ND_CDLManual
Commercial
Drivers License Guide
2011 -- 2013
Prepared by
NORTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA
www.dot.nd.gov
DIRECTOR
Francis G. Ziegler, P.E.
DRIVERS LICENSE DIVISION
Glenn E. Jackson
DL0711
It is NDDOT’s policy that all employees have the
right to work in an environment free of harassment. An employee may discontinue service to a
customer if the customer subjects the employee to
conduct, communication, or sexually explicit paraphernalia which may interfere with the employee’s work performance or create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment.
Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and its
related statutes and regulations, no person or
groups of persons shall, on the grounds of race,
color, national origin, sex, age, disability/handicap, or income status, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise
subject to discrimination under any and all programs, services, or activities administered by the
North Dakota Department of Transportation.
North Dakota
Information
worse than 20/40 visual acuity in either eye, insulin
controlled diabetes, epilepsy, and loss of (or
impairment of) a limb.
The North Dakota commercial driver license requirements in compliance with the Commercial
Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires minimum testing
standards for the licensing of commercial drivers.
To continue to be medically qualified to operate a
commercial motor vehicle, you must be medically
examined by a US licensed health care provider
every 24 months, or less pending health care
provider recommendations.
You must have a commercial drivers license (CDL)
to operate:
North Dakota state law requires that if any licensed
Class A, B, or C operator suffers permanent loss or
damage of a hand, arm, foot, leg, or eye, he or she
must make a report of explanation to the Drivers
License Division.
S A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
(GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds.
S Combination vehicles weighing more than 26,000
pounds provided the towed unit is over 10,000
pounds.
MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
REQUIREMENTS
S A bus designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
New Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations (49
CFR 383.73) now require certain Commercial
Driver License (CDL) holders to mail or fax a copy of
their Medical Certificate to the Drivers License
agency that issued the CDL. This must be done at
least 10 days prior to visiting a driver license site for
your CDL renewal or CDL testing. A medical
certificate is also required even during times you are
not actively driving commercial motor vehicles.
S Any vehicle which transports hazardous materials
which require placarding or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR
part 73.
A special endorsement is also required to drive any:
S Tank vehicle.
If you are required to mail or fax a copy of your
medical certificate to the Drivers License Division,
failure to do so will result in downgrading your
commercial driving privileges to noncommercial
driving privileges only. Downgrading will also occur
if you allow your medical certificate to expire. Please
mail or fax a copy of your medical certificate to:
S Passenger transport vehicle (bus).
S Double/triple trailer combination.
S Placarded vehicle transporting hazardous materials or wastes or material listed as a select agent
or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.
S School bus.
Drivers License Division
608 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-0750 or
Fax to 701-328-0308
LEGAL AGE
S If you are less than 18 years of age you cannot be
issued a Class A, B, or C license, except a Class
A, B, or C license may be issued to a person at
least 16 years of age for custom harvesting purposes only.
Note: Do not bring your medical certificate to the
local driver license sites. It must be faxed or mailed
to Bismarck at least 10 days prior to visiting the
driver license site.
S You must be at least 21 years of age to drive a
commercial vehicle across state lines (interstate).
How do I know if this applies to me?
There are four categories of CDL drivers. Only
Category 1 (Interstate and subject to 49 CFR part
391) drivers are required to mail or fax a copy of
their medical certificate to our office.
MEDICAL QUALIFICATIONS
All commercial drivers (including bus drivers) must
meet the federal commercial medical requirements
in 49 CFR 391. This includes drivers of vehicles
greater than 10,000 GVWR that are used in
interstate commerce and vehicles greater than
10,000 GVWR used in intrastate commerce if used
to transport hazardous materials requiring a placard
or designed to transport 16 or more passengers,
including the driver (contact law enforcement).
Some of the medical conditions that may disqualify
an individual from obtaining a commercial permit or
license are: heart condition, hearing impairment,
What is deemed Interstate transportation?
Interstate is defined as trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States:
S Between a place in a state and place outside of
such state including a place outside of the United
States; or
S Between two places in a state through another
state or a place outside of the United States; or
1
S Between two places in a state as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the state or the United States.
S Private motor carrier of passengers (nonbusiness). For example, organizations exempt from
the Internal Revenue Code that provide transportation for their members.
To assist you in determining if you need to mail or
fax a copy of your medical certificate to our office,
see the Category Chart.
S Emergency delivery of propane winter heating
fuel and pipeline response.
S Drivers of migrant workers (must meet minimum
medical standards only; 49 CFR 398.3).
CATEGORY CHART
Category 3: Intrastate and subject to State
driver qualification requirements. Medical Certificate must be carried by the driver.
All Class A, B, or C (CDL) License holders and
those applying for a Class A, B, or C permit that fall
under Category 1 must mail or fax a copy of their
medical certificate to the Drivers License Division in
Bismarck.
S North Dakota drivers granted a State Waiver for
vision and insulin controlled diabetes (Restriction
0; Class A, B, C valid for Intrastate only).
Category 1: Interstate and subject to 49 CFR
part 391. Medical Certificate must be faxed or
mailed to the North Dakota Drivers License Division.
S In-state drivers of vehicles over 26,000 pounds,
placarded hazardous material, vehicles designed
to transport 16 or more persons including the
driver, and school vehicles designed to seat 10 or
more passengers.
S All Class A, B, and C drivers who do NOT fall
under any of the other categories.
Category 4: Intrastate, but operating exclusively in transportation or operations excepted
from all or part of the state driver qualification
requirements. No medical certificate required.
Medical monitoring may be required by the North
Dakota Drivers License Division pending certain
medical conditions.
S All Class A, B, and C drivers granted a federal vision or diabetes exemption; or SPE-limb impairment Skill Performance Evaluation.
Category 2: Interstate, but operating exclusively in transportation or operations excepted
under 49 CFR 390.3(f), 391.2, 391.68, or 398.3.
Medical monitoring may be required by the North
Dakota Drivers License Division pending certain
medical conditions.
S Bonafide farmer or rancher operating articulated
farm vehicles within a 150 mile radius of the farm
or ranch and does NOT cross state lines.
S Business vehicles 10,001 to 26,000 pounds
GVWR that do NOT cross state lines, do NOT
transport hazardous material that requires placarding, and are NOT designed to transport 16 or
more persons, including the driver.
S School bus operations. Check Category 2 if crossing state lines. Check Category 3 if NOT crossing
state lines. Medical Certificate must be carried by
the driver in both cases.
S Transportation performed by the Federal government, a state, or any political subdivision of a
State.
NORTH DAKOTA DRIVER LICENSE
CLASSES
S Occasional transportation of personal property by
individuals not for compensation, nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise.
CLASS A
Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more,
provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is
in excess of 10,000 pounds. (Holders of a Class A
license may operate Class B, C, and D vehicle
groups, but not a Class M.)
S The transportation of human corpses or sick and
injured persons.
S The operation of fire trucks and rescue vehicles
while involved in emergency and related operations.
CLASS B
S Apiarian industries (Beekeepers).
Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
of 26,001 pounds or more and any such vehicle
towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
(Holders of a Class B license may operate Class C
and D vehicle groups, but not a Class M.)
S Farm custom operations (Custom Harvesters).
CLASS C
S Non-articulated farm vehicle drivers operating
within a 150-mile radius of the farm.
Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
of 26,000 or less and any such vehicle towing a
S A 9- to 15-passenger van, including the driver,
weighing less than 26,001 gross vehicle weight
rating, and not for compensation.
2
vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in
excess of 10,000 pounds comprising:
ENDORSEMENT/RESTRICTION DESCRIPTIONS
All persons who operate a Class A, B, or C vehicle of
a type or size having the following specialized
equipment, or vehicle transportation needs, must
pass additional knowledge and skill tests.
S Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; and
S Vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous
materials under 49 CFR Part 172 (placarded material) and 42 CFR part 73.
All applicants for a Hazardous Materials endorsement must provide proof of citizenship or immigration status as specified in Table 1 to 49 CFR 383.71
and are subject to a Transportation Security
Administration security screening process that
includes fingerprint and background record checks
(USA Patriot Act). See page 11 for more information.
Holders of a Class C license may operate a Class D
vehicle, but not a Class M vehicle.
CLASS D (NONCOMMERCIAL DRIVER
LICENSE)
Any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds gross
vehicle weight rating may tow trailers not over
10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating. Note:
must be 18 years of age or older if combined weight
exceeds 26,000 pounds. Trucks towing trailers over
10,000 pounds provided the combined weight does
not exceed 26,000 gross combination weight rating.
(Holders of a Class D license may not operate a
Class M vehicle.)
Status
U.S. Citizen
Proof of Status
S U.S. Passport
S Certificate of birth that
bears an official seal and
was issued by a state,
county, municipal authority,
or outlying possession of
the United States
S An operator with a Class D license may operate a
farm tractor towing another vehicle having a gross
weight in excess of 10,000 pounds.
S Certification of Birth Abroad
issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form
FS-545 or DS 1350)
S A Class D license holder may operate a house car
or vehicle towing a house trailer or mobile home
used solely for personal rather than commercial
purposes.
S Certification of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
S Certification of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-550 or N-561)
S A Class D license holder may operate a fire truck
or other emergency vehicle, vehicles during declared emergency snow and ice removal, and vehicles driven by active duty members for military
purposes.
Lawful
Permanent
Resident
S Permanent Resident Card,
Alien Registration Receipt
Card (Form I-551)
Exemptions
S Temporary I-551 stamp in
foreign passport
S Age 14 or 15 may drive a farm motor vehicle within
150 miles of driver’s farm, having a gross weight
of not more than 50,000 pounds, when transporting agricultural products or farm supplies.
S Temporary I-551 stamp on
Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record, with
photograph of the bearer
S Any two-axle, tandem axle, or triple axle, or trucktractor farm vehicle controlled and operated by a
farmer transporting agricultural products, farm
machines, or farm supplies to or from a farm within
150 miles of the person’s farm. Farm vehicle may
tow a trailer, semi-trailer, or farm trailer except
double, triple trailers or if under 18 years of age,
a truck-tractor.
S Reentry Permit (Form I-327
ENDORSEMENTS
Hazardous Material
H -- A hazardous material endorsement is required
to operate a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous material that requires placarding by federal regulation or any quantity of
a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42
CFR part 73. The federal background check
and written test must be passed each time you
renew your commercial drivers license if you
S Any farm vehicle operated by a farmer may transport hazardous material within 150 miles of the
farm without a hazardous material endorsement
on the operator’s license.
CLASS M
Any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle.
3
CDL RULES
wish to retain this endorsement. (Requires a
written knowledge test.)
Tank Vehicle
There are federal and state rules which affect
commercial driver license holders. See Section One
for additional driver disqualifications.
N -- A tank vehicle endorsement is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle that is used to
haul liquids or gaseous materials in permanent tanks having a rating capacity greater
than 119 gallons or in portable tanks having a
rating capacity of 1,000 gallons or more. (Requires a written knowledge test.)
For a first conviction of driving while under the
influence of alcohol or being under the influence of a
controlled substance or refusal to be tested while
operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder must be disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one
year.
For a second or subsequent conviction of driving
while under the influence or being under the
influence of a controlled substance or refusal to be
tested while operating a noncommercial motor
vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder must
be disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for life.
Passenger Bus
P -- A passenger bus endorsement is required to
operate a passenger bus designed to transport
16 or more persons, including the driver. (Requires a written knowledge test and road test in
a representative vehicle.) If you test in a bus less
than 26,000 GVWR, your P endorsement will be
restricted to Class C buses only. To be licensed
for articulated buses, you must road test in an
articulated bus.
For a first conviction for leaving the scene of an
accident while operating a noncommercial motor
vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder must
be disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for one year.
For a second or subsequent conviction for leaving
the scene of an accident while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s licenseholder must be disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for life.
Doubles or Triples
T -- A doubles/triples endorsement is required to
operate a commercial vehicle towing two or
three trailers. (Requires a written knowledge
test.)
For a first conviction for using a vehicle to commit a
felony while operating a noncommercial motor
vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder must
be disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for one year.
School Bus
S -- A school bus endorsement is required to operate a school bus designed to transport 16 or
more passengers, including the driver, and is
used to transport pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school,
from school to home, or to and from schoolrelated events. School bus does not include a
bus used as a common carrier. (Requires a
written knowledge test and road test in a representative school bus that is equipped with
flashing red lights for loading and unloading
school children.) If you test in a school bus less
than 26,000 GVWR, your S endorsement will
be restricted to Class C school buses only.
For a second or subsequent conviction for using a
vehicle to commit a felony while operating a
noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder must be disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
You will lose your CDL for life on a second or
subsequent major offense.
For a conviction for using a vehicle in the commission
of a felony involving manufacturing, distributing, or
dispensing a controlled substance while operating a
commercial motor vehicle or a noncommercial motor
vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder must be
disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for life.
AIR BRAKE RESTRICTION
A person is disqualified from driving a commercial
motor vehicle for a period of not less than 60 days if
convicted of any combination of two serious traffic
violations within a three-year period while operating
a noncommercial motor vehicle, and either conviction results in the revocation, cancellation, or
suspension of an operator’s license, including a
commercial driver’s license.
Drivers of Class A, B, or C vehicle groups will be
restricted from operating commercial vehicles
equipped with an air brake system, unless and until
they successfully pass a written air brake component knowledge test and a skill test in a vehicle
equipped with either a full or partial air brake
system.
4
A person is disqualified from driving a commercial
motor vehicle for a period of not less than 120 days if
convicted of any combination of three or more
serious traffic violations within a three-year period
while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle,
and any of the convictions result in the revocation,
cancellation, or suspension of an operator’s license,
including a commercial driver’s license.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
REQUIREMENTS INTER-STATE AUTHORITY
Hours of Service
S All operators must stay within the limit of hours of
service with the exception of those operators who
operate two-axle vehicles under 10,000 pounds
gross weight, operators in some oil field operations,
and operators transporting agricultural commodities
or farm supplies within a 100 air-mile radius.
SERIOUS TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
S A commercial motor vehicle driver may drive a
maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours
off duty.
S 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.
S A commercial motor vehicle driver may not drive
beyond the 14th hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
 For at least 120 days for three serious traffic
violations within a three-year period involving
a CMV.
S A commercial motor vehicle driver may not drive
after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 consecutive days.
A driver may restart a 7/8 consecutive-day period
after taking 34 or more consecutive hours off duty.
Serious traffic violations committed in a CMV are
excessive speeding (15 mph or more above the
posted limit), reckless driving, improper or erratic
lane changes, following a vehicle too closely, traffic
offenses in connection with fatal traffic accidents,
driving a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license, driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s
license in the driver’s possession, and driving a
CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or
endorsements. An individual who provides proof to
the enforcement authority that issued the citation,
by the date the individual must appear in court or
pay a fine for such violation, that the individual held
a valid commercial driver’s license on the date the
citation was issued, is not guilty of this offense,
driving a commercial motor vehicle without the
proper class of commercial driver’s license or
endorsement, or both, for the specific vehicle group
being operated or for the passengers or type of
cargo being transported, and texting while driving.
S Passenger-carrying carriers/drivers must comply
with the hours of service limitations specified in 49
CFR 395.5.
New Federal Interstate hours of service are being
proposed. Visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov or contact:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1471 Interstate Loop
Bismarck, North Dakota 58503
Telephone: (701) 250-4346
for the final rules.
For information on Intrastate hours of service,
contact the North Dakota Highway Patrol.
NORTH DAKOTA SIZE AND LOAD
REQUIREMENTS
WIDTH, HEIGHT, LENGTH, AND WEIGHT
REQUIREMENTS
Special permits for overlength, overwidth, overheight, and overweight vehicles may be granted on
an individual basis by the North Dakota State Highway Patrol.
IMPLIED CONSENT
If you operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have
given your consent to alcohol testing for the above
mentioned violations. Refusal to take such test will
result in license revocation for a period of not less
than one year.
WIDTH
In general, the total outside width of any vehicle
cannot exceed eight feet, six inches.
No load may extend beyond the fender lines on the
left side of your vehicle, nor more than 12 inches beyond the right fender lines.
DRIVER’S LOG
HEIGHT
A driver’s log must be used to record all drivers’
hours. Drivers of commercial vehicles must be in
compliance with the log requirements of CFR, Title
49, Section 395.8.
The maximum height for any vehicle is 14 feet.
Resident farmers, ranchers, implement dealers, or
farm machinery manufacturers may move imple-
5
ments of husbandry, with height limitations not exceeding 15 feet 6 inches, when traveling within a
60-mile radius, between sunrise and sunset, provided the move is not on an interstate highway.
DRAWBAR
The drawbar or connection between any two vehicles, one of which is towing or drawing the other
on a highway, shall be of such design, strength, and
construction so as to prevent the unintentional uncoupling of the vehicles. Safety chains must be
used when towing in excess of 25 mph with the exception of fifth wheel coupling devices.
On the state highway system, there are several
clearances below the legal vehicle height limit. Contact the State Highway Patrol for the exact locations.
LENGTH
WEIGHT
Length limitations depend on the type of vehicle involved.
Maximum weight limits vary according to the number of axles on your truck and the distance between
them. Axles 40 inches apart or less are considered
to be one axle.
S A single unit vehicle with two or more axles cannot
exceed a length of 50 feet including the load.
Single axle vehicles may carry a maximum load of
20,000 pounds or a wheel load of 10,000 pounds.
S The length of a towed vehicle may not exceed a
length of 60 feet.
Axles spaced more than 40 inches and less than
eight feet apart (tandem axles) are allowed 19,000
pounds per axle, but gross weight of a tandem
grouping may not exceed 34,000 pounds or 48,000
pounds on a grouping of three or more axles.
S A combination of three or four units may not exceed 75 feet in total length. A combination of three
or four units may not exceed 75 feet in total length
including the load. The only three- or four-unit
combinations allowed are:
The maximum gross weight on the state highways
is 105,500 pounds, unless posted for less. 80,000
pounds is the maximum gross weight on the interstate system without a permit. 80,000 pounds is the
maximum gross weight on all other highways unless designated for more, not to exceed 105,500
pounds.
 A truck-tractor and semi-trailer pulling a trailer
or semi-trailer.
 A vehicle pulling three motor vehicles attached
by a triple saddle mount.
 A truck may draw two trailers, subject to any
rules adopted by the Director.
The wheel load can never be more than 550 pounds
per inch of tire width except that such limits may not
be applied to tires on the steering axle. Steering axle
weights are limited to 20,000 pounds or the axle ratings established by the manufacturer, which ever is
lower.
 A truck-tractor and semi-trailer may draw two
trailers, subject to any rules adopted by the
Director.
 A motor vehicle may draw two trailers or vehicles, subject to any rules adopted by the
Director.
The Governor may permit and prescribe definite excess limitations as to size and weight for the operation of motor vehicles in emergencies and to meet
unusual conditions for the general welfare of the
public. Any police officer or state highway patrol officer
may weigh vehicles, and the load carried thereon,
by means of portable or stationary scales, and may
require the vehicle to be driven to the nearest scales
for that purpose.
On specific highways in the state designated by the
Department of Transportation Director, a combination of two, three, or four units including the load
may have a total length of 110 feet or less. All such
combinations are subject to safety rules adopted by
the Director.
LOAD REQUIREMENTS
Certain vehicles are exempt from the length restrictions:
S Equipment designed to move buildings.
Whenever a load projects four or more feet beyond
the rear of your vehicle, you must take special precautions:
S Emergency tow trucks towing legal combinations
of vehicles to be repaired.
S In daylight hours, tie a 12-inch square red cloth to
the end of the load.
S At night or in times of poor visibility, attach a red
light on the end of the load. The light must be visible for 600 feet.
S Vehicles or equipment owned and operated by the
armed forces of the United States or the North Dakota National Guard.
S No load may extend beyond the fender lines on the
left side of your vehicle, nor more than 12 inches
beyond the right fender lines.
S Structural material belonging to telephone, power,
and telegraph companies.
6
LOAD REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUSES
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED ON SCHOOL BUSES
The Department of Public Instruction may adopt
reasonable regulations as to the construction, design, operation, equipment, and color of school buses.
These regulations apply only to those vehicles used
for the transportation of school children. For more
information, it is recommended that each school bus
operator obtain the School Bus Driver’s Handbook
issued by the Department of Public Instruction.
The number of passengers being transported on
any passenger or school bus shall not exceed the
number designed by the manufacturer.
The operator of a school bus equipped with amber
caution lights may activate those lights at a distance
of not less than 300 feet, nor more than 500 feet before stopping to receive or discharge school children.
BUS EQUIPMENT AND STANDARDS
S Each school bus must have the standard school
bus glossy yellow color on the exterior.
The red flashing signals on a school bus shall be activated whenever the bus is stopped on a highway
outside the limits of a city for the purpose of receiving or discharging school children.
S The words “School Bus” in letters eight inches in
height must be printed on the front and rear of
each school bus.
The red flashing signals may be activated when permitting school children to board or alight from a
school bus within the city limits except when the bus
is stopped at intersections controlled by traffic signals or police officers. The operator must also be
sure that there are no city ordinances prohibiting the
use of the red flashing signals.
S The words “School Bus” must be covered or removed if the bus is used for any purpose other
than transporting school children.
S Every school bus must be equipped with a sign on
the rear of the bus containing the words “THIS
SCHOOL BUS STOPS AT ALL RAILROAD
CROSSINGS.”
Whenever the school bus is stopped for the purpose
of loading or unloading passengers, the vehicle
shall be shifted into neutral gear (in the case of
an automatic transmission, the vehicle shall be
shifted into the park position), and the emergency brake shall be set. The entrance door may
not be opened until the bus has made a complete
stop.
S Buses must not carry more passengers than the
vehicle is designed to transport. Each passenger
must be comfortably seated.
S All seats in the school bus must face forward.
S Each passenger bus must be equipped with an
emergency exit door. No passenger shall be allowed to use the emergency exit except in the
case of an emergency or for the purpose of conducting an evacuation drill.
The flashing red lights shall be activated only when
it is observed that all oncoming or following traffic
can stop safely before reaching the stopped bus. Indiscriminate use of the flashing red lights will defeat
the purpose for which they are designed.
S Studded tires may be used on any vehicle from
October 15 to April 15 each year. A school bus
may be equipped with studded tires at any time
during the year when transporting school children.
S School buses manufactured after July 31, 1998,
must be equipped with safety strobe lights. The
strobe light must be in operation whenever the
school bus is being operated upon a highway for
purposes of transporting children either to or from
school or for a school-sanctioned activity. It is unlawful to operate a safety strobe light when the
school bus is used for any other purpose.
The proper sequence for loading and unloading passengers is:
1. Amber lights (if driver elects to use them).
2. Make a full stop.
3. Take vehicle out of gear and set parking
brake.
RAILROAD CROSSING STOPS
4. Check for traffic.
S The driver of a bus carrying passengers, or any
school bus, shall stop the bus between 15 and
50 feet before the nearest rail of the railroad
crossing.
5. Activate red lights.
No passenger shall be permitted to get on or off the
bus while it is in motion.
S After stopping, the operator of a school bus
must open the entrance door, look, and listen
for any oncoming train, and when proceeding
across the tracks, must leave the entrance
door open.
It is unlawful to use the red flashing lights on any
school bus for any purpose other than loading or unloading passengers.
7
S If you fail any of the tests, you will not be allowed
to retake the examination the same day.
S Before crossing after a train has passed, be sure
there isn’t another train coming in either direction
on other tracks.
S Submit the Class A, B, or C vehicle to a safety inspection at the time of the road test. If the vehicle
does not pass the inspection, or if the driver fails
the pre-trip inspection, the skill/road test will not be
given.
S You must not change gears while crossing the
tracks.
REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO EARN A
CLASS A, B, OR C LICENSE
S A representative vehicle for the commercial vehicle group that the driver expects to operate must
be used for the skill/road tests.
S Read, write, and speak the English language.
S Pass the required written test or tests corresponding to the type and class of vehicle to be driven.
PREPARING FOR THE ROAD TEST
S Demonstrate your ability to operate your vehicle
by passing a road test.
S Must not be addicted to alcohol, narcotic drugs, or
any other drug.
1. If your commercial vehicle is equipped with an
automatic transmission, you will be restricted to
an automatic transmission for that class of vehicle.
You must have the appropriate license for the type
of vehicle you are operating. The license must be
signed by you to be valid. You must have your
license in your possession every time you drive.
2. Self--parking vehicles or any other parking aids
are not allowed. The applicant must test in a
different vehicle or deactivate the self-parking/
parking aid feature.
DRIVER RECORD BACKGROUND
CHECK
3. A restricted Class A license will be issued if the
road test is taken in a truck/trailer combination
instead of a tractor/trailer combination.
When you apply for a Commercial Driver License,
you will be asked to:
4. Practice the backing exercises in the vehicle
you will be testing in.
S Certify that you do not have a drivers license from
more than one state or country.
5. Make sure your permit covers you for the type
of vehicle you will be testing in.
S Surrender your current drivers license.
6. Practice the walk-around pre-trip inspection
(Section 11) for the vehicle you will be testing in.
S Certify that your drivers license is not suspended,
revoked, canceled, or disqualified or subject to
any of these actions.
7. Double check that all vehicle equipment is in
proper working order. The vehicle must be
equipped with safety belts and the passenger
seat securely fastened.
S Provide proof of your social security number.
Every motor vehicle required to be registered in this
state shall have a valid policy of liability insurance in
effect.
8. Arrive early for your appointment so you have
time to fix any vehicle equipment that may have
quit working on your way to the test site.
OFFICER’S INSPECTION
9. If you cannot keep your appointment, call to
cancel it as soon as possible so another applicant can be scheduled.
Any police officer who has reason to believe that a
commercial vehicle is not safely loaded, or that the
height, width, length, or weight of a vehicle and load
is unlawful, is authorized to require the driver to stop
and submit to an inspection, measurement, or
weighing of the load. The officer may have the driver
stop in a suitable area and reload or remove any
part of the load.
10. Pets or passengers will not be allowed in the vehicle during the test.
NORTH DAKOTA DRIVERS LICENSE
AND TESTING LOCATIONS
The Federal Commercial Driver License Law
requires that a driver of a commercial vehicle (Class
A, B, or C) who moves from one jurisdiction to
another, changing his or her domicile, must apply
for a new commercial drivers license within 30 days
of residency. Each driver must surrender all drivers
licenses held as a condition of receiving a new
license. Proof of social security number is required
for the Commercial Drivers License Information
EXAMINATIONS
Cooperation With the Examiner
S The applicant must at all times cooperate with the
examiners by following their instructions.
