dropping, Fluctuating:
STOP IMMEDIATELY!
Without oil the engine can be
destroyed rapidly
Figure 2.5
Check Mirrors and Windshield. Inspect mirrors
and windshield for cracks, dirt, illegal stickers, or
other obstructions to seeing clearly. Clean and
adjust as necessary.
Check Emergency Equipment
•Check for safety equipment:
Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has
circuit breakers).
Three red reflective triangles, 6 fusees or
3 liquid burning flares.
Properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
•Check for optional items such as:
Chains (where winter conditions require).
Tire changing equipment.
List of emergency phone numbers
Accident reporting kit (packet).
Check Safety Belt. Check that the safety belt is
securely mounted, adjusts; latches properly and is
not ripped or frayed.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Step 4: Turn Off Engine and Check Lights
Make sure the parking brake is set, turn off
the engine, and take the key with you. Turn on
headlights (low beams) and four-way emergency
flashers, and get out of the vehicle.
Step 5: Do Walk-around Inspection
•Go to front of vehicle and check that low
beams are on and both of the four-way
flashers are working.
•Push dimmer switch and check that high
beams work.
•Turn off headlights and four-way emergency
flashers.
•Turn on parking, clearance, side-marker, and
identification lights.
•Turn on right turn signal, and start walkaround inspection.
General
•Walk around and inspect.
•Clean all lights, reflectors, and glass as you
go along.
Left Front Side
•Driver’s door glass should be clean.
•Door latches or locks should work properly.
•Left front wheel.
Condition of wheel and rim--missing,
bent, broken studs, clamps, lugs, or any
signs of misalignment.
Condition of tires--properly inflated,
valve stem and cap OK, no serious cuts,
bulges, or tread wear.
Use wrench to test rust-streaked lug nuts,
indicating looseness.
Hub oil level OK, no leaks.
•Left front suspension.
Condition of spring, spring hangers,
shackles, u-bolts.
Shock absorber condition.
•Left front brake.
Condition of brake drum or disc.
Condition of hoses.
Front
•Condition of front axle.
•Condition of steering system.
No loose, worn, bent, damaged or
missing parts.
Must grab steering mechanism to test for
looseness.
•Condition of windshield.
Check for damage and clean if dirty.
Check windshield wiper arms for proper
spring tension.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Check wiper blades for damage, “stiff”
rubber, and securement.
•Lights and reflectors.
Parking, clearance, and identification
lights clean, operating, and proper color
(amber at front).
Reflectors clean and proper color (amber
at front).
Right front turn signal light clean,
operating, and proper color (amber or
white on signals facing forward).
Right Side
•Right front: check all items as done on left
front.
•Primary and secondary safety cab locks
engaged (if cab-over-engine design).
•Right fuel tank(s).
Securely mounted, not damaged, or
leaking.
Fuel crossover line secure.
Tank(s) contain enough fuel.
Cap(s) on and secure.
•Condition of visible parts.
Rear of engine--not leaking.
Transmission--not leaking.
Exhaust system--secure, not leaking, not
touching wires, fuel, or air-lines.
Frame and cross members--no bends or
cracks.
Air-lines and electrical wiring--secured
against snagging, rubbing, wearing.
Spare tire carrier or rack not damaged (if
so equipped).
Spare tire and/or wheel securely mounted
in rack.
Spare tire and wheel adequate (proper
size, properly inflated).
•Cargo securement (trucks).
Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied,
chained, etc.
Header board adequate, secure (if
required).
•Side boards, stakes strong enough, free of
damage, properly set in place (if so equipped).
•Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured
to prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of
mirrors.
•If oversize, all required signs (flags, lamps,
and reflectors) safely and properly mounted
and all required permits in driver’s possession.
•Curbside cargo compartment doors in good
condition, securely closed, latched/locked
and required security seals in place.
Page 2-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Right Rear
•Condition of wheels and rims--no missing,
bent, or broken spacers, studs, clamps, or
lugs.
•Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve
stems and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges,
tread wear, tires not rubbing each other, and
nothing stuck between them.
•Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and
bias types.
•Tires evenly matched (same sizes).
•Wheel bearing/seals not leaking.
•Suspension.
Condition of spring(s), spring hangers,
shackles, and u-bolts.
Axle secure.
Powered axle(s) not leaking lube (gear oil).
Condition of torque rod arms, bushings.
Condition of shock absorber(s).
If retractable axle equipped, check
condition of lift mechanism. If air
powered, check for leaks.
Condition of air ride components.
•Brakes.
Brake adjustment.
Condition of brake drum(s) or discs.
Condition of hoses--look for any wear due
to rubbing.
•Lights and reflectors.
Side-marker lights clean, operating, and
proper color (red at rear, others amber).
Side-marker reflectors clean and proper
color (red at rear, others amber).
Rear
•Lights and reflectors.
Rear clearance and identification lights
clean, operating, and proper color (red at
rear).
Reflectors clean and proper color (red at
rear).
Taillights clean, operating, and proper
color (red at rear).
Right rear turn signal operating, and
proper color (red, yellow, or amber at
rear).
•License plate(s) present, clean, and secured.
•Splash guards present, not damaged,
properly fastened, not dragging on ground, or
rubbing tires.
•Cargo secure (trucks).
•Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied,
chained, etc.
•Tailboards up and properly secured.
•End gates free of damage, properly secured in
stake sockets.
Page 2-6
•Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured
to prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of
either the rearview mirrors or rear lights.
•If over-length, or over-width, make sure all
signs and/or additional lights/flags are safely
and properly mounted and all required permits
are in driver’s possession.
•Rear doors securely closed, latched/locked.
Left Side
•Check all items as done on right side, plus:
Battery(ies) (if not mounted in engine
compartment).
Battery box(es) securely mounted to
vehicle.
Box has secure cover.
Battery(ies) secured against movement.
Battery(ies) not broken or leaking.
Fluid in battery(ies) at proper level (except
maintenance-free type).
Cell caps present and securely tightened
(except maintenance-free type).
Vents in cell caps free of foreign material
(except maintenance-free type).
Step 6: Check Signal Lights
Get In and Turn Off Lights
•Turn off all lights.
•Turn on stop lights (apply trailer hand brake or
have a helper put on the brake pedal).
•Turn on left turn signal lights.
Get Out and Check Lights
•Left front turn signal light clean, operating and
proper color (amber or white on signals facing
the front).
•Left rear turn signal light and both stop lights
clean, operating, and proper color (red,
yellow, or amber).
Get In Vehicle
•Turn off lights not needed for driving.
•Check for all required papers, trip manifests,
permits, etc.
•Secure all loose articles in cab (they might
interfere with operation of the controls or hit
you in a crash).
•Start the engine.
Step 7: Start the Engine and Check
Test for Hydraulic Leaks. If the vehicle has hydraulic
brakes, pump the brake pedal three times. Then
apply firm pressure to the pedal and hold for five
seconds. The pedal should not move. If it does,
there may be a leak or other problem. Get it fixed
before driving. If the vehicle has air brakes, do the
checks described in Sections 5 and 6 of this manual.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Brake System
Test Parking Brake(s)
•Fasten safety belt
•Set parking brake (power unit only).
•Release trailer parking brake (if applicable).
•Place vehicle into a low gear.
•Gently pull forward against parking brake to
make sure the parking brake holds.
•Repeat the same steps for the trailer with
trailer parking brake set and power unit
parking brakes released (if applicable).
•If it doesn’t hold vehicle, it is faulty; get it
fixed.
Test Service Brake Stopping Action
•Go about five miles per hour.
•Push brake pedal firmly
•“Pulling” to one side or the other can mean
brake trouble.
•Any unusual brake pedal “feel” or delayed
stopping action can mean trouble.
If you find anything unsafe during the Vehicle
inspection, get it fixed. Federal and state laws
forbid operating an unsafe vehicle.
2.1.6 – Inspection during a Trip
Check Vehicle Operation Regularly
You should check:
•Instruments.
•Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).
•Temperature gauges.
•Pressure gauges.
•Ammeter/voltmeter.
•Mirrors.
•Tires.
•Cargo, cargo covers.
•Lights, etc
If you see, hear, smell, or feel anything that might
mean trouble, check it out.
Safety Inspection. Drivers of trucks and truck
tractors when transporting cargo must inspect the
securement of the cargo within the first 50 miles
of a trip and every 150 miles or every three hours
(whichever comes first) after.
2.1.7 – After-trip Inspection and Report
You may have to make a written report each day
on the condition of the vehicle(s) you drove. Report
anything affecting safety or possibly leading to
mechanical breakdown.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Subsection 2.1
Test Your Knowledge
The vehicle inspection report tells the motor carrier
about problems that may need fixing. Keep a copy
of your report in the vehicle for one day. That way,
the next driver can learn about any problems you
have found.
1. What is the most important reason for doing a
vehicle inspection?
2. What things should you check during a trip?
3. Name some key steering system parts.
4. Name some suspension system defects.
5. What three kinds of emergency equipment
must you have?
6. What is the minimum tread depth for front
tires? For other tires?
7. Name some things you should check on
the front of your vehicle during the walk around
inspection.
8. What should wheel bearing seals be checked
for?
9. How many red reflective triangles should you
carry?
10. How do you test hydraulic brakes for leaks?
11. Why put the starter switch key in your pocket
during the Vehicle inspection?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 2.1.
2.2 – Basic Control of Your Vehicle
To drive a vehicle safely, you must be able to
control its speed and direction. Safe operation of a
commercial vehicle requires skill in:
•Accelerating.
•Steering.
•Stopping.
•Backing safely.
Fasten your seatbelt when on the road. Apply the
parking brake when you leave your vehicle.
2.2.1 – Accelerating
Don’t roll back when you start. You may hit someone
behind you. If you have a manual transmission
vehicle, partly engage the clutch before you take
your right foot off the brake. Put on the parking
brake whenever necessary to keep from rolling
back. Release the parking brake only when you
have applied enough engine power to keep from
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
rolling back. On a tractor-trailer equipped with a
trailer brake hand valve, the hand valve can be
applied to keep from rolling back.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside
mirrors on both sides frequently. Get out of the
vehicle and check your path if you are unsure.
Speed up smoothly and gradually so the vehicle
does not jerk. Rough acceleration can cause
mechanical damage. When pulling a trailer, rough
acceleration can damage the coupling.
Back Slowly. Always back as slowly as possible.
Use the lowest reverse gear. That way you can
more easily correct any steering errors. You also
can stop quickly if necessary.
Speed up very gradually when traction is poor, as
in rain or snow. If you use too much power, the
drive wheels may spin. You could lose control. If
the drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot off
the accelerator.
Back and Turn Toward the Driver’s Side. Back
to the driver’s side so that you can see better.
Backing toward the right side is very dangerous
because you can’t see as well. If you back and turn
toward the driver’s side, you can watch the rear of
your vehicle by looking out the side window. Use
driver-side backing--even if it means going around
the block to put your vehicle in this position. The
added safety is worth it.
2.2.2 – Steering
Hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
Your hands should be on opposite sides of the
wheel. If you hit a curb or a pothole (chuckhole),
the wheel could pull away from your hands unless
you have a firm hold.
2.2.3 – Stopping
Push the brake pedal down gradually. The amount
of brake pressure you need to stop the vehicle
will depend on the speed of the vehicle and how
quickly you need to stop. Control the pressure so
the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, push the clutch in
when the engine is close to idle.
Use a Helper. Use a helper when you can. There
are blind spots you can’t see. That’s why a helper
is important. The helper should stand near the
back of your vehicle where you can see the helper.
Before you begin backing, work out a set of hand
signals that you both understand. Agree on a signal
for “stop.”
2.3 – Shifting Gears
Correct shifting of gears is important. If you can’t
get your vehicle into the right gear while driving,
you will have less control.
2.2.4 – Backing Safely
2.3.1 – Manual Transmissions
Because you cannot see everything behind your
vehicle, backing is always dangerous. Avoid
backing whenever you can. When you park, try
to park so you will be able to pull forward when
you leave. When you have to back, here are a few
simple safety rules:
Basic Method for Shifting Up. Most heavy
vehicles with manual transmissions require double
clutching to change gears. This is the basic method:
• Start in the proper position.
• Look at your path.
• Use mirrors on both sides.
• Back slowly.
•
Back and turn toward the driver’s side
whenever possible.
• Use a helper whenever possible.
• These rules are discussed in turn below.
Start in the Proper Position. Put the vehicle in
the best position to allow you to back safely. This
position will depend on the type of backing to be
done.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel before
you begin. Get out and walk around the vehicle.
Check your clearance to the sides and overhead,
in and near the path your vehicle will take.
Page 2-8
•
Release accelerator, push in clutch and shift
to neutral at the same time.
•
Release clutch.
•
Let engine and gears slow down to the rpm
required for the next gear (this takes practice).
•
Push in clutch and shift to the higher gear at
the same time.
•
Release clutch and press accelerator at the
same time.
Shifting gears using double clutching requires
practice. If you remain too long in neutral, you
may have difficulty putting the vehicle into the next
gear. If so, don’t try to force it. Return to neutral,
release clutch, increase engine speed to match
road speed, and try again.
Knowing When to Shift Up. There are two ways of
knowing when to shift:
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Use Engine Speed (rpm). Study the driver’s
manual for your vehicle and learn the operating
rpm range. Watch your tachometer, and shift up
when your engine reaches the top of the range.
(Some newer vehicles use “progressive” shifting:
the rpm at which you shift becomes higher as you
move up in the gears. Find out what’s right for the
vehicle you will operate.)
Use Road Speed (mph). Learn what speeds each
gear is good for. Then, by using the speedometer,
you’ll know when to shift up.
With either method, you may learn to use engine
sounds to know when to shift.
Basic Procedures for Shifting Down
•
Release accelerator, push in clutch, and shift
to neutral at the same time.
•
Release clutch.
•
Press accelerator, increase engine and gear
speed to the rpm required in the lower gear.
•
Push in clutch and shift to lower gear at the
same time.
•
Release clutch and press accelerator at the
same time.
•
Downshifting, like upshifting, requires knowing
when to shift. Use either the tachometer or
the speedometer and downshift at the right
rpm or road speed.
Special conditions where you should downshift
are:
Before Starting Down a Hill. Slow down and
shift down to a speed that you can control without
using the brakes hard. Otherwise the brakes can
overheat and lose their braking power.
Downshift before starting down the hill. Make sure
you are in a low enough gear, usually lower than
the gear required to climb the same hill.
Before Entering a Curve. Slow down to a safe
speed, and downshift to the right gear before
entering the curve. This lets you use some power
through the curve to help the vehicle be more
stable while turning. It also allows you to speed up
as soon as you are out of the curve.
2.3.2 – Multi-speed Rear Axles and Auxiliary
Transmissions
Multi-speed rear axles and auxiliary transmissions
are used on many vehicles to provide extra gears.
You usually control them by a selector knob or switch
on the gearshift lever of the main transmission.
There are many different shift patterns. Learn the
right way to shift gears in the vehicle you will drive.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.3.3 – Automatic Transmissions
Some vehicles have automatic transmissions.
You can select a low range to get greater engine
braking when going down grades. The lower
ranges prevent the transmission from shifting up
beyond the selected gear (unless the governor
rpm is exceeded). It is very important to use this
braking effect when going down grades.
2.3.4 – Retarders
Some vehicles have “retarders.” Retarders help
slow a vehicle, reducing the need for using your
brakes. They reduce brake wear and give you
another way to slow down. There are four basic
types of retarders (exhaust, engine, hydraulic, and
electric). All retarders can be turned on or off by
the driver. On some vehicles the retarding power
can be adjusted. When turned “on,” retarders
apply their braking power (to the drive wheels only)
whenever you let up on the accelerator pedal all
the way.
Because these devices can be noisy, be sure you
know where their use is permitted.
Caution. When your drive wheels have poor
traction, the retarder may cause them to skid.
Therefore, you should turn the retarder off whenever
the road is wet, icy, or snow covered.
Subsections 2.2 and 2.3
Test Your Knowledge
1. Why should you back toward the driver’s side?
2.If stopped on a hill, how can you start moving
without rolling back?
3.When backing, why is it important to use a
helper?
4.What’s the most important hand signal that you
and the helper should agree on?
5.What are the two special conditions where you
should downshift?
6.When should you downshift automatic
transmissions?
7.
Retarders keep you from skidding when the
road is slippery. True or False?
8. What are the two ways to know when to shift?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.2 and 2.3.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.4 – Seeing
2.4.2 – Seeing to the Sides and Rear
To be a safe driver you need to know what’s going
on all around your vehicle. Not looking properly is a
major cause of accidents.
It’s important to know what’s going on behind and
to the sides. Check your mirrors regularly. Check
more often in special situations.
2.4.1 – Seeing Ahead
Mirror Adjustment. Mirror adjustment should
be checked prior to the start of any trip and can
only be checked accurately when the trailer(s) are
straight. You should check and adjust each mirror
to show some part of the vehicle. This will give you
a reference point for judging the position of the
other images.
All drivers look ahead; but many don’t look far
enough ahead.
Importance of Looking Far Enough Ahead.
Because stopping or changing lanes can take a lot
of distance, knowing what the traffic is doing on
all sides of you is very important. You need to look
well ahead to make sure you have room to make
these moves safely.
How Far Ahead to Look. Most good drivers look
at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead. That means
looking ahead the distance you will travel in 12
to 15 seconds. At lower speeds, that’s about one
block. At highway speeds it’s about a quarter of
a mile. If you’re not looking that far ahead, you
may have to stop too quickly or make quick lane
changes. Looking 12 to 15 seconds ahead doesn’t
mean not paying attention to things that are closer.
Good drivers shift their attention back and forth,
near and far. Figure 2.6 illustrates how far to look
ahead.
Regular Checks. You need to make regular checks
of your mirrors to be aware of traffic and to check
your vehicle.
Traffic. Check your mirrors for vehicles on either
side and in back of you. In an emergency, you
may need to know whether you can make a quick
lane change. Use your mirrors to spot overtaking
vehicles. There are “blind spots” that your mirrors
cannot show you. Check your mirrors regularly to
know where other vehicles are around you, and to
see if they move into your blind spots.
Check Your Vehicle. Use the mirrors to keep an
eye on your tires. It’s one way to spot a tire fire. If
you’re carrying open cargo, you can use the mirrors
to check it. Look for loose straps, ropes, or chains.
Watch for a flapping or ballooning tarp.
Special Situations. Special situations require
more than regular mirror checks. These are lane
changes, turns, merges, and tight maneuvers.
Lane Changes. You need to check your mirrors
to make sure no one is alongside you or about to
pass you. Check your mirrors:
CITY DRIVING
OPEN HIGHWAY
12-15 Seconds is About One Block
12-15 Seconds is About A Quarter-Mile
Figure 2.6
Look for Traffic. Look for vehicles coming onto
the highway, into your lane, or turning. Watch for
brake lights from slowing vehicles. By seeing these
things far enough ahead, you can change your
speed, or change lanes if necessary to avoid a
problem. If a traffic light has been green for a long
time it will probably change before you get there.
Start slowing down and be ready to stop.
Page 2-10
•
Before you change lanes to make sure there is
enough room.
•
After you have signaled, to check that no one
has moved into your blind spot.
•
Right after you start the lane change, to
double-check that your path is clear.
•
After you complete the lane change.
Turns. In turns, check your mirrors to make sure
the rear of your vehicle will not hit anything.
Merges. When merging, use your mirrors to make
sure the gap in traffic is large enough for you to
enter safely.
Tight Maneuvers. Any time you are driving in close
quarters, check your mirrors often. Make sure you
have enough clearance.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
How to Use Mirrors. Use mirrors correctly by
checking them quickly and understanding what
you see.
•
When you use your mirrors while driving on
the road, check quickly. Look back and forth
between the mirrors and the road ahead.
Don’t focus on the mirrors for too long.
Otherwise, you will travel quite a distance
without knowing what’s happening ahead.
•
Many large vehicles have curved (convex,
“fisheye,” “spot,” “bug-eye”) mirrors that
show a wider area than flat mirrors. This is
often helpful. But everything appears smaller
in a convex mirror than it would if you were
looking at it directly. Things also seem farther
away than they really are. It’s important to
realize this and to allow for it. Figure 2.7
shows the field of vision using a convex
mirror.
2.5 – Communicating
2.5.1 – Signal Your Intentions
Other drivers can’t know what you are going to do
until you tell them.
Signaling what you intend to do is important for
safety. Here are some general rules for signaling.
FIELD OF VISION USING
A CONVEX MIRROR
Turns. There are three good rules for using turn
signals:
•
Signal early. Signal well before you turn. It is
the best way to keep others from trying to
pass you.
•
Signal continuously. You need both hands
on the wheel to turn safely. Don’t cancel the
signal until you have completed the turn.
•
Cancel your signal. Don’t forget to turn off
your turn signal after you’ve turned (if you
don’t have self-canceling signals).
Lane Changes. Put your turn signal on before
changing lanes. Change lanes slowly and smoothly.
That way a driver you didn’t see may have a chance
to honk his/her horn, or avoid your vehicle.
Slowing Down. Warn drivers behind you when you
see you’ll need to slow down. A few light taps on
the brake pedal -- enough to flash the brake lights
-- should warn following drivers. Use the four-way
emergency flashers for times when you are driving
very slowly or are stopped. Warn other drivers in
any of the following situations:
Trouble Ahead. The size of your vehicle may make
it hard for drivers behind you to see hazards ahead.
If you see a hazard that will require slowing down,
warn the drivers behind by flashing your brake
lights.
Tight Turns. Most car drivers don’t know how
slowly you have to go to make a tight turn in a
large vehicle. Give drivers behind you warning by
braking early and slowing gradually.
Stopping on the Road. Truck and bus drivers
sometimes stop in the roadway to unload cargo or
passengers, or to stop at a railroad crossing. Warn
following drivers by flashing your brake lights.
Don’t stop suddenly.
Driver
Driving Slowly. Drivers often do not realize how
fast they are catching up to a slow vehicle until
they are very close. If you must drive slowly, alert
following drivers by turning on your emergency
flashers if it is legal. (Laws regarding the use of
flashers differ from one state to another. Check the
laws of the states where you will drive.)
Convex
Mirror
View
Plane
Mirror
View
Blind
Spot
Area
Plane
Mirror
View
Convex
Mirror
View
Don’t Direct Traffic. Some drivers try to help out
others by signaling when it is safe to pass. You
should not do this. You could cause an accident.
You could be blamed and it could cost you many
thousands of dollars.
Figure 2.7
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.5.2 – Communicating Your Presence
Other drivers may not notice your vehicle even
when it’s in plain sight. To help prevent accidents,
let them know you’re there.
When Passing. Whenever you are about to pass a
vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist, assume they don’t
see you. They could suddenly move in front of you.
When it is legal, tap the horn lightly or, at night,
flash your lights from low to high beam and back.
And, drive carefully enough to avoid a crash even if
they don’t see or hear you.
Back beyond any hill, curve, or other obstruction
that prevents other drivers from seeing the vehicle
within 500 feet. If line of sight view is obstructed
due to hill or curve, move the rear-most triangle to
a point back down the road so warning is provided.
See Figure 2.10.
When It’s Hard to See. At dawn, dusk, in rain, or
snow, you need to make yourself easier to see. If
you are having trouble seeing other vehicles, other
drivers will have trouble seeing you. Turn on your
lights. Use the headlights, not just the identification
or clearance lights. Use the low beams; high
beams can bother people in the daytime as well
as at night.
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you
pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the
four-way emergency flashers. This is important at
night.
If you stop on a two-lane road carrying traffic in both
directions or on an undivided highway, place warning
devices within 10 feet of the front or rear corners to
mark the location of the vehicle and 100 feet behind
and ahead of the vehicle, on the shoulder or in the
lane you stopped in. See Figure 2.9.
Figure 2.10
When putting out the triangles, hold them between
yourself and the oncoming traffic for your own
safety. (So other drivers can see you.)
Use Your Horn When Needed. Your horn can
let others know you’re there. It can help to avoid
a crash. Use your horn when needed. However, it
can startle others and could be dangerous when
used unnecessarily.
2.6 – Controlling Speed
Driving too fast is a major cause of fatal crashes.
You must adjust your speed depending on driving
conditions. These include traction, curves, visibility,
traffic and hills.
2.6.1 – Stopping Distance
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Braking
Distance = Total Stopping Distance
Figure 2.9
Page 2-12
Perception distance. The distance your vehicle
travels, in ideal conditions; from the time your eyes
see a hazard until your brain recognizes it. Keep
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
in mind certain mental and physical conditions can
affect your perception distance. It can be affected
greatly depending on visibility and the hazard itself.
The average perception time for an alert driver is
1¾ seconds. At 55 mph this accounts for 142 feet
traveled.
Reaction distance. The distance you will continue
to travel, in ideal conditions; before you physically
hit the brakes, in response to a hazard seen ahead.
The average driver has a reaction time of ¾ second
to 1 second. At 55 mph this accounts for 61 feet
traveled.
Braking distance. The distance your vehicle will
travel, in ideal conditions; while you are braking. At
55 mph on dry pavement with good brakes, it can
take about 216 feet.
Total stopping distance. The total minimum
distance your vehicle has traveled, in ideal
conditions; with everything considered, including
perception distance, reaction distance and braking
distance, until you can bring your vehicle to a
complete stop. At 55 mph, your vehicle will travel
a minimum of 419 feet. See Figure 2.11.
increase the severity of crashes and stopping
distances. By slowing down, you can reduce
braking distance.
The Effect of Vehicle Weight on Stopping
Distance. The heavier the vehicle, the more work
the brakes must do to stop it, and the more heat
they absorb. But the brakes, tires, springs, and
shock absorbers on heavy vehicles are designed to
work best when the vehicle is fully loaded. Empty
trucks require greater stopping distances because
an empty vehicle has less traction.
2.6.2 – Matching Speed to the Road Surface
You can’t steer or brake a vehicle unless you have
traction. Traction is friction between the tires and
the road. There are some road conditions that
reduce traction and call for lower speeds.
Slippery Surfaces. It will take longer to stop, and
it will be harder to turn without skidding, when the
road is slippery. Wet roads can double stopping
distance. You must drive slower to be able to stop
in the same distance as on a dry road. Reduce
speed by about one-third (e.g., slow from 55 to
about 35 mph) on a wet road. On packed snow,
reduce speed by a half, or more. If the surface is
icy, reduce speed to a crawl and stop driving as
soon as you can safely do so.
Identifying Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes it’s
hard to know if the road is slippery. Here are some
signs of slippery roads:
Shaded Areas. Shady parts of the road will remain
icy and slippery long after open areas have melted.
Bridges. When the temperature drops, bridges will
freeze before the road will. Be especially careful
when the temperature is close to 32 degrees
Fahrenheit.
Melting Ice. Slight melting will make ice wet. Wet
ice is much more slippery than ice that is not wet.
Figure 2.11
The Effect of Speed on Stopping Distance. The
faster you drive, the greater the impact or striking
power of your vehicle. When you double your
speed from 20 to 40 mph the impact is 4 times
greater. The braking distance is also 4 times
longer. Triple the speed from 20 to 60 mph and the
impact and braking distance is 9 times greater. At
60 mph, your stopping distance is greater than the
length of a football field. Increase the speed to 80
mph and the impact and braking distance are 16
times greater than at 20 mph. High speeds greatly
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Black Ice. Black ice is a thin layer that is clear
enough that you can see the road underneath it. It
makes the road look wet. Any time the temperature
is below freezing and the road looks wet, watch out
for black ice.
Vehicle Icing. An easy way to check for ice is to
open the window and feel the front of the mirror,
mirror support, or antenna. If there’s ice on these,
the road surface is probably starting to ice up.
Just After Rain Begins. Right after it starts to
rain, the water mixes with oil left on the road by
vehicles. This makes the road very slippery. If the
rain continues, it will wash the oil away.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Hydroplaning. In some weather, water or slush
collects on the road. When this happens, your
vehicle can hydroplane. It’s like water skiing--the
tires lose their contact with the road and have
little or no traction. You may not be able to steer
or brake. You can regain control by releasing the
accelerator and pushing in the clutch. This will
slow your vehicle and let the wheels turn freely. If
the vehicle is hydroplaning, do not use the brakes
to slow down. If the drive wheels start to skid, push
in the clutch to let them turn freely.
It does not take a lot of water to cause hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning can occur at speeds as low as 30
mph if there is a lot of water. Hydroplaning is more
likely if tire pressure is low, or the tread is worn.
(The grooves in a tire carry away the water; if they
aren’t deep, they don’t work well.)
Road surfaces where water can collect can create
conditions that cause a vehicle to hydroplane.
Watch for clear reflections, tire splashes, and
raindrops on the road. These are indications of
standing water.
2.6.3 – Speed and Curves
Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in
the road. If you take a curve too fast, two things
can happen. The tires can lose their traction and
continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road.
Or, the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle
rolls over. Tests have shown that trucks with a high
center of gravity can roll over at the posted speed
limit for a curve.
Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve.
Braking in a curve is dangerous because it is easier
to lock the wheels and cause a skid. Slow down
as needed. Don’t ever exceed the posted speed
limit for the curve. Be in a gear that will let you
accelerate slightly in the curve. This will help you
keep control.
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
You should always be able to stop within the
distance you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other
conditions may require that you slowdown to be
able to stop in the distance you can see. At night,
you can’t see as far with low beams as you can
with high beams. When you must use low beams,
slow down.
2.6.5 – Speed and Traffic Flow
When you’re driving in heavy traffic, the safest
speed is the speed of other vehicles. Vehicles
going the same direction at the same speed are
not likely to run into one another. In many states,
Page 2-14
speed limits are lower for trucks and buses than
for cars. It can vary as much as 15 mph. Use extra
caution when you change lanes or pass on these
roadways. Drive at the speed of the traffic, if you
can without going at an illegal or unsafe speed.
Keep a safe following distance.
The main reason drivers exceed speed limits is to
save time. But, anyone trying to drive faster than
the speed of traffic will not be able to save much
time. The risks involved are not worth it. If you go
faster than the speed of other traffic, you’ll have
to keep passing other vehicles. This increases the
chance of a crash, and it is more tiring. Fatigue
increases the chance of a crash. Going with the
flow of traffic is safer and easier.
2.6.6 – Speed on Downgrades
Your vehicle’s speed will increase on downgrades
because of gravity. Your most important objective
is to select and maintain a speed that is not too
fast for the:
•
•
•
•
•
Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
Length of the grade.
Steepness of the grade.
Road conditions.
Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating
“Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed
shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs
indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as
the principal way of controlling your speed on
downgrades. The braking effect of the engine is
greatest when it is near the governed rpms and the
transmission is in the lower gears. Save your brakes
so you will be able to slow or stop as required by
road and traffic conditions. Shift your transmission
to a low gear before starting down the grade and
use the proper braking techniques. Please read
carefully the section on going down long, steep
downgrades safely in “Mountain Driving.”
2.6.7 – Roadway Work Zones
Speeding traffic is the number one cause of injury
and death in roadway work zones. Observe the
posted speed limits at all times when approaching
and driving through a work zone. Watch your
speedometer, and don’t allow your speed to creep
up as you drive through long sections of road
construction. Decrease your speed for adverse
weather or road conditions. Decrease your speed
even further when a worker is close to the roadway.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6
Test Your Knowledge
1.
How far ahead does the manual say you
should look?
2. What are two main things to look for ahead?
3.What’s your most important way to see the
sides and rear of your vehicle?
4.What does “communicating” mean in safe
driving?
5.Where should you place reflectors when
stopped on a divided highway?
6.What three things add up to total stopping
distance?
7.If you go twice as fast, will your stopping
distance increase by two or four times?
8.Empty trucks have the best braking. True or
False?
9. What is hydroplaning?
10. What is “black ice”?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.4, 2.5, and
2.6.
How Much Space? How much space should you
keep in front of you? One good rule says you need
at least one second for each 10 feet of vehicle
length at speeds below 40 mph. At greater speeds,
you must add 1 second for safety. For example, if
you are driving a 40-foot vehicle, you should leave
4 seconds between you and the vehicle ahead. In
a 60-foot rig, you’ll need 6 seconds. Over 40 mph,
you’d need 5 seconds for a 40-foot vehicle and 7
seconds for a 60-foot vehicle. See Figure 2.12.
To know how much space you have, wait until the
vehicle ahead passes a shadow on the road, a
pavement marking, or some other clear landmark.
Then count off the seconds like this: “one thousandand-one, one thousand-and-two” and so on, until
you reach the same spot. Compare your count with
the rule of one second for every ten feet of length.
If you are driving a 40-foot truck and only counted
up to 2 seconds, you’re too close. Drop back a
little and count again until you have 4 seconds of
following distance (or 5 seconds, if you’re going
over 40 mph). After a little practice, you will know
how far back you should be. Remember to add 1
second for speeds above 40 mph. Also remember
that when the road is slippery, you need much
more space to stop.
2.7 – Managing Space
HEAVY VEHICLE FORMULA
To be a safe driver, you need space all around your
vehicle. When things go wrong, space gives you
time to think and to take action.
For timed interval following distance
To have space available when something goes
wrong, you need to manage space. While this is
true for all drivers, it is very important for large
vehicles. They take up more space and they require
more space for stopping and turning.
• 1 second required for each 10 feet of
vehicle length at speeds under 40 MPH
• Above 40 MPH use same formula, then
add 1 second for the additional speed
2.7.1 – Space Ahead
Of all the space around your vehicle, it is the area
ahead of the vehicle--the space you’re driving into
--that is most important.
The Need for Space Ahead. You need space
ahead in case you must suddenly stop. According
to accident reports, the vehicle that trucks and
buses most often run into is the one in front of
them. The most frequent cause is following too
closely. Remember, if the vehicle ahead of you is
smaller than yours, it can probably stop faster than
you can. You may crash if you are following too
closely.
40 foot truck (under 40 MPH) = 4 seconds
50 foot truck (above 40 MPH) = 6 seconds
60 foot truck (under 40 MPH) = 6 seconds
Figure 2.12
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-15
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.7.2 – Space Behind
You can’t stop others from following you too
closely. But there are things you can do to make
it safer.
Stay to the Right. Heavy vehicles are often
tailgated when they can’t keep up with the speed
of traffic. This often happens when you’re going
uphill. If a heavy load is slowing you down, stay in
the right lane if you can. Going uphill, you should
not pass another slow vehicle unless you can get
around quickly and safely.
Dealing with Tailgaters Safely. In a large vehicle,
it’s often hard to see whether a vehicle is close
behind you. You may be tailgated:
•
When you are traveling slowly. Drivers trapped
behind slow vehicles often follow closely.
•
In bad weather. Many car drivers follow
large vehicles closely during bad weather,
especially when it is hard to see the road
ahead.
If you find yourself being tailgated, here are some
things you can do to reduce the chances of a crash:
•
Avoid quick changes. If you have to slow
down or turn, signal early, and reduce speed
very gradually.
•
Increase your following distance. Opening
up room in front of you will help you to avoid
having to make sudden speed or direction
changes. It also makes it easier for the
tailgater to get around you.
•
Don’t speed up. It’s safer to be tailgated at a
low speed than a high speed.
•
Avoid tricks. Don’t turn on your taillights or
flash your brake lights. Follow the suggestions
above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
Commercial vehicles are often wide and take up
most of a lane. Safe drivers will manage what little
space they have. You can do this by keeping your
vehicle centered in your lane, and avoid driving
alongside others.
Staying Centered in a Lane. You need to keep
your vehicle centered in the lane to keep safe
clearance on either side. If your vehicle is wide, you
have little room to spare.
Traveling Next to Others. There are two dangers
in traveling alongside other vehicles:
•
Another driver may change lanes suddenly
and turn into you.
Page 2-16
•
You may be trapped when you need to
change lanes.
Find an open spot where you aren’t near other
traffic. When traffic is heavy, it may be hard to find
an open spot. If you must travel near other vehicles,
try to keep as much space as possible between
you and them. Also, drop back or pull forward so
that you are sure the other driver can see you.
Strong Winds. Strong winds make it difficult to
stay in your lane. The problem is usually worse for
lighter vehicles. This problem can be especially
bad coming out of tunnels. Don’t drive alongside
others if you can avoid it.
2.7.4 – Space Overhead
Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure
you always have overhead clearance.
•
Don’t assume that the heights posted at
bridges and overpasses are correct. Repaving or packed snow may have reduced the
clearances since the heights were posted.
•
The weight of a cargo van changes its height.
An empty van is higher than a loaded one.
That you got under a bridge when you were
loaded does not mean that you can do it
when you are empty.
•
If you doubt you have safe space to pass
under an object, go slowly. If you aren’t
sure you can make it, take another route.
Warnings are often posted on low bridges or
underpasses, but sometimes they are not.
•
Some roads can cause a vehicle to tilt. There
can be a problem clearing objects along the
edge of the road, such as signs, trees, or
bridge supports. Where this is a problem,
drive a little closer to the center of the road.
•
Before you back into an area, get out and
check for overhanging objects such as trees,
branches, or electric wires. It’s easy to miss
seeing them while you are backing. (Also
check for other hazards at the same time.)
2.7.5 – Space Below
Many drivers forget about the space under their
vehicles. That space can be very small when a
vehicle is heavily loaded. This is often a problem
on dirt roads and in unpaved yards. Don’t take a
chance on getting hung up. Drainage channels
across roads can cause the ends of some vehicles
to drag. Cross such depressions carefully.
Railroad tracks can also cause problems,
particularly when pulling trailers with a low
underneath clearance. Don’t take a chance on
getting hung up halfway across.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.7.6 – Space for Turns
The space around a truck or bus is important in
turns. Because of wide turning and off-tracking,
large vehicles can hit other vehicles or objects
during turns.
Right Turns. Here are some rules to help prevent
right-turn crashes:
•
Turn slowly to give yourself and others more
time to avoid problems.
•
If you are driving a truck or bus that cannot
make the right turn without swinging into
another lane, turn wide as you complete the
turn. Keep the rear of your vehicle close to the
curb. This will stop other drivers from passing
you on the right.
•
Don’t turn wide to the left as you start the
turn. A following driver may think you are
turning left and try to pass you on the right.
You may crash into the other vehicle as you
complete your turn.
•
If you must cross into the oncoming lane to
make a turn, watch out for vehicles coming
toward you. Give them room to go by or
to stop. However, don’t back up for them,
because you might hit someone behind you.
See Figure 2.13.
Don't Do This
Figure 2.14
If there
are two
leftto turn
2.7.7 – Space
Needed
Cross lanes,
or Enter
Traffic
use the right-hand lane.
Be aware of the size and weight of your vehicle
when you cross or enter traffic. Here are some
important things to keep in mind.
•Because of slow acceleration and the space
large vehicles require, you may need a much
larger gap to enter traffic than you would in a
car.
•Acceleration varies with the load. Allow more
room if your vehicle is heavily loaded.
•Before you start across a road, make sure
you can get all the way across before traffic
reaches you.
2.8 – Seeing Hazards
2.8.1 – Importance of Seeing Hazards
Figure 2.13
Left Turns. On a left turn, make sure you have
reached the center of the intersection before you
start the left turn. If you turn too soon, the left side
of your vehicle may hit another vehicle because of
off-tracking.
If there are two turning lanes, always take the right
turn lane. Don’t start in the inside lane because
you may have to swing right to make the turn.
Drivers on your left can be more readily seen. See
Figure 2.14.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
What Is a Hazard? A hazard is any road condition
or other road user (driver, bicyclist, pedestrian) that
is a possible danger. For example, a car in front
of you is headed toward the freeway exit, but his
brake lights come on and he begins braking hard.
This could mean that the driver is uncertain about
taking the off ramp. He might suddenly return to
the highway. This car is a hazard. If the driver of the
car cuts in front of you, it is no longer just a hazard;
it is an emergency.
Seeing Hazards Lets You Be Prepared. You will
have more time to act if you see hazards before
they become emergencies. In the example above,
you might make a lane change or slow down to
prevent a crash if the car suddenly cuts in front of
you. Seeing this hazard gives you time to check
your mirrors and signal a lane change. Being
prepared reduces the danger. A driver who did
Page 2-17
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
not see the hazard until the slow car pulled back
on the highway in front of him would have to do
something very suddenly. Sudden braking or a
quick lane change is much more likely to lead to
a crash.
Learning to See Hazards. There are often clues
that will help you see hazards. The more you
drive, the better you can learn to see hazards. This
section will talk about hazards that you should be
aware of.
2.8.2 – Hazardous Roads
[Move-Over Laws]
[The incidents of law enforcement officers,
emergency medical services, fire department
personnel and people working on the road are
being struck while performing duties at the
roadside are increasing at a frightening pace. To
lessen the problem, move-over laws have been
enacted, which require drivers to slow and change
lanes when approaching a roadside incident or
emergency vehicle. Signs are posted on roadways
in states that have such laws].
[When approaching an authorized emergency
vehicle stopped on the roadside or a work zone,
you should proceed with caution by slowing and
yielding the right-of-way by making a lane change
into a lane not next to that of the authorized
emergency vehicle or work zone if safety and traffic
conditions permit. If a lane change is unsafe, slow
down and proceed with caution while maintaining
a safe speed for traffic conditions].
Slow down and be very careful if you see any of the
following road hazards.
Work Zones. When people are working on the
road, it is a hazard. There may be narrower lanes,
sharp turns, or uneven surfaces. Other drivers are
often distracted and drive unsafely. Workers and
construction vehicles may get in the way. Drive
slowly and carefully near work zones. Use your
four-way flashers or brake lights to warn drivers
behind you.
Drop Off. Sometimes the pavement drops off
sharply near the edge of the road. Driving too near
the edge can tilt your vehicle toward the side of the
road. This can cause the top of your vehicle to hit
roadside objects (signs, tree limbs). Also, it can be
hard to steer as you cross the drop off, going off
the road, or coming back on.
Foreign Objects. Things that have fallen on the
road can be hazards. They can be a danger to your
tires and wheel rims. They can damage electrical
Page 2-18
and brake lines. They can be caught between dual
tires and cause severe damage. Some obstacles
that appear to be harmless can be very dangerous.
For example, cardboard boxes may be empty,
but they may also contain some solid or heavy
material capable of causing damage. The same
is true of paper and cloth sacks. It is important to
remain alert for objects of all sorts, so you can see
them early enough to avoid them without making
sudden, unsafe moves.
Off Ramps/On Ramps. Freeway and turnpike
exits can be particularly dangerous for commercial
vehicles. Off ramps and on ramps often have
speed limit signs posted. Remember, these speeds
may be safe for automobiles, but may not be safe
for larger vehicles or heavily loaded vehicles. Exits
that go downhill and turn at the same time can be
especially dangerous. The downgrade makes it
difficult to reduce speed. Braking and turning at
the same time can be a dangerous practice. Make
sure you are going slowly enough before you get
on the curved part of an off ramp or on ramp.
2.8.3 – Drivers Who Are Hazards
In order to protect yourself and others, you must
know when other drivers may do something
hazardous. Some clues to this type of hazard are
discussed below.
Blocked Vision. People who can’t see others
are a very dangerous hazard. Be alert for drivers
whose vision is blocked. Vans, loaded station
wagons, and cars with the rear window blocked
are examples. Rental trucks should be watched
carefully. Their drivers are often not used to the
limited vision they have to the sides and rear of the
truck. In winter, vehicles with frosted, ice-covered,
or snow-covered windows are hazards.
Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind intersections
or alleys. If you only can see the rear or front end
of a vehicle but not the driver, then he or she can’t
see you. Be alert because he/she may back out or
enter into your lane. Always be prepared to stop.
Delivery Trucks Can Present a Hazard. Packages
or vehicle doors often block the driver’s vision.
Drivers of step vans, postal vehicles, and local
delivery vehicles often are in a hurry and may
suddenly step out of their vehicle or drive their
vehicle into the traffic lane.
Parked Vehicles Can Be Hazards, especially
when people start to get out of them. Or, they may
suddenly start up and drive into your way. Watch
for movement inside the vehicle or movement of
the vehicle itself that shows people are inside.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Watch for brake lights or backup lights, exhaust,
and other clues that a driver is about to move.
Be careful of a stopped bus. Passengers may
cross in front of or behind the bus, and they often
can’t see you.
Pedestrians and Bicyclists Can Also Be Hazards.
Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists may be on the
road with their back to the traffic, so they can’t see
you. Sometimes they wear portable stereos with
headsets, so they can’t hear you either. This can
be dangerous. On rainy days, pedestrians may not
see you because of hats or umbrellas. They may
be hurrying to get out of the rain and may not pay
attention to the traffic.
Distractions. People who are distracted are
hazards. Watch for where they are looking. If they
are looking elsewhere, they can’t see you. But be
alert even when they are looking at you. They may
believe that they have the right of way.
Children. Children tend to act quickly without
checking traffic. Children playing with one another
may not look for traffic and are a serious hazard.
Talkers. Drivers or pedestrians talking to one
another may not be paying close attention to the
traffic.
Workers. People working on or near the roadway
are a hazard clue. The work creates a distraction
for other drivers and the workers themselves may
not see you.
Ice Cream Trucks. Someone selling ice cream is a
hazard clue. Children may be nearby and may not
see you.
Disabled Vehicles. Drivers changing a tire or fixing
an engine often do not pay attention to the danger
that roadway traffic is to them. They are often
careless. Jacked up wheels or raised hoods are
hazard clues.
Clues to tourists include car-top luggage and
out-of-state license plates. Unexpected actions
(stopping in the middle of a block, changing lanes
for no apparent reason, backup lights suddenly
going on) are clues to confusion. Hesitation is
another clue, including driving very slowly, using
brakes often, or stopping in the middle of an
intersection. You may also see drivers who are
looking at street signs, maps, and house numbers.
These drivers may not be paying attention to you.
Slow Drivers. Motorists who fail to maintain normal
speed are hazards. Seeing slow moving vehicles
early can prevent a crash. Some vehicles, by their
nature, are slow and seeing them is a hazard clue
(mopeds, farm machinery, construction machinery,
tractors, etc.). Some of these will have the “slow
moving vehicle” symbol to warn you. This is a red
triangle with an orange center. Watch for it.
Drivers Signaling a Turn May Be a Hazard. Drivers
signaling a turn may slow more than expected or
stop. If they are making a tight turn into an alley or
driveway, they may go very slowly. If pedestrians or
other vehicles block them, they may have to stop
on the roadway. Vehicles turning left may have to
stop for oncoming vehicles.
Drivers in a Hurry. Drivers may feel your commercial
vehicle is preventing them from getting where they
want to go on time. Such drivers may pass you
without a safe gap in the oncoming traffic, cutting
too close in front of you. Drivers entering the road
may pull in front of you in order to avoid being
stuck behind you, causing you to brake. Be aware
of this and watch for drivers who are in a hurry.
Impaired Drivers. Drivers who are sleepy, have
had too much to drink, are on drugs, or who are ill
are hazards. Some clues to these drivers are:
Shoppers. People in and around shopping areas
are often not watching traffic because they are
looking for stores or looking into store windows.
•
Weaving across the road or drifting from one
side to another.
•
Leaving the road (dropping right wheels onto
the shoulder, or bumping across a curb in a
turn).
•
Stopping at the wrong time (stopping at a
green light, or waiting for too long at a stop).
•
Open window in cold weather.
•
Speeding up or slowing down suddenly,
driving too fast or too slow.
•
Be alert for drunk drivers and sleepy drivers
late at night.
Confused Drivers. Confused drivers often change
direction suddenly or stop without warning.
Confusion is common near freeway or turnpike
interchanges and major intersections. Tourists
unfamiliar with the area can be very hazardous.
Driver Body Movement as a Clue. Drivers look
in the direction they are going to turn. You may
sometimes get a clue from a driver’s head and
body movements that a driver may be going to
make a turn, even though the turn signals aren’t
Accidents. Accidents are particularly hazardous.
People involved in the accident may not look for
traffic. Passing drivers tend to look at the accident.
People often run across the road without looking.
Vehicles may slow or stop suddenly.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-19
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
on. Drivers making over-the-shoulder checks may
be going to change lanes. These clues are most
easily seen in motorcyclists and bicyclists. Watch
other road users and try to tell whether they might
do something hazardous.
Conflicts. You are in conflict when you have to
change speed and/or direction to avoid hitting
someone. Conflicts occur at intersections where
vehicles meet, at merges (such as turnpike on
ramps) and where there are needed lane changes
(such as the end of a lane, forcing a move to
another lane of traffic). Other situations include
slow moving or stalled traffic in a traffic lane, and
accident scenes. Watch for other drivers who are
in conflict because they are a hazard to you. When
they react to this conflict, they may do something
that will put them in conflict with you.
2.8.4 – Always Have a Plan
You should always be looking for hazards. Continue
to learn to see hazards on the road. However,
don’t forget why you are looking for the hazards-they may turn into emergencies. You look for the
hazards in order to have time to plan a way out
of any emergency. When you see a hazard, think
about the emergencies that could develop and
figure out what you would do. Always be prepared
to take action based on your plans. In this way,
you will be a prepared, defensive driver who will
improve your own safety as well as the safety of all
road users.
Subsections 2.7 and 2.8
Test Your Knowledge
1.How do you find out how many seconds of
following distance space you have?
2.If you are driving a 30-foot vehicle at 55 mph,
how many seconds of following distance should
you allow?
3.You should decrease your following distance if
somebody is following you too closely. True or
False?
4.If you swing wide to the left before turning right,
another driver may try to pass you on the right.
True or False?
5. What is a hazard?
6.Why make emergency plans when you see a
hazard?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.7 and 2.8
Page 2-20
2.9 – Distracted Driving
A driver distraction is anything that takes your
attention away from driving. Whenever you are
driving a vehicle and your full attention is not on
the driving task, you are putting yourself, your
passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians in
danger. Distracted driving can cause collisions,
resulting in injury, death or property damage.
Activities inside of the vehicle that can distract
your attention include: talking to passengers;
adjusting the radio, CD player or climate controls;
eating, drinking or smoking; reading maps or other
literature; picking up something that fell; talking
on a cell phone or CB radio; reading or sending
text messages; using any type of telematic or
electronic devices (such as navigation systems,
pagers, personal digital assistant, computers, etc.);
daydreaming or being occupied with other mental
distractions; and many others.
Possible distractions that could occur outside
a moving vehicle: outside traffic, vehicles or
pedestrians; outside events such as police pulling
someone over or a crash scene; sunlight/sunset;
objects in roadway; road construction; reading
billboards or other road advertisements; and many
others.
2.9.1 – The Distracted Driving Crash
Problem
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS)
reported that 8 percent of large-truck crashes
occurred when Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)
drivers were externally distracted and 2 percent of
large truck crashes occurred when the driver was
internally distracted.
Approximately 5,500 people are killed each year
on U.S. roadways and an estimated 448,000
are injured in motor vehicle crashes involving
distracted driving (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts:
Distracted Driving).
Research indicates that the burden of talking on a
cell phone - even if it’s hands-free - saps the brain
of 39% of the energy it would ordinarily devote to
safe driving. Drivers who use a hand-held device
are more likely to get into a crash serious enough
to cause injury. (NHTSA distracted driving website,
www.distraction.gov).
2.9.2 – Effects of Distracted Driving
Effects of distracted driving include slowed
perception, which may cause you to be delayed
in perceiving or completely fail to perceive an
important traffic event; delayed decision making
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
and improper action, which can cause you to
be delayed in taking the proper action or make
incorrect inputs to the steering, accelerator or
brakes.
2.9.3 – Types of Distractions
There are many causes of distraction, all with the
potential to increase risk.
•
Physical distraction – one that causes you to
take your hands off the wheel or eyes off the
road, such as reaching for an object.
•
Mental distraction – activities that take your
mind away from the road, such as engaging
in conversation with a passenger or thinking
about something that happened during the
day.
•
Both physical and mental distraction – even
greater chance a crash could happen, such as
talking on a cell phone; or sending or reading
text messages.
2.9.4 – Cell/Mobile Phones
49 CFR Part 383, 384, 390, 391 and 392 of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)
and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR)
restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones
by drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs);
and implements new driver disqualification
sanctions for drivers of CMVs who fail to comply
with this Federal restriction; or who have multiple
convictions for violating a State or local law or
ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control that
restricts the use of hand-held mobile telephones.
Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from
requiring or allowing drivers of CMVs to use handheld mobile telephones.
The use of hand-held mobile telephones means,
‘‘using at least one hand to hold a mobile telephone
to conduct a voice communication; “dialing a
mobile telephone by pressing more than a single
button”; or “moving from a seated driving position
while restrained by a seat belt to reach for a mobile
telephone”. If you choose to use a mobile phone
while operating a CMV, you may only use a hands
free mobile phone that is located close to you and
that can be operated in compliance with the rule to
conduct a voice communication.
Your CDL will be disqualified after two or more
convictions of any state law on hand-held
mobile telephone use while operating a CMV.
Disqualification is 60 days for the second offense
within 3 years and 120 days for three or more
offenses within 3 years. In addition, the first and
Section 2 - Driving Safely
each subsequent violation of such a prohibition
are subject to civil penalties imposed on such
drivers, in an amount up to $2,750. Motor carriers
must not allow nor require drivers to use a handheld mobile telephone while driving. Employers
may also be subject to civil penalties in an amount
up to $11,000. There is an emergency exception
that allows you to use your hand-held mobile
telephones if necessary to communicate with law
enforcement officials or other emergency services.
Research shows that the odds of being involved
in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash,
unintentional lane deviation) is 6 times greater
for CMV drivers who engage in dialing a mobile
telephone while driving than for those who do
not. Dialing drivers took their eyes off the forward
roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 mph
(or 80.7 feet per second), this equates to a driver
traveling 306 feet, the approximate length of a
football field, without looking at the roadway.
Your primary responsibility is to operate a motor
vehicle safely. To do this, you must focus your full
attention on the driving task.
Note that hands-free devices are no less likely than
hand-held cell phones to cause you to become
distracted. Attention is diverted from the driving
task while using either device.
2.9.5 –Texting
49 CFR Part 383, 384, 390, 391, 392, the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) prohibits
texting by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers
while operating in interstate commerce; and
implements new driver disqualification sanctions
for drivers of CMVs who fail to comply with
this Federal prohibition; or who have multiple
convictions for violating a State or local law or
ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control that
prohibits texting while driving. Additionally, motor
carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing
their drivers to engage in texting while driving.
Texting means manually entering text into, or reading
text from, an electronic device. This includes, but
is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing,
instant messaging, a command or request to
access a World Wide Web page, or engaging in any
other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for
present or future communication.
Electronic device includes, but is not limited to,
a cellular telephone; personal digital assistant;
pager; computer; or any other device used to enter,
write, send, receive, or read text.
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Your CDL will be disqualified after two or more
convictions of any state law on texting while
operating a CMV. Disqualification is 60 days for
the second offense within 3 years and 120 days for
three or more offenses within 3 years. In addition,
the first and each subsequent violation of such a
prohibition are subject to civil penalties imposed on
such drivers, in an amount up to $2,750. No motor
carrier shall allow or require its drivers to engage
in texting while driving. There is an emergency
exception that allows you text if necessary to
communicate with law enforcement officials or
other emergency services.
Evidence suggests that text messaging is even
riskier than talking on a cell phone because it
requires you to look at a small screen and manipulate
the keypad with one’s hands. Texting is the most
alarming distraction because it involves both
physical and mental distraction simultaneously.
Research shows that the odds of being involved
in a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash,
unintentional lane deviation) is 23.2 times greater
for CMV drivers who engage in texting while driving
than for those who do not. Sending or receiving
text takes your eyes from the road for an average of
4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, you would travel 371 feet,
or the length of an entire football field – without
looking at the roadway.
2.9.6 – Don’t Drive Distracted
Your goal should be to eliminate all in-vehicle
distractions before driving begins. Accomplishing
this goal can be done by:
•
Assessing all potential in-vehicle distractions
before driving
•
Developing a preventative plan to reduce/
eliminate possible distractions
•
Expecting distractions to occur
•
Discussing possible scenarios before getting
behind the wheel
Based on the assessment of potential distractions,
you can formulate a preventative plan to reduce/
eliminate possible distractions.
If drivers react a half-second slower because of
distractions, crashes double. Some tips to follow
so you won’t become distracted:
•
Turn off all communication devices.
•
If you must use a mobile phone, make sure
it is within close proximity, that it is operable
while you are restrained, use an earpiece or the
speaker phone function, use voice-activated
dialing; or use the hands-free feature. Drivers
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are not in compliance if they unsafely reach for
a mobile phone, even if they intend to use the
hands-free function.
•
Do not type or read a text message on a
mobile device while driving.
•
Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s features
and equipment, before you get behind the
wheel.
•
Adjust all vehicle controls and mirrors to your
preferences prior to driving.
•
Pre-program radio stations and pre-load your
favorite CDs.
•
Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects
and secure cargo.
•
Review maps, program the GPS and plan your
route before you begin driving.
•
Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
•
Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you
drive. Leave early to allow yourself time to stop
to eat.
•
Don’t engage in complex or emotionally
intense conversations with other occupants.
•
Secure commitment from other occupants to
behave responsibly and to support the driver in
reducing distractions.
2.9.7 – Watch Out for Other Distracted
Drivers
You need to be able to recognize other drivers who
are engaged in any form of driving distraction. Not
recognizing other distracted drivers can prevent
you from perceiving or reacting correctly in time to
prevent a crash. Watch for:
•
Vehicles that may drift over the lane divider lines
or within their own lane.
•
Vehicles traveling at inconsistent speeds.
•
Drivers who are preoccupied with maps, food,
cigarettes, cell phones, or other objects.
•
Drivers who appear to be involved in
conversations with their passengers.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and maintain
your safe following distance.
Be very careful when passing a driver who seems
to be distracted. The other driver may not be aware
of your presence, and they may drift in front of you.
2.10 – Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
2.10.1 – What Is It?
Aggressive driving and road rage is not a new
problem. However, in today’s world, where heavy
and slow-moving traffic and tight schedules are
the norm, more and more drivers are taking out
their anger and frustration in their vehicles.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Crowded roads leave little room for error, leading
to suspicion and hostility among drivers and
encouraging them to take personally the mistakes
of other drivers.
Aggressive driving is the act of operating a motor
vehicle in a selfish, bold, or pushy manner, without
regard for the rights or safety of others.
Road rage is operating a motor vehicle with
the intent of doing harm to others or physically
assaulting a driver or their vehicle.
•
Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate
authorities by providing a vehicle description,
license number, location and, if possible,
direction of travel.
•
If you have a cell phone, and can do it safely,
call the police.
•
If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash
farther down the road, stop a safe distance
from the crash scene, wait for the police to
arrive, and report the driving behavior that you
witnessed.
2.10.2 – Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver
How you feel before you even start your vehicle
has a lot to do with how stress will affect you while
driving.
•
Reduce your stress before and while you
drive. Listen to “easy listening” music.
•
Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow
yourself to become distracted by talking on
your cell phone, eating, etc.
•
Be realistic about your travel time. Expect
delays because of traffic, construction, or bad
weather and make allowances.
•
If you’re going to be later than you expected
– deal with it. Take a deep breath and accept
the delay.
•
Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try
to imagine why he or she is driving that way.
Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do
with you.
•
Slow down and keep your following distance
reasonable.
•
Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
•
Avoid gestures. Keep your hands on the
wheel. Avoid making any gestures that might
anger another driver, even seemingly harmless
expressions of irritation like shaking your
head.
•
Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another
driver seems eager to get in front of you,
say, “Be my guest.” This response will soon
become a habit and you won’t be as offended
by other drivers’ actions.
2.10.3 – What You Should Do When
Confronted by an Aggressive Driver
•
First and foremost, make every attempt to get
out of their way.
•
Put your pride in the back seat. Do not
challenge them by speeding up or attempting
to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
•
Avoid eye contact.
•
Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Subsections 2.9 and 2.10
Test Your Knowledge
1.What are some tips to follow so you won’t
become a distracted driver?
2.How do you use in-vehicle communications
equipment cautiously?
3.How do you recognize a distracted driver?
4.What is the difference between aggressive
driving and road rage?
5.What should you do when confronted with an
aggressive driver?
6.What are some things you can do to reduce
your stress before and while you drive?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and 2.10.
2.11 – Driving at Night
2.11.1 – It’s More Dangerous
You are at greater risk when you drive at night.
Drivers can’t see hazards as quickly as in daylight,
so they have less time to respond. Drivers caught
by surprise are less able to avoid a crash.
The problems of night driving involve the driver, the
roadway, and the vehicle.
2.11.2 – Driver Factors
Vision. Good vision is critical for safe driving. Your
control of the brake, accelerator, and steering
wheel is based on what you see. If you cannot see
clearly, you will have trouble identifying traffic and
roadway conditions, spotting potential trouble or
responding to problems in a timely manner.
Because seeing well is so critical to safe driving,
you should have your eyes checked regularly by
an eye specialist. You may never know you have
poor vision unless your eyes are tested. If you
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
need to wear glasses or contact lenses for driving,
remember to:
•
Always wear them when driving, even if
driving short distances. If your driver license
says corrective lenses are required, it is illegal
to move a vehicle without using corrective
lenses.
•
Keep an extra set of corrective lenses in your
vehicle. If your normal corrective lenses are
broken or lost, you can use the spare lenses
to drive safely.
•
Avoid using dark or tinted corrective lenses at
night, even if you think they help with glare.
Tinted lenses cut down the light that you need
to see clearly under night driving conditions.
Glare. Drivers can be blinded for a short time by
bright light. . It can take several seconds to recover
from glare. Even two seconds of glare blindness
can be dangerous. A vehicle going 55 mph will
travel more than half the distance of a football field
during that time.
Fatigue and Lack of Alertness. Fatigue is physical
or mental tiredness that can be caused by physical
or mental strain, repetitive tasks, illness or lack of
sleep. Just like alcohol and drugs, it impairs your
vision and judgment.
Fatigue causes errors related to speed and
distance, increases your risk of being in a crash,
causes you to not see and react to hazards as
quickly; and affects your ability to make critical
decisions. When you are fatigued, you could fall
asleep behind the wheel and crash, injuring or
killing yourself or others.
Fatigued or drowsy driving is one of the leading
causes of traffic collisions. NHTSA estimates that
100,000 police-reported crashes a year are the
result of drowsy driving. According to the National
Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of
Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and
more than one third (36 percent or 103 million
people) admit to having actually fallen asleep at
the wheel. Drivers may experience short bursts of
sleep lasting only a few seconds or fall asleep for
longer periods of time. Either way, the chance of a
collision increases dramatically.
particularly true if you have been driving for a long
time. Thus individuals who drive at night are much
more likely to have fall-asleep crashes.
Research has identified young males, shift workers,
commercial drivers, especially long-haul drivers
and people with untreated sleep disorders or with
short-term or chronic sleep deprivation as being
at increased risk for having a fall-asleep crash. At
least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve fatigue.
A congressionally mandated study of 80 long-haul
truck drivers in the United States and Canada
found that drivers averaged less than 5 hours
of sleep per day. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, 1996) It is no surprise then that
the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
reported that drowsy driving was probably the
cause of more than half of crashes leading to a
truck driver’s death. (NTSB, 1990) For each truck
driver fatality, another three to four people are
killed. (NHTSA, 1994)
Warning Signs of Fatigue
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep
in America poll, 60% of Americans have driven
while feeling sleepy and 36% admit to actually
having fallen asleep at the wheel in the past year.
However, many people cannot tell if or when they
are about to fall asleep. Here are some signs that
should tell you to stop and rest:
•
Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking or heavy
eyelids
•
Yawning repeatedly or rubbing eyes
•
Day-dreaming; or wandering/disconnected
thoughts
•
Trouble remembering the last few miles
driven; missing exits or traffic signs
•
Trouble keeping head up
•
Drifting from your lane, following too closely
or hitting a shoulder rumble strip
•
Feeling restless and irritable
When you are tired trying to “push on” is far more
dangerous than most drivers think. It is a major
cause of fatal accidents. If you notice any signs of
fatigue, stop driving and go to sleep for the night
or take a 15 – 20 minute nap.
At-Risk Groups
Are You At Risk?
The risk of having a crash due to drowsy driving
is not uniformly distributed across the population.
Crashes tend to occur at times when sleepiness
is most pronounced, for example, during the night
and in the mid-afternoon. Most people are less
alert at night, especially after midnight. This is
•
Before you drive, consider whether you are:
•
Sleep-deprived or fatigued (6 hours of sleep
or less triples your risk)
•
Suffering from sleep loss (insomnia), poor
quality sleep, or a sleep debt
•
Driving long distances without proper rest
breaks
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•
Driving through the night, mid-afternoon or
when you would normally be asleep. Many
heavy motor vehicle accidents occur between
midnight and 6 a.m.
•
Taking sedating medications (antidepressants,
cold tablets, antihistamines)
•
Working more than 60 hours a week
(increases your risk by 40%)
•
Working more than one job, and your main job
involves shift work
•
Driving alone or on a long, rural, dark or
boring road
•
Flying, changing time zone
2.11.3 – Roadway Factors
Preventing drowsiness before a trip:
Even when there are lights, the road scene can
be confusing. Traffic signals and hazards can be
hard to see against a background of signs, shop
windows, and other lights.
•
Get adequate sleep – adults need 8 to 9 hours
to maintain alertness
•
Prepare route carefully to identify total
distance, stopping points and other logistic
considerations
•
Schedule trips for the hours you are normally
awake, not the middle of the night
•
Drive with a passenger
•
Avoid medications that cause drowsiness
•
Consult your physician if you suffer from
daytime sleepiness, have difficulty sleeping at
night or take frequent naps
•
Incorporate exercise into your daily life to give
you more energy
Poor Lighting. In the daytime there is usually
enough light to see well. This is not true at night.
Some areas may have bright street lights, but
many areas will have poor lighting. On most roads
you will probably have to depend entirely on your
headlights.
Less light means you will not be able to see hazards
as well as in daytime. Road users who do not have
lights are hard to see. There are many accidents
at night involving pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists,
and animals.
Drive slower when lighting is poor or confusing.
Drive slowly enough to be sure you can stop in the
distance you can see ahead.
Drunk Drivers. Drunk drivers and drivers under the
influence of drugs are a hazard to themselves and
to you. Be especially alert around the closing times
for bars and taverns. Watch for drivers who have
trouble staying in their lane or maintaining speed,
who stop without reason, or show other signs of
being under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Maintaining alertness while driving:
2.11.4 – Vehicle Factors
•
Protect yourself from glare and eyestrain with
sunglasses
•
Keep cool by opening the window or using
the air conditioner
•
Avoid heavy foods
•
Be aware of down time during the day
•
Have another person ride with you, and take
turns driving
•
Take periodic breaks – about every 100 miles
or 2 hours during long trips
•
Stop driving and get some rest or take a nap
•
Caffeine consumption can increase
awareness for a few hours, but do not drink
too much. It will eventually wear off. Do not
rely on caffeine to prevent fatigue
•
Avoid drugs. While they may keep you awake
for a while, they won’t make you alert.
Headlights. At night your headlights will usually be
the main source of light for you to see by and for
others to see you. You can’t see nearly as much
with your headlights as you see in the daytime.
With low beams you can see ahead about 250 feet
and with high beams about 350-500 feet. You must
adjust your speed to keep your stopping distance
within your sight distance. This means going
slowly enough to be able to stop within the range
of your headlights. Otherwise, by the time you see
a hazard, you will not have time to stop.
If you are drowsy, the only safe cure is to get off the
road and get some sleep. If you don’t, you risk your
life and the lives of others.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Night driving can be more dangerous if you have
problems with your headlights. Dirty headlights
may give only half the light they should. This cuts
down your ability to see, and makes it harder for
others to see you. Make sure your lights are clean
and working. Headlights can be out of adjustment.
If they don’t point in the right direction, they won’t
give you a good view and they can blind other
drivers. Have a qualified person make sure they are
adjusted properly.
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Other Lights. In order for you to be seen easily,
the following must be clean and working properly:
•
Reflectors.
•
Marker lights.
•
Clearance lights.
•
Taillights.
•
Identification lights.
Turn Signals and Brake Lights. At night your turn
signals and brake lights are even more important
for telling other drivers what you intend to do.
Make sure you have clean, working turn signals
and stop lights.
Windshield and Mirrors. It is more important at
night than in the daytime to have a clean windshield
and clean mirrors. Bright lights at night can cause
dirt on your windshield or mirrors to create a glare
of its own, blocking your view. Most people have
experienced driving toward the sun just as it has
risen or is about to set, and found that they can
barely see through a windshield that seemed to look
OK in the middle of the day. Clean your windshield
on the inside and outside for safe driving at night.
2.11.5 – Night Driving Procedures
Vehicle Procedures. Make sure you are rested
and alert. If you are drowsy, sleep before you drive!
Even a nap can save your life or the lives of others.
If you wear eyeglasses, make sure they are clean
and unscratched. Don’t wear sunglasses at night.
Do a complete Vehicle inspection of your vehicle.
Pay attention to checking all lights and reflectors,
and cleaning those you can reach.
Avoid Blinding Others. Glare from your headlights
