Commercial Drivers License Guide

Commercial Drivers License Guide
Commercial
Drivers License Guide
Class A - Class B - Class C
2013 - 2015
Prepared by
NORTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA
www.dot.nd.gov
DIRECTOR
Grant Levi, P.E.
DRIVERS LICENSE DIVISION
Glenn E. Jackson
DL0713
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.
DL0713
Table of Contents
North Dakota Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-1
Driving Safely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-1
Transporting Cargo Safely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-1
Transporting Passengers Safely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-1
Air Brakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-1
Combination Vehicles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-1
Doubles and Triples. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7-1
Tank Vehicles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8-1
Hazardous Materials. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9-1
School Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-1
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11-1
Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12-1
On-Road Driving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13-1
North Dakota
Information
tions that may disqualify an individual from obtaining
a commercial permit or license are: heart condition,
hearing impairment, 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:
•A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
or gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more,
whichever is greater.
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.
•A combination vehicle with a gross combination
weight rating or gross combination weight of 26,001
pounds or more, whichever is greater, provided the
towed unit has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross
vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever
is greater.
MEDICAL CERTIFICATE
REQUIREMENTS
Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations (49 CFR
383.73) 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.
•A bus designed to transport 16 or more passengers,
including the driver.
•Any vehicle that transports hazardous materials requiring 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:
•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, fax, or email
a copy of your medical certificate to:
•Passenger transport vehicle (bus).
•Double/triple trailer combination.
•Placarded vehicle transporting hazardous materials
or wastes or material listed as a select agent or toxin
in 42 CFR part 73.
•School bus.
Drivers License Division
608 East Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, ND 58505-­0750 or
Fax to 701-­328­-0308
LEGAL AGE
•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.
Email with a pdf attachment to [email protected]
NOTE: Do not bring your medical certificate to the local driver license sites. It must be faxed, mailed, or emailed to Bismarck at least 10 days prior to visiting the driver license
site.
•You must be at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines (interstate).
MEDICAL QUALIFICATIONS
How do I know if this applies to me?
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, vehicles greater than 10,000 GVWR used in
intrastate commerce if transporting hazardous materials requiring placards or if the vehicle is designed
to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver,
and vehicles greater than 26,000 GVWR that are used
in intrastate commerce. Some of the medical condi-
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.
What is deemed Interstate transportation?
Interstate is defined as trade, traffic, or transportation
in the United States:
•Between a place in a state and place outside of such
1
state including a place outside of the United States;
or
For example, organizations exempt from the Internal
Revenue Code that provide transportation for their
members.
•Between two places in a state through another state
or a place outside of the United States; or
•Emergency delivery of propane winter heating fuel
and pipeline response.
•Between two places in a state as part of trade, traffic,
or transportation originating or terminating outside
the state or the United States.
•Drivers of migrant workers (must meet minimum
medical standards only; 49 CFR 398.3).
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.
Category 3: Intrastate and subject to State driver
qualification requirements. Medical Certificate must
be carried by the driver.
CATEGORY CHART
•North Dakota drivers granted a State Waiver for vision and insulin controlled diabetes (Restriction O or
K; Class A, B, C valid for Intrastate only).
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.
•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.
Category 1: Interstate and subject to 49 CFR part
391. Medical Certificate must be faxed or mailed to the
North Dakota Drivers License Division.
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.
•All Class A, B, and C drivers who do NOT fall under
any of the other categories.
•All Class A, B, and C drivers granted a federal vision
or diabetes exemption; or SPE­-limb impairment Skill
Performance Evaluation.
•Bonafide farmer or rancher operating articulated
farm vehicles within a 150 mile radius of the farm or
ranch and does NOT cross state lines.
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.
•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.
•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.
NORTH DAKOTA DRIVER LICENSE
CLASSES
•Transportation performed by the Federal government, a state, or any political subdivision of a State.
CLASS A
•Occasional transportation of personal property by
individuals not for compensation, nor in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise.
Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination
weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds
or more whichever is greater, provided the vehicle being towed has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross
vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever is
greater. (May also operate Class B, C, and D vehicle
groups, but not a Class M unless endorsed.)
•The transportation of human corpses or sick and injured persons.