S License applicants must furnish their own vehicle
for the road test properly registered and equipped.
8
System (CDLIS). As authorized by NDCC 39-06-07,
all applications for permit or license must contain
the individual’s social security number.
8. The following immigration documents (unexpired):
I-551 Resident Alien or Permanent Resident Card
I-766 Employment Authorization Card
N560 Certificate of Citizenship
N550 Certificate of Naturalization
I-94 card stamped Refugee or Asylee
As part of a nationwide effort to enhance the
issuance of secure identification credentials, proof
of legal presence, current name, and date of birth is
required when applying for a North Dakota permit,
license, or identification card. Out-of-state permits,
licenses, and identification cards will not be accepted as proof of legal presence, name, and date of
birth. Proof of North Dakota residence address may
also be required.
Only original documents and certified copies will be
accepted. No photocopies. A court order or government issued marriage certificate is required for a
name change. Several documents may be necessary in the event there has been more than one
name change since birth.
Acceptable forms of identification are:
To obtain a North Dakota drivers license, you must
visit one of the Drivers License offices. Out-of-state
licensed applicants must produce a valid out-ofstate operator’s license in addition to the required
proof of legal presence, current name, and date of
birth. No appointment is needed to take the required
written examination and visual screen test. Arrive
no later than one hour prior to noon and no later than
one hour prior to closing. Allow yourself extra
time if you will be taking more than one written
test. Children, backpacks, purses, and electronic
devices such as cell phone, ipods, etc., will not be
allowed in the testing area. You must have an
appointment for a road test.
1. U.S. Birth Certificate (state certified; Government-issued; includes U.S. territories).
2. Valid U.S. passport.
3. U.S. Government-issued Consular Report of
Birth Abroad Certificate or FS240 (seal required).
4. Valid Foreign Passport with an I-94 card or an
I-551 stamp.
5. U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID
Card.
6. U.S. Court Order for Adoption containing the legal name and date of birth (court seal required.)
U.S. Court Order for name change, divorce
decree, or marriage certificate can be used for
proof of current name only.
A valid Class D (noncommercial) license is
required prior to testing for a commercial
permit.
Change of classification applicants must produce a
current North Dakota operator’s license when
making application for a Class A, B, or C license.
7. North Dakota state issued permit, license, or ID
card.
9
For road test appointments and general license information, call your respective Drivers License office.
Drivers License Offices
Williston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 774-4358
Crosby
Watford City
Fargo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239-8940
Wahpeton
Lisbon
Minot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 857-7624
Bottineau
Rolla
Rugby
Harvey
Jamestown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252-5596
Valley City
Oakes
Bismarck . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 328-2252
Wishek
Linton
Carson
Devils Lake . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 662-4814
Carrington
Dickinson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227-6550
Beulah
Bowman
Grand Forks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 787-6540
Langdon
Grafton
Mayville
LUNCH HOUR SCHEDULE
All sites closed from 12-00--1:00 p.m. except Bismarck, Minot, Grand Forks, and Fargo.
HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
Offices are closed on the following holidays:
New Years Day, January 1 -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in January
Presidents’ Day, third Monday in February -- Good Friday, the Friday preceding Easter Sunday
Memorial Day, the last Monday in May -- Independence Day, July 4
Labor Day, the first Monday in September -- Veteran’s Day, November 11
Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November
Christmas Eve, December 24 (offices close at noon) -- Christmas Day, December 25
If January 1st, July 4th, November 11th or December 25th falls on a Sunday, the following Monday shall be the
holiday. If these holidays fall on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is the holiday.
Road tests: By appointment only.
Written tests: Arrive no later than one hour prior to noon and no later than one hour prior to closing. Allow
yourself extra time if you will be taking more than one written test.
10
Steps to Get an H Endorsement
1. Must obtain a North Dakota Commercial Permit
or a North Dakota Commercial License.
then obtain the North Dakota Commercial
License and pass the Security Threat Assessment to be eligible for the Hazardous Material
Knowledge test.
2. Must complete the National Application for Hazmat. Do this by visiting www.hazprints.tsa.gov or
call the TSA Help Desk at 1-877-429-7746.
5. When the Security Threat Assessment (fingerprint-based background check) is “Approved,”
visit a Drivers License Site. Present the North
Dakota Commercial License and pass the Hazardous material knowledge test.
3. Call 1-888-221-3210 (Bismarck), 1-888-660-1545
(Fargo), or 1-701-839-4730 (Minot) to make an
appointment at the TSA fingerprint collection
site. Visit www.dot.nd.gov for additional fingerprint collection sites and phone numbers.
6. When the Hazardous material knowledge test is
passed, the H endorsement will be put on the
North Dakota Commercial License.
4. North Dakota Commercial Permit holders must
Pre-Trip Inspection Passing Scores
TOTAL ITEMS
80%
Tractor-Trailer with Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
53
Tractor-Trailer without Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
48
Truck-Trailer with Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
52
Truck-Trailer without Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
46
Truck with Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
46
Truck without Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
40
School Bus with Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
49
School Bus without Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
44
Coach/Transit with Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43
34
Coach/Transit without Air . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
32
Airbrake Check (Airbrake-Equipped Vehicles Only)
Failure to perform an airbrake check 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 airbrake check. The proper procedures
for inspecting the air brake system are as follows:
if the air pressure drops more than three pounds
in one minute (single vehicle) or four pounds in
one minute (combination vehicle).
S With the engine off and the key in the “on” position,
start 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.
S 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).
S With the engine running, build the air pressure to
governed cut-out (120--140 psi). Shut off the engine, 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
11
Pre-Trip Checklist
TRUCK/TRACTOR/TRAILER
All Vehicles
ENGINE START
clutch/gearshift/safe start
temperature gauge
oil pressure gauge
ammeter/voltmeter
steering play
mirrors, windshield
wipers/washers
ENGINE START (cont.)
lighting indicators (L--R--4--H)
horn
heater/defroster
safety belt, emerg. (F--E--T)
park brake/hydraulic
air brake check (1--2--3)
air gauge
service brake/ABS
FRONT OF VEHICLE
lights
steering box/hoses
steering linkage
UNDER VEHICLE
drive shaft
exhaust system
frame
FRONT SUSPENSION
spring/bags
mounts/u-bolts
shock absorber
DRIVER/FUEL AREA
door, mirror
fuel tank, leaks
battery/box
catwalk/steps
REAR WHEELS
tires (I--C--D)
rims
lug nuts
axle seals
spacers
ENGINE COMPARTMENT
oil level
coolant level
power steering
water pump
alternator belt
air compressor
leaks/hoses
Truck/Tractor
FRONT WHEEL
tires (I--C--D)
rims
lug nuts
hub oil seal
REAR SUSPENSION
springs/bags
mounts/u-bolts
shock absorber
FRONT BRAKE
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
slack adjustor
COUPLING SYSTEM
Truck
air, electric lines
mounting bolts
locking mechanism
safety devices
Tractor
air, electric lines
mounting bolds, platform
release arm/safety latch
kingpin, locking jaws
gap
sliding 5th wheel locking
pins
REAR BRAKES
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
slack adjustor
REAR OF VEHICLE/TRAILER
lights, reflectors
doors/ties/lift
splash guards
SIDE OF TRAILER
landing gear
frame
lights, reflectors
See Section 11 for inspection items on other types of coupling systems.
12
Pre-Trip Checklist (cont.)
SCHOOL BUS/COACH/TRANSIT BUS
All Vehicles
ENGINE COMPARTMENT
oil level
coolant level
power steering
water pump
alternator belt
air compressor
leaks/hoses
ENGINE START (cont.)
ENGINE START
horn
clutch/gearshift/safe start
heater/defroster
temperature gauge
safety belt, emerg. (F--E--T)
oil pressure gauge
park brake/hydraulic
ammeter/voltmeter
air brake check (1--2--3)
steering play
air gauge
mirrors, windshield
service brake/ABS
wipers/washers
lighting indicators (L--R--4--H
School Bus
FRONT OF VEHICLE
lights
steering box/hoses
steering linkage
DRIVER/FUEL AREA
door, mirror
fuel tank, leaks
battery/box
FRONT SUSPENSION
spring/bags
mounts/u-bolts
shock absorber
UNDER VEHICLE
drive shaft
exhaust system
frame
FRONT WHEELS
tires (I--C--D)
rims
lug nuts
hub oil seal
REAR WHEELS
tires (I--C--D)
rims
lug nuts
axle seals
spacer
FRONT BRAKE
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
slack adjustor
REAR SUSPENSION
springs/bag
mounts/u-bolts
shock absorbers
REAR BRAKE
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
slack adjustor
INTERIOR/REAR
lights, reflectors
doors/lift
splash guards
passenger entry/lift
emergency exits, seating
student lights, stop arm
STUDENT SAFETY
student mirrors
emergency, body fluid kits
Coach/Transit Bus
FRONT OF VEHICLE
lights
PASSENGER ITEMS
passenger entry/lift
emergency exits
seating
DRIVER/ENTRY AREA
door, mirror
FRONT
BRAKES/SUSPENSION
air leaks/level
FRONT WHEELS
tires (I--C--D)
rims
lug nuts
hub oil seal
FUEL TANK AREA
fuel tank, leaks
REAR WHEELS
tires (I--C--D)
rims
lug nuts
axle seals
spacer
REAR
BAGGAGE COMPARTMENTS BRAKES/SUSPENSION
air leaks/level
battery/box
REAR OF VEHICLE
doors secure
lights, reflectors
splash guards
13
Model
Commercial
Drivers License
Manual
2005 CDL Testing Model
CDL Drivers' Manual
COPYRIGHT AAMVA
All Rights Reserved
Table of Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Driving Safely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Transporting Cargo Safely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Transporting Passengers Safely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Air Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Combination Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Doubles and Triples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Tank Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Hazardous Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
School Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
On-Road Driving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1-1
2-1
3-1
4-1
5-1
6-1
7-1
8-1
9-1
10-1
11-1
12-1
13-1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Section 1
INTRODUCTION
Do You Need a CDL?
This section covers:
S Commercial Driver License Tests
S Driver Disqualifications
S 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 may have to
contact your state driver licensing authority for
additional information.
You must have a CDL to operate:
S Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
S 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.
S A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
S Any size vehicle which requires hazardous material
placards or is carrying material listed as a select
agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. Federal regulations
through the Department of Homeland Security
require a background check and fingerprinting for
the Hazardous Materials endorsement. Contact
your local department of driver licensing for more
information.
(Your state may have additional definitions of
CMVs.)
To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills
tests. This manual will help you pass the tests. 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.
Figure 1.1 helps you determine if you need a CDL.
No
Does the vehicle or
combination of vehicles
have a manufacturer’s
weight rating (GVWR)
over 26,000 pounds?
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?
Yes
You
need a
Class B
CDL.
No
Is the vehicle
designed to
carry 16 or
more people
(including the
driver)?
Yes
You
need a
Class C
CDL.
Yes
You
need a
Class C
CDL.
No
Does the
vehicle
require
hazardous
material
placards or
transport a
select agent
or toxin?
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 Drivers 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:
S The general knowledge test, taken by all applicants.
S The passenger transport test, taken by all bus
driver applicants.
Revised 2011
traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something similar.
The examiner will tell you how each control test is
to be done.
On-Road Test. You will be tested on your skill to
safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic
situations. The situations may include left and right
turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up
and down grades, single or multi-lane roads,
streets, or highways. The examiner will tell you
where to drive.
Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual you
should study for each particular class of license and
for each endorsement.
S The air brakes test, which you must take if your vehicle has air brakes, including air over hydraulic
brakes.
S The combination vehicles test, which is required
What Sections Should You Study?
License
Type
if you want to drive combination vehicles.
Class B
Class C
Double/Triple
Tank Vehicles
Passenger
School Bus
1
X
X
X
2
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
3
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
to haul hazardous materials or waste in amounts
that require placarding or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73.
Hazardous
Materials
Class A
S The hazardous materials test, required if you want
Endorsement
S The tanker test, required if you want to haul a liq-
S The doubles/triples test, required if you want to
pull double or triple trailers.
S The School Bus test, required if you want to drive
a school bus.
1.1.2 – Skills Tests
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. Any vehicle that has components marked or labeled cannot be used for the
pre-trip inspection test.
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.
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
Section 1 - Introduction
Sections to Study
uid 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.
4
5*
X
6
X
X
X
7
X
X
X
X
X
8
X
9
X
X
10
X
11
X
X
X
X
X
X
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
Page 1-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
1.2 - CDL Disqualifications
1.2.1 - General
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if you
are disqualified for any reason.
1.2.2 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an
Accident, and Commission of a Felony
Revised 2011
You will lose your CDL:
S For at least 60 days if you have committed two serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a CMV.
S For at least 120 days for three serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a CMV.
1.2.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
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:
You will lose your CDL for at least one year for a first
offense for:
S For two years if you have committed two violations
S Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration
S For three years if you have committed three or
is .04% or higher.
S Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol.
S Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
S Driving a CMV while under the influence of a controlled substance.
S Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV.
S Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
S Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended.
S Causing a fatality through negligent operation of
a CMV.
You will lose your CDL for at least three years if the
offense occurs while you are operating a CMV that
is placarded for hazardous materials.
You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense
or subsequent major offense.
You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to
commit a felony involving controlled substances.
You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you
have any detectable amount of alcohol under .04%.
1.2.3 – Serious Traffic Violations
Serious traffic violations are excessive speeding (15
mph or more above the posted limit), reckless driving,
improper or erratic lane changes, following a vehicle
too closely, and traffic offenses committed in a CMV
in connection with fatal traffic accidents, driving a
CMV without obtaining a CDL or having a CDL in the
driver’s possession, driving a CMV without the
proper class of CDL and/or endorsements, and
texting while driving.
Section 1 - Introduction
S For 180 days if you have committed your first
violation of an out-of-service order.
of an out-of-service order in a ten-year period.
more violations of an out-of-service order in a tenyear period.
1.2.5 – Railroad-highway Grade
Crossing Violations
You will lose your CDL:
S For at least 60 days for your first violation.
S For at least 120 days for your second violation
within any three-year period.
S 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:
S For drivers who are not required to always stop,
failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the
tracks are not clear.
S For drivers who are not required to always stop,
failing to slow down and check that the tracks are
clear of an approaching train.
S For drivers who are always required to stop, failing
to stop before driving onto the crossing.
S For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to
drive completely through the crossing without
stopping.
S For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control device
or the directions of an enforcement official at the
crossing.
S For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.
Page 1-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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:
S Are not a lawful permanent resident of the United
States.
S Renounce your United States citizenship.
S Are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
S Have a conviction in military or civilian court for
certain felonies.
Revised 2011
S 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.
S 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.
S 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.
S You must notify your employer if your license is
suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if you are
disqualified from driving.
S You must give your employer information on all
S Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or
driving jobs you have held for the past 10 years.
You must do this when you apply for a commercial
driving job.
S Are considered to pose a security threat as deter-
S No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle with-
committed to a mental institution.
mined by the Transportation Security Administration.
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 privileges.
If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to alcohol,
controlled substance, or felony violations, you will
lose your CDL for one year. If you are convicted of
a second violation in your personal vehicle or CMV,
you will lose your CDL for life.
If your privilege 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:
Section 1 - Introduction
out a CDL. A court may fine you up to $5,000 or
put you in jail for breaking this rule.
S 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;
S 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.
S All states are connected to one computerized sys-
tem to share information about CDL drivers. The
states will check on drivers’ accident records and
be sure that drivers do not have more than one
CDL.
S You must be properly restrained by a seat belt at
all times while operating a commercial motor vehicle. The seat 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 seat
belt, you are four times more likely to be fatally
injured if you are thrown from the vehicle.
Page 1-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Your state may have additional rules that you must
also obey.
1.4 – International Registration Plan
International Fuel Tax Agreement
If you operate a CDL required vehicle in interstate
commerce, the vehicle, with few exceptions, is
required to be registered under the International
Registration Plan (IRP) and the International Fuel
Tax Agreement (IFTA). These federally mandated
programs provide for the equitable collection and
distribution of vehicle license fees and motor fuels
taxes for vehicles traveling throughout the 48
contiguous United States and 10 Canadian
provinces.
Under the IRP, jurisdictions must register apportioned vehicles which includes issuing license
plates and cab cards or proper credentials, calculate, collect and distribute IRP fees, audit carriers
for accuracy of reported distance and fees and
enforce IRP requirements.
Registrant responsibilities under the Plan include
applying for IRP registration with base jurisdiction,
providing proper documentation for registration,
paying appropriate IRP registration fees, properly
displaying registration credentials, maintaining
accurate distance records, and making records
available for jurisdiction review.
The basic concept behind IFTA is to allow a licensee
(motor carrier) to license in a base jurisdiction for
the reporting and payment of motor fuel use taxes.
Under the IFTA, a licensee is issued one set of
credentials which will authorize operations through
all IFTA member jurisdictions. The fuel use taxes
collected pursuant to the IFTA are calculated based
on the number of miles (kilometers) traveled and the
number of gallons (liters) consumed in the member
jurisdictions. The licensee files one quarterly tax
return with the base jurisdiction by which the
licensee will report all operations through all IFTA
member jurisdictions.
It is the base jurisdiction’s responsibility to remit the
taxes collected to other member jurisdictions and to
represent the other member jurisdictions in the tax
collection process, including the performance of
audits.
An IFTA licensee must retain records to support the
information reported on the IFTA quarterly tax
return.
The IRP registrant and the IFTA licensee may be
the vehicle owner or the vehicle operator.
Section 1 - Introduction
Revised 2011
The requirement for acquiring IRP plates for a
vehicle and IFTA license for a motor carrier is
determined by the definitions from the IRP Plan and
the IFTA for Qualified Vehicle and Qualified Motor
Vehicle:
For purposes of IRP:
A Qualified Vehicle is (except as provided below)
any Power Unit that is used or intended for use in
two or more Member Jurisdictions and that is used
for the transportation of persons for hire or
designed, used, or maintained primarily for the
transportation of property, and:
S Has two Axles and a gross Vehicle weight or regis-
tered gross Vehicle weight in excess of 26,000
pounds (11,793.401 kilograms), or
S Has three or more Axles, regardless of weight, or
S Is used in combination, when the gross Vehicle
weight of such combination exceeds 26,000
pounds (11,793.401 kilograms).
While similar, the Qualified Motor Vehicle in IFTA
means a motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained for transportation of persons or property and:
S Having two axles and a gross vehicle weight or
registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000
pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or
S Having three or more axles regardless of weight;
or
S Is used in combination, when the weight of such
combination exceeds 26,000 punds or 11,797
kilograms gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight. Qualified Motor Vehicle does not
include recreational vehicles.
If the vehicle you operate is registered under IRP
and you are a motor carrier licensed under IFTA,
then you are required to comply with the mandatory
record keeping requirements for operating the
vehicle. A universally accepted method of capturing
this information is through the completion of an
Individual Vehicle Distance Record (IVDR), sometimes times referred to as a Driver Trip Report. This
document reflects the distance traveled and fuel
purchased for a vehicle that operates interstate
under apportioned (IRP) registration and IFTA fuel
tax credentials.
Although the actual format of the IVDR may
vary, the information that is required for proper
record keeping does not.
In order to satisfy the requirements for Individual
Vehicle Distance Records, these documents must
include the following information:
Page 1-- 5
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Distance
Per Article IV of the IRP Plan
S Date of trip (starting and ending)
S Trip origin and destination – City and State or
Province
S Route(s) of travel
S Beginning and ending odometer or hubodometer
reading of the trip
S Total distance traveled
S In-Jurisdiction distance
S Power unit number or vehicle identification number.
Fuel
Per Section P560 of the IFTA Procedures Manual
S .300 An acceptable receipt or invoice must
include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
S .005 Date of purchase
S .010 Seller’s name and address
S .015 Number of gallons or liters purchased;
S .020 Fuel type
S .025 Price per gallon or liter or total amount of sale
S .030 Unit number or other unique vehicle identifier
S .035 Purchaser’s name
An example of an IVDR that must be completed in
its entirety for each trip can be found in Figure 1
below. Each individual IVDR should be filled out for
only one vehicle. The rules to follow when trying to
determine how and when to log an odometer
reading are the following:
S At the beginning of the day
S When leaving the state or province
S At the end of the trip/day
Section 1 - Introduction
Revised 2011
Not only do the trips need to be logged, but the fuel
purchases need to be documented as well. You
must obtain a receipt for all fueling and include it
with your completed IVDR.
Make sure that any trips that you enter are always
filled out in descending order and that your trips
include all state/provinces that you traveled through
on your route.
There are different routes that a driver may take,
and most of the miles may be within one state or
province. Whether or not the distance you travel is
primarily in one jurisdiction or spread among
several jurisdictions, all information for the trip must
be recorded. This includes the dates, the routes,
odometer readings and fuel purchases.
By completing this document in full and keeping all
records required by both the IRP and the IFTA, you
will have ensured that you and your company are in
compliance with all State and Provincial laws
surrounding fuel and distance record keeping
requirements.
The IVDR serves as the source document for the
calculation of fees and taxes that are payable to the
jurisdictions in which the vehicle is operated, so
these original records must be maintained for a
minimum of four years.
In addition, these records are subject to audit by the
taxing jurisdictions. Failure to maintain complete
and accurate records could result in fines, penalties
and suspension or revocation of IRP registrations
and IFTA licenses.
For additional information on the IRP and the
requirements related to the IRP, contact your base
jurisdiction motor vehicle department or IRP, Inc.
the official repository for the IRP. Additional information can be found on the IRP, Inc. Web site at
www.irponline.org. There is a training video on the
website home page available in English, Spanish
and French
For additional information on IFTA and the requirements related to IFTA, contact the appropriate
agency in your base jurisdiction. You will also find
useful information about the Agreement at the official
repository of IFTA at http://www.iftach.org/index.php.
Page 1-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Figure 1 – Individual Vehicle Mileage & Fuel Record (Example)
Section 1 - Introduction
Page 1-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 1 - Introduction
Revised 2011
Page 1-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 2
DRIVING SAFELY
This section covers:
S Vehicle Inspection
S Basic Control of Your Vehicle
S Shifting Gears
S Seeing
S Communicating
S Space Management
S Controlling Your Speed
S Seeing Hazards
S Distracted Driving
S Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
S Night Driving
S Driving in Fog
S Winter Driving
S Hot Weather Driving
S Railroad-Highway Crossings
S Mountain Driving
S Driving Emergencies
S Antilock Braking Systems
S Skid Control and Recovery
S Accident Procedures
S Fires
S Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
S Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
S 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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Revised 2011
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:
S Watch gauges for signs of trouble.
S Use your senses to check for problems (look, listen, smell, feel).
S Check critical items when you stop:
 Tires, wheels and rims.
 Brakes.
 Lights and reflectors.
 Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
 Trailer coupling devices.
 Cargo securement devices.
After-Trip Inspection and Report. You should do
an after-trip inspection at the end of the trip, day, or
tour of duty on each vehicle you operated. It may
include filling out a vehicle condition report listing
any problems you find. The inspection report helps
a motor carrier know when the vehicle needs
repairs.
2.1.3 – What to Look For
Tire Problems
S Too much or too little air pressure.
S 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.
S Cuts or other damage.
S Tread separation.
S Dual tires that come in contact with each other or
parts of the vehicle.
S Mismatched sizes.
S Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
S Cut or cracked valve stems.
Page 2-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S Regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the
front wheels of a bus. These are prohibited.
Wheel and Rim Problems
S Damaged rims.
S Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are
Revised 2011
“out of service”, but any defect could be dangerous. See Figure 2.3.
S Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves that
have shifted so they might hit a tire or other part.
S Leaking shock absorbers.
loose—check tightness. After a tire has been
changed, stop a short while later and re-check
tightness of nuts.
S Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or oth-
S Missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs means
S Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or
danger.
S Mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings are dangerous.
er axle positioning parts that are cracked, damaged, or missing.
leaking. See Figure 2.4.
S Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame
members.
S Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are
not safe.
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
S Cracked drums.
S Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on
them.
S Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.
Steering System Defects
S Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
S Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering column, steering gear box, or tie rods.
S If power steering equipped, check hoses, pumps,
and fluid level; check for leaks.
S 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.
Figure 2.1
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 Spring hangers that allow movement of axle from
proper position. See Figure 2.2.
S Cracked or broken spring hangers.
S Missing or broken leaves in any leaf spring. If one-
fourth or more are missing, it will put the vehicle
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Figure 2.4
Figure 2.2
Exhaust System Defects. A broken exhaust
system can let poison fumes into the cab or sleeper
berth. Look for:
S Loose, broken, or missing exhaust pipes, mufflers, tailpipes, or vertical stacks.
S Loose, broken, or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts.
S Exhaust system parts rubbing against fuel system
parts, tires, or other moving parts of vehicle.
S Exhaust system parts that are leaking.
Emergency Equipment. Vehicles must be
equipped with emergency equipment. Look for:
S Fire extinguisher(s).
S Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with circuit breakers).
S Warning devices for parked vehicles (for example,
three reflective warning triangles).
Figure 2.3
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.
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 seven-step
inspection method should be useful.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
2.1.5 – Seven-Step Inspection Method
Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside the Cab
Method of Inspection. You should do a pre-trip
inspection the same way each time so you will learn
all the steps and be less likely to forget something.
Get In and Start Engine
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
S Make sure parking brake is on.
S Put gearshift in neutral (or “park” if automatic).
S Start engine; listen for unusual noises.
S If equipped, check the Antilock 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.
Step 1: Vehicle Overview
Look at the Gauges
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.
S Oil pressure. Should come up to normal within
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:
S Engine oil level.
S Coolant level in radiator; condition of hoses.
S Power steering fluid level; hose condition (if so
equipped).
S Windshield washer fluid level.
S Battery fluid level, connections, and tie downs
(battery may be located elsewhere).
S Automatic transmission fluid level (may require
engine to be running).
S Check belts for tightness and excessive wear (al-
ternator, water pump, air compressor)—learn how
much “give” the belts should have when adjusted
right, and check each one.
S Leaks in the engine compartment (fuel, coolant,
oil, power steering fluid, hydraulic fluid, battery
fluid).
