MD_CDLManual
Maryland
Commercial
Driver License
Manual
DL-151 Rev. 04/2008
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.
•
•
•
•
ny combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more
A
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.
This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration under Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH61-97-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.
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
i
VEHICLES THAT HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED
COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE LEARNERS INSTRUCTIONAL PERMIT:
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).
You will be required to provide:
The following vehicles have been excluded from CDL requirements in Maryland:
1.
2.
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;
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)
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.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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
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.
Vision
Amputation and loss of limb (Must have working prosthesis)
Power grasping and prehension
Insulin dependent diabetes.
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, and insulin dependent diabetics.
ii
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.
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
eneral Knowledge Test is required by all applicants. (Must be successfully passed to proceed to
G
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 Administration 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.
iii
a) M
aryland 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, 1-800950-1682 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 may not be maintained on a Learner’s Permit.
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 occur 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
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
DRIVING, DRINKING, AND DRUGS
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 Judgement (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.
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.
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.
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.
iv
v
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
Do You Need a CDL?
INTRODUCTION
No
This Section Covers
• Commercial Driver License Tests
• Driver Disqualifications
• Other Safety Rules
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 must have a CDL to operate:
• A
ny single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight
rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
• A combination vehicle with a gross combination
weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, if
the trailer(s) has a GVWR of 10,001 or more
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.
Figure 1.1 helps you determine if you need a CDL.
Yes
Is the vehicle
a
combination
vehicle
towing a unit
over 10,000
pounds
GVWR?
Yes
You
need a
Class A
CDL
No
Does the
single
vehicle have
a GVWR
over 26,000
pounds?
need a
Class B
CDL
Yes
You
need a
Class C
CDL
No
Does the
vehicle
require
hazardous
material
placards or
transport a
select agent
or toxin?
You
Yes
No
Is the vehicle
designed to
carry 16 or
more people
(including
the driver)?
(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.
This manual 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.
Does the vehicle or
combination of vehicles
have a manufacturer’s
weight rating (GVWR)
over 26,000 pounds?
Yes
You
need a
Class C
CDL
No
You DO NOT
need a CDL.
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.
Figure 1.1
Section 1 - Introduction
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:
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.
Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual you
should study for each particular class of license
and for each endorsement.
What Sections Should You Study?
LICENSE
TYPE
ENDORSEMENT
Tank Vehicles
Passenger
X
X
X
3
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
4
X
X
X
X
5*
X
X
X
X
6
X
X
1.1.2 – Skills Tests
7
X
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: pre-trip 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.
8
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
with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something
similar. The examiner will tell you how each control
test is to be done.
9
School Bus
Double / Triple
2
X
Hazardous
Materials
X
X
Class C
X
Class B
X
Sections to Study
1
Pre-trip 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 pre-trip inspection
of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what
you would inspect and why.
Class A
• 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 tanker test, required if you want to haul a
liquid or liquid gas in a permanently mounted
cargo tank rated at 119 gallons or more or a
portable tank rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
• 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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
1.2.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
1.2.1 – General
You will lose your CDL:
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if
you are disqualified for any reason.
• For
at least 90 days if you have committed
your first violation of an out-of-service violation
order.
• For at least one year if you have committed
two out-of-service violation orders in a ten-year
period.
• For at least three years if you have committed
three or more out-of-service violation orders in
a ten-year period.
1.2.2 – 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.
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.
X
X
10
X
You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you
have any detectable amount of alcohol under
.04%.
11
X
X
X
X
X
X
1.2.3 – Serious Traffic Violations
12
X
X
X
X
X
X
13
X
X
X
X
X
X
* Study section 5 if you plan to operate vehicles
equipped with air brakes.
Figure 1.2
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, and traffic offenses committed
in a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents.
You will lose your CDL:
• For
at least 60 days if you have committed two
serious traffic violations within a three-year
period involving a CMV.
• For at least 120 days for three serious traffic
violations within a three-year period involving a
CMV.
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
Page 1-2
1.2 – Driver Disqualifications
Section 1 - Introduction
Section 1 - Introduction
1.2.5 – 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 any three-year period.
• For at least one year for your third violation
within any 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.
• 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.
1.2.6 – 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:
Page 1-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• 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.
1.2.7 – 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 subatance 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.
• If your license to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended you may not
obtain a “hardship” license to operate a CMV.
1.3 – Other CDL Rules
There are other federal and state rules that affect
drivers operating CMVs in all states. Among them
are:
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• 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 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.
• 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.
• 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.
Page 1-4
Section 1 - Introduction
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
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
Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
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 Pre-trip 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
Pre-trip Inspection. A pre-trip 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.
Page 2-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
• Mismatched sizes.
• Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
• Cut or cracked valve stems.
• Regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the
front wheels of a bus. These 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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 2.1 illustrates a typical steering system.
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:
• S
pring hangers that allow movement of axle
from proper position. See 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.
• 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.
• Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame
members.
STEERING SYSTEM
Height Control Valve
Frame Reinforcement
Tie R od
Bracket
• Cracked drums.
• Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on
them.
• Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or
broken.
Spacer
U-Bolts
Clamp
Bolt
Bellows
Eye Bolt
Control
Arm
Leaf Spring
Frame
Vehicle Frame
Front Axle Hanger
Bearing Plates
Axle
Axle Seat
Anchor
Plate
Lower Bellows
Support
FRONT
Figure 2.4
Auxiliary Spring
Exhaust System Defects. A broken exhaust
system can let poison fumes into the cab or sleeper
berth. Look for:
Spring Shackle
Torque Rod
Main Spring
Axle
Figure 2.2
Broken Leaf
S teering S haft
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
Shock Absorber
Upper Bellows Support
Hydraulic Shock Absorber
SAFETY DEFECT:
BROKEN LEAF IN SPRING
S teering Wheel
AIR SUSPENSION PARTS
KEY SUSPENSION PARTS
P ower
S teering
C ylinder
• L
oose, 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:
• F
ire extinguisher(s).
• Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with
circuit breakers).
• Warning devices for parked vehicles (for
example, three reflective warning triangles).
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.
S teering Arm
Hydraulic F luid R es ervoir
Drag L ink
G ear B ox
Steering System Defects
• 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.
Page 2-2
S pindle
P itman Arm
S teering K nuc kle
Main Spring
Figure 2.1
Axle
Figure 2.3
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.1.4 – CDL Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Test
In order to obtain a CDL you will be required to pass
a pre-trip 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 pre-trip inspection
of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what
you would inspect and why. The following sevenstep inspection method should be useful.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.1.5 – Seven-step Inspection Method
Method of Inspection. You should do a pretrip inspection the same way each time so you
will learn all the steps and be less likely to forget
something.
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.
• 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.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside the
Cab
Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection
40
Get In and Start Engine
•
•
•
•
ake sure parking brake is on.
M
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.
ook at the Gauges
L
• 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 vehicles 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.
Lights.
 Headlights.
 Dimmer switch.
 Turn signal.
 Four-way flashers.
Parking, clearance, identification, marker
switch(es).
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
Properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
• Check for optional items such as:


Chains (where winter conditions require).
Tire changing equipment.
• Check Safety Belt
Check that the safety belt is securely
mounted, adjusts properly and is not
ripped or frayed.
• List of emergency phone numbers.
• Accident reporting kit (packet).
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
• G
o 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 walk-around
inspection.
General
• Walkaround 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.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
• R
ight 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).
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Curbside cargo compartment doors in
good condition, securely closed, latched/
locked and required security seals in
place.
Right Rear
• C
ondition 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).
Cargo securement (trucks).
Rear
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.
• Lights and reflectors.
Page 2-6
• L
icense 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.
• 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
• T
urn 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.
• L
eft 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.
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.
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).
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Get Out and Check Lights
If you find anything unsafe during the pre-trip
inspection, get it fixed. Federal and state laws
forbid operating an unsafe vehicle.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.1.6 – Inspection During a Trip
Subsection 2.1
Test Your Knowledge
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.
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 walkaround
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 pre-trip 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
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
2.2.4 – Backing Safely
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:
•
•
•
•
•
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.
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
Page 2-8
have applied enough engine power to keep from
rolling back. On a tractor-trailer equipped with a
trailer brake hand valve, the hand valve can be
applied to keep from rolling back.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
Back and Turn Toward the Driver’s Side. Back
to the driver’s side so 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 driverside backing--even if it means going around the
block to put your vehicle in this position. The added
safety is worth it.
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.
2.3.1 – Manual Transmissions
Basic Method for Shifting Up. Most heavy vehicles
with manual transmissions require double clutching
to change gears. This is the basic method:
• R
elease 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.
Page 2-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Knowing When to Shift Up. There are two ways of
knowing when to shift:
2.3.2 – Multi-speed Rear Axles and Auxiliary
Transmissions
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.)
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.
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
• R
elease 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.
Page 2-10
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.