•The operation of fire trucks and rescue vehicles
while involved in emergency and related operations.
•A 9- to 15-passenger van, including the driver, weighing less than 26,001 gross vehicle weight rating, and
not for compensation.
CLASS B
Any single vehicle with a gross weight rating or gross
vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more, whichever
is greater. May tow a vehicle not in excess of 10,000
pounds. (May also operate Class C and D vehicle
groups, but not a Class M unless endorsed.
•Apiarian industries (Beekeepers).
•Farm custom operations (Custom Harvesters).
•Non­articulated farm vehicle drivers operating within
a 150-mile radius of the farm.
CLASS C
•Private motor carrier of passengers (nonbusiness).
Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of
2
26,000 pounds or less that is designed to transport 16
or more passengers, including the driver or is transporting hazardous materials under 49 CFR part 172
(placarded materials) and 42 CFR part 73. May tow
a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds. (May also
operate a Class D vehicle but not a Class M unless
endorsed.)
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.
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 unless endorsed.)
Status
U.S. Citizen
Proof of Status
•Valid, unexpired U.S.
Passport
•Certified copy of a birth
certificate filed within a
state office of Vital Statistics
or equivalent agency in
the individual’s state of
birth, Puerto Rico, the
Virgin Islands, Guam,
American Samoa, or the
Commonwealth of the
Northern Mariana Islands.
•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.
•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.
•Consular Report of Birth
Abroad (CRBA) issued by
the U.S. Department of
State.
•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.
•Certificate of Naturalization
issued by the U.S.
Department of Homeland
Security (DHS).
Exceptions
•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.
•Certificate of Citizenship
issued by DHS.
•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.
Lawful
Permanent
Resident
•Valid, unexpired Permanent
Resident Card, issued by
USCIS or INS.
ENDORSEMENTS
Hazardous Material
•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.
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 wish to retain this endorsement. (Requires a written knowledge test.)
CLASS M
Any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle.
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.
Tank Vehicle
N -A tank vehicle endorsement is required to operate a commercial motor vehicle that is designed
3
AIR BRAKE RESTRICTION
to transport any liquid or gaseous material within
a tank or tanks having an individual rated capacity
of more than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated
capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or
the chassis. A commercial motor vehicle transporting an empty storage container tank, not designed
for transportation, with a rated capacity of 1,000
gallons or more that is temporarily attached to a
flatbed trailer is not considered a tank vehicle. In
summary, if you are hauling multiple tanks each
rated more than 119 gallons AND the combined
volume of those tanks is 1,000 gallons or more,
you need an N endorsement. If you are only hauling one tank and that one tank is 1,000 gallon capacity or more, you need an N endorsement. (Requires a written knowledge test.)
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.
CDL RULES
There are federal and state rules which affect commercial driver license holders. See Section One for
additional driver disqualifications.
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 or permit holder must be disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one
year.
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.)
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 or permit holder 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 leaving the scene of an accident while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle,
a commercial driver’s license or permit 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 school-related 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.)
For a second or subsequent conviction for leaving the
scene of an accident while operating a noncommercial
motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license or permit
holder must be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
For a first conviction for using a vehicle to commit a
felony while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license or permit holder
must be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
Additional Endorsement Information
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
or permit holder must be disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for life.
The H and T endorsements are not allowed on Commercial Learner’s Permits. The P and S endorsements
are allowed on Commercial Learner’s Permits however no passengers, other than the supervising driver
or driver examiner, are allowed. The N endorsement is
allowed on Commercial Learner’s Permits, however it
is restricted to “empty tanks only.” If you pass the road
test in a bus less than 26,001 gross vehicle weight
rating, your license will be restricted to “No Class A or
B buses.” If you pass the road test in a single unit bus
with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds
or more, your license will be restricted to “No Class A
buses.”
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 or permit holder
must be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
4
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.
with the log requirements of CFR, Title 49, Section
395.8.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
REQUIREMENTS INTER-STATE AUTHORITY
Hours of Service
•Operations of commercial motor vehicles must stay
within the limit of hours of service. Some exceptions
apply.
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.