S Cracked, worn electrical wiring insulation.
Lower and secure hood, cab, or engine compartment door.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
seconds after engine is started. See Figure 2.5
S 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.
S Ammeter and/or voltmeter. Should be in normal
range(s).
S Coolant temperature. Should begin gradual rise to
normal operating range.
S Engine oil temperature. Should begin gradual rise
to normal operating range.
S 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:
S Steering wheel.
S Clutch.
S Accelerator (“gas pedal”).
S Brake controls.
 Foot brake.
 Trailer brake (if vehicle has one).
 Parking brake.
 Retarder controls (if vehicle has them).
S Transmission controls.
S Interaxle differential lock (if vehicle has one).
S Horn(s).
S Windshield wiper/washer.
S Lights.
 Headlights.
Page 2-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
 Dimmer switch.
Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection
 Turn signal.
S Go to front of vehicle and check that low beams are
on and both of the four-way flashers are working.
 Four-way flashers.
 Parking, clearance,
switch(es).
identification,
marker
S Push dimmer switch and check that high beams
work.
S Turn off headlights and four-way emergency
flashers.
S Turn on parking, clearance, side-marker, and
identification lights.
S Turn on right turn signal, and start walk-around inspection.
General
S Walkaround and inspect.
S Clean all lights, reflectors, and glass as you go
along.
Left Front Side
S Driver’s door glass should be clean.
S Door latches or locks should work properly.
S Left front wheel.
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
S Check for safety equipment:
 Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has circuit breakers).
 Three red reflective triangles.
 Properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
S Check for optional items such as:
 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.
S Left front suspension.
 Condition of spring, spring hangers, shackles,
u-bolts.
 Shock absorber condition.
S Left front brake.
 Chains (where winter conditions require).
 Condition of brake drum or disc.
 Tire changing equipment.
 Condition of hoses.
 List of emergency phone numbers.
 Accident reporting kit (packet).
Check Seat Belt. Check that the seat belt is
securely mounted, adjusts, latches properly, and is
not ripped or frayed.
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
Front
S Condition of front axle.
S Condition of steering system.
 No loose, worn, bent, damaged or missing
parts.
 Must grab steering mechanism to test for looseness.
S Condition of windshield.
 Check for damage and clean if dirty.
Page 2-- 5
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
 Check windshield wiper arms for proper spring
tension.
 Check wiper blades for damage, “stiff” rubber,
and securement.
S Lights and reflectors.
Revised 2011
 If oversize, all required signs (flags, lamps, and
reflectors) safely and properly mounted and all
required permits in driver’s possession.
 Curbside cargo compartment doors in good
condition, securely closed, latched/locked and
required security seals in place.
 Parking, clearance, and identification lights
clean, operating, and proper color (amber at
front).
S Condition of wheels and rims—no missing, bent,
 Reflectors clean and proper color (amber at
front).
S Condition of tires—properly inflated, valve stems
 Right front turn signal light clean, operating, and
proper color (amber or white on signals facing
forward).
Right Side
S Right front: check all items as done on left front.
S Primary and secondary safety cab locks engaged
(if cab-over-engine design).
S Right fuel tank(s).
 Securely mounted, not damaged, or leaking.
 Fuel crossover line secure.
 Tank(s) contain enough fuel.
 Cap(s) on and secure.
S 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).
S Cargo securement (trucks).
 Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained,
etc.
 Header board adequate, secure (if required).
 Side boards, stakes strong enough, free of
damage, properly set in place (if so equipped).
 Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to
prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of mirrors.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Right Rear
or broken spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs.
and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear,
tires not rubbing each other, and nothing stuck between them.
S Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias
types.
S Tires evenly matched (same sizes).
S Wheel bearing/seals not leaking.
S 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.
S Brakes.
 Brake adjustment.
 Condition of brake drum(s) or discs.
 Condition of hoses—look for any wear due to
rubbing.
S Lights and reflectors.
 Side-marker lights clean, operating, and proper
color (red at rear, others amber).
 Side-marker reflectors clean and proper color
(red at rear, others amber).
Rear
S Lights and reflectors.
 Rear clearance and identification lights clean,
operating, and proper color (red at rear).
 Reflectors clean and proper color (red at rear).
 Taillights clean, operating, and proper color (red
at rear).
 Right rear turn signal operating, and proper color (red, yellow, or amber at rear).
Page 2-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S License plate(s) present, clean, and secured.
Get In Vehicle
S Splash guards present, not damaged, properly
S Turn off lights not needed for driving.
fastened, not dragging on ground, or rubbing tires.
S Cargo secure (trucks).
S Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained,
etc.
S Tailboards up and properly secured.
S End gates free of damage, properly secured in
stake sockets.
S Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to
prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of either the
rearview mirrors or rear lights.
S 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.
S Check for all required papers, trip manifests, permits, etc.
S Secure all loose articles in cab (they might inter-
fere with operation of the controls or hit you in a
crash).
S 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.
S Rear doors securely closed, latched/locked.
Brake System
Left Side
Test Parking Brake(s)
S Check all items as done on right side, plus:
S Fasten seat belt.
 Battery(ies) (if not mounted in engine compartment).
S Set parking brake (power unit only).
 Battery box(es) securely mounted to vehicle.
S Place vehicle into a low gear.
 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).
S Release trailer parking brake (if applicable).
S Gently pull forward against parking brake to make
sure the parking brake holds.
S Repeat the same steps for the trailer with trailer
parking brake set and power unit parking brakes
released (if applicable).
S If it doesn’t hold vehicle, it is faulty; get it fixed.
Test Service Brake Stopping Action
S Go about five miles per hour.
Step 6: Check Signal Lights
S Push brake pedal firmly
Get In and Turn Off Lights
S “Pulling” to one side or the other can mean brake
S Turn off all lights.
S Turn on stop lights (apply trailer hand brake or
have a helper put on the brake pedal).
S Turn on left turn signal lights.
Get Out and Check Lights
S Left front turn signal light clean, operating and
proper color (amber or white on signals facing the
front).
S Left rear turn signal light and both stop lights
clean, operating, and proper color (red, yellow, or
amber).
Section 2 - Driving Safely
trouble.
S Any unusual brake pedal “feel” or delayed stopping action can mean trouble.
If you find anything unsafe during the pre-trip
inspection, get it fixed. Federal and state laws forbid
operating an unsafe vehicle.
2.1.6 – Inspection During a Trip
Check Vehicle Operation Regularly
You should check:
S Instruments.
S Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).
Page 2-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Temperature gauges.
10. How do you test hydraulic brakes for leaks?
S Pressure gauges.
11. Why put the starter switch key in your pocket
during the pre-trip inspection?
S Ammeter/voltmeter.
S Mirrors.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 2.1.
S Tires.
S Cargo, cargo covers.
S Lights.
If you see, hear, smell, or feel anything that might
mean trouble, check it out.
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:
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.
S Accelerating.
2.1.7 – After-Trip Inspection and Report
Fasten your seatbelt when on the road. Apply the
parking brake when you leave your vehicle.
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.
Subsection 2.1
Test Your Knowledge
The vehicle inspection report tells the motor carrier
about problems that may need fixing. Keep a copy
of your report in the vehicle for one day. That way,
the next driver can learn about any problems you
have found.
1. What is the most important reason for doing a
vehicle inspection?
2. What things should you check during a trip?
3. Name some key steering system parts.
4. Name some suspension system defects.
5. What three kinds of emergency equipment
must you have?
6. What is the minimum tread depth for front tires?
For other tires?
7. Name some things you should check on the
front of your vehicle during the walkaround
inspection.
8. What should wheel bearing seals be checked
for?
9. How many red reflective triangles should you
carry?
Section 2 - Driving Safely
S Steering.
S Stopping.
S Backing safely.
2.2.1 – Accelerating
Don’t roll back when you start. You may hit someone
behind you. If you have a manual transmission
vehicle, partly engage the clutch before you take
your right foot off the brake. Put on the parking
brake whenever necessary to keep from rolling
back. Release the parking brake only when you
have applied enough engine power to keep from
rolling back. On a tractor-trailer equipped with a
trailer brake hand valve, the hand valve can be
applied to keep from rolling back.
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.
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
Page 2-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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:
Revised 2011
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
S Start in the proper position.
Basic Method for Shifting Up. Most heavy
vehicles with manual transmissions require double
clutching to change gears. This is the basic method:
S Look at your path.
S Release accelerator, push in clutch and shift to
S Use mirrors on both sides.
S Back slowly.
S Back and turn toward the driver’s side whenever
possible.
S Use a helper whenever possible.
S These rules are discussed in turn below.
Start in the Proper Position. Put the vehicle in the
best position to allow you to back safely. This
position will depend on the type of backing to be
done.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel
before you begin. Get out and walk around the
vehicle. Check your clearance to the sides and
overhead, in and near the path your vehicle will
take.
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.
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 driver-side
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
neutral at the same time.
S Release clutch.
S Let engine and gears slow down to the rpm required for the next gear (this takes practice).
S Push in clutch and shift to the higher gear at the
same time.
S Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
time.
Shifting gears using double clutching requires
practice. If you remain too long in neutral, you may
have difficulty putting the vehicle into the next gear.
If so, don’t try to force it. Return to neutral, release
clutch, increase engine speed to match road speed,
and try again.
Knowing When to Shift Up. There are two ways
of knowing when to shift:
Use Engine Speed (rpm). Study the driver’s
manual for your vehicle and learn the operating rpm
range. Watch your tachometer, and shift up when
your engine reaches the top of the range. (Some
newer vehicles use “progressive” shifting: the rpm
at which you shift becomes higher as you move up
in the gears. Find out what’s right for the vehicle you
will operate.)
Use Road Speed (mph). Learn what speeds each
gear is good for. Then, by using the speedometer,
you’ll know when to shift up.
With either method, you may learn to use engine
sounds to know when to shift.
Basic Procedures for Shifting Down
S Release accelerator, push in clutch, and shift to
neutral at the same time.
S Release clutch.
S Press accelerator, increase engine and gear
speed to the rpm required in the lower gear.
Page 2-- 9
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Push in clutch and shift to lower gear at the same
braking power (to the drive wheels only) whenever
you let up on the accelerator pedal all the way.
S Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
Because these devices can be noisy, be sure you
know where their use is permitted.
S Downshifting, like upshifting, requires knowing
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.
time.
time.
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 speed up as soon
as you are out of the curve.
2.3.2 – Multi-Speed Rear Axles and
Auxiliary Transmissions
Multi-speed rear axles and auxiliary transmissions
are used on many vehicles to provide extra gears.
You usually control them by a selector knob or
switch on the gearshift lever of the main transmission. There are many different shift patterns. Learn
the right way to shift gears in the vehicle you will
drive.
2.3.3 – Automatic Transmissions
Some vehicles have automatic transmissions. You
can select a low range to get greater engine braking
when going down grades. The lower ranges prevent
the transmission from shifting up beyond the
selected gear (unless the governor rpm is exceeded). It is very important to use this braking effect
when going down grades.
2.3.4 – Retarders
Some vehicles have “retarders.” Retarders help
slow a vehicle, reducing the need for using your
brakes. They reduce brake wear and give you
another way to slow down. There are four basic
types of retarders (exhaust, engine, hydraulic, and
electric). All retarders can be turned on or off by the
driver. On some vehicles the retarding power can be
adjusted. When turned “on,” retarders apply their
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Subsections 2.2 and 2.3
Test Your Knowledge
1. Why should you back toward the driver’s side?
2. If stopped on a hill, how can you start moving
without rolling back?
3. When backing, why is it important to use a
helper?
4. What’s the most important hand signal that you
and the helper should agree on?
5. What are the two special conditions where you
should downshift?
6. When should you downshift automatic transmissions?
7. Retarders keep you from skidding when the
road is slippery. True or False?
8. What are the two ways to know when to shift?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.2 and 2.3.
2.4 – Seeing
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.
2.4.1 – Seeing Ahead
All drivers look ahead; but many don’t look far
enough ahead.
Importance of Looking Far Enough Ahead.
Because stopping or changing lanes can take a lot
of distance, knowing what the traffic is doing on all
sides of you is very important. You need to look well
ahead to make sure you have room to make these
moves safely.
How Far Ahead to Look. Most good drivers look
at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead. That means
looking ahead the distance you will travel in 12 to 15
seconds. At lower speeds, that’s about one block.
At highway speeds it’s about a quarter of a mile. If
Page 2-- 10
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2011
know where other vehicles are around you, and to
see if they move into your blind spots.
Check Your Vehicle. Use the mirrors to keep an
eye on your tires. It’s one way to spot a tire fire. If
you’re carrying open cargo, you can use the mirrors
to check it. Look for loose straps, ropes, or chains.
Watch for a flapping or ballooning tarp.
Special Situations. Special situations require
more than regular mirror checks. These are lane
changes, turns, merges, and tight maneuvers.
Lane Changes. You need to check your mirrors to
make sure no one is alongside you or about to pass
you. Check your mirrors:
S Before you change lanes to make sure there is
enough room.
Figure 2.6
Look for Traffic. Look for vehicles coming onto the
highway, into your lane, or turning. Watch for brake
lights from slowing vehicles. By seeing these things
far enough ahead, you can change your speed, or
change lanes if necessary to avoid a problem. If a
traffic light has been green for a long time it will
probably change before you get there. Start slowing
down and be ready to stop.
S After you have signaled, to check that no one has
moved into your blind spot.
S Right after you start the lane change, to doublecheck that your path is clear.
S After you complete the lane change.
Turns. In turns, check your mirrors to make sure the
rear of your vehicle will not hit anything.
2.4.2 – Seeing to the Sides and Rear
Merges. When merging, use your mirrors to make
sure the gap in traffic is large enough for you to enter
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.
Tight Maneuvers. Any time you are driving in close
quarters, check your mirrors often. Make sure you
have enough clearance.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
How to Use Mirrors. Use mirrors correctly by
checking them quickly and understanding what you
see.
S 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.
S Many large vehicles have curved (convex, “fish-
eye,” “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.
Page 2-- 11
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Trouble Ahead. The size of your vehicle may
make it hard for drivers behind you to see hazards
ahead. If you see a hazard that will require slowing
down, warn the drivers behind by flashing your
brake lights.
S 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.
S 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.
S Driving Slowly. Drivers often do not realize how
Figure 2.7
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:
S Signal early. Signal well before you turn. It is the
best way to keep others from trying to pass you.
S Signal continuously. You need both hands on the
wheel to turn safely. Don’t cancel the signal until
you have completed the turn.
S 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:
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.)
Don’t Direct Traffic. Some drivers try to help out
others by signaling when it is safe to pass. You
should not do this. You could cause an accident.
You could be blamed and it could cost you many
thousands of dollars.
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.
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you
pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the
four-way emergency flashers. This is important at
night. 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.
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:
Page 2-- 12
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2011
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 2.10
Figure 2.8
When putting out the triangles, hold them between
yourself and the oncoming traffic for your own
safety. (So other drivers can see you.)
Use Your Horn When Needed. Your horn can let
others know you’re there. It can help to avoid a
crash. Use your horn when needed. However, it can
startle others and could be dangerous when used
unnecessarily.
2.6 – Controlling Speed
Driving too fast is a major cause of fatal crashes.
You must adjust your speed depending on driving
conditions. These include traction, curves, visibility,
traffic and hills.
2.6.1 – Stopping Distance
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Braking
Distance = Total Stopping Distance
Figure 2.9
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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
Page 2-- 13
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
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.
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.
Reaction Distance. The distance you will continue
to travel, in ideal conditions; before you physically
hit the brakes, in response to a hazard seen ahead.
The average driver has a reaction time of 3/4
second to 1 second. At 55 mph this accounts for 61
feet traveled.
2.6.2 – Matching Speed to the Road
Surface
Braking Distance. The distance your vehicle will
travel, in ideal conditions; while you are braking. At
55 mph on dry pavement with good brakes, it can
take about 216 feet.
Total Stopping Distance. The total minimum
distance your vehicle has traveled, in ideal
conditions; with everything considered,
including perception distance, reaction distance, and braking distance, until you can bring
your vehicle to a complete stop. At 55 mph,
your vehicle will travel a minimum of 419 feet.
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 four times greater.
The braking distance is also four times longer. Triple
the speed from 20 to 60 mph and the impact and
braking distance is nine times greater. At 60 mph,
your stopping distance is greater than the length of
a football field. Increase the speed to 80 mph and
the impact and braking distance are 16 times
greater than at 20 mph. High speeds greatly
increase the severity of crashes and stopping
distances. By slowing down, you can reduce
braking distance.
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
4 0
3 0
2 0
1 0
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
4 0
3 0
2 0
1 0
16’ 17’
28’
142’
Perception Distance
icy and slippery long after open areas have
melted.
S Bridges. When the temperature drops, bridges will
freeze before the road will. Be especially careful
when the temperature is close to 32 Fahrenheit.
S Melting Ice. Slight melting will make ice wet. Wet
ice is much more slippery than ice that is not wet.
S 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.
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.
92’
50’
152’
55 419’ Total Stopping Distance
MPH
S Shaded Areas. Shady parts of the road will remain
S Just After Rain Begins. Right after it starts to rain,
47’
35 222’ Total Stopping Distance
91’
39’
45 319’ Total Stopping Distance
117’
Identifying Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes it’s
hard to know if the road is slippery. Here are some
signs of slippery roads:
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.
25 140’ Total Dist.
65’
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.
S Vehicle Icing. An easy way to check for ice is to
15 72’
39’
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.
61’
Reaction
Distance
216’
Braking Distance
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
S 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
Page 2-- 14
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2011
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:
S Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
S Length of the grade.
2.6.3 – Speed and Curves
S Steepness of the grade.
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.
S Road conditions.
Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve.
Braking in a curve is dangerous because it is easier
to lock the wheels and cause a skid. Slow down as
needed. Don’t ever exceed the posted speed limit
for the curve. Be in a gear that will let you accelerate
slightly in the curve. This will help you keep control.
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
You should always be able to stop within the
distance you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other
conditions may require that you 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.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
S Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating
“Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed
shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs
indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as the
principal way of controlling your speed on downgrades. The braking effect of the engine is greatest
when it is near the governed rpms and the
transmission is in the lower gears. Save your brakes
so you will be able to slow or stop as required by
road and traffic conditions. Shift your transmission
to a low gear before starting down the grade and use
the proper braking techniques. Please read carefully the section on going down long, steep downgrades safely in “Mountain Driving.”
2.6.7 – Roadway Work Zones
Speeding traffic is the number one cause of injury
and death in roadway work zones. Observe the
posted speed limits at all times when approaching
and driving through a work zone. Watch your
speedometer, and don’t allow your speed to creep
up as you drive through long sections of road
construction. Decrease your speed for adverse
weather or road conditions. Decrease your speed
even further when a worker is close to the roadway.
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?
Page 2-- 15
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
3. What’s your most important way to see the
sides and rear of your vehicle?
you’d need 5 seconds for a 40-foot vehicle and 7
seconds for a 60-foot vehicle. See Figure 2.12.
4. What does “communicating” mean in safe
driving?
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.
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.
If you are driving a 40-foot truck and only counted
up to 2 seconds, you’re too close. Drop back a little
and count again until you have 4 seconds of
following distance (or 5 seconds, if you’re going
over 40 mph). After a little practice, you will know
how far back you should be. Remember to add 1
second for speeds above 40 mph. Also remember
that when the road is slippery, you need much more
space to stop.
2.7 – Managing Space
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.
2.7.1 – Space Ahead
Of all the space around your vehicle, it is the area
ahead of the vehicle—the space you’re driving into
—that is most important.
The Need for Space Ahead. You need space
ahead in case you must suddenly stop. According
to accident reports, the vehicle that trucks and
buses most often run into is the one in front of them.
The most frequent cause is following too closely.
Remember, if the vehicle ahead of you is smaller
than yours, it can probably stop faster than you can.
You may crash if you are following too closely.
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,
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Figure 2.12
2.7.2 – Space Behind
You can’t stop others from following you too closely.
But there are things you can do to make it safer.
Stay to the Right. Heavy vehicles are often
tailgated when they can’t keep up with the speed of
traffic. This often happens when you’re going uphill.
If a heavy load is slowing you down, stay in the right
lane if you can. Going uphill, you should not pass
Page 2-- 16
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
another slow vehicle unless you can get around
quickly and safely.
out of tunnels. Don’t drive alongside others if you
can avoid it.
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:
2.7.4 – Space Overhead
S When you are traveling slowly. Drivers trapped
behind slow vehicles often follow closely.
S 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.
S Avoid quick changes. If you have to slow down or
turn, signal early, and reduce speed very gradually.
S 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.
S Don’t speed up. It’s safer to be tailgated at a low
speed than a high speed.
S Avoid tricks. Don’t turn on your taillights or flash
your brake lights. Follow the suggestions above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
Commercial vehicles are often wide and take up
most of a lane. Safe drivers will manage what little
space they have. You can do this by keeping your
vehicle centered in your lane, and avoid driving
alongside others.
Staying Centered in a Lane. You need to keep
your vehicle centered in the lane to keep safe
clearance on either side. If your vehicle is wide, you
have little room to spare.
Traveling Next to Others. There are two dangers
in traveling alongside other vehicles:
S Another driver may change lanes suddenly and
turn into you.
S 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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure you
always have overhead clearance.
S 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.
S 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.
S 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.
S 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.
S Before you back into an area, get out and check
for overhanging objects such as trees, branches,
or electric wires. It’s easy to miss seeing them
while you are backing. (Also check for other hazards at the same time.)
2.7.5 – Space Below
Many drivers forget about the space under their
vehicles. That space can be very small when a
vehicle is heavily loaded. This is often a problem on
dirt roads and in unpaved yards. Don’t take a
chance on getting hung up. Drainage channels
across roads can cause the ends of some vehicles
to drag. Cross such depressions carefully.
Railroad tracks can also cause problems, particularly when pulling trailers with a low underneath
clearance. Don’t take a chance on getting hung up
halfway across.
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:
S Turn slowly to give yourself and others more time
to avoid problems.
Page 2-- 17
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S 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.
S Don’t turn wide to the left as you start the turn. A
Revised 2011
2.7.7 – Space Needed to Cross or Enter
Traffic
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.
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.
S Because of slow acceleration and the space large
S If you must cross into the oncoming lane to make
S Acceleration varies with the load. Allow more
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.
vehicles require, you may need a much larger gap
to enter traffic than you would in a car.
room if your vehicle is heavily loaded.
S 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
What Is A Hazard? A hazard is any road condition
or other road user (driver, bicyclist, pedestrian) that
is a possible danger. For example, a car in front of
you is headed toward the freeway exit, but his brake
lights come on and he begins braking hard. This
could mean that the driver is uncertain about taking
the off ramp. He might suddenly return to the
highway. This car is a hazard. If the driver of the car
cuts in front of you, it is no longer just a hazard; it is
an emergency.
Figure 2.13
Left Turns. On a left turn, make sure you have
reached the center of the intersection before you
start the left turn. If you turn too soon, the left side
of your vehicle may hit another vehicle because of
offtracking.
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.
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.
2.8.2 – Hazardous Roads
Slow down and be very careful if you see any of the
following road hazards.
Figure 2.14
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.
Page 2-- 18
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Revised 2011
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 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.
Page 2-- 19
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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-of-state
license plates. Unexpected actions (stopping in the
middle of a block, changing lanes for no apparent
reason, backup lights suddenly going on) are clues
to confusion. Hesitation is another clue, including
driving very slowly, using brakes often, or stopping
in the middle of an intersection. You may also see
drivers who are looking at street signs, maps, and
house numbers. These drivers may not be paying
attention to you.
Slow Drivers. Motorists who fail to maintain normal
speed are hazards. Seeing slow moving vehicles
early can prevent a crash. Some vehicles, by their
nature, are slow and seeing them is a hazard clue
(mopeds, farm machinery, construction machinery,
tractors, etc.). Some of these will have the ”slow
moving vehicle” symbol to warn you. This is a red
triangle with an orange center. Watch for it.
Drivers Signaling a Turn May Be A Hazard.
Drivers signaling a turn may slow more than
expected or stop. If they are making a tight turn into
an alley or driveway, they may go very slowly. If
pedestrians or other vehicles block them, they may
have to stop on the roadway. Vehicles turning left
may have to stop for oncoming vehicles.
Drivers in a Hurry. Drivers may feel your commercial vehicle is preventing them from getting where
they want to go on time. Such drivers may pass you
without a safe gap in the oncoming traffic, cutting
too close in front of you. Drivers entering the road
may pull in front of you in order to avoid being stuck
behind you, causing you to brake. Be aware of this
and watch for drivers who are in a hurry.
Impaired Drivers. Drivers who are sleepy, have
had too much to drink, are on drugs, or who are ill
are hazards. Some clues to these drivers are:
S Weaving across the road or drifting from one side
to another.
S Leaving the road (dropping right wheels onto the
shoulder, or bumping across a curb in a turn).
S Stopping at the wrong time (stopping at a green
light, or waiting for too long at a stop).
S Open window in cold weather.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Revised 2011
S 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.
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?
Page 2-- 20
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
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.
Revised 2011
S Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
S Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you
drive.
S Don’t engage in complex or emotionally intense
conversations with other occupants.
2.9.2 – Use In-Vehicle Communication
Equipment Cautiously
S When possible, pull off the road in a safe, legal
place when making/receiving a call on communication equipment.
S If possible, turn the cell phone off until your destination is reached.
S Position the cell phone within easy reach.
S Pre-program cell phones with commonly called
numbers.
S If you have to place a call, find a safe place to pull
off the road. Do not place a call while driving.
S 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.
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.
S If you must use your cell phone, keep conversa-
2.9.1 – Don’t Drive Distracted
2.9.3 – Watch Out for Other Distracted
Drivers
If drivers react a half-second slower because of
distractions, crashes double. Some tips to follow so
you won’t become distracted:
S Review and be totally familiar with all safety and
usage features on any in-vehicle electronics, including your wireless or cell phone, before you
drive.
S Pre-program radio stations.
S Pre-load you favorite CDs or cassette tapes.
S Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects.
S Review maps and plan your route before you begin driving.
S Adjust all mirrors for best all-round visibility before
you start your trip.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
tions short. Develop ways to get free of longwinded friends and associates while on the road.
Never use the cell phone for social visiting.