can cause problems for drivers coming toward you.
They can also bother drivers going in the same
direction you are, when your lights shine in their
rearview mirrors. Dim your lights before they cause
glare for other drivers. Dim your lights within 500
feet of an oncoming vehicle and when following
another vehicle within 500 feet.
Avoid Glare from Oncoming Vehicles. Do not
look directly at lights of oncoming vehicles. Look
slightly to the right at a right lane or edge marking, if
available. If other drivers don’t put their low beams
on, don’t try to “get back at them” by putting
your own high beams on. This increases glare for
oncoming drivers and increases the chance of a
crash.
Use High Beams When You Can. Some drivers
make the mistake of always using low beams. This
seriously cuts down on their ability to see ahead.
Use high beams when it is safe and legal to do so.
Page 2-26
Use them when you are not within 500 feet of an
approaching vehicle. Also, don’t let the inside of
your cab get too bright. This makes it harder to see
outside. Keep the interior light off, and adjust your
instrument lights as low as you can to still be able
to read the gauges.
If You Get Sleepy, Stop at the Nearest Safe
Place. People often don’t realize how close they
are to falling asleep even when their eyelids are
falling shut. If you can safely do so, look at yourself
in a mirror. If you look sleepy, or you just feel sleepy,
stop driving! You are in a very dangerous condition.
The only safe cure is to sleep.
2.12 – Driving in Fog
Fog can occur at any time. Fog on highways can
be extremely dangerous. Fog is often unexpected,
and visibility can deteriorate rapidly. You should
watch for foggy conditions and be ready to reduce
your speed. Do not assume that the fog will thin
out after you enter it.
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. It is
preferable that you pull off the road into a rest area
or truck stop until visibility is better. If you must
drive, be sure to consider the following:
•
Obey all fog-related warning signs.
•
Slow down before you enter fog.
•
Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for
best visibility even in daytime, and be alert for
other drivers who may have forgotten to turn
on their lights.
•
Turn on your 4-way flashers. This will give
vehicles approaching you from behind a
quicker opportunity to notice your vehicle.
•
Watch for vehicles on the side of the roadway.
Seeing taillights or headlights in front of you
may not be a true indication of where the road
is ahead of you. The vehicle may not be on
the road at all.
•
Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to
determine how the road may curve ahead of
you.
•
Listen for traffic you cannot see.
•
Avoid passing other vehicles.
•
Don’t stop along the side of the road, unless
absolutely necessary.
2.13 – Driving in Winter
2.13.1 – Vehicle Checks
Make sure your vehicle is ready before driving in
winter weather. You should make a regular Vehicle
inspection, paying extra attention to the following
items.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Coolant Level and Antifreeze Amount. Make
sure the cooling system is full and there is enough
antifreeze in the system to protect against freezing.
This can be checked with a special coolant tester.
Defrosting and Heating Equipment. Make sure
the defrosters work. They are needed for safe
driving. Make sure the heater is working, and that
you know how to operate it. If you use other heaters
and expect to need them (e.g., mirror heaters,
battery box heaters, fuel tank heaters), check their
operation.
Wipers and Washers. Make sure the windshield
wiper blades are in good condition. Make sure
the wiper blades press against the window hard
enough to wipe the windshield clean, otherwise
they may not sweep off snow properly. Make sure
the windshield washer works and there is washing
fluid in the washer reservoir.
Use windshield washer antifreeze to prevent
freezing of the washer liquid. If you can’t see well
enough while driving (for example, if your wipers
fail), stop safely and fix the problem.
Tires. Make sure you have enough tread on your
tires. The drive tires must provide traction to push
the rig over wet pavement and through snow.
The steering tires must have traction to steer the
vehicle. Enough tread is especially important in
winter conditions. You must have at least 4/32 inch
tread depth in every major groove on front tires
and at least 2/32 inch on other tires. More would
be better. Use a gauge to determine if you have
enough tread for safe driving.
Tire Chains. You may find yourself in conditions
where you can’t drive without chains, even to get to
a place of safety. Carry the right number of chains
and extra cross-links. Make sure they will fit your
drive tires. Check the chains for broken hooks,
worn or broken cross-links, and bent or broken
side chains. Learn how to put the chains on before
you need to do it in snow and ice.
Lights and Reflectors. Make sure the lights and
reflectors are clean. Lights and reflectors are
especially important during bad weather. Check
from time to time during bad weather to make sure
they are clean and working properly.
Windows and Mirrors. Remove any ice, snow,
etc., from the windshield, windows, and mirrors
before starting. Use a windshield scraper, snow
brush, and windshield defroster as necessary.
Hand Holds, Steps, and Deck Plates. Remove all
ice and snow from hand holds, steps, and deck
plates. This will reduce the danger of slipping.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Radiator Shutters and Winterfront. Remove
ice from the radiator shutters. Make sure the
winterfront is not closed too tightly. If the shutters
freeze shut or the winterfront is closed too much,
the engine may overheat and stop.
Exhaust System. Exhaust system leaks are
especially dangerous when cab ventilation may be
poor (windows rolled up, etc.). Loose connections
could permit poisonous carbon monoxide to leak
into your vehicle. Carbon monoxide gas will cause
you to be sleepy. In large enough amounts it can
kill you. Check the exhaust system for loose parts
and for sounds and signs of leaks.
2.13.2 – Driving
Slippery Surfaces. Drive slowly and smoothly on
slippery roads. If it is very slippery, you shouldn’t
drive at all. Stop at the first safe place.
Start Gently and Slowly. When first starting, get
the feel of the road. Don’t hurry.
Check for Ice. Check for ice on the road, especially
bridges and overpasses. A lack of spray from other
vehicles indicates ice has formed on the road. Also,
check your mirrors and wiper blades for ice. If they
have ice, the road most likely will be icy as well.
Adjust Turning and Braking to Conditions. Make
turns as gently as possible. Don’t brake any harder
than necessary, and don’t use the engine brake or
speed retarder. (They can cause the driving wheels
to skid on slippery surfaces.)
Adjust Speed to Conditions. Don’t pass slower
vehicles unless necessary. Go slowly and watch
far enough ahead to keep a steady speed. Avoid
having to slow down and speed up. Take curves
at slower speeds and don’t brake while in curves.
Be aware that as the temperature rises to the point
where ice begins to melt, the road becomes even
more slippery. Slow down more.
Adjust Space to Conditions. Don’t drive alongside
other vehicles. Keep a longer following distance.
When you see a traffic jam ahead, slow down or
stop to wait for it to clear. Try hard to anticipate
stops early and slow down gradually. Watch for
snowplows, as well as salt and sand trucks, and
give them plenty of room.
Wet Brakes. When driving in heavy rain or deep
standing water, your brakes will get wet. Water in
the brakes can cause the brakes to be weak, to
apply unevenly, or to grab. This can cause lack of
braking power, wheel lockups, pulling to one side
or the other, and jackknife if you pull a trailer.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•
Avoid driving through deep puddles or flowing
water if possible. If not, you should:
•
Slow down and place transmission in a low
gear.
•
Gently put on the brakes. This presses linings
against brake drums or discs and keeps mud,
silt, sand, and water from getting in.
•
Increase engine rpm and cross the water
while keeping light pressure on the brakes.
•
When out of the water, maintain light pressure
on the brakes for a short distance to heat
them up and dry them out.
•
Make a test stop when safe to do so. Check
behind to make sure no one is following, then
apply the brakes to be sure they work well. If
not, dry them out further as described above.
(CAUTION: Do not apply too much brake
pressure and accelerator at the same time, or
you can overheat brake drums and linings.)
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
2.14.1 – Vehicle Checks
Do a normal Vehicle inspection, but pay special
attention to the following items.
Tires. Check the tire mounting and air pressure.
Inspect the tires every two hours or every 100
miles when driving in very hot weather. Air pressure
increases with temperature. Do not let air out or the
pressure will be too low when the tires cool off. If
a tire is too hot to touch, remain stopped until the
tire cools off. Otherwise the tire may blow out or
catch fire.
Engine Oil. The engine oil helps keep the engine
cool, as well as lubricating it. Make sure there is
enough engine oil. If you have an oil temperature
gauge, make sure the temperature is within the
proper range while you are driving.
Engine Coolant. Before starting out, make sure
the engine cooling system has enough water and
antifreeze according to the engine manufacturer’s
directions. (Antifreeze helps the engine under
hot conditions as well as cold conditions.) When
driving, check the water temperature or coolant
temperature gauge from time to time. Make sure
that it remains in the normal range. If the gauge
goes above the highest safe temperature, there
may be something wrong that could lead to engine
failure and possibly fire. Stop driving as soon as
safely possible and try to find out what is wrong.
containers. These permit you to check the coolant
level while the engine is hot. If the container is not
part of the pressurized system, the cap can be
safely removed and coolant added even when the
engine is at operating temperature.
Never remove the radiator cap or any part of the
pressurized system until the system has cooled.
Steam and boiling water can spray under pressure
and cause severe burns. If you can touch the
radiator cap with your bare hand, it is probably
cool enough to open.
If coolant has to be added to a system without a
recovery tank or overflow tank, follow these steps:
•
Shut engine off.
•
Wait until engine has cooled.
•
Protect hands (use gloves or a thick cloth).
•
Turn radiator cap slowly to the first stop,
which releases the pressure seal.
•
Step back while pressure is released from
cooling system.
•
When all pressure has been released, press
down on the cap and turn it further to remove
it.
•
Visually check level of coolant and add more
coolant if necessary.
•
Replace cap and turn all the way to the closed
position.
Engine Belts. Learn how to check v-belt tightness
on your vehicle by pressing on the belts. Loose
belts will not turn the water pump and/or fan
properly. This will result in overheating. Also, check
belts for cracking or other signs of wear.
Hoses. Make sure coolant hoses are in good
condition. A broken hose while driving can lead to
engine failure and even fire.
2.14.2 – Driving
Watch for Bleeding Tar. Tar in the road pavement
frequently rises to the surface in very hot weather.
Spots where tar “bleeds” to the surface are very
slippery.
Go Slowly Enough to Prevent Overheating. High
speeds create more heat for tires and the engine.
In desert conditions the heat may build up to the
point where it is dangerous. The heat will increase
chances of tire failure or even fire, and engine
failure.
Some vehicles have sight glasses, see-through
coolant overflow containers, or coolant recovery
Page 2-28
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
PAVEMENT
MARKINGS
Subsections 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, and 2.14
Test Your Knowledge
1.You should use low beams whenever you can.
True or False?
2.What should you do before you drive if you are
drowsy?
3.What effects can wet brakes cause? How can
you avoid these problems?
4.You should let air out of hot tires so the pressure
goes back to normal. True or False?
5.You can safely remove the radiator cap as long
as the engine isn’t overheated. True or False?
R
R
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer all of them, re-read subsections 2.11, 2.12,
2.13, and 2.14.
Figure 2.15
2.15 – Railroad-highway Crossings
Railroad-highway grade crossings are a special
kind of intersection where the roadway crosses
train tracks. These crossings are always dangerous.
Every such crossing must be approached with the
expectation that a train is coming. It is extremely
difficult to judge the distance of the train from the
crossing as well as the speed of an approaching
train.
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They
consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a nopassing marking on two-lane roads. See Figure
2.16.
ROUND YELLOW
WARNING SIGN
2.15.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does
not have any type of traffic control device. The
decision to stop or proceed rests entirely in your
hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize
the crossing, search for any train using the tracks
and decide if there is sufficient clear space to cross
safely.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a
traffic control device installed at the crossing
to regulate traffic at the crossing. These active
devices include flashing red lights, with or without
bells and flashing red lights with bells and gates.
2.15.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a
train is coming. All passenger and hazmat carrying
vehicles are required to stop. See Figure 2.15.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
R
R
Figure 2.16
There is also a no passing zone sign on two-lane
roads. There may be a white stop line painted on
the pavement before the railroad tracks. The front
of the school bus must remain behind this line
while stopped at the crossing.
Cross-buck Signs. This sign marks the grade
crossing. It requires you to yield the right-of-way
to the train. If there is no white stop line painted
Page 2-29
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
on the pavement, vehicles that are required to
stop must stop no closer than 15 feet or more than
50 feet from the nearest rail of the nearest track.
When the road crosses over more than one track,
a sign below the cross-buck indicates the number
of tracks. See Figure 2.17.
MULTIPLE TRACKS
I
RA
G
N
I
L
SS
AD
RO
O
R
C
3
TRACKS
Figure 2.17
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail
grade crossings, the cross-buck sign has flashing
red lights and bells. When the lights begin to flash,
stop! A train is approaching. You are required to
yield the right-of-way to the train. If there is more
than one track, make sure all tracks are clear before
crossing. See Figure 2.18.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. See Figure 2.18.
Figure 2.18
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
Never Race a Train to a Crossing. Never attempt
to race a train to a crossing. It is extremely difficult
to judge the speed of an approaching train.
Reduce Speed. Speed must be reduced in
accordance with your ability to see approaching
trains in any direction, and speed must be held to
a point which will permit you to stop short of the
tracks in case a stop is necessary.
Don’t Expect to Hear a Train. Trains may not or are
prohibited from sounding horns when approaching
some crossings. Public crossings where trains
do not sound horns should be identified by
signs. Noise inside your vehicle may, also prevent
you from hearing the train horn until the train is
dangerously close to the crossing.
Don’t Rely on Signals. You should not rely solely
upon the presence of warning signals, gates,
or flagmen to warn of the approach of trains. Be
especially alert at crossings that do not have gates
or flashing red light signals.
Double Tracks Require a Double Check.
Remember that a train on one track may hide a
train on the other track. Look both ways before
crossing. After one train has cleared a crossing, be
sure no other trains are near before starting across
the tracks.
Yard Areas and Grade Crossings in Cities and
Towns. Yard areas and grade crossings in cities
and towns are just as dangerous as rural grade
crossings. Approach them with as much caution.
Page 2-30
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.15.4 – Stopping Safely at Railroadhighway Crossings
A full stop is required at grade crossings
whenever:
•
The nature of the cargo makes a stop
mandatory under state or federal regulations.
•
Such a stop is otherwise required by law.
When stopping be sure to:
•
Check for traffic behind you while stopping
gradually. Use a pullout lane, if available.
•
Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
2.15.5 – Crossing the Tracks
Railroad crossings with steep approaches can
cause your unit to hang up on the tracks.
Never permit traffic conditions to trap you in a
position where you have to stop on the tracks.
Be sure you can get all the way across the tracks
before you start across. It takes a typical tractortrailer unit at least 14 seconds to clear a single
track and more than 15 seconds to clear a double
track.
Do not shift gears while crossing railroad tracks.
2.15.6 – Special Situations
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised
crossings:
•
Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving
van, possum-belly livestock trailer).
•
Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandemaxle tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get
out of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
2.16 – Mountain Driving
In mountain driving, gravity plays a major role.
On any upgrade, gravity slows you down. The
steeper the grade, the longer the grade, and/or
the heavier the load--the more you will have to use
lower gears to climb hills or mountains. In coming
down long, steep downgrades, gravity causes
the speed of your vehicle to increase. You must
select an appropriate safe speed, then use a low
gear, and proper braking techniques. You should
plan ahead and obtain information about any long,
Section 2 - Driving Safely
steep grades along your planned route of travel. If
possible, talk to other drivers who are familiar with
the grades to find out what speeds are safe.
You must go slowly enough so your brakes can
hold you back without getting too hot. If the brakes
become too hot, they may start to “fade.” This
means you have to apply them harder and harder
to get the same stopping power. If you continue to
use the brakes hard, they can keep fading until you
cannot slow down or stop at all.
2.16.1 – Select a “Safe” Speed
Your most important consideration is to select a
speed that is not too fast for the:
•
Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
•
Length of the grade.
•
Steepness of the grade.
•
Road conditions.
•
Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating
“Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed
shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs
indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as the
principal way of controlling your speed. The braking
effect of the engine is greatest when it is near the
governed rpms and the transmission is in the lower
gears. Save your brakes so you will be able to slow
or stop as required by road and traffic conditions.
2.16.2 – Select the Right Gear before
Starting Down the Grade
Shift the transmission to a low gear before starting
down the grade. Do not try to downshift after your
speed has already built up. You will not be able to
shift into a lower gear. You may not even be able to
get back into any gear and all engine braking effect
will be lost. Forcing an automatic transmission
into a lower gear at high speed could damage the
transmission and also lead to loss of all engine
braking effect.
With older trucks, a rule for choosing gears is
to use the same gear going down a hill that you
would need to climb the hill. However, new trucks
have low friction parts and streamlined shapes for
fuel economy. They may also have more powerful
engines. This means they can go up hills in higher
gears and have less friction and air drag to hold
them back going down hills. For that reason,
drivers of modern trucks may have to use lower
gears going down a hill than would be required to
go up the hill. You should know what is right for
your vehicle.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.16.3 – Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub
against the brake drum or disks to slow the vehicle.
Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to
take a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or
fail from excessive heat caused by using them too
much and not relying on the engine braking effect.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely
control a vehicle, every brake must do its share of
the work. Brakes out of adjustment will stop doing
their share before those that are in adjustment. The
other brakes can then overheat and fade, and there
will not be enough braking available to control the
vehicle. Brakes can get out of adjustment quickly,
especially when they are used a lot; also, brake
linings wear faster when they are hot. Therefore,
brake adjustment must be checked frequently.
Subsections 2.15 and 2.16
Test Your Knowledge
1.What factors determine your selection of a
“safe” speed when going down a long, steep
downgrade?
2.Why should you be in the proper gear before
starting down a hill?
3.Describe the proper braking technique when
going down a long, steep downgrade.
4.What type of vehicles can get stuck on a
railroad-highway crossing?
5.How long does it take for a typical tractor-trailer
unit to clear a double track?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.15 and
2.16.
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/
or steep downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in
the proper low gear, the following are the proper
braking techniques:
•
Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a
definite slowdown.
•
When your speed has been reduced to
approximately five mph below your “safe”
speed, release the brakes. (This brake
application should last for about three
seconds.)
•
When your speed has increased to your
“safe” speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph,
you would not apply the brakes until your speed
reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard
enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph
and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often
as necessary until you have reached the end of the
downgrade.
Escape ramps have been built on many steep
mountain downgrades. Escape ramps are made to
stop runaway vehicles safely without injuring drivers
and passengers. Escape ramps use a long bed
of loose, soft material to slow a runaway vehicle,
sometimes in combination with an upgrade.
Know escape ramp locations on your route. Signs
show drivers where ramp are located. Escape
ramps save lives, equipment and cargo.
Page 2-32
2.17 – Driving Emergencies
Traffic emergencies occur when two vehicles are
about to collide. Vehicle emergencies occur when
tires, brakes, or other critical parts fail. Following
the safety practices in this manual can help prevent
emergencies. But if an emergency does happen,
your chances of avoiding a crash depend upon
how well you take action. Actions you can take are
discussed below.
2.17.1 – Steering to Avoid a Crash
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do
in an emergency. When you don’t have enough
room to stop, you may have to steer away from
what’s ahead. Remember, you can almost always
turn to miss an obstacle more quickly than you can
stop. (However, top-heavy vehicles and tractors
with multiple trailers may flip over.)
Keep Both Hands on the Steering Wheel. In
order to turn quickly, you must have a firm grip
on the steering wheel with both hands. The best
way to have both hands on the wheel, if there is an
emergency, is to keep them there all the time.
How to Turn Quickly and Safely. A quick turn can
be made safely, if it’s done the right way. Here are
some points that safe drivers use:
•
Do not apply the brake while you are turning.
It’s very easy to lock your wheels while
turning. If that happens, you may skid out of
control.
•
Do not turn any more than needed to clear
whatever is in your way. The more sharply
you turn, the greater the chances of a skid or
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
rollover.
•
Be prepared to “counter-steer,” that is, to turn
the wheel back in the other direction, once
you’ve passed whatever was in your path.
Unless you are prepared to counter-steer,
you won’t be able to do it quickly enough.
You should think of emergency steering and
counter-steering as two parts of one driving
action.
Don’t try to edge gradually back on the road.
If you do, your tires might grab unexpectedly
and you could lose control.
•
When both front tires are on the paved
surface, counter-steer immediately. The two
turns should be made as a single “steercounter-steer” move.
2.17.2 – How to Stop Quickly and Safely
Where to Steer. If an oncoming driver has drifted
into your lane, a move to your right is best. If that
driver realizes what has happened, the natural
response will be to return to his or her own lane.
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there’s enough distance to stop, and
you use the brakes correctly.
If something is blocking your path, the best
direction to steer will depend on the situation.
You should brake in a way that will keep your
vehicle in a straight line and allow you to turn if it
becomes necessary. You can use the “controlled
braking” method or the “stab braking” method.
•
If you have been using your mirrors, you’ll
know which lane is empty and can be safely
used.
•
If the shoulder is clear, going right may be
best. No one is likely to be driving on the
shoulder but someone may be passing you on
the left. You will know if you have been using
your mirrors.
•
If you are blocked on both sides, a move to
the right may be best. At least you won’t force
anyone into an opposing traffic lane and a
possible head-on collision.
Leaving the Road. In some emergencies, you may
have to drive off the road. It may be less risky than
facing a collision with another vehicle.
Most shoulders are strong enough to support the
weight of a large vehicle and, therefore, offer an
available escape route. Here are some guidelines,
if you do leave the road.
Avoid Braking. If possible, avoid using the brakes
until your speed has dropped to about 20 mph.
Then brake very gently to avoid skidding on a loose
surface.
Keep One Set of Wheels on the Pavement, if
Possible. This helps to maintain control.
Stay on the Shoulder. If the shoulder is clear, stay
on it until your vehicle has come to a stop. Signal
and check your mirrors before pulling back onto
the road.
Returning to the Road. If you are forced to return
to the road before you can stop, use the following
procedure:
•
Hold the wheel tightly and turn sharply
enough to get right back on the road safely.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking
the wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking. With this method, you apply your
brakes all the way and release brakes when wheels
lock up. As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply
the brakes fully again. (It can take up to one second
for the wheels to start rolling after you release the
brakes. If you re-apply the brakes before the wheels
start rolling, the vehicle won’t straighten out.)
Don’t Jam on the Brakes. Emergency braking
does not mean pushing down on the brake pedal
as hard as you can. That will only keep the wheels
locked up and cause a skid. If the wheels are
skidding, you cannot control the vehicle.
2.17.3 – Brake Failure
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most
hydraulic brake failures occur for one of two
reasons: (Air brakes are discussed in Section 5.)
•
Loss of hydraulic pressure.
•
Brake fade on long hills.
Loss of Hydraulic Pressure. When the system
won’t build up pressure, the brake pedal will feel
spongy or go to the floor. Here are some things
you can do.
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear
will help to slow the vehicle.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Pump the Brakes. Sometimes pumping the brake
pedal will generate enough hydraulic pressure to
stop the vehicle.
Use the Parking Brake. The parking or emergency
brake is separate from the hydraulic brake system.
Therefore, it can be used to slow the vehicle.
However, be sure to press the release button or
pull the release lever at the same time you use
the emergency brake so you can adjust the brake
pressure and keep the wheels from locking up.
Find an Escape Route. While slowing the vehicle,
look for an escape route--an open field, sidestreet, or escape ramp. Turning uphill is a good
way to slow and stop the vehicle. Make sure the
vehicle does not start rolling backward after you
stop. Put it in low gear, apply the parking brake,
and, if necessary, roll back into some obstacle that
will stop the vehicle.
Brake Failure on Downgrades. Going slow
enough and braking properly will almost always
prevent brake failure on long downgrades. Once
the brakes have failed, however, you are going to
have to look outside your vehicle for something to
stop it.
Your best hope is an escape ramp. If there is one,
there’ll be signs telling you about it. Use it. Ramps
are usually located a few miles from the top of the
downgrade. Every year, hundreds of drivers avoid
injury to themselves or damage to their vehicles
by using escape ramps. Some escape ramps use
soft gravel that resists the motion of the vehicle
and brings it to a stop. Others turn uphill, using the
hill to stop the vehicle and soft gravel to hold it in
place.
Any driver who loses brakes going downhill should
use an escape ramp if it’s available. If you don’t use
it, your chances of having a serious crash may be
much greater.
If no escape ramp is available, take the least
hazardous escape route you can--such as an open
field or a side road that flattens out or turns uphill.
Make the move as soon as you know your brakes
don’t work. The longer you wait, the faster the
vehicle will go, and the harder it will be to stop.
2.17.4 – Tire Failure
Recognize Tire Failure. Quickly knowing you have
a tire failure will let you have more time to react.
Having just a few extra seconds to remember what
it is you’re supposed to do can help you. The major
signs of tire failure are:
Page 2-34
•
Sound. The loud “bang” of a blowout is an
easily recognized sign. Because it can take
a few seconds for your vehicle to react, you
might think it was some other vehicle. But any
time you hear a tire blow, you’d be safest to
assume it is yours.
•
Vibration. If the vehicle thumps or vibrates
heavily, it may be a sign that one of the tires
has gone flat. With a rear tire, that may be the
only sign you get.
•
Feel. If the steering feels “heavy,” it is
probably a sign that one of the front tires
has failed. Sometimes, failure of a rear tire
will cause the vehicle to slide back and forth
or “fishtail.” However, dual rear tires usually
prevent this.
Respond to Tire Failure. When a tire fails, your
vehicle is in danger. You must immediately:
•
Hold the Steering Wheel Firmly. If a front tire
fails, it can twist the steering wheel out of your
hand. The only way to prevent this is to keep
a firm grip on the steering wheel with both
hands at all times.
•
Stay off the Brake. It’s natural to want to
brake in an emergency. However, braking
when a tire has failed could cause loss of
control. Unless you’re about to run into
something, stay off the brake until the vehicle
has slowed down. Then brake very gently, pull
off the road, and stop.
•
Check the Tires. After you’ve come to a stop,
get out and check all the tires. Do this even if
the vehicle seems to be handling all right. If
one of your dual tires goes, the only way you
may know it is by getting out and looking at it.
2.18 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
ABS is a computerized system that keeps
your wheels from locking up during hard brake
applications.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
2.18.1 – How Antilock Braking Systems
Work
Sensors detect potential wheel lock up. An
electronic control unit (ECU) will then decrease
brake pressure to avoid wheel lockup.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Brake pressure is adjusted to provide the maximum
braking without danger of lockup.
ABS works far faster than the driver can respond to
potential wheel lockup. At all other times the brake
system will operate normally.
2.18.2 – Vehicles Required to Have Antilock
Braking Systems
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain
control. You may or may not be able to stop faster
with ABS, but you should be able to steer around
an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused
by over braking.
The Department of Transportation requires that
ABS be on:
2.18.5 – ABS on the Tractor Only or Only on
the Trailer
•
Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after
March 1, 1997.
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or
even on only one axle, still gives you more control
over the vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
•
Other air brake vehicles, (trucks, buses,
trailers, and converter dollies) built on or after
March 1, 1998.
•
Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with
a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or
more built on or after March 1, 1999.
Many commercial vehicles built before these dates
have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
2.18.3 – How to Know If Your Vehicle Is
Equipped with ABS
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS
malfunction lamps on the instrument panel.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner.
Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998,
are required to have a lamp on the left side.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the
malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a
bulb check, and then goes out quickly. On older
systems, the lamp could stay on until you are
driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost ABS
control.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it
was required by the Department of Transportation,
it may be difficult to tell if the unit is equipped
with ABS. Look under the vehicle for the ECU and
wheel speed sensor wires coming from the back of
the brakes.
2.18.4 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be
able to maintain steering control, and there is less
chance of jackknifing. But keep your eye on the
trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely do
so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you regain control.
2.18.6 – Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
•
Use only the braking force necessary to stop
safely and stay in control.
•
Brake the same way, regardless of whether
you have ABS on the bus, tractor, the trailer,
or both.
•
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and
trailer and back off the brakes (if it is safe to
do so) to stay in control.
There is only one exception to this procedure. If you
drive a straight truck or combination with working
ABS on all axles, in an emergency stop, you can
fully apply the brakes.
2.18.7 – Braking If ABS Is Not Working
Without ABS you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something isn’t working.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the
malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb
check and then goes out quickly. On older systems,
the lamp could stay on until you are driving over
five mph.
Page 2-35
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost ABS
control on one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
2.18.8 – Safety Reminders
•
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow
more closely, or drive less carefully.
•
ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–
ABS should prevent brake-induced skids or
jackknifes, but not those caused by spinning
the drive wheels or going too fast in a turn.
•
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping
distance. ABS will help maintain vehicle
control, but not always shorten stopping
distance.
•
ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate
stopping power–ABS is an “add-on” to your
normal brakes, not a replacement for them.
•
ABS won’t change the way you normally
brake. Under normal brake conditions, your
vehicle will stop as it always stopped. ABS
only comes into play when a wheel would
normally have locked up because of over
braking.
•
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or
poor brake maintenance.
•
Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is
still a safe driver.
•
Remember: Drive so you never need to use
your ABS.
•
Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to
prevent a serious crash.
2.19 – Skid Control and Recovery
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip
on the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
•
Over-braking. Braking too hard and locking
up the wheels. Skids also can occur when
using the speed retarder when the road is
slippery.
•
Over-steering. Turning the wheels more
sharply than the vehicle can turn.
•
Over-acceleration. Supplying too much
power to the drive wheels, causing them to
spin.
•
Driving Too Fast. Most serious skids result
from driving too fast for road conditions.
Drivers who adjust their driving to conditions
don’t over-accelerate and don’t have to overbrake or over-steer from too much speed.
Page 2-36
2.19.1 – Drive-wheel Skids
By far the most common skid is one in which the
rear wheels lose traction through excessive braking
or acceleration. Skids caused by acceleration
usually happen on ice or snow. Taking your foot
off the accelerator can easily stop them. (If it is
very slippery, push the clutch in. Otherwise, the
engine can keep the wheels from rolling freely and
regaining traction.)
Rear wheel braking skids occur when the rear drive
wheels lock. Because locked wheels have less
traction than rolling wheels, the rear wheels usually
slide sideways in an attempt to “catch up” with the
front wheels. In a bus or straight truck, the vehicle
will slide sideways in a “spin out.” With vehicles
towing trailers, a drive-wheel skid can let the
trailer push the towing vehicle sideways, causing a
sudden jackknife. See Figure 2.19.
2.19.2 – Correcting a Drive-wheel Braking
Skid
Do the following to correct a drive-wheel braking
skid.
•
Stop Braking. This will let the rear wheels roll
again, and keep the rear wheels from sliding.
•
Counter-steer. As a vehicle turns back on
course, it has a tendency to keep on turning.
Unless you turn the steering wheel quickly the
other way, you may find yourself skidding in
the opposite direction.
Learning to stay off the brake, turn the steering
wheel quickly, push in the clutch, and counter-steer
in a skid takes a lot of practice. The best place to
get this practice is on a large driving range or “skid
pad.”
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
Driving too fast for conditions causes most frontwheel skids. Other causes include lack of tread
on the front tires and cargo loaded so not enough
weight is on the front axle. In a front-wheel skid, the
front end tends to go in a straight line regardless
of how much you turn the steering wheel. On a
very slippery surface, you may not be able to steer
around a curve or turn.
When a front-wheel skid occurs, the only way to
stop the skid is to let the vehicle slow down. Stop
turning and/or braking so hard. Slow down as
quickly as possible without skidding.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.20 – Accident Procedures
When you’re in an accident and not seriously hurt,
you need to act to prevent further damage or injury.
The basic steps to be taken at any accident are to:
•Protect the area.
•Notify authorities.
•Care for the injured.
2.20.1 – Protect the Area
The first thing to do at an accident scene is to keep
another accident from happening in the same spot.
To protect the accident area:
Figure 2.19
Subsections 2.17, 2.18, and 2.19
Test Your Knowledge
1.Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in
an emergency. True or False?
2.What are some advantages of going right
instead of left around an obstacle?
3. What is an “escape ramp?”
4.If a tire blows out, you should put the brakes on
hard to stop quickly. True or False?
5.How do you know if your vehicle has antilock
brakes?
6.What is the proper braking technique when
driving a vehicle with antilock brakes?
7. How do antilock brakes help you?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.17, 2.18,
and 2.19.
•If your vehicle is involved in the accident, try
to get it to the side of the road. This will help
prevent another accident and allow traffic to
move.
•If you’re stopping to help, park away from
the accident. The area immediately around
the accident will be needed for emergency
vehicles.
•Put on your flashers.
•Set out reflective triangles to warn other
traffic. Make sure other drivers can see them
in time to avoid the accident.
2.20.2 – Notify Authorities
If you have a cell phone or CB, call for assistance
before you get out of your vehicle. If not, wait
until after the accident scene has been properly
protected, then phone or send someone to phone
the police. Try to determine where you are so you
can give the exact location.
2.20.3 – Care for the Injured
If a qualified person is at the accident and helping
the injured, stay out of the way unless asked to
assist. Otherwise, do the best you can to help any
injured parties. Here are some simple steps to
follow in giving assistance:
•Don’t move a severely injured person unless
the danger of fire or passing traffic makes it
necessary.
•Stop heavy bleeding by applying direct
pressure to the wound.
•Keep the injured person warm.
2.21 – Fires
Truck fires can cause damage and injury. Learn the
causes of fires and how to prevent them. Know
what to do to extinguish fires.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-37
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.21.1 – Causes of Fire
The following are some causes of vehicle fires:
•After Accidents. Spilled fuel, improper use of
flares.
•Tires. Under-inflated tires and duals that
touch.
•Electrical System. Short circuits due to
damaged insulation, loose connections.
•Fuel. Driver smoking, improper fueling, loose
fuel connections.
•Cargo. Flammable cargo, improperly sealed or
loaded cargo, poor ventilation.
2.21.2 – Fire Prevention
Pay attention to the following:
•Vehicle Inspection. Make a complete
inspection of the electrical, fuel, and exhaust
systems, tires, and cargo. Be sure to check
that the fire extinguisher is charged.
•En Route Inspection. Check the tires, wheels,
and truck body for signs of heat whenever
you stop during a trip.
•Follow Safe Procedures. Follow correct safety
procedures for fueling the vehicle, using
brakes, handling flares, and other activities
that can cause a fire.
•Monitoring. Check the instruments and
gauges often for signs of overheating and use
the mirrors to look for signs of smoke from
tires or the vehicle.
•Caution. Use normal caution in handling
anything flammable.
2.21.3 – Fire Fighting
Knowing how to fight fires is important. Drivers
who didn’t know what to do have made fires worse.
Know how the fire extinguisher works. Study the
instructions printed on the extinguisher before you
need it. Here are some procedures to follow in case
of fire.
Pull Off the Road. The first step is to get the
vehicle off the road and stop. In doing so:
•Park in an open area, away from buildings,
trees, brush, other vehicles, or anything that
might catch fire.
•Don’t pull into a service station!
•Notify emergency services of your problem
and your location.
Keep the Fire from Spreading. Before trying to
put out the fire, make sure that it doesn’t spread
any further.
Page 2-38
•With an engine fire, turn off the engine as
soon as you can. Don’t open the hood if you
can avoid it. Shoot foam through louvers,
radiator, or from the vehicle’s underside.
•For a cargo fire in a van or box trailer, keep
the doors shut, especially if your cargo
contains hazardous materials. Opening the
van doors will supply the fire with oxygen and
can cause it to burn very fast.
Extinguish the Fire. Here are some rules to follow
in putting out a fire:
•When using the extinguisher, stay as far away
from the fire as possible.
•Aim at the source or base of the fire, not up in
the flames.
Use the Right Fire Extinguisher
•Figures 2.20 and 2.21 detail the type of fire
extinguisher to use by class of fire.
•The B:C type fire extinguisher is designed to
work on electrical fires and burning liquids.
•The A:B:C type is designed to work on
burning wood, paper, and cloth as well.
•Water can be used on wood, paper, or cloth,
but don’t use water on an electrical fire (can
cause shock) or a gasoline fire (it will spread
the flames).
•A burning tire must be cooled. Lots of water
may be required.
•If you’re not sure what to use, especially on a
hazardous materials fire, wait for firefighters.
•Position yourself upwind. Let the wind carry
the extinguisher to the fire.
•Continue until whatever was burning has been
cooled. Absence of smoke or flame does not
mean the fire cannot restart.
Class/Type of Fires
Class
Type
A
ood, Paper, Ordinary Combustibles
W
Extinguish by Cooling and Quenching
Using Water or Dry Chemicals
B
Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Other Greasy Liquids
xtinguish by Smothering, Cooling or
E
Heat Shielding using carbon Dioxide or
Dry Chemicals
C
Electrical Equipment Fires
xtinguish
E
with
Non-conducting
Agents such as Carbon Dioxide or Dry
Chemicals. DO NOT USE WATER.
D
Fires in Combustible Metals
Extinguish
by
Using
Extinguishing Powders
Specialized
Figure 2.20
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Class of Fire/Type of Extinguisher
B or C
Halogenated Agent (Gas)
A
Water
A
Water With Anti-Freeze
A or B
Water, Loaded Steam Style
B, On Some A
Foam
Figure 2.21
Subsections 2.20 and 2.21
Test Your Knowledge
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.20 and
2.21.
0 .00 .00.00 .00 .00 .00.00.00
1 .04 .03.03 .02 .02 .02.02.02
2 .08 .06.05 .05 .04 .04.03.03
3 .11 .09.08 .07 .06 .06.05.05
4 .15 .12.11 .09 .08 .08.07.06
5 .19 .16.13 .12 .11 .09.09.08
6 .23 .19.16 .14 .13 .11.10.09
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and
Driving
7 .26 .22.19 .16 .15 .13.12.11
2.22.1 – Alcohol and Driving
8 .30 .25.21 .19 .17 .15.14.13
Drinking alcohol and then driving is very dangerous
and a serious problem. People who drink alcohol
are involved in traffic accidents resulting in over
20,000 deaths every year. Alcohol impairs muscle
coordination, reaction time, depth perception, and
night vision. It also affects the parts of the brain
that control judgment and inhibition. For some
people, one drink is all it takes to show signs of
impairment.
9 .34 .28.24 .21 .19 .17.15.14
Driving Skills Significantly Affected Legally Intoxicated
Criminal Penalties
Criminal Penalties
1. What are some things to do at an accident
scene to prevent another accident?
2. Name two causes of tire fires.
3. What kinds of fires is a B:C extinguisher not
good for?
4. When using your extinguisher, should you get
as close as possible to the fire?
5. Name some causes of vehicle fires.
Body Weight in Pounds
Only Safe
Impairment
Driving Limits Begins
Carbon Dioxide (Dry)
Effects
Dry Powder Special Compound
B or C
240
D
220
KCL Dry Chemical
200
B or C
180
Purple K Dry Chemical
160
Multi Purpose Dry Chemical
D
140
A, B, C, or D
It is the alcohol in drinks that affects human
performance. It doesn’t make any difference
whether that alcohol comes from “a couple
of beers,” or from two glasses of wine, or
two shots of hard liquor. Approximate Blood
Alcohol Content
120
Regular Dry Chemical
100
Fire Extinguisher Type
B or C
Drinks
Class of Fire
What Is a Drink?
10 .38 .31.27 .23 .21 .19.17.16
Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking. One
drink is 1.25 oz. of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer,
or 5 oz. of table wine.
Figure 2.21
How Alcohol Works. Alcohol goes directly into
the blood stream and is carried to the brain. After
passing through the brain, a small percentage is
removed in urine, perspiration, and by breathing,
while the rest is carried to the liver. The liver can
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-39
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
only process one-third an ounce of alcohol per
hour, which is considerably less than the alcohol
in a standard drink. This is a fixed rate, so only
time, not black coffee or a cold shower, will sober
you up. If you have drinks faster than your body
can get rid of them, you will have more alcohol in
your body, and your driving will be more affected.
The Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) commonly
measures the amount of alcohol in your body. See
Figure 2.22.
All of the following drinks contain the same amount
of alcohol:
•A 12-ounce glass of 5% beer.
•A 5-ounce glass of 12% wine.
•A 1 1/2-ounce shot of 80 proof liquor.
What Determines Blood Alcohol Concentration?
BAC is determined by the amount of alcohol you
drink (more alcohol means higher BAC), how fast
you drink (faster drinking means higher BAC), and
your weight (a small person doesn’t have to drink
as much to reach the same BAC).
Alcohol and the Brain. Alcohol affects more and
more of the brain as BAC builds up. The first part
of the brain affected controls judgment and selfcontrol. One of the bad things about this is it can
keep drinkers from knowing they are getting drunk.
And, of course, good judgment and self-control are
absolutely necessary for safe driving.
As BAC continues to build up, muscle control,
vision, and coordination are affected more and
more. Effects on driving may include:
•Straddling lanes.
•Quick, jerky starts.
•Not signaling, failure to use lights.
•Running stop signs and red lights.
•Improper passing (See Figure 2.23).
These effects mean increased chances of a
crash and chances of losing your driver’s license.
Accident statistics show that the chance of a crash
is much greater for drivers who have been drinking
than for drivers who have not.
How Alcohol Affects Driving. All drivers are
affected by drinking alcohol. Alcohol affects
judgment, vision, coordination, and reaction time.
It causes serious driving errors, such as:
•Increased reaction time to hazards.
•Driving too fast or too slow.
•Driving in the wrong lane.
•Running over the curb.
•Weaving.
Page 2-40
Effects Of Increasing
Blood Alcohol Content
Blood Alcohol Content is the amount of alcohol
in your blood recorded in milligrams of alcohol per
100 milliliters of blood. Your BAC depends on the
amount of blood (which increases with weight) and
the amount of alcohol you consume over time (how
fast you drink). The faster you drink, the higher your
BAC, as the liver can only handle about one drink per
hour—the rest builds up in your blood.
BAC
Effects on Body
.02
Mellow feeling, slight
body warmth.
.05
Noticeable relaxation.
.08
Definite impairment in
coordiantion &
judgment.
.10*
.15
.30
.40
.50
Effects on Driving
Less inhibited.
Less alert, less
self-focused,
coordination
impairment begins.
Drunk driving limit,
impaired coordination &
judgment.
Noisy, possible
embarrassing behavior,
mood swings.
Reduction in
reaction time.
Impaired balance &
movement, clearly
drunk.
Many lose
consciousness.
Most lose
consciousness, some
die.
Breathing stops, many
die.
Unable to drive.
BAC of .10 means that 1/10 of 1% (or 1/1000) of
your total blood content is alcohol.
Figure 2.23
2.22.2 – Other Drugs
Besides alcohol, other legal and illegal drugs are
being used more often. Laws prohibit possession
or use of many drugs while on duty. They prohibit
being under the influence of any “controlled
substance,” amphetamines (including “pep pills,”
“uppers,” and “bennies”), narcotics, or any other
substance, which can make the driver unsafe. This
could include a variety of prescription and overthe-counter drugs (cold medicines), which may
make the driver drowsy or otherwise affect safe
driving ability. However, possession and use of a
drug given to a driver by a doctor is permitted if the
doctor informs the driver that it will not affect safe
driving ability.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Pay attention to warning labels for legitimate drugs
and medicines, and to doctor’s orders regarding
possible effects. Stay away from illegal drugs.
Don’t use any drug that hides fatigue--the only cure
for fatigue is rest. Alcohol can make the effects of
other drugs much worse. The safest rule is don’t
mix drugs with driving at all.
Use of drugs can lead to traffic accidents resulting
in death, injury, and property damage. Furthermore,
it can lead to arrest, fines, and jail sentences. It can
also mean the end of a person’s driving career.
2.22.3 – Illness
Once in a while, you may become so ill that you
cannot operate a motor vehicle safely. If this
happens to you, you must not drive. However, in
case of an emergency, you may drive to the nearest
place where you can safely stop.
2.23 – Hazardous Materials Rules For
All Commercial Drivers
All drivers should know something about hazardous
materials. You must be able to recognize hazardous
cargo, and you must know whether or not you
can haul it without having a hazardous materials
endorsement on your CDL license.
2.23.1 – What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation.
See Figure 2.24.
2.23.2 – Why Are There Rules?
You must follow the many rules about transporting
hazardous materials. The intent of the rules is to:
•Contain the product.
•Communicate the risk.
•Ensure safe drivers and equipment.
To Contain the Product. Many hazardous products
can injure or kill on contact. To protect drivers and
others from contact, the rules tell shippers how
to package safely. Similar rules tell drivers how to
load, transport, and unload bulk tanks. These are
containment rules.
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
1
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
2
Propane, Oxygen,
Gases
Helium
3
Flammable Gasoline Fuel, Acetone
4Flammable Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
5
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides
6Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium
RadioactivePlutonium
7
Hydrochloric Acid,
8Corrosives
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
9
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
None Material-
Charcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils,
None
Liquids
Lighter Fluid
Figure 2.24
After an accident or hazardous material spill or leak,
you may be injured and unable to communicate
the hazards of the materials you are transporting.
Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce
the amount of damage or injury at the scene if
they know what hazardous materials are being
transported. Your life, and the lives of others, may
depend on quickly locating the hazardous materials
shipping papers. For that reason, you must identify
shipping papers related to hazardous materials or
keep them on top of other shipping papers. You
must also keep shipping papers:
•In a pouch on the driver’s door, or
•In clear view within reach while driving, or
•On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a
shipping paper and diamond shaped hazard labels
to warn dockworkers and drivers of the risk.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-41
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.23.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards are used to warn others of hazardous
materials. Placards are signs put on the outside
of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the
cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four
identical placards. They are put on the front, rear,
and both sides. Placards must be readable from all
four directions. They must be at least 10 3/4 inches
square, turned upright on a point, in a diamond
shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging
display the identification number of their contents
on placards or orange panels.
Identification Numbers are a four digit code used
by first responders to identify hazardous materials.
An identification number may be used to identify
more than one chemical on shipping papers. The
identification number will be preceded by the
letters “NA” or “UN”. The US DOT Emergency
Response Guidebook (ERG) lists the chemicals
and the identification numbers assigned to them.
Not all vehicles carrying hazardous materials need
to have placards. The rules about placards are
given in Section 9 of this manual. You can drive a
vehicle that carries hazardous materials if it does not
require placards. If it requires placards, you cannot
drive it unless your driver license has the hazardous
materials endorsement. See Figure 2.25.
The rules require all drivers of placarded vehicles to
learn how to safely load and transport hazardous
products. They must have a commercial driver
license with the hazardous materials endorsement.
To get the required endorsement, you must pass a
written test on material found in Section 9 of this
manual. A tank endorsement is required for any
commercial vehicle that is designed to transport
any liquid or gaseous materials in a tank or tanks
having an individual rated capacity of more than 119
gallons and an aggregate capacity of 1,000 gallons
or more that is either permanently or temporarily
attached to the vehicle or chassis. The liquid or
gas does not have to be a hazardous material.
Drivers who need the hazardous materials
endorsement must learn the placard rules. If you
do not know if your vehicle needs placards, ask
your employer. Never drive a vehicle needing
placards unless you have the hazardous materials
endorsement. To do so is a crime. When stopped,
you will be cited and you will not be allowed to
drive your truck. It will cost you time and money.
A failure to placard when needed may risk your life
and others if you have an accident. Emergency
help will not know of your hazardous cargo.
Hazardous materials drivers must also know which
products they can load together, and which they
cannot. These rules are also in Section 9. Before
loading a truck with more than one type of product,
you must know if it is safe to load them together.
If you do not know, ask your employer and consult
the regulations.
Subsections 2.22 and 2.23
Test Your Knowledge
1.Common medicines for colds can make you
sleepy. True or False?
2.Coffee and a little fresh air will help a drinker
sober up. True or False?
3. What is a hazardous materials placard?
4. Why are placards used?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.22 and
2.23.
Figure 2.25
Page 2-42
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 3
TRANSPORTING
CARGO SAFELY
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Inspecting Cargo
Cargo Weight and Balance
Securing Cargo
Cargo Needing Special Attention
This section tells you about hauling cargo safely.
You must understand basic cargo safety rules to
get a CDL.
If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it, it can
be a danger to others and yourself. Loose cargo
that falls off a vehicle can cause traffic problems
and others could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo
could hurt or kill you during a quick stop or crash.
Your vehicle could be damaged by an overload.
Steering could be affected by how a vehicle is
loaded, making it more difficult to control the
vehicle.
Whether or not you load and secure the cargo
yourself, you are responsible for:
•Inspecting your cargo.
•Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced
weight.
•Knowing your cargo is properly secured and
does not obscure your view ahead or to the
sides.
•Knowing your cargo does not restrict your
access to emergency equipment.
If you intend to carry hazardous material that
requires placards on your vehicle, you will also
need to have a hazardous materials endorsement.
Section 9 of this manual has the information you
need to pass the hazardous materials test.
3.1 – Inspecting Cargo
As part of your Vehicle inspection, make sure the
truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced
and secured properly.
After Starting. Inspect the cargo and its securing
devices again within the first 50 miles after
beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed.
Re-check. Re-check the cargo and securing
devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep
the load secure. You need to inspect again:
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
•After you have driven for 3 hours or 150 miles.
•After every break you take during driving.
Federal, state, and local regulations for commercial
vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and
where you can drive large vehicles vary from place
to place. Know the rules where you will be driving.
3.2 – Weight and Balance
You are responsible for not being overloaded. The
following are some definitions of weight you should
know.
3.2.1 – Definitions You Should Know
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The value
specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight
of a single vehicle.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). The
value specified by the manufacturer of the power
unit, if the value is displayed on the Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) certification
label; or the sum of the gross vehicle weight ratings
(GVWRs) or the gross vehicle weights (GVWs)
of the power unit and the towed unit(s), or any
combination thereof, that produces the highest
value.
(The underlined and italicized text above is for
use by roadside enforcement only to determine
whether the driver/vehicle is subject to CDL
regulations. It is not used to determine whether
a vehicle is representative for the purposes of
Skills testing).
Axle Weight. The weight transmitted to the ground
by one axle or one set of axles.
Tire Load. The maximum safe weight a tire can
carry at a specified pressure. This rating is stated
on the side of each tire.
Suspension Systems. Suspension systems have
a manufacturer’s weight capacity rating.
Coupling Device Capacity. Coupling devices are
rated for the maximum weight they can pull and/
or carry.
3.2.2 – Legal Weight Limits
You must keep weights within legal limits. States
have maximums for GVWRs, GCWRs, and axle
weights. Often, maximum axle weights are set by
a bridge formula. A bridge formula permits less
maximum axle weight for axles that are closer
together. This is to prevent overloading bridges
and roadways.
Page 3-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Overloading can have bad effects on steering,
braking, and speed control. Overloaded trucks
have to go very slowly on upgrades. Worse,
they may gain too much speed on downgrades.
Stopping distance increases. Brakes can fail when
forced to work too hard.
During bad weather or in mountains, it may not be
safe to operate at legal maximum weights. Take
this into account before driving.
LOADING CARGO
Wrong
Right
Wrong
Right
3.2.3 – Don’t Be Top-heavy
The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very
important for safe handling. A high center of gravity
(cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means
you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous
in curves, or if you have to swerve to avoid a
hazard. It is very important to distribute the cargo
so it is as low as possible. Put the heaviest parts of
the cargo under the lightest parts.
Wrong
Right
Wrong
3.2.4 – Balance the Weight
Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling
unsafe. Too much weight on the steering axle can
cause hard steering. It can damage the steering
axle and tires. Under-loaded front axles (caused by
shifting weight too far to the rear) can make the
steering axle weight too light to steer safely. Too
little weight on the driving axles can cause poor
traction. The drive wheels may spin easily. During
bad weather, the truck may not be able to keep
going. Weight that is loaded so there is a high
center of gravity causes greater chance of rollover.
On flat bed vehicles, there is also a greater chance
that the load will shift to the side or fall off. See
Figure 3.1.
3.3 – Securing Cargo
3.3.1 – Blocking and Bracing
Blocking is used in the front, back, and/or sides of
a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. Blocking
is shaped to fit snugly against cargo. It is secured
to the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.
Bracing is also used to prevent movement of cargo.
Bracing goes from the upper part of the cargo to
the floor and/or walls of the cargo compartment.
Wrong
Right
Figure 3.1
3.3.2 – Cargo Tie-down
On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo
must be secured to keep it from shifting or
falling off. In closed vans, tie-downs can also be
important to prevent cargo shifting that may affect
the handling of the vehicle. Tie-downs must be
of the proper type and proper strength. Federal
regulations require the aggregate working load
limit of any securement system used to secure an
article or group of articles against movement must
be at least one-half times the weight of the article
or group of articles. Proper tie-down equipment
must be used, including ropes, straps, chains, and
tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching
components). Tie-downs must be attached to the
vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts, rails, rings). See
figure 3.2.
TIE-DOWN DEVICES
Cargo should have at least one tie-down for each 10 feet of cargo.
Make sure you have enough tie-downs to meet this need. No matter
how small the cargo is, there should be at least two tie-downs holding it.
Figure 3.2
Page 3-2
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Cargo should have at least one tie-down for each
ten feet of cargo. Make sure you have enough tiedowns to meet this need. No matter how small the
cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.
There are special requirements for securing various
heavy pieces of metal. Find out what they are if you
are to carry such loads.
3.3.3 – Header Boards
Front-end header boards (“headache racks”)
protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or
emergency stop. Make sure the front-end structure
is in good condition. The front-end structure
should block the forward movement of any cargo
you carry.
3.3.4 – Covering Cargo
3.4.2 – Hanging Meat
Hanging meat (suspended beef, pork, lamb) in
a refrigerated truck can be a very unstable load
with a high center of gravity. Particular caution is
needed on sharp curves such as off ramps and on
ramps. Go slowly.
3.4.3 – Livestock
Livestock can move around in a trailer, causing
unsafe handling. With less than a full load, use false
bulkheads to keep livestock bunched together.
Even when bunched, special care is necessary
because livestock can lean on curves. This shifts
the center of gravity and makes rollover more likely.
3.4.4 – Oversized Loads
Spill protection is a safety requirement in many
states. Be familiar with the laws in the states you
drive in.
Over-length, over-width, and/or overweight loads
require special transit permits. Driving is usually
limited to certain times. Special equipment may
be necessary such as “wide load” signs, flashing
lights, flags, etc. Such loads may require a police
escort or pilot vehicles bearing warning signs
and/or flashing lights. These special loads require
special driving care.
You should look at your cargo covers in the mirrors
from time to time while driving. A flapping cover
can tear loose, uncovering the cargo, and possibly
block your view or someone else’s.
Section 3
Test Your Knowledge
There are two basic reasons for covering cargo:
•To protect people from spilled cargo.
•To protect the cargo from weather.
3.3.5 – Sealed and Containerized Loads
Containerized loads generally are used when
freight is carried part way by rail or ship. Delivery
by truck occurs at the beginning and/or end of the
journey. Some containers have their own tiedown
devices or locks that attach directly to a special
frame. Others have to be loaded onto flatbed
trailers. They must be properly secured just like
any other cargo.
You cannot inspect sealed loads, but you should
check that you don’t exceed gross weight and axle
weight limits.
3.4 – Cargo Needing Special Attention
3.4.1 – Dry Bulk
Dry bulk tanks require special care because they
have a high center of gravity, and the load can shift.
Be extremely cautious (slow and careful) going
around curves and making sharp turns.
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
1.What four things related to cargo are drivers
responsible for?
2.How often must you stop while on the road to
check your cargo?
3.How is Gross Combination Weight Rating
different from Gross Combination Weight?
4.
Name two situations where legal maximum
weights may not be safe.
5.What can happen if you don’t have enough
weight on the front axle?
6.What is the minimum number of tie-downs for
any flatbed load?
7.What is the minimum number of tie-downs for a
20-foot load?
8.Name the two basic reasons for covering cargo
on an open bed.
9.What must you check before transporting a
sealed load?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 3.
Page 3-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Page 3-4
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 4
TRANSPORTING
PASSENGERS SAFELY
4.1.2 – Access Doors and Panels
As you check the outside of the bus, close any
open emergency exits. Also, close any open
access panels (for baggage, restroom service,
engine, etc.) before driving.
This Section Covers
4.1.3 – Bus Interior
• Vehicle Inspection
•Loading
• On the Road
• After-trip Vehicle Inspection
• Prohibited Practices
• Use of Brake-door Interlocks
People sometimes damage unattended buses.
Always check the interior of the bus before driving
to ensure rider safety. Aisles and stairwells should
always be clear. The following parts of your bus
must be in safe working condition:
Bus drivers must have a commercial driver license
if they drive a vehicle designed to seat more than
16 or more persons, including the driver.
Bus drivers must have a passenger endorsement
on their commercial driver license. To get the
endorsement you must pass a knowledge test on
Sections 2 and 4 of this manual. (If your bus has
air brakes, you must also pass a knowledge test
on Section 5.) You must also pass the skills tests
required for the class of vehicle you drive.
4.1 – Vehicle Inspection
Before driving your bus, you must be sure it is safe.
You must review the inspection report made by
the previous driver. Only if defects reported earlier
have been certified as repaired or not needed to
be repaired, should you sign the previous driver’s
report. This is your certification that the defects
reported earlier have been fixed.
4.1.1 – Vehicle Systems
Make sure these things are in good working order
before driving:
•Service brakes, including air hose couplings (if
your bus has a trailer or semitrailer).
•Parking brake.
•Steering mechanism.
•Lights and reflectors.
•Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or
re-grooved tires).
•Horn.
•Windshield wiper or wipers.
•Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
•Coupling devices (if present).
•Wheels and rims.
•Emergency equipment.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
•Each handhold and railing.
•Floor covering.
•Signaling devices, including the restroom
emergency buzzer, if the bus has a restroom.
•Emergency exit handles.
The seats must be safe for riders. All seats must be
securely fastened to the bus.
Never drive with an open emergency exit door
or window. The “Emergency Exit” sign on an
emergency door must be clearly visible. If there is
a red emergency door light, it must work. Turn it
on at night or any other time you use your outside
lights.
4.1.4 – Roof Hatches
You may lock some emergency roof hatches in a
partly open position for fresh air. Do not leave them
open as a regular practice. Keep in mind the bus’s
higher clearance while driving with them open.
Make sure your bus has the fire extinguisher and
emergency reflectors required by law. The bus must
also have spare electrical fuses, unless equipped
with circuit breakers.
4.1.5 – Use Your Seatbelt!
The driver’s seat should have a seat belt. Always
use it for safety.
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start
Do not allow riders to leave carry-on baggage in a
doorway or aisle. There should be nothing in the
aisle that might trip other riders. Secure baggage
and freight in ways that avoid damage and:
•Allow the driver to move freely and easily.
•Allow riders to exit by any window or door in
an emergency.
•Protect riders from injury if carry-ons fall or
shift.
Page 4-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
4.2.1 – Hazardous Materials
Watch for cargo or baggage containing hazardous
materials. Most hazardous materials cannot be
carried on a bus.
The Federal Hazardous Materials Table shows
which materials are hazardous. They pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation.
The rules require shippers to mark containers of
hazardous material with the material’s name,
identification number, and hazard label. There are
nine different four-inch, diamond-shaped hazard
labels. See Figure 4.1. Watch for the diamondshaped labels. Do not transport any hazardous
material unless you are sure the rules allow it.
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
1
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
2Gases
Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
3Flammable
Acetone
4Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
5
Oxidizers Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
6Poisons
Pesticides,
Arsenic
7
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
8Corrosives
Hydrochloric Acid,
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
9
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D
None (Other Regulated Hair Spray or
Material-
Charcoal
Domestic)
None Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 4.1
4.2.2 – Forbidden Hazardous Materials
Buses may carry small-arms ammunition labeled
ORM-D, emergency hospital supplies, and drugs.
You can carry small amounts of some other
hazardous materials if the shipper cannot send
them any other way. Buses must never carry:
Page 4-2
•Division 2.3 poison gas, liquid Class 6 poison,
tear gas, irritating material.
•More than 100 pounds of solid Class 6
poisons.
•Explosives in the space occupied by people,
except small arms ammunition.
•Labeled radioactive materials in the space
occupied by people.
•More than 500 pounds total of allowed
hazardous materials, and no more than 100
pounds of any one class.
Riders sometimes board a bus with an unlabeled
hazardous material. Do not allow riders to carry on
common hazards such as car batteries or gasoline.
4.2.3 – Standee Line
No rider may stand forward of the rear of the driver’s
seat. Buses designed to allow standing must have
a two-inch line on the floor or some other means
of showing riders where they cannot stand. This
is called the standee line. All standing riders must
stay behind it.
4.2.4 – At Your Destination
When arriving at the destination or intermediate
stops announce:
•The location.
•Reason for stopping.
•Next departure time.
•Bus number.
Remind riders to take carry-ons with them if they
get off the bus. If the aisle is on a lower level than
the seats, remind riders of the step-down. It is best
to tell them before coming to a complete stop.
Charter bus drivers should not allow riders on the
bus until departure time. This will help prevent theft
or vandalism of the bus.
4.3 – On the Road
4.3.1 – Passenger Supervision
Many charter and intercity carriers have passenger
comfort and safety rules. Mention rules about
smoking, drinking, or use of radio and tape players
at the start of the trip. Explaining the rules at the
start will help to avoid trouble later on.
While driving, scan the interior of your bus as well
as the road ahead, to the sides, and to the rear. You
may have to remind riders about rules, or to keep
arms and heads inside the bus.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
4.3.2 – At Stops
Riders can stumble when getting on or off, and when
the bus starts or stops. Caution riders to watch
their step when leaving the bus. Wait for them to sit
down or brace themselves before starting. Starting
and stopping should be as smooth as possible to
avoid rider injury.
Occasionally, you may have a drunk or disruptive
rider. You must ensure this rider’s safety as well as
that of others. Don’t discharge such riders where
it would be unsafe for them. It may be safer at
the next scheduled stop or a well-lighted area
where there are other people. Many carriers have
guidelines for handling disruptive riders.
4.3.3 – Common Accidents
The Most Common Bus Accidents. Bus accidents
often happen at intersections. Use caution, even if
a signal or stop sign controls other traffic. School
and mass transit buses sometimes scrape off
mirrors or hit passing vehicles when pulling out
from a bus stop. Remember the clearance your
bus needs, and watch for poles and tree limbs at
stops. Know the size of the gap your bus needs
to accelerate and merge with traffic. Wait for the
gap to open before leaving the stop. Never assume
other drivers will brake to give you room when you
signal or start to pull out.
4.3.4 – Speed on Curves
Crashes on curves that kill people and destroy
buses result from excessive speed, often when rain
or snow has made the road slippery. Every banked
curve has a safe “design speed.” In good weather,
the posted speed is safe for cars but it may be too
high for many buses. With good traction, the bus
may roll over; with poor traction, it might slide off
the curve. Reduce speed for curves! If your bus
leans toward the outside on a banked curve, you
are driving too fast.
4.3.5 – Railroad-highway Crossing/ Stops
Stop at RR Crossings:
•Stop your bus between 15 and 50 feet before
railroad crossings.
•Listen and look in both directions for
trains. You should open your forward door
if it improves your ability to see or hear an
approaching train.
•Before crossing after a train has passed,
make sure there isn’t another train coming in
the other direction on other tracks.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
•If your bus has a manual transmission, never
change gears while crossing the tracks.
•You do not have to stop, but must slow down
and carefully check for other vehicles:
•At streetcar crossings.
•Where a policeman or flagman is directing
traffic.
•If a traffic signal is green.
•At crossings marked as “exempt” or
“abandoned.”
4.3.6 – Drawbridges
Stop at Drawbridges. Stop at drawbridges that do
not have a signal light or traffic control attendant.
Stop at least 50 feet before the draw of the bridge.
Look to make sure the draw is completely closed
before crossing. You do not need to stop, but must
slow down and make sure it’s safe, when:
•There is a traffic light showing green.
•The bridge has an attendant or traffic officer
who controls traffic whenever the bridge
opens.
4.4 – After-trip Vehicle Inspection
Inspect your bus at the end of each shift. If you
work for an interstate carrier, you must complete a
written inspection report for each bus driven. The
report must specify each bus and list any defect
that would affect safety or result in a breakdown. If
there are no defects, the report should say so.
Riders sometimes damage safety-related parts
such as handholds, seats, emergency exits, and
windows. If you report this damage at the end of a
shift, mechanics can make repairs before the bus
goes out again. Mass transit drivers should also
make sure passenger signaling devices and brakedoor interlocks work properly.
4.5 – Prohibited Practices
Avoid fueling your bus with riders on board unless
absolutely necessary. Never refuel in a closed
building with riders on board.
Don’t talk with riders, or engage in any other
distracting activity, while driving.
Do not tow or push a disabled bus with riders
aboard the vehicle, unless getting off would be
unsafe. Only tow or push the bus to the nearest
safe spot to discharge passengers. Follow your
employer’s guidelines on towing or pushing
disabled buses.
Page 4-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
4.6 – Use of Brake-door Interlocks
Urban mass transit coaches may have a brake and
accelerator interlock system. The interlock applies
the brakes and holds the throttle in idle position
when the rear door is open. The interlock releases
when you close the rear door. Do not use this safety
feature in place of the parking brake.
Section 4
Test Your Knowledge
1.Name some things to check in the interior of a
bus during a Vehicle inspection.
2.What are some hazardous materials you can
transport by bus?
3.What are some hazardous materials you can’t
transport by bus?
4. What is a standee line?
5.
Does it matter where you make a disruptive
passenger get off the bus?
6.How far from a railroad crossing should you
stop?
7.When must you stop before crossing a
drawbridge?
8.Describe from memory the “prohibited
practices” listed in the manual.
9.The rear door of a transit bus has to be open to
put on the parking brake. True or False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Page 4-4
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 5
AIR BRAKES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Air Brake System Parts
Dual Air Brake Systems
Inspecting Air Brakes
Using Air Brakes
This section tells you about air brakes. If you want
to drive a truck or bus with air brakes, or pull a
trailer with air brakes, you need to read this section.
If you want to pull a trailer with air brakes, you also
need to read Section 6, Combination Vehicles.
Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes
work. Air brakes are a good and safe way of
stopping large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes
must be well maintained and used properly.
Air brakes are really three different braking systems:
service brake, parking brake, and emergency
brake.
•The service brake system applies and
releases the brakes when you use the brake
pedal during normal driving.
•The parking brake system applies and
releases the parking brakes when you use the
parking brake control.
•The emergency brake system uses parts of
the service and parking brake systems to stop
the vehicle in a brake system failure.
The parts of these systems are discussed in greater
detail below.
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System
5.1.2 – Air Compressor Governor
The governor controls when the air compressor
will pump air into the air storage tanks. When air
tank pressure rises to the “cut-out” level (around
125 pounds per-square-inch or “psi”), the governor
stops the compressor from pumping air. When the
tank pressure falls to the “cut-in” pressure (around
100 psi), the governor allows the compressor to
start pumping again.
5.1.3 – Air Storage Tanks
Air storage tanks are used to hold compressed
air. The number and size of air tanks varies among
vehicles. The tanks will hold enough air to allow
the brakes to be used several times, even if the
compressor stops working.
5.1.4 – Air Tank Drains
Compressed air usually has some water and some
compressor oil in it, which is bad for the air brake
system. For example, the water can freeze in cold
weather and cause brake failure. The water and oil
tend to collect in the bottom of the air tank. Be sure
that you drain the air tanks completely. Each air
tank is equipped with a drain valve in the bottom.
There are two types:
•Manually operated by turning a quarter turn or
by pulling a cable. You must drain the tanks
yourself at the end of each day of driving. See
Figure 5.1.
•Automatic--the water and oil are automatically
expelled. These tanks may be equipped for
manual draining as well.
Automatic air tanks are available with electric
heating devices. These help prevent freezing of the
automatic drain in cold weather.
There are many parts to an air brake system. You
should know about the parts discussed here.
The air compressor pumps air into the air storage
tanks (reservoirs). The air compressor is connected
to the engine through gears or a v-belt. The
compressor may be air cooled or may be cooled
by the engine cooling system. It may have its own
oil supply or be lubricated by engine oil. If the
compressor has its own oil supply, check the oil
level before driving.
Air Tank