•For the most current Interstate hours of service and
exceptions, visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov or contact:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
1471 Interstate Loop
Bismarck, North Dakota 58503
Telephone: (701) 250-4346
SERIOUS TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS
•For the most current Intrastate hours of service and
exceptions, visit www.nd.gov/ndhp or contact the
North Dakota Highway Patrol at (701) 328-2455.
•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.
NORTH DAKOTA SIZE AND LOAD
REQUIREMENTS
>>For at least 120 days for three serious traffic
violations within a three-year period involving a
CMV.
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.
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/permit, driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s
license/permit in the driver’s possession (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/permit
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/permit
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, and using
a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.
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.
HEIGHT
The maximum height for any vehicle is 14 feet.
Resident farmers, ranchers, implement dealers, or
farm machinery manufacturers may move implements
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.
On the state highway system, there are several clearances below the legal vehicle height limit. Contact the
State Highway Patrol for the exact locations.
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.
LENGTH
Length limitations depend on the type of vehicle
involved.
DRIVER’S LOG
•A single unit vehicle with two or more axles cannot
exceed a length of 50 feet including the load.
A driver’s log must be used to record all drivers’ hours.
Drivers of commercial vehicles must be in compliance
5
•The length of a towed vehicle may not exceed a
length of 60 feet or a trailer length of 53 feet.
not exceed 34,000 pounds or 48,000 pounds on a
grouping of three or more axles.
•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.
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 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.
>>A truck-tractor and semi-trailer may draw two trailers, 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.
>>A motor vehicle may draw two trailers or vehicles,
subject to any rules adopted by the Director.
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:
Whenever a load projects four or more feet beyond the rear of your vehicle, you must take special
precautions:
•Equipment designed to move buildings.
•Emergency tow trucks towing legal combinations of
vehicles to be repaired.
•In daylight hours, tie a 12-inch square red cloth to
the end of the load.
•Vehicles or equipment owned and operated by the
armed forces of the United States or the North Dakota National Guard.
•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.
•Structural material belonging to telephone, power,
and telegraph companies.
•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.
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.
LOAD REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUSES
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.
WEIGHT
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.
The overhead red flashing lights 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.
Single axle vehicles may carry a maximum load of
20,000 pounds or a wheel load of 10,000 pounds.
The red flashing lights 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
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
6
police officers. The operator must also be sure that
there are no city ordinances prohibiting the use of the
red flashing lights.
•Buses must not carry more passengers than the vehicle is designed to transport. Each passenger must
be comfortably seated.
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.
•All seats in the school bus must face forward.
•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.
•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.
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.
3. Take vehicle out of gear and set parking brake.
• 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.
4. Check for traffic.
RAILROAD CROSSING STOPS
The proper sequence for loading and unloading
passengers is:
1. Amber lights (if driver elects to use them).
2. Make a full stop.
5. Activate red lights.
•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.
No passenger shall be permitted to get on or off the
bus while it is in motion.
It is unlawful to use the red flashing lights on any
school bus for any purpose other than loading or unloading passengers.
•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.
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 Guide by the Department of Public Instruction, or school handbook.
•Before crossing after a train has passed, be sure
there isn’t another train coming in either direction on
other tracks.
BUS EQUIPMENT AND STANDARDS
•Read, write, and speak the English language.
•Each school bus must have the standard school bus
glossy yellow color on the exterior.
•Pass the required written test or tests corresponding
to the type and class of vehicle to be driven.
•The words “School Bus” in letters eight inches in
height must be printed on the front and rear of each
school bus.
•Demonstrate your ability to operate your vehicle by
passing a road test.
•You must not change gears while crossing the
tracks.
REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO EARN A
CLASS A, B, OR C LICENSE
•Must not be addicted to alcohol, narcotic drugs, or
any other drug.
•The words “School Bus” must be covered or removed if the bus is used for any purpose other than
transporting school children.
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.
•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.”
7
DRIVER RECORD BACKGROUND CHECK
4. 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:
5. Practice the backing exercises in the vehicle you
will be testing in.
•Certify that you do not have a drivers license from
more than one state or country.
6. Make sure your permit covers you for the type of
vehicle you will be testing in.
•Surrender your current drivers license.
•Certify that your drivers license is not suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified or subject to any of
these actions.