S Hang up in tricky traffic situations.
S Do not use the equipment when approaching loca-
tions with heavy traffic, road construction, heavy
pedestrian traffic, or severe weather conditions.
S Do not attempt to type or read messages on your
satellite system while driving.
You need to be able to recognize other drivers who
are engaged in any form of driving distraction. Not
recognizing other distracted drivers can prevent
you from perceiving or reacting correctly in time to
prevent a crash. Watch for:
S Vehicles that may drift over the lane divider lines
or within their own lane.
S Vehicles traveling at inconsistent speeds.
S Drivers who are preoccupied with maps, food, cigarettes, cell phones, or other objects.
S Drivers who appear to be involved in conversations with their passengers.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and maintain
your safe following distance.
Page 2-- 21
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Be very careful when passing a driver who seems
to be distracted. The other driver may not be aware
of your presence, and they may drift in front of you.
2.10 – Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
2.10.1 – What Is It?
Aggressive driving and road rage is not a new
problem. However, in today’s world, where heavy
and slow-moving traffic and tight schedules are the
norm, more and more drivers are taking out their
anger and frustration in their vehicles.
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.
Revised 2011
guest.” This response will soon become a habit
and you won’t be as offended by other drivers’ actions.
2.10.3 – What You Should Do When
Confronted by an Aggressive Driver
S First and foremost, make every attempt to get out
of their way.
S Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge
them by speeding up or attempting to hold-yourown in your travel lane.
S Avoid eye contact.
S Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
S Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible, direction of travel.
S If you have a cell phone, and can do it safely, call
the police.
S If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash far-
ther 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.
Subsections 2.9 and 2.10
Test Your Knowledge
S Reduce your stress before and while you drive.
1. What are some tips to follow so you won’t
become a distracted driver?
S Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow your-
2. How do you use in-vehicle communications
equipment cautiously?
Listen to “easy listening” music.
self to become distracted by talking on your cell
phone, eating, etc.
S Be realistic about your travel time. Expect delays
3. How do you recognize a distracted driver?
because of traffic, construction, or bad weather
and make allowances.
4. What is the difference between aggressive
driving and road rage?
S If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal
5. What should you do when confronted with an
aggressive driver?
S Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to
6. What are some things you can do to reduce your
stress before and while you drive?
with it. Take a deep breath and accept the delay.
imagine why he or she is driving that way. Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do with you.
S Slow down and keep your following distance rea-
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and 2.10.
sonable.
S Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
S 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.
S Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another driv-
er seems eager to get in front of you, say, “Be my
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.
Page 2-- 22
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
The problems of night driving involve the driver, the
roadway, and the vehicle.
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.
Revised 2011
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:
S Reflectors.
2.11.3 – Roadway Factors
S Marker lights.
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.
S Clearance 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.
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.
Drive slower when lighting is poor or confusing.
Drive slowly enough to be sure you can stop in the
distance you can see ahead.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
S Taillights.
S Identification lights.
Turn Signals and Brake Lights. At night your turn
signals and brake lights are even more important for
telling other drivers what you intend to do. Make
sure you have clean, working turn signals and stop
lights.
Windshield and Mirrors. It is more important at
night than in the daytime to have a clean windshield
and clean mirrors. Bright lights at night can cause
dirt on your windshield or mirrors to create a glare
of its own, blocking your view. Most people have
experienced driving toward the sun just as it has
risen or is about to set, and found that they can
barely see through a windshield that seemed to look
OK in the middle of the day. Clean your windshield
on the inside and outside for safe driving at night.
Page 2-- 23
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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 300 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.
Revised 2011
or truck stop until visibility is better. If you must drive,
be sure to consider the following:
S Obey all fog-related warning signs.
S Slow down before you enter fog.
S 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.
S Turn on your 4-way flashers. This will give ve-
hicles approaching you from behind a quicker opportunity to notice your vehicle.
S 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.
S Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to determine how the road may curve ahead of you.
S Listen for traffic you cannot see.
S Avoid passing other vehicles.
S Don’t stop along the side of the road, unless absolutely necessary.
2.13 – Driving in Winter
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.
2.13.1 – Vehicle Checks
If You Get Sleepy, Stop Driving 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.
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.
2.12 – Driving in Fog
Fog can occur at any time. Fog on highways can be
extremely dangerous. Fog is often unexpected, and
visibility can deteriorate rapidly. You should watch
for foggy conditions and be ready to reduce your
speed. Do not assume that the fog will thin out after
you enter it.
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. It is
preferable that you pull off the road into a rest area
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
Wipers and Washers. Make sure the windshield
wiper blades are in good condition. Make sure the
wiper blades press against the window hard enough
to wipe the windshield clean, otherwise they may
not sweep off snow properly. Make sure the
windshield washer works and there is washing fluid
in the washer reservoir.
Use windshield washer antifreeze to prevent freezing of the washer liquid. If you can’t see well enough
while driving (for example, if your wipers fail), stop
safely and fix the problem.
Page 2-- 24
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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, so always carry them when driving
in winter weather. Carry the right number of chains
and extra cross-links. Make sure they will fit your
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Revised 2011
Check for Ice. Check for ice on the road, especially
bridges and overpasses. A lack of spray from other
vehicles indicates ice has formed on the road. Also,
check your mirrors and wiper blades for ice. If they
have ice, the road most likely will be icy as well.
Adjust Turning and Braking to Conditions.
Make turns as gently as possible. Don’t brake any
harder than necessary, and don’t use the engine
brake or speed retarder. (They can cause the
driving wheels to skid on slippery surfaces.)
Adjust Speed to Conditions. Don’t pass slower
vehicles unless necessary. Go slowly and watch far
enough ahead to keep a steady speed. Avoid
having to slow down and speed up. Take curves at
slower speeds and don’t brake while in curves. Be
aware that as the temperature rises to the point
where ice begins to melt, the road becomes even
more slippery. Slow down more.
Adjust Space to Conditions. Don’t drive alongside other vehicles. Keep a longer following distance. When you see a traffic jam ahead, slow down
or stop to wait for it to clear. Try hard to anticipate
stops early and slow down gradually. Watch for
snowplows, as well as salt and sand trucks, and
give them plenty of room.
Wet Brakes. When driving in heavy rain or deep
standing water, your brakes will get wet. Water in
the brakes can cause the brakes to be weak, to
apply unevenly, or to grab. This can cause lack of
braking power, wheel lockups, pulling to one side or
the other, and jackknife if you pull a trailer.
Avoid driving through deep puddles or flowing water
if possible. If not, you should:
S Slow down and place transmission in a low gear.
S Gently put on the brakes. This presses linings
against brake drums or discs and keeps mud, silt,
sand, and water from getting in.
S Increase engine rpm and cross the water while
keeping light pressure on the brakes.
S When out of the water, maintain light pressure on
the brakes for a short distance to heat them up and
dry them out.
S Make a test stop when safe to do so. Check be-
hind 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.)
Page 2-- 25
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
S Step back while pressure is released from cooling
2.14.1 – Vehicle Checks
S When all pressure has been released, press down
Do a normal pre-trip inspection, but pay special
attention to the following items.
Tires. Check the tire mounting and air pressure.
Inspect the tires every two hours or every 100 miles
when driving in very hot weather. Air pressure
increases with temperature. Do not let air out or the
pressure will be too low when the tires cool off. If a
tire is too hot to touch, remain stopped until the tire
cools off. Otherwise the tire may blow out or catch
fire.
Engine Oil. The engine oil helps keep the engine
cool, as well as lubricating it. Make sure there is
enough engine oil. If you have an oil temperature
gauge, make sure the temperature is within the
proper range while you are driving.
Engine Coolant. Before starting out, make sure
the engine cooling system has enough water and
antifreeze according to the engine manufacturer’s
directions. (Antifreeze helps the engine under hot
conditions as well as cold conditions.) When
driving, check the water temperature or coolant
temperature gauge from time to time. Make sure
that it remains in the normal range. If the gauge
goes above the highest safe temperature, there
may be something wrong that could lead to engine
failure and possibly fire. Stop driving as soon as
safely possible and try to find out what is wrong.
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.
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:
S Shut engine off.
system.
on the cap and turn it further to remove it.
S Visually check level of coolant and add more coolant if necessary.
S 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.
Subsections 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, and 2.14
Test Your Knowledge
1. You should use low beams whenever you can.
True or False?
2. What should you do before you drive if you are
drowsy?
3. What effects can wet brakes cause? How can
you avoid these problems?
4. You should let air out of hot tires so the pressure
goes back to normal. True or False?
5. You can safely remove the radiator cap as long
as the engine isn’t overheated. True or False?
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.
S Wait until engine has cooled.
S Protect hands (use gloves or a thick cloth).
2.15 – Railroad-Highway Crossings
S Turn radiator cap slowly to the first stop, which re-
Railroad-highway grade crossings are a special
kind of intersection where the roadway crosses train
leases the pressure seal.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Page 2-- 26
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
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
Figure 2.16
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.
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.
Figure 2.17
Figure 2.15
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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
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
Page 2-- 27
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. See Figure 2.18.
Revised 2011
S The nature of the cargo makes a stop mandatory
under state or federal regulations.
S Such a stop is otherwise required by law.
When stopping be sure to:
S Check for traffic behind you while stopping gradually. Use a pullout lane, if available.
S Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
2.15.5 – Crossing the Tracks
Railroad crossings with steep approaches can
cause your unit to hang up on the tracks.
Figure 2.18
Never permit traffic conditions to trap you in a
position where you have to stop on the tracks. Be
sure you can get all the way across the tracks before
you start across. It takes a typical tractor-trailer unit
at least 14 seconds to clear a single track and more
than 15 seconds to clear a double track.
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
Do not shift gears while crossing railroad tracks.
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.
2.15.6 – Special Situations
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.
Double Tracks Require a Double Check. Remember that a train on one track may hide a train
on the other track. Look both ways before crossing.
After one train has cleared a crossing, be sure no
other trains are near before starting across the
tracks.
Yard Areas and Grade Crossings in Cities and
Towns. Yard areas and grade crossings in cities
and towns are just as dangerous as rural grade
crossings. Approach them with as much caution.
2.15.4 – Stopping Safely at RailroadHighway Crossings
A full stop is required at grade crossings whenever:
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised
crossings:
S Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
S Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get out
of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
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
Page 2-- 28
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2011
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.
S Steepness of the grade.
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.
S Road conditions.
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
S Weather.
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:
2.16.1 – Select a “Safe” Speed
Your most important consideration is to select a
speed that is not too fast for the:
S Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
S Length of the grade.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating
“Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed
shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs
indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as the
principal way of controlling your speed. The braking
effect of the engine is greatest when it is near the
governed rpms and the transmission is in the lower
gears. Save your brakes so you will be able to slow
or stop as required by road and traffic conditions.
S Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
2.16.2 – Select the Right Gear Before
Starting Down the Grade
S When your speed has increased to your “safe”
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
slowdown.
S When your speed has been reduced to approxi-
mately five mph below your “safe” speed, release
the brakes. (This brake application should last for
about three seconds.)
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?
Page 2-- 29
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
2. Why should you be in the proper gear before
starting down a hill?
steering and countersteering as two parts of one
driving action.
3. Describe the proper braking technique when
going down a long, steep downgrade.
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.
4. What type of vehicles can get stuck on a
railroad-highway crossing?
5. How long does it take for a typical tractor-trailer
unit to clear a double track?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.15 and 2.16.
2.17 – Driving Emergencies
Traffic emergencies occur when two vehicles are
about to collide. Vehicle emergencies occur when
tires, brakes, or other critical parts fail. Following the
safety practices in this manual can help prevent
emergencies. But if an emergency does happen,
your chances of avoiding a crash depend upon how
well you take action. Actions you can take are
discussed below.
2.17.1 – Steering to Avoid a Crash
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in an
emergency. When you don’t have enough room to
stop, you may have to steer away from what’s
ahead. Remember, you can almost always turn to
miss an obstacle more quickly than you can stop.
(However, top-heavy vehicles and tractors with
multiple trailers may flip over.)
Keep Both Hands on the Steering Wheel. In
order to turn quickly, you must have a firm grip on
the steering wheel with both hands. The best way
to have both hands on the wheel, if there is an
emergency, is to keep them there all the time.
How to Turn Quickly and Safely. A quick turn can
be made safely, if it’s done the right way. Here are
some points that safe drivers use:
S 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.
S Do not turn any more than needed to clear what-
ever is in your way. The more sharply you turn, the
greater the chances of a skid or rollover.
S 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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
If something is blocking your path, the best direction
to steer will depend on the situation.
S If you have been using your mirrors, you’ll know
which lane is empty and can be safely used.
S 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.
S 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.
Stay on the Shoulder. If the shoulder is clear, stay
on it until your vehicle has come to a stop. Signal
and check your mirrors before pulling back onto the
road.
Returning to the Road. If you are forced to return
to the road before you can stop, use the following
procedure:
S 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.
S 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
Page 2-- 30
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
response if there’s enough distance to stop, and you
use the brakes correctly.
emergency brake so you can adjust the brake
pressure and keep the wheels from locking up.
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.
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. Put it in low
gear, apply the parking brake, and, if necessary, roll
back into some obstacle that will stop the vehicle.
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
S Apply your brakes all the way.
S Release brakes when wheels lock up.
S As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the
brakes fully again. (It can take up to one second
for the wheels to start rolling after you release the
brakes. If you re-apply the brakes before the
wheels start rolling, the vehicle won’t straighten
out.)
Don’t Jam on the Brakes. Emergency braking
does not mean pushing down on the brake pedal as
hard as you can. That will only keep the wheels
locked up and cause a skid. If the wheels are
skidding, you cannot control the vehicle.
2.17.3 – Brake Failure
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most
hydraulic brake failures occur for one of two
reasons: (Air brakes are discussed in Section 5.)
S Loss of hydraulic pressure.
S Brake fade on long hills.
Loss of Hydraulic Pressure. When the system
won’t build up pressure, the brake pedal will feel
spongy or go to the floor. Here are some things you
can do.
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear will
help to slow the vehicle.
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:
S 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.
Pump the Brakes. Sometimes pumping the brake
pedal will generate enough hydraulic pressure to
stop the vehicle.
S Vibration. If the vehicle thumps or vibrates heavily,
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
S Feel. If the steering feels “heavy,” it is probably a
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
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.
Page 2-- 31
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Respond to Tire Failure. When a tire fails, your
vehicle is in danger. You must immediately:
S 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.
S 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.
S 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.
Revised 2011
S 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.
2.18 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
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.
ABS is a computerized system that keeps your
wheels from locking up during hard brake applications.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on
once you are under way, you may have lost ABS
control.
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:
S Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after
March 1, 1997.
S Other air brake vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers,
and converter dollies) built on or after March 1,
1998.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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.
2.18.5 – ABS on the Tractor Only or Only
on the Trailer
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
Page 2-- 32
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if you
can safely do so) until you regain control.
S ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
2.18.6 – Braking with ABS
S ABS won’t change the way you normally brake.
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
S Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay in control.
S Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the bus, tractor, the trailer, or both.
S As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay
in control.
There is only one exception to this procedure. If you
drive a straight truck or combination with working
ABS on all axles, in an emergency stop, you can
fully apply the brakes.
power–ABS is an “add-on” to your normal brakes,
not a replacement for them.
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.
S ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
S Remember: The best vehicle safely feature is still
a safe driver.
S Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
ABS.
S 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
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip on
the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
Without ABS you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Over-Braking. Braking too hard and locking up the
wheels. Skids also can occur when using the speed
retarder when the road is slippery.
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
S ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
S 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.
S ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not always shorten stopping distance.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Over-Steering. Turning the wheels more sharply
than the vehicle can turn.
Over-Acceleration. Supplying too much power to
the drive wheels, causing them to spin.
Driving Too Fast. Most serious skids result from
driving too fast for road conditions. Drivers who
adjust their driving to conditions don’t over-accelerate and don’t have to over-brake or over-steer from
too much speed.
2.19.1 – Drive-Wheel Skids
By far the most common skid is one in which the rear
wheels lose traction through excessive braking or
acceleration. Skids caused by acceleration usually
happen on ice or snow. Taking your foot off the
accelerator can easily stop them. (If it is very
slippery, push the clutch in. Otherwise, the engine
can keep the wheels from rolling freely and
regaining traction.)
Rear wheel braking skids occur when the rear drive
wheels lock. Because locked wheels have less
traction than rolling wheels, the rear wheels usually
slide sideways in an attempt to “catch up” with the
front wheels. In a bus or straight truck, the vehicle
will slide sideways in a “spin out.” With vehicles
Page 2-- 33
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
towing trailers, a drive-wheel skid can let the trailer
push the towing vehicle sideways, causing a
sudden jackknife. See Figure 2.19.
Revised 2011
front end tends to go in a straight line regardless of
how much you turn the steering wheel. On a very
slippery surface, you may not be able to steer
around a curve or turn.
When a front-wheel skid occurs, the only way to
stop the skid is to let the vehicle slow down. Stop
turning and/or braking so hard. Slow down as
quickly as possible without skidding.
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?
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 any
further. If on ice, push in the clutch to let the wheels
turn freely.
Turn Quickly. When a vehicle begins to slide
sideways quickly steer in the direction you want the
vehicle to go—down the road. You must turn the
wheel quickly.
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.”
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
Driving too fast for conditions causes most frontwheel skids. Other causes include lack of tread on
the front tires and cargo loaded so not enough
weight is on the front axle. In a front-wheel skid, the
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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:
S Protect the area.
S Notify authorities.
S Care for the injured.
2.20.1 – Protect the Area
The first thing to do at an accident scene is to keep
another accident from happening in the same spot.
To protect the accident area:
S 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.
S If you’re stopping to help, park away from the accident. The area immediately around the accident
will be needed for emergency vehicles.
S Put on your flashers.
Page 2-- 34
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Set out reflective triangles to warn other traffic.
S Follow Safe Procedures. Follow correct safety
2.20.2 – Notify Authorities
S Monitoring. Check the instruments and gauges
Make sure other drivers can see them in time to
avoid the accident.
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:
S Don’t move a severely injured person unless the
danger of fire or passing traffic makes it necessary.
S Stop heavy bleeding by applying direct pressure
to the wound.
S 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:
S After Accidents. Spilled fuel, improper use of flares.
S Tires. Under-inflated tires and duals that touch.
S Electrical System. Short circuits due to damaged
insulation, loose connections.
S Fuel. Driver smoking, improper fueling, loose fuel
connections.
S Cargo. Flammable cargo, improperly sealed or
loaded cargo, poor ventilation.
2.21.2 – Fire Prevention
Pay attention to the following:
S Pre-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.
S En Route Inspection. Check the tires, wheels, and
truck body for signs of heat whenever you stop
during a trip.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
procedures for fueling the vehicle, using brakes,
handling flares, and other activities that can cause
a fire.
often for signs of overheating and use the mirrors
to look for signs of smoke from tires or the vehicle.
S 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:
S Park in an open area, away from buildings, trees,
brush, other vehicles, or anything that might catch
fire.
S Don’t pull into a service station!
S 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.
S 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.
S For a cargo fire in a van or box trailer, keep the
doors shut, especially if your cargo contains hazardous materials. Opening the van doors will supply the fire with oxygen and can cause it to burn
very fast.
Extinguish the Fire. Here are some rules to follow
in putting out a fire:
S When using the extinguisher, stay as far away
from the fire as possible.
S Aim at the source or base of the fire, not up in the
flames.
Use the Right Fire Extinguisher
S Figures 2.20 and 2.21 detail the type of fire extinguisher to use by class of fire.
S The B:C type fire extinguisher is designed to work
on electrical fires and burning liquids.
S The A:B:C type is designed to work on burning
wood, paper, and cloth as well.
Page 2-- 35
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S 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).
S A burning tire must be cooled. Lots of water may
be required.
S If you’re not sure what to use, especially on a hazardous materials fire, wait for firefighters.
S Position yourself upwind. Let the wind carry the
Revised 2011
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.
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 2.20 and 2.21.
extinguisher to the fire.
S Continue until whatever was burning has been
cooled. Absence of smoke or flame does not
mean the fire cannot restart.
Class
A
B
C
D
Class/Type of Fires
Type
Wood, Paper, Ordinary Combustibles
Extinguish by Cooling and
Quenching Using Water or Dry
Chemicals
Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Other
Greasy Liquids
Extinguish by Smothering, Cooling or Heat Shielding using carbon Dioxide or Dry Chemicals
Electrical Equipment Fires
Extinguish with Nonconducting
Agents such as Carbon Dioxide
or Dry Chemicals. DO NOT USE
WATER.
Fires in Combustible Metals
Extinguish by Using Specialized
Extinguishing Powders
Figure 2.20
Class of Fire/Type of Extinguisher
Class of Fire
Fire Extinguisher Type
B or C
Regular Dry Chemical
A, B, C, or D
Multi Purpose Dry Chemical
D
Purple K Dry Chemical
B or C
KCL Dry Chemical
D
Dry Powder Special Compound
Carbon Dioxide (Dry)
B or C
B or C
Halogenated Agent (Gas)
A
Water
A
Water With Anti-Freeze
A or B
Water, Loaded Steam Style
B, On Some A
Foam
Figure 2.21
Subsections 2.20 and 2.21
Test Your Knowledge
1. What are some things to do at an accident
scene to prevent another accident?
2. Name two causes of tire fires.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
2.22.1 – Alcohol and Driving
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.
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.
All of the following drinks contain the same amount
of alcohol:
S A 12-ounce glass of 5% beer.
S A 5-ounce glass of 12% wine.
S 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 self-control. One of the bad things about this is it can keep
drinkers from knowing they are getting drunk. And,
Page 2-- 36
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
of course, good judgment and self-control are
absolutely necessary for safe driving.
S Not signaling, failure to use lights.
S Running stop signs and red lights.
S Improper passing.
What is a Drink? It is the alcohol in drinks
that affect 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
Body Weight in Pounds
120
140
160
180
200
220
240
.00
.00 .00
.00
.00
.00 .00
.00
.03 .03
.02
.02
.02 .02
.02
.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
10
.38
.31 .27
.23
.21
.19 .17
.16
Legally Intoxicated
Criminal Penalties
.08
Driving Skills Significantly Affected
Criminal Penalties
2
Impairment
Begins
.04
Only Safe
Driving Limit
100
1
Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking. One
drink is 1.5 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:
S Straddling lanes.
S Quick, jerky starts.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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
Drinks
0
See Figure 2.23.
Effects of Increasing
Blood Alcohol Content
Blood Alcohol Content is the amount of alcohol in your
blood recorded in milligrams of alcohol per 100 millimeters 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.
Noticeable relaxation.
.05
.08
Effects on Driving
Condition
Less inhibited.
Less alert, less selffocused, coordination
impairment begins.
Drunk driving limit,
impaired coordination
& judgment.
Reduction in reaction
time.
Definite impairment in
coordination & judgment .
.10*
Noisy, possible embarrassing behavior,
mood swings.
.15
Impaired balance &
Unable to drive.
movement, clearly
drunk.
.30
Many lose consciousness.
.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
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:
S Increased reaction time to hazards.
S Driving too fast or too slow.
S Driving in the wrong lane.
S Running over the curb.
S 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
Page 2-- 37
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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 over-thecounter 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.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
Revised 2011
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.
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.
S Your eyes close or go out of focus by themselves.
S You have trouble keeping your head up.
Page 2-- 38
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S You can’t stop yawning.
S You have wandering, disconnected thoughts.
S You don’t remember driving the last few miles.
S You drift between lanes, tailgate, or miss traffic
signs.
S You keep jerking the truck back into the lane.
S You have drifted off the road and narrowly missed
crashing.
Revised 2011
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.
Class
Class Name
2
Gases
3
Flammable
2.23.3 – When You Do Become Sleepy
4
5
Flammable Solids
Oxidizers
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.
6
7
8
Poisons
Radioactive
Corrosives
9
Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials
ORM-D (Other Regulated MaterialDomestic)
Combustible Liquids
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.
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.
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.
1
None
None
Explosives
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
2.24.2 – Why Are There Rules?
You must follow the many rules about transporting
hazardous materials. The intent of the rules is to:
S Contain the product.
S Communicate the risk.
S Ensure safe drivers and equipment.
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.
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.
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.
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a
shipping paper and diamond shaped hazard labels
to warn dockworkers and drivers of the risk.
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
Section 2 - Driving Safely
After an accident or hazardous material spill or leak,
you may be injured and unable to communicate the
hazards of the materials you are transporting.
Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce the
amount of damage or injury at the scene if they
know what hazardous materials are being transported. Your life, and the lives of others, may depend
on quickly locating the hazardous materials shipping papers. For that reason, you must identify
shipping papers related to hazardous materials or
keep them on top of other shipping papers. You
must also keep shipping papers:
S In a pouch on the driver’s door, or
Page 2-- 39
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S In clear view within reach while driving, or
S On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
Revised 2011
PLACARDS
2.24.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards musts be used to warn others of hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the outside
of a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the
cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four
identical placards. They are put on the front, rear,
and both sides. Placards must be readable from all
four directions. They 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) lists the chemicals and the
identification numbers assigned to them.
Not all vehicles carrying hazardous materials need
to have placards. The rules about placards are
given in Section 9 of this manual. You can drive a
vehicle that carries hazardous materials if it does
not require placards. If it requires placards, you
cannot drive it unless your driver license has the
hazardous materials endorsement. See Figure 2.25.
The rules require all drivers of placarded vehicles to
learn how to safely load and transport hazardous
products. They must have a commercial driver
license with the hazardous materials endorsement.
To get the required endorsement, you must pass a
written test on material found in Section 9 of this
manual. A tank endorsement is required for 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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safely
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 and consult the
regulations.
Subsections 2.22, 2.23, and 2.24
Test Your Knowledge
1. Common medicines for colds can make you
sleepy. True or False?
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?
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?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.22, 2.23,
and 2.24.
Page 2-- 40
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 3
TRANSPORTING CARGO
SAFELY
This section covers:
S Inspecting Cargo
S Cargo Weight and Balance
S Securing Cargo
S 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:
S Inspecting your cargo.
S Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced
weight.
S Knowing your cargo is properly secured and does
not obscure your view ahead or to the sides.
S 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.
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:
S After you have driven for three hours or 150 miles.
S After every break you take during driving.
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Revised 2011
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.
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.
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
Page 3-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
(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.
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.