2.4.2 – Seeing to the Sides and Rear
2.3.3 – Automatic Transmissions
2.4 – Seeing
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.
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.
2.3.4 – Retarders
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.
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.
2.4.1 – Seeing Ahead
All drivers look ahead; but many don’t look far
enough ahead.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
It’s important to know what’s going on behind and
to the sides. Check your mirrors regularly. Check
more often in special situations.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
• B
efore 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 doublecheck that your path is clear.
• After you complete the lane change.
Page 2-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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,” “bugeye”) 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.
FIELD OF VISION USING
A CONVEX MIRROR
Driver
Convex
Mirror
View
Plane
Mirror
View
Blind
Spot
Area
Plane
Mirror
View
Convex
Mirror
View
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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:
• T
rouble 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.
• 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.)
• D
on’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.
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
10'
100'
200'
TRACTOR JACKNIFE
Figure 2.8
Two-Way or Undivided Highway
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you
pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the fourway emergency flashers. This is important at night.
Don’t trust the taillights to give warning. Drivers
have crashed into the rear of a parked vehicle
because they thought it was moving normally.
100'
If you must stop on a road or the shoulder of any
road, you must put out your emergency warning
devices within ten minutes. Place your warning
devices at the following locations:
If you must stop on or by a one-way or divided
highway, place warning devices 10 feet, 100 feet,
and 200 feet toward the approaching traffic. See
Figure 2.8.
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.
10'
100'
Figure 2.9
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.
Figure 2.7
Page 2-12
One-Way or Divided Highway
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-13
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
OBSTRUCTED VIEW
100'- 500'
10'
10
'
100'- 500'
If line of s ight view is obs truc ted due to hill or
c urve, move the rear-mos t triangle to a point
bac k down the road s o warning is provided.
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.)
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.6.1 – Stopping Distance
Melting Ice. Slight melting will make ice wet. Wet
ice is much more slippery than ice that is not wet.
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Effective
Stopping Distance =Total Stopping Distance
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.
Perception Distance. The distance your vehicle
travels, in ideal conditions; from the time your eyes
see a hazard until your brain recognizes it. Keep 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
1-3/4 seconds. At 55 mph, this accounts for 142
feet traveled.
Reaction Distance. This 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 3/4
second to 1 second. At 55 mph, this account 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.
Effective 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.
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 that 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 increase the severity
of crashes and stopping distance. By slowing
down, you can reduce braking distance.
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.
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.
Figure 2.11
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:
2.6 – Controlling Speed
Shaded Areas. Shady parts of the road will
remain icy and slippery long after open areas have
melted.
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.
Bridges. When the temperature drops, bridges will
freeze before the road will. Be especially careful
when the temperature is close to 32 degrees
Fahrenheit.
Page 2-14
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
Page 2-15
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
2.6.7 – Roadway Work Zones
You should always be able to stop within the distance
you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other conditions
may require that you slow down 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.
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.
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,
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.”
Page 2-16
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 your reflectors be placed 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.
2.7 – Managing Space
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.
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.
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.
2.7.2 – Space Behind
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.
HEAVY VEHICLE FORMULA
For timed interval following distance
• 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
40 foot truck (under 40 MPH) = 4 seconds
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
50 foot truck (above 40 MPH) = 6 seconds
Avoid tricks. Don’t turn on your taillights or flash
your brake lights. Follow the suggestions above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
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.
You can’t stop others from following you too closely.
But there are things you can do to make it safer.
60 foot truck (under 40 MPH) = 6 seconds
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.
Figure 2.12
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-17
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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
• H
itting 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. Re-paving 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.)
Do This
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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
offtracking.
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.
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.
2.7.6 – Space for Turns
The space around a truck or bus is important in
turns. Because of wide turning and offtracking,
large vehicles can hit other vehicles or objects
during turns.
Right Turns. Here are some rules to help prevent
right-turn crashes:
• T
urn 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
Many drivers forget about the space under their
vehicles. That space can be very small when a
Page 2-18
2.8.2 – Hazardous Roads
Slow down and be very careful if you see any of the
following road hazards.
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.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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
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.
Acceleration varies with the load. Allow more room
if your vehicle is heavily loaded.
2.7.5 – Space Below
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.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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
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.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
Shoppers. People in and around shopping areas
are often not watching traffic because they are
looking for stores or looking into store windows.
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.
Clues to tourists include car-top luggage and out-ofstate 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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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:
• W
eaving 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.
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
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.9 – Distracted Driving
Whenever you are driving a vehicle and your
attention is not on the road, you’re putting yourself,
your passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians
in danger. Distracted driving can result when you
perform any activity that may shift your full attention
from the driving task. Taking your eyes off the road
or hands off the steering wheel presents obvious
driving risks. Mental activities that take your mind
away from driving are just as dangerous. Your eyes
can gaze at objects in the driving scene but fail
to see them because your attention is distracted
elsewhere.
Activities 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; reading billboards and
other road advertisements; watching other people
and vehicles including aggressive drivers; talking
on a cell phone or CB radio; using telematic
devices (such as navigation systems, pagers, etc.);
daydreaming or being occupied with other mental
distractions.
2.9.1 – Don’t Drive Distracted
If drivers react a half-second slower because of
distractions, crashes double. Some tips to follow
so you won’t become distracted:
• R
eview and be totally familiar with all safety and
usage features on any in-vehicle electronics,
including your wireless or cell phone, before you
drive.
• Pre-program radio stations.
• Pre-load you favorite CDs or cassette tapes.
• Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects.
• Review maps and plan your route before you
begin driving.
• Adjust all mirrors for best all-round visibility
before you start your trip.
• Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
• Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you
drive.
• Don’t engage in complex or emotionally intense
conversations with other occupants.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.9.2 – Use In-vehicle Communication
Equipment Cautiously
• W
hen possible, pull off the road in a safe,
legal place when making/receiving a call on
communication equipment.
• If possible, turn the cell phone off until your
destination is reached.
• Position the cell phone within easy reach.
• Pre-program cell phones with commonly called
numbers.
• If you have to place a call, find a safe place
to pull off the road. Do not place a call while
driving.
• Some jurisdictions require that only hands-free
devices can be used while driving. Even these
devices are unsafe to use when you are moving
down the road.
• If you must use your cell phone, keep
conversations short. Develop ways to get free
of long-winded friends and associates while on
the road. Never use the cell phone for social
visiting.
• Hang up in tricky traffic situations.
• Do not use the equipment when approaching
locations with heavy traffic, road construction,
heavy pedestrian traffic, or severe weather
conditions.
• Do not attempt to type or read messages on
your satellite system while driving.
2.9.3 – Watch Out for Other Distracted
Drivers
• Y
ou 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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
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.
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.
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-yourown in your travel lane.
Avoid eye contact.
Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
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.
Reduce your stress before and while you drive.
Listen to “easy listening” music.
Subsections 2.9 and 2.10
Test Your Knowledge
Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow
yourself to become distracted by talking on your
cell phone, eating, etc.
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?
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.
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and
2.10.
Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
Avoid gestures. Keep you 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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.11.2 – Driver Factors
Vision. People can’t see as sharply at night or in
dim light. Also, their eyes need time to adjust to
seeing in dim light. Most people have noticed this
when walking into a dark movie theater.
Glare. Drivers can be blinded for a short time
by bright light. It takes time to recover from this
blindness. Older drivers are especially bothered by
glare. Most people have been temporarily blinded
by camera flash units or by the high beams of an
oncoming vehicle. 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. Don’t look directly
at bright lights when driving. Look at the right side
of the road. Watch the sidelines when someone
coming toward you has very bright lights on.
Fatigue and Lack of Alertness. Fatigue (being
tired) and lack of alertness are bigger problems
at night. The body’s need for sleep is beyond a
person’s control. Most people are less alert at night,
especially after midnight. This is particularly true if
you have been driving for a long time. Drivers may
not see hazards as soon, or react as quickly, so the
chance of a crash is greater. If you are sleepy, 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.
2.11.3 – Roadway Factors
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
2.11.4 – Vehicle Factors
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Drive slower when lighting is poor or confusing.
Drive slowly enough to be sure you can stop in the
distance you can see ahead.
Page 2-24
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.11.5 – Night Driving Procedures
Pre-trip 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 pre-trip 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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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:
• O
bey 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 pre-trip
inspection, paying extra attention to the following
items.
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.
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
Page 2-26
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
• M
ake 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.)
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.
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
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.)
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.
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.
• A
void 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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.14.1 – Vehicle Checks
Do a normal pre-trip inspection, but pay special
attention to the following items.
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.
Some vehicles have sight glasses, see-through
coolant overflow containers, or coolant recovery
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
hut engine off.
S
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.
Page 2-27
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsections 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, and 2.14
Test Your Knowledge
MULTIPLE TRACKS
ROUND YELLOW
WARNING SIGN
O
R
C
R
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.
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. Passive crossings have yellow circular
advance warning signs, pavement markings
and crossbucks 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.