7. Practice the walk-around pre-trip inspection (Section 11) for the vehicle you will be testing in.
8. 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.
•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.
9. 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
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. If you cannot keep your appointment, call to cancel
it as soon as possible so another applicant can be
scheduled.
11. Pets or passengers will not be allowed in the vehicle during the test.
NORTH DAKOTA DRIVERS LICENSE AND
TESTING LOCATIONS
EXAMINATIONS
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 System (CDLIS). As authorized by NDCC 39-06-07, all applications for permit or
license must contain the individual’s social security
number.
Cooperation With the Examiner
•The applicant must at all times cooperate with the
examiners by following their instructions.
•License applicants must furnish their own vehicle for
the road test properly registered and equipped.
•If you fail any of the tests, you will not be allowed to
retake the examination the same day.
•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.
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.
•A representative vehicle for the commercial vehicle
group that the driver expects to operate must be
used for the skill/road tests.
PREPARING FOR THE ROAD TEST
1. You must hold the commercial learner’s permit a
minimum of 14 days to be eligible for the commercial road test.
Acceptable forms of identification are:
1. U.S. Birth Certificate (state certified; Governmentissued; includes U.S. territories).
2. If your commercial vehicle is equipped with an automatic transmission, you will be restricted to an
automatic transmission commercial motor vehicle.
2. Valid U.S. passport.
3. U.S. Government-issued Consular Report of Birth
Abroad Certificate or FS240 (seal required).
3. Self-parking vehicles are not allowed. The applicant must test in a different vehicle or deactivate
the self-parking feature.
4. Valid Foreign Passport with an I-94 card or an I-551
stamp.
8
5. U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID Card.
(Dependent cards are not acceptable.)
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-of-state
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, if testing at an office that closes
for lunch, 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.
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.
7. North Dakota state issued permit, license, or ID
card.
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
A valid Class D (noncommercial) license is required prior to testing for a commercial permit.
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.
Change of classification applicants must produce a
current North Dakota operator’s license when making
application for a Class A, B, or C license.
9
For road test appointments, dial toll free at 1-855-633-6835.
Drivers License Offices
CITY
PLACE
DAYS
Beulah. . . . . . . Civic Center, 250 7th St NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2nd & 4th Th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bismarck . . . . . NDDOT, 608 E Blvd Ave (east doors) . . . . . . M, Tu, W, Th, Fri. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bottineau. . . . . Armory, 411 Main St . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st & 3rd M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Bowman. . . . . . City Hall, 100 1st St E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st Th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Carrington. . . . Courthouse, 1000 N Central Ave. . . . . . . . . . 1st Th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Carson. . . . . . . Courthouse, 106 2nd Ave NE . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Crosby. . . . . . . Courthouse, 302 2nd Ave N. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2nd Th . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Devils Lake . . . WDAZ Bldg, 516 Hwy 2 E. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M, Tu, W, & Fri, (closed Th). . . . .
Dickinson. . . . . T-Rex Plaza, 1173 3rd Ave W, Suite 37. . . . . M, Tu, W, & Fri, (closed Th). . . . .
Fargo. . . . . . . . NDDOT, 503 38th St S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tu, W, Th, & Fri . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Grafton. . . . . . . 701 W 6th St (third floor). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Every Tu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Grand Forks. . . NDDOT, 1951 N Washington St . . . . . . . . . . M, Tu, W, Th, Fri. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Harvey. . . . . . . Armory, 120 W 8th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3rd W. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jamestown . . . 300 2nd Ave NE, Suite 139. . . . . . . . . . . . . . M, Tu, W, Th, Fri. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Langdon. . . . . . Courthouse, 901 3rd St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2nd W. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Linton. . . . . . . . Community Center, 101 1st St NE. . . . . . . . . 2nd M. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Lisbon . . . . . . . Armory, 504 Prospect St . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2nd W. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mayville. . . . . . City Hall, 21 1st St NE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3rd W. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Minot . . . . . . . . Arrowhead Shpg Ctr, 1600 2nd Ave SW. . . . M, Tu, W, Th, Fri. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Oakes . . . . . . . Armory, 124 S 5th St. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rolla . . . . . . . . City Hall, 14 1st St SE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2nd & 4th M . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Rugby . . . . . . . Armory (east door), 1105 S Main . . . . . . . . . 1st Tu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Valley City. . . . Armory, 747 7th St SE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st & 3rd Tu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Wahpeton . . . . Senior Ctr (north door), 530 3rd Ave S . . . . . 1st, 2nd, 3rd, & 4th Th. . . . . . . . .