5.1.1 – Air Compressor
Manual Draining Valve
Figure 5.1
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Page 5-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
5.1.5 – Alcohol Evaporator
Some air brake systems have an alcohol evaporator
to put alcohol into the air system. This helps to
reduce the risk of ice in air brake valves and other
parts during cold weather. Ice inside the system
can make the brakes stop working.
Check the alcohol container and fill up as
necessary, every day during cold weather. Daily air
tank drainage is still needed to get rid of water and
oil. (Unless the system has automatic drain valves.)
The s-cam forces the brake shoes away from one
another and presses them against the inside of the
brake drum.
When you release the brake pedal, the s-cam
rotates back and a spring pulls the brake shoes
away from the drum, letting the wheels roll freely
again. See Figure 5.2.
DRUM BRAKE
Brake chamber
Brake drum
5.1.6 – Safety Valve
A safety relief valve is installed in the first tank
the air compressor pumps air to. The safety valve
protects the tank and the rest of the system from
too much pressure. The valve is usually set to open
at 150 psi. If the safety valve releases air, something
is wrong. Have the fault fixed by a mechanic.
Slack adjuster
Adjusting nut
Axle
Brake cam
5.1.7 – The Brake Pedal
You put on the brakes by pushing down the brake
pedal. (It is also called the foot valve or treadle
valve.) Pushing the pedal down harder applies
more air pressure. Letting up on the brake pedal
reduces the air pressure and releases the brakes.
Releasing the brakes lets some compressed air go
out of the system, so the air pressure in the tanks is
reduced. It must be made up by the air compressor.
Pressing and releasing the pedal unnecessarily can
let air out faster than the compressor can replace
it. If the pressure gets too low, the brakes won’t
work.
5.1.8 – Foundation Brakes
Foundation brakes are used at each wheel. The
most common type is the s-cam drum brake. The
parts of the brake are discussed below.
Brake Drums, Shoes, and Linings. Brake drums
are located on each end of the vehicle’s axles.
The wheels are bolted to the drums. The braking
mechanism is inside the drum. To stop, the brake
shoes and linings are pushed against the inside
of the drum. This causes friction, which slows the
vehicle (and creates heat). The heat a drum can
take without damage depends on how hard and
how long the brakes are used. Too much heat can
make the brakes stop working.
S-cam Brakes. When you push the brake pedal,
air is let into each brake chamber. Air pressure
pushes the rod out, moving the slack adjuster, thus
twisting the brake camshaft. This turns the s-cam
(so called because it is shaped like the letter “S”).
Page 5-2
Cam roller
Return spring
Brake
Brake shoe lining
Figure 5.2
Wedge Brakes. In this type of brake, the brake
chamber push rod pushes a wedge directly
between the ends of two brake shoes. This
shoves them apart and against the inside of the
brake drum. Wedge brakes may have a single
brake chamber, or two brake chambers, pushing
wedges in at both ends of the brake shoes. Wedge
type brakes may be self-adjusting or may require
manual adjustment.
Disc Brakes. In air-operated disc brakes, air
pressure acts on a brake chamber and slack
adjuster, like s-cam brakes. But instead of the
s-cam, a “power screw” is used. The pressure of
the brake chamber on the slack adjuster turns the
power screw. The power screw clamps the disc or
rotor between the brake lining pads of a caliper,
similar to a large c-clamp.
Wedge brakes and disc brakes are less common
than s-cam brakes.
5.1.9 – Supply Pressure Gauges
All vehicles with air brakes have a pressure gauge
connected to the air tank. If the vehicle has a dual
air brake system, there will be a gauge for each half
of the system. (Or a single gauge with two needles.)
Dual systems will be discussed later. These gauges
tell you how much pressure is in the air tanks.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
5.1.10 – Application Pressure Gauge
5.1.14 – Spring Brakes
This gauge shows how much air pressure you are
applying to the brakes. (This gauge is not on all
vehicles.) Increasing application pressure to hold
the same speed means the brakes are fading. You
should slow down and use a lower gear. The need
for increased pressure can also be caused by brakes
out of adjustment, air leaks, or mechanical problems.
All trucks, truck tractors, and buses must be
equipped with emergency brakes and parking
brakes. They must be held on by mechanical force
(because air pressure can eventually leak away).
Spring brakes are usually used to meet these
needs. When driving, powerful springs are held
back by air pressure. If the air pressure is removed,
the springs put on the brakes. A parking brake
control in the cab allows the driver to let the air out
of the spring brakes. This lets the springs put the
brakes on. A leak in the air brake system, which
causes all the air to be lost, will also cause the
springs to put on the brakes.
5.1.11 – Low Air Pressure Warning
A low air pressure warning signal is required on
vehicles with air brakes. A warning signal you can see
must come on before the air pressure in the tanks falls
below 60 psi. (Or one half the compressor governor
cutout pressure on older vehicles.) The warning is
usually a red light. A buzzer may also come on.
Another type of warning is the “wig wag.” This
device drops a mechanical arm into your view when
the pressure in the system drops below 60 psi. An
automatic wig wag will rise out of your view when
the pressure in the system goes above 60 psi. The
manual reset type must be placed in the “out of
view” position manually. It will not stay in place until
the pressure in the system is above 60 psi.
On large buses it is common for the low pressure
warning devices to signal at 80-85 psi.
5.1.12 – Stop Light Switch
Drivers behind you must be warned when you put
your brakes on. The air brake system does this
with an electric switch that works by air pressure.
The switch turns on the brake lights when you put
on the air brakes.
5.1.13 – Front Brake Limiting Valve
Some older vehicles (made before 1975) have a front
brake limiting valve and a control in the cab. The
control is usually marked “normal” and “slippery.”
When you put the control in the “slippery” position,
the limiting valve cuts the “normal” air pressure to
the front brakes by half. Limiting valves were used
to reduce the chance of the front wheels skidding
on slippery surfaces. However, they actually
reduce the stopping power of the vehicle. Front
wheel braking is good under all conditions. Tests
have shown front wheel skids from braking are not
likely even on ice. Make sure the control is in the
“normal” position to have normal stopping power.
Many vehicles have automatic front wheel limiting
valves. They reduce the air to the front brakes
except when the brakes are put on very hard (60
psi or more application pressure). These valves
cannot be controlled by the driver.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Tractor and straight truck spring brakes will come
fully on when air pressure drops to a range of 20 to
45 psi (typically 20 to 30 psi). Do not wait for the
brakes to come on automatically. When the low air
pressure warning light and buzzer first come on,
bring the vehicle to a safe stop right away, while
you can still control the brakes.
The braking power of spring brakes depends on
the brakes being in adjustment. If the brakes are
not adjusted properly, neither the regular brakes
nor the emergency/parking brakes will work right.
5.1.15 – Parking Brake Controls
In newer vehicles with air brakes, you put on the
parking brakes using a diamond-shaped, yellow,
push-pull control knob. You pull the knob out to
put the parking brakes (spring brakes) on, and
push it in to release them. On older vehicles, the
parking brakes may be controlled by a lever. Use
the parking brakes whenever you park.
Caution. Never push the brake pedal down when
the spring brakes are on. If you do, the brakes
could be damaged by the combined forces of the
springs and the air pressure. Many brake systems
are designed so this will not happen. But not all
systems are set up that way, and those that are
may not always work. It is much better to develop
the habit of not pushing the brake pedal down
when the spring brakes are on.
Modulating Control Valves. In some vehicles a
control handle on the dash board may be used to
apply the spring brakes gradually. This is called a
modulating valve. It is spring-loaded so you have a
feel for the braking action. The more you move the
control lever, the harder the spring brakes come on.
They work this way so you can control the spring
brakes if the service brakes fail. When parking a
vehicle with a modulating control valve, move the
lever as far as it will go and hold it in place with the
locking device.
Page 5-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Dual Parking Control Valves. When main air
pressure is lost, the spring brakes come on.
Some vehicles, such as buses, have a separate
air tank which can be used to release the spring
brakes. This is so you can move the vehicle in an
emergency. One of the valves is a push-pull type
and is used to put on the spring brakes for parking.
The other valve is spring loaded in the “out”
position. When you push the control in, air from the
separate air tank releases the spring brakes so you
can move. When you release the button, the spring
brakes come on again. There is only enough air in
the separate tank to do this a few times. Therefore,
plan carefully when moving. Otherwise, you may
be stopped in a dangerous location when the
separate air supply runs out. See Figure 5.3.
TRACTOR PROTECTION VALVE
& EMERGENCY TRAILER
BRAKE OPERATION
Tractor protection valve
• Provides air supply
• Closes automatically if air supply drops
when driving
The parking brakes, when applied, close the
tractor protection valve and set the spring
brakes at the same time.
EMERGENCY SPRING
BRAKE RELEASE
PULL TO APPLY
PULL TO APPLY
PUSH TO HOLD
PULL TO APPLY
BLUE
PUSH AND
HOLD
TO CHAR
GE
SH
PU
NO
T
PARKING BRAKES
PULL TO APPLY
PARKING
BRAKES
TRAILER
AIR SUPPLY
PULL TO APPLY
PUSH TO
RELEASE
G
IN
F O R P AR K
RED
YELLOW
PUSH TO
RELEASE
PUSH TO
RELEASE
Figure 5.3
5.1.16 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after March
1, 1997, and other air brakes vehicles, (trucks,
buses, trailers, and converter dollies) built on or after
March 1, 1998, are required to be equipped with
antilock brakes. Many commercial vehicles built
Page 5-4
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something isn’t working.
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS
malfunction lamps on the instrument panel.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps
on the left side, either on the front or rear corner.
Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998 are
required to have a lamp on the left side.
On newer vehicles, the malfunction lamp comes
on at start-up for a bulb check, and then goes out
quickly. On older systems, the lamp could stay on
until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost ABS
control at one or more wheels.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it
was required by the Department of Transportation,
it may be difficult to tell if the unit is equipped with
ABS. Look under the vehicle for the electronic
control unit (ECU) and wheel speed sensor wires
coming from the back of the brakes.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
BRAKES
RELEASE
TRACTOR
PROTECTION
before these dates have been voluntarily equipped
with ABS. Check the certification label for the
date of manufacture to determine if your vehicle is
equipped with ABS. ABS is a computerized system
that keeps your wheels from locking up during hard
brake applications.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking
Subsection 5.1
Test Your Knowledge
1. Why must air tanks be drained?
2. What is a supply pressure gauge used for?
3.All vehicles with air brakes must have a low air
pressure warning signal. True or False?
4. What are spring brakes?
5.Front wheel brakes are good under all conditions.
True or False?
6.How do you know if your vehicle is equipped
with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 5.1.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
AIR BRAKE SYSTEM COMPONENTS AND LOCATION
(SINGLE CIRCUIT SYSTEM)
Hand valve
Trac tor
Trailer
Highway Valve
P res s ure G auge
F oot Valve
F ront
B rakes
Trailer
R es ervoir
C ompres s or
Dry
One-Way
C hec k Valve
Quic k
R eleas e
Valve
Trailer
B rake
C hambers
P arking B rake
and E mergenc y
B rake Valve (Yellow)
Wet
L ow P res s ure
Warning B uzzer
and S witc h
S ervic e
Main R es ervoirs
S afety Valve
Trac tor P arking
B rake Valve (B lue)
E mergenc y Valve
P arking Maxi-B rake
S pring B rake
Trac tor P rotec tion
Valve
E mergenc y
G lad Hands
E mergenc y
R elay Valve
Figure 5.4
5.2 – Dual Air Brake
Most heavy-duty vehicles use dual air brake
systems for safety. A dual air brake system has
two separate air brake systems, which use a single
set of brake controls. Each system has its own
air tanks, hoses, lines, etc. One system typically
operates the regular brakes on the rear axle or
axles. The other system operates the regular brakes
on the front axle (and possibly one rear axle). Both
systems supply air to the trailer (if there is one).
The first system is called the “primary” system. The
other is called the “secondary” system. See Figure
5.4.
Before driving a vehicle with a dual air system,
allow time for the air compressor to build up a
minimum of 100 psi pressure in both the primary
and secondary systems. Watch the primary and
secondary air pressure gauges (or needles, if
the system has two needles in one gauge). Pay
attention to the low air pressure warning light and
buzzer. The warning light and buzzer should shut
off when air pressure in both systems rises to a
value set by the manufacturer. This value must be
greater than 60 psi.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
The warning light and buzzer should come on
before the air pressure drops below 60 psi in either
system. If this happens while driving, you should
stop right away and safely park the vehicle. If
one air system is very low on pressure, either the
front or the rear brakes will not be operating fully.
This means it will take you longer to stop. Bring
the vehicle to a safe stop, and have the air brakes
system fixed.
5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems
You should use the basic seven-step inspection
procedure described in Section 2 to inspect your
vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a
vehicle with air brakes than one without them.
These things are discussed below, in the order they
fit into the seven-step method.
5.3.1 – During Step 2 Engine Compartment
Checks
Check Air Compressor Drive Belt (if compressor
is belt-driven). If the air compressor is belt-driven,
check the condition and tightness of the belt. It
should be in good condition.
Page 5-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
5.3.2 – During Step 5 Walk-around
Inspection
Check Slack Adjusters on S-cam Brakes. Park on
level ground and chock the wheels to prevent the
vehicle from moving. Release the parking brakes
so you can move the slack adjusters. Use gloves
and pull hard on each slack adjuster that you
can reach. If a slack adjuster moves more than
about one inch where the push rod attaches to it,
it probably needs adjustment. Adjust it or have it
adjusted. Vehicles with too much brake slack can
be very hard to stop. Out-of-adjustment brakes
are the most common problem found in roadside
inspections. Be safe. Check the slack adjusters.
All vehicles built since 1994 have automatic slack
adjustors. Even though automatic slack adjustors
adjust themselves during full brake applications,
they must be checked.
Automatic adjusters should not have to be manually
adjusted except when performing maintenance
on the brakes and during installation of the slack
adjusters. In a vehicle equipped with automatic
adjusters, when the pushrod stroke exceeds the
legal brake adjustment limit, it is an indication
that a mechanical problem exists in the adjuster
itself, a problem with the related foundation brake
components, or that the adjuster was improperly
installed.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster
to bring a brake pushrod stroke within legal limits
is generally masking a mechanical problem and is
not fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most
automatic adjusters will likely result in premature
wear of the adjuster itself. It is recommended that
when brakes equipped with automatic adjusters
are found to be out of adjustment, the driver take
the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible
to have the problem corrected. The manual
adjustment of automatic slack adjusters is
dangerous because it may give the driver a false
sense of security regarding the effectiveness of the
braking system.
Page 5-6
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster
should only be used as a temporary measure to
correct the adjustment in an emergency situation
as it is likely the brake will soon be back out of
adjustment since this procedure usually does not
fix the underlying adjustment problem.
(Note: Automatic slack adjusters are made by
different manufacturers and do not all operate
the same. Therefore, the specific manufacturer’s
Service Manual should be consulted prior to
troubleshooting a brake adjustment problem.)
Check Brake Drums (or Discs), Linings, and
Hoses. Brake drums (or discs) must not have
cracks longer than one half the width of the friction
area. Linings (friction material) must not be loose
or soaked with oil or grease. They must not be
dangerously thin. Mechanical parts must be in
place, not broken or missing. Check the air hoses
connected to the brake chambers to make sure
they aren’t cut or worn due to rubbing.
5.3.3 – Step 7 Final Air Brake Check
Do the following checks instead of the hydraulic
brake check shown in Section 2, Step 7: Check
Brake System.
Test Low Pressure Warning Signal. Shut the
engine off when you have enough air pressure so
that the low pressure warning signal is not on. Turn
the electrical power on and step on and off the
brake pedal to reduce air tank pressure. The low
air pressure warning signal must come on before
the pressure drops to less than 60 psi in the air
tank (or tank with the lowest air pressure, in dual air
systems). See Figure 5.5.
If the warning signal doesn’t work, you could lose
air pressure and you would not know it. This could
cause sudden emergency braking in a single-circuit
air system. In dual systems the stopping distance
will be increased. Only limited braking can be done
before the spring brakes come on.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
If air pressure does not build up fast enough, your
pressure may drop too low during driving, requiring
an emergency stop. Don’t drive until you get the
problem fixed.
LOW AIR PRESSURE
WARNING DEVICES
LOW
OIL
WATER
LOW
AIR