Revised 2011
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.
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.
Figure 3.2
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.
There are special requirements for securing various
heavy pieces of metal. Find out what they are if you
are to carry such loads.
3.3.3 – Header Boards
Front-end header boards (“headache racks”) protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or
emergency stop. Make sure the front-end structure
is in good condition. The front-end structure should
block the forward movement of any cargo you carry.
3.3.4 – Covering Cargo
There are two basic reasons for covering cargo:
S To protect people from spilled cargo.
S To protect the cargo from weather.
Spill protection is a safety requirement in many
states. Be familiar with the laws in the states you
drive in.
Figure 3.1
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
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.
Page 3-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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.
Revised 2011
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.
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?
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Page 3-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Revised 2011
Page 3-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 4
TRANSPORTING
PASSENGERS SAFELY
This section covers:
S Vehicle Inspection
S Loading
S On the Road
S After-Trip Vehicle Inspection
S Prohibited Practices
S Use of Brake-Door Interlocks
Bus drivers must have a commercial driver license
if they drive a vehicle designed to seat 16 or more
persons, including the driver.
Bus drivers must have a passenger endorsement
on their commercial driver license. To get the
endorsement you must pass a knowledge test on
Sections 2 and 4 of this manual. (If your bus has air
brakes, you must also pass a knowledge test on
Section 5.) You must also pass the skills tests
required for the class of vehicle you drive.
4.1 – Vehicle Inspection
Before driving your bus, you must be sure it is safe.
You must review the inspection report made by the
previous driver. Only if defects reported earlier have
been certified as repaired or not needed to be
repaired, should you sign the previous driver’s
report. This is your certification that the defects
reported earlier have been fixed.
4.1.1 – Vehicle Systems
Make sure these things are in good working order
before driving:
S Service brakes, including air hose couplings (if
your bus has a trailer or semitrailer).
S Parking brake.
Revised 2011
S Emergency equipment.
4.1.2 – Access Doors and Panels
As you check the outside of the bus, close any open
emergency exits. Also, close any open access
panels (for baggage, restroom service, engine,
etc.) before driving.
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:
S Each handhold and railing.
S Floor covering.
S Signaling devices, including the restroom emergency buzzer, if the bus has a restroom.
S 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!
S Steering mechanism.
The driver’s seat should have a seat belt. Always
use it for safety.
S Lights and reflectors.
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start
S Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or re-
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:
grooved tires).
S Horn.
S Windshield wiper or wipers.
S Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
S Coupling devices (if present).
S Wheels and rims.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
S Allow the driver to move freely and easily.
S Allow riders to exit by any window or door in an
emergency.
S Protect riders from injury if carry-ons fall or shift.
Page 4-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
4.2.1 – Hazardous Materials
S Explosives in the space occupied by people, ex-
Watch for cargo or baggage containing hazardous
materials. Most hazardous materials cannot be
carried on a bus.
S Labeled radioactive materials in the space occu-
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.
Class
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
None
None
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Name
Example
Explosives
Ammunition,
Dynamite, Fireworks
Gases
Propane, Oxygen, Helium
Flammable
Gasoline Fuel,
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Oxidizers
Ammonium Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Poisons
Pesticides, Arsenic
Radioactive
Uranium,
Plutonium
Corrosives
Hydrochloric
Acid, Battery
Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous MaAsbestos
terials
ORM-D (Other
Hair Spray or
Regulated
Charcoal
MaterialDomestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 4.1
4.2.2 – Forbidden Hazardous Materials
Buses may carry small-arms ammunition labeled
ORM-D, emergency hospital supplies, and drugs.
You can carry small amounts of some other
hazardous materials if the shipper cannot send
them any other way. Buses must never carry:
S Division 2.3 poison gas, liquid Class 6 poison, tear
gas, irritating material.
S More than 100 pounds of solid Class 6 poisons.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
cept small arms ammunition.
pied by people.
S 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:
S The location.
S Reason for stopping.
S Next departure time.
S Bus number.
Remind riders to take carry-ons with them if they get
off the bus. If the aisle is on a lower level than the
seats, remind riders of the step-down. It is best to
tell them before coming to a complete stop.
Charter bus drivers should not allow riders on the
bus until departure time. This will help prevent theft
or vandalism of the bus.
4.3 – On the Road
4.3.1 – Passenger Supervision
Many charter and intercity carriers have passenger
comfort and safety rules. Mention rules about
smoking, drinking, or use of radio and tape players
at the start of the trip. Explaining the rules at the
start will help to avoid trouble later on.
While driving, scan the interior of your bus as well
as the road ahead, to the sides, and to the rear. You
may have to remind riders about rules, or to keep
arms and heads inside the bus.
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
Page 4-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
to sit down or brace themselves before starting.
Starting and stopping should be as smooth as
possible to avoid rider injury.
Occasionally, you may have a drunk or disruptive
rider. You must ensure this rider’s safety as well as
that of others. Don’t discharge such riders where it
would be unsafe for them. It may be safer at the next
scheduled stop or a well-lighted area where there
are other people. Many carriers have guidelines for
handling disruptive riders.
4.3.3 – Common Accidents
The Most Common Bus Accidents. Bus accidents
often happen at intersections. Use caution, even if
a signal or stop sign controls other traffic. School
and mass transit buses sometimes scrape off
mirrors or hit passing vehicles when pulling out from
a bus stop. Remember the clearance your bus
needs, and watch for poles and tree limbs at stops.
Know the size of the gap your bus needs to
accelerate and merge with traffic. Wait for the gap
to open before leaving the stop. Never assume
other drivers will brake to give you room when you
signal or start to pull out.
4.3.4 – Speed on Curves
Crashes on curves that kill people and destroy
buses result from excessive speed, often when rain
or snow has made the road slippery. Every banked
curve has a safe “design speed.” In good weather,
the posted speed is safe for cars but it may be too
high for many buses. With good traction, the bus
may roll over; with poor traction, it might slide off the
curve. Reduce speed for curves! If your bus leans
toward the outside on a banked curve, you are
driving too fast.
4.3.5 – Railroad-Highway Crossings Stops
Stop at RR Crossings:
S Stop your bus between 15 and 50 feet before railroad crossings.
S 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.
Revised 2011
 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:
S There is a traffic light showing green.
S The bridge has an attendant or traffic officer who
controls traffic whenever the bridge opens.
4.4 – After-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Inspect your bus at the end of each shift. If you work
for an interstate carrier, you must complete a written
inspection report for each bus driven. The report
must specify each bus and list any defect that would
affect safety or result in a breakdown. If there are no
defects, the report should say so.
Riders sometimes damage safety-related parts
such as handholds, seats, emergency exits, and
windows. If you report this damage at the end of a
shift, mechanics can make repairs before the bus
goes out again. Mass transit drivers should also
make sure passenger signaling devices and brakedoor interlocks work properly.
4.5 – Prohibited Practices
Avoid fueling your bus with riders on board unless
absolutely necessary. Never refuel in a closed
building with riders on board.
Don’t talk with riders, or engage in any other
distracting activity, while driving.
Do not tow or push a disabled bus with riders aboard
the vehicle, unless getting off would be unsafe. Only
tow or push the bus to the nearest safe spot to
discharge passengers. Follow your employer’s
guidelines on towing or pushing disabled buses.
S Before crossing after a train has passed, make
4.6 – Use of Brake-Door Interlocks
S If your bus has a manual transmission, never
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.
sure there isn’t another train coming in the other
direction on other tracks.
change gears while crossing the tracks.
S You do not have to stop, but must slow down and
carefully check for other vehicles:
 At streetcar crossings.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Page 4-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Section 4
Test Your Knowledge
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?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Page 4-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 5
AIR BRAKES
This section covers:
S Air Brake System Parts
S Dual Air Brake Systems
S Inspecting Air Brakes
S Using Air Brakes
This section tells you about air brakes. If you want
to drive a truck or bus with air brakes, or pull a trailer
with air brakes, you need to read this section. If you
want to pull a trailer with air brakes, you also need
to read Section 6, Combination Vehicles.
Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes
work. Air brakes are a good and safe way of
stopping large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes
must be well maintained and used properly.
Air brakes are really three different braking systems:
service brake, parking brake, and emergency brake.
S The service brake system applies and releases
the brakes when you use the brake pedal during
normal driving.
S The parking brake system applies and releases
the parking brakes when you use the parking
brake control.
S The emergency brake system uses parts of the
service and parking brake systems to stop the vehicle in a brake system failure.
Revised 2011
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:
S 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.
S 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.
The parts of these systems are discussed in greater
detail below.
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.
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.
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
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Figure 5.1
5.1.5 – Alcohol Evaporator
Some air brake systems have an alcohol evaporator to put alcohol into the air system. This helps to
reduce the risk of ice in air brake valves and other
parts during cold weather. Ice inside the system can
make the brakes stop working.
Check the alcohol container and fill up as necessary, every day during cold weather. Daily air tank
Page 5-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
drainage is still needed to get rid of water and oil.
(Unless the system has automatic drain valves.)
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”). 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.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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.
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.
Page 5-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
5.1.11 – Low Air Pressure Warning
A low air pressure warning signal is required on
vehicles with air brakes. A warning signal you can
see must come on before the air pressure in the
tanks falls below 60 psi. (or one-half the compressor
governor cutout pressure on older vehicles). The
warning is usually a red light. A buzzer may also
come on.
Another type of warning is the “wig wag.” This
device drops a mechanical arm into your view when
the pressure in the system drops below 60 psi. An
automatic wig wag will rise out of your view when the
pressure in the system goes above 60 psi. The
manual reset type must be placed in the “out of
view” position manually. It will not stay in place until
the pressure in the system is above 60 psi.
On large buses it is common for the low pressure
warning devices to signal at 80-85 psi.
5.1.12 – Stop Light Switch
Drivers behind you must be warned when you put
your brakes on. The air brake system does this with
an electric switch that works by air pressure. The
switch turns on the brake lights when you put on the
air brakes.
5.1.13 – Front Brake Limiting Valve
Some older vehicles (made before 1975) have a
front brake limiting valve and a control in the cab.
The control is usually marked “normal” and “slippery.” When you put the control in the “slippery”
position, the limiting valve cuts the “normal” air
pressure to the front brakes by half. Limiting valves
were used to reduce the chance of the front wheels
skidding on slippery surfaces. However, they actually reduce the stopping power of the vehicle. Front
wheel braking is good under all conditions. Tests
have shown front wheel skids from braking are not
likely even on ice. Make sure the control is in the
“normal” position to have normal stopping power.
Many vehicles have automatic front wheel limiting
valves. They reduce the air to the front brakes
except when the brakes are put on very hard (60 psi
or more application pressure). These valves cannot
be controlled by the driver.
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
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Revised 2011
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.
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.
Page 5-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
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.
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.
5.1.16 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Figure 5.3
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Page 5-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Figure 5.4
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
Section 5 - Air Brakes
tanks, hoses, lines, etc. One system typically
operates the regular brakes on the rear axle or
axles. The other system operates the regular
brakes on the front axle (and possibly one rear
axle). Both systems supply air to the trailer (if there
is one). The first system is called the “primary”
system. The other is called the ”secondary” system.
See Figure 5.4.
Before driving a vehicle with a dual air system, allow
time for the air compressor to build up a minimum
of 100 psi pressure in both the primary and
secondary systems. Watch the primary and secondary air pressure gauges (or needles, if the system
has two needles in one gauge). Pay attention to the
low air pressure warning light and buzzer. The
warning light and buzzer should shut off when air
pressure in both systems rises to a value set by the
manufacturer. This value must be greater than 60
psi.
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 Drivers License Manual
5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems
You should use the basic seven-step inspection
procedure described in Section 2 to inspect your
vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a
vehicle with air brakes than one without them.
These things are discussed below, in the order they
fit into the seven-step method.
5.3.1 – During Step 2 Engine
Compartment Checks
Check Air Compressor Drive Belt (if compressor is
belt-driven). If the air compressor is belt-driven,
check the condition and tightness of the belt. It
should be in good condition.
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. Turn off 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 1991 have automatic slack
adjustors. Even though automatic slack adjustors
adjust themselves during full brake applications,
they must be checked.
Automatic adjusters should not have to be manually
adjusted except when performing maintenance on
the brakes and during installation of the slack
adjusters. In a vehicle equipped with automatic
adjusters, when the pushrod stroke exceeds the
legal brake adjustment limit, it is an indication that
a mechanical problem exists in the adjuster itself, a
problem with the related foundation brake components, or that the adjuster was improperly installed.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster to
bring a brake pushrod stroke within legal limits is
generally masking a mechanical problem and is not
fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most automatic adjusters will likely result in premature wear
of the adjuster itself. It is recommended that when
brakes equipped with automatic adjusters are found
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Revised 2011
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 an automatic adjuster
should only be used as a temporary measure to
correct the adjustment in an emergency situation as
it is likely the brake will soon be back out of
adjustment since this procedure usually does not fix
the underlying adjustment problem.
Note: Automatic slack adjusters are made by different manufacturers and do not all operate the same.
Therefore, the specific manufacturer’s Service
Manual should be consulted prior to troubleshooting
a brake adjustment problem.
According to the National Transportation Safety
Board, the manual adjustment of automatic slack
adjusters is dangerous because it gives the vehicle
operator a false sense of security about the
effectiveness of the braking system. (H-06-3)
Check Brake Drums (or Discs), Linings, and
Hoses. Brake drums (or discs) must not have
cracks longer than one half the width of the friction
area. Linings (friction material) must not be loose or
soaked with oil or grease. They must not be
dangerously thin. Mechanical parts must be in
place, not broken or missing. Check the air hoses
connected to the brake chambers to make sure they
aren’t cut or worn due to rubbing.
5.3.3 – Step 7 Final Air Brake Check
Do the following checks instead of the hydraulic
brake check shown in Section 2, Step 7: Check
Brake System.
Test Low Pressure Warning Signal. Shut the
engine off when you have enough air pressure so
that the low pressure warning signal is not on. Turn
the electrical power on and step on and off the brake
pedal to reduce air tank pressure. The low air
pressure warning signal must come on before the
pressure drops to less than 60 psi in the air tank (or
tank with the lowest air pressure, in dual air
systems). See Figure 5.5.
If the warning signal doesn’t work, you could lose air
pressure and you would not know it. This could
cause sudden emergency braking in a single-circuit
air system. In dual systems the stopping distance
will be increased. Only limited braking can be done
before the spring brakes come on.
Page 5-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
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
Cut-out 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 cut-out 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.
Figure 5.5
Check 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 to 45 psi). This will
cause the spring brakes to come on.
Check Rate of Air Pressure Buildup. When the
engine is at operating rpms, the pressure should
build from 85 to 100 psi within 45 seconds in dual air
systems. (If the vehicle has larger than minimum air
tanks, the buildup time can be longer and still be
safe. Check the manufacturer’s specifications.) In
single air systems (pre-1975), typical requirements
are pressure buildup from 50 to 90 psi within 3
minutes with the engine at an idle speed of 600-900
rpms.
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.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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.
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?
Page 5-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
6. What are the maximum leakage rates?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 5.2 and 5.3.
5.4 – Using Air Brakes
5.4.1 – Normal Stops
Push the brake pedal down. Control the pressure so
the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, don’t push the clutch
in until the engine rpm is down close to idle. When
stopped, select a starting gear.
5.4.2 – Braking with Antilock Brakes
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
You may or may not be able to stop faster with ABS,
but you should be able to steer around an obstacle
while braking, and avoid skids caused by over
braking.
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or
even on only one axle, still gives you more control
over the vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be able
to maintain steering control, and there is less
chance of jackknifing. But, keep your eye on the
trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely do
so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control or
start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if you
can safely do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In other
words:
S Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
S Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
S 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.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Revised 2011
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.
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
5.4.3 – Emergency Stops
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there’s enough distance to stop, and you
use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your vehicle
in a straight line and allow you to turn if it becomes
necessary. You can use the “controlled braking”
method or the “stab braking” method.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking the
wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking
S Apply your brakes all the way.
S Release brakes when wheels lock up.
S 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 (used on
cars and light/medium trucks), the brakes work
instantly. However, with air brakes, it takes a little
time (one half second or more) for the air to flow
through the lines to the brakes. Thus, the total
stopping distance for vehicles with air brake
systems is made up of four different factors.
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Brake
Lag Distance + Braking Distance = Total Stopping
Distance
Page 5-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
4 0
3 0
2 0
1 0
1 0
2 0
3 0
4 0
5 0
4 0
3 0
2 0
1 0
47’
21’
45 346’ Total Stopping Distance
117’
50’
92’
27’
152’
55 451’ Total Stopping Distance
142’
MPH
Perception Distance
61’
32’
Reaction Brake
Distance Lag
216’
Braking Distance
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
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:
Section 5 - Air Brakes
S When your speed has been reduced to approxi-
mately five mph below your “safe” speed, release
the brakes. (This application should last for about
three seconds.)
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.
39’ 16’ 9’ 17’
28’ 15’
slowdown.
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
25 155’ Total Stop Dist.
65’
S Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
S When your speed has increased to your “safe”
15 72’
35 243’ Total Stopping Distance
91’
39’
Revised 2011
5.4.7 – Low Air Pressure
If the low air pressure warning comes on, stop and
safely park your vehicle as soon as possible. There
might be an air leak in the system. Controlled
braking is possible only while enough air remains in
the air tanks. The spring brakes will come on when
the air pressure drops into the range of 20 to 45 psi.
A heavily loaded vehicle will take a long distance to
stop because the spring brakes do not work on all
axles. Lightly loaded vehicles or vehicles on
slippery roads may skid out of control when the
spring brakes come on. It is much safer to stop while
there is enough air in the tanks to use the foot
brakes.
5.4.8 – Parking Brakes
Any time you park, use the parking brakes, except
as noted below. Pull the parking brake control knob
out to apply the parking brakes, push it in to release.
The control will be a yellow, diamond-shaped knob
labeled “parking brakes” on newer vehicles. On
older vehicles, it may be a round blue knob or some
other shape (including a lever that swings from side
to side or up and down).
Don’t use the parking brakes if the brakes are very
hot (from just having come down a steep grade), or
if the brakes are very wet in freezing temperatures.
If they are used while they are very hot, they can be
damaged by the heat. If they are used in freezing
temperatures when the brakes are very wet, they
can freeze so the vehicle cannot move. Use wheel
chocks 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.
Page 5-- 9
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Never leave your vehicle unattended without
applying the parking brakes or chocking the
wheels. Your vehicle might roll away and cause
injury and damage.
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 tractor-trailer 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 5 - Air Brakes
Page 5-- 10
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Section 6
COMBINATION VEHICLES
the crack-the-whip effect can turn the trailer over.
There are many accidents where only the trailer has
overturned.
This section covers:
S Driving Combinations
S Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
S Antilock Brake System
S Coupling and Uncoupling
S Inspecting Combinations
“Rearward amplification” causes the crack-thewhip effect. Figure 6.1 shows eight types of
combination vehicles and the rearward amplification each has in a quick lane change. Rigs with the
least crack-the-whip effect are shown at the top and
those with the most, at the bottom. Rearward
amplification of 2.0 in the chart means that the rear
trailer is twice as likely to turn over as the tractor.
You can see that triples have a rearward amplification of 3.5. This means you can roll the last trailer of
triples 3.5 times as easily as a five-axle tractor.
This section provides information needed to pass
the tests for combination vehicles (tractor-trailer,
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.)
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.
Rollovers happen when you turn too fast. Drive
slowly around corners, on ramps, and off ramps.
Avoid quick lane changes, especially when fully
loaded.
6.1.2 – Steer Gently
Trucks with trailers have a dangerous “crack-thewhip” effect. When you make a quick lane change,
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
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.
These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
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.
S Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
The procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:
possum-belly livestock trailer).
S Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get out
of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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).
Page 6-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
rear end does not run over the curb, pedestrians,
etc. However, keep the rear of your vehicle close to
the curb. This will stop other drivers from passing
you on the right. If you cannot complete your turn
without entering another traffic lane, turn wide as
you complete the turn. This is better than swinging
wide to the left before starting the turn because it will
keep other drivers from passing you on the right.
See Figure 6.4.
Figure 6.3
Figure 6.2
Stop Using the Brake. Release the brakes to get
traction back. Do not use the trailer hand brake (if
you have one) to “straighten out the rig.” This is the
wrong thing to do since the brakes on the trailer
wheels caused the skid in the first place. Once the
trailer wheels grip the road again, the trailer will start
to follow the tractor and straighten out.
Figure 6.4
6.1.6 – Turn Wide
6.1.7 – Backing with a Trailer.
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
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.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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 Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
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 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
pull-ups to re-position your vehicle as needed.
Subsection 6.1
Test Your Knowledge
1. What two things are important to prevent
rollover?
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
The trailer hand valve (also called the trolley valve
or Johnson bar) works the trailer brakes. The trailer
hand valve should be used only to test the trailer
brakes. Do not use it in driving because of the
danger of making the trailer skid. The foot brake
sends air to all of the brakes on the vehicle
(including the trailer(s)). There is much less danger
of causing a skid or jackknife when using just the
foot brake.
Never use the hand valve for parking because all
the air might leak out unlocking the brakes (in
trailers that don’t have spring brakes). Always use
the parking brakes when parking. If the trailer does
not have spring brakes, use wheel chocks to keep
the trailer from moving.
6.2.2 – Tractor Protection Valve
The tractor protection valve keeps air in the tractor
or truck brake system should the trailer break away
or develop a bad leak. The tractor protection valve
is controlled by the “trailer air supply” control valve
in the cab. The control valve allows you to open and
shut the tractor protection valve. The tractor
protection valve will close automatically if air
pressure is low (in the range of 20 to 45 psi). When
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.)
Page 6-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
Revised 2011
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
Page 6-- 5
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
(depending on the couplings). It is very important to
keep the air supply clean.
Revised 2011
6.2.8 – Trailer Service, Parking and
Emergency Brakes
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.
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.
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.
6.2.7 – Shut-off Valves
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.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Subsection 6.2
Test Your Knowledge
1. Why should you not use the trailer hand valve
while driving?
2. Describe what the trailer air supply control does.
3. Describe what the service line is for.
4. What is the emergency air line for?
5. Why should you use chocks when parking a
trailer without spring brakes?
6. Where are shut-off valves?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.2.
6.3 – Antilock Brake Systems
6.3.1 – Trailers Required to Have ABS
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
Page 6-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2011
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In other
words:
S Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay in control.
S Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
S As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay
in control.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
6.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is
basic to safe operation of combination vehicles.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. General coupling and uncoupling steps
are listed below. There are differences between
different rigs, so learn the details of coupling and
uncoupling the truck(s) you will operate.
6.4.1 – Coupling Tractor-Semitrailers
Step 1. Inspect Fifth Wheel
S Check for damaged/missing parts.
Figure 6.7
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does not
decrease or increase your normal braking capability. ABS only activates when wheels are about to
lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle under
control during hard braking.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
Having ABS on only the trailer, or even on only one
axle, still gives you more control over the vehicle
during braking.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control or
start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if you
can safely do so) until you gain control.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
S Check to see that mounting to tractor is secure, no
cracks in frame, etc.
S 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.
S Check if fifth wheel is in proper position for coupling.
 Wheel tilted down toward rear of tractor.
 Jaws open.
 Safety unlocking handle in the automatic lock
position.
 If you have a sliding fifth wheel, make sure it is
locked.
 Make sure the trailer kingpin is not bent or broken.
Step 2. Inspect Area and Chock Wheels
S Make sure area around the vehicle is clear.
S Be sure trailer wheels are chocked or spring
brakes are on.
Page 6-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S Check that cargo (if any) is secured against movement due to tractor being coupled to the trailer.
Step 3. Position Tractor
S Put the tractor directly in front of the trailer. (Never
back under the trailer at an angle because you
might push the trailer sideways and break the
landing gear.)
Revised 2011
applied and air escape when the brakes are released.
 Check air brake system pressure gauge for
signs of major air loss.
S When you are sure trailer brakes are working,
start engine.
S Make sure air pressure is up to normal.
S Check position, using outside mirrors, by looking
Step 9. Lock Trailer Brakes
Step 4. Back Slowly
Pull out the “air supply” knob or move the tractor
protection valve control from “normal” to “emergency.”
down both sides of the trailer.
S Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
S Don’t hit the trailer.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
S Put on the parking brake.
S Put transmission in neutral.
Step 10. Back Under Trailer
S Use lowest reverse gear.
S Back tractor slowly under trailer to avoid hitting the
kingpin too hard.
S Stop when the kingpin is locked into the fifth
wheel.
Step 6. Check Trailer Height
Step 11. Check Connection for Security
S The trailer should be low enough that it is raised
S Raise trailer landing gear slightly off ground.
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.)
S Check that the kingpin and fifth wheel are aligned.
S 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
S Put transmission in neutral.
Step 7. Connect Air Lines to Trailer
S Put parking brakes on.
S Check glad hand seals and connect tractor emer-
S Shut off engine and take key with you so someone
gency air line to trailer emergency glad hand.
S Check glad hand seals and connect tractor service air line to trailer service glad hand.
S Make sure air lines are safely supported where
they won’t be crushed or caught while tractor is
backing under the trailer.
Step 8. Supply Air to Trailer
S From cab, push in “air supply” knob or move tractor protection valve control from the “emergency”
to the “normal” position to supply air to the trailer
brake system.
else won’t move truck while you are under it.
Step 13. Inspect Coupling
S Use a flashlight, if necessary.
S 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).
S 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.
S Wait until the air pressure is normal.
S Check that the locking lever is in the “lock” posi-
S Check brake system for crossed air lines.
S Check that the safety latch is in position over lock-
 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
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
tion.
ing lever. (On some fifth wheels the catch must be
put in place by hand.)
S If the coupling isn’t right, don’t drive the coupled
unit; get it fixed.
Page 6-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Step 14. Connect the Electrical Cord and
Check Air Lines
S Plug the electrical cord into the trailer and fasten
the safety catch.
S Check both air lines and electrical line for signs of
damage.
S Make sure air and electrical lines will not hit any
moving parts of vehicle.
Step 15. Raise Front Trailer Supports
(Landing Gear)
S Use low gear range (if so equipped) to begin rais-
ing the landing gear. Once free of weight, switch
to the high gear range.
S 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.)
S After raising landing gear, secure the crank handle
safely.
S 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
S Remove and store wheel chocks in a safe place.