Watford City. . . Library, 112 2nd Ave NE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1st & 3rd Th. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Williston. . . . . . NDDOT, 537 Dakota Parkway W. . . . . . . . . . M, Tu, W, & Fri (closed Th) . . . . .
Wishek. . . . . . . Armory, 1208 1st Ave S. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4th W . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
TIMES
9:40 AM-3:20 PM
7:30 AM-4:45 PM
9:00 AM-4:00 PM
9:40 AM-3:20 PM
9:40 AM-3:20 PM
8:00 AM-3:20 PM
9:40 AM-3:20 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
8:00 AM-5:45 PM
9:20 AM-3:45 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
9:00 AM-4:00 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
9:20 AM-3:40 PM
8:40 AM-4:30 PM
8:40 AM-4:20 PM
9:20 AM-3:45 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
9:20 AM-3:40 PM
9:40 AM-3:00 PM
8:40 AM-4:20 PM
8:20 AM-4:40 PM
8:20 AM-4:40 PM
9:40 AM-3:40 PM
8:00 AM-4:45 PM
9:20 AM-3:30 PM
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 if testing at an office that closes for lunch, and no later
than one hour prior to closing. Allow yourself extra time if you will be taking more than one written test.
For services that can be done online, go to www.dot.nd.gov, click on Licensing & Registration.
10
Steps to Get an H Endorsement
1. Must obtain a North Dakota Commercial Permit or
a 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 (fingerprintbased background check) is “Approved,” visit a
Drivers License Site. Present the North Dakota
Commercial License and pass the Hazardous material knowledge test.
3. Call 1-888-660-1545 (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
then obtain the North Dakota Commercial License
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)
ute (single vehicle) or four pounds in one minute
(combination vehicle).
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:
•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.
•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).
•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 min-
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
lighting indicators (L-R-4-H)
ENGINE START (cont.)
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
REAR BRAKES
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
REAR OF VEHICLE/TRAILER
lights, reflectors
doors/ties/lift
splash guards
COUPLING SYSTEM
Truck
air, electric lines
mounting bolts
locking mechanism
safety devices
Tractor
air, electric lines
mounting bolts, platform
release arm/safety latch
kingpin, locking jaws
gap
sliding 5th wheel locking pins
12
SIDE OF TRAILER
landing gear
frame
lights, reflectors
Pre-Trip Checklist (cont.)
SCHOOL BUS/COUCH/TRANSIT BUS
All Vehicles
ENGINE START
clutch/gearshift/safe start
temperature gauge
oil pressure gauge
ammeter/voltmeter
steering play
mirrors, windshield
wipers/washers
lighting indicators (L-R-4-H)
ENGINE START (cont.)
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
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
REAR BRAKE
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
slack adjustor
FRONT WHEEL
tires (I-C-D)
rims
lug nuts
hub oil seal
REAR WHEELS
tires (I-C-D)
rims
lug nuts
axle seals
spacer
ENGINE COMPARTMENT
oil level
coolant level
power steering
water pump
alternator belt
air compressor
leaks/hoses
School Bus
FRONT BRAKE
brake drum/linings
brake hoses/lines
brake chamber
slack adjustor
REAR SUSPENSION
springs/bag
mounts/u-bolts
shock absorbers
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
BAGGAGE COMPARTMENTS
battery/box
doors secure
13
REAR
tires (I-C-D)
rims
lug nuts
axle seals
spacer
REAR
BRAKES/SUSPENSION
air leaks/level
REAR OF VEHICLE
lights, reflectors
splash guards
14
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 1
INTRODUCTION
This section covers:
•Commercial Driver License Tests
•Driver Disqualifications
•Other Safety Rules
You must have a CDL to operate:
•A combination vehicle with a gross combination
weight rating or gross combination weight of 26,001
pounds or more, whichever is greater, provided the
towed unit has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross
vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more, whichever
is greater.