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. See Figure 2.15.
Page 2-28
PAVEMENT
MARKINGS
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. Because of noise
inside your vehicle, you cannot expect to hear 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.
Figure 2.17
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.
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.
R
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
3
TRACKS
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail
grade crossings, the crossbuck 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.
Figure 2.15
R
AD
RO
R
G
N
I
SS
L
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.
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They consist
of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a no-passing
marking on two-lane roads. See Figure 2.16.
I
RA
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?
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
2.15.4 – Stopping Safely at Railroadhighway Crossings
A full stop is required at grade crossings
whenever:
• T
he 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:
Figure 2.16
• C
heck for traffic behind you while stopping
gradually. Use a pullout lane, if available.
• Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
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.
2.15.5 – Crossing the Tracks
Railroad crossings with steep approaches can
cause your unit to hang up on the tracks.
Crossbuck Signs. This sign marks the grade
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
crossbuck sign. When the road crosses over more
than one set of tracks, a sign below the crossbuck
indicates the number of tracks. See Figure 2.17.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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
Figure 2.18
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-29
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
Do not shift gears while crossing railroad tracks.
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.
2.15.6 – Special Situations
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised
crossings:
• L
ow 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,
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:
•
•
•
•
•
otal weight of the vehicle and cargo.
T
Length of the grade.
Steepness of the grade.
Road conditions.
Weather.
Page 2-30
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
2.17 – Driving Emergencies
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:
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.
• A
pply 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.
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 railroadhighway 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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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 rollover.
Be prepared to “countersteer,” 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 countersteer, you won’t be able to do
it quickly enough. You should think of emergency
steering and countersteering as two parts of one
driving action.
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 something is blocking your path, the best direction
to steer will depend on the situation.
If you have been using your mirrors, you’ll know
which lane is empty and can be safely used.
Page 2-31
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 headon 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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.)
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.
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.
2.17.3 – Brake Failure
Returning to the Road. If you are forced to return
to the road before you can stop, use the following
procedure:
Loss of hydraulic pressure.
Hold the wheel tightly and turn sharply enough
to get right back on the road safely. Don’t try to
edge gradually back on the road. If you do, your
tires might grab unexpectedly and you could lose
control.
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.
When both front tires are on the paved surface,
countersteer immediately. The two turns should be
made as a single “steer-countersteer” move.
2.17.2 – How to Stop Quickly and Safely
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.
Page 2-32
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most
hydraulic brake failures occur for one of two
reasons: (Air brakes are discussed in Section 5.)
Brake fade on long hills.
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear
will help to slow the vehicle.
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, side street,
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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:
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
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
The Department of Transportation requires that
ABS be on:
• T
ruck tractors with air brakes built on or after
March 1, 1997.
Page 2-33
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• O
ther 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.
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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:
• U
se 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.
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.
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
2.18.7 – Braking If ABS Is Not Working
• 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 overaccelerate and don’t have to over-brake or oversteer from too much speed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
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.
2.18.5 – ABS on the Tractor Only or Only on
the Trailer
Page 2-34
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not
always shorten stopping distance.
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip
on the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
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.)
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.
Countersteer. 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 countersteer
in a skid takes a lot of practice. The best place to
get this practice is on a large driving range or “skid
pad.”
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-35
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
2.20.1 – Protect the Area
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
• 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:
• D
on’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.
2.21.1 – Causes of Fire
The following are some causes of vehicle fires:
• A
fter 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.
Page 2-36
Section 2 - Driving Safely
• F
uel. 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:
• P
re-trip 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:
• P
ark 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.
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.
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
AWood, Paper, Ordinary Combustibles
Extinguish by Cooling and Quenching
Using Water or Dry Chemicals
BGasoline, Oil, Grease, Other Greasy Liquids
Extinguish by Smothering, Cooling or
Heat Shielding using carbon Dioxide or
Dry Chemicals
C
Electrical Equipment Fires
Extinguish with Nonconducting Agents
such as Carbon Dioxide or Dry Chemicals.
DO NOT USE WATER.
D
Fires in Combustible Metals
Extinguish
by
Using
Specialized
Extinguishing Powders
Figure 2.20
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-37
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Class of Fire/Type of Extinguisher
240
220
200
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
7 .26 .22 .19 .16 .15 .13 .12 .11
8 .30 .25 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14 .13
9 .34 .28 .24 .21 .19 .17 .15 .14
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.
Driving Skills Significantly Affected Legally Intoxicated
Criminal Penalties
Criminal Penalties
Only Safe
Impairment
Driving Limits Begins
All of the following drinks contain the same amount
of alcohol:
180
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.20 and
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
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.
Body Weight in Pounds
160
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.
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.
140
Test Your Knowledge
2.22.1 – Alcohol and Driving
120
Subsections 2.20 and 2.21
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
100
Figure 2.21
What Is a Drink?
Effects
Fire Extinguisher Type
Regular Dry Chemical
Multi Purpose Dry Chemical
Purple K Dry Chemical
KCL Dry Chemical
Dry Powder Special Compound
Carbon Dioxide (Dry)
Halogenated Agent (Gas)
Water
Water With Anti-Freeze
Water, Loaded Steam Style
Foam
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and
Driving
Drinks
Class of Fire
B or C
A, B, C, or D
D
B or C
D
B or C
B or C
A
A
A or B
B, On Some A
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 2.22
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.
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.
Definite impairment
in
coordination
.08
&
judgment.
Effects on Driving
Condition
Less inhibited.
Less alert, less
self-focused,
coordination
impairment begins.
Drunk driving limit,
impaired
coordination &
judgment.
.10*
Noisy, possible
Reduction in
embarrassing behavior, reaction time.
mood swings.
.15
Impaired balance & movement, clearly drunk.
.30
Many lose consciousness.
Unable to drive.
.40
Most lose
consciousness, some
die.
.50
Breathing stops,
many die.
BAC of .10 means that 1/10 of 1 % (or 1/1000) of your
total blood content is alcohol.
Figure 2.23
Page 2-38
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-39
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
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.
2.23 – Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
Driving a vehicle for long hours is tiring. Even the
best of drivers will become less alert. However,
there are things that good drivers do to help stay
alert and safe.
2.23.1 – Be Ready to Drive
Get Enough Sleep. Sleep is not like money. You
can’t save it up ahead of time and you can’t borrow
it. But, just as with money, you can go into debt
with it. If you don’t sleep enough, you “owe” more
sleep to yourself. This debt can only be paid off
by sleeping. You can’t overcome it with willpower,
and it won’t go away by itself. The average person
needs seven or eight hours of sleep every 24 hours.
Page 2-40
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Leaving on a long trip when you’re already tired is
dangerous. If you have a long trip scheduled, make
sure that you get enough sleep before you go.
Schedule Trips Safely. Try to arrange your schedule
so you are not in “sleep debt” before a long trip.
Your body gets used to sleeping during certain
hours. If you are driving during those hours, you
will be less alert. If possible, try to schedule trips
for the hours you are normally awake. Many heavy
motor vehicle accidents occur between midnight
and 6 a.m. Tired drivers can easily fall asleep at
these times, especially if they don’t regularly drive
at those hours. Trying to push on and finish a long
trip at these times can be very dangerous.
Exercise Regularly. Resistance to fatigue and
improved sleep are among the benefits of regular
exercise. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily
life. Instead of sitting and watching TV in your
sleeper, walk or jog a few laps around the parking
lot. A little bit of daily exercise will give you energy
throughout the day.
Eat Healthy. It is often hard for drivers to find
healthy food. But with a little extra effort, you can
eat healthy, even on the road. Try to find restaurants
with healthy, balanced meals. If you must eat at
fast-food restaurants, pick low-fat items. Another
simple way to reduce your caloric intake is to
eliminate fattening snacks. Instead, try fruit or
vegetables.
Avoid Medication. Many medicines can make
you sleepy. Those that do have a label warning
against operating vehicles or machinery. The most
common medicine of this type is an ordinary cold
pill. If you have to drive with a cold, you are better
off suffering from the cold than from the effects of
the medicine.
Visit Your Doctor. Regular checkups literally can
be lifesavers. Illnesses such as diabetes, heart
disease, and skin and colon cancer can be detected
easily and treated if found in time.
You should consult your physician or a local sleep
disorder center if you suffer from frequent daytime
sleepiness, have difficulty sleeping at night, take
frequent naps, fall asleep at strange times, snore
loudly, gasp and choke in your sleep, and/or wake
up feeling as though you have not had enough
sleep.
2.23.2 – While You Are Driving
Keep Cool. A hot, poorly ventilated vehicle can
make you sleepy. Keep the window or vent cracked
open or use the air conditioner, if you have one.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Take Breaks. Short breaks can keep you alert.
But the time to take them is before you feel
really drowsy or tired. Stop often. Walk around
and inspect your vehicle. It may help to do some
physical exercises.