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
The following steps will help you to uncouple safely.
Step 1. Position Rig
S Make sure surface of parking area can support
weight of trailer.
S Have tractor lined up with the trailer. (Pulling out
at an angle can damage landing gear.)
Step 2. Ease Pressure on Locking Jaws
S Shut off trailer air supply to lock trailer brakes.
S Ease pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by back-
ing up gently. (This will help you release the fifth
wheel locking lever.)
S Put parking brakes on while tractor is pushing
against the kingpin. (This will hold rig with pressure off the locking jaws.)
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Revised 2011
Step 3. Chock Trailer Wheels
S Chock the trailer wheels if the trailer doesn’t have
spring brakes or if you’re not sure. (The air could
leak out of the trailer air tank, releasing its emergency brakes. Without chocks, the trailer could
move.)
Step 4. Lower the Landing Gear
S If trailer is empty, lower the landing gear until it
makes firm contact with the ground.
S 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
S Disconnect air lines from trailer. Connect air line
glad hands to dummy couplers at back of cab or
couple them together.
S Hang electrical cable with plug down to prevent
moisture from entering it.
S Make sure lines are supported so they won’t be
damaged while driving the tractor.
Step 6. Unlock Fifth Wheel
S Raise the release handle lock.
S Pull the release handle to “open” position.
S Keep legs and feet clear of the rear tractor wheels
to avoid serious injury in case the vehicle moves.
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
S Pull tractor forward until fifth wheel comes out
from under the trailer.
S Stop with tractor frame under trailer (prevents
trailer from falling to ground if landing gear should
collapse or sink).
Step 8. Secure Tractor
S Apply parking brake.
S Place transmission in neutral.
Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
S Make sure ground is supporting trailer.
S Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
S Release parking brakes.
Page 6-- 9
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S 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.
Figure 6.8
S Check fifth wheel (upper).
 Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
 Kingpin not damaged.
S Air and electric lines to trailer.
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.
6.5.1 – Additional Things to Check
During a Walkaround Inspection
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2.
 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.
S 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
tractor frame will hit landing gear, or the cab hit
the trailer, during turns.
Coupling System Areas
Landing Gear
S Check fifth wheel (lower).
S Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or other-
 Securely mounted to frame.
 No missing or damaged parts.
 Enough grease.
wise damaged.
S Crank handle in place and secured.
S If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
 No visible space between upper and lower fifth
wheel.
6.5.2 – Combination Vehicle Brake
Check
 Locking jaws around the shank, not the head of
kingpin. See Figure 6.8.
Do these checks in addition to Section 5.3:
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
 Release arm properly seated and safety latch/
lock engaged.
The following section explains how to check air
brakes on combination vehicles. Check the brakes
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-- 10
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
on a double or triple trailer as you would any
combination vehicle.
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers. Use the
tractor parking brake and/or chock the wheels to
hold the vehicle. Wait for air pressure to reach
normal, then push in the red “trailer air supply” knob.
This will supply air to the emergency (supply) lines.
Use the trailer handbrake to provide air to the
service line. Go to the rear of the rig. Open the
emergency line shut-off valve at the rear of the last
trailer. You should hear air escaping, showing the
entire system is charged. Close the emergency line
valve. Open the service line valve to check that
service pressure goes through all the trailers (this
test assumes that the trailer handbrake or the
service brake pedal is on), and then close the valve.
If you do NOT hear air escaping from both lines,
check that the shut-off valves on the trailer(s) and
dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST have
air all the way to the back for all the brakes to work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer
air brake system. (That is, build up normal 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 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.
Revised 2011
Subsection 6.5
Test Your Knowledge
1. Which shut-off valves should be open and which
closed?
2. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
3. How can you test the tractor protection valve?
4. How can you test the trailer emergency brakes?
5. How can you test the trailer service brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer all of them, re-read subsection 6.5.
Test Trailer 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 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-- 11
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Revised 2011
Page 6-- 12
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 7
DOUBLES AND TRIPLES
This section covers:
S Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
S Coupling and Uncoupling
S Inspecting Doubles and Triples
S Checking Air Brakes
Revised 2011
7.1.5 – Manage Space
Doubles and triples take up more space than other
commercial vehicles. They are not only longer, but
also need more space because they can’t be turned
or stopped suddenly. Allow more following distance.
Make sure you have large enough gaps before
entering or crossing traffic. Be certain you are clear
at the sides before changing lanes.
7.1.6 – Adverse Conditions
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, 6, and 7.)
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.
7.1.1 – Prevent Trailer from Rolling Over
To prevent trailers from rolling over, you must steer
gently and go slowly around corners, on ramps, off
ramps, and curves. A safe speed on a curve for a
straight truck or a single trailer combination vehicle
may be too fast for a set of doubles or triples.
7.1.2 – Beware of the Crack-the-Whip
Effect
Doubles and triples are more likely to turn over than
other combination vehicles because of the “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 7 - Doubles and Triples
Make sure you do not get in a spot you cannot pull
straight through. You need to be aware of how
parking lots are arranged in order to avoid a long
and difficult escape.
7.1.8 – Antilock Braking Systems on
Converter Dollies
Converter dollies built on or after March 1, 1998, are
required to have antilock brakes. These dollies will
have a yellow lamp on the left side of the dolly.
7.2 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is
basic to safe operation of doubles and triples.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. Coupling and uncoupling steps for
doubles and triples are listed below.
7.2.1 – Coupling Twin Trailers
Secure Second (Rear) Trailer
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.
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
Page 7-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
tractor-trailer combination forming a double bottom
rig. See Figure 7.1.
Revised 2011
S Make sure trailer height is correct. (It must be
slightly lower than the center of the fifth wheel, so
trailer is raised slightly when dolly is pushed under.)
S Back converter dolly under rear trailer.
S Raise landing gear slightly off ground to prevent
damage if trailer moves.
S Test coupling by pulling against pin of the second
semitrailer.
S Make visual check of coupling. (No space between upper and lower fifth wheel. Locking jaws
closed on kingpin.)
Figure 7.1
S Connect safety chains, air hoses, and light cords.
Position Converter Dolly in Front of Second
(Rear) Trailer
S Close converter dolly air tank petcock and shut-off
Release dolly brakes by opening the air tank
petcock. (Or, if the dolly has spring brakes, use the
dolly parking brake control.)
S Open shut-off valves at rear of first trailer (and on
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:
S Position combination as close as possible to converter dolly.
S Move dolly to rear of first semitrailer and couple it
to the trailer.
valves at rear of second trailer (service and emergency shut-offs).
dolly if so equipped).
S Raise landing gear completely.
S 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
S Lock pintle hook.
S Park rig in a straight line on firm level ground.
S Secure dolly support in raised position.
S Apply parking brakes so rig won’t move.
S Pull dolly into position as close as possible to nose
S Chock wheels of second trailer if it doesn’t have
of the second semitrailer.
S Lower dolly support.
S Unhook dolly from first trailer.
S Wheel dolly into position in front of second trailer
in line with the kingpin.
Connect Converter Dolly to Front Trailer
S Back first semitrailer into position in front of dolly
tongue.
S Hook dolly to front trailer.
 Lock pintle hook.
 Secure converter gear support in raised position.
spring brakes.
S Lower landing gear of second semitrailer enough
to remove some weight from dolly.
S Close air shut-offs at rear of first semitrailer (and
on dolly if so equipped).
S Disconnect all dolly air and electric lines and secure them.
S Release dolly brakes.
S Release converter dolly fifth wheel latch.
S Slowly pull tractor, first semitrailer, and dolly forward to pull dolly out from under rear semitrailer.
Uncouple Converter Dolly
S Lower dolly landing gear.
Connect Converter Dolly to Rear Trailer
S Disconnect safety chains.
S Make sure trailer brakes are locked and/or wheels
S Apply converter gear spring brakes or chock
chocked.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
wheels.
Page 7-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Release pintle hook on first semi-trailer.
 Securely mounted to frame.
S Slowly pull clear of dolly.
 No missing or damaged parts.
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.
 No visible space between upper and lower fifth
wheel.
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple
Trailers
Couple Tractor/First Semitrailer to
Second/Third Trailers
S Couple tractor to first trailer. Use the method already described for coupling tractor-semitrailers.
S Move converter dolly into position and couple first
trailer to second trailer using the method for coupling doubles. Triples rig is now complete.
 Enough grease.
 Locking jaws around the shank, not the head of
kingpin.
 Release arm properly seated and safety latch/
lock engaged.
S Check fifth wheel (upper).
 Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
 Kingpin not damaged.
S Air and electric lines to trailer.
 Electrical cord firmly plugged in and secured.
Uncouple Triple-trailer Rig
 Air lines properly connected to glad hands, no
air leaks, properly secured with enough slack
for turns.
S Uncouple third trailer by pulling the dolly out, then
 All lines free from damage.
unhitching the dolly using the method for uncoupling doubles.
S 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. Learn the right way to couple
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
S 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
tractor frame will hit landing gear, or cab hit the
trailer, during turns.
Landing Gear
S Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or otherwise damaged.
S Crank handle in place and secured.
S If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
Double and Triple Trailers
S Shut-off valves (at rear of trailers, in service and
emergency lines).
 Rear of front trailers: OPEN.
 Rear of last trailer: CLOSED.
 Converter dolly air tank drain valve: CLOSED.
S Be sure air lines are supported and glad hands are
properly connected.
S If spare tire is carried on converter gear (dolly),
make sure it’s secured.
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2, Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection.
S Be sure pintle-eye of dolly is in place in pintle hook
Coupling System Areas
S Make sure pintle hook is latched.
S Check fifth wheel (lower).
S Safety chains should be secured to trailer(s).
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
of trailer(s).
Page 7-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S Be sure light cords are firmly in sockets on trailers.
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
Revised 2011
“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.)
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.
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.
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
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Page 7-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 8
TANK VEHICLES
This section covers:
S Inspecting Tank Vehicles
S Driving Tank Vehicles
S 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, 8, 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 greater
than 119 gallons or a portable tank rated at greater
than 1,000 gallons. 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.
Revised 2011
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose
Equipment
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment,
make sure it works:
S Vapor recovery kits.
S Grounding and bonding cables.
S Emergency shut-off systems.
S 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:
S Check the tank’s body or shell for dents or leaks.
S Check the intake, discharge, and cut-off valves.
Make sure the valves are in the correct position
before loading, unloading, or moving the vehicle.
S Check pipes, connections, and hoses for leaks,
especially around joints.
S 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 Drivers 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.
Revised 2011
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.
8.2.4 – Baffled Tanks
Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your
following distance.
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.
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.
8.2.5 – Un-baffled Tanks
8.3.3 – Curves
Un-baffled liquid tankers (sometimes called
“smooth bore” tanks) have nothing inside to slow
down the flow of the liquid. Therefore, forward-andback 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.
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly
though the curve. The posted speed for a curve may
be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.2.6 – Outage
Never load a cargo tank totally full. Liquids expand
as they warm and you must leave room for the
expanding liquid. This is called “outage.” Since
different liquids expand by different amounts, they
require different amounts of outage. You must know
the outage requirement when hauling liquids in bulk.
8.2.7 – How Much to Load?
A full tank of dense liquid (such as some acids) may
exceed legal weight limits. For that reason, you may
often only partially fill tanks with heavy liquids. The
amount of liquid to load into a tank depends on:
S The amount the liquid will expand in transit.
S The weight of the liquid.
S 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
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
8.3.4 – Stopping Distance
Keep in mind how much space you need to stop
your vehicle. Remember that wet roads double the
normal stopping distance. Empty tank vehicles may
take longer to stop than full ones.
8.3.5 – Skids
Don’t over steer, over accelerate, or over brake. If
you do, your vehicle may skid. On tank trailers, if
your drive wheels or trailer wheels begin to skid,
your vehicle may jackknife. When any vehicle starts
to skid, you must take action to restore traction to
the wheels.
Section 8
Test Your Knowledge
1. How are bulkheads different than baffles?
2. Should a tank vehicle take curves, on ramps, or
off ramps at the posted speed limits?
3. How are smooth bore tankers different to drive
than those with baffles?
4. What three things determine how much liquid
you can load?
5. What is outage?
6. How can you help control surge?
7. What two reasons make special care necessary
when driving tank vehicles?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 8.
Page 8-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 9
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
This section covers:
S The Intent of the Regulations
S Bulk Tank Loading, Unloading, and
Marking
S Driver Responsibilities
S Driving and Parking Rules
S Communications Rules
S Emergencies
S 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 these 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.
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL)
with a hazardous materials endorsement before
you drive any size vehicle that is used in the
transportation of any material that requires hazardous material placarding or any quantity of a material
listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 93. You
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Revised 2011
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 that training on 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.
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
Page 9-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
drivers how to load, transport, and unload the
material. These are called ”containment rules.”
S Correct label and markings.
9.1.2 – Communicate the Risk
S Must package, mark, and label the materials; pre-
To communicate the risk, shippers must warn
drivers and others about the material’s hazards.
The regulations require shippers to put hazard
warning labels on packages, provide proper shipping papers, emergency response information, and
placards. These steps communicate the hazard to
the shipper, the carrier, and the driver.
9.1.3 – Assure Safe Drivers and
Equipment
In order to get a hazardous materials endorsement
on a CDL, you must pass a written test about
transporting hazardous materials. To pass the test,
you must know how to:
S Identify what are hazardous materials.
S Safely load shipments.
S Properly placard your vehicle in accordance with
the rules.
S Safely transport shipments.
Learn the rules and follow them. Following the rules
reduces the risk of injury from hazardous materials.
Taking shortcuts by breaking rules is unsafe.
Non-compliance 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.
9.2 – Hazardous Materials
Transportation—Who Does What
9.2.1 – The Shipper
S Sends products from one place to another by
truck, rail, vessel, or airplane.
S Uses the hazardous materials regulations to determine the product’s:
S Proper shipping name.
S Hazard class.
S Identification number.
S Packing group.
S Correct packaging.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
S Correct placards.
pare shipping papers; provide emergency response information; and supply placards.
S Certify on the shipping paper that the shipment
has been prepared according to the rules (unless
you are pulling cargo tanks supplied by you or your
employer).
9.2.2 – The Carrier
S Takes the shipment from the shipper to its destination.
S Prior to transportation, checks that the shipper
correctly described, marked, labeled, and otherwise prepared the shipment for transportation.
S Refuses improper shipments.
S Reports accidents and incidents involving hazardous materials to the proper government agency.
9.2.3 – The Driver
S Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked,
and labeled the hazardous materials properly.
S Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
S Placards his vehicle when loading, if required.
S Safely transports the shipment without delay.
S Follows all special rules about transporting hazardous materials.
S Keeps hazardous materials shipping papers and
emergency response information in the proper
place.
9.3 – Communication Rules
9.3.1 – Definitions
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.
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.
A shipping paper describes the hazardous materials being transported. Shipping orders, bills of
lading, and manifests are all shipping papers.
Figure 9.6 shows an example shipping paper.
Page 9-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Hazardous Materials Class
Revised 2011
S 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
Mass Explosion
 On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
Fire Hazard
9.3.2 – Package Labels
Extremely Insensitive
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.
Flammable Solids
Dangerous When
Examples of
HAZMAT Labels.
Figure 9.1
Figure 9.2
9.3.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
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:
S Shippers to describe hazardous materials correct-
ly and include an emergency response telephone
number on shipping papers.
S 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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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.
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
Page 9-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
(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)
Examples of HAZMAT Placards.
Figure 9.3
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:
S Section 172.101, the Hazardous Materials Table.
S Appendix A to Section 172.101, the List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities.
S 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.
(+) 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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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.
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:
S Material’s hazard class.
S Amount being shipped.
S 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
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
Page 9-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Figure 9.4
Figure 9.5
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 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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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.
Page 9-- 5
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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”.
Revised 2011
S Page numbers if the shipping paper has more than
one page. The first page must tell the total number
of pages. For example, “Page 1 of 4”.
S A proper shipping description for each hazardous
material.
S A shipper’s certification, signed by the shipper,
saying they prepared the shipment according to
the regulations.
9.3.5 – The Item Description
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and
non-hazardous products, the hazardous materials
will be either:
S Described first.
S Highlighted in a contrasting color.
S 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:
S The total quantity and unit of measure.
S The letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
S If the letters RQ appear, the name of the hazardous substance.
S For all materials with the letter “G” (Generic) in
Column 1, the technical name of the hazardous
material.
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:
Section 9 - 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
Page 9-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
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.
Revised 2011
S The hazardous material’s shipping name and
identification number.
S The labels required.
It is a good idea to compare the shipping paper to
the markings and labels. Always make sure that the
shipper shows the correct basic description on the
shipping paper and verifies that the proper labels
are shown on the packages. If you are not familiar
with the material, ask the shipper to contact your
office.
If rules require it, the shipper will put RQ, MARINE
POLLUTANT, BIOHAZARD, HOT, or INHALATIONHAZARD on the package. Packages with liquid
containers inside will also have package orientation
markings with the arrows pointing in the correct
upright direction. The labels used always reflect the
hazard class of the product. If a package needs
more than one label, the labels must be close
together, near the proper shipping name.
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:
9.3.8 – Recognizing Hazardous Materials
Waste Acetone, 3, UN1090, PG II.
S An entry with a proper shipping name, hazard
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.
Learn to recognize shipments of hazardous materials. To find out if the shipment includes hazardous
materials, look at the shipping paper. Does it have:
class, and identification number?
S A highlighted entry, or one with an X or RQ in the
hazardous materials column?
Other clues suggesting hazardous materials:
S What business is the shipper in? Paint dealer?
Chemical supply? Scientific supply house? Pest
control or agricultural supplier? Explosives, munitions, or fireworks dealer?
S Are there tanks with diamond labels or placards on
the premises?
S What type of package is being shipped? Cylinders
and drums are often used for hazardous materials
shipments.
S Is a hazard class label, proper shipping name, or
identification number on the package?
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
S Are there any handling precautions?
Shippers print required markings directly on the
package, an attached label, or tag. An important
package marking is the name of the hazardous
materials. 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:
9.3.9 – Hazardous Waste Manifest
S The name and address of shipper or consignee.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
When transporting hazardous wastes, you must
sign by hand and carry a Uniform Hazardous Waste
Manifest. The name and EPA registration number
of the shippers, carriers, and destination must
appear on the manifest. Shippers must prepare,
date, and sign by hand the manifest. Treat the
manifest as a shipping paper when transporting the
waste. Only give the waste shipment to another
Page 9-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
9.3.10 – Placarding
Attach the appropriate placards to the vehicle
before you drive it. You are only allowed to move an
improperly placarded vehicle during an emergency,
in order to protect life or property.
Placards must appear on both sides and both ends
of the vehicle. Each placard must be:
Revised 2011
Placard Table 1
Any Amount
IF YOUR VEHICLE CONTAINS ANY AMOUNT
OF
1.1 Mass Explosives
PLACARD AS
1.2 Project Hazards
Explosives 1.2
1.3 Mass Fire Hazards
Explosives 1.3
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic Gases
Poison Gas
4.3 Dangerous When Wet
Dangerous When Wet
5.2 (Organic Peroxide, Type
B, liquid or solid, Temperature controlled)
Organic Peroxide
6.1 (Inhalation hazard zone
A & B only)
Poison/Toxic Inhalation
7 (Radioactive Yellow III
label only)
Radioactive
Explosives 1.1
S Easily seen from the direction it faces.
S Placed so the words or numbers are level and
Figure 9.7
S At least three inches away from any other mark-
You may use DANGEROUS placards instead of
separate placards for each Table 2 hazard class
when:
read from left to right.
ings.
S Kept clear of attachments or devices such as ladders, doors, and tarpaulins.
S Kept clean and undamaged so that the color, format, and message are easily seen.
S Be affixed to a background of contrasting color.
S The use of “Drive Safely” and other slogans is pro-
S You have 1,001 pounds or more of two or more
Table 2 hazard classes, requiring different placards, and
S You have not loaded 2,205 pounds or more of any
S The front placard may be on the front of the tractor
Table 2 hazard class material at any one place.
(You must use the specific placard for this material.)
To decide which placards to use, you need to know:
S The dangerous placard is an option, not a require-
hibited.
or the front of the trailer.
S The hazard class of the materials.
S The amount of hazardous materials shipped.
S 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 packagings, 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
ment. 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.
Page 9-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Placard Table 2
1,001 Pounds Or More
Category of Material (Hazard
class or division number and
additional description, as appropriate)
Placard Name
1.4 Minor Explosion
Explosives 1.4
1.5 Very Insensitive
Explosives 1.5
1.6 Extremely Insensitive
Explosives 1.6
2.1 Flammable Gases
Flammable Gas
2.2 Non- Flammable Gases
Non-Flammable Gas.
3 Flammable Liquids
Flammable
Combustible Liquid
Combustible*
4.1 Flammable Solids
Flammable Solid
4.2 Spontaneously Combustible
Spontaneously Combustible
5.1 Oxidizers
Oxidizer
5.2 (other than organic peroxide, Type B, liquid or solid,
Temperature Controlled)
Organic Peroxide
6.1 (other than inhalation hazard zone A or B)
Poison
6.2 Infectious Substances
(None)
8 Corrosives
Corrosive
9 Miscellaneous Hazardous
Materials
Class 9**
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.
Revised 2011
2. Driver placard their vehicle to (fill in the blank)
the risk.
3. What three things do you need to know to
decide which placards (if any) you need?
4. A hazardous materials identification number
must appear on the (fill in the blank) and on the
(fill in the blank). The identification number must
also appear on cargo tanks and other bulk
packaging.
5. Where must you keep shipping papers describing hazardous materials?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and
9.3.
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
Do all you can to protect containers of hazardous
materials. Don’t use any tools, which might damage
containers or other packaging during loading. Don’t
use hooks.
9.4.1 – General Loading Requirements
Before loading or unloading, set the parking brake.
Make sure the vehicle will not move.
Many products become more hazardous when
exposed to heat. Load hazardous materials away
from heat sources.
Watch for signs of leaking or damaged containers:
LEAKS SPELL TROUBLE! Do not transport leaking
packages. Depending on the material, you, your
truck, and others could be in danger. It is illegal to
move a vehicle with leaking hazardous materials.
Placards may be displayed for hazardous materials
even if not required so long as the placard identifies
the hazard of the material being transported.
Containers of hazardous materials must be braced
to prevent movement of the packages during
transportation.
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.
No Smoking. When loading or unloading hazardous materials, keep fire away. Don’t let people
smoke nearby. Never smoke around:
S Class 1 (Explosives)
S Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
S Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
S Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
Subsections 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3
Test Your Knowledge
1. Shippers package in order to (fill in the blank)
the material.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
S Class 5 (Oxidizers)
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
Page 9-- 9
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
hazardous materials packages must be secured
during transportation.
fer, 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:
S There is a marked or placarded cargo tank in the
S Class 1 (Explosives)
S The other vehicle in the combination contains:
Do not transport Division 1.1 or 1.2 Explosives in
vehicle combinations if:
combination.
S Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
 Division 1.1 A (Initiating Explosives).
S Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
 Packages of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials labeled “Yellow III.”
The rules usually forbid use of cargo heaters,
including automatic cargo heater/air conditioner
units. Unless you have read all the related rules,
don’t load the above products in a cargo space that
has a heater.
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have
overhang or tailgate loads of:
S Class 1 (Explosives)
S Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
S Class 5 (Oxidizers)
You must load these hazardous materials into a
closed cargo space unless all packages are:
S Fire and water resistant.
S Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
Precautions for Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives) Materials. Turn your engine
off before loading or unloading any explosives.
Then check the cargo space. You must:
 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.
S Disable cargo heaters. Disconnect heater power
Do not load nitric acid above any other product.
S Make sure there are no sharp points that might
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.
sources and drain heater fuel tanks.
damage cargo. Look for bolts, screws, nails, broken side panels, and broken floorboards.
S 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.
Never load corrosive liquids next to or above:
S Division 1.4 (Explosives C).
S Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids).
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.
S Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet).
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 trans-
Never load corrosive liquids with:
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
S Class 5 (Oxidizers).
S Division 2.3, Zone B (Poisonous Gases).
S Division 1.1 or 1.2 (Explosives A).
Page 9-- 10
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S Division 1.2 or 1.3 (Explosives B).
S Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents).
S Division 2.3, Zone A (Poisonous Gases).
S Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible Materials).
Revised 2011
Do Not Load Table
Do Not Load
Division 6.1 or 2.3
(POISON or poison
inhalation hazard labeled material).
Division 2.3 (Poisonous) gas Zone A or
Division 6.1 (Poison)
liquids, PGI, Zone A.
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Explosives,
S 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:
S Held upright.
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 5.1 (Oxidizers), Class 3
(Flammable Liquids), Class 8
(Corrosive Liquids), Division 5.2
(Organic Peroxides),
Charged storage
batteries.
Class 1 (Detonating
primers).
Division 6.1 (Cyanides or cyanide
mixtures).
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents),
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases),
Class 4 (Flammable Solids).
Division 1.1.
Any other explosives unless in
authorized containers or packages.
Acids, corrosive materials, or other acidic materials which could
release hydrocyanic acid .
For Example:
S In racks attached to the vehicle or in boxes that will
Cyanides, Inorganic, n.o.s.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Nitric acid (Class 8).
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Cyanide.
Other materials unless the nitric
acid is not loaded above any
other 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-- 11
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Have a clear view of the cargo tank.
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.
S Be within 25 feet of the tank.
S Know of the hazards of the materials involved.
S Know the procedures to follow in an emergency.
S 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
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.
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.
Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are bulk packages, but are not required to have the owner’s name
or shipping name.
2. How is a portable tank different from a cargo
tank?
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:
Subsection 9.5
Test Your Knowledge
1. What are cargo tanks?
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.
S Be alert.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-- 12
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
9.6 – Hazardous Materials—Driving and
Parking Rules
S Be able to move the vehicle, if needed.
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or
1.3 Explosives
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:
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:
S A bridge, tunnel, or building.
S A place where people gather.
S 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:
S On the shipper’s property.
S On the carrier’s property.
S 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
(Class A or B) 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:
S Be in the vehicle, awake, and not in the sleeper
berth, or within 100 feet of the vehicle and have it
within clear view.
S Be aware of the hazards of the materials being
transported.
S Know what to do in emergencies.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
9.6.4 – No Flares!