(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.
► Class A CDL.
Yes
► Class B CDL.
Yes
► Class C CDL.
Yes
► Class C CDL.
No
Does the
single vehicle
have a GVWR
over 26,000
pounds?
You need a
No
Is the vehicle
designed to
► carry 16 or
more people
(including the
driver)?
You need a
No
Does the
vehicle require
hazardous
material
placards or
transport a
select agent or
toxin?
You need a
No
►
•Any size vehicle that 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.
You need a
Yes
►
•A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
Is the vehicle
a combination
vehicle towing
a unit over
10,000 pounds
GVWR?
►
•A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating
or gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more,
whichever is greater.
Yes
►
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.
Does the vehicle or
No combination of vehicles
have a manufacturer’s
weight rating (GVWR)
over 26,000 pounds?
►
There is a federal requirement that each state have
minimum standards for the licensing of commercial
drivers.
Revised 2013
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
Figure 1.1 helps you determine if you need a CDL.
Section 1 - Introduction
Page 1-1
include:
Revised 2013
S The general knowledge test, taken by all applicants.
1.1 – Commercial Driver License Tests
S The passenger transport test, taken by all bus
applicants.Tests
1.1.1 –driver
Knowledge
You will
have
to taketest,
onewhich
or more
knowledge
tests,
S The
air brakes
you must
take if your
vedepending
what
of license
andair
what
hicleonhas
airclass
brakes,
including
overendorsehydraulic
ments you
need. The CDL knowledge tests include:
brakes.
Endorsement
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
Hazardous
Materials
Page 1-2
License
Type
Class C
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,
What Sections Should You Study?
Class B
1 - Control.
IntroductionYou will be tested on your skill
BasicSection
Vehicle
to control the vehicle. You will be asked to move your
vehicle forward, backward, and turn it within a defined
area. These areas may be marked with traffic lanes,
cones, barriers, or something similar. The examiner
will tell you how each control test is to be done.
for each
endorsement.
Figure
1.2 details
which sections of this manual you
should study for each particular class of license and
for each endorsement.
Class A
– Skills test,
Tests
•The1.1.2
doubles/triples
required if you want to pull
double or triple trailers.
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can
•Thetake
School
if youare
want
to drive
the Bus
CDLtest,
skillsrequired
tests. There
three
typesa of
school
bus.
general skills that will be tested: pre-trip inspection,
basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You must
1.1.2take
– Skills
these Tests
tests in the type of vehicle for which you
be required
licensed.knowledge
Any vehicletest(s)
that has
If youwish
passtothe
andcompohold
nents marked
or labeled
cannot
be used offor14
the
the commercial
learner’s
permit
a minimum
inspection
days, pre-trip
you can
take thetest.
CDL skills tests. There are
three types of general skills that will be tested: pre-trip
Pre-Trip
Vehicle
Inspection.
You
will bedriving.
tested to
inspection,
basic
vehicle
control, and
on-road
see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive.
You must take these tests in the type of vehicle for
You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection of your
which you wish to be licensed. Any vehicle that has
vehicle and explain to the examiner what you would
components marked or labeled cannot be used for the
inspect and why.
pre-trip inspection test.
Basic
Vehicle
Control. You
You will
will be
be tested
testedto
onsee
your
Pre-Trip
Vehicle
Inspection.
skill
to
control
the
vehicle.
You
will
be
asked
to
move
if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You
vehicle
backward,
turn itvehicle
within a
will beyour
asked
to doforward,
a pre-trip
inspectionand
of your
defined
area.
These
areas
may
be
marked
with
and explain to the examiner what you would inspect
and why.
single or multi-lane roads, streets, or highways. The
Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual you
examiner
will tellforyou
where
to drive.
should study
each
particular
class of license and
Sections to Study
•The general knowledge test, taken by all applicants.
S The combination vehicles test, which is required
if you wanttransport
to drive combination
•The passenger
test, taken byvehicles.
all bus driver
applicants.
S The hazardous materials test, required if you want
•The air
brakes
test, which
you must
take
if your
to haul
hazardous
materials
or waste
in amounts
vehicle
has
air
brakes,
including
air
over
hydraulic
that require placarding or any quantity of a materibrakes.
al listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73.