DIFF
LOCK
Light
LOW PRESSURE WARNING
LOW
AIR
Some vehicles are equipped with a
"Wig-Wag" that drops into the driver's
view, and will not stay up in place until
the desired air pressure is restored.
DROP ARM
"WIG-WAG"
Figure 5.5
Check That Spring Brakes Come On
Automatically. Continue to fan off the air pressure
by stepping on and off the brake pedal to reduce tank
pressure. The tractor protection valve and parking
brake valve should close (pop out) on a tractortrailer combination vehicle and the parking brake
valve should close (pop out) on other combination
and single vehicle types when the air pressure falls
to the manufacturer’s specification (20 – 45 psi).
This will cause the spring brakes to come on.
Check Rate of Air Pressure Buildup. When the
engine is at operating rpms, the pressure should
build from 85 to 100 psi within 45 seconds in dual
air systems. (If the vehicle has larger than minimum
air tanks, the buildup time can be longer and still be
safe. Check the manufacturer’s specifications.) In
single air systems (pre-1975), typical requirements
are pressure build-up from 50 to 90 psi within 3
minutes with the engine at an idle speed of 600900 rpms.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air
system (typically 125 psi), turn off the engine,
release the parking brake (push in); and time the
air pressure drop. The loss rate should be less
than two psi in one minute for single vehicles and
less than three psi in one minute for combination
vehicles.
With the air pressure built up to governor cutoff
(120 – 140 psi), shut off the engine, chock your
wheels (if necessary), release the parking brake
(all vehicles), and the tractor protection valve
(combination vehicle); and fully apply the foot
brake. Hold the foot brake for one minute. Check
the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more
than three pounds in one minute (single vehicle) or
four pounds in one minute (combination vehicle).
If the air pressure falls more than three psi in one
minute for single vehicles (more than four psi
for combination vehicles), the air loss rate is too
much. Check for air leaks and fix before driving
the vehicle. Otherwise, you could lose your brakes
while driving.
Check Air Compressor Governor Cut-in and Cutout Pressures. Pumping by the air compressor
should start at about 100 psi and stop at about 125
psi. (Check manufacturer’s specifications.) Run the
engine at a fast idle. The air governor should cutout the air compressor at about the manufacturer’s
specified pressure. The air pressure shown by your
gauge(s) will stop rising. With the engine idling,
step on and off the brake to reduce the air tank
pressure. The compressor should cut-in at about
the manufacturer’s specified cut-in pressure. The
pressure should begin to rise.
If the air governor does not work as described
above, it may need to be fixed. A governor that
does not work properly may not keep enough air
pressure for safe driving.
Test Parking Brake. Stop the vehicle, put the
parking brake on, and gently pull against it in a low
gear to test that the parking brake will hold.
Test Service Brakes. Wait for normal air pressure,
release the parking brake, move the vehicle forward
slowly (about five mph), and apply the brakes firmly
using the brake pedal. Note any vehicle “pulling” to
one side, unusual feel, or delayed stopping action.
This test may show you problems, which you
otherwise wouldn’t know about until you needed
the brakes on the road.
Page 5-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsections 5.2 and 5.3
Test Your Knowledge
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In
other words:
1. What is a dual air brake system?
2. What are the slack adjusters?
3. How can you check slack adjusters?
4.How can you test the low pressure warning
signal?
5.How can you check that the spring brakes come
on automatically?
6. What are the maximum leakage rates?
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 5.2 and 5.3.
There is only one exception to this procedure, if
you always drive a straight truck or combination
with working ABS on all axles, in an emergency
stop, you can fully apply the brakes.
5.4 – Using Air Brakes
5.4.1 – Normal Stops
Push the brake pedal down. Control the pressure
so the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, don’t push the clutch
in until the engine rpm is down close to idle. When
stopped, select a starting gear.
5.4.2 – Braking with Antilock Brakes
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
You may or may not be able to stop faster with
ABS, but you should be able to steer around an
obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused by
over braking.
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or
even on only one axle, still gives you more control
over the vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be
able to maintain steering control, and there is less
chance of jackknifing. But, keep your eye on the
trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely do
so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you gain control.
Page 5-8
Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay
in control.
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
5.4.3 – Emergency Stops
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there’s enough distance to stop, and
you use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your
vehicle in a straight line and allow you to turn if it
becomes necessary. You can use the “controlled
braking” method or the “stab braking” method.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking
the wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking. Apply your brakes all the way.
Release brakes when wheels lock up. As soon
as the wheels start rolling, apply the brakes fully
again. (It can take up to one second for the wheels
to start rolling after you release the brakes. If you
re-apply the brakes before the wheels start rolling,
the vehicle won’t straighten out.)
5.4.4 – Stopping Distance
Stopping distance was described in Section 2
under “Speed and Stopping Distance.” With air
brakes there is an added delay - “Brake Lag”. This
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
is the time required for the brakes to work after
the brake pedal is pushed. With hydraulic brakes
(used on cars and light/medium trucks), the brakes
work instantly. However, with air brakes, it takes
a little time (one half second or more) for the air
to flow through the lines to the brakes. Thus, the
total stopping distance for vehicles with air brake
systems is made up of four different factors.
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Brake
Lag Distance + Braking Distance = Total Stopping
Distance.
The air brake lag distance at 55 mph on dry
pavement adds about 32 feet. So at 55 mph for
an average driver under good traction and brake
conditions, the total stopping distance is over 450
feet. See Figure 5.6.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely
control a vehicle, every brake must do its share of
the work. Brakes out of adjustment will stop doing
their share before those that are in adjustment. The
other brakes can then overheat and fade, and there
will not be enough braking available to control
the vehicle(s). Brakes can get out of adjustment
quickly, especially when they are hot. Therefore,
check brake adjustment often.
5.4.6 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/
or steep downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is
in the proper low gear, the following is the proper
braking technique:
Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
slowdown.
When your speed has been reduced to
approximately five mph below your “safe” speed,
release the brakes. (This application should last for
about three seconds.)
When your speed has increased to your “safe”
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph,
you would not apply the brakes until your speed
reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard
enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph
and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often
as necessary until you have reached the end of the
downgrade.
5.4.7 – Low Air Pressure
Figure 5.6
5.4.5 – Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub
against the brake drum or disks to slow the vehicle.
Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to
take a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or
fail from excessive heat caused by using them too
much and not relying on the engine braking effect.
Excessive use of the service brakes results in
overheating and leads to brake fade. Brake fade
results from excessive heat causing chemical
changes in the brake lining, which reduce friction,
and also causing expansion of the brake drums.
As the overheated drums expand, the brake shoes
and linings have to move farther to contact the
drums, and the force of this contact is reduced.
Continued overuse may increase brake fade until
the vehicle cannot be slowed down or stopped.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
If the low air pressure warning comes on, stop
and safely park your vehicle as soon as possible.
There might be an air leak in the system. Controlled
braking is possible only while enough air remains
in the air tanks. The spring brakes will come on
when the air pressure drops into the range of 20
to 45 psi. A heavily loaded vehicle will take a long
distance to stop because the spring brakes do
not work on all axles. Lightly loaded vehicles or
vehicles on slippery roads may skid out of control
when the spring brakes come on. It is much safer
to stop while there is enough air in the tanks to use
the foot brakes.
5.4.8 – Parking Brakes
Any time you park, use the parking brakes, except
as noted below. Pull the parking brake control
knob out to apply the parking brakes, push it in
to release. The control will be a yellow, diamond-
Page 5-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
shaped knob labeled “parking brakes” on newer
vehicles. On older vehicles, it may be a round blue
knob or some other shape (including a lever that
swings from side to side or up and down).
Don’t use the parking brakes if the brakes are very
hot (from just having come down a steep grade), or
if the brakes are very wet in freezing temperatures.
If they are used while they are very hot, they can be
damaged by the heat. If they are used in freezing
temperatures when the brakes are very wet, they
can freeze so the vehicle cannot move. Use wheel
chocks on a level surface to hold the vehicle. Let
hot brakes cool before using the parking brakes.
If the brakes are wet, use the brakes lightly while
driving in a low gear to heat and dry them.
If your vehicle does not have automatic air tank
drains, drain your air tanks at the end of each
working day to remove moisture and oil. Otherwise,
the brakes could fail.
Subsection 5.4
Test Your Knowledge
1.Why should you be in the proper gear before
starting down a hill?
2. What factors can cause brakes to fade or fail?
3.The use of brakes on a long, steep downgrade
is only a supplement to the braking effect of the
engine. True or False?
4.If you are away from your vehicle only a short
time, you do not need to use the parking brake.
True or False?
5. How often should you drain air tanks?
6.How should you brake when you drive a tractortrailer combination with ABS?
7.You still have normal brake functions if your
ABS is not working. True or False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 5.4.
Never leave your vehicle unattended
without applying the parking brakes or
chocking the wheels. Your vehicle might
roll away and cause injury and damage.
Page 5-10
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 6
COMBINATION VEHICLES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
Driving Combinations
Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
Antilock Brake Systems
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Combinations
This section provides information needed to
pass the tests for combination vehicles (tractortrailer, doubles, triples, straight truck with
trailer). The information is only to give you the
minimum knowledge needed for driving common
combination vehicles. You should also study
Section 7 if you need to pass the test for doubles
and triples.
6.1 – Driving Combination Vehicles
Safely
Combination vehicles are usually heavier,
longer, and require more driving skill than single
commercial vehicles. This means that drivers of
combination vehicles need more knowledge and
skill than drivers of single vehicles. In this section,
we talk about some important safety factors that
apply specifically to combination vehicles.
6.1.1 – Rollover Risks
More than half of truck driver deaths in crashes are
the result of truck rollovers. When more cargo is
piled up in a truck, the “center of gravity” moves
higher up from the road. The truck becomes easier
to turn over. Fully loaded rigs are ten times more
likely to roll over in a crash than empty rigs.
The following two things will help you prevent
rollover--keep the cargo as close to the ground as
possible, and drive slowly around turns. Keeping
cargo low is even more important in combination
vehicles than in straight trucks. Also, keep the load
centered on your rig. If the load is to one side so it
makes a trailer lean, a rollover is more likely. Make
sure your cargo is centered and spread out as
much as possible. (Cargo distribution is covered in
Section 3 of this manual.)
Rollovers happen when you turn too fast. Drive
slowly around corners, on ramps, and off ramps.
6.1.2 – Steer Gently
Trucks with trailers have a dangerous “crack-thewhip” effect. When you make a quick lane change,
the crack-the-whip effect can turn the trailer over.
There are many accidents where only the trailer
has overturned.
“Rearward amplification” causes the crackthe-whip effect. Figure 6.1 shows eight types
of combination vehicles and the rearward
amplification each has in a quick lane change. Rigs
with the least crack-the-whip effect are shown at
the top and those with the most, at the bottom.
Rearward amplification of 2.0 in the chart means
that the rear trailer is twice as likely to turn over as
the tractor. You can see that triples have a rearward
amplification of 3.5. This means you can roll the
last trailer of triples 3.5 times as easily as a fiveaxle tractor.
Steer gently and smoothly when you are pulling
trailers. If you make a sudden movement with
your steering wheel, your trailer could tip over.
Follow far enough behind other vehicles (at least
1 second for each 10 feet of your vehicle length,
plus another second if going over 40 mph). Look
far enough down the road to avoid being surprised
and having to make a sudden lane change. At
night, drive slowly enough to see obstacles with
your headlights before it is too late to change lanes
or stop gently. Slow down to a safe speed before
going into a turn.
6.1.3 – Brake Early
Control your speed whether fully loaded or
empty. Large combination vehicles take longer
to stop when they are empty than when they are
fully loaded. When lightly loaded, the very stiff
suspension springs and strong brakes give poor
traction and make it very easy to lock up the wheels.
Your trailer can swing out and strike other vehicles.
Your tractor can jackknife very quickly. You also
must be very careful about driving “bobtail” tractors
(tractors without semitrailers). Tests have shown
that bobtails can be very hard to stop smoothly. It
takes them longer to stop than a tractor-semitrailer
loaded to maximum gross weight.
In any combination rig, allow lots of following
distance and look far ahead, so you can brake
early. Don’t be caught by surprise and have to
make a “panic” stop.
Avoid quick lane changes, especially when fully
loaded.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 6.1
6.1.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
6.1.5 – Prevent Trailer Skids
Railroad-highway crossings can also cause
problems, particularly when pulling trailers with low
underneath clearance.
When the wheels of a trailer lock up, the trailer will
tend to swing around. This is more likely to happen
when the trailer is empty or lightly loaded. This type
of jackknife is often called a “trailer jackknife.” See
Figure 6.2.
These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get
out of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
Page 6-2
The procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:
Recognize the Skid. The earliest and best way to
recognize that the trailer has started to skid is by
seeing it in your mirrors. Any time you apply the
brakes hard, check the mirrors to make sure the
trailer is staying where it should be. Once the trailer
swings out of your lane, it’s very difficult to prevent
a jackknife.
* (From R.D. Ervin, R.L. Nisconger, C.C. MacAdam,
and P.S. Fancher, “Influence of size and weight
variables on the stability and control properties of
heavy trucks, “University of Michigan Transportation
Research Institute, 1983).
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
However, keep the rear of your vehicle close to the
curb. This will stop other drivers from passing you
on the right. If you cannot complete your turn
without entering another traffic lane, turn wide as
you complete the turn. This is better than swinging
wide to the left before starting the turn because
it will keep other drivers from passing you on the
right. See Figure 6.4.
Figure 6.3
Figure 6.2
Stop Using the Brake. Release the brakes to get
traction back. Do not use the trailer hand brake (if
you have one) to “straighten out the rig.” This is the
wrong thing to do since the brakes on the trailer
wheels caused the skid in the first place. Once the
trailer wheels grip the road again, the trailer will
start to follow the tractor and straighten out.
6.1.6 – Turn Wide
When a vehicle goes around a corner, the rear
wheels follow a different path than the front wheels.
This is called off-tracking or “cheating.” Figure 6.3
shows how off-tracking causes the path followed
by a tractor to be wider than the rig itself. Longer
vehicles will off-track more. The rear wheels of the
powered unit (truck or tractor) will off-track some,
and the rear wheels of the trailer will off-track even
more. If there is more than one trailer, the rear wheels
of the last trailer will off-track the most. Steer the
front end wide enough around a corner so the rear
end does not run over the curb, pedestrians, etc.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Figure 6.4
6.1.7 – Backing with a Trailer.
Backing with a Trailer. When backing a car, straight
truck, or bus, you turn the top of the steering wheel
in the direction you want to go. When backing a
trailer, you turn the steering wheel in the opposite
direction. Once the trailer starts to turn, you must
turn the wheel the other way to follow the trailer.
Whenever you back up with a trailer, try to position
your vehicle so you can back in a straight line.
If you must back on a curved path, back to the
driver’s side so you can see. See Figure 6.5.
Page 6-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsection 6.1
Test Your Knowledge
1.What two things are important to prevent
rollover?
2.When you turn suddenly while pulling doubles,
which trailer is most likely to turn over?
3.Why should you not use the trailer hand brake
to straighten out a jackknifing trailer?
4.What is off-tracking?
5.When you back a trailer, you should position
your vehicle so you can back in a curved path
to the driver’s side. True or False?
6.What type of trailers can get stuck on railroadhighway crossings?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.1.
6.2 – Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
You should study Section 5: Air Brakes before
reading this. In combination vehicles the braking
system has parts to control the trailer brakes, in
addition to the parts described in Section 5. These
parts are described below.
6.2.1 – Trailer Hand Valve
Figure 6.5
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel
before you begin. Get out and walk around the
vehicle. Check your clearance to the sides and
overhead, in and near the path your vehicle.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside
mirrors on both sides frequently. Get out of the
vehicle and re-inspect your path if you are unsure.
Back Slowly. This will let you make corrections
before you get too far off course.
Correct Drift Immediately. As soon as you see
the trailer getting off the proper path, correct it by
turning the top of the steering wheel in the direction
of the drift.
Pull Forward. When backing a trailer, make pullups to re-position your vehicle as needed.
Page 6-4
The trailer hand valve (also called the trolley valve
or Johnson bar) works the trailer brakes. The
trailer hand valve should be used only to test the
trailer brakes. Do not use it in driving because
of the danger of making the trailer skid. The foot
brake sends air to all of the brakes on the vehicle
(including the trailer(s)). There is much less danger
of causing a skid or jackknife when using just the
foot brake.
Never use the hand valve for parking because
all the air might leak out unlocking the brakes (in
trailers that don’t have spring brakes). Always use
the parking brakes when parking. If the trailer does
not have spring brakes, use wheel chocks to keep
the trailer from moving.
6.2.2 – Tractor Protection Valve
The tractor protection valve keeps air in the tractor
or truck brake system should the trailer break away
or develop a bad leak. The tractor protection valve
is controlled by the “trailer air supply” control valve
in the cab. The control valve allows you to open
and shut the tractor protection valve. The tractor
protection valve will close automatically if air
pressure is low (in the range of 20 to 45 psi). When
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
the tractor protection valve closes, it stops any air
from going out of the tractor. It also lets the air out
of the trailer emergency line. This causes the trailer
emergency brakes to come on, with possible loss
of control. (Emergency brakes are covered later.)
6.2.3 – Trailer Air Supply Control
The trailer air supply control on newer vehicles is a
red eight-sided knob, which you use to control the
tractor protection valve. You push it in to supply
the trailer with air, and pull it out to shut the air off
and put on the trailer emergency brakes. The valve
will pop out (thus closing the tractor protection
valve) when the air pressure drops into the range
of 20 to 45 psi. Tractor protection valve controls
or “emergency” valves on older vehicles may not
operate automatically. There may be a lever rather
than a knob. The “normal” position is used for
pulling a trailer. The “emergency” position is used
to shut the air off and put on the trailer emergency
brakes.
6.2.5 – Hose Couplers (Glad Hands)
Glad hands are coupling devices used to connect
the service and emergency air-lines from the truck
or tractor to the trailer. The couplers have a rubber
seal, which prevents air from escaping. Clean the
couplers and rubber seals before a connection is
made. When connecting the glad hands, press
the two seals together with the couplers at a 90
degree angle to each other. A turn of the glad hand
attached to the hose will join and lock the couplers.
When coupling, make sure to couple the proper
glad hands together. To help avoid mistakes,
colors are sometimes used. Blue is used for the
service lines and red for the emergency (supply)
lines. Sometimes, metal tags are attached to the
lines with the words “service” and “emergency”
stamped on them. See Figure 6.6
RE
Every combination vehicle has two air-lines, the
service line and the emergency line. They run
between each vehicle (tractor to trailer, trailer to
dolly, dolly to second trailer, etc.)
Emergency lines are often coded with the color
red (red hose, red couplers, or other parts) to keep
from getting them mixed up with the blue service
line.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
EMERGENCY LINE
Truc k L ine
Trailer L ine
➧
Emergency Air-line. The emergency line (also
called the supply line) has two purposes. First, it
supplies air to the trailer air tanks. Second, the
emergency line controls the emergency brakes
on combination vehicles. Loss of air pressure in
the emergency line causes the trailer emergency
brakes to come on. The pressure loss could be
caused by a trailer breaking loose, thus tearing
apart the emergency air hose. Or it could be caused
by a hose, metal tubing, or other part breaking,
letting the air out. When the emergency line loses
pressure, it also causes the tractor protection valve
to close (the air supply knob will pop out).
C hec k for C rac ks
D
➧
Service Air-line. The service line (also called
the control line or signal line) carries air, which
is controlled by the foot brake or the trailer hand
brake. Depending on how hard you press the foot
brake or hand valve, the pressure in the service line
will similarly change. The service line is connected
to relay valves. These valves allow the trailer brakes
to be applied more quickly than would otherwise
be possible.
➧
6.2.4 – Trailer Air-lines
BL
UE
SERVICE LINE
Figure 6.6
If you do cross the air-lines, supply air will be sent to
the service line instead of going to charge the trailer
air tanks. Air will not be available to release the
trailer spring brakes (parking brakes). If the spring
brakes don’t release when you push the trailer air
supply control, check the air-line connections.
Older trailers do not have spring brakes. If the
air supply in the trailer air tank has leaked away
there will be no emergency brakes, and the trailer
Page 6-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
wheels will turn freely. If you crossed the air-lines,
you could drive away but you wouldn’t have trailer
brakes. This would be very dangerous. Always test
the trailer brakes before driving with the hand valve
or by pulling the air supply (tractor protection valve)
control. Pull gently against them in a low gear to
make sure the brakes work.
Some vehicles have “dead end” or dummy
couplers to which the hoses may be attached
when they are not in use. This will prevent water
and dirt from getting into the coupler and the airlines. Use the dummy couplers when the air-lines
are not connected to a trailer. If there are no dummy
couplers, the glad hands can sometimes be locked
together (depending on the couplings). It is very
important to keep the air supply clean.
The emergency brakes come on whenever
the air supply knob is pulled out or the trailer is
disconnected. A major leak in the emergency line
will cause the tractor protection valve to close
and the trailer emergency brakes to come on.
But the brakes will hold only as long as there is
air pressure in the trailer air tank. Eventually, the
air will leak away and then there will be no brakes.
Therefore, it is very important for safety that you
use wheel chocks when you park trailers without
spring brakes.
You may not notice a major leak in the service line
until you try to put the brakes on. Then, the air
loss from the leak will lower the air tank pressure
quickly. If it goes low enough, the trailer emergency
brakes will come on.
6.2.6 – Trailer Air Tanks
Each trailer and converter dolly has one or more
air tanks. They are filled by the emergency (supply)
line from the tractor. They provide the air pressure
used to operate trailer brakes. Air pressure is sent
from the air tanks to the brakes by relay valves.
The pressure in the service line tells how much
pressure the relay valves should send to the trailer
brakes. The pressure in the service line is controlled
by the brake pedal (and the trailer hand brake).
It is important that you don’t let water and oil build
up in the air tanks. If you do, the brakes may not
work correctly. Each tank has a drain valve on it
and you should drain each tank every day. If your
tanks have automatic drains, they will keep most
moisture out. But you should still open the drains
to make sure.
Shut-off valves (also called cut-out cocks) are used
in the service and supply air-lines at the back of
trailers used to tow other trailers. These valves
permit closing the air-lines off when another trailer
is not being towed. You must check that all shut-off
valves are in the open position except the ones at
the back of the last trailer, which must be closed.
Parking
and
Newer trailers have spring brakes just like trucks
and truck tractors. However, converter dollies and
trailers built before 1975 are not required to have
spring brakes. Those that do not have spring brakes
have emergency brakes, which work from the air
stored in the trailer air tank. The emergency brakes
come on whenever air pressure in the emergency
line is lost. These trailers have no parking brake.
Page 6-6
1.Why should you not use the trailer hand valve
while driving?
2. Describe what the trailer air supply control does.
3. Describe what the service line is for.
4. What is the emergency air-line for?
5.Why should you use chocks when parking a
trailer without spring brakes?
6. Where are shut-off valves?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.2.
6.3 – Antilock Brake Systems
6.3.1 – Trailers Required to Have ABS
6.2.7 – Shut-off Valves
6.2.8 – Trailer Service,
Emergency Brakes
Subsection 6.2
Test Your Knowledge
All trailers and converter dollies built on or after
March 1, 1998, are required to have ABS. However,
many trailers and converter dollies built before this
date have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner. See
Figure 6.7. Dollies manufactured on or after March
1, 1998, are required to have a lamp on the left
side.
In the case of vehicles manufactured before the
required date, it may be difficult to tell if the unit is
equipped with ABS. Look under the vehicle for the
ECU and wheel speed sensor wires coming from
the back of the brakes.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•As you slow down, monitor your tractor and
trailer and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do
so) to stay in control.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
6.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is
basic to safe operation of combination vehicles.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. General coupling and uncoupling steps
are listed below. There are differences between
different rigs, so learn the details of coupling and
uncoupling the truck(s) you will operate.
6.4.1 – Coupling Tractor-Semitrailers
Step 1. Inspect Fifth Wheel
Figure 6.7
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
Having ABS on only the trailer, or even on only one
axle, still gives you more control over the vehicle
during braking.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In
other words:
•Use only the braking force necessary to stop
safely and stay in control.
•Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
•Check for damaged/missing parts.
•Check to see that mounting to tractor is secure,
no cracks in frame, etc.
•Be sure that the fifth wheel plate is greased as
required. Failure to keep the fifth wheel plate
lubricated could cause steering problems
because of friction between the tractor and
trailer.
•Check if fifth wheel is in proper position for
coupling:
Wheel tilted down toward rear of tractor.
Jaws open.
Safety unlocking handle in the automatic
lock position.
If you have a sliding fifth wheel, make sure
it is locked.
Make sure the trailer kingpin is not bent or
broken.
Step 2. Inspect Area and Chock Wheels
•Make sure area around the vehicle is clear.
•Be sure trailer wheels are chocked or spring
brakes are on.
•Check that cargo (if any) is secured against
movement due to tractor being coupled to the
trailer.
Step 3. Position Tractor
•Put the tractor directly in front of the trailer.
(Never back under the trailer at an angle
because you might push the trailer sideways
and break the landing gear.)
Page 6-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Check position, using outside mirrors, by
looking down both sides of the trailer.
Step 10. Back Under Trailer
•Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
•Don’t hit the trailer.
•Use lowest reverse gear.
•Back tractor slowly under trailer to avoid hitting
the kingpin too hard.
•Stop when the kingpin is locked into the fifth
wheel.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
Step 11. Check Connection for Security
•Put on the parking brake.
•Put transmission in neutral.
•Raise trailer landing gear slightly off ground.
•Pull tractor gently forward while the trailer
brakes are still locked to check that the trailer
is locked onto the tractor.
Step 4. Back Slowly
Step 6. Check Trailer Height
•The trailer should be low enough that it is
raised slightly by the tractor when the tractor
is backed under it. Raise or lower the trailer as
needed. (If the trailer is too low, the tractor may
strike and damage the trailer nose; if the trailer
is too high, it may not couple correctly.)
•Check that the kingpin and fifth wheel are
aligned.
Step 7. Connect Air-lines to Trailer
•Check glad hand seals and connect tractor
emergency air-line to trailer emergency glad
hand.
•Check glad hand seals and connect tractor
service air-line to trailer service glad hand.
•Make sure air-lines are safely supported where
they won’t be crushed or caught while tractor
is backing under the trailer.
Step 8. Supply Air to Trailer
•From cab, push in “air supply” knob or move
tractor protection valve control from the
“emergency” to the “normal” position to supply
air to the trailer brake system.
•Wait until the air pressure is normal.
•Check brake system for crossed air-lines.
Shut engine off so you can hear the brakes.
Apply and release trailer brakes and listen
for sound of trailer brakes being applied
and released. You should hear the brakes
move when applied and air escape when
the brakes are released.
Check air brake system pressure gauge for
signs of major air loss.
•When you are sure trailer brakes are working,
start engine.
•Make sure air pressure is up to normal.
Step 9. Lock Trailer Brakes
•Pull out the “air supply” knob or move the
tractor protection valve control from “normal”
to “emergency.”
Page 6-8
Step 12. Secure Vehicle
•Put transmission in neutral.
•Put parking brakes on.
•Shut off engine and take key with you so
someone else won’t move truck while you are
under it.
Step 13. Inspect Coupling
•Use a flashlight, if necessary.
•Make sure there is no space between upper and
lower fifth wheel. If there is space, something
is wrong (kingpin may be on top of the closed
fifth wheel jaws, and trailer would come loose
very easily).
•Go under trailer and look into the back of the
fifth wheel. Make sure the fifth wheel jaws have
closed around the shank of the kingpin.
•Check that the locking lever is in the “lock”
position.
•Check that the safety latch is in position over
locking lever. (On some fifth wheels the catch
must be put in place by hand.)
•If the coupling isn’t right, don’t drive the
coupled unit; get it fixed.
Step 14. Connect the Electrical Cord and Check
Air-lines
•Plug the electrical cord into the trailer and
fasten the safety catch.
•Check both air-lines and electrical line for signs
of damage.
•Make sure air and electrical lines will not hit
any moving parts of vehicle.
Step 15. Raise Front Trailer Supports (Landing
Gear)
•Use low gear range (if so equipped) to begin
raising the landing gear. Once free of weight,
switch to the high gear range.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Raise the landing gear all the way up. (Never
drive with landing gear only part way up as it
may catch on railroad tracks or other things.)
•After raising landing gear, secure the crank
handle safely.
•When full weight of trailer is resting on tractor:
Check for enough clearance between rear
of tractor frame and landing gear. (When
tractor turns sharply, it must not hit landing
gear.)
Check that there is enough clearance
between the top of the tractor tires and the
nose of the trailer.
Step 16. Remove Trailer Wheel Chocks
•Remove and store wheel chocks in a safe
place.
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
The following steps will help you to uncouple safely.
Step 1. Position Rig
•Make sure surface of parking area can support
weight of trailer.
•Have tractor lined up with the trailer. (Pulling
out at an angle can damage landing gear.)
Step 2. Ease Pressure on Locking Jaws
•Shut off trailer air supply to lock trailer brakes.
•Ease pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by
backing up gently. (This will help you release
the fifth wheel locking lever.)
•Put parking brakes on while tractor is pushing
against the kingpin. (This will hold rig with
pressure off the locking jaws.)
Step 3. Chock Trailer Wheels
•Chock the trailer wheels if the trailer doesn’t
have spring brakes or if you’re not sure. (The air
could leak out of the trailer air tank, releasing
its emergency brakes. Without chocks, the
trailer could move.)
Step 4. Lower the Landing Gear
•If trailer is empty, lower the landing gear until it
makes firm contact with the ground.
•If trailer is loaded, after the landing gear makes
firm contact with the ground, turn crank in low
gear a few extra turns. This will lift some weight
off the tractor. (Do not lift trailer off the fifth
wheel.) This will:
Make it easier to unlatch fifth wheel.
Make it easier to couple next time.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Step 5. Disconnect Air-lines and Electrical Cable
•Disconnect air-lines from trailer. Connect airline glad hands to dummy couplers at back of
cab or couple them together.
•Hang electrical cable with plug down to prevent
moisture from entering it.
•Make sure lines are supported so they won’t
be damaged while driving the tractor.
Step 6. Unlock Fifth Wheel
•Raise the release handle lock.
•Pull the release handle to “open” position.
•Keep legs and feet clear of the rear tractor
wheels to avoid serious injury in case the
vehicle moves.
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
•Pull tractor forward until fifth wheel comes out
from under the trailer.
•Stop with tractor frame under trailer (prevents
trailer from falling to ground if landing gear
should collapse or sink).
Step 8. Secure Tractor
•Apply parking brake.
•Place transmission in neutral.
Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
•Make sure ground is supporting trailer.
•Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
•Release parking brakes.
•Check the area and drive tractor forward until it
clears.
Subsections 6.3 and 6.4
Test Your Knowledge
1.What might happen if the trailer is too high when
you try to couple?
2.After coupling, how much space should be
between the upper and lower fifth wheel?
3.You should look into the back of the fifth wheel
to see if it is locked onto the kingpin. True or
False?
4.To drive you need to raise the landing gear only
until it just lifts off the pavement. True or False?
5.How do you know if your trailer is equipped with
antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 6.3 and 6.4.
Page 6-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
6.5 – Inspecting a Combination Vehicle
Use the seven-step inspection procedure
described in Section 2 to inspect your
combination vehicle. There are more things
to inspect on a combination vehicle than on a
single vehicle. (For example, tires, wheels, lights,
reflectors, etc.) However, there are also some new
things to check. These are discussed below.