S Tank used for Class 3 (Flammable Liquids) or Divi-
sion 2.1 (Flammable Gas) whether loaded or
empty.
S Vehicle loaded with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 Explosives.
9.6.5 – Route Restrictions
Some states and counties require permits to
transport hazardous materials or wastes. They may
limit the routes you can use. Local rules about
routes and permits change often. It is your job as
driver to find out if you need permits or must use
special routes. Make sure you have all needed
papers before starting.
If you work for a carrier, ask your dispatcher about
route restrictions or permits. If you are an independent trucker and are planning a new route, check
with state agencies where you plan to travel. Some
localities prohibit transportation of hazardous materials through tunnels, over bridges, or other roadways. Always check before you start.
Whenever placarded, avoid heavily populated
areas, crowds, tunnels, narrow streets, and alleys.
Take other routes, even if inconvenient, unless
there is no other way. Never drive a placarded
vehicle near open fires unless you can safely pass
without stopping.
If transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives,
you must have a written route plan and follow that
plan. Carriers prepare the route plan in advance and
give the driver a copy. You may plan the route
yourself if you pick up the explosives at a location
other than your employer’s terminal. Write out the
plan in advance. Keep a copy of it with you while
transporting the explosives. Deliver shipments of
explosives only to authorized persons or leave them
in locked rooms designed for explosives storage.
A carrier must choose the safest route to transport
placarded radioactive materials. After choosing the
route, the carrier must tell the driver about the
radioactive materials, and show the route plan.
9.6.6 – No Smoking
Do not smoke within 25 feet of a placarded cargo
tank used for Class 3 (flammable liquids) or Division
2.1 (gases). Also, do not smoke or carry a lighted
Page 9-- 13
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of any vehicle,
which contains:
S Class 1 (Explosives)
S Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases)
Revised 2011
S When not behind the wheel, leave shipping papers in the driver’s door pouch or on the driver’s
seat.
S Emergency response information must be kept in
the same location as the shipping paper.
S Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
S Papers for Division 1.1, 1.2 or, 1.3 explosives.
S Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids)
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 a crash. The written instructions
must include:
S Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible)
S 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.
S The names and telephone numbers of people to
contact (including carrier agents or shippers).
S The nature of the explosives transported.
S The precautions to take in emergencies such as
fires, crashes, or leaks.
Drivers must sign a receipt for these documents.
You must be familiar with, and have in your
possession while driving, the:
9.6.9 – Check Tires
S Shipping papers.
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.
S Written emergency instructions.
Do not drive with a tire that is leaking or flat except
to the nearest safe place to fix it. Remove any
overheated tire. Place it a safe distance from your
vehicle. Don’t drive until you correct the cause of the
overheating. Remember to follow the rules about
parking and attending placarded vehicles. They
apply even when checking, repairing, or replacing
tires.
9.6.10 – Where to Keep Shipping Papers
and Emergency Response Information
Do not accept a hazardous materials shipment
without a properly prepared shipping paper. A
shipping paper for hazardous materials must always be easily recognized. Other people must be
able to find it quickly after a crash.
S Clearly distinguish hazardous materials shipping
papers from others by tabbing them or keeping
them on top of the stack of papers.
S 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
S Written route plan.
S 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:
S Is placarded.
S Carries any amount of chlorine.
S 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.
Don’t shift gears while crossing the tracks.
9.7 – Hazardous Materials -Emergencies
9.7.1 – Emergency Response Guidebook
(ERG)
The Department of Transportation has a guidebook
for firefighters, police, and industry workers on how
Page 9-- 14
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
9.7.2 – Crashes/Incidents
As a professional driver, your job at the scene of a
crash or incident is to:
S Keep people away from the scene.
S Limit the spread of material, only if you can safely
do so.
S Communicate the danger of the hazardous materials to emergency response personnel.
S Provide emergency responders with the shipping
papers and emergency response information.
Revised 2011
ing 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:
S Park it.
Follow this checklist:
S Secure the area.
S Check to see that your driving partner is OK.
S Stay there.
S Keep shipping papers with you.
S Send someone else for help.
S Keep people far away and upwind.
When sending someone for help, give that person:
S Warn others of the danger.
S A description of the emergency.
S Call for help.
S Your exact location and direction of travel.
S Follow your employer’s instructions.
S Your name, the carrier’s name, and the name of
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.
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 touchSection 9 - Hazardous Material
the community or city where your terminal is located.
S The proper shipping name, hazard class, and
identification number of the hazardous materials,
if you know them.
This is a lot for someone to remember. It is a good
idea to write it all down for the person you send for
help. The emergency response team must know
these things to find you and to handle the emergency. They may have to travel miles to get to you. This
information will help them to bring the right equipment the first time, without having to go back for it.
Never move your vehicle, if doing so will cause
contamination or damage the vehicle. Keep upwind
and away from roadside rests, truck stops, cafes,
and businesses. Never try to repack leaking
containers. Unless you have the training and
equipment to repair leaks safely, don’t try it. Call
your dispatcher or supervisor for instructions and,
if needed, emergency personnel.
9.7.4 – Responses to Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives). If your vehicle has a
breakdown or accident while carrying explosives,
Page 9-- 15
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Revised 2011
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:
S A person is killed.
S An injured person requires hospitalization.
S Estimated property damage exceeds $50,000.
S The general public is evacuated for more than one
hour.
S One or more major transportation arteries or facilities are closed for one hour or more.
S Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive
contamination occurs.
S Fire, breakage, spillage or suspected contamination occur involving shipment of etiologic agents
(bacteria or toxins).
S 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:
Page 9-- 16
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Name and address of the carrier they work for.
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III
labeled packages near people, animals, or film
longer than shown in Figure 9.10
S Phone number where they can be reached.
Classes of Hazardous Materials
S Date, time, and location of incident.
Hazardous materials are categorized into nine
major hazard classes and additional categories for
consumer commodities and combustible liquids.
The classes of hazardous materials are listed in
Figure 9.11.
S Their name.
S The extent of injuries, if any.
S Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous
materials involved, if such information is available.
S 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.
Hazard Class Definitions
Table B
Class
1
Class Name
Explosives
2
Gases
3
Flammable
4
5
Flammable Solids
Oxidizers
6
7
8
Poisons
Radioactive
Corrosives
9
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
ORM-D (Other Regulated MaterialDomestic)
Combustible
Liquids
None
None
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 9.11
Subsections 9.6 and 9.7
Test Your Knowledge
1. If your placarded trailer has dual tires, how often
should you check the tires?
2. What is a safe haven?
3. How close to the traveled part of the roadway
can you park with Division 1.2 or 1.3 materials?
4. How close can you park to a bridge, tunnel, or
building with the same load?
5. What type of fire extinguisher must placarded
vehicles carry?
6. You’re hauling 100 pounds of Division 4.3
(dangerous when wet) materials. Do you need
to stop before a railroad-highway crossing?
7. At a rest area you discover your hazardous
materials shipments slowly leaking from the
vehicle. There is no phone around. What should
you do?
Figure 9.10
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
8. What is the Emergency Response Guide
(ERG)?
Page 9-- 17
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.6 and 9.7.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary
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.
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-to-date copy of these rules for your reference.
Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.
Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.
Bulk packaging – Packaging, other than a vessel,
or a barge, including a transport vehicle or freight
container, in which hazardous materials are loaded
with no intermediate form of containment and which
has:
1. A maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119
gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
2. A maximum net mass greater than 400 kg (882
pounds) or a maximum capacity greater than
450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a solid; or
3. A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1000
pounds) as a receptacle for a gas as defined in
Sec. 173.115.
Cargo tank - A bulk packaging which:
1. Is a tank intended primarily for the carriage of
liquids or gases and includes appurtenances,
reinforcements, fittings, and closures (for
”tank,” see 49 CFR 178.345-1(c), 178.337-1, or
178.338-1, as applicable);
2. Is permanently attached to or forms a part of a
motor vehicle, or is not permanently attached to
a motor vehicle but which, by reason of its size,
construction, or attachment to a motor vehicle
is loaded or unloaded without being removed
from the motor vehicle; and
3. Is not fabricated under a specification for
cylinders, portable tanks, tank cars, or multi-unit
tank car tanks.
Carrier – A person engaged in the transportation of
passengers or property by:
1. Land or water as a common, contract, or private
carrier, or
2. Civil aircraft.
Consignee – The business or person to whom a
shipment is delivered.
Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations.
Fuel tank – A tank, other than a cargo tank, used
to transport flammable or combustible liquid or
compressed gas for the purpose of supplying fuel
for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it is
attached, or for the operation of other equipment on
the transport vehicle.
Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of a
packaging plus the weight of its contents.
Hazard class – The category of hazard assigned to
a hazardous material under the definitional criteria
of Part 173 and the provisions of the Sec. 172.101
Table. A material may meet the defining criteria for
more than one hazard class but is assigned to only
one hazard class.
Hazardous materials – A substance or material
which has been determined by the Secretary of
Transportation to be capable of posing an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when
transported in commerce, and which has been so
designated. The term includes hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants,
elevated temperature materials and materials designated as hazardous in the hazardous materials
table of §172.101, and materials that meet the
defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in
§173, subchapter c of this chapter.
Hazardous substance -- A material, including its
mixtures and solutions, that:
1. Is listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
2. Is in a quantity, in one package, which equals or
exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ) listed in
Appendix A to Sec. 172.101; and
3. When in a mixture or solution i. For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph 7
of Appendix A to Sec. 172.101.
ii. For other than radionuclides, is in a concentration by weight which equals or exceeds the
concentration corresponding to the RQ of the
material, as shown in Figure 9.12.
Page 9-- 18
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Hazardous Substance Concentrations
RQ Pounds
(Kilograms)
5,000 (2,270)
1,000 (454)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
1 (0.454)
Concentration by Weight
Percent
PPM
10
2
.2
.02
.002
100,000
20,000
2,000
200
20
Figure 9.12
This definition does not apply to petroleum products
that are lubricants or fuels (see 40 CFR 300.6).
Hazardous waste – For the purposes of this
chapter, means any material that is subject to the
Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specified in
40 CFR Part 262.
Intermediate bulk container (IBC) – A rigid or
flexible portable packaging, other than a cylinder or
portable tank, which is designed for mechanical
handling. Standards for IBCs manufactured in the
United States are set forth in subparts N and O §178.
Limited quantity – The maximum amount of a
hazardous material for which there may be specific
labeling or packaging exception.
Marking – The descriptive name, identification
number, instructions, cautions, weight, specification, or UN marks or combinations thereof, required
by this subchapter on outer packaging of hazardous
materials.
Mixture – A material composed of more than one
chemical compound or element.
Name of contents – The proper shipping name as
specified in Sec. 172.101.
Non-bulk packaging - A packaging, which has:
1. A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) as
a receptacle for a liquid;
2. A maximum net mass less than 400 kg (882
pounds) and a maximum capacity of 450 L (119
gallons) or less as a receptacle for a solid; or
3. A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1,000
pounds) or less as a receptacle for a gas as
defined in Sec. 173.115.
N.O.S. - Not otherwise specified.
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Revised 2011
and equipped with skids, mountings, or accessories
to facilitate handling of the tank by mechanical
means. It does not include a cargo tank, tank car,
multi-unit tank car tank, or trailer carrying 3AX,
3AAX, or 3T cylinders.
Proper shipping name – The name of the
hazardous materials shown in Roman print (not
italics) in Sec. 172.101.
P.s.i. or psi – Pounds per square inch.
P.s.i.a. or psia – Pounds per square inch absolute.
Reportable quantity (RQ) - The quantity specified
in Column 2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for any
material identified in Column 1 of the Appendix.
RSPA – Now PHMSA -- The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC 20590.
Shipper’s certification – A statement on a
shipping paper, signed by the shipper, saying
he/she prepared the shipment properly according to
law. For example:
“This is to certify that the above named materials
are properly classified, described, packaged,
marked and labeled, and are in proper condition for
transportation according to the applicable regulations or the Department of Transportation.” or
“I hereby declare that the contents of this
consignment are fully and accurately described
above by the proper shipping name and are classified, packaged, marked and labeled/placarded,
and are in all respects in proper condition for
transport by * according to applicable international
and national government regulations.”
* Words may be inserted here to indicate mode of
transportation (rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel).
Shipping paper – A shipping order, bill of lading,
manifest, or other shipping document serving a
similar purpose and containing the information
required by Sec. 172.202, 172.203, and 172.204.
Technical name – A recognized chemical name or
microbiological name currently used in scientific
and technical handbooks, journals, and texts.
Transport vehicle – A cargo-carrying vehicle such
as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semi-trailer,
tank car, or rail car used for the transportation of
cargo by any mode. Each cargo-carrying body
(trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport vehicle.
UN standard packaging – A specification packaging conforming to the standards in the UN recommendations.
UN – United Nations.
Page 9-- 19
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Revised 2011
Page 9-- 20
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 10
SCHOOL BUSES
This section covers:
S Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
S Loading and Unloading
S Emergency Exit and Evacuation
S Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings
S Student Management
S Antilock Braking Systems
S Special Safety Considerations
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.
10.1 – 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.
Figure 10.1
Section 10 - School Buses
Revised 2011
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.
10.1.3 – 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 width of the bus.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you
can see:
S 200 feet or four bus lengths behind the bus.
S Along the sides of the bus.
S The rear tires touching the ground.
Figure 10.2 shows how both the outside left and
right side flat mirrors should be adjusted.
Figure 10.2
Page 10-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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:
S The entire side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
S Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
S At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.
Revised 2011
S The entire area in front of the bus from the front
bumper at ground level to a point where direct vision is possible. Direct vision and mirror view vision should overlap.
S The right and left front tires touching the ground.
S The area from the front of the bus to the service
door.
S 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.
Figure 10.3 shows how both the outside left and
right side convex mirrors should be adjusted.
Figure 10.4
Figure 10.3
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:
Section 10 - School Buses
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
This mirror is mounted directly above the windshield
on the driver’s side area of the bus. This mirror is
used to monitor passenger activity inside the bus.
It may provide limited visibility directly in back of the
bus if the bus is equipped with a glass-bottomed
rear emergency door. There is a blind spot area
directly behind the driver’s seat as well as a large
blind spot area that begins at the rear bumper and
could extend up to 400 feet or more behind the bus.
You must use the exterior side mirrors to monitor
traffic that approaches and enters this area.
You should position the mirror to see:
S The top of the rear window in the top of the mirror.
S All of the students, including the heads of the students right behind you.
Page 10-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
10.2 – Loading and Unloading
More students are killed while getting on or off a
school bus each year than are killed as passengers
inside of a school bus. As a result, knowing what to
do before, during, and after loading or unloading
students is critical. This section will give you specific
procedures to help you avoid unsafe conditions
which could result in injuries and fatalities during
and after loading and unloading students.
The information in this section is intended to provide
a broad overview, but is not a definitive set of
actions. It is imperative that you learn and obey the
state laws and regulations governing loading/unloading operations in your state.
10.2.1 – Approaching the Stop
Each school district establishes official routes and
official school bus stops. All stops should be
approved by the school district prior to making the
stop. You should never change the location of a bus
stop without written approval from the appropriate
school district official.
You must use extreme caution when approaching a
school bus stop. You are in a very demanding
situation when entering these areas. It is critical that
you understand and follow all state and local laws
and regulations regarding approaching a school
bus stop. This would involve the proper use of
mirrors, alternating flashing lights, and when
equipped, the moveable stop signal arm and
crossing control arm.
When approaching the stop, you should:
S Approach cautiously at a slow rate of speed.
S Look for pedestrians, traffic, or other objects before, during, and after coming to a stop.
S Continuously check all mirrors.
S If the school bus is so equipped, activate alternat-
ing flashing amber warning lights at least 200 feet
or approximately 5-10 seconds before the school
bus stop or in accordance with state law.
S Turn on right turn signal indicator about 100-300
feet or approximately 3-5 seconds before pulling
over.
S Continuously check mirrors to monitor the danger
zones for students, traffic, and other objects.
S Move as far as possible to the right on the traveled
portion of the roadway.
S Bring school bus to a full stop with the front bump-
er at least 10 feet away from students at the desig-
Section 10 - School Buses
Revised 2011
nated stop. This forces the students to walk to the
bus so you have a better view of their movements.
S Place transmission in Park, or if there is no Park
shift point, in Neutral and set the parking brake at
each stop.
S Activate alternating red lights when traffic is a safe
distance from the school bus and ensure stop arm
is extended.
S Make a final check to see that all traffic has
stopped before completely opening the door and
signaling students to approach.
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
S Perform a safe stop as described in subsection
10.2.1.
S Students should wait in a designated location for
the school bus, facing the bus as it approaches.
S Students should board the bus only when signaled
by the driver.
S Monitor all mirrors continuously.
S 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.
S 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.
S Wait until students are seated and facing forward
before moving the bus.
S Check all mirrors. Make certain no one is running
to catch the bus.
S If you cannot account for a student outside, se-
cure the bus, take the key, and check around and
underneath the bus.
S 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.
S When it is safe, move the bus to enter traffic flow
and continue the route.
The loading procedure is essentially the same
wherever you load students, but there are slight
Page 10-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
differences. When students are loading at the
school campus, you should:
S Turn off the ignition switch.
S Remove key if leaving driver’s compartment.
S Position yourself to supervise loading as required
or recommended by your state or local regulations.
10.2.3 – Unloading Procedures on the
Route
S Perform a safe stop at designated unloading
areas as described in subsection 10.2.1.
S Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
Revised 2011
S Walk approximately 10 feet away from the side of
the school bus to a position where you can see
them.
S 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.
S 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 Stop and look in all directions, making sure the
roadway is clear and is safe.
S Check to see if the red flashing lights on the bus
are still flashing.
S Check all mirrors.
S Wait for your signal before crossing the roadway.
S Count the number of students while unloading to
Upon your signal, the students should:
confirm the location of all students before pulling
away from the stop.
S Cross far enough in front of the school bus to be
S Tell students to exit the bus and walk at least 10
S Stop at the left edge of the school bus, stop, and
feet away from the side of the bus to a position
where the driver can plainly see all students.
in your view.
look again for your signal to continue to cross the
roadway.
S Check all mirrors again. Make sure no students
S Look for traffic in both directions, making sure
S If you cannot account for a student outside the
S Proceed across the roadway, continuing to look in
S 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.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
 Engaging transmission.
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.
are around or returning to the bus.
bus, secure the bus, and check around and underneath the bus.
 Releasing parking brake.
 Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
 Turning on left turn signal.
 Checking all mirrors again.
 Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
S When it is safe, move the bus, enter the traffic flow
and continue the route.
Note: If you have missed a student’s unloading
stop, do not back up. Be sure to follow local procedures.
Additional Procedures for Students That Must
Cross the Roadway. You should understand what
students should do when exiting a school bus and
crossing the street in front of the bus. In addition, the
school bus driver should understand that students
might not always do what they are supposed to do.
If a student or students must cross the roadway,
they should follow these procedures:
Section 10 - School Buses
roadway is clear.
all directions.
When unloading at the school you should follow
these procedures:
S Perform a safe stop at designated unloading
areas as described in subsection 10.2.1.
S Secure the bus by:
 Turning off the ignition switch.
 Removing key if leaving driver’s compartment.
S Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
S Position yourself to supervise unloading as required or recommended by your state or local regulations.
Page 10-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Have students exit in orderly fashion.
10.2.6 – Post-trip Inspection
S Observe students as they step from bus to see
When your route or school activity trip is finished,
you should conduct a post-trip inspection of the bus.
that all move promptly away from the unloading
area.
S Walk through the bus and check for hiding/sleeping students and items left by students.
S Check all mirrors. Make certain no students are
returning to the bus.
S If you cannot account for a student outside the bus
and the bus is secure, check around and underneath the bus.
S When all students are accounted for, prepare to
You should walk through the bus and around the bus
looking for the following:
S Articles left on the bus.
S Sleeping students.
S Open windows and doors.
S 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.
leave by:
S Damage or vandalism.
 Closing the door.
Any problems or special situations should be
reported immediately to your supervisor or school
authorities.
 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.
S When it is safe, pull away from the unloading area.
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and
Unloading
Dropped or Forgotten Objects. Always focus on
students as they approach the bus and watch for
any who disappear from sight.
Students may drop an object near the bus during
loading and unloading. Stopping to pick up the
object, or returning to pick up the object may cause
the student to disappear from the driver’s sight at a
very dangerous moment.
Students should be told to leave any dropped object
and move to a point of safety out of the danger
zones and attempt to get the driver’s attention to
retrieve the object.
Handrail Hang-Ups. Students have been injured
or killed when clothing, accessories, or even parts
of their body get caught in the handrail or door as
they exited the bus. You should closely observe all
students exiting the bus to confirm that they are in
a safe location prior to moving the bus.
Section 10 - School Buses
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
An emergency situation can happen to anyone,
anytime, anywhere. It could be a crash, a stalled
school bus on a railroad-highway crossing or in a
high-speed intersection, an electrical fire in the
engine compartment, a medical emergency to a
student on the school bus, etc. Knowing what to do
in an emergency—before, during and after an
evacuation—can mean the difference between life
and death.
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:
S Is there a fire or danger of fire?
S Is there a smell of raw or leaking fuel?
S Is there a chance the bus could be hit by other vehicles?
S Is the bus in the path of a sighted tornado or rising
waters?
Page 10-- 5
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S Are there downed power lines?
S Would removing students expose them to speed-
ing traffic, severe weather, or a dangerous environment such as downed power lines?
S Would moving students complicate injuries such
as neck and back injuries and fractures?
S 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:
Revised 2011
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.
S Determine the best type of evacuation:
 Front, rear or side door evacuation, or some
combination of doors.
 Roof or window evacuation.
S Secure the bus by:
S The bus is on fire or there is a threat of a fire.
 Placing transmission in Park, or if there is no
shift point, in Neutral.
S The bus is stalled on or adjacent to a railroad-high-
 Setting parking brakes.
S The position of the bus may change and increase
 Removing ignition key.
way crossing.
the danger.
S There is an imminent danger of collision.
S There is a need to quickly evacuate because of a
hazardous materials spill.
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. When possible,
assign two responsible, older student assistants to
each emergency exit. Teach them how to assist the
other students off the bus. Assign another student
assistant to lead the students to a “safe place” after
evacuation. However, you must recognize that
there may not be older, responsible students on the
bus at the time of the emergency. Therefore,
emergency evacuation procedures must be explained to all students. This includes knowing how
to operate the various emergency exits and the
importance of listening to and following all instructions given by you.
Some tips to determine a safe place:
S 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.
S Lead students upwind of the bus if fire is present.
S Lead students as far away from railroad tracks as
possible and in the direction of any oncoming
train.
S Lead students upwind of the bus at least 300 feet
if there is a risk from spilled hazardous materials.
S 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,
Section 10 - School Buses
 Shutting off the engine.
 Activating hazard-warning lights.
S If time allows, notify dispatch office of evacuation
location, conditions, and type of assistance needed.
S Dangle radio microphone or telephone out of driver’s window for later use, if operable.
S If no radio, or radio is inoperable, dispatch a pass-
ing motorist or area resident to call for help. As a
last resort, dispatch two older, responsible students to go for help.
S Order the evacuation.
S 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.
S Direct a student assistant to lead students to the
nearest safe place.
S Walk through the bus to ensure no students remain on the bus. Retrieve emergency equipment.
S Join waiting students. Account for all students and
check for their safety.
S Protect the scene. Set out emergency warning devices as necessary and appropriate.
S 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 procePage 10-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
dures. 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.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a
traffic control device installed at the crossing to
regulate traffic at the crossing. These active
devices include flashing red lights, with or without
bells and flashing red lights with bells and gates.
10.4.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train
is coming. (See Figure 10.5.)
Figure 10.6
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.)
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
no-passing 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.)
Section 10 - School Buses
Figure 10.7
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.)
Page 10-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
 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.
S At the Crossing:
 Stop no closer than 15 feet and no farther than
50 feet from the nearest rail, where you have
the best view of the tracks.
 Place the transmission in Park, or if there is no
Park shift point, in Neutral and press down on
the service brake or set the parking brakes.
 Turn off all radios and noisy equipment, and silence the passengers.
 Open the service door and driver’s window.
Look and listen for an approaching train. Keep
door open while crossing.
S Crossing the Track:
 Check the crossing signals again before proceeding.
Figure 10.8
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. If the gate stays down after
the train passes, do not drive around the gate.
Instead, call your dispatcher. (See Figure 10.8.)
10.4.3 – Recommended Procedures
Each state has laws and regulations governing how
school buses must operate at railroad-highway
crossings. It is important for you to understand and
obey these state laws and regulations. In general,
school buses must stop at all crossings, and ensure
it is safe before proceeding across the tracks. The
specific procedures required in each state vary.
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.
S Approaching the Crossing:
 Slow down, including shifting to a lower gear in
a manual transmission bus, and test your
brakes.
 Activate hazard lights approximately 200 feet
before the crossing. Make sure your intentions
are known.
Section 10 - School Buses
 At a multiple-track crossing, stop only before
the first set of tracks. When you are sure no
train is approaching on any track, proceed
across all of the tracks until you have completely
cleared them.
 Cross the tracks in a low gear. Do not change
gears while crossing.
 If the gate comes down after you have started
across, drive through it even if it means you will
break the gate.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
Bus Stalls or Trapped on Tracks. If your bus stalls
or is trapped on the tracks, get everyone out and off
the tracks immediately. Move everyone far from the
bus at an angle, which is both away from the tracks
and toward the train.
Police Officer at the Crossing. If a police officer
is at the crossing, obey directions. If there is no
police officer, and you believe the signal is malfunctioning, call your dispatcher to report the situation
and ask for instructions on how to proceed.
Obstructed View of Tracks. Plan your route so it
provides maximum sight distance at highway-rail
grade crossings. Do not attempt to cross the tracks
unless you can see far enough down the track to
know for certain that no trains are approaching.
Passive crossings are those that do not have any
type of traffic control device. Be especially careful
at “passive” crossings. Even if there are active
railroad signals that indicate the tracks are clear,
you must look and listen to be sure it is safe to
proceed.
Page 10-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2011
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:
S Air brakes vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers and
converter dollies) built on or after March 1, 1998.
S Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a
gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or more
built on or after March 1, 1999.
10.5 – Student Management
Many buses built before these dates have been
voluntarily equipped with ABS.