•The combination vehicles test, which is required if
The to
tanker
required vehicles.
if you want to haul a liqyou Swant
drivetest,
combination
uid or liquid gas in a permanently mounted cargo
•The hazardous
test,or
required
want tank
to
tank rated materials
at 119 gallons
more orifayou
portable
haul hazardous
materials
rated at 1,000
gallonsororwaste
more.in amounts that
require placarding or any quantity of a material listed
The doubles/triples
as aSselect
agent or toxin test,
in 42 required
CFR 73. if you want to
pull double or triple trailers.
•The tanker test, required if you want to haul a liquid
or liquid
in a Bus
tanktest,
or tanks
rated
more
thanto119
S Thegas
School
required
if you
want
drive
gallons
and anbus.
aggregate capacity of 1,000 gallons
a school
or more.
turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up
and down grades, single or multi-lane roads,
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
streets, or highways.
The examiner will tell you
where to drive.
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.
Figure1.2
1.2
Figure
1.2 – CDL Disqualifications
1.2.1 – General
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if you
Page 1-- 2
are disqualified for any reason.
1.2.2 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an
Accident, and Commission of a Felony
It is illegal to operate a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. If you operate a
CMV, you shall be deemed to have given your consent
to alcohol testing.
•You will lose your CDL for at least one year for a first
offense for:
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
•Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration is
.04% or higher.
•For two years if you have committed two violations of
an out-of-service order in a ten-year period.
•Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol or
drugs.
•For three years if you have committed three or more
violations of an out-of-service order in a ten-year period.
•Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
•Driving a CMV while under the influence of a controlled substance.
1.2.5 – Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing
Violations
•Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV.
You will lose your CDL:
•Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
•For at least 60 days for your first violation.
•Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended.
•For at least 120 days for your second violation within
any three-year period.
•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%.
You will lose your CDL for at least 60 days for providing false information related to the issuance of a commercial permit or commercial license.
You will lose your CDL for at least one year if convicted
of fraud related to the issuance of a commercial permit
or commercial license.
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, texting while driving, and
using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving.
You will lose your CDL:
•For at least 60 days if you have committed two serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a CMV.
•For at least 120 days for three serious traffic violations within a three-year period involving a CMV.
1.2.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
You will lose your CDL:
•For 180 days if you have committed your first violation of an out-of-service order.
Section 1 - Introduction
•For at least one year for your third violation within
any three-year period.
These violations include violation of a federal, state or
local law or regulation pertaining to one of the following six offenses at a railroad-highway grade crossing:
•For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the tracks
are not clear.
•For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear
of an approaching train.
•For drivers who are always required to stop, failing to
stop before driving onto the crossing.
•For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to drive
completely through the crossing without stopping.
•For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control device
or the directions of an enforcement official at the
crossing.
•For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing because
of insufficient undercarriage clearance.
1.2.6 – Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Background Check and Disqualifications
If you require a hazardous materials endorsement you
will be required to submit your fingerprints and be subject to a background check.
You will be denied or you will lose your hazardous materials endorsement if you:
•Are not a lawful permanent resident of the United
States.
•Renounce your United States citizenship.
•Are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
•Have a conviction in military or civilian court for certain felonies.
•Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or
committed to a mental institution.
•Are considered to pose a security threat as deterPage 1-3
Revised 2013
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:
•You cannot have more than one license. If you break
this rule, a court may fine you up to $5,000 or put you
in jail and keep your home state license and return
any others.
•You must notify your employer within 30 days of conviction for any traffic violations (except parking). This
is true no matter what type of vehicle you were driving.
•You must notify your motor vehicle licensing agency
within 30 days if you are convicted in any other jurisdiction of any traffic violation (except parking). This is
true no matter what type of vehicle you were driving.
•You must notify your employer if your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if you are disqualified from driving.
•You must give your employer information on all driving jobs you have held for the past 10 years. You
must do this when you apply for a commercial driving job.
•No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle without
a CDL. A court may fine you up to $5,000 or put you
in jail for breaking this rule.