Air-lines properly connected to glad
hands, no air leaks, properly secured with
enough slack for turns.

All lines free from damage.
Sliding fifth wheel.
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2.

Slide not damaged or parts missing.

Properly greased.

All locking pins present and locked in
place.

If air powered--no air leaks.

Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward
that tractor frame will hit landing gear, or
the cab hit the trailer, during turns.
Coupling System Areas
Landing Gear
•Check fifth wheel (lower).
 Securely mounted to frame.
 No missing or damaged parts.
 Enough grease.

No visible space between upper and
lower fifth wheel.

Locking jaws around the shank, not the
head of kingpin. See Figure 6.8.

Release arm properly seated and safety
latch/lock engaged.
•Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
•Crank handle in place and secured.
•If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
6.5.1 – Additional Things to Check during a
Walk-around Inspection
Figure 6.8
Check fifth wheel (upper).

Glide plate securely mounted to trailer
frame.

Kingpin not damaged.
Air and electric lines to trailer.

Electrical cord firmly plugged in and
secured.
Page 6-10
6.5.2 – Combination Vehicle Brake Check
Do these checks in addition to Section 5.3:
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
The following section explains how to check air
brakes on combination vehicles. Check the brakes
on a double or triple trailer as you would any
combination vehicle.
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers. Use the
tractor parking brake and/or chock the wheels
to hold the vehicle. Wait for air pressure to reach
normal, then push in the red “trailer air supply”
knob. This will supply air to the emergency (supply)
lines. Use the trailer handbrake to provide air to
the service line. Go to the rear of the rig. Open the
emergency line shut-off valve at the rear of the last
trailer. You should hear air escaping, showing the
entire system is charged. Close the emergency
line valve. Open the service line valve to check
that service pressure goes through all the trailers
(this test assumes that the trailer handbrake or
the service brake pedal is on), and then close the
valve. If you do NOT hear air escaping from both
lines, check that the shut-off valves on the trailer(s)
and dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST
have air all the way to the back for all the brakes
to work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer
Air-brake system. (That is, build up normal airpressure and push the “air supply” knob in.) Shut
the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal
several times to reduce the air pressure in the
tanks. The trailer air supply control (also called
the tractor protection valve control) should pop
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
out (or go from “normal” to “emergency” position)
when the air pressure falls into the pressure range
specified by the manufacturer. (Usually within the
range of 20 to 45 psi.)
If the tractor protection valve doesn’t work right, an
air hose or trailer brake leak could drain all the air
from the tractor. This would cause the emergency
brakes to come on, with possible loss of control.
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the
trailer air brake system and check that the trailer
rolls freely. Then stop and pull out the trailer air
supply control (also called tractor protection valve
control or trailer emergency valve), or place it in
the “emergency” position. Pull gently on the trailer
with the tractor to check that the trailer emergency
brakes are on.
Subsection 6.5
Test Your Knowledge
1.Which shut-off valves should be open and which
closed?
2. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
3. How can you test the tractor protection valve?
4. How can you test the trailer emergency brakes?
5. How can you test the trailer service brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer all of them, re-read subsection 6.5.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal
air pressure, release the parking brakes, move the
vehicle forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes
with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you
the trailer brakes are connected and working. (The
trailer brakes should be tested with the hand valve
but controlled in normal operation with the foot
pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at
all wheels.)
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Page 6-12
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 7
DOUBLES AND TRIPLES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Doubles and Triples
Checking Air Brakes
This section has information you need to pass the
CDL knowledge test for driving safely with double
and triple trailers. It tells about how important it
is to be very careful when driving with more than
one trailer, how to couple and uncouple correctly,
and about inspecting doubles and triples carefully.
(You should also study Sections 2, 5, and 6.)
7.1 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Take special care when pulling two and three
trailers. There are more things that can go wrong,
and doubles/triples are less stable than other
commercial vehicles. Some areas of concern are
discussed below.
7.1.1 – Prevent Trailer from Rolling Over
To prevent trailers from rolling over, you must
steer gently and go slowly around corners, on
ramps, off ramps, and curves. A safe speed
on a curve for a straight truck or a single trailer
combination vehicle may be too fast for a set of
doubles or triples.
7.1.2 – Beware of the Crack-the-whip Effect
Doubles and triples are more likely to turn over
than other combination vehicles because of
the “crack-the-whip” effect. You must steer
gently when pulling trailers. The last trailer in a
combination is most likely to turn over. If you
don’t understand the crack-the-whip effect, study
subsection 6.1.2 of this manual.
7.1.5 – Manage Space
Doubles and triples take up more space than
other commercial vehicles. They are not only
longer, but also need more space because they
can’t be turned or stopped suddenly. Allow more
following distance. Make sure you have large
enough gaps before entering or crossing traffic.
Be certain you are clear at the sides before
changing lanes.
7.1.6 – Adverse Conditions
Be more careful in adverse conditions. In bad
weather, slippery conditions, and mountain
driving, you must be especially careful if you drive
double and triple bottoms. You will have greater
length and more dead axles to pull with your drive
axles than other drivers. There is more chance for
skids and loss of traction.
7.1.7 – Parking the Vehicle
Make sure you do not get in a spot you cannot
pull straight through. You need to be aware of
how parking lots are arranged in order to avoid a
long and difficult escape.
7.1.8 – Antilock Braking Systems on
Converter Dollies
Converter dollies built on or after March 1, 1998,
are required to have antilock brakes. These dollies
will have a yellow lamp on the left side of the dolly.
7.2 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly
is basic to safe operation of doubles and triples.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. Coupling and uncoupling steps for
doubles and triples are listed below.
7.2.1 – Coupling Twin Trailers
Secure Second (Rear) Trailer
7.1.4 – Look Far Ahead
If the second trailer doesn’t have spring brakes,
drive the tractor close to the trailer, connect the
emergency line, charge the trailer air tank, and
disconnect the emergency line. This will set the
trailer emergency brakes (if the slack adjusters are
correctly adjusted). Chock the wheels if you have
any doubt about the brakes.
Doubles and triples must be driven very smoothly
to avoid rollover or jackknife. Therefore, look far
ahead so you can slow down or change lanes
gradually when necessary.
For the safest handling on the road, the more
heavily loaded semitrailer should be in first
position behind the tractor. The lighter trailer
should be in the rear.
7.1.3 – Inspect Completely
There are more critical parts to check when you
have two or three trailers. Check them all. Follow
the procedures described later in this section.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Page 7-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
A converter gear on a dolly is a coupling device
of one or two axles and a fifth wheel by which a
semitrailer can be coupled to the rear of a tractortrailer combination forming a double bottom rig.
See Figure 7.1.
Air and Electrical
Connections
Lead Trailer
Rear Trailer
Fifth Wheel
Ring Hitch
Kingpin
Air Hoses
Converter Gear
Landing Gear
Figure 7.1
Position Converter Dolly in Front of Second
(Rear) Trailer
Release dolly brakes by opening the air tank
petcock. (Or, if the dolly has spring brakes, use the
dolly parking brake control.)
If the distance is not too great, wheel the dolly into
position by hand so it is in line with the kingpin.
Or, use the tractor and first semitrailer to pick up
the converter dolly:
•Position combination as close as possible to
converter dolly.
•Move dolly to rear of first semitrailer and couple
it to the trailer.
•Lock pintle hook.
•Secure dolly support in raised position.
•Pull dolly into position as close as possible to
nose of the second semitrailer.
•Lower dolly support.
•Unhook dolly from first trailer.
•Wheel dolly into position in front of second
trailer in line with the kingpin.
Connect Converter Dolly to Front Trailer
•Back first semitrailer into position in front of
dolly tongue.
•Hook dolly to front trailer.
•Lock pintle hook.
•Secure converter gear support in raised
position.
Connect Converter Dolly to Rear Trailer
•Make sure trailer brakes are locked and/or
wheels chocked.
Page 7-2
•Make sure trailer height is correct. (It must be
slightly lower than the center of the fifth wheel,
so trailer is raised slightly when dolly is pushed
under.)
•Back converter dolly under rear trailer.
•Raise landing gear slightly off ground to prevent
damage if trailer moves.
•Test coupling by pulling against pin of the
second semitrailer.
•Make visual check of coupling. (No space
between upper and lower fifth wheel. Locking
jaws closed on kingpin.)
•Connect safety chains, air hoses, and light
cords.
•Close converter dolly air tank petcock and
shut-off valves at rear of second trailer (service
and emergency shut-offs).
•Open shut-off valves at rear of first trailer (and
on dolly if so equipped).
•Raise landing gear completely.
•Charge trailer brakes (push “air supply” knob
in), and check for air at rear of second trailer
by opening the emergency line shut-off. If air
pressure isn’t there, something is wrong and
the brakes won’t work.
7.2.2 – Uncoupling Twin Trailers
Uncouple Rear Trailer
•Park rig in a straight line on firm level ground.
•Apply parking brakes so rig won’t move.
•Chock wheels of second trailer if it doesn’t
have spring brakes.
•Lower landing gear of second semitrailer
enough to remove some weight from dolly.
•Close air shut-offs at rear of first semitrailer
(and on dolly if so equipped).
•Disconnect all dolly air and electric lines and
secure them.
•Release dolly brakes.
•Release converter dolly fifth wheel latch.
•Slowly pull tractor, first semitrailer, and dolly
forward to pull dolly out from under rear
semitrailer.
Uncouple Converter Dolly
•Lower dolly landing gear.
•Disconnect safety chains.
•Apply converter gear spring brakes or chock
wheels.
•Release pintle hook on first semi-trailer.
•Slowly pull clear of dolly.
Never unlock the pintle hook with the dolly still
under the rear trailer. The dolly tow bar may fly up,
possibly causing injury, and making it very difficult
to re-couple.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple
Trailers
Couple Tractor/First Semitrailer to Second/Third
Trailers
Couple tractor to first trailer. Use the method
already described for coupling tractor-semitrailers.
Move converter dolly into position and couple
first trailer to second trailer using the method for
coupling doubles. Triples rig is now complete.
Uncouple Triple-trailer Rig
Uncouple third trailer by pulling the dolly out,
then unhitching the dolly using the method for
uncoupling doubles.
Uncouple remainder of rig as you would any doublebottom rig using the method already described.
7.2.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling Other
Combinations
The methods described so far apply to the more
common tractor-trailer combinations. However,
there are other ways of coupling and uncoupling
the many types of truck-trailer and tractor-trailer
combinations that are in use. There are too many
to cover in this manual. You will need to learn the
correct way to couple and uncouple the vehicle(s)
you will drive according to the manufacturer and/or
owner specifications.
7.3 – Inspecting Doubles and Triples
Use the seven-step inspection procedure described
in Section 2 to inspect your combination vehicle.
There are more things to inspect on a combination
vehicle than on a single vehicle. Many of these
items are simply more of what you would find on
a single vehicle. (For example, tires, wheels, lights,
reflectors, etc.) However, there are also some new
things to check. These are discussed below.
7.3.1 – Additional Checks
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2, Step 5: Do a Walk-around Inspection.
•Coupling System Areas

Check fifth wheel (lower).

Securely mounted to frame.

No missing or damaged parts.

Enough grease.

No visible space between upper and lower
fifth wheel.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples

Locking jaws around the shank, not the
head of kingpin.

Release arm properly seated and safety
latch/lock engaged.
•Check fifth wheel (upper).

Glide plate securely mounted to trailer
frame.

Kingpin not damaged.
•Air and electric lines to trailer.

Electrical cord firmly plugged in and
secured.

Air-lines properly connected to glad hands,
no air leaks, properly secured with enough
slack for turns.

All lines free from damage.
•Sliding fifth wheel.

Slide not damaged or parts missing.

Properly greased.

All locking pins present and locked in
place.

If air powered, no air leaks.

Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward
that the tractor frame will hit landing gear,
or cab will hit the trailer, during turns.
Landing Gear
•Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
•Crank handle in place and secured.
•If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
Double and Triple Trailers
•Shut-off valves (at rear of trailers, in service
and emergency lines).

Rear of front trailers: OPEN.

Rear of last trailer: CLOSED.