10.5.1 – Don’t Deal with On-Bus
Problems When Loading and Unloading
Your school bus will have a yellow ABS malfunction
lamp on the instrument panel if it is equipped with
ABS.
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.
10.6.2 – 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.
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
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.
Tips on handling serious problems:
10.6.3 – Braking with ABS
S Follow your school’s procedures for discipline or
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
S Stop the bus. Park in a safe location off the road,
S Use only the braking force necessary to stop safe-
S Secure the bus. Take the ignition key with you if
S Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
refusal of rights to ride the bus.
perhaps a parking lot or a driveway.
you leave your seat.
S 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.
S If a change of seating is needed, request that the
student move to a seat near you.
S 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 you state or local procedures for requesting assistance.
Section 10 - School Buses
ly and stay in control.
have ABS on the bus. However, in emergency
braking, do not pump the brakes on a bus with
ABS.
S As you slow down, monitor your bus and back off
the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
10.6.4 – Braking if ABS is Not Working
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something 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
Page 10-- 9
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
then goes out quickly. On older systems, the lamp
could stay on until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on
once you are under way, you may have lost ABS
control at one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system
serviced soon.
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
S ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
S 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.
S ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not always shorten stopping distance.
S ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
power—ABS is an “add-on” to your normal
brakes, not a replacement for them.
S 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.
S ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
S Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still
a safe driver.
Revised 2011
10.7.2 – Driving in High Winds
Strong winds affect the handling of the school bus!
The side of a school bus acts like a sail on a sailboat.
Strong winds can push the school bus sideways.
They can even move the school bus off the road or,
in extreme conditions, tip it over.
If you are caught in strong winds:
S Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Try to
anticipate gusts.
S You should slow down to lessen the effect of the
wind, or pull off the roadway and wait.
S Contact your dispatcher to get more information
on how to proceed.
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:
S Post a lookout. The purpose of the lookout is to
warn you about obstacles, approaching persons,
and other vehicles. The lookout should not give directions on how to back the bus.
S Signal for quiet on the bus.
S Constantly check all mirrors and rear windows.
S Back slowly and smoothly.
S If no lookout is available:
 Set the parking brake.
S Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
 Turn off the motor and take the keys with you.
S Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to pre-
 Walk to the rear of the bus to determine whether
the way is clear.
ABS.
vent a serious crash.
10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
10.7.1 – Strobe Lights
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.
Section 10 - School Buses
S 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.
S Be sure that all students are in the bus before
backing.
S If you must back-up at a student drop-off point, be
sure to unload students after backing.
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.
Page 10-- 10
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Section 10
Test Your Knowledge
1. Define the danger zone. How far does the
danger zone extend around the bus?
2. What should you be able to see if the outside flat
mirrors are adjusted properly? The outside
convex mirrors? The crossover mirrors?
3. You are loading students along the route. When
should you activate your alternating flashing
amber warning lights?
4. You are unloading students along your route.
Where should students walk to after exiting the
bus?
5. After unloading at school, why should you walk
through the bus?
6. What position should students be in front of the
bus before they cross the roadway?
7. Under what conditions must you evacuate the
bus?
8. How far from the nearest rail should you stop at
a highway-rail crossing?
9. What is a passive highway-rail crossing? Why
should you be extra cautious at this type of
crossing?
10. How should you use your brakes if your vehicle
is equipped with antilock brakes (ABS)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 10.
Section 10 - School Buses
Page 10-- 11
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 10 - School Buses
Revised 2011
Page 10-- 12
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 11
PRE-TRIP VEHICLE
INSPECTION TEST
Revised 2011
 Alternator belt.
 Air compressor belt.
Note: If any of the components listed above are not
belt driven, you must:
This section covers:
S Tell the examiner which component(s) are not belt
S Internal Inspection
S External Inspection
S Make sure component(s) are operating properly,
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.
11.1 – All Vehicles
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.
11.1.1 – Engine Compartment (Engine Off)
Leaks/Hoses
S Look for puddles on the ground.
S Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine and
transmission.
S Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
Oil Level
S Indicate where dipstick is located.
S See that oil level is within safe operating range.
Level must be above refill mark.
Coolant Level
S Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
S (If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and
check for visible coolant level.
Power Steering Fluid
S Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is located.
S Check for adequate power steering fluid level.
Level must be above refill mark.
Engine Compartment Belts
S Check the following belts for snugness (up to 3/4
driven.
are not damaged or leaking, and are mounted securely.
Clutch/Gearshift/Safe Start
S Depress clutch.
S Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for automatic transmissions).
S Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Oil Pressure Gauge
S Make sure oil pressure gauge is working.
S Check that pressure gauge shows increasing or
normal oil pressure or that the warning light goes
off.
S If equipped, oil temperature gauge should begin a
gradual rise to the normal operating range.
Temperature Gauge
S Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
S Temperature should begin to climb to the normal
operating range or temperature light should be off.
Air Gauge
S Make sure the air gauge is working properly.
S Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly
120--140 psi.
Ammeter/Voltmeter
S Check that gauges show alternator and/or generator is charging or that warning light is off.
Mirrors and Windshield
S Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly
from the inside.
S Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers, no obstructions, or damage to the glass.
Emergency Equipment
inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays:
S Check for spare electrical fuses.
 Power steering belt.
S Check for three red reflective triangles, six fusees
 Water pump belt.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
or three liquid burning flares.
Page 11-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
S Check for a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical
fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.
Revised 2011
Horn
S Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Heater/Defroster
S Test that the heater and defroster work.
Steering Play
Parking Brake Check
S Non-power steering: Check for excessive play by
S With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes re-
turning steering wheel back and forth. Play should
not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a
20-inch wheel).
leased on combination vehicles), check that the
parking brake will hold vehicle by gently trying to
pull forward with parking brake on.
S Power steering: With the engine running, check
S With the parking brake released and the trailer
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
S Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not
damaged, and operate smoothly.
S If equipped, windshield washers must operate
correctly.
Lights/Reflectors/Reflector Tape Condition
(Sides and Rear)
S Test that dash indicators work when correspond-
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
S Pump the brake pedal three times, then hold it
down for five seconds. The brake pedal should not
move (depress) during the five seconds.
S If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve (back-
up) system, with the key off, depress the brake
pedal and listen for the sound of the reserve system electric motor.
S Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
ing lights are turned on:
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles
Only)
 Left turn signal.
S Failure to perform all three components of the air
 Right turn signal.
 Four-way emergency flashers.
 High beam headlight.
 Antilock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
S Check that all external lights and reflective equip-
ment are clean and functional. Light and reflector
checks include:
 Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere).
 Headlights (high and low beams).
 Taillights.
 Backing lights.
 Turn signals.
 Four-way flashers.
 Brake lights.
 Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors
(elsewhere).
 Reflector tape condition.
Note: Checks of brake, turn signal, and four-way
flasher functions must be done separately.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
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:
 With the engine running, build the air pressure
to governed cut-out (120-140 psi).
 Shut off the engine, 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).
 With the engine off and the key in the “on” position, begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly
applying and releasing the foot brake. Low air
warning devices (buzzer, light, flag) should activate before air pressure drops below 60 psi.
 Continue to fan off the air pressure. At approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer combination
Page 11-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
S 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.
S 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.
Seat Belt
S Check that the seat belt is securely mounted, ad-
justs, and latches properly and is not ripped or
frayed.
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
Revised 2011
Mounts
S Look for cracked or broken spring hangers, miss-
ing 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 See that shock absorbers are secure and that
there are no leaks.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same suspension
components inspection on every axle (power unit
and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.3 – Brakes
Slack Adjustors and Pushrods
S Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
S For manual slack adjustors, the brake pushrod
should not move more than one inch (with the
brakes released) when pulled by hand.
11.2.1– Steering
Brake Chambers
Steering Box/Hoses
S See that brake chambers are not leaking,
S Check that the steering box is securely mounted
and not leaking. Look for any missing nuts, bolts,
and cotter keys.
S Check for power steering fluid leaks or damage to
power steering hoses.
Steering Linkage
S See that connecting links, arms, and rods from the
steering box to the wheel are not worn or cracked.
S Check that joints and sockets are not worn or
loose and that there are no missing nuts, bolts, or
cotter keys.
11.2.2 – Suspension
Springs/Air/Torque
S Look for missing, shifted, cracked, or broken leaf
springs.
S Look for broken or distorted coil springs.
S 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.
S Air ride suspension should be checked for damage and leaks.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
cracked, or dented and are mounted securely.
Brake Hoses/Lines
S Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines,
and couplings.
Drum Brake
S Check for cracks, dents, or holes. Also check for
loose or missing bolts.
S Check for contaminates such as oil or grease.
S Brake linings (where visible) should not be worn
dangerously thin.
Brake Linings
S On some brake drums, there are openings where
the brake linings can be seen from outside the
drum. For this type of drum, check that a visible
amount of brake lining is showing.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same brake components inspection on every axle (power unit and
trailer, if equipped).
11.2.4 – Wheels
Rims
S Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot
have welding repairs.
Page 11-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Tires
Battery/Box
S The following items must be inspected on every
S Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
 Tread depth: Check for minimum tread depth
(4/32 on steering axle tires, 2/32 on all other
tires).
S Battery connections should not show signs of ex-
 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.
Drive Shaft
tire:
 Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation by using
a tire gauge.
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
cessive corrosion.
S Battery box and cover or door must be secure.
S See that drive shaft is not bent or cracked.
S 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.
S Check system for damage and signs of leaks such
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
S System should be connected tightly and mounted
See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are not
leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level is
adequate.
Lug Nuts
as rust or carbon soot.
securely.
Frame
S Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the longitudinal frame members, cross
members, box, and floor.
Check that all lug nuts are present, free of cracks
and distortions, and show no signs of looseness
such as rust trails or shiny threads.
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
Make sure all bolt holes are not cracked or distorted.
S If equipped, check that splash guards or mud flaps
Spacers or Budd Spacing
Splash Guards
are not damaged and are mounted securely.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
If equipped, check that spacers are not bent,
damaged, or rusted through.
S Check that doors and hinges are not damaged
Spacers should be evenly centered, with the dual
wheels and tires evenly separated.
S Ties, straps, chains, and binders must also be se-
and that they open, close, and latch properly from
the outside, if equipped.
cure.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same wheel inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if
equipped).
S If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, dam-
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
S Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
S Check that door(s) are not damaged and that they
open and close properly from the outside.
S Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
S Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no loose
fittings.
aged or missing parts and explain how it should be
checked for correct operation.
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
Air/Electric Lines
S Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and elec-
trical lines are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn
(steel braid should not show through).
S Make sure air and electrical lines are not tangled,
pinched, or dragging against tractor parts.
Fuel Tank
Catwalk
S Check that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight,
S Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects,
and that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Page 11-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Mounting Bolts
Sliding Pintle
S Look for loose or missing mounting brackets,
S Check that the sliding pintle is secured with no
S On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
Tongue or Draw-bar
clamps, bolts, or nuts. Both the fifth wheel and the
slide mounting must be solidly attached.
pintle hook, etc.), inspect all coupling components
and mounting brackets for missing or broken
parts.
Hitch Release Lever
S Check to see that the hitch release lever is in place
and is secure.
Locking Jaws
S Look into fifth wheel gap and check that locking
jaws are fully closed around the kingpin.
S 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.
Fifth Wheel Skid Plate
S Check for proper lubrication and that the fifth
wheel skid plate is securely mounted to the platform and that all bolts and pins are secure and not
missing.
loose or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is in
place.
S Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not bent or
twisted and check for broken welds and stress
cracks.
S Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not worn excessively.
Tongue Storage Area
S Check that the storage area is solid and secured
to the tongue.
S Check that cargo in the storage area (i.e., chains,
binders, etc.) are secure.
11.3 – School Bus Only
Emergency Equipment
S In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses (if
equipped), three red reflective triangles, and a
properly charged and rated fire extinguisher,
school bus drivers must also inspect the following
emergency equipment:
 Emergency Kit.
 Body Fluid Cleanup Kit
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
Lighting Indicators
S Check for cracks or breaks in the platform struc-
S In addition to checking the lighting indicators listed
ture which supports the fifth wheel skid plate.
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
in Section 10.2 of this manual, school bus drivers
must also check the following lighting indicators
(internal panel lights):
S If equipped, make sure the release arm is in the
 Alternately flashing amber lights indicator, if
equipped.
Kingpin/Apron/Gap
 Alternately flashing red lights indicator.
engaged position and the safety latch is in place.
S Check that the kingpin is not bent.
S Make sure the visible part of the apron is not bent,
cracked, or broken.
 Strobe light indicator, if equipped.
Lights/Reflectors
S In addition to checking the lights and reflective de-
S Check that the trailer is laying flat on the fifth wheel
vices listed in Section 10.2 of this manual, school
bus drivers must also check the following (external) lights and reflectors:
Locking Pins (Fifth Wheel)
 Strobe light, if equipped.
S If equipped, look for loose or missing pins in the
 Stop arm light, if equipped.
skid plate (no gap).
slide mechanism of the sliding fifth wheel. If air
powered, check for leaks.
 Alternately flashing amber lights, if equipped.
 Alternately flashing red lights.
S Make sure locking pins are fully engaged.
Student Mirrors
S Check that the fifth wheel is positioned properly so
In addition to checking the external mirrors, school
bus drivers must also check the internal and
external mirrors used for observing students:
that the tractor frame will clear the landing gear
during turns.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-- 5
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Check for proper adjustment.
Header Board
S Check that all internal and external mirrors and
S If equipped, check the header board to see that it
mirror brackets are not damaged and are
mounted securely with no loose fittings.
S Check that visibility is not impaired due to dirty mirrors.
Stop Arm
S 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
S Check that the entry door is not damaged, oper-
is secure, free of damage, and strong enough to
contain cargo.
S If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be
mounted and fastened securely.
S 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
S Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no
missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the
support frame is not damaged.
ates smoothly, and closes securely from the inside.
S If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.
S Hand rails are secure and the step light is working,
S If equipped, check that doors are not damaged.
if equipped.
S The entry steps must be clear with the treads not
loose or worn excessively.
S If equipped with a handicap lift, look for leaking,
damaged, or missing parts and explain how lift
should be checked for correct operation. Lift must
be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exit
S Make sure that all emergency exits are not damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely from
the inside.
S Check that any emergency exit warning devices
are working.
Seating
Doors/Ties/Lifts
Check that doors open, close, and latch properly
from the outside.
S Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are
secure.
S If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, dam-
aged or missing parts and explain how it should be
checked for correct operation.
S Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Frame
S Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the frame, cross members, box, and
floor.
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
S If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked
in place and release arm is secured.
S Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
11.4.3 – Remainder of Trailer
S Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
S Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for de-
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
the seat frames.
11.4 – Trailer
11.4.1 – Trailer Front
Air/Electrical Connections
S Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in
good condition.
S Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of
damage or air leaks.
S Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly
seated and locked in place.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Remainder of Trailer
tailed inspection procedures regarding the following components:
 Wheels.
 Suspension system.
 Brakes.
 Doors/ties/lift.
 Splash guards.
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
Passenger Entry/Lift
S Check that entry doors operate smoothly and
close securely from the inside.
Page 11-- 6
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S Check that hand rails are secure and, if equipped,
S Battery connections should not show signs of ex-
S Check that the entry steps are clear, with the
S Check that battery box and cover or door is not
S If equipped with a handicap lift, look for any leak-
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/Transit Bus
that the step light(s) are working.
treads not loose or worn excessively.
ing, damaged or missing part, and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
S Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exits
cessive corrosion.
damaged and is secure.
Remainder of Vehicle
S Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for detailed inspection procedures for the remainder of
the vehicle.
S Make sure that all emergency exits are not dam-
Remember, the pre-trip vehicle inspection must be
passed before you can proceed to the basic vehicle
control skills test.
S Check that any emergency exit warning devices
11.6 – Taking the CDL Pre-trip Inspection
Test
aged, operate smoothly, and close securely from
the inside.
are working.
Passenger Seating
S Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
S Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
Doors/Mirrors
S Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged and
operate smoothly from the outside. Hinges should
be secure with seals intact.
S 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
S See that the vehicle is sitting level (front and rear),
and if air-equipped, check for audible air leaks
from the suspension system.
Fuel Tank(s)
S See that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks from
tank(s) or lines.
11.6.1 – Class A Pre-trip Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the four versions of a
pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the four tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start, an in-cab
inspection, and an inspection of the coupling
system. Then, your test may require an inspection
of the entire vehicle or only a portion of the vehicle
which your CDL Examiner will explain to you.
11.6.2 – Class B or C Pre-trip Inspection
Test
If you are applying for a Class B or C CDL, you will
be required to perform one of the three versions of
a pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with for testing. Each of the three tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start and an in-cab
inspection. Then, your test may require an inspection of the entire vehicle or only a portion of the
vehicle which your CDL Examiner will explain to
you. You will also have to inspect any special
features of your vehicle (e.g., school or transit bus).
Baggage Compartments
S Check that baggage and all other exterior
compartment doors are not damaged, operate
properly, and latch securely.
Battery/Box
S Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-- 7
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
CDL Vehicle Inspection Memory Aid
Combination Vehicles
Front of Vehicle, Lights/Reflectors,
Engine Compartment & Steering
Components
Steering Axle
S Suspension
S Brakes
S Tires
Engine Start Procedures
Straight Truck or Bus
Front of Vehicle, Lights/Reflectors,
Engine Compartment & Steering
Components
Steering Axle
S Suspension
S Brakes
S Tires
Driver Door
Driver Door
Fuel Area
Fuel Area
Under Vehicle
S Drive Shaft
S Exhaust
S Frame
Under Vehicle
S Drive Shaft
S Exhaust
S Frame
Drive Axle(s)
S Suspension
S Brakes
S Tires
Coupling
Devices
S Truck
S Trailer
Rear of Truck/
Tractor & Lights/
Reflectors
Trailer Components
S Front, Side, Lights
& Reflectors
S Frame
S Landing Gear
S Tandem Release
Engine Start Procedures
Passenger Items
(Buses Only)
School Bus Items
(School Buses
Only)
Side of Vehicle &
Lights/Reflectors
Drive Axle(s)
S Suspension
S Brakes
S Tires
Trailer Axles(s)
S Suspension
S Brakes
S Tires
Rear of Vehicle and Lights/Reflectors
Rear of Trailer and Lights/Reflectors
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-- 8
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 12
BASIC VEHICLE
CONTROL SKILLS TEST
This section covers:
S Skills Test Exercises
S Skills Test Scoring
Your basic control skills could be tested using one
or more of the following exercises off-road or
somewhere on the street during the road test:
S Straight line backing.
S Offset back/right.
S Offset back/left.
Revised 2011
position where in physical control of the vehicle or,
on a bus, walk to the back of a bus to get a better
view, it is scored as a “look.”
Final Position — It is important that you finish each
exercise exactly as the examiner has instructed
you. If you do not maneuver the vehicle into its final
position as described by the examiner, you will be
penalized and could fail the basic skills test.
12.2 – EXERCISES
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
You may be asked to back your vehicle in a straight
line between two rows of cones without touching or
crossing over the exercise boundaries. (See Figure
12.1)
S Parallel park (driver side).
2.2.2 – Offset Back/Right
S Parallel park (conventional).
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. (See Figure 12.2.)
S Alley dock.
These exercises are shown in Figures 12-1 through
12-6.
12.1 – SCORING
S Crossing boundaries (encroachments).
S Pull-ups.
S Vehicle exits.
S 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. Pull-ups will count as errors.
Outside Vehicle Observations (Looks) — You
may be permitted to safely stop and exit the vehicle
to check the external position of the vehicle (look).
When doing so, you must place the vehicle in neutral
and set the parking brake(s). Then, when exiting the
vehicle, you must do so safely by facing the vehicle
and maintaining three points of contact with the
vehicle at all times (when exiting a bus, exit facing
forward maintaining a firm grasp on the handrail at
all times). If you do not safely secure the vehicle or
safely exit the vehicle, it may result in an automatic
failure of the basic control skills test.
The maximum number of times that you may look
to check the position of your vehicle is two. Each
time you open the door, move from a seated
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
2.2.3 – 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. (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 (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 to required to get your vehicle
completely into the space. (See Figure 12.5.)
12.2.6 – Alley Dock
You may be asked to sight-side back your vehicle
into an alley, bringing the rear of your vehicle as
close as possible to the rear of the alley without
Page 12-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
going beyond the exercise boundary marked by a
line or row of cones. You are required to get your
Revised 2011
vehicle completely into the space with your entire
vehicle straight with the alley. (See Figure 12.6.)
Figure 12.1: Straight Line Backing
Figure 12.2: Offset Back/Right
Figure 12.3: Offset Back/Left
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
Page 12-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
Figure 12.4: Parallel Park (Driver Side)
Figure 12.5: Parallel Park (Conventional)
Figure 12.6: Alley Dock
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
Page 12-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
Revised 2011
Page 12-- 4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 13
ON-ROAD DRIVING
This section covers:
S How You Will Be Tested (Also read
North Dakota Information section.)
Revised 2011
S Do not let your vehicle roll.
S Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
When ready to turn:
S Check traffic in all directions.
S Keep both hands on the steering wheel during the
turn.
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
S Keep checking your mirror to make sure the ve-
S Wear your seat belt.
S Vehicle should not move into oncoming traffic.
S Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
S Vehicle should finish turn in correct lane.
S 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:
S Check traffic in all directions.
S Use turn signals and safely get into the lane needed for the turn.
As you approach the turn:
S Use turn signals to warn others of your turn.
S 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:
S Come to a smooth stop without skidding.
S Come to a complete stop behind the stop line,
crosswalk, or stop sign.
S If stopping behind another vehicle, stop where you
can see the rear tires on the vehicle ahead of you
(safe gap).
Section 13 - On-Road Driving
hicle does not hit anything on the inside of the turn.
After turn:
S Make sure turn signal is off.
S Get up to speed of traffic, use turn signal, and
move into right-most lane when safe to do so (if
not already there).
S Check mirrors and traffic.
13.1.2 – Intersections
As you approach an intersection:
S Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
S Decelerate gently.
S Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change gears.
S 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.
S Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward.
When driving through an intersection:
S Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
S Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and traffic
in the intersection.
S Do not change lanes while proceeding through the
intersection.
S Keep your hands on the wheel.
Once through the intersection:
S Continue checking traffic.
S 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
Page 13-- 1
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
keep up with the flow of traffic but not exceed the
posted speed limit.
S Vehicle should not be blocking driveways, fire hy-
13.1.4 – Lane Changes
S Cancel your turn signal.
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.
drants, intersections, signs, etc.
S Activate your four-way emergency flashers.
S Apply the parking brake.
S Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
S Remove your feet from the brake and clutch pedals.
13.1.5 – Expressway
When instructed to resume:
Before entering the expressway:
S Check traffic and your mirrors thoroughly in all di-
S Check traffic.
S Use proper signals.
S Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
Once on the expressway:
S Maintain proper lane positioning, vehicle spacing,
and vehicle speed.
S Continue to check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
When exiting the expressway:
S Make necessary traffic checks.
S Use proper signals.
S Decelerate smoothly in the exit lane.
S Once on the exit ramp, you must continue to de-
celerate within the lane markings and maintain adequate spacing between your vehicle and other
vehicles.
rections.
S Turn off your four-way flashers.
S Activate the left turn signal.
S When traffic permits, you should release the parking brake and pull straight ahead.
S Do not turn the wheel before your vehicle moves.
S Check traffic from all directions, especially to the
left.
S Steer and accelerate smoothly into the proper
lane when safe to do so.
S Once your vehicle is back into the flow of traffic,
cancel your left turn signal.
13.1.7 – Curve
S When approaching a curve:
S Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
S Before entering the curve, reduce speed so further braking or shifting is not required in the curve.
13.1.6 – Stop/Start
S Keep vehicle in the lane.
For this maneuver, you will be asked to pull your
vehicle over to the side of the road and stop as if you
were going to get out and check something on your
vehicle. You must check traffic thoroughly in all
directions and move to the right-most lane or
shoulder of road.
S Continue checking traffic in all directions.
As you prepare for the stop:
13.1.8 – Railroad Crossing
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial
drivers should:
S Decelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as
necessary.
S Check traffic.
S Look and listen for the presence of trains.
S Activate your right turn signal.
S Check traffic in all directions.
S Decelerate smoothly, brake evenly, change gears
Do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle,
or change lanes while any part of your vehicle is in
the crossing.
as necessary.
S Bring your vehicle to a full stop without coasting.
Once stopped:
S Vehicle must be parallel to the curb or shoulder of
the road and safely out of the traffic flow.
Section 13 - On-Road Driving
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):
Page 13-- 2
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2011
S As the vehicle approaches a railroad crossing, ac-
13.1.12 – Gear Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
S Stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15
S Do not grind or clash gears.
tivate the four-way flashers.
feet from the nearest rail.
S 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.
S Keep hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle
crosses the tracks.
S Do not stop, change gears, or change lanes while
any part of your vehicle is proceeding across the
tracks.
S Four-way flashers should be deactivated after the
vehicle crosses the tracks.
S 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)
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.
You will be scored on your overall performance in
the following general driving behavior categories:
13.1.11 – Clutch Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
S Always use clutch to shift.
S Double-clutch when shifting.
S Select gear that does not rev or lug engine.
S Do not shift in turns and intersections.
13.1.13 – Brake Usage
S Do not ride or pump brake.
S Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using
steady pressure.
13.1.14 – Lane Usage
S Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or lane
markings.
S Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop signs.
S 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).
S Finish a right turn in the right-most (curb) lane.
S Move to or remain in right-most lane unless lane
is blocked.
13.1.15 – Steering
S Do not over or under steer the vehicle.
S Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times
unless shifting. Once you have completed the
shift, return both hands to the steering wheel.
13.1.16 – Regular Traffic Checks
S Check traffic and mirrors on a regular basis.
S Check mirrors and traffic before, while in and after
an intersection.
S Scan and check traffic in high-volume area and
areas where pedestrians are expected to be present.
13.1.17 – Use of Turn Signals
S Activate turn signals when required.
S Do not rev or lug the engine.
S Activate turn signals at the appropriate time.
S Do not ride clutch to control speed, coast with the
S Cancel turn signals upon completion of a turn or
clutch depressed, or “pop” the clutch.
Section 13 - On-Road Driving
lane change.
Page 13-- 3
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 13 - On-Road Driving
Revised 2011
Page 13-- 4
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF

advertising