Be sure to take a mid-afternoon break and plan to
sleep between midnight and 6 a.m.
Recognize the Danger Signals of Drowsy
Driving. Sleep is not voluntary. If you’re drowsy,
you can fall asleep and never even know it. If you
are drowsy, you are likely to have “micro sleeps”–
brief naps that last around four or five seconds.
At 55 miles an hour, that’s more than 100 yards,
and plenty of time for a crash. Even if you are not
aware of being drowsy, if you have a sleep debt
you are still at risk. Here are a few ways to tell if
you’re about to fall asleep. If you experience any
of these danger signs, take them as a warning that
you could fall asleep without meaning to.
• Y
our eyes close or go out of focus by
themselves.
• You have trouble keeping your head up.
• You can’t stop yawning.
• You have wandering, disconnected thoughts.
• You don’t remember driving the last few miles.
• You drift between lanes, tailgate, or miss traffic
signs.
• You keep jerking the truck back into the lane.
• You have drifted off the road and narrowly
missed crashing.
If you have even one of these symptoms, you may
be in danger of falling asleep. Pull off the road in a
safe place and take a nap.
2.23.3 – When You Do Become Sleepy
When you are sleepy, trying to “push on” is far more
dangerous than most drivers think. It is a major
cause of fatal accidents. Here are some important
rules to follow.
Stop to Sleep. When your body needs sleep, sleep
is the only thing that will work. If you have to make
a stop anyway, make it whenever you feel the first
signs of sleepiness, even if it is earlier than you
planned. By getting up a little earlier the next day,
you can keep on schedule without the danger of
driving while you are not alert.
Avoid Drugs. There are no drugs that can
overcome being tired. While they may keep you
awake for a while, they won’t make you alert. And
eventually, you’ll be even more tired than if you
hadn’t taken them at all. Sleep is the only thing that
can overcome fatigue.
Do Not. Do not rely on coffee or another source of
caffeine to keep you awake. Do not count on the
radio, an open window, or other tricks to keep you
awake.
2.23.4 – 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.
2.24 – 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.
2.24.1 – What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation.
See Figure 2.24.
2.24.2 – Why Are There Rules?
You must follow the many rules about transporting
hazardous materials. The intent of the rules is to:
• C
ontain 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.
Take a Nap. If you can’t stop for the night, at least
pull off at a safe place, such as a rest area or truck
stop, and take a nap. A nap as short as a half-hour
will do more to overcome fatigue than a half-hour
coffee stop.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-41
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Class Name
1
Explosives
2
Gases
3
Flammable 4
Flammable
Solids
5
Oxidizers
Poisons
6
Radioactive
7
Corrosives
8
Miscellaneous
9
Hazardous
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
None Material-
Domestic)
Combustible
None
Liquids
Example
Ammunition,
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Helium
Gasoline Fuel, Acetone
Matches, Fuses
Ammonium
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides
Arsenic
Uranium
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Battery Acid
Formaldehyde,
Asbestos
Hair Spray or
Charcoal
Fuel Oils,
Lighter Fluid
Figure 2.24
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a
shipping paper and diamond shaped hazard labels
to warn dockworkers and drivers of the risk.
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 carried.
Your life, and the lives of others, may depend on
quickly locating the hazardous materials shipping
papers. For that reason, you must tab 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.
2.24.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 are 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) identifies the chemicals all
identification numbers are assigned to.
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 certain
vehicles that transport liquids or gases. The liquid
or gas does not have to be a hazardous material.
A tank endorsement is only required if your vehicle
needs a Class A or B CDL and your vehicle has a
permanently mounted cargo tank of any capacity;
or your vehicle is carrying a portable tank with a
capacity of 1,000 gallons or more.
PLACARDS
EXPLOSIVES
EXPLOSIVES
1.1
1.6
2
2
Subsections 2.22, 2.23, and 2.24
Test Your Knowledge
BLASTING
AGENTS
FLAMMABLE
GAS
NON-FLAMMABLE
GAS
2
2
OXYGEN
W
2
2. What should you do if you become sleepy while
driving?
3. Coffee and a little fresh air will help a drinker
sober up. True or False?
FLAMMABLE
GAS
COMBUSTIBLE
FLAMMABLE
GAS
2
3
2
3
FLAMMABLE SOLID
OXIDIZER
4
5.1
2
4. What is a hazardous materials placard?
5. Why are placards used?
6. What is “sleep debt”?
7. What are the danger signals of drowsy driving?
POISON
RADIOACTIVE
POISON
GAS
6
7
2
FLAMMABLE SOLID
1. Common medicines for colds can make you
sleepy. True or False?
CORROSIVE
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.22, 2.23,
and 2.24.
8
4
DANGEROUS
6
ORGANIC
PEROXIDE
HARMFUL
5.2
2
6
STOW AWAY
FROM
FOODSTUFFS
Figure 2.25
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.
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 further. 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.
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
Page 2-42
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-43
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 pre-trip 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.
Page 2-44
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
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:
• A
fter 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 (GVW). The total weight of
a single vehicle plus its load.
Gross Combination Weight (GCW). The total
weight of a powered unit, plus trailer(s), plus the
cargo.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The
maximum GVW specified by the manufacturer for
a single vehicle plus its load.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). The
maximum GCW specified by the manufacturer for
a specific combination of vehicles plus its load.
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 GVWs, GCWs, 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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
LOADING CARGO
Wrong
Right
Wrong
Right
Wrong
Right
Wrong
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.
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
There are two basic reasons for covering cargo:
• To protect people from spilled cargo.
• To protect the cargo from weather.
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.
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
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.
Cargo should have at least one tiedown 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 tiedowns.
Wrong
Right
Figure 3.1
3.3.2 – Cargo Tiedown
On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo
must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling off.
In closed vans, tiedowns can also be important to
prevent cargo shifting that may affect the handling
of the vehicle. Tiedowns 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
tiedown equipment must be used, including ropes,
straps, chains, and tensioning devices (winches,
ratchets, clinching components). Tiedowns 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.
Spill protection is a safety requirement in many
states. Be familiar with the laws in the states you
drive in.
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.
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 flat bed 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.
Figure 3.2
Page 3-2
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
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
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.
Section 3
Test Your Knowledge
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 tiedowns for
any flat bed load?
7.What is the minimum number of tiedowns 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
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 4
TRANSPORTING
PASSENGERS SAFELY
4.1.3 – Bus Interior
•
•
•
•
•
•
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:
Vehicle Inspection
Loading
On the Road
After-trip Vehicle Inspection
Prohibited Practices
Use of Brake-door Interlocks
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:
• S
ervice 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
regrooved tires).
• Horn.
• Windshield wiper or wipers.
• Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
• Coupling devices (if present).
• Wheels and rims.
• Emergency equipment.
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
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
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.
Page 3-4
4.1.2 – Access Doors and Panels
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
• E
ach 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:
• A
llow 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
1
Explosives
2
Gases
3
Flammable
4
Flammable
Solids
5
Oxidizers 6
Poisons
7
Radioactive
8
Corrosives
Miscellaneous
9
Hazardous
Materials
ORM-D
None (Other Regulated
Material-
Domestic)
None Combustible
Liquids
Figure 4.1
Page 4-2
Example
Ammunition,
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
Acetone
Matches, Fuses
Ammonium
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Arsenic
Uranium,
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Battery Acid
Formaldehyde,
Asbestos
Hair Spray or
Charcoal
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Fluid
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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:
• D
ivision 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:
•
•
•
•
he location.
T
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.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
4.3 – On the Road
4.3.5 – Railroad-highway Crossings Stops
4.3.1 – Passenger Supervision
Stop at RR Crossings:
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.
• S
top 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.
• 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:
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.
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.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
 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:
• T
here 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.
Page 4-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 5
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.
AIR BRAKES
This Section Covers
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.
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.
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.
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.
Section 4
Test Your Knowledge
The service brake system applies and releases
the brakes when you use the brake pedal during
normal driving.
1. Name some things to check in the interior of a
bus during a pre-trip 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?
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.
5.1.2 – 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.
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System
There are many parts to an air brake system. You
should know about the parts discussed here.
Air Tank
5.1.1 – Air Compressor

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.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Manual Draining Valve
Figure 5.1
Page 4-4
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
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.)
Brake chamber
Brake drum
Slack adjuster
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.
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
Adjusting nut
Axle
Brake cam
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
5.1.10 – Application Pressure Gauge
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.
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.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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.
5.1.14 – Spring Brakes
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.
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.