Converter dolly air tank drain valve:
CLOSED.
•Be sure air-lines are supported and glad hands
are properly connected.
•If spare tire is carried on converter gear (dolly),
make sure it’s secured.
•Be sure pintle-eye of dolly is in place in pintle
hook of trailer(s).
•Make sure pintle hook is latched.
•Safety chains should be secured to trailer(s).
•Be sure light cords are firmly in sockets on
trailers.
Page 7-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
7.3.2 – Additional Things to Check during a
Walk-around Inspection
with the tractor to check that the trailer emergency
brakes are on.
Do these checks in addition to subsection 5.3,
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal
air pressure, release the parking brakes, move the
vehicle forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes
with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you
the trailer brakes are connected and working. (The
trailer brakes should be tested with the hand valve,
but controlled in normal operation with the foot
pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at
all wheels.)
7.4 – Doubles/Triples Air Brake Check
Check the brakes on a double or triple trailer as you
would any combination vehicle. Subsection 6.5.2
explains how to check air brakes on combination
vehicles. You must also make the following checks
on your double or triple trailers
7.4.1 – Additional Air Brake Checks
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers (Double and
Triple Trailers). Use the tractor parking brake and/
or chock the wheels to hold the vehicle. Wait for
air pressure to reach normal, then push in the red
“trailer air supply” knob. This will supply air to the
emergency (supply) lines. Use the trailer handbrake
to provide air to the service line. Go to the rear of the
rig. Open the emergency line shut-off valve at the
rear of the last trailer. You should hear air escaping,
showing the entire system is charged. Close the
emergency line valve. Open the service line valve
to check that service pressure goes through all the
trailers (this test assumes that the trailer handbrake
or the service brake pedal is on), and then close
the valve. If you do NOT hear air escaping from
both lines, check that the shut-off valves on the
trailer(s) and dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position.
You MUST have air all the way to the back for all
the brakes to work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer
air brake system. (That is, build up normal air
pressure and push the “air supply” knob in.) Shut
the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal
several times to reduce the air pressure in the
tanks. The trailer air supply control (also called
the tractor protection valve control) should pop
out (or go from “normal” to “emergency” position)
when the air pressure falls into the pressure range
specified by the manufacturer. (Usually within the
range of 20 to 45 psi.)
Section 7
Test Your Knowledge
1.What is a converter dolly?
2.Do converter dollies have spring brakes?
3.What three methods can you use to secure a
second trailer before coupling?
4.How do you check to make sure trailer height is
correct before coupling?
5.What do you check when making a visual
check of coupling?
6.Why should you pull a dolly out from under a
trailer before you disconnect it from the trailer
in front?
7.What should you check for when inspecting
the converter dolly? The pintle hook?
8.Should the shut-off valves on the rear of the
last trailer be open or closed? On the first trailer
in a set of doubles? On the middle trailer of a
set of triples?
9.How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
10.How do you know if your converter dolly is
equipped with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 7.
If the tractor protection valve doesn’t work properly,
an air hose or trailer brake leak could drain all the air
from the tractor. This would cause the emergency
brakes to come on, with possible loss of control.
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the
trailer air brake system and check that the trailer
rolls freely. Then stop and pull out the trailer air
supply control (also called tractor protection valve
control or trailer emergency valve) or place it in
the “emergency” position. Pull gently on the trailer
Page 7-4
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 8
TANK VEHICLES
This Section Covers
• Inspecting Tank Vehicles
• Driving Tank Vehicles
• Safe Driving Rules
This section has information needed to pass the
CDL knowledge test for driving a tank vehicle.
(You should also study Sections 2, 5, 6, and 9). A
tank endorsement is required for certain vehicles
that transport liquids or gases. The liquid or gas
does not have to be a hazardous material. A tank
endorsement is required if your vehicle needs a
Class A or B CDL and you want to haul a liquid or
liquid gas in a tank or tanks having an individual
rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an
aggregate rated capacity of 1000 gallons or more
that is either permanently or temporarily attached
to the vehicle or the chassis. A tank endorsement is
also required for Class C vehicles when the vehicle
is used to transport hazardous materials in liquid or
gas form in the above described rated tanks.
•Check manhole covers and vents. Make
sure the covers have gaskets and they close
correctly. Keep the vents clear so they work
correctly.
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose Equipment
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment,
make sure it works:
•Vapor recovery kits.
•Grounding and bonding cables.
•Emergency shut-off systems.
•Built in fire extinguisher.
Never drive a tank vehicle with open valves or
manhole covers.
8.1.3 – Special Equipment
Check the emergency equipment required for your
vehicle. Find out what equipment you’re required
to carry and make sure you have it (and it works).
8.2 – Driving Tank Vehicles
Hauling liquids in tanks requires special skills
because of the high center of gravity and liquid
movement. See Figure 8.1.
Before loading, unloading, or driving a tanker,
inspect the vehicle. This makes sure that the
vehicle is safe to carry the liquid or gas and is safe
to drive.
8.1 – Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Tank vehicles have special items that you need
to check. Tank vehicles come in many types and
sizes. You need to check the vehicle’s operator
manual to make sure you know how to inspect
your tank vehicle.
Figure 8.1
8.1.1 – Leaks
8.2.1 – High Center of Gravity
On all tank vehicles, the most important item to
check for is leaks. Check under and around the
vehicle for signs of any leaking. Don’t carry liquids
or gases in a leaking tank. To do so is a crime. You
will be cited and prevented from driving further.
You may also be liable for the clean-up of any spill.
In general, check the following:
High center of gravity means that much of the
load’s weight is carried high up off the road. This
makes the vehicle top-heavy and easy to roll over.
Liquid tankers are especially easy to roll over. Tests
have shown that tankers can turn over at the speed
limits posted for curves. Take highway curves and
on ramp/off ramp curves well below the posted
speeds.
•Check the tank’s body or shell for dents or
leaks.
•Check the intake, discharge, and cut-off
valves. Make sure the valves are in the correct
position before loading, unloading, or moving
the vehicle.
•Check pipes, connections, and hoses for leaks,
especially around joints.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
8.2.2 – Danger of Surge
Liquid surge results from movement of the liquid in
partially filled tanks. This movement can have bad
effects on handling. For example, when coming to
a stop, the liquid will surge back and forth. When
the wave hits the end of the tank, it tends to push
the truck in the direction the wave is moving. If the
Page 8-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
truck is on a slippery surface such as ice, the wave
can shove a stopped truck out into an intersection.
The driver of a liquid tanker must be very familiar
with the handling of the vehicle.
8.2.3 – Bulkheads
Some liquid tanks are divided into several smaller
tanks by bulkheads. When loading and unloading
the smaller tanks, the driver must pay attention to
weight distribution. Don’t put too much weight on
the front or rear of the vehicle.
8.2.4 – Baffled Tanks
Baffled liquid tanks have bulkheads in them with
holes that let the liquid flow through. The baffles
help to control the forward and backward liquid
surge. Side-to-side surge can still occur. This can
cause a roll over.
8.2.5 – Un-baffled Tanks
Un-baffled liquid tankers (sometimes called
“smooth bore” tanks) have nothing inside to slow
down the flow of the liquid. Therefore, forwardand-back surge is very strong. Un-baffled tanks are
usually those that transport food products (milk,
for example). (Sanitation regulations forbid the use
of baffles because of the difficulty in cleaning the
inside of the tank.) Be extremely cautious (slow and
careful) in driving smooth bore tanks, especially
when starting and stopping.
8.2.6 – Outage
Never load a cargo tank totally full. Liquids expand
as they warm and you must leave room for the
expanding liquid. This is called “outage.” Since
different liquids expand by different amounts, they
require different amounts of outage. You must know
the outage requirement when hauling liquids in bulk.
8.2.7 – How Much to Load?
A full tank of dense liquid (such as some acids)
may exceed legal weight limits. For that reason,
you may often only partially fill tanks with heavy
liquids. The amount of liquid to load into a tank
depends on:
•The amount the liquid will expand in transit.
•The weight of the liquid.
•Legal weight limits.
8.3 – Safe Driving Rules
In order to drive tank vehicles safely, you must
remember to follow all the safe driving rules. A few
of these rules are:
Page 8-2
8.3.1 – Drive Smoothly
Because of the high center of gravity and the surge
of the liquid, you must start, slow down, and stop
very smoothly. Also, make smooth turns and lane
changes.
8.3.2 – Controlling Surge
Keep a steady pressure on the brakes. Do not
release too soon when coming to a stop.
Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your
following distance.
If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash, use
controlled or stab braking. If you do not remember
how to stop using these methods, review subsection
2.17.2. Also, remember that if you steer quickly
while braking, your vehicle may roll over.
8.3.3 – Curves
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly
through the curve. The posted speed for a curve
may be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.3.4 – Stopping Distance
Keep in mind how much space you need to stop
your vehicle. Remember that wet roads double the
normal stopping distance. Empty tank vehicles
may take longer to stop than full ones.
8.3.5 – Skids
Don’t over steer, over accelerate, or over brake. If
you do, your vehicle may skid. On tank trailers, if
your drive wheels or trailer wheels begin to skid,
your vehicle may jackknife. When any vehicle starts
to skid, you must take action to restore traction to
the wheels.
Section 8
Test Your Knowledge
1. How are bulkheads different than baffles?
2.Should a tank vehicle take curves, on ramps, or
off ramps at the posted speed limits?
3.How are smooth bore tankers different to drive
than those with baffles?
4.What three things determine how much liquid
you can load?
5. What is outage?
6. How can you help control surge?
7.What two reasons make special care necessary
when driving tank vehicles?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 8.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 9
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
This Section Covers
• The Intent of the Regulations
•Bulk Tank Loading, Unloading, and
Marking
• Driver Responsibilities
• Driving and Parking Rules
• Communications Rules
•Emergencies
• Loading and Unloading
Hazardous materials are products that pose
a risk to health, safety, and property during
transportation. The term often is shortened to
HAZMAT, which you may see on road signs, or
to HM in government regulations. Hazardous
materials include explosives, various types of gas,
solids, flammable and combustible liquid, and
other materials. Because of the risks involved and
the potential consequences these risks impose,
all levels of government regulate the handling of
hazardous materials.
The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is
found in parts 100 - 185 of title 49 of the Code
of Federal Regulations. The common reference for
these regulations is 49 CFR 100 - 185
The Hazardous Materials Table in the regulations
contains a list of these items. However, this list is not
all-inclusive. Whether or not a material is considered
hazardous is based on its characteristics and the
shipper’s decision on whether or not the material
meets a definition of a hazardous material in the
regulations.
The regulations require vehicles transporting
certain types or quantities of hazardous materials
to display diamond-shaped, square on point,
warning signs called placards.
This section is designed to assist you in
understanding your role and responsibilities in
hauling hazardous materials. Due to the constantly
changing nature of government regulations, it is
impossible to guarantee absolute accuracy of
the materials in this section. An up-to-date copy
of the complete regulations is essential for you to
have. Included in these regulations is a complete
glossary of terms.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL)
with a hazardous materials endorsement before
you drive any size vehicle that is used to transport
hazardous material as defined in 49 CFR 383.5.
You must pass a written test about the regulations
and requirements to get this endorsement.
Everything you need to know to pass the written test
is in this section. However, this is only a beginning.
Most drivers need to know much more on the job.
You can learn more by reading and understanding
the federal and state rules applicable to hazardous
materials, as well as, attending hazardous
materials training courses. Your employer, colleges
and universities, and various associations usually
offer these courses. You can get copies of the
Federal Regulations (49 CFR) through your local
Government Printing Office bookstore and various
industry publishers. Union or company offices
often have copies of the rules for driver use. Find
out where you can get your own copy to use on
the job.
The regulations require training and testing for
all drivers involved in transporting hazardous
materials. Your employer or a designated
representative is required to provide this training
and testing. Hazardous materials employers are
required to keep a record of training for each
employee as long as that employee is working with
hazardous materials, and for 90 days thereafter.
The regulations require that hazardous materials
employees be trained and tested at least once
every three years.
All drivers must be trained in the security risks of
hazardous materials transportation. This training
must include how to recognize and respond to
possible security threats.
The regulations also require that drivers have
special training before driving a vehicle transporting
certain flammable gas materials or highway route
controlled quantities of radioactive materials. In
addition, drivers transporting cargo tanks and
portable tanks must receive specialized training.
Each driver’s employer or his or her designated
representative must provide such training.
Some locations require permits to transport certain
explosives or bulk hazardous wastes. States
and counties also may require drivers to follow
special hazardous materials routes. The federal
government may require permits or exemptions for
special hazardous materials cargo such as rocket
fuel. Find out about permits, exemptions, and
special routes for the places you drive.
Page 9-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
9.1 – The Intent of the Regulations
9.1.1 – Contain the Material
Transporting hazardous materials can be risky.
The regulations are intended to protect you, those
around you, and the environment. They tell shippers
how to package the materials safely and drivers
how to load, transport, and unload the material.
These are called “containment rules.”
9.1.2 – Communicate the Risk
To communicate the risk, shippers must warn
drivers and others about the material’s hazards.
The regulations require shippers to put hazard
warning labels on packages, provide proper
shipping papers, emergency response information,
and placards. These steps communicate the
hazard to the shipper, the carrier, and the driver.
9.1.3 – Assure Safe Drivers and Equipment
In order to get a hazardous materials endorsement
on a CDL, you must pass a written test about
transporting hazardous materials. To pass the test,
you must know how to:
•Identify what are hazardous materials.
•Safely load shipments.
•Properly placard your vehicle in accordance
with the rules.
•Safely transport shipments.
Learn the rules and follow them. Following the rules
reduces the risk of injury from hazardous materials.
Taking shortcuts by breaking rules is unsafe. Noncompliance with regulations can result in fines and
jail.
Inspect your vehicle before and during each trip.
Law enforcement officers may stop and inspect
your vehicle. When stopped, they may check
your shipping papers, vehicle placards, and
the hazardous materials endorsement on your
driver license, and your knowledge of hazardous
materials.
•Identification number
•Proper shipping name.
•Hazard class.
•Packing group.
•Correct packaging.
•Correct label and markings.
•Correct placards.
•Must package, mark, and label the materials;
prepare shipping papers; provide emergency
response information; and supply placards.
•Certify on the shipping paper that the shipment
has been prepared according to the rules
(unless you are pulling cargo tanks supplied by
you or your employer).
9.2.2 – The Carrier
•Takes the shipment from the shipper to its
destination.
•Prior to transportation, checks that the
shipper correctly described, marked, labeled,
and otherwise prepared the shipment for
transportation.
•Refuses improper shipments.
•Reports accidents and incidents involving
hazardous materials to the proper government
agency.
9.2.3 – The Driver
•Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked,
and labeled the hazardous materials properly.
•Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
•Placards vehicle when loading, if required.
•Safely transports the shipment without delay.
•Follows all special rules about transporting
hazardous materials.
•Keeps hazardous materials shipping papers
and emergency response information in the
proper place.
9.3 – Communication Rules
9.3.1 – Definitions
9.2.1 – The Shipper
Some words and phrases have special meanings
when talking about hazardous materials. Some of
these may differ from meanings you are used to.
The words and phrases in this section may be on
your test. The meanings of other important words
are in the glossary at the end of Section 9.
•Sends products from one place to another by
truck, rail, vessel, or airplane.
•Uses the hazardous materials regulations to
determine the product’s:
A material’s hazard class reflects the risks
associated with it. There are nine different hazard
classes. The types of materials included in these
nine classes are in Figure 9.1.
9.2
–
Hazardous
Materials
Transportation—Who Does What
Page 9-2
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Hazardous Materials Class
Division
Class
Name of Class or
Division
Examples
1
Mass Explosion
Projection Hazard
Fire Hazard
Minor Explosion
Very Insensitive
Extremely Insensitive
Dynamite
Flares
Display Fireworks
Ammunition
Blasting Agents
Explosive Devices
2.1
2.2
2
2.3
Flammable Gases
Non-Flammable
Gases
Poisonous/Toxic
Gases
Propane
Helium
3
Flammable Liquids
Gasoline
Flammable Solids
Spontaneously
Combustible
Dangerous When Wet
Ammonium Picrate,
Wetted
White Phosphorus
Sodium
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
-
4.1
4.2
4
4.3
Fluorine, Compressed
5.1 Oxidizers
5
5.2 Organic Peroxides
Ammonium Nitrate
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Peroxide
6.1
6
6.2
Poison (Toxic
Material)
Infectious
Substances
Potassium Cyanide
7
-
Radioactive
Uranium
8
-
Corrosives
Battery Fluid
9
-
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCB)
e
-
ORM-D (Other
Regulated Material-
Domestic)
Food Flavorings,
Medicines
Combustible Liquids
Fuel Oil
-
9.3.2 – Package Labels
Shippers put diamond-shaped hazard warning
labels on most hazardous materials packages.
These labels inform others of the hazard. If the
diamond label won’t fit on the package, shippers
may put the label on a tag securely attached to the
package. For example, compressed gas cylinders
that will not hold a label will have tags or decals.
Labels look like the examples in Figure 9.2.
Anthrax Virus
Figure 9.1
A shipping paper describes the hazardous materials
being transported. Shipping orders, bills of lading,
and manifests are all shipping papers. Figure 9.6
shows an example shipping paper.
After an accident or hazardous materials spill or
leak, you may be injured and unable to communicate
the hazards of the materials you are transporting.
Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce the
amount of damage or injury at the scene if they
know what hazardous materials are
being carried. Your life, and the lives of others, may
depend on quickly locating the hazardous materials
shipping papers. For that reason the rules require:
•Shippers to describe hazardous materials
correctly and include an emergency response
telephone number on shipping papers.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
•Carriers and drivers to quickly identify
hazardous materials shipping papers, or keep
them on top of other shipping papers and keep
the required emergency response information
with the shipping papers.
•Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping
papers:

In a pouch on the driver’s door, or

In clear view within immediate reach while
the seat belt is fastened while driving, or

On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
Examples of HAZMAT Labels. Figure 9.2
9.3.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards. Placards are used to warn others of
hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the
outside of a vehicle and on bulk packages, which
identify the hazard class of the cargo. A placarded
vehicle must have at least four identical placards.
They are put on the front, rear, and both sides of the
vehicle. See Figure 9.3. Placards must be readable
from all four directions. They are at least 10 3/4
inches square, square-on-point, in a diamond
shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging
display the identification number of their contents
on placards or orange panels or white square-onpoint displays that are the same size as placards.
Page 9-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Six different symbols may appear in Column 1 of
the table.
(+)Shows the proper shipping name, hazard
class, and packing group to use, even if
the material doesn’t meet the hazard class
definition.
(A)Means the hazardous material described
in Column 2 is subject to the HMR only
when offered or intended for transport by
air unless it is a hazardous substance or
hazardous waste.
(W)Means the hazardous material described in
Column 2 is subject to the HMR only when
offered or intended for transportation by
water unless it is a hazardous substance,
hazardous waste, or marine pollutant.
Examples of HAZMAT Placards. Figure 9.3
Identification numbers are a four-digit code used
by first responders to identify hazardous materials.
An identification number may be used to identify
more than one chemical. The letters “NA or “UN”
will precede the identification number. The United
States Department of Transportation’s Emergency
Response Guidebook (ERG) lists the chemicals
and the identification numbers assigned to them.
There are three main lists used by shippers, carriers,
and drivers when trying to identify hazardous
materials. Before transporting a material, look
for its name on three lists. Some materials are
on all lists, others on only one. Always check the
following lists:
•Section 172.101, the Hazardous Materials
Table.
•Appendix A to Section 172.101, the List
of Hazardous Substances and Reportable
Quantities.
•Appendix B to Section 172.101, the List of
Marine Pollutants.
(D)Means the proper shipping name is
appropriate for describing materials for
domestic transportation, but may not be
proper for international transportation.
(I)Identifies a proper shipping name that is
used to describe materials in international
transportation. A different shipping
name may be used when only domestic
transportation is involved.
(G)Means this hazardous material described
in Column 2 is a generic shipping name.
A generic shipping name must be
accompanied by a technical name on
the shipping paper. A technical name is a
specific chemical that makes the product
hazardous
Column 2 lists the proper shipping names and
descriptions of regulated materials. Entries are in
alphabetical order so you can more quickly find
the right entry. The table shows proper shipping
names in regular type. The shipping paper must
show proper shipping names. Names shown in
italics are not proper shipping names.
The Hazardous Materials Table. Figure 9.4 shows
part of the Hazardous Materials Table.
Column 1 tells which shipping mode(s) the entry
affects and other information concerning the
shipping description. The next five columns show
each material’s shipping name, hazard class or
division, identification number, packaging group,
and required labels.
Page 9-4
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
49 CFER 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table
Packaging (173.***)
Hazardous Materials
Hazard
Special
Class or Identification
PGLabel Provisions
Symbols Description & Proper
Numbers
Codes
Shipping Names
Division
(172.102)
Exceptions Non
Bulk
(1)
(2)
(3)
A
Acetaldehyde ammonia 9
Bulk
(4)
(5) (6)
(7)
(8A)
(8B)
(8C)
UN1841
III
IB8, IP6
155
204
240
9
Figure 9.4
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172
List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities
Hazardous Substances Reportable Quantity (RQ) Pounds
(Kilograms)
Phenyl mercaptan @
100 (45.4)
Phenylmercuric acetate
100 (45.4)
N-Phenylthiourea
100 (45.4)
Phorate
10 (4.54)
Phosgene
10 (4.54)
Phosphine
100 (45.4) *
Phosphoric acid
5,000 (2270)
Phosphoric acid, diethyl
4-nitrophenyl ester
100 (45.4)
Phosphoric acid, lead salt
10 (.454)
* Spills of 10 pounds or more must be reported.
Figure 9.5
Column 3 shows a material’s hazard class or
division, or the entry “Forbidden.” Never transport a
“Forbidden” material. Placard hazardous materials
shipments based on the quantity and hazard class.
You can decide which placards to use if you know
these three things:
also must appear on cargo tanks and other bulk
packaging. Police and firefighters use this number
to quickly identify the hazardous materials.
•Material’s hazard class.
•Amount being shipped.
•Amount of all hazardous materials of all classes
on your vehicle.
Column 6 shows the hazard warning label(s)
shippers must put on packages of hazardous
materials. Some products require use of more than
one label due to a dual hazard being present.
Column 4 lists the identification number for each
proper shipping name. Identification numbers are
preceded by the letters “UN” or “NA.” The letters
“NA” are associated with proper shipping names
that are only used within the United States and to
and from Canada. The identification number must
appear on the shipping paper as part of the shipping
description and also appear on the package. It
Column 7 lists the additional (special) provisions
that apply to this material. When there is an entry
in this column, you must refer to the federal
regulations for specific information. The numbers
1-6 in this column mean the hazardous material
is a poison inhalation hazard (PIH). PIH materials
have special requirements for shipping papers,
marking, and placards.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Column 5 shows the packing group (in Roman
numeral) assigned to a material.
Page 9-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Column 8 is a three-part column showing
the section numbers covering the packaging
requirements for each hazardous material.
Note: Columns 9 and 10 do not apply to
transportation by highway.
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172.101 - The List
of Hazardous Substances and Reportable
Quantities. The DOT and the EPA want to know
about spills of hazardous substances. They are
named in the List of Hazardous Substances and
Reportable Quantities. See Figure 9.5. Column 3 of
the list shows each product’s reportable quantity
(RQ). When these materials are being transported
in a reportable quantity or greater in one package,
the shipper displays the letters RQ on the shipping
paper and package. The letters RQ may appear
before or after the basic description. You or your
employer must report any spill of these materials,
which occurs in a reportable quantity.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD appear on the
shipping paper or package, the rules require display
of the POISON INHALATION HAZARD or POISON
GAS placards, as appropriate. These placards
must be used in addition to other placards, which
may be required by the product’s hazard class.
Always display the hazard class placard and the
POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard, even for
small amounts.
Appendix B to 49 CFR 172.101 – List of Marine
Pollutants
Appendix B is a listing of chemicals that are toxic
to marine life. For highway transportation, this list
is only used for chemicals in a container with a
capacity of 119 gallons or more without a placard
or label as specified by the HMR.
Any bulk packages of a Marine Pollutant must
display the Marine Pollutant marking (white triangle
with a fish and an “X” through the fish). This
marking (it is not a placard) must also be displayed
on the outside of the vehicle. In addition, a notation
must be made on the shipping papers near the
description of the material: “Marine Pollutant”.
9.3.4 – The Shipping Paper
The shipping paper shown in Figure 9.6 describes
a shipment. A shipping paper for hazardous
materials must include:
•Page numbers if the shipping paper has more
than one page. The first page must tell the total
number of pages. For example, “Page 1 of 4”.
Page 9-6
•A proper shipping description for each
hazardous material.
•A shipper’s certification, signed by the shipper,
saying they prepared the shipment according
to the regulations.
Shipping Paper
TO:
ABC
Corporation
88 Valley
Street
Anywhere
VA
Quantity
HM
RQ
1
cylinder
FROM:
DEF
Page
Corporation 1 of 1
55
Mountain
Street
Nowhere,
CO
Description
Weight
UN1076, Phosgene, 2.3,
25 lbs
Poison,
Hazard,
Zone A
Inhalation
(“RQ”
means that
(UN1076 is the Identification
this is a
reportable Number from Column 4 of
the Hazardous materials
quantity.)
Table.
Phosgene is the proper
shipping
name
from
Column 2 of the Hazardous
Materials Table.
2.3 is the Hazard Class from
Column 3 of the Hazardous
Materials Table.)
This is to certify that the above named materials are
properly classified, described, packaged marked and
labeled, and are in proper condition for transportation
according to the applicable regulations of the Department
of Transportation.
DEF
Carrier:
Safety
Shipper: Corporation
Per:
First
Per:
Smith
Date:
Date:
October 15,
2003
Special Instructions: 24 hour Emergency Contact,
John Smith 1-800-555-5555
Figure 9.6
9.3.5 – The Item Description
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and
non-hazardous products, the hazardous materials
must be:
•Entered first.
•Highlighted in a contrasting color, OR.
•Identified by an “X” placed before the shipping
description (ID#, Shipping Name, Hazard
Class, Packing Group) in a column captioned
“HM”. The letters “RQ” may be used instead
of “X” if a reportable quantity needs to be
identified.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
The basic description of hazardous materials
includes the identification number, proper shipping
name, hazard class or division, and the packing
group, if any, in that order. The packing group
is displayed in Roman numerals and may be
preceded by “PG”.
Identification number, shipping name, and hazard
class must not be abbreviated unless specifically
authorized in the hazardous materials regulations.
The description must also show:
•The total quantity and unit of measure.
•The number and type of packages (example:
“6 Drums”).
•The letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
•If the letters RQ appear, the name of the
hazardous substance (if not included in the
shipping name).
•For all materials with the letter “G” (Generic) in
Column 1, the technical name of the hazardous
material.
Shipping papers also must list an emergency
response telephone number (unless excepted).
The emergency response telephone number is
the responsibility of the shipper. It can be used by
emergency responders to obtain information about
any hazardous materials involved in a spill or fire.
The telephone number must be:
The number of the person offering the hazardous
material for transportation (if the shipper/offerer
is the emergency response information (ERI)
provider); or
The number of an agency or organization capable
of, and accepting responsibility for, providing the
detailed information required by paragraph (a)(2)
of this section. The person who is registered with
the ERI provider must be identified by name, or
contract number or other unique identifier assigned
by the ERI provider, on the shipping paper
Shippers also must provide emergency response
information to the motor carrier for each hazardous
material being shipped. The emergency response
information must be able to be used away from
the motor vehicle and must provide information
on how to safely handle incidents involving
the material. At a minimum, it must include the
following information:
•The basic description and technical name;
•Immediate hazards to health;
•Risks of fire or explosion;
•Immediate precautions to be taken in the event
of an accident or incident;
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
•Immediate methods for handling fires;
•Initial methods for handling spills or leaks in
the absence of fires; and
•Preliminary first aid measures
Such information can be on the shipping paper
or some other document that includes the basic
description and technical name of the hazardous
material. Or, it may be in a guidance book such
as the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).
Motor carriers may assist shippers by keeping an
ERG on each vehicle carrying hazardous materials.
The driver must provide the emergency response
information to any federal, state, or local authority
responding to a hazardous materials incident or
investigating one.
Total quantity and number & type of packages
must appear before or after the basic description.
The packaging type and the unit of measurement
may be abbreviated. For example:
10 ctns. UN1263, Paint, 3, PG II, 500 lbs.
The shipper of hazardous wastes must put the
word WASTE before the proper shipping name
of the material on the shipping paper (hazardous
waste manifest). For example:
UN1090, Waste Acetone, 3, PG II.
A non-hazardous material may not be described by
using a hazard class or an identification number.
Shippers must keep a copy of shipping papers (or
an electronic image) for a period of 2 years (3 years
for hazardous waste) after the material is accepted
by the initial carrier.
If one provides a carrier service only and is not the
originator of the shipment, a carrier is required to
keep a copy of the shipping paper (or an electronic
image) for a period of 1 year.
IMPORTANT NOTE: To view complete regulatory
requirements for the transportation of hazardous
materials one should refer to the Code of Federal
Regulations, Title 49, Parts 100-185.
9.3.6 – Shipper’s Certification
When the shipper packages hazardous materials,
he/she certifies that the package has been prepared
according to the rules. The signed shipper’s
certification appears on the original shipping paper.
The only exceptions are when a shipper is a private
carrier transporting their own product and when the
package is provided by the carrier (for example, a
cargo tank). Unless a package is clearly unsafe or
does not comply with the HMR, you may accept
the shipper’s certification concerning proper
Page 9-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
packaging. Some carriers have additional rules
about transporting hazardous materials. Follow
your employer’s rules when accepting shipments.
•Is a hazard class label, proper shipping name,
or identification number on the package?
•Are there any handling precautions?
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
9.3.9 – Hazardous Waste Manifest
Shippers print required markings directly on the
package, an attached label, or tag. An important
package marking is the name of the hazardous
material. It is the same name as the one on the
shipping paper. The requirements for marking vary
by package size and material being transported.
When required, the shipper will put the following
on the package:
When transporting hazardous wastes, you must
sign by hand and carry a Uniform Hazardous Waste
Manifest. The name and EPA registration number of
the shippers, carriers, and destination must appear
on the manifest. Shippers must prepare, date, and
sign by hand the manifest. Treat the manifest as
a shipping paper when transporting the waste.
Only give the waste shipment to another registered
carrier or disposal/treatment facility. Each carrier
transporting the shipment must sign by hand the
manifest. After you deliver the shipment, keep
your copy of the manifest. Each copy must have
all needed signatures and dates, including those of
the person to whom you delivered the waste.
•The name and address of shipper or consignee.
•The hazardous material’s shipping name and
identification number.
•The labels required.
It is a good idea to compare the shipping paper to
the markings and labels. Always make sure that the
shipper shows the correct basic description on the
shipping paper, and verifies that the proper labels
are shown on the packages. If you are not familiar
with the material, ask the shipper to contact your
office.
If rules require it, the shipper will put RQ, MARINE
POLLUTANT, BIOHAZARD, HOT, or INHALATIONHAZARD on the package. Packages with liquid
containers inside will also have package orientation
markings with the arrows pointing in the correct
upright direction. The labels used always reflect
the hazard class of the product. If a package needs
more than one label, the labels must be close
together, near the proper shipping name.
9.3.8 – Recognizing Hazardous Materials
Learn to recognize shipments of hazardous
materials. To find out if the shipment includes
hazardous materials, look at the shipping paper.
Does it have:
•An entry with a proper shipping name, hazard
class, and identification number?
•A highlighted entry, or one with an X or RQ in
the hazardous materials column?
Other clues suggesting hazardous materials:
•What business is the shipper in? Paint
dealer? Chemical supply? Scientific supply
house? Pest control or agricultural supplier?
Explosives, munitions, or fireworks dealer?
•Are there tanks with diamond labels or placards
on the premises?
•What type of package is being shipped?
Cylinders and drums are often used for
hazardous materials shipments.
Page 9-8
9.3.10 – Placarding
Attach the appropriate placards to the vehicle
before you drive it. You are only allowed to move an
improperly placarded vehicle during an emergency,
in order to protect life or property.
•Placards must appear on both sides and both
ends of the vehicle. Each placard must be:
•Easily seen from the direction it faces.
•Placed so the words or numbers are level and
read from left to right.
•At least three inches away from any other
markings.
•Kept clear of attachments or devices such as
ladders, doors, and tarpaulins.
•Kept clean and undamaged so that the color,
format, and message are easily seen.
•Be affixed to a background of contrasting
color.
•The use of “Drive Safely” and other slogans is
prohibited.
•The front placard may be on the front of the
tractor or the front of the trailer.
To decide which placards to use, you need to know:
•The hazard class of the materials.
•The amount of hazardous materials shipped.
•The total weight of all classes of hazardous
materials in your vehicle.
9.3.11 – Placard Tables
There are two placard tables, Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1 materials must be placarded whenever any
amount is transported. See Figure 9.7.
Except for bulk packaging, the hazard classes
in Table 2 need placards only if the total amount
transported is 1,001 pounds or more including
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
the package. Add the amounts from all shipping
papers for all the Table 2 products you have on
board. See Figure 9.8.
Placard Table 1
Any Amount
IF YOUR VEHICLE
CONTAINS ANY AMOUNT OF……
1.1 Mass Explosives
1.2 Project Hazards
1.3 Mass Fire Hazards
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic
Gases
4.3 Dangerous When
Wet
5.2 (Organic Peroxide,
Type B, liquid or solid,
Temperature
controlled)
6.1 (Inhalation hazard
zone A & B only)
7 (Radioactive Yellow
III label only)
PLACARD AS…
Explosives 1.1
Explosives 1.2
Explosives 1.3
Poison Gas
Dangerous When Wet
Organic Peroxide
Poison/toxic inhalation
Radioactive
Figure 9.7
You may use DANGEROUS placards instead of
separate placards for each Table 2 hazard class
when:
•You have 1,001 pounds or more of two or more
Table 2 hazard classes, requiring different
placards, and
•You have not loaded 2,205 pounds or more of
any Table 2 hazard class material at any one
place. (You must use the specific placard for
this material.)
•The dangerous placard is an option, not a
requirement. You can always placard for the
materials.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD are on the
shipping paper or package, you must display
POISON GAS or POISON INHALATION placards
in addition to any other placards needed by the
product’s hazard class. The 1,000 pound exception
does not apply to these materials.
Materials with a secondary hazard of dangerous
when wet must display the DANGEROUS WHEN
WET placard in addition to any other placards
needed by the product’s hazard class. The
1,000-pound exception to placarding does not
apply to these materials.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Placard Table 2
1,001 Pounds Or More
Category of Material
(Hazard class or division
number and additional
description, as
appropriate)
Placard Name
1.4 Minor Explosion
Explosives 1.4
1.5 Very Insensitive
Explosives 1.5
1.6 Extremely Insensitive
Explosives 1.6
2.1 Flammable Gases
Flammable Gas
2.2 Non-Flammable
Non-Flammable Gas.
3 Flammable Liquids
Flammable
Combustible Liquid Combustible*
4.1 Flammable Solids Flammable Solid
4.2 Spontaneously Spontaneously
Combustible
Combustible
5.1 Oxidizers
Oxidizer
5.2 (other than organic
peroxide, Type B, liquid or
Organic Peroxide
solid, Temperature Controlled)
6.1 (other than inhalation
Poison
hazard zone A or B)
6.2 Infectious Substances
(None)
8 Corrosives
Corrosive
9 Miscellaneous Hazardous
Class 9**
Materials
ORM-D
(None)
* FLAMMABLE may be used in place of a
COMBUSTIBLE on a cargo tank or portable tank.
** Class 9 Placard is not required for domestic
transportation.
Figure 9.8
Placards used to identify the primary or subsidiary
hazard class of a material must have the hazard
class or division number displayed in the lower
corner of the placard. Permanently affixed
subsidiary hazard placards without the hazard
class number may be used as long as they stay
within color specifications.
Placards may be displayed for hazardous materials
even if not required so long as the placard identifies
the hazard of the material being transported.
Bulk packaging is a single container with a
capacity of 119 gallons or more. A bulk package,
and a vehicle transporting a bulk package, must
be placarded, even if it only has the residue of a
hazardous material. Certain bulk packages only
have to be placarded on the two opposite sides or
may display labels. All other bulk packages must
be placarded on all four sides.
Page 9-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsections 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3
Test Your Knowledge
1.Shippers package in order to (fill in the blank)
the material.
2.Driver placard their vehicle to (fill in the blank)
the risk.
3.What three things do you need to know to
decide which placards (if any) you need?
4.A hazardous materials identification number
must appear on the (fill in the blank) and on
the (fill in the blank). The identification number
must also appear on cargo tanks and other bulk
packaging.
5.Where must you keep shipping papers
describing hazardous materials?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and
9.3.
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
Do all you can to protect containers of hazardous
materials. Don’t use any tools, which might damage
containers or other packaging during loading.
Don’t use hooks.
9.4.1 – General Loading Requirements
Before loading or unloading, set the parking brake.
Make sure the vehicle will not move.
Many products become more hazardous when
exposed to heat. Load hazardous materials away
from heat sources.
Watch for signs of leaking or damaged containers:
LEAKS SPELL TROUBLE! Do not transport leaking
packages. Depending on the material, you, your
truck, and others could be in danger. It is illegal to
move a vehicle with leaking hazardous materials.
Containers of hazardous materials must be braced
to prevent movement of the packages during
transportation.
No Smoking. When loading or unloading hazardous
materials, keep fire away. Don’t let people smoke
nearby. Never smoke around:
•Class 1 (Explosives)
•Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
•Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
•Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
•Class 5 (Oxidizers)
Page 9-10
Secure Against Movement. Brace containers so
they will not fall, slide, or bounce around during
transportation. Be very careful when loading
containers that have valves or other fittings. All
hazardous materials packages must be secured
during transportation.
After loading, do not open any package during
your trip. Never transfer hazardous materials from
one package to another while in transit. You may
empty a cargo tank, but do not empty any other
package while it is on the vehicle.
Cargo Heater Rules. There are special cargo heater
rules for loading:
•Class 1 (Explosives)
•Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
•Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
The rules usually forbid use of cargo heaters,
including automatic cargo heater/air conditioner
units. Unless you have read all the related rules,
don’t load the above products in a cargo space
that has a heater.
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have
overhang or tailgate loads of:
•Class 1 (Explosives)
•Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
•Class 5 (Oxidizers)
You must load these hazardous materials into a
closed cargo space unless all packages are:
•Fire and water resistant.
•Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
Precautions for Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives) Materials. Turn your engine
off before loading or unloading any explosives.
Then check the cargo space. You must:
•Disable cargo heaters. Disconnect heater
power sources and drain heater fuel tanks.
Make sure there are no sharp points that might
damage cargo. Look for bolts, screws, nails,
broken side panels, and broken floorboards.
Use a floor lining with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3. The
floors must be tight and the liner must be either
non-metallic material or non-ferrous metal. (Nonferrous metals are any metal that does not contain
iron or iron alloys).
Use extra care to protect explosives. Never use
hooks or other metal tools. Never drop, throw, or
roll packages. Protect explosive packages from
other cargo that might cause damage.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Do not transfer a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 from one
vehicle to another on a public roadway except in
an emergency. If safety requires an emergency
transfer, set out red warning reflectors, flags, or
electric lanterns. You must warn others on the road.
Never transport damaged packages of explosives.
Do not take a package that shows any dampness
or oily stain.
Do not transport Division 1.1 or 1.2 in vehicle
combinations if:
•There is a marked or placarded cargo tank in
the combination.
The other vehicle in the combination contains:

Division 1.1 A (Initiating Explosives).

Packages of Class 7 (Radioactive)
materials labeled “Yellow III.”

Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division
6.1 (Poisonous) materials.