Page 5-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
TRACTOR PROTECTION VALVE
& EMERGENCY TRAILER
BRAKE OPERATION
(SINGLE CIRCUIT SYSTEM)
Hand valve
Trac tor
Tractor protection valve
P res s ure G auge
F oot Valve
F ront
B rakes
Trailer
R es ervoir
C ompres s or
EMERGENCY SPRING
BRAKE RELEASE
PULL TO APPLY
Dry
One-Way
C hec k Valve
Quic k
R eleas e
Valve
PULL TO APPLY
PUSH TO HOLD
PULL TO APPLY
BLUE
PUSH AND
HOLD
TO CHAR
GE
SH
PU
NO
T
Wet
PARKING BRAKES
PULL TO APPLY
PARKING
BRAKES
TRAILER
AIR SUPPLY
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
PULL TO APPLY
PUSH TO
RELEASE
G
IN
F O R P AR K
Trailer
B rake
C hambers
P arking B rake
and E mergenc y
B rake Valve (Yellow)
BRAKES
RELEASE
TRACTOR
PROTECTION
Trailer
Highway 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.
Trac tor P rotec tion
Valve
E mergenc y
G lad Hands
E mergenc y
R elay Valve
Figure 5.4
RED
YELLOW
PUSH TO
RELEASE
PUSH TO
RELEASE
Figure 5.3
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.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
Page 5-4
AIR BRAKE SYSTEM COMPONENTS AND LOCATION
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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.
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
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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.
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.
Page 5-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
5.3.2 – During Step 5 Walkaround
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.
automatic slack adjusters is dangerous because it
gives the vehicle operator a false sense of security
about the effectiveness of the braking system.
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.

DIFF
LOCK
LOW
OIL
WATER
LOW
AIR
Light
(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.
LOW PRESSURE WARNING
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.
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
Page 5-6
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

5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
tractor-trailer 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.
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air
system (typically 125 psi), turn off the engine,
release the parking brake, 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. Then
apply 90 psi or more with the brake pedal. After the
initial pressure drop, 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.
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
buildup from 50 to 90 psi within 3 minutes with the
engine at an idle speed of 600-900 rpms.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Page 5-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsections 5.2 and 5.3
Test Your Knowledge
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?
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
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
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
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
(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 + Effective Stopping 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.
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
is the time required for the brakes to work after
the brake pedal is pushed. With hydraulic brakes
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely
control a vehicle, every brake must do its share of
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, diamondshaped 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).
Page 5-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
Never leave your vehicle unattended without
applying the parking brakes or chocking the
wheels. Your vehicle might roll away and cause
injury and damage.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 do 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.
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.
Avoid quick lane changes, especially when fully
loaded.
Page 5-10
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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 crack-the-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-thewhip 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 five-axle 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.
Page 6-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
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 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.
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 weigh
variables on the stability and control properties of
heavy trucks, “University of Michigan Transportation
Research Institute, 1983).
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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 offtracking or “cheating.” Figure 6.3
shows how offtracking causes the path followed
by a tractor to be wider than the rig itself. Longer
vehicles will offtrack more. The rear wheels of the
powered unit (truck or tractor) will offtrack some,
and the rear wheels of the trailer will offtrack even
more. If there is more than one trailer, the rear
wheels of the last trailer will offtrack the most. Steer
the front end wide enough around a corner so the
rear end does not run over the curb, pedestrians,
etc. However, keep the rear of your vehicle close to
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
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 offtracking?
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 of 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
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
pressure is low (in the range of 20 to 45 psi). When
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.
6.2.4 – Trailer Air Lines
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.)
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.
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).
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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.
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
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
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 air
lines. 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.
Page 6-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
6.2.8 – Trailer Service, Parking and
Emergency Brakes
D
EMERGENCY LINE
Truc k L ine
Trailer L ine
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B
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SERVICE LINE
Figure 6.6
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.
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.
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.
6.3.1 – Trailers Required to Have ABS
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Subsection 6.2
Test Your Knowledge
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.
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?
6.4.1 – Coupling Tractor-Semitrailers
Step 1. Inspect Fifth Wheel
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.2.
Figure 6.7
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
6.2.7 – Shut-off Valves
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.
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.
Page 6-6
6.3 – Antilock Brake Systems
• 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.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• C
heck 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
• P
ut 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.)
• C
heck position, using outside mirrors, by looking
down both sides of the trailer.
Step 4. Back Slowly
• Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
• Don’t hit the trailer.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
• Put on the parking brake.
• Put transmission in neutral.
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
• C
heck 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.
Page 6-8
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• M
ake 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
• F
rom 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.
• W
hen you are sure trailer brakes are working,
start engine.
• Make sure air pressure is up to normal.
Step 9. Lock Trailer Brakes
• P
ull out the “air supply” knob or move the
tractor protection valve control from “normal” to
“emergency.”
Step 10. Back Under 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 11. Check Connection for Security
• 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 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
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
• 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.
The following steps will help you to uncouple safely.
Step 14. Connect the Electrical Cord and
Check Air Lines
• P
lug 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)
• U
se low gear range (if so equipped) to begin
raising the landing gear. Once free of weight,
switch to the high gear range.
• 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
• R
emove and store wheel chocks in a safe
place.
Step 1. Position Rig
• M
ake sure surface of parking area can support
weight of trailer.
• H
ave 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.
• E
ase pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by
backing up gently. (This will help you release the
fifth wheel locking lever.)
• P
ut 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
• C
hock 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.
Step 5. Disconnect Air Lines and Electrical
Cable
• D
isconnect air lines from trailer. Connect air line
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
• R
aise 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.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
• P
ull 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).
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
6.5.1 – Additional Things to Check During a
Walkaround Inspection
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2.
Coupling System Areas
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 hits the trailer, during turns.
Step 8. Secure Tractor
• Check fifth wheel (lower).
Landing Gear
• A
pply parking brake.
• Place transmission in neutral.
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.
• F
ully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
• Crank handle in place and secured.
• If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
• M
ake sure ground is supporting trailer.
• Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
• R
elease 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.
Kingpin

Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
 BASE
 SHANK
 HEAD
Kingpin
Figure 6.8
• Check fifth wheel (upper).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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 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.)
• Sliding fifth wheel.
Slide not damaged or parts missing.
Properly greased.
Page 6-10
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
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 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
7.1.7 – Parking the Vehicle
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.
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.
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 “crackthe-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.
7.1.3 – 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.
7.1.4 – Look Far Ahead
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.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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.
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.)
7.1.1 – Prevent Trailer from Rolling Over
Page 6-12
7.1.5 – Manage Space
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
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
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.
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.
Page 7-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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:
• P
osition 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
• B
ack 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
• M
ake sure trailer brakes are locked and/or
wheels chocked.
Page 7-2
• M
ake 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 shutoff 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
• P
ark 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
• L
ower 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
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple
Trailers
Couple Tractor/First Semitrailer to Second/
Third Trailers
• C
ouple tractor to first trailer. Use the method
already described for coupling tractorsemitrailers.
• 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
• U
ncouple 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
double-bottom 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 Walkaround Inspection.
Coupling System Areas
• Check fifth wheel (lower).



Securely mounted to frame.
No missing or damaged parts.
Enough grease.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
No visible space between upper and lower
fifth wheel.
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
• F
ully 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
• S
hut-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.
• B
e 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
Walkaround Inspection
Do these checks in addition to subsection 5.3,
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
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.)
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.
Page 7-4
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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 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.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
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 permanently mounted cargo tank
rated at 119 gallons or more or a portable tank rated
at 1,000 gallons or more. 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.
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose Equipment
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment,
make sure it works:
•
•
•
•
•
apor recovery kits.
V
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.
8.1.1 – Leaks
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:
• C
heck 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.
• Check manhole covers and vents. Make sure the
covers have gaskets and they close correctly.
Keep the vents clear so they work correctly.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
Figure 8.1
8.2.1 – High Center of Gravity
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.
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
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.
Page 8-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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:
• T
he 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:
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
Page 8-2
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
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
9.2 – Hazardous Materials
Transportation—Who Does What
9.3 – Communication Rules
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:
Proper shipping name.
Hazard class.
Identification number.
Packing group.
Correct packaging.
Correct label and markings.
Correct placards.
9.1.3 – Assure Safe Drivers and Equipment
Must package, mark, and label the materials;
prepare shipping papers; provide emergency
response information; and supply placards.
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:
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).
• Identify what are hazardous materials.
• Safely load shipments.
• Properly placard your vehicle in accordance
with the rules.
• Safely transport shipments.
9.2.2 – The Carrier
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.
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.
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.
Hazardous Materials Class
Division
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
9.3.1 – Definitions
Class
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
9.3.2 – Package Labels
Flammable Solids
Spontaneously
Combustible
Dangerous When Wet
Ammonium Picrate,
Wetted
White Phosphorus
Sodium
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.
-
4.1
4.2
4
4.3
Fluorine, Compressed
Poison (Toxic
Material)
Infectious
Substances
Potassium Cyanide
7
-
Radioactive
Uranium
Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
8
-
Corrosives
Battery Fluid
Placards vehicle when loading, if required.
9
-
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCB)
e
-
ORM-D (Other
Regulated Material-
Domestic)
Food Flavorings,
Medicines
Combustible Liquids
Fuel Oil
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.