Hazardous materials in a portable tank, on
a DOT Spec 106A or 110A tank.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5
(Oxidizers) Materials. Class 4 materials are solids
that react (including fire and explosion) to water,
heat, and air or even react spontaneously.
Class 4 and 5 materials must be completely
enclosed in a vehicle or covered securely. Class
4 and 5 materials, which become unstable and
dangerous when wet, must be kept dry while in
transit and during loading and unloading. Materials
that are subject to spontaneous combustion
or heating must be in vehicles with sufficient
ventilation.
Class 8 (Corrosive) Materials. If loading by hand,
load breakable containers of corrosive liquid one
by one. Keep them right side up. Do not drop or
roll the containers. Load them onto an even floor
surface. Stack carboys only if the lower tiers can
bear the weight of the upper tiers safely.
Do not load nitric acid above any other product.
Load charged storage batteries so their liquid
won’t spill. Keep them right side up. Make sure
other cargo won’t fall against or short circuit them.
Never load corrosive liquids next to or above:
Never load corrosive liquids with:
•Division 1.1 or 1.2
•Division 1.2 or 1.3
•Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents).
•Division 2.3, Zone A (Poisonous Gases).
•Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible
Materials).
•Division 6.1, PGI, Zone A (Poison Liquids).
Class 2 (Compressed Gases) Including
Cryogenic Liquids. If your vehicle doesn’t have
racks to hold cylinders, the cargo space floor must
be flat. The cylinders must be:
•Held upright.
•In racks attached to the vehicle or in boxes
that will keep them from turning over.
Cylinders may be loaded in a horizontal position
(lying down) if it is designed so the relief valve is in
the vapor space.
Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division 6.1
(Poisonous) Materials. Never transport these
materials in containers with interconnections.
Never load a package labeled POISON or POISON
INHALATION HAZARD in the driver’s cab or
sleeper or with food material for human or animal
consumption. There are special rules for loading
and unloading Class 2 materials in cargo tanks.
You must have special training to do this.
Class 7 (Radioactive) Materials. Some packages
of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials bear a number
called the “transport index.” The shipper labels
these packages Radioactive II or Radioactive III,
and prints the package’s transport index on the
label. Radiation surrounds each package, passing
through all nearby packages. To deal with this
problem, the number of packages you can load
together is controlled. Their closeness to people,
animals, and unexposed film is also controlled. The
transport index tells the degree of control needed
during transportation. The total transport index of
all packages in a single vehicle must not exceed
50.Table A to this section shows rules for each
transport index. It shows how close you can load
Class 7 (Radioactive) materials to people, animals,
or film. For example, you can’t leave a package
with a transport index of 1.1 within two feet of
people or cargo space walls.
•Division 1.4 (Explosives C).
•Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids).
•Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet).
•Class 5 (Oxidizers).
•Division 2.3, Zone B (Poisonous Gases).
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Do Not Load Table
Do Not Load
In The Same Vehicle With
Animal or human food unless the
poison package is over packed in
an approved way. Foodstuffs are
anything you swallow. However,
mouthwash, toothpaste, and skin
creams are not foodstuff.
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Explosives,
Division 5.1 (Oxidizers), Class
3 (Flammable Liquids), Class 8
Division 2.3
(Poisonous) gas Zone
(Corrosive Liquids), Division 5.2
A or Division 6.1
(Organic Peroxides),
(Poison) liquids, PGI,
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Explosives,
Zone A.
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents),
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases),
Class 4 (Flammable Solids).
Charged storage
Division 1.1.
batteries.
Any other explosives unless in
Class 1 (Detonating
authorized containers or
primers).
packages.
Acids, corrosive materials, or other
acidic materials which could
Division 6.1
release hydrocyanic acid.
(Cyanides or cyanide
For Example:
mixtures).
Cyanides, Inorganic, n.o.s.
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Cyanide.
Other materials unless the nitric
acid is not loaded above any other
Nitric acid (Class B).
material.
Division 6.1 or 2.3
(POISON or poison
inhalation hazard
labeled material).
Figure 9.9
Mixed loads. The rules require some products to be
loaded separately. You cannot load them together
in the same cargo space. Figure 9.9 lists some
examples. The regulations (the Segregation Table
for Hazardous Materials) name other materials you
must keep apart.
Subsection 9.4
Test Your Knowledge
1. Around which hazard classes must you never
smoke?
2. Which three hazard classes should not be loaded
into a trailer that has a heater/air conditioner unit?
3. Should the floor liner required for Division 1.1 or
1.2 materials be stainless steel?
4. At the shipper’s dock you’re given a paper for
100 cartons of battery acid. You already have
100 pounds of dry Silver Cyanide on board. What
precautions do you have to take?
5. Name a hazard class that uses transport indexes
to determine the amount that can be loaded in a
single vehicle.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 9.4.
9.5 – Bulk Packaging Marking, Loading
and Unloading
The glossary at the end of this section gives the
meaning of the word bulk. Cargo tanks are bulk
packaging permanently attached to a vehicle.
Cargo tanks remain on the vehicle when you
load and unload them. Portable tanks are bulk
packaging, which are not permanently attached to
a vehicle. The product is loaded or unloaded while
the portable tanks are off the vehicle. Portable
tanks are then put on a vehicle for transportation.
There are many types of cargo tanks in use. The
most common cargo tanks are MC306 for liquids
and MC331 for gases.
9.5.1 – Markings
You must display the identification number of the
hazardous materials in portable tanks and cargo
tanks and other bulk packaging (such as dump
trucks). Identification numbers are in column 4 of
the Hazardous Materials Table. The rules require
black 100 mm (3.9 inch) numbers on orange panels,
placards, or a white, diamond-shaped background
if no placards are required. Specification cargo
tanks must show re-test date markings.
Portable tanks must also show the lessee or
owner’s name. They must also display the shipping
name of the contents on two opposing sides. The
letters of the shipping name must be at least
two inches tall on portable tanks with capacities
of more than 1,000 gallons and one-inch tall on
portable tanks with capacities of less than 1,000
gallons. The identification number must appear on
each side and each end of a portable tank or other
bulk packaging that hold 1,000 gallons or more and
on two opposing sides, if the portable tank holds
less than 1,000 gallons. The identification numbers
must still be visible when the portable tank is on
the motor vehicle. If they are not visible, you must
display the identification number on both sides and
ends of the motor vehicle.
Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are bulk
packages, but are not required to have the owner’s
name or shipping name.
9.5.2 – Tank Loading
The person in charge of loading and unloading
a cargo tank must be sure a qualified person is
always watching. This person watching the loading
or unloading must:
•Be alert.
•Have a clear view of the cargo tank.
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Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Be within 25 feet of the tank.
•Know of the hazards of the materials involved.
•Know the procedures to follow in an emergency.
•Be authorized to move the cargo tank and able
to do so.
9.6 – Hazardous Materials -- Driving and
Parking Rules
There are special attendance rules for cargo tanks
transporting propane and anhydrous ammonia.
Never park with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives
within five feet of the traveled part of the road.
Except for short periods of time needed for vehicle
operation necessities (e.g., fueling), do not park
within 300 feet of:
Close all manholes and valves before moving a
tank of hazardous materials, no matter how small
the amount in the tank or how short the distance.
Manholes and valves must be closed to prevent
leaks. It is illegal to move a cargo tank with open
valves or covers unless it is empty according to 49
CFR 173.29.
9.5.3 – Flammable Liquids
Turn off your engine before loading or unloading
any flammable liquids. Only run the engine if
needed to operate a pump. Ground a cargo tank
correctly before filling it through an open filling
hole. Ground the tank before opening the filling
hole, and maintain the ground until after closing
the filling hole.
9.5.4 – Compressed Gas
Keep liquid discharge valves on a compressed gas
tank closed except when loading and unloading.
Unless your engine runs a pump for product
transfer, turn it off when loading or unloading.
If you use the engine, turn it off after product
transfer, before you unhook the hose. Unhook all
loading/unloading connections before coupling,
uncoupling, or moving a cargo tank. Always chock
trailers and semi-trailers to prevent motion when
uncoupled from the power unit.
Subsection 9.5
Test Your Knowledge
1. What are cargo tanks?
2.How is a portable tank different from a cargo
tank?
3.Your engine runs a pump used during delivery of
compressed gas. Should you turn off the engine
before or after unhooking hoses after delivery?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 9.5.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
Explosives
•A bridge, tunnel, or building.
•A place where people gather.
•An open fire.
If you must park to do your job, do so only briefly.
Don’t park on private property unless the owner is
aware of the danger. Someone must always watch
the parked vehicle. You may let someone else
watch it for you only if your vehicle is:
•On the shipper’s property.
•On the carrier’s property.
•On the consignee’s property.
You are allowed to leave your vehicle unattended
in a safe haven. A safe haven is an approved
place for parking unattended vehicles loaded with
explosives. Designation of authorized safe havens
is usually made by local authorities.
9.6.2 – Parking a Placarded Vehicle Not
Transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3)
Explosives
You may park a placarded vehicle (not laden with
explosives) within five feet of the traveled part of
the road only if your work requires it. Do so only
briefly. Someone must always watch the vehicle
when parked on a public roadway or shoulder. Do
not uncouple a trailer and leave it with hazardous
materials on a public street. Do not park within 300
feet of an open fire.
9.6.3 – Attending Parked Vehicles
The person attending a placarded vehicle must:
•Be in the vehicle, awake, and not in the sleeper
berth, or within 100 feet of the vehicle and have
it within clear view.
•Be aware of the hazards of the materials being
transported.
•Know what to do in emergencies.
•Be able to move the vehicle, if needed.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
9.6.4 – No Flares!
You might break down and have to use stopped
vehicle signals. Use reflective triangles or red
electric lights. Never use burning signals, such as
flares or fuses, around a:
•Tank used for Class 3 (Flammable Liquids) or
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gas) whether loaded
or empty.
•Vehicle loaded with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
Explosives.
9.6.5 – Route Restrictions
Some states and counties require permits to
transport hazardous materials or wastes. They
may limit the routes you can use. Local rules about
routes and permits change often. It is your job as
driver to find out if you need permits or must use
special routes. Make sure you have all needed
papers before starting.
If you work for a carrier, ask your dispatcher
about route restrictions or permits. If you are an
independent trucker and are planning a new
route, check with state agencies where you plan
to travel. Some localities prohibit transportation of
hazardous materials through tunnels, over bridges,
or other roadways. Always check before you start.
Whenever placarded, avoid heavily populated
areas, crowds, tunnels, narrow streets, and alleys.
Take other routes, even if inconvenient, unless
there is no other way. Never drive a placarded
vehicle near open fires unless you can safely pass
without stopping.
If transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives,
you must have a written route plan and follow that
plan. Carriers prepare the route plan in advance
and give the driver a copy. You may plan the route
yourself if you pick up the explosives at a location
other than your employer’s terminal. Write out the
plan in advance. Keep a copy of it with you while
transporting the explosives. Deliver shipments of
explosives only to authorized persons or leave
them in locked rooms designed for explosives
storage.
A carrier must choose the safest route to transport
placarded radioactive materials. After choosing
the route, the carrier must tell the driver about the
radioactive materials, and show the route plan.
9.6.6 – No Smoking
Do not smoke within 25 feet of a placarded cargo
tank used for Class 3 (flammable liquids) or
Division 2.1 (gases). Also, do not smoke or carry a
Page 9-14
lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of any
vehicle, which contains:
•Class 1 (Explosives)
•Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
•Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
•Class 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible)
9.6.7 – Refuel with Engine Off
Turn off your engine before fueling a motor vehicle
containing hazardous materials. Someone must
always be at the nozzle, controlling fuel flow.
9.6.8 – 10 B C Fire Extinguisher
The power unit of placarded vehicles must have a
fire extinguisher with a UL rating of 10 B:C or more.
9.6.9 – Check Tires
Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
You must examine each tire on a motor vehicle
at the beginning of each trip and each time the
vehicle is parked.
The only acceptable way to check tire pressure is
to use a tire pressure gauge.
Do not drive with a tire that is leaking or flat except
to the nearest safe place to fix it. Remove any
overheated tire. Place it a safe distance from your
vehicle. Don’t drive until you correct the cause
of the overheating. Remember to follow the rules
about parking and attending placarded vehicles.
They apply even when checking, repairing, or
replacing tires.
9.6.10 – Where to Keep Shipping Papers
and Emergency Response Information
Do not accept a hazardous materials shipment
without a properly prepared shipping paper. A
shipping paper for hazardous materials must
always be easily recognized. Other people must be
able to find it quickly after a crash.
•Clearly distinguish hazardous materials
shipping papers from others by tabbing them
or keeping them on top of the stack of papers.
•When you are behind the wheel, keep shipping
papers within your reach (with your seat belt on),
or in a pouch on the driver’s door. They must be
easily seen by someone entering the cab.
•When not behind the wheel, leave shipping
papers in the driver’s door pouch or on the
driver’s seat.
•Emergency response information must be kept
in the same location as the shipping paper.
•Papers for Division 1.1, 1.2 or, 1.3 Explosives.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
A carrier must give each driver transporting Division
1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives a copy of Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), Part 397.
The carrier must also give written instructions on
what to do if delayed or in an accident. The written
instructions must include:
•The names and telephone numbers of people to
contact (including carrier agents or shippers).
•The nature of the explosives transported.
•The precautions to take in emergencies such
as fires, accidents, or leaks.
Drivers must sign a receipt for these documents.
You must be familiar with, and have in your
possession while driving, the:
9.7.2 – Crashes/Incidents
As a professional driver, your job at the scene of a
crash or an incident is to:
•Keep people away from the scene.
•Limit the spread of material, only if you can
safely do so.
•Communicate the danger of the hazardous
materials to emergency response personnel.
•Provide emergency responders with the
shipping papers and emergency response
information.
Follow this checklist:
•Shipping papers.
•Written emergency instructions.
•Written route plan.
•A copy of FMCSR, Part 397.
•Check to see that your driving partner is OK.
•Keep shipping papers with you.
•Keep people far away and upwind.
•Warn others of the danger.
•Call for help.
•Follow your employer’s instructions.
9.6.11 – Equipment for Chlorine
9.7.3 – Fires
A driver transporting chlorine in cargo tanks
must have an approved gas mask in the vehicle.
The driver must also have an emergency kit for
controlling leaks in dome cover plate fittings on the
cargo tank.
You might have to control minor truck fires on the
road. However, unless you have the training and
equipment to do so safely, don’t fight hazardous
materials fires. Dealing with hazardous materials
fires requires special training and protective gear.
9.6.12 – Stop before Railroad Crossings
When you discover a fire, call for help. You may
use the fire extinguisher to keep minor truck fires
from spreading to cargo before firefighters arrive.
Feel trailer doors to see if they are hot before
opening them. If hot, you may have a cargo fire
and should not open the doors. Opening doors lets
air in and may make the fire flare up. Without air,
many fires only smolder until firemen arrive, doing
less damage. If your cargo is already on fire, it is
not safe to fight the fire. Keep the shipping papers
with you to give to emergency personnel as soon
as they arrive. Warn other people of the danger and
keep them away.
Stop before a railroad crossing if your vehicle:
•Is placarded.
•Carries any amount of chlorine.
•Has cargo tanks, whether loaded or empty
used for hazardous materials.
You must stop 15 to 50 feet before the nearest rail.
Proceed only when you are sure no train is coming
and you can clear the tracks without stopping.
Don’t shift gears while crossing the tracks.
9.7 – Hazardous Materials -Emergencies
9.7.1 – Emergency Response Guidebook
(ERG)
The Department of Transportation has a guidebook
for firefighters, police, and industry workers on
how to protect themselves and the public from
hazardous materials. The guide is indexed by
proper shipping name and hazardous materials
identification number. Emergency personnel look
for these things on the shipping paper. That is why it
is vital that the proper shipping name, identification
number, label, and placards are correct.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
If you discover a cargo leak, identify the hazardous
materials leaking by using shipping papers, labels,
or package location. Do not touch any leaking
material--many people injure themselves by
touching hazardous materials. Do not try to identify
the material or find the source of a leak by smell.
Toxic gases can destroy your sense of smell and
can injure or kill you even if they don’t smell. Never
eat, drink, or smoke around a leak or spill.
If hazardous materials are spilling from your vehicle,
do not move it any more than safety requires. You
may move off the road and away from places where
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
people gather, if doing so serves safety. Only move
your vehicle if you can do so without danger to
yourself or others.
Never continue driving with hazardous materials
leaking from your vehicle in order to find a
phone booth, truck stop, help, or similar reason.
Remember, the carrier pays for the cleanup of
contaminated parking lots, roadways, and drainage
ditches. The costs are enormous, so don’t leave
a lengthy trail of contamination. If hazardous
materials are spilling from your vehicle:
•Park it.
•Secure the area.
•Stay there.
•Send someone else for help.
When sending someone for help, give that person:
•A description of the emergency.
•Your exact location and direction of travel.
•Your name, the carrier’s name, and the name
of the community or city where your terminal is
located.
•The proper shipping name, hazard class,
and identification number of the hazardous
materials, if you know them.
This is a lot for someone to remember. It is a good
idea to write it all down for the person you send
for help. The emergency response team must
know these things to find you and to handle the
emergency. They may have to travel miles to get
to you. This information will help them to bring the
right equipment the first time, without having to go
back for it.
Never move your vehicle, if doing so will cause
contamination or damage the vehicle. Keep
upwind and away from roadside rests, truck stops,
cafes, and businesses. Never try to repack leaking
containers. Unless you have the training and
equipment to repair leaks safely, don’t try it. Call
your dispatcher or supervisor for instructions and,
if needed, emergency personnel.
9.7.4 – Responses to Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives). If your vehicle has a
breakdown or accident while carrying explosives,
warn others of the danger. Keep bystanders away.
Do not allow smoking or open fire near the vehicle.
If there is a fire, warn every one of the danger of
explosion.
Remove all explosives before separating vehicles
involved in a collision. Place the explosives at least
200 feet from the vehicles and occupied buildings.
Stay a safe distance away.
Page 9-16
Class 2 (Compressed Gases). If compressed gas is
leaking from your vehicle, warn others of the danger.
Only permit those involved in removing the hazard or
wreckage to get close. You must notify the shipper if
compressed gas is involved in any accident.
Unless you are fueling machinery used in road
construction or maintenance, do not transfer a
flammable compressed gas from one tank to
another on any public roadway.
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids). If you are
transporting a flammable liquid and have an
accident or your vehicle breaks down, prevent
bystanders from gathering. Warn people of the
danger. Keep them from smoking.
Never transport a leaking cargo tank farther than
needed to reach a safe place. Get off the roadway
if you can do so safely. Don’t transfer flammable
liquid from one vehicle to another on a public
roadway except in an emergency.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5
(Oxidizing Materials). If a flammable solid or
oxidizing material spills, warn others of the fire
hazard. Do not open smoldering packages of
flammable solids. Remove them from the vehicle
if you can safely do so. Also, remove unbroken
packages if it will decrease the fire hazard.
Class 6 (Poisonous Materials and Infectious
Substances). It is your job to protect yourself,
other people, and property from harm. Remember
that many products classed as poison are also
flammable. If you think a Division 2.3 (Poison
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poison Materials) might be
flammable, take the added precautions needed for
flammable liquids or gases. Do not allow smoking,
open flame, or welding. Warn others of the hazards
of fire, of inhaling vapors, or coming in contact with
the poison.
A vehicle involved in a leak of Division 2.3 (Poison
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poisons) must be checked
for stray poison before being used again.
If a Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) package is
damaged in handling or transportation, you should
immediately contact your supervisor. Packages
that appear to be damaged or show signs of
leakage should not be accepted.
Class 7 (Radioactive Materials). If radioactive
material is involved in a leak or broken package, tell
your dispatcher or supervisor as soon as possible.
If there is a spill, or if an internal container might be
damaged, do not touch or inhale the material. Do
not use the vehicle until it is cleaned and checked
with a survey meter.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
The National Response Center helps coordinate
emergency response to chemical hazards. It is a
resource to the police and firefighters. It maintains
a 24-hour toll-free line listed below. You or your
employer must phone when any of the following
occur as a direct result of a hazardous materials
incident:
•A person is killed.
•An injured person requires hospitalization.
•Estimated property damage exceeds $50,000.
•The general public is evacuated for more than
one hour.
•One or more major transportation arteries or
facilities are closed for one hour or more.
•Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected
radioactive contamination occurs.
•Fire, breakage, spillage or suspected
contamination occur involving shipment of
etiologic agents (bacteria or toxins).
•A situation exists of such a nature (e.g.,
continuing danger to life exists at the scene of
an incident) that, in the judgment of the carrier,
should be reported.
National Response Center
(800) 424-8802
Persons telephoning the National Response Center
should be ready to give:
•Their name.
•Name and address of the carrier they work for.
•Phone number where they can be reached.
•Date, time, and location of incident.
•The extent of injuries, if any.
•Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous
materials involved, if such information is
available.
•Type of incident and nature of hazardous
materials involvement and whether a continuing
danger to life exists at the scene.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
CHEMTREC
(800) 424-9300
The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center
(CHEMTREC) in Washington also has a 24-hour
toll-free line. CHEMTREC was created to provide
emergency personnel with technical information
about the physical properties of hazardous
materials. The National Response Center and
CHEMTREC are in close communication. If you call
either one, they will tell the other about the problem
when appropriate.
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III
labeled packages near people, animals, or film
longer than shown in Figure 9.10
Radioactive Separation
Table A
MINIMUM DISTANCE IN FEET TO
NEAREST UNDEVELOPED FILM
0-2.2-44-88-12
Over 12
Hrs.Hrs.Hrs.Hrs.Hrs.
None
00000
0.1 to
1.0
1.1 to
5.0
5.1 to
10.0
10.1 to
20.0
20.1 to
30.0
30.1 to
40.0
40.1 to
50.0
TO PEOPLE OR CARGO
COMPARTMENT
PARTITIONS
9.7.5 – Required Notification
Be prepared to give your employer the required
information as well. Carriers must make detailed
written reports within 30 days of an incident.
TRANSPORT
If continuing to transport a leaking tank would be
unsafe, get off the road. If safe to do so, contain any
liquid leaking from the vehicle. Keep bystanders
away from the liquid and its fumes. Do everything
possible to prevent injury to yourself and to others.
If a reportable quantity of hazardous substance
was involved, the caller should give the name of
the shipper and the quantity of the hazardous
substance discharged.
TOTAL
INDEX
Class 8 (Corrosive Materials). If corrosives
spill or leak during transportation, be careful to
avoid further damage or injury when handling
the containers. Parts of the vehicle exposed to a
corrosive liquid must be thoroughly washed with
water. After unloading, wash out the interior as
soon as possible before reloading.
0
12345
1
346811
2
46911
15
3
5 8 121622
4
7 10152029
5
8 11172233
6
9 12192436
Figure 9.10
Classes of Hazardous Materials
Hazardous materials are categorized into nine
major hazard classes and additional categories for
consumer commodities and combustible liquids.
The classes of hazardous materials are listed in
Figure 9.11.
Page 9-17
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Hazard Class Definitions
Table B
Class
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
1
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
2Gases
Propane, Oxygen,
Helium
3Flammable Gasoline Fuel,
Acetone
4
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
5
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen Peroxide
6Poisons
Pesticides,
Arsenic
7
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
8Corrosives
Hydrochloric Acid,
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
9
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
NoneRegulated
Hair Spray or
Material-
Charcoal
Domestic)
None
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 9.11
Subsections 9.6 and 9.7
Test Your Knowledge
1.If your placarded trailer has dual tires, how often
should you check the tires?
2.What is a safe haven?
3.How close to the traveled part of the roadway
can you park with Division 1.2 or 1.3 materials?
4.How close can you park to a bridge, tunnel, or
building with the same load?
5.What type of fire extinguisher must placarded
vehicles carry?
6.You’re hauling 100 pounds of Division 4.3
(dangerous when wet) materials. Do you need
to stop before a railroad-highway crossing?
7.At a rest area you discover your hazardous
materials shipments slowly leaking from the
vehicle. There is no phone around. What should
you do?
8.What is the Emergency Response Guide (ERG)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.6 and 9.7.
Page 9-18
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary
This glossary presents definitions of certain terms
used in this section. A complete glossary of terms
can be found in the federal Hazardous Materials
Rules (49 CFR 171.8). You should have an up-todate copy of these rules for your reference.
(Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.)
Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.
Bulk packaging – Packaging, other than a vessel,
or a barge, including a transport vehicle or freight
container, in which hazardous materials are loaded
with no intermediate form of containment and
which has:
1.
A maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119
gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
2.
A maximum net mass greater than 400 kg (882
pounds) or a maximum capacity greater than
450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a solid;
or
3.
A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1000
pounds) as a receptacle for a gas as defined in
Sec. 173.115.
Cargo tank - A bulk packaging which:
1.
Is a tank intended primarily for the carriage of
liquids or gases and includes appurtenances,
reinforcements, fittings, and closures (for
“tank”, see 49 CFR 178.345 1(c), 178.337 1, or
178.338 1, as applicable);
2.
Is permanently attached to or forms a part of a
motor vehicle, or is not permanently attached
to a motor vehicle but which, by reason of its
size, construction, or attachment to a motor
vehicle is loaded or unloaded without being
removed from the motor vehicle; and
3.
Is not fabricated under a specification for
cylinders, portable tanks, tank cars, or multi
unit tank car tanks.
Carrier – A person engaged in the transportation
of passengers or property by:
1.
Land or water as a common, contract, or
private carrier, or
2.
Civil aircraft.
Consignee – The business or person to whom a
shipment is delivered.
Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Freight container – a reusable container having
a volume of 64 cubic feet or more, designed and
constructed to permit being lifted with its contents
intact and intended primarily for containment of
packages (in unit form) during transportation.
Fuel tank – A tank, other than a cargo tank, used
to transport flammable or combustible liquid or
compressed gas for the purpose of supplying fuel
for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it is
attached, or for the operation of other equipment
on the transport vehicle.
Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of the
packaging plus the weight of its contents.
Hazard class – The category of hazard assigned to
a hazardous material under the definitional criteria
of Part 173 and the provisions of the Sec. 172.101
Table. A material may meet the defining criteria for
more than one hazard class but is assigned to only
one hazard class.
Hazardous materials – A substance or material
which has been determined by the Secretary
of Transportation to be capable of posing an
unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property
when transported in commerce, and which has
been so designated. The term includes hazardous
substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants,
elevated temperature materials and materials
designated as hazardous in the hazardous
materials table of §172.101, and materials that
meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and
divisions in §173, subchapter c of this chapter.
Hazardous substance - A material, including its
mixtures and solutions, that:
1.
Is listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
2.
Is in a quantity, in one package, which equals
or exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ) listed
in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101; and
3.
When in a mixture or solution
(i)For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph
7 of Appendix A to Sec. 172.101.
(ii)For other than radionuclides, is in a
concentration by weight which equals or
exceeds the concentration corresponding
to the RQ of the material, as shown in
Figure 9.12.
Hazardous Substance Concentrations
RQ Pounds
(Kilograms)
Concentration by Weight
Percent
PPM
5,000
(2,270)
1,000 (45)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
1 (0.454)
10
100,000
2
.2
.02
.002
Figure 9.12
20,000
2,000
200
20
This definition does not apply to petroleum
products that are lubricants or fuels (see 40 CFR
300.6).
Hazardous waste – For the purposes of this
chapter, means any material that is subject to the
Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specified in
40 CFR Part 262.
Intermediate bulk container (IBC) – A rigid or
flexible portable packaging, other than a cylinder
or portable tank, which is designed for mechanical
handling. Standards for IBCs manufactured in the
United States are set forth in subparts N and O
§178.
Limited quantity – The maximum amount of a
hazardous material for which there may be specific
labeling or packaging exception.
Marking – The descriptive name, identification
number,
instructions,
cautions,
weight,
specification, or UN marks or combinations thereof,
required by this subchapter on outer packaging of
hazardous materials.
Mixture – A material composed of more than one
chemical compound or element.
Name of contents – The proper shipping name as
specified in Sec. 172.101.
Non-bulk packaging - A packaging, which has:
1.
A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) as
a receptacle for a liquid;
2.
A maximum net mass less than 400 kg (882
pounds) and a maximum capacity of 450 L
(119 gallons) or less as a receptacle for a solid;
or
3.
A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1,000
pounds) or less as a receptacle for a gas as
defined in Sec. 173.115.
N.O.S. - Not otherwise specified.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-19
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Outage or ullage – The amount by which a
packaging falls short of being liquid full, usually
expressed in percent by volume.
Portable tank – Bulk packaging (except a cylinder
having a water capacity of 1,000 pounds or less)
designed primarily to be loaded onto, or on, or
temporarily attached to a transport vehicle or
ship and equipped with skids, mountings, or
accessories to facilitate handling of the tank by
mechanical means. It does not include a cargo
tank, tank car, multi unit tank car tank, or trailer
carrying 3AX, 3AAX, or 3T cylinders.
Proper shipping name – The name of the
hazardous materials shown in Roman print (not
italics) in Sec. 172.101.
P.s.i. or psi – Pounds per square inch.
P.s.i.a. or psia – Pounds per square inch absolute.
Reportable quantity (RQ) - The quantity specified
in Column 2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for
any material identified in Column 1 of the Appendix.
RSPA – now PHMSA – The Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department
of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590.
Shipper’s certification – A statement on a
shipping paper, signed by the shipper, saying he/
she prepared the shipment properly according to
law. For example:
“This is to certify that the above named materials
are properly classified, described, packaged,
marked and labeled, and are in proper condition
for transportation according to the applicable
regulations or the Department of Transportation.”;
or
I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment
are fully and accurately described above by
the proper shipping name and are classified,
packaged, marked and labeled/placarded, and are
in all respects in proper condition for transport by
* according to applicable international and national
government regulations.”
* words may be inserted here to indicate mode of
transportation (rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel)
Shipping paper – A shipping order, bill of lading,
manifest, or other shipping document serving a
similar purpose and containing the information
required by Sec. 172.202, 172.203, and 172.204.
Technical name – A recognized chemical name or
microbiological name currently used in scientific
and technical handbooks, journals, and texts.
Transport vehicle – A cargo carrying vehicle such
as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semi-trailer,
tank car, or rail car used for the transportation of
cargo by any mode. Each cargo carrying body
(trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport vehicle.
UN standard packaging – A specification
packaging conforming to the standards in the UN
recommendations.
UN – United Nations.
Page 9-20
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 10
THE DANGER ZONES
SCHOOL BUSES
This Section Covers
Most Dangerous
Walking Area
10 Feet
10 Feet
Danger Zones
Because state and local laws and regulations
regulate so much of school transportation and
school bus operations, many of the procedures
in this section may differ from state to state. You
should be thoroughly familiar with the laws and
regulations in your state and local school district.
10 Feet
SCHOOL BUS
Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
Loading and Unloading
Emergency Exit and Evacuation
Railroad-highway Grade Crossings
Student Management
Antilock Braking Systems
Special Safety Considerations
Danger From Passing Cars
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
10.1 – Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
10.1.1 – Danger Zones
The danger zone is the area on all sides of the bus
where children are in the most danger of being
hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus.
The danger zones may extend as much as 30 feet
from the front bumper with the first 10 feet being
the most dangerous, 10 feet from the left and
right sides of the bus and 10 feet behind the rear
bumper of the school bus. In addition, the area to
the left of the bus is always considered dangerous
because of passing cars. Figure 10.1 illustrates
these danger zones.
10.1.2 – Correct Mirror Adjustment
Proper adjustment and use of all mirrors is vital
to the safe operation of the school bus in order to
observe the danger zone around the bus and look for
students, traffic, and other objects in this area. You
should always check each mirror before operating
the school bus to obtain maximum viewing area. If
necessary, have the mirrors adjusted.
10 Feet
Most Dangerous
Figure 10.1
10.1.3 – Outside Left and Right Side Flat
Mirrors
These mirrors are mounted at the left and right
front corners of the bus at the side or front of the
windshield. They are used to monitor traffic, check
clearances and students on the sides and to the
rear of the bus. There is a blind spot immediately
below and in front of each mirror and directly in
back of the rear bumper. The blind spot behind the
bus extends 5o to 150 feet and could extend up
to 400 feet depending on the length and width of
the bus.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so
you can see:
•200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus.
•Along the sides of the bus.
•The rear tires touching the ground.
Figure 10.2 shows how both the outside left and
right side flat mirrors should be adjusted.
Section 10 - School Buses
Page 10-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 10.3
Figure 10.2
10.1.4 – Outside Left and Right Side Convex
Mirrors
The convex mirrors are located below the outside
flat mirrors. They are used to monitor the left and
right sides at a wide angle. They provide a view of
traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the
bus. These mirrors present a view of people and
objects that does not accurately reflect their size
and distance from the bus.
You should position these mirrors to see:
•The entire side of the bus up to the mirror
mounts.
•Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
•At least one traffic lane on either side of the
bus.
Figure 10.3 shows how both the outside left and
right side convex mirrors should be adjusted.
10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side
Crossover Mirrors
right side of the bus, including the service door
and front wheel area. The mirror presents a view
of people and objects that does not accurately
reflect their size and distance from the bus. The
driver must ensure that these mirrors are properly
adjusted.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so
you can see:
•The entire area in front of the bus from the front
bumper at ground level to a point where direct
vision is possible. Direct vision and mirror view
vision should overlap.
•The right and left front tires touching the
ground.
•The area from the front of the bus to the service
door.
•These mirrors, along with the convex and flat
mirrors, should be viewed in a logical sequence
to ensure that a child or object is not in any of
the danger zones.
Figure 10.4 illustrates how the left and right side
crossover mirrors should be adjusted.
These mirrors are mounted on both left and right
front corners of the bus. They are used to see the
front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of
the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to
view the “danger zone” area to the left side and the
Page 10-2
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
LEFT AND RIGHT SIDE
CROSSOVER MIRRORS
Crossover Mirror
Crossover Mirror
SCHOOL BUS
SCHOOL BUS
Figure 10.4
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
This mirror is mounted directly above the
windshield on the driver’s side area of the bus. This
mirror is used to monitor passenger activity inside
the bus. It may provide limited visibility directly
in back of the bus if the bus is equipped with a
glass-bottomed rear emergency door. There is a
blind spot area directly behind the driver’s seat as
well as a large blind spot area that begins at the
rear bumper and could extend up to 400 feet or
more behind the bus. You must use the exterior
side mirrors to monitor traffic that approaches and
enters this area.
You should position the mirror to see:
•The top of the rear window in the top of the
mirror.
•All of the students, including the heads of the
students right behind you.
10.2 – Loading and Unloading
More students are killed while getting on or off a
school bus each year than are killed as passengers
inside of a school bus. As a result, knowing what
to do before, during, and after loading or unloading
students is critical. This section will give you specific
procedures to help you avoid unsafe conditions
which could result in injuries and fatalities during
and after loading and unloading students.
The information in this section is intended to
provide a broad overview, but is not a definitive set
of actions. It is imperative that you learn and obey
the state laws and regulations governing loading/
unloading operations in your state.
Section 10 - School Buses
10.2.1 – Approaching the Stop
Each school district establishes official routes
and official school bus stops. All stops should be
approved by the school district prior to making the
stop. You should never change the location of a bus
stop without written approval from the appropriate
school district official.
You must use extreme caution when approaching
a school bus stop. You are in a very demanding
situation when entering these areas. It is critical
that you understand and follow all state and local
laws and regulations regarding approaching a
school bus stop. This would involve the proper
use of mirrors, alternating flashing lights, and
when equipped, the moveable stop signal arm and
crossing control arm.
When approaching the stop, you should:
•Approach cautiously at a slow rate of speed.
•Look for pedestrians, traffic, or other objects
before, during, and after coming to a stop.
•Continuously check all mirrors.
•If the school bus is so equipped, activate
alternating flashing amber warning lights at
least 200 feet or approximately 5-10 seconds
before the school bus stop or in accordance
with state law.
•Turn on right turn signal indicator about 100300 feet or approximately 3-5 seconds before
pulling over.
•Continuously check mirrors to monitor the
danger zones for students, traffic, and other
objects.
•Move as far as possible to the right on the
traveled portion of the roadway.
When stopping you should:
•Bring school bus to a full stop with the front
bumper at least 10 feet away from students at
the designated stop. This forces the students
to walk to the bus so you have a better view of
their movements.
•Place transmission in Park, or if there is no
Park shift point, in Neutral and set the parking
brake at each stop.
•Activate alternating red lights when traffic is a
safe distance from the school bus and ensure
stop arm is extended.
•Make a final check to see that all traffic has
stopped before completely opening the door
and signaling students to approach.
Page 10-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
•Perform a safe stop as described in subsection
10.2.1.
•Students should wait in a designated location
for the school bus, facing the bus as it
approaches.
•Students should board the bus only when
signaled by the driver.
•Monitor all mirrors continuously.
•Count the number of students at the bus stop
and be sure all board the bus. If possible, know
names of students at each stop. If there is a
student missing, ask the other students where
the student is.
•Have the students board the school bus slowly,
in single file, and use the handrail. The dome
light should be on while loading in the dark.
•Wait until students are seated and facing
forward before moving the bus.
•Check all mirrors. Make certain no one is
running to catch the bus.
•If you cannot account for a student outside,
secure the bus, take the key, and check around
and underneath the bus.
•When all students are accounted for, prepare
to leave by:

Closing the door.

Engaging the transmission.

Releasing the parking brake.

Turning off alternating flashing red lights.

Turning on left turn signal.

Checking all mirrors again.

Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
•When it is safe, move the bus to enter traffic
flow and continue the route.
The loading procedure is essentially the same
wherever you load students, but there are slight
differences. When students are loading at the
school campus, you should:
•Turn off the ignition switch.
•Remove key if leaving driver’s compartment.
•Position yourself to supervise loading as
required or recommended by your state or
local regulations.
10.2.3 – Unloading Procedures on the Route
•Perform a safe stop at designated unloading
areas as described in subsection 10.2.1.
•Have the students remain seated until told to
exit.
•Check all mirrors.
•Count the number of students while unloading
to confirm the location of all students before
pulling away from the stop.
Page 10-4
•Tell students to exit the bus and walk at least 10
feet away from the side of the bus to a position
where the driver can plainly see all students.
•Check all mirrors again. Make sure no students
are around or returning to the bus.
•If you cannot account for a student outside the
bus, secure the bus, and check around and
underneath the bus.
•When all students are accounted for, prepare
to leave by:

Closing the door.

Engaging transmission.

Releasing parking brake.

Turning off alternating flashing red lights.

Turning on left turn signal.

Checking all mirrors again.

Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
•When it is safe, move the bus, enter the traffic
flow and continue the route.
Note. If you have missed a student’s unloading
stop, do not back up. Be sure to follow local
procedures.
Additional Procedures for Students That Must
Cross the Roadway. You should understand what
students should do when exiting a school bus and
crossing the street in front of the bus. In addition, the
school bus driver should understand that students
might not always do what they are supposed to do.
If a student or students must cross the roadway,
they should follow these procedures:
•Walk approximately 10 feet away from the side
of the school bus to a position where you can
see them.
•Walk to a location at least 10 feet in front of the
right corner of the bumper, but still remaining
away from the front of the school bus.
•Stop at the right edge of the roadway. You
should be able to see the student’s feet.
When students reach the edge of the roadway,
they should:
•Stop and look in all directions, making sure the
roadway is clear and is safe.
•Check to see if the red flashing lights on the
bus are still flashing.
•Wait for your signal before crossing the
roadway.
Upon your signal, the students should:
•Cross far enough in front of the school bus to
be in your view.
•Stop at the left edge of the school bus, stop,
and look again for your signal to continue to
cross the roadway.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Look for traffic in both directions, making sure
roadway is clear.
•Proceed across the roadway, continuing to
look in all directions.
Note: The school bus driver should enforce any
state or local regulations or recommendations
concerning student actions outside the school bus.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
State and local laws and regulations regarding
unloading students at schools, particularly in
situations where such activities take place in the
school parking lot or other location that is off the
traveled roadway, are often different than unloading
along the school bus route. It is important that the
school bus driver understands and obeys state
and local laws and regulations. The following
procedures are meant to be general guidelines.
When unloading at the school you should follow
these procedures:
•Perform a safe stop at designated unloading
areas as described in subsection 10.2.1.
•Secure the bus by:

Turning off the ignition switch.

Removing key if leaving driver’s
compartment.
•Have the students remain seated until told to
exit.
•Position yourself to supervise unloading as
required or recommended by your state or
local regulations.
•Have students exit in orderly fashion.
•Observe students as they step from bus to see
that all move promptly away from the unloading
area.
•Walk through the bus and check for hiding/
sleeping students and items left by students.
•Check all mirrors. Make certain no students
are returning to the bus.
•If you cannot account for a student outside the
bus and the bus is secure, check around and
underneath the bus.
•When all students are accounted for, prepare
to leave by:

Closing the door.

Fastening safety belt.

Starting engine.

Engaging the transmission.

Releasing the parking brake.

Turning off alternating flashing red lights.

Turning on left turn signal.

Checking all mirrors again.

Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
•When it is safe, pull away from the unloading
area.
Section 10 - School Buses
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and
Unloading
Dropped or Forgotten Objects. Always focus on
students as they approach the bus and watch for
any who disappear from sight.
Students may drop an object near the bus during
loading and unloading. Stopping to pick up the
object, or returning to pick up the object may
cause the student to disappear from the driver’s
sight at a very dangerous moment.
Students should be told to leave any dropped
object and move to a point of safety out of the
danger zones and attempt to get the driver’s
attention to retrieve the object.
Handrail Hang-ups. Students have been injured
or killed when clothing, accessories, or even parts
of their body get caught in the handrail or door as
they exited the bus. You should closely observe all
students exiting the bus to confirm that they are in
a safe location prior to moving the bus.
10.2.6 – Post-trip Inspection
When your route or school activity trip is finished,
you should conduct a post-trip inspection of the
bus.
You should walk through the bus and around the
bus looking for the following:
•Articles left on the bus.
•Sleeping students.
•Open windows and doors.
•Mechanical/operational problems with the bus,
with special attention to items that are unique
to school buses – mirror systems, flashing
warning lamps and stop signal arms.
•Damage or vandalism.
Any problems or special situations should be
reported immediately to your supervisor or school
authorities.
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
An emergency situation can happen to anyone,
anytime, anywhere. It could be a crash, a stalled
school bus on a railroad-highway crossing or in
a high-speed intersection, an electrical fire in the
engine compartment, a medical emergency to a
student on the school bus, etc. Knowing what to
do in an emergency–before, during and after an
evacuation–can mean the difference between life
and death.
Page 10-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
10.3.1 – Planning for Emergencies
Determine Need to Evacuate Bus. The first
and most important consideration is for you to
recognize the hazard. If time permits, school bus
drivers should contact their dispatcher to explain
the situation before making a decision to evacuate
the school bus.
As a general rule, student safety and control is best
maintained by keeping students on the bus during
an emergency and/or impending crisis situation,
if so doing does not expose them to unnecessary
risk or injury. Remember, the decision to evacuate
the bus must be a timely one.
A decision to evacuate should include consideration
of the following conditions:
•Is there a fire or danger of fire?
•Is there a smell of raw or leaking fuel?
•Is there a chance the bus could be hit by other
vehicles?
•Is the bus in the path of a sighted tornado or
rising waters?
•Are there downed power lines?
•Would removing students expose them to
speeding traffic, severe weather, or a dangerous
environment such as downed power lines?
•Would moving students complicate injuries
such as neck and back injuries and fractures?
•Is there a hazardous spill involved? Sometimes,
it may be safer to remain on the bus and not
come in contact with the material.
Mandatory Evacuations.
evacuate the bus when:
The
driver
must
•The bus is on fire or there is a threat of a fire.
•The bus is stalled on or adjacent to a railroadhighway crossing.
•The position of the bus may change and
increase the danger.
•There is an imminent danger of collision.
•There is a need to quickly evacuate because of
a hazardous materials spill.
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. When possible,
assign two responsible, older student assistants
to each emergency exit. Teach them how to assist
the other students off the bus. Assign another
student assistant to lead the students to a “safe
place” after evacuation. However, you must
recognize that there may not be older, responsible
students on the bus at the time of the emergency.
Page 10-6
Therefore, emergency evacuation procedures must
be explained to all students. This includes knowing
how to operate the various emergency exits and
the importance of listening to and following all
instructions given by you.
Some tips to determine a safe place:
•A safe place will be at least 100 feet off the
road in the direction of oncoming traffic. This
will keep the students from being hit by debris
if another vehicle collides with the bus.
•Lead students upwind of the bus if fire is
present.
•Lead students as far away from railroad
tracks as possible and in the direction of any
oncoming train.
•Lead students upwind of the bus at least 300
feet if there is a risk from spilled hazardous
materials.
•If the bus is in the direct path of a sighted
tornado and evacuation is ordered, escort
students to a nearby ditch or culvert if shelter
in a building is not readily available, and direct
them to lie face down, hands covering their
head. They should be far enough away so the
bus cannot topple on them.
•Avoid areas that are subject to flash floods.
General Procedures. Determine if evacuation is in
the best interest of safety.
•Determine the best type of evacuation:
Front, rear or side door evacuation, or
some combination of doors.
Roof or window evacuation.
•Secure the bus by:
Placing transmission in Park, or if there is
no shift point, in Neutral.
Setting parking brakes.
Shutting off the engine.
Removing ignition key.
Activating hazard-warning lights.
•If time allows, notify dispatch office of
evacuation location, conditions, and type of
assistance needed.
•Dangle radio microphone or telephone out of
driver’s window for later use, if operable.
•If no radio, or radio is inoperable, dispatch
a passing motorist or area resident to call
for help. As a last resort, dispatch two older,
responsible students to go for help.
•Order the evacuation.
•Evacuate students from the bus.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Do not move a student you believe may have
suffered a neck or spinal injury unless his or her life
is in immediate danger.
Special procedures must be used to move neck
spinal injury victims to prevent further injury.
•Direct a student assistant to lead students to
the nearest safe place.
•Walk through the bus to ensure no students
remain on the bus. Retrieve emergency
equipment.
•Join waiting students. Account for all students
and check for their safety.
•Protect the scene. Set out emergency warning
devices as necessary and appropriate.
•Prepare information for emergency responders.
ROUND YELLOW
WARNING SIGN
R
R
10.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
10.4.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does
not have any type of traffic control device. You
must stop at these crossings and follow proper
procedures. However, the decision to proceed
rests entirely in your hands. Passive crossings
require you to recognize the crossing, search
for any train using the tracks and decide if there
is sufficient clear space to cross safely. Passive
crossings have yellow circular advance warning
signs, pavement markings and cross-bucks to
assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a
traffic control device installed at the crossing
to regulate traffic at the crossing. These active
devices include flashing red lights, with or without
bells and flashing red lights with bells and gates.
10.4.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train
is coming. See Figure 10.5.
Figure 10.5
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They
consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a nopassing marking on two-lane roads.
There is also a no passing zone sign on two-lane
roads. There may be a white stop line painted on
the pavement before the railroad tracks. The front
of the school bus must remain behind this line
while stopped at the crossing. See Figure 10.6.
PAVEMENT
MARKINGS
R
R
Figure 10.6
Section 10 - School Buses
Page 10-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Cross-buck Signs. This sign marks the crossing.
It requires you to yield the right-of-way to the train.
If there is no white line painted on the pavement,
you must stop the bus before the cross-buck sign.
When the road crosses over more than one set of
tracks, a sign below the cross-buck indicates the
number of tracks. See Figure 10.7.
MULTIPLE TRACKS
RA
G
N
I
IL
AD
RO
O
R
C
SS
3
TRACKS
Figure 10.7
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail
grade crossings, the cross-buck sign has flashing
red lights and bells. When the lights begin to flash,
stop! A train is approaching. You are required to
yield the right-of-way to the train. If there is more
than one track, make sure all tracks are clear before
crossing. See Figure 10.8.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. If the gate stays down
after the train passes, do not drive around the gate.
Instead, call your dispatcher. See Figure 10.8.
10.4.3 – Recommended Procedures
Each state has laws and regulations governing how
school buses must operate at railroad-highway
crossings. It is important for you to understand and
obey these state laws and regulations. In general,
school buses must stop at all crossings, and ensure
it is safe before proceeding across the tracks. The
specific procedures required in each state vary.
Page 10-8
Figure 10.8
A school bus is one of the safest vehicles on the
highway. However, a school bus does not have
the slightest edge when involved in a crash with a
train. Because of a train’s size and weight it cannot
stop quickly. An emergency escape route does
not exist for a train. You can prevent school bus/
train crashes by following these recommended
procedures.
•Approaching the Crossing:
Slow down, including shifting to a lower
gear in a manual transmission bus, and
test your brakes.
Activate hazard lights approximately 200
feet before the crossing. Make sure your
intentions are known.
Scan your surroundings and check for
traffic behind you.
Stay to the right of the roadway if possible.
Choose an escape route in the event of a
brake failure or problems behind you.
•At the Crossing:
Stop no closer than 15 feet and no farther
than 50 feet from the nearest rail, where
you have the best view of the tracks.
Place the transmission in Park, or if there
is no Park shift point, in Neutral and press
down on the service brake or set the
parking brakes.
Turn off all radios and noisy equipment,
and silence the passengers.
Open the service door and driver’s window.
Look and listen for an approaching train.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Crossing the Track:
Check the crossing signals again before
proceeding.
At a multiple-track crossing, stop only
before the first set of tracks. When you are
sure no train is approaching on any track,
proceed across all of the tracks until you
have completely cleared them.
Cross the tracks in a low gear. Do not
change gears while crossing.
If the gate comes down after you have
started across, drive through it even if it
means you will break the gate.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
Bus Stalls or Trapped on Tracks. If your bus stalls
or is trapped on the tracks, get everyone out and
off the tracks immediately. Move everyone far from
the bus at an angle, which is both away from the
tracks and toward the train.
Police Officer at the Crossing. If a police officer is
at the crossing, obey directions. If there is no police
officer, and you believe the signal is malfunctioning,
call your dispatcher to report the situation and ask
for instructions on how to proceed.
Obstructed View of Tracks. Plan your route so it
provides maximum sight distance at highway-rail
grade crossings. Do not attempt to cross the tracks
unless you can see far enough down the track to
know for certain that no trains are approaching.
Passive crossings are those that do not have any
type of traffic control device. Be especially careful
at “passive” crossings. Even if there are active
railroad signals that indicate the tracks are clear,
you must look and listen to be sure it is safe to
proceed.
Containment or Storage Areas. If it won’t fit, don’t
commit! Know the length of your bus and the size
of the containment area at highway-rail crossings
on the school bus route, as well as any crossing
you encounter in the course of a school activity
trip. When approaching a crossing with a signal
or stop sign on the opposite side, pay attention to
the amount of room there. Be certain the bus has
enough containment or storage area to completely
clear the railroad tracks on the other side if there
is a need to stop. As a general rule, add 15 feet
to the length of the school bus to determine an
acceptable amount of containment or storage area.
Section 10 - School Buses
10.5 – Student Management
10.5.1 – Don’t Deal with On-bus Problems
When Loading and Unloading
In order to get students to and from school safely
and on time, you need to be able to concentrate on
the driving task.
Loading and unloading requires all your
concentration. Don’t take your eyes off what is
happening outside the bus.
If there is a behavior problem on the bus, wait until
the students unloading are safely off the bus and
have moved away. If necessary, pull the bus over
to handle the problem.
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
Tips on handling serious problems:
•Follow your school’s procedures for discipline
or refusal of rights to ride the bus.
•Stop the bus. Park in a safe location off the
road, perhaps a parking lot or a driveway.
•Secure the bus. Take the ignition key with you
if you leave your seat.
•Stand up and speak respectfully to the offender
or offenders. Speak in a courteous manner
with a firm voice. Remind the offender of the
expected behavior. Do not show anger, but do
show that you mean business.
•If a change of seating is needed, request that
the student move to a seat near you.
•Never put a student off the bus except at
school or at his or her designated school bus
stop. If you feel that the offense is serious
enough that you cannot safely drive the bus,
call for a school administrator or the police to
come and remove the student.
•Always follow your state or local procedures
for requesting assistance.
10.6 – Antilock Braking Systems
10.6.1 – Vehicles Required to Have Antilock
Braking Systems
The Department of Transportation requires that
antilock braking systems be on:
•Air brakes vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers and
converter dollies) built on or after March 1,
1998.
•Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a
gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or
more built on or after March 1, 1999.
Page 10-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Many buses built before these dates have been
voluntarily equipped with ABS.
Your school bus will have a yellow ABS malfunction
lamp on the instrument panel if it is equipped with
ABS.
10.6.2 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain
control. You may or may not be able to stop faster
with ABS, but you should be able to steer around
an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused
by over braking.
10.6.3 – Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
•Use only the braking force necessary to stop
safely and stay in control.
•Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the bus. However, in emergency
braking, do not pump the brakes on a bus with
ABS.
•As you slow down, monitor your bus and back
off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in
control.
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids – ABS
should prevent brake-induced skids but not those
caused by spinning the drive wheels or going too
fast in a turn.
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not
always shorten stopping distance.
ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
power – ABS is an “add-on” to your normal brakes,
not a replacement for them.
ABS won’t change the way you normally brake.
Under normal brake conditions, your vehicle will
stop as it always stopped. ABS only comes into
play when a wheel would normally have locked up
because of over braking.
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still
a safe driver.
Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
ABS.
Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to
prevent a serious crash.
10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
10.6.4 – Braking if ABS is Not Working
10.7.1 – Strobe Lights
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Some school buses are equipped with roofmounted, white strobe lights. If your bus is so
equipped, the overhead strobe light should be
used when you have limited visibility. This means
that you cannot easily see around you – in front,
behind, or beside the school bus. Your visibility
could be only slightly limited or it could be so bad
that you can see nothing at all. In all instances,
understand and obey your state or local regulations
concerning the use of these lights.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something is not working. The yellow
ABS malfunction lamp is on the bus’s instrument
panel.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the
malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb
check and then goes out quickly. On older systems,
the lamp could stay on until you are driving over
five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost ABS
control at one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
Page 10-10
10.7.2 – Driving in High Winds
Strong winds affect the handling of the school
bus! The side of a school bus acts like a sail on
a sailboat. Strong winds can push the school bus
sideways. They can even move the school bus off
the road or, in extreme conditions, tip it over.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
If you are caught in strong winds:
10.7.4 – Tail Swing
•Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Try to
anticipate gusts.
•You should slow down to lessen the effect of
the wind, or pull off the roadway and wait.
•Contact your dispatcher to get more information
on how to proceed.
A school bus can have up to a three-foot tail swing.
You need to check your mirrors before and during
any turning movements to monitor the tail swing.
10.7.3 – Backing
Backing a school bus is strongly discouraged. You
should back your bus only when you have no other
safe way to move the vehicle. You should never
back a school bus when students are outside of
the bus. Backing is dangerous and increases your
risk of a collision. If you have no choice and you
must back your bus, follow these procedures:
•
Post a lookout. The purpose of the lookout
is to warn you about obstacles, approaching
persons, and other vehicles. The lookout
should not give directions on how to back the
bus.
•Signal for quiet on the bus.
•Constantly check all mirrors and rear windows.
•Back slowly and smoothly.
•If no lookout is available:
Set the parking brake.
Turn off the motor and take the keys with
you.
Walk to the rear of the bus to determine
whether the way is clear.
•If you must back-up at a student pick-up point,
be sure to pick up students before backing and
watch for late comers at all times.
•Be sure that all students are in the bus before
backing.
•If you must back-up at a student drop-off point,
be sure to unload students after backing.
Section 10 - School Buses
Section 10
Test Your Knowledge
1.Define the danger zone. How far does the
danger zone extend around the bus?
2.What should you be able to see if the outside
flat mirrors are adjusted properly? The outside
convex mirrors? The crossover mirrors?
3.You are loading students along the route. When
should you activate your alternating flashing
amber warning lights?
4.You are unloading students along your route.
Where should students walk to after exiting the
bus?
5.After unloading at school, why should you walk
through the bus?
6.What position should students be in front of
the bus before they cross the roadway?
7.Under what conditions must you evacuate the
bus?
8.How far from the nearest rail should you stop
at a highway-rail crossing?
9.What is a passive highway-rail crossing? Why
should you be extra cautious at this type of
crossing?
10.How should you use your brakes if your vehicle
is equipped with antilock brakes (ABS)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 10.
Page 10-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Page 10-12
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 11
Vehicle Inspection Test
This Section Covers
• Internal Inspection
• External Inspection
During the Vehicle inspection, you must show that
the vehicle is safe to drive. You will have to walk
around the vehicle and point to or touch each item
and explain to the examiner what you are checking
and why. You will NOT have to crawl under the
hood or under the vehicle.
11.1 All Vehicles
•Tell the examiner which component(s) are not
belt driven.
•Make sure component(s) are operating
properly, are not damaged or leaking, and are
mounted securely.
Safe Start
•Depress clutch.
•Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for
automatic transmissions).
Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Oil Pressure Gauge
11.1.1 Engine Compartment (Engine Off)
•Make sure oil pressure gauge is working.
•Check that pressure gauge shows increasing
or normal oil pressure or that the warning light
goes off.
•If equipped, oil temperature gauge should
begin a gradual rise to the normal operating
range.
Leaks/Hoses
Temperature Gauge
•Look for puddles on the ground.
•Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine
and transmission.
•Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
•Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
•Temperature should begin to climb to the
normal operating range or temperature light
should be off.
Oil Level
Air Gauge
•Indicate where dipstick is located.
•See that oil level is within safe operating range.
Level must be above refill mark.
•Make sure the air gauge is working properly.
•Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly
120-140 psi.
Coolant Level
Ammeter/Voltmeter
•Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
•(If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and
check for visible coolant level.
•Check that gauges show alternator and/or
generator is charging or that warning light is
off.
Power Steering Fluid
Mirrors and Windshield
•Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is
located.
•Check for adequate power steering fluid level.
Level must be above refill mark.
•Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly
from the inside.
•Windshield should be clean with no illegal
stickers, no obstructions, or damage to the
glass.
Study the following vehicle parts for the type of
vehicle you will be using during the CDL skills tests.
You should be able to identify each part and tell the
examiner what you are looking for or inspecting.
Engine Compartment Belts
•Check the following belts for snugness (up to
3/4 inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays:

Power steering belt.

Water pump belt.

Alternator belt.

Air compressor belt.
Note: If any of the components listed above are
not belt driven, you must:
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Emergency Equipment
•Check for spare electrical fuses.
•Check for three red reflective triangles, 6
fusees or 3 liquid burning flares.
•Check for a properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical
fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.
Page 11-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Wipers/Washers
•Check that wiper arms and blades are secure,
not damaged, and operate smoothly.
•If equipped, windshield washers must operate
correctly.
Lights/Reflectors/Reflector
(Sides & Rear)
Tape
•If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve
(back-up) system, with the key off, depress
the brake pedal and listen for the sound of the
reserve system electric motor.
Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
Condition
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles
Only)
•Test that dash indicators work when
corresponding lights are turned on:

Left turn signal.

Right turn signal.

Four-way emergency flashers.

High beam headlight.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
•Check that all external lights and reflective
equipment are clean and functional. Light and
reflector checks include:

Clearance lights (red on rear, amber
elsewhere).

Headlights (high and low beams).

Taillights.

Backing lights.

Turn signals.

Four-way flashers.

Brake lights.

Red reflectors (on rear) and amber
reflectors (elsewhere).

Reflector tape condition
•Failure to perform all three components of
the air brake check correctly will result in an
automatic failure of the vehicle inspection test.
Air brake safety devices vary. However, this
procedure is designed to see that any safety
device operates correctly as air pressure drops
from normal to a low air condition. For safety
purposes, in areas where an incline is present,
you will use wheel chocks during the air brake
check. The proper procedures for inspecting
the air brake system are as follows:
1.With the air pressure built up to governor cutoff
(120 – 140 psi), shut off the engine, chock your
wheels if necessary, release the parking brake
(all vehicles), and the tractor protection valve
(combination vehicle) and fully apply the foot
brake. Hold the foot brake for one minute.
Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure
drops more than three pounds in one minute
(single vehicle) or four pounds in one minute
(combination vehicle).
2.Without re-starting the engine, turn electrical
power to the “on” or “battery charge” position.
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
or level specified by the manufacturer..
3.
Continue to fan off the air pressure. At
approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer
combination vehicle (or level specified by the
manufacturer), the tractor protection valve and
parking brake valve should close (pop out).
On other combination vehicle types and single
vehicle types, the parking brake valve should
close (pop out).
Note: Checks of brake, turn signal and four-way
flasher functions must be done separately.
Horn
•Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Heater/Defroster
•Test that the heater and defroster work.
Parking Brake Check
•With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes
released on combination vehicles), check that
the parking brake will hold vehicle by gently
trying to pull forward with parking brake on.
•With the parking brake released and the trailer
parking brake engaged (combination vehicles
only), check that the trailer parking brake will
hold vehicle by gently trying to pull forward
with the trailer parking brake on.
Service Brake Check
Hydraulic Brake Check
You will be required to check the application of
air or hydraulic service brakes. This procedure is
designed to determine that the brakes are working
correctly and that the vehicle does not pull to one
side or the other.
•Pump the brake pedal three times, then hold it
down for five seconds. The brake pedal should
not move (depress) during the five seconds.
Pull forward at 5 mph, apply the service brake and
stop. Check to see that the vehicle does not pull to
either side and that it stops when brake is applied.
Page 11-2
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Safety Belt
11.2.3 – Brakes
•Check that the safety belt is securely mounted,
adjusts, latches properly and is not ripped or
frayed.
Slack Adjustors and Pushrods
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
11.2.1– Steering
Steering Box/Hoses
•Check that the steering box is securely
mounted and not leaking. Look for any missing
nuts, bolts, and cotter keys.
•Check for power steering fluid leaks or damage
to power steering hoses.
•Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
•For manual slack adjustors, the brake pushrod
should not move more than one inch (with the
brakes released) when pulled by hand.
Brake Chambers
•See that brake chambers are not leaking,
cracked, or dented and are mounted securely.
Brake Hoses/Lines
•Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines,
and couplings.
Steering Linkage
Drum Brake
•See that connecting links, arms, and rods from
the steering box to the wheel are not worn or
cracked.
•Check that joints and sockets are not worn or
loose and that there are no missing nuts, bolts,
or cotter keys.
•Check for cracks, dents, or holes. Also check
for loose or missing bolts.
•Check for contaminates such debris or oil/
grease.
•Brake linings (where visible) should not be
worn dangerously thin.
11.2.2 – Suspension
Brake Linings
Springs/Air/Torque
•On some brake drums, there are openings
where the brake linings can be seen from
outside the drum. For this type of drum, check
that a visible amount of brake lining is showing.
•Look for missing, shifted, cracked, or broken
leaf springs.
•Look for broken or distorted coil springs.
•If vehicle is equipped with torsion bars,
torque arms, or other types of suspension
components, check that they are not damaged
and are mounted securely.
•Air ride suspension should be checked for
damage and leaks.
Mounts
•Look for cracked or broken spring hangers,
missing or damaged bushings, and broken,
loose, or missing bolts, u-bolts or other axle
mounting parts. (The mounts should be
checked at each point where they are secured
to the vehicle frame and axle[s]).
Shock Absorbers
•See that shock absorbers are secure and that
there are no leaks.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same
suspension components inspection on every axle
(power unit and trailer, if equipped).
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Note: Be prepared to perform the same brake
components inspection on every axle (power unit
and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.4 – Wheels
Rims
•Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot
have welding repairs.
Tires
•The following items must be inspected on
every tire:
Tread depth: Check for minimum tread depth (4/32
on steering axle tires, 2/32 on all other tires).
Tire condition: Check that tread is evenly worn and
look for cuts or other damage to tread or sidewalls.
Also, make sure that valve caps and stems are not
missing, broken, or damaged.
Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation by using
a tire gauge. Note: You will not get credit if you
simply kick the tires to check for proper inflation.
Page 11-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are not
leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level is
adequate.
Splash Guards
Lug Nuts
•Check that all lug nuts are present, free of
cracks and distortions, and show no signs of
looseness such as rust trails or shiny threads.
•Make sure all bolt holes are not cracked or
distorted.
Spacers or Budd Spacing
•If equipped, check that spacers are not bent,
damaged, or rusted through.
•Spacers should be evenly centered, with the
dual wheels and tires evenly separated.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same wheel
inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if
equipped).
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
•Check that door(s) are not damaged and that
they open and close properly from the outside.
•Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
•Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are
not damaged and are mounted securely with
no loose fittings.
Fuel Tank
•Check that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight,
and that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
Drive Shaft
•See that drive shaft is not bent or cracked.
•Couplings should be secure and free of foreign
objects.
Exhaust System
•Check system for damage and signs of leaks
such as rust or carbon soot.
•System should be connected tightly and
mounted securely.
Frame
•Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the longitudinal frame members,
cross members, box, and floor.
Page 11-4
•If equipped, check that splash guards or
mud flaps are not damaged and are mounted
securely.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
•Check that doors and hinges are not damaged
and that they open, close, and latch properly
from the outside, if equipped.
•Ties, straps, chains, and binders must also be
secure.
•If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
•Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
Air/Electric Lines
•Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and
electrical lines are not cut, chafed, spliced, or
worn (steel braid should not show through).
•Make sure air and electrical lines are not
tangled, pinched, or dragging against tractor
parts.
Catwalk/Steps
•Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
•Check that steps leading to the cab entry and
catwalk (if equipped) are solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Mounting Bolts
•Look for loose or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts. Both the fifth wheel and
the slide mounting must be solidly attached.
•On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball
hitch, pintle hook, etc.), inspect all coupling
components and mounting brackets for
missing or broken parts.
Hitch Release Lever
•Check to see that the hitch release lever is in
place and is secure.
Locking Jaws
•Look into fifth wheel gap and check that locking
jaws are fully closed around the kingpin.
•On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball
hitch, pintle hook, etc.), inspect the locking
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
mechanism for missing or broken parts and
make sure it is locked securely. If present,
safety cables or chains must be secure and
free of kinks and excessive slack.
11.3 – School Bus Only
Emergency Equipment
•Check for proper lubrication and that 5th wheel
skid plate is securely mounted to the platform
and that all bolts and pins are secure and not
missing.
•In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses
(if equipped), three red reflective triangles, and
a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher,
school bus drivers must also inspect the
following emergency equipment:

Emergency Kit

Body Fluid Cleanup Kit
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
Lighting Indicators
•Check for cracks or breaks in the platform
structure which supports the fifth wheel skid
plate.
•If equipped, make sure the release arm is in
the engaged position and the safety latch is in
place.
•In addition to checking the lighting indicators
listed in Section 10.2 of this manual, school
bus drivers must also check the following
lighting indicators (internal panel lights):

Alternately flashing amber lights indicator,
if equipped.

Alternately flashing red lights indicator.

Strobe light indicator, if equipped.
Kingpin/Apron/Gap
Lights/Reflectors
•Check that the kingpin is not bent.
•Make sure the visible part of the apron is not
bent, cracked, or broken.
•Check that the trailer is lying flat on the fifth
wheel skid plate (no gap).
•In addition to checking the lights and reflective
devices listed in Section 10.2 of this manual,
school bus drivers must also check the
following (external) lights and reflectors:

Strobe light, if equipped.

Stop arm light, if equipped.

Alternately flashing amber lights, if
equipped.

Alternately flashing red lights.
5th Wheel Skid Plate
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
Locking Pins (Fifth Wheel)
•If equipped, look for loose or missing pins in
the slide mechanism of the sliding fifth wheel.
If air powered, check for leaks.
•Make sure locking pins are fully engaged.
•Check that the fifth wheel is positioned properly
so that the tractor frame will clear the landing
gear during turns.
Sliding Pintle
•Check that the sliding pintle is secured with no
loose or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is
in place.
Tongue or Draw-bar
Student Mirrors
•In addition to checking the external mirrors,
school bus drivers must also check the internal
and external mirrors used for observing
students:
•Check for proper adjustment.
•Checks that all internal and external mirrors
and mirror brackets are not damaged and are
mounted securely with no loose fittings.
•Checks that visibility is not impaired due to
dirty mirrors.
•Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not bent
or twisted and checks for broken welds and
stress cracks.
•Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not worn
excessively.
Stop Arm
Tongue Storage Area
Passenger Entry/Lift
•Check that the storage area is solid and
secured to the tongue.
•Check that cargo in the storage area i.e. chains,
binders, etc. are secure.
•Check that the entry door is not damaged,
operates smoothly, and closes securely from
the inside.
•Hand rails are secure and the step light is
working, if equipped.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
•If equipped, check the stop arm to see that it is
mounted securely to the frame of the vehicle.
Also, check for loose fittings and damage.
Page 11-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•The entry steps must be clear with the treads
not loose or worn excessively.
•If equipped with a handicap lift, look for leaking,
damaged, or missing parts and explain how lift
should be checked for correct operation. Lift
must be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exit
•Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close
securely from the inside.
•Check that any emergency exit warning
devices are working.
Seating
•Look for broken seat frames and check that
seat frames are firmly attached to the floor.
•Check that seat cushions are attached securely
to the seat frames.
11.4 – Trailer
11.4.1 – Trailer Front
Air/Electrical Connections
•Check that trailer air connectors are sealed
and in good condition.
•Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free
of damage or air leaks.
•Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly
seated and locked in place.
Header Board
•If equipped, check the header board to see
that it is secure, free of damage, and strong
enough to contain cargo.
•If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be
mounted and fastened securely.
•On enclosed trailers, check the front area for
signs of damage such as cracks, bulges, or
holes.
11.4.2 – Side of Trailer
Landing Gear
•Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has
no missing parts, crank handle is secure, and
the support frame is not damaged.
•If power operated, check for air or hydraulic
leaks.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
•If equipped, check that doors are not damaged.
Check that doors open, close, and latch
properly from the outside.
Page 11-6
•Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are
secure.
•If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
•Lift should be fully retracted and latched
securely.
Frame
•Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the frame, cross members, box,
and floor.
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
•If equipped, make sure the locking pins are
locked in place and release arm is secured.
11.4.3 – Remainder of Trailer
Remainder of Trailer
•Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures regarding the
following components:

Wheels.

Suspension system.

Brakes.

Doors/ties/lift.

Splash guards.
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
Passenger Entry/Lift
•Check that entry doors operate smoothly and
close securely from the inside.
•Check that hand rails are secure and, if
equipped, that the step light(s) are working.
•Check that the entry steps are clear, with the
treads not loose or worn excessively.
•If equipped with a handicap lift, look for any
leaking, damaged or missing part, and explain
how it should be checked for correct operation.
•Lift should be fully retracted and latched
securely.
Emergency Exits
•Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close
securely from the inside.
•Check that any emergency exit warning
devices are working.
Passenger Seating
•Look for broken seat frames and check that
seat frames are firmly attached to the floor.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Check that seat cushions are attached securely
to the seat frames.
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
Doors/Mirrors
•Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged
and operate smoothly from the outside. Hinges
should be secure with seals intact.
•Make sure that the passenger exit mirrors and
all external mirrors and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no
loose fittings.
11.5.3 – External Inspection of Coach/
Transit Bus
Level/Air Leaks
•See that the vehicle is sitting level (front and
rear), and if air-equipped, check for audible air
leaks from the suspension system.
Fuel Tank(s)
•See that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks
from tank(s) or lines.
Baggage Compartments
•Check that baggage and all other exterior
compartment doors are not damaged, operate
properly, and latch securely.
Battery/Box
•Wherever located, see that battery(s) are
secure, connections are tight, and cell caps are
present.
•Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
•Check that battery box and cover or door is
not damaged and is secure.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/ Transit Bus
Remainder of Vehicle
•Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual
for detailed inspection procedures for the
remainder of the vehicle.
Remember, the Vehicle Inspection must be passed
before you can proceed to the Basic Control Skills
test.
11.6 – Taking the CDL Vehicle Inspection
Test
11.6.1 – Class A Vehicle Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the four versions of a
Vehicle inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the four tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you
will take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start, an in-cabinspection, and an inspection of the coupling
system. Then, your test may require an inspection
of the entire vehicle or only a portion of the vehicle
which your CDL Examiner will explain to you.
11.6.2 – Class B and C Vehicle Inspection
Test
If you are applying for a Class B CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the three versions of a
Vehicle inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the three tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you
will take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start and an incab inspection. Then, your test may require an
inspection of the entire vehicle or only a portion of
the vehicle which your CDL Examiner will explain
to you. You will also have to inspect any special
features of your vehicle (e.g, school or transit bus).
Page 11-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
CDL Vehicle Inspection Memory Aid
Combination Vehicles
Straight Truck or Bus
Front of Vehicle, Lights/Reflectors,
Engine Compartment & Steering
Components
Front of Vehicle, Lights/Reflectors
Engine Compartment & Steering
Components
Steering Axle:
•Suspension
•Brakes
•Tires
Steering Axle:
•Suspension
•Brakes
•Tires
Driver Door
Fuel Area
Under Vehicle
• Drive Shaft
•Exhaust
•Frame
Passenger Door
Fuel Area
Drive Axle(s)
•Suspension
•Brakes
•Tires
Driver Door
Fuel Area
(Truck)
Coupling Devices
•Truck
•Trailer
Under Vehicle
• Drive Shaft
•Exhaust
•Frame
Rear of Truck/Tractor
& Lights/Reflectors
Trailer Components
Front, Side, Lights &
Reflectors
•Frame
• Landing Gear
• Tandem Release
Drive Axle(s)
•Suspension
•Brakes
•Tires
Trailer Axle(s)
•Suspension
•Brakes
•Tires
Rear of Bus/Truck
& Lights/Reflectors
Rear of Trailer &
Lights/Reflectors
Page 11-8
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 12
Basic Vehicle Control
Skills Test
This Section Covers
• Skills Test Scoring
• Skills Test Exercises
Your basic control skills could be tested using
one or more of the following exercises off-road or
somewhere on the street during the road test:
•Straight line backing.
•Offset back/right
•Offset back/left
•Parallel park (driver side).
•Parallel park (conventional).
•Alley dock.
These exercises are shown in Figures 12-1 through
12-6.
12.1Scoring
•Crossing Boundaries (encroachments)
•Pull-ups
•Outside Vehicle Observations (looks)
•Final Position/Inside Parallel
Encroachments – The examiner will score the
number of times you touch or cross over an
exercise boundary line or cone with any portion of
your vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an
error.
Pull-ups – When a driver stops and pulls forward
to clear an encroachment or to get a better
position, it is scored as a “pull-up”. Stopping
without changing direction does not count as a
pull-up. You will not be penalized for initial pullups. However, an excessive number of pull-ups,
will count as errors.
Outside Vehicle Observations (Looks) – You may
be permitted to safely stop and exit the vehicle to
check the external position of the vehicle (look).
When doing so, you must place the vehicle in
neutral and set the parking brake(s). Then, when
exiting the vehicle, you must do so safely by facing
the vehicle and maintaining three points of contact
with the vehicle at all times (when exiting a bus,
maintain a firm grasp on the handrail at all times).
If you do not safely secure the vehicle or safely exit
the vehicle it may result in an automatic failure of
the basic control skills test.
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
The maximum number of times that you may look to
check the position of you vehicle is two (2) except
for the Straight Line Backing exercise, which allows
one look. Each time you open the door, move from
a seated position where in physical control of the
vehicle or on a bus walk to the back of a bus to get
a better view, it is scored as a “look”.
Final Position/Inside Parallel – It is important that
you finish each exercise exactly as the examiner
has instructed you. If you do not maneuver the
vehicle into its final position as described by the
examiner, you will be penalized and could fail the
basic skills test.
12.2Exercises
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
You may be asked to back your vehicle in a straight
line between two rows of cones without touching
or crossing over the exercise boundaries. (See
Figure 12.1.)
12.2.2 – Offset Back/Right
You may be asked to back into a space that is to
the right rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight
forward the outer boundary. From that position you
must back the vehicle into the opposite lane until
the front of your vehicle has passed the first set
of cones without striking boundary lines or cones.
(See Figure 12.2)
12.2.3 – Offset Back/Left
You may be asked to back into a space that is to
the left rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight
forward the outer boundary. From that position,
you must back the vehicle into the opposite lane
until the front of your vehicle has passed the first
set of cones without striking boundary lines or
cones. (See Figure 12.3)
12.2.4 – Parallel Park (Driver Side)
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking
space that is on your left. You are to drive past
the entrance to the parallel parking space with
your vehicle parallel to the parking area; and back
into the space without crossing front, side or rear
boundaries marked by cones. You are required to
get your entire vehicle completely into the space.
(See Figure 12.4)
Page 12-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
12.2.5 – Parallel Park (Conventional)
12.2.6 – Alley Dock
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking
space that is on your right. You are to drive past
the entrance to the parallel parking space with your
vehicle parallel to the parking area; and back into
the space without crossing front, side or rear
boundaries marked by cones. You are required to
get your entire vehicle completely into the space.
(See Figure 12.5)
You may be asked to sight-side back your vehicle
into an alley. You will drive past the alley and
position your vehicle parallel to the outer boundary.
From that position, back into the alley bringing the
rear of your vehicle within three feet of the rear of
the alley without touching boundary lines or cones.
Your vehicle must be straight within the alley/lane
when you have completed the maneuver. (See
Figure 12.6.)
Figure 12.1: Straight Line Backing
Figure 12.2: Offset Back/Right
Page 12-2
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 12.3: Offset Back/Left
Figure 12.4: Parallel Park (Driver Side)
Figure 12.5: Parallel Park (Conventional)
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
Page 12-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 12.6: Alley Dock
Page 12-4
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 13
On-Road Driving
This Section Covers
• How You Will Be Tested
You will drive over a test route that has a variety of
traffic situations. At all times during the test, you
must drive in a safe and responsible manner; and
you must:
•Wear your safety belt.
•Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
•Complete the test without an accident or
moving violation.
During the driving test, the examiner will be scoring
you on specific driving maneuvers as well as on
your general driving behavior. You will follow the
directions of the examiner. Directions will be given
to you so you will have plenty of time to do what
the examiner has asked. You will not be asked to
drive in an unsafe manner.
If your test route does not have certain traffic
situations, you may be asked to simulate a traffic
situation. You will do this by telling the examiner
what you are or would be doing if you were in that
traffic situation.
13.1 – How You Will Be Tested
13.1.1 – Turns
You have been asked to make a turn:
•Check traffic in all directions.
•Use turn signals and safely get into the lane
needed for the turn.
As you approach the turn:
•Use turn signals to warn others of your turn.
•Slow down smoothly, change gears as needed
to keep power, but do not coast unsafely.
Unsafe coasting occurs when your vehicle is
out of gear (clutch depressed or gearshift in
neutral) for more than the length of your vehicle.
If you must stop before making the turn:
•Come to a smooth stop without skidding.
•Come to a complete stop behind the stop line,
crosswalk, or stop sign.
•If stopping behind another vehicle, stop where
you can see the rear tires on the vehicle ahead
of you (safe gap).
Section 13 - On-road Driving
•Do not let your vehicle roll.
•Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
When ready to turn:
•Check traffic in all directions.
•Keep both hands on the steering wheel during
the turn.
•Keep checking your mirror to make sure the
vehicle does not hit anything on the inside of
the turn.
•Vehicle should not move into oncoming traffic.
•Vehicle should finish turn in correct lane.
After turn:
•Make sure turn signal is off.
•Get up to speed of traffic, use turn signal, and
move into right-most lane when safe to do so
(if not already there).
•Check mirrors and traffic.
13.1.2 – Intersections
As you approach an intersection:
•Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
•Decelerate gently.
•Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change
gears.
•If necessary, come to a complete stop (no
coasting) behind any stop signs, signals,
sidewalks, or stop lines maintaining a safe gap
behind any vehicle in front of you.
•Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward.
When driving through an intersection:
•Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
•Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and
traffic in the intersection.
•Do not change lanes while proceeding through
the intersection.
•Keep your hands on the wheel.
Once through the intersection:
•Continue checking mirrors and traffic.
•Accelerate smoothly and change gears as
necessary.
13.1.3 – Urban Business
During this part of the test, you are expected to
make regular traffic checks and maintain a safe
following distance. Your vehicle should be centered
in the proper lane (right-most lane) and you should
keep up with the flow of traffic but not exceed the
posted speed limit.
Page 13-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
13.1.4 –Lane Changes
During multiple lane portions of the test, you will
be asked to change lanes to the left, and then back
to the right. You should make the necessary traffic
checks first, then use proper signals and smoothly
change lanes when it is safe to do so.
13.1.5 – Expressway or Rural/Limited
Access Highway
Before entering the expressway:
•Check traffic.
•Use proper signals.
•Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
Once on the expressway:
•Maintain proper lane positioning, vehicle
spacing, and vehicle speed.
•Continue to check traffic thoroughly in all
directions.
When exiting the expressway:
•Make necessary traffic checks.
•Use proper signals.
•Decelerate smoothly in the exit lane.
•Once on the exit ramp, you must continue
to decelerate within the lane markings and
maintain adequate spacing between your
vehicle and other vehicles.
13.1.6 – Stop/Start
For this maneuver, you will be asked to pull your
vehicle over to the side of the road and stop as if
you were going to get out and check something on
your vehicle. You must check traffic thoroughly in
all directions and move to the right-most lane or
shoulder of road.
As you prepare for the stop:
•Check traffic.
•Activate your right turn signal.
•Decelerate smoothly, brake evenly, change
gears as necessary.
•Bring your vehicle to a full stop without
coasting.
Once stopped:
•Vehicle must be parallel to the curb or shoulder
of the road and safely out of the traffic flow.
•Vehicle should not be blocking driveways, fire
hydrants, intersections, signs, etc.
•Cancel your turn signal.
•Activate your four-way emergency flashers.
•Apply the parking brake.
Page 13-2
•Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
•Remove your feet from the brake and clutch
pedals.
When instructed to resume:
•Check traffic and your mirrors thoroughly in all
directions.
•Turn off your four-way flashers.
•Activate the left turn signal.
•When traffic permits, you should release the
parking brake and pull straight ahead.
•Do not turn the wheel before your vehicle
moves.
•Check traffic from all directions, especially to
the left.
•Steer and accelerate smoothly into the proper
lane when safe to do so.
•Once your vehicle is back into the flow of
traffic, cancel your left turn signal.
13.1.7 – Curve
•When approaching a curve:
•Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
•Before entering the curve, reduce speed so
further braking or shifting is not required in the
curve.
•Keep vehicle in the lane.
•Continue checking traffic in all directions.
13.1.8 – Railroad Crossing
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial
drivers should:
•Decelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as
necessary.
•Look and listen for the presence of trains.
•Check traffic in all directions.
Do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle,
or change lanes while any part of your vehicle is in
the crossing.
If you are driving a bus, a school bus, or a vehicle
displaying placards, you should be prepared to
observe the following procedures at every railroad
crossing (unless the crossing is exempt):
•As the vehicle approaches a railroad crossing,
activate the four-way flashers.
•Stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less
than 15 feet from the nearest rail.
•Listen and look in both directions along the
track for an approaching train and for signals
indicating the approach of a train. If operating
a bus, you may also be required to open the
window and door prior to crossing tracks.
Section 13 - On-road Driving
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
•Keep hands on the steering wheel as the
vehicle crosses the tracks.
•Do not stop, change gears, or change lanes
while any part of your vehicle is proceeding
across the tracks.
•Four-way flashers should be deactivated after
the vehicle crosses the tracks.
•Continue to check mirrors and traffic.
When students are crossing, you must:
•Check traffic.
•Communicate to students.
•Check for students.
When resuming from the student discharge, you
must:
Not all driving road test routes will have a
railroad crossing. You may be asked to explain
and demonstrate the proper railroad crossing
procedures to the examiner at a simulated location.
•Check all mirrors.
•Turn off warning lights and stop arm.
•Close the door
•Check traffic.
•Accelerate away from the stop area.
13.1.9 – Bridge/Overpass/Sign
13.1.11 – General Driving Behaviors
After driving under an overpass, you may be asked
to tell the examiner what the posted clearance or
height was. After going over a bridge, you may be
asked to tell the examiner what the posted weight
limit was. If your test route does not have a bridge
or overpass, you may be asked about another
traffic sign. When asked, be prepared to identify
and explain to the examiner any traffic sign which
may appear on the route.
You will be scored on your overall performance
in the following general driving behavior
categories:
13.1.10 – Student Discharge (School Bus)
If you are applying for a School Bus endorsement,
you will be required to demonstrate a student
discharge. Please refer to section 10 of this manual.
As you approach the student pick up, you must:
•Decelerate and approach at a slow rate of
speed while continuing to check traffic.
•Activate amber warning lights and right turn
signals.
•Move as far as possible to the right on the
traveled portion of the roadway.
•Recheck traffic.
13.1.11(a) – Clutch Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
•Always use clutch to shift.
•You must double-clutch when shifting. Do not
rev or lug the engine.
•Do not ride clutch to control speed, coast with
the clutch depressed, or “pop” the clutch.
13.1.12(b) – Gear Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
•Do not grind or clash gears.
•Select gear that does not rev or lug engine.
•Do not shift in turns and intersections.
13.1.13(c) – Brake Usage
•Do not ride or pump brake.
•Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using
steady pressure.
As you stop for the student discharge, you must:
13.1.14(d) – Lane Usage
•Bring school bus to a complete stop at least
10’ away from students at the stop.
•Place the transmission in neutral/park and set
the parking brake.
•Activate the stop arm and red warning lights.
•Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or
lane markings.
•Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop
signs.
•Complete a turn in the proper lane on a multiple
lane road (vehicle should finish a left turn in the
lane directly to the right of the center line).
•Finish a right turn in the right-most (curb) lane.
•Move to or remain in right-most lane unless
lane is blocked.
When discharging students, you must:
•Communicate to students.
•Check traffic.
•Open the student door.
•Check for students.
Section 13 - On-road Driving
Page 13-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
13.1.15 – Steering
13.1.17 – Use of Turn Signals
•Do not over or under steer the vehicle.
•Keep both hands on the steering wheel at
all times unless shifting. Once you have
completed shift, return both hands to the
steering wheel.
•Use turn signals properly.
•Activate turn signals when required.
•Activate turn signals at appropriate times.
•Cancel turn signals upon completion of a turn
or lane change.
13.1.16 – Regular Traffic Checks
•Check traffic regularly.
•Check mirrors regularly.
•Check mirrors and traffic before, while in and
after an intersection.
•Scan and check traffic in high volume areas
and areas where pedestrians are expected to
be present.
Page 13-4
Section 13 - On-road Driving
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 13 - On-road Driving
Page 13-5
Motor Vehicle Administration
Committed to safety, service and you!
6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21062
www.MVA.Maryland.gov
DL-151 09-14
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