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.
Examples
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
6.1
6
6.2
Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked, and
labeled the hazardous materials properly.
Shippers to describe hazardous materials correctly
and include an emergency response telephone
number on shipping papers.
Mass Explosives
Projection Hazards
Fire Hazards
Minor Explosion
Very Insensitive
Extremely Insensitive
1
Ammonium Nitrate
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Peroxide
9.2.3 – The Driver
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:
Name of Class or
Division
5.1 Oxidizers
5
5.2 Organic Peroxides
Reports accidents and incidents involving
hazardous materials to the proper government
agency.
and manifests are all shipping papers. Figure 9.6
shows an example shipping paper.
-
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.
Anthrax Virus
Figure 9.1
A shipping paper describes the hazardous materials
being transported. Shipping orders, bills of lading,
Examples of HAZMAT Labels. Figure 9.2
Page 9-2
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• S
ection 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.
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.
Six different symbols may appear in Column 1 of
the table.
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:
Page 9-4
(+)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.
(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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
49 CFER 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table
Packaging (173.***)
Hazardous Materials
Hazard
Special
Class or Identification
PG Label Provisions
Symbols Description & Proper
Numbers
Codes
Shipping Names
Di vision
(172.1010)
Exceptions
Non
Bulk
Bulk
(1)
(2)
A
Acetaldehyde ammonia 9
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8A)
(8B)
(8C)
UN1841
III
9
IB8, IP6
155
204
240
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:
• M
aterial’s hazard class.
• Amount being shipped.
• Amount of all hazardous materials of all classes
on your vehicle.
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
appear on the shipping paper as part of the shipping
description and also appear on the package. It
also must appear on cargo tanks and other bulk
packaging. Police and firefighters use this number
to quickly identify the hazardous materials.
Column 5 shows the packing group (in Roman
numeral) assigned to a material.
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 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
Page 9-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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”.
Page 9-6
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
9.3.5 – The Item Description
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
Phosgene,
UN1076
Poison,
Hazard,
Zone A
2.3,
Weight
25 lbs
Inhalation
(“RQ”
means that
(Phosgene is the proper
this is a
name
from
reportable shipping
Column 2 of the Hazardous
quantity.)
Materials Table.) (2.3 is the
Hazard Class from Column
3 of the Hazardous Materials
Table.) (Un1076 is the
Identification Number from
Column 4 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 United
States 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
9.3.4 – The Shipping Paper
The shipping paper shown in Figure 9.6 describes
a shipment. A shipping paper for hazardous
materials must include:
• P
age 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”.
• 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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and
non-hazardous products, the hazardous materials
will be either:
• D
escribed first.
• Highlighted in a contrasting color.
• Identified by an “X” placed before the shipping
name in a column captioned “HM”. The letters
“RQ” may be used instead of “X” if a reportable
quantity is present in one package.
The basic description of hazardous materials
includes the proper shipping name, hazard class
or division, the identification number, and the
packing group, if any, in that order. The packing
group is displayed in Roman numerals and may be
preceded by “PG”.
Shipping name, hazard class, and identification
number must not be abbreviated unless specifically
authorized in the hazardous materials regulations.
The description must also show:
• T
he total quantity and unit of measure.
• The letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
• If the letters RQ appear, the name of the
hazardous substance.
• 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. 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. Some hazardous materials do not need
a telephone number. You should check the
regulations to determine which do need a
telephone number.
• 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. It must
include information on the shipping name of
the hazardous materials, risks to health, fire,
explosion, and initial methods of handling spills,
fires, and leaks of the materials.
Such information can be on the shipping paper
or some other document that includes the basic
description and technical name of the hazardous
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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 must appear before or after the basic
description. The packaging type and the unit of
measurement may be abbreviated. For example:
10 ctns. Paint, 3, UN1263, 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:
Waste Acetone, 3, UN1090, PG II.
A non-hazardous material may not be described by
using a hazard class or an identification number.
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
packaging. Some carriers have additional rules
about transporting hazardous materials. Follow
your employer’s rules when accepting shipments.
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
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:
• T
he name and address of shipper or
consignee.
• The hazardous material’s shipping name and
identification number.
• The labels required.
Page 9-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
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.
9.3.10 – Placarding
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:
• A
n 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:
• W
hat 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.
• Is a hazard class label, proper shipping name,
or identification number on the package?
• Are there any handling precautions?
9.3.9 – Hazardous Waste Manifest
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.
Page 9-8
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:
• E
asily 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:
• T
he 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
the package. Add the amounts from all shipping
papers for all the Table 2 products you have on
board. See Figure 9.8.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Placard Table 1
Placard Table 2
Any Amount
1,001 Pounds Or More
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:
• Y
ou 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
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?
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
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.
Never transport damaged packages of explosives.
Do not take a package that shows any dampness
or oily stain.
Cargo Heater Rules. There are special cargo heater
rules for loading:
• Class 1 (Explosives)
• Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
• Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and
9.3.
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.
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have
overhang or tailgate loads of:
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.
• 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.
Many products become more hazardous when
exposed to heat. Load hazardous materials away
from heat sources.
Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
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.
Class 1 (Explosives) Materials. Turn your engine
off before loading or unloading any explosives.
Then check the cargo space. You must:
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 4.1 (Flammable Solids)
Class 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible)
Class 5 (Oxidizers)
Page 9-10
Precautions for Specific Hazards
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.
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
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 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.
Never load corrosive liquids next to or above:
•
•
•
•
•
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
Page 9-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
Page 9-12
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:
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
•
•
•
•
•
Be alert.
Have a clear view of the cargo tank.
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.
There are special attendance rules for cargo tanks
transporting propane and anhydrous ammonia.
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 – Hazardous Materials -- Driving and
Parking Rules
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
Explosives
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:
• 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:
• B
e 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.
Page 9-13
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:
• T
ank 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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.1 (gases). Also, do not smoke or carry a lighted
cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of any vehicle,
which contains:
•
•
•
•
•
•
lass 1 (Explosives)
C
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases)
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids)
Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible)
Class 5 (Oxidizers)
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.
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.
9.6.9 – Check Tires
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.
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.
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
Page 9-14
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Check
placarded vehicles with dual tires at the start of
each trip and when you park. You must check
the tires each time you stop. The only acceptable
way to check tire pressure is to use a tire pressure
gauge.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
When not behind the wheel, leave shipping papers
in the driver’s door pouch or on the driver’s seat.
9.7.1 – Emergency Response Guidebook
(ERG)
Emergency response information must be kept in
the same location as the shipping paper.
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.
Papers for Division 1.1, 1.2 or, 1.3 Explosives.
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:
• T
he 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:
•
•
•
•
hipping papers.
S
Written emergency instructions.
Written route plan.
A copy of FMCSR, Part 397.
9.6.11 – Equipment for Chlorine
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.
9.6.12 – Stop Before Railroad Crossings
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
9.7.2 – Crashes/Incidents
As a professional driver, your job at the scene of a
crash or an incident is to:
• K
eep 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:
•
•
•
•
•
•
heck to see that your driving partner is OK.
C
Keep shipping papers with you.
Keep people far away and upwind.
Warn others of the danger.
Call for help.
Follow your employer’s instructions.
9.7.3 – Fires
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.
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.
Page 9-15
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
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:
•
•
•
•
ark it.
P
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.
Page 9-16
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 everyone 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.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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.
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.
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.
9.7.5 – Required Notification
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:
•
•
•
•
person is killed.
A
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
• F
ire, 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:
•
•
•
•
•
•
heir name.
T
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.
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.
Be prepared to give your employer the required
information as well. Carriers must make detailed
written reports within 30 days of an incident.
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.
Page 9-17
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Radioactive Separation
Hazard Class Definitions
None
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
MINIMUM DISTANCE IN FEET TO
NEAREST UNDEVELOPED FILM
TO PEOPLE OR CARGO
COMPARTMENT
PARTITIONS
TOTAL
INDEX
TRANSPORT
Table A
0-2.
Hrs.
2-4
Hrs.
4-8
Hrs.
8-12
Hrs.
Over 12
Hrs.
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
1
3
4
6
8
11
2
4
6
9
11
15
3
5
8
12
16
22
4
7
10
15
20
29
5
8
11
17
22
33
6
9
12
19
24
36
Figure 9.10
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III
labeled packages near people, animals, or film
longer than shown in 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 9.12.
Page 9-18
Table B
Class
Class Name
1
Explosives
2
Gases
3
Flammable 4
Flammable
Solids
5
Oxidizers
6
Poisons
7
Radioactive
8
Corrosives
Miscellaneous
9
Hazardous
Materials
ORM-D (Other
None
Regulated
Material-
Domestic)
None
Combustible
Liquids
Example
Ammunition,
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
Acetone
Matches, Fuses
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)?
Carrier – A person engaged in the transportation
of passengers or property by:
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.6 and 9.7.
Consignee – The business or person to whom a
shipment is delivered.
Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary
Ammonium
Nitrate, Hydrogen Peroxide
Pesticides,
Arsenic
Uranium,
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Battery Acid
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.
Formaldehyde,
Asbestos
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:
Hair Spray or
Charcoal
Fuel Oils, Lighter
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?
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
1.Land or water as a common, contract, or private
carrier, or
2. Civil aircraft.
(Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.)
Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations.
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.
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.
Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of the
packaging plus the weight of its contents.
Cargo tank - A bulk packaging which:
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.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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 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
Page 9-19
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
10
100,000
2
.2
.02
.002
Figure 9.12
20,000
2,000
200
20
5,000
(2,270)
1,000 (45)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
1 (0.454)
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.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Name of contents – The proper shipping name as
specified in Sec. 172.101.
Technical name – A recognized chemical name or
microbiological name currently used in scientific
and technical handbooks, journals, and texts.
Proper shipping name – The name of the
hazardous materials shown in Roman print (not
italics) in Sec. 172.101.
Limited quantity – The maximum amount of a
hazardous material for which there may be specific
labeling or packaging exception.
Mixture – A material composed of more than one
chemical compound or element.
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.
“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)
Page 9-20
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-21
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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 50 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.
Page 9-22
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Section 10 - School Buses
Page 10-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
LEFT AND RIGHT SIDE
CROSSOVER MIRRORS
Crossover Mirror
Crossover Mirror
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.
SCHOOL BUS
SCHOOL BUS
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:
Figure 10.4
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
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:
• T
he 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
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
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:
• T
he 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.
Page 10-2
Section 10 - School Buses
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:
• T
he 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.
• A
pproach 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 100-300
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.
• 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.
• Open service door, if possible, enough to
activate alternating red lights when traffic is a
safe distance from the school bus.
• Make a final check to see that all traffic has
stopped before completely opening the door
and signaling students to approach.
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
Page 10-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
• P
erform 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.
• W
hen 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
• P
erform 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.
Page 10-4
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• C
ount the number of students while unloading
to confirm the location of all students before
pulling away from the stop.
• 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.
Upon your signal, the students should:
• When
all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
Note: The school bus driver should enforce any
state or local regulations or recommendations
concerning student actions outside the school
bus.







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.
• W
hen 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:
• W
alk 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:
• S
top 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.
Section 10 - School Buses
• C
ross 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.
• Look for traffic in both directions, making sure
roadway is clear.
• Proceed across the roadway, continuing to look
in all directions.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
• 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.
• W
hen it is safe, pull away from the unloading
area.
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and
Unloading
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.
Dropped or Forgotten Objects. Always focus on
students as they approach the bus and watch for
any who disappear from sight.
When unloading at the school you should follow
these procedures:
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.
• P
erform 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.
• H
ave 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.
Section 10 - School Buses
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.
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:
•
•
•
•
rticles left on the bus.
A
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.
Page 10-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Any problems or special situations should be
reported immediately to your supervisor or school
authorities.
• T
here is an imminent danger of collision.
• There is a need to quickly evacuate because of
a hazardous materials spill.
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
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.
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.
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.
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. The driver must evacuate
the bus when:
• T
he 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.
Page 10-6
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.
Section 10 - School Buses
• 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.
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.
• D
irect 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.
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 crossbucks to
assist you in recognizing a crossing.
ROUND YELLOW
WARNING SIGN
R
R
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.
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.
Section 10 - School Buses
Page 10-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
PAVEMENT
MARKINGS
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
MULTIPLE TRACKS
I
RA
SS
L
R
Figure 10.6
O
R
C
AD
RO
R
G
N
I
3
TRACKS
Figure 10.7
Crossbuck 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 crossbuck sign.
When the road crosses over more than one set of
tracks, a sign below the crossbuck indicates the
number of tracks. See Figure 10.7.
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
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:
top no closer than 15 feet and no farther
S
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.

• 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.
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail
grade crossings, the crossbuck 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.
• Approaching the Crossing:
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.
Section 10 - School Buses
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.
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.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
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.
Tips on handling serious problems:
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.
Section 10 - School Buses
• F
ollow 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.
Page 10-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• 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:
• A
ir 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.
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:
• U
se 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.
Page 10-10
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
10.6.4 – Braking if ABS is Not Working
10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
10.7.1 – Strobe 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.
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.
10.7.4 – Tail Swing
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.
10.7.2 – Driving in High Winds
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
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.
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
If you are caught in strong winds:
• A
BS 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.
• 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.
Section 10 - School Buses
• 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.
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:
• P
ost 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.
Section 10
Test Your Knowledge
1. D
efine 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.
• 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.
Section 10 - School Buses
Page 10-11
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 11
Pre-trip Vehicle
Inspection Test
This Section Covers
•
•
Internal Inspection
External Inspection
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:
• T
ell 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.
11.1 All Vehicles
Safe Start
• Depress clutch.
• Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for
automatic transmissions).
• Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
11.1.1 Engine Compartment (Engine Off)
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Leaks/Hoses
Oil Pressure Gauge
• L
ook for puddles on the ground.
• Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine
and transmission.
• Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
Oil Level
• Indicate where dipstick is located.
• See that oil level is within safe operating range.
Level must be above refill mark.
Coolant Level
• Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
• (If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and
check for visible coolant level.
Power Steering Fluid
• Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is
located.
• Check for adequate power steering fluid level.
Level must be above refill mark.
Section 10 - School Buses
• Check
the following belts for snugness (up to
3/4 inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays:
During the pre-trip inspection, you must show that
the vehicle is safe to drive. You may 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.
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.
Page 10-12
Engine Compartment Belts
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
• M
ake 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.
Temperature Gauge
• M
ake sure the temperature gauge is working.
• Temperature should begin to climb to the normal
operating range or temperature light should be
off.
Air Gauge
• M
ake sure the air gauge is working properly.
• Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly
120-140 psi.
Ammeter/Voltmeter
• C
heck that gauges show alternator and/or
generator is charging or that warning light is
off.
Page 11-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Mirrors and Windshield
• M
irrors should be clean and adjusted properly
from the inside.
• Windshield should be clean with no illegal
stickers, no obstructions, or damage to the
glass.
Brake lights.
Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors
(elsewhere).
Reflector tape condition
Note: Checks of brake, turn signal and four-way
flasher functions must be done separately.
Emergency Equipment
Horn
• C
heck for spare electrical fuses.
• Check for three red reflective triangles.
• Check for a properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
• Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical
fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.
Parking Brake Check
Steering Play
• N
on-power steering: Check for excessive play
by turning steering wheel back and forth. Play
should not exceed 10 degrees (or about two
inches on a 20-inch wheel).
• Power steering: With the engine running,
check for excessive play by turning the steering
wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed
10 degrees (or about two inches on a 20-inch
wheel) before front left wheel barely moves.
Wipers/Washers
• C
heck that wiper arms and blades are secure,
not damaged, and operate smoothly.
• If equipped, windshield washers must operate
correctly.
Lights/Reflectors/Reflector Tape Condition
(Sides & Rear)
• Test
that dash indicators work
corresponding lights are turned on:
when
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.
Page 11-2
Heater/Defroster
• Test that the heater and defroster work.
• W
ith 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.
Hydraulic Brake Check
• P
ump the brake pedal three times, then hold it
down for five seconds. The brake pedal should
not move (depress) during the five seconds.
• If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve (backup) 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.
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped
Vehicles Only)
• 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:
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Shut off the engine, chock your wheels, if
necessary, release the tractor protection
valve and parking brake (push in), fully
apply the foot brake and hold it 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).
Begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly
applying and releasing the foot brake. Low
air warning devices (buzzer, light, flag)
should activate before air pressure drops
below 60 psi.
Continue to fan off the air pressure. At
approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer
combination vehicle, 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).
Service 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.
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.
Safety Belt
Check that the safety belt is securely mounted,
adjusts, latches properly and is not ripped or
frayed.
11.2.2 – Suspension
Springs/Air/Torque
• L
ook 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
• L
ook 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
• S
ee 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).
11.2.3 – Brakes
• S
lack Adjustors and Pushrods
• 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.
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
Brake Chambers
11.2.1– Steering
• S
ee that brake chambers are not leaking,
cracked, or dented and are mounted securely.
Steering Box/Hoses
• C
heck 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.
Steering Linkage
• S
ee 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.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Brake Hoses/Lines
• L
ook for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines,
and couplings.
Drum Brake
• C
heck 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.
Page 11-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Brake Linings
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle
• O
n 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.
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
Note: Be prepared to perform the same brake
components inspection on every axle (power unit
and trailer, if equipped).
• C
heck 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.
11.2.4 – Wheels
Fuel Tank
Rims
• C
heck that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight,
and that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
• C
heck 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, or inflation by striking
tires with a mallet or other similar device.
Battery/Box
• W
herever located, see that battery(s) are
secure, connections are tight, and cell caps are
present.
• Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
• Battery box and cover or door must be secure.
Drive Shaft
• S
ee that drive shaft is not bent or cracked.
• Couplings should be secure and free of foreign
objects.
Exhaust System
Note: You will not get credit if you simply kick the
tires to check for proper inflation.
• C
heck system for damage and signs of leaks
such as rust or carbon soot.
• System should be connected tightly and
mounted securely.
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
Frame
• S
ee that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are
not leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil
level is adequate.
• L
ook for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the longitudinal frame members,
cross members, box, and floor.
Lug Nuts
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
• C
heck 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.
Splash Guards
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.
• If equipped, check that splash guards or
mud flaps are not damaged and are mounted
securely.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
• C
heck 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.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same wheel
inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if
equipped).
Page 11-4
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
• 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.
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
Kingpin/Apron/Gap
Air/Electric Lines
• L
isten 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
• C
heck that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Mounting Bolts
• L
ook 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
• C
heck to see that the hitch release lever is in
place and is secure.
Locking Jaws
• L
ook 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
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.
5th Wheel Skid Plate
• C
heck 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.
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
• C
heck for cracks or breaks in the platform
structure which supports the fifth wheel skid
plate.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
• If equipped, make sure the release arm is in
the engaged position and the safety latch is in
place.
• C
heck 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 laying flat on the fifth
wheel skid plate (no gap).
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
• C
heck that the sliding pintle is secured with no
loose or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is
in place.
Tongue or Draw-bar
• C
heck 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.
Tongue Storage Area
• C
heck 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.
11.3 – School Bus Only
Emergency Equipment
• 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
Page 11-5
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Lighting Indicators
• 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.
Lights/Reflectors
• 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.
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.
Stop Arm
• 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.
Passenger Entry/Lift
• C
heck 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.
• 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
Page 11-6
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
must be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exit
• M
ake 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
• L
ook 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
• C
heck 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
• C
heck 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.
• Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
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
• L
ook 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
• P
lease refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures regarding the
following components:
are working.
Passenger Seating
• L
ook 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.
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
Doors/Mirrors
• C
heck 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
Wheels.
Suspension system.
Brakes.
Doors/ties/lift.
Splash guards.
• S
ee that the vehicle is sitting level (front and
rear), and if air-equipped, check for audible air
leaks from the suspension system.
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
• S
ee that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks
from tank(s) or lines.
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
Passenger Entry/Lift
Fuel Tank(s)
Baggage Compartments
• C
heck that baggage and all other exterior
compartment doors are not damaged, operate
properly, and latch securely.
• C
heck 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.
• W
herever 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.
Emergency Exits
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/ Transit Bus
• M
ake sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely
from the inside.
• Check that any emergency exit warning devices
Remainder of Vehicle
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Battery/Box
• P
lease refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures for the remainder
of the vehicle.
• Remember, the pre-trip vehicle inspection must
be passed before you can proceed to the basic
vehicle control skills test.
Page 11-7
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
11.6 – Taking the CDL Pre-trip Inspection
Test
11.6.1 – Class A Pre-trip Inspection Test
• If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will
be required to perform a full pre-trip inspection
in the vehicle you have brought with you for
testing.
• The test will include an engine start, an in-cabinspection, and an inspection of the coupling
system. Then your test will require an inspection
of the entire vehicle, which your CDL Examiner
will explain to you.
11.6.2 – Class B and C Pre-trip Inspection
Test
• If you are applying for a Class B or Class C CDL,
you will be required to perform a full pre-trip
inspection in the vehicle you have brought with
you for testing.
• The test will include an engine start and an incab inspection. Then your test will require an
inspection of the entire 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).
Note: Buses should be inspected on passenger entry side first. On the
opposite side of the bus, only cover items not already inspected on the
passenger entry side.
Page 11-8
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-9
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 12
Basic Vehicle Control
Skills Test
Please Note: Until future CDL controlled skills
change in 2009 and are established at each MVA
branch office, the test maneuvers will continue
to be:
•
•
•
•
orward stop
F
Straight line backing
Parallel park (driver side/conventional)
Alley Dock
This Section Covers
• Skills Test Exercises
• Skills Test Scoring
Your basic control skills will be tested using one
or more of the following exercises off-road or
somewhere on the street during the road test:
•
•
•
•
•
traight line backing
S
Offset back/right
Offset back/left
Parallel park (driver side).
Parallel park (conventional).
These exercises are shown in Figures 12-1 through
12-5.
12.1 SCORING
• C
rossing Boundaries (encroachments)
• Pull-ups
• Final Position
Encroachments – The examiner will score the
number of times you touch or cross over an
exercise boundary line with any portion of your
vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an error.
Pull-ups – When a driver stops and reverses
direction 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 pull-ups. However, an excessive number of
pull-ups, will count as errors.
Final Position – 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.
Page 11-10
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
12.2 EXERCISES
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
ou may be asked to back your vehicle in a straight
Y
line between two rows of cones without touching
or crossing over the exercise boundaries. Moving
a cone results in an automatic failure.
(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 and back your vehicle into that
space without striking the side or rear boundaries
marked by cones. You must place your vehicle
completely into the space. Moving a cone results
in an automatic failure. (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 and back your vehicle into that space
without striking the side or rear boundaries marked
by cones. You must place your vehicle completely
into the space. Moving a cone results in an
automatic failure. (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
parking space and back into it bringing the rear
of your vehicle as close as possible to the rear of
the space without crossing side or rear boundaries
marked by cones. You are required to get your
vehicle completely into the space. Climbing the
curb or moving a cone results in an automatic
failure.
(See Figure 12.4)
12.2.5 – Parallel Park (Conventional)
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking
space that is on your right. You are to drive past
the parking space and back into it bringing the rear
of your vehicle as close as possible to the rear of
the space without crossing side or rear boundaries
marked by cones. You are required to get your
vehicle completely into the space. Climbing the
curb or moving a cone results in an automatic
failure.
(See Figure 12.5)
Page 12-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 12.1: Straight Line Backing
Figure 12.4: Parallel Park (Driver Side)
Figure 12.2: Offset Back/Right
Figure 12.5: Parallel Park (Conventional)
Figure 12.3: Offset Back/Left
Page 12-2
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
Page 12-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
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
• W
ear 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:
• C
heck traffic in all directions.
• Use turn signals and safely get into the lane
needed for the turn.
As you approach the turn:
• U
se 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:
• C
ome 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).
• Do not let your vehicle roll.
• Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
Page 12-4
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
Section 13 - On-road Driving
When ready to turn:
• C
heck 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:
• M
ake 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:
• C
heck 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:
• C
heck 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:
• C
ontinue checking mirrors and traffic.
• Accelerate smoothly and change gears as
necessary.
13.1.3 – Urban/Rural Straight
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
Before entering the expressway:
• C
heck traffic.
• Use proper signals.
• Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
Once on the expressway:
• M
aintain proper lane positioning, vehicle
spacing, and vehicle speed.
• Continue to check traffic thoroughly in all
directions.
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
• R
emove your feet from the brake and clutch
pedals.
When instructed to resume:
• C
heck 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 exiting the expressway:
When approaching a curve:
•
•
•
•
• C
heck 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.
ake necessary traffic checks.
M
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
• F
or 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:
• C
heck 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:
• V
ehicle 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.
• Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
Page 13-2
• D
o 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.
• 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.
13.1.9 – Bridge/Overpass/Sign
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.
13.1.10 – Student Discharge (School Bus)
13.1.8 – Railroad Crossing
If you are applying for a School Bus endorsement,
you will be required to demonstrate loading and
unloading students. Please refer to section 10
of this manual for procedures on loading and
unloading school students.
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial
drivers should:
You will be scored on your overall performance in
the following general driving behavior categories:
• D
ecelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as
necessary.
• Look and listen for the presence of trains.
• Check traffic in all directions.
13.1.11 – Clutch Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
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):
• A
s 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.
• Keep hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle
crosses the tracks.
Section 13 - On-road Driving
13.1.14 – Lane Usage
• D
o 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.
13.1.15 – Steering
• D
o 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.
13.1.16 – Regular Traffic Checks
• C
heck 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.
13.1.17 – Use of Turn Signals
•
•
•
•
se turn signals properly.
U
Activate turn signals when required.
Activate turn signals at appropriate times.
Cancel turn signals upon completion of a turn or
lane change.
• A
lways use clutch to shift.
• Double-clutch if vehicle is equipped with nonsynchronized transmission.
• 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 – Gear Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
• D
o not grind or clash gears.
• Select gear that does not rev or lug engine.
• Do not shift in turns and intersections.
13.1.13 – Brake Usage
• D
o not ride or pump brake.
• Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using
steady pressure.
Section 13 - On-road Driving
Page 13-3
Motor Vehicle Administration
Committed to safety, service and you!
6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21062
www.MVA.Maryland.gov
DL-151 03-10
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