•If you have a hazardous materials endorsement you
must notify and surrender your hazardous materials
endorsement to the state that issued your CDL within
24 hours of any conviction or indictment in any ju-
Page 1-4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
risdiction, civilian or military, for, or found not guilty
by reason of insanity of a disqualifying crime listed
in 49 CFR 1572.103; who is adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution as
specified in 49 CFR 1572.109; or who renounces his
or her U.S. citizenship;
•Your employer may not let you drive a commercial
motor vehicle if you have more than one license or
if you’re CDL is suspended or revoked. A court may
fine the employer up to $5,000 or put him/her in jail
for breaking this rule.
•All states are connected to one computerized system to share information about CDL drivers. The
states will check on drivers’ accident records and be
sure that drivers do not have more than one CDL.
•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.
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
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2013
Distance Record (IVDR), sometimes referred to as
a Driver Trip Report. This document reflects the distance traveled and fuel purchased for a vehicle that
operates interstate under apportioned (IRP) registration and IFTA fuel tax credentials.
Although the actual format of the IVDR may vary,
the information that is required for proper record
keeping does not.
In order to satisfy the requirements for Individual Vehicle Distance Records, these documents must include
the following information:
Distance
The IRP registrant and the IFTA licensee may be
the vehicle owner or the vehicle operator.
Per Article IV of the IRP Plan.
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:
•Trip origin and destination – City and State or Province
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:
•Date of trip (starting and ending)
•Route(s) of travel
•Beginning and ending odometer or hubodometer
reading of the trip
•Total distance traveled
•In­-Jurisdiction distance
•Power unit number or vehicle identification number.
Fuel
•Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000
pounds (11,793.401 kilograms), or
Per Section P560 of the IFTA Procedures Manual.
•Has three or more axles, regardless of weight, or
•.005 Date of purchase
•Is used in combination, when the gross vehicle
weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds
(11,793.401 kilograms).
•.010 Seller’s name and address
•While similar, the Qualified Motor Vehicle in IFTA
means a motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained for transportation of persons or property and:
•Having two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds
or 11,797 kilograms; or
•Having three or more axles regardless of weight; or
•Is used in combination, when the weight of such
combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle
weight. Qualified Motor Vehicle does not include recreational vehicles.
If the vehicle you operate is registered under IRP and
you are a motor carrier licensed under IFTA, then you
are required to comply with the mandatory record
keeping requirements for operating the vehicle. A universally accepted method of capturing this information is through the completion of an Individual Vehicle
Section 1 - Introduction
•.300 An acceptable receipt or invoice must include,
but shall not be limited to, the following:
•.015 Number of gallons or liters purchased;
•.020 Fuel type
•.025 Price per gallon or liter or total amount of sale
•.030 Unit number or other unique vehicle identifier
•.035 Purchaser’s name
An example of an IVDR that must be completed in its
entirety for each trip can be found in Figure 1.3 below.
Each individual IVDR should be filled out for only one
vehicle. The rules to follow when trying to determine
how and when to log an odometer reading are the
following:
•At the beginning of the day
•When leaving the state or province
•At the end of the trip/day
Not only do the trips need to be logged, but the fuel
purchases need to be documented as well. You must
obtain a receipt for all fueling and include it with your
completed IVDR.
Page 1-5
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Make sure that any trips that you enter are always
filled out in descending order and that your trips include all state/provinces that you traveled through on
your route.
There are different routes that a driver may take, and
most of the miles may be within one state or province.
Whether or not the distance you travel is primarily in
one jurisdiction or spread among several jurisdictions,
all information for the trip must be recorded. This includes the dates, the routes, odometer readings and
fuel purchases.
By completing this document in full and keeping all records required by both the IRP and the IFTA, you will
have ensured that you and your company are in compliance with all State and Provincial laws surrounding
fuel and distance record keeping requirements.
The2005
IVDR
serves
as theDrivers
source
document
Model
Commercial
License
Manual 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
inforRevised
2011
mation about the Agreement at the official repository
of IFTA at http://www.iftach.org/index.phpg
Figure11.3
– IndividualVehicle
Vehicle Mileage
Fuel Record
Record (Example)
Figure
– Individual
Mileageand
& Fuel
(Example)
Page 1-6
Section 1 - Introduction
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 2
DRIVING SAFELY
This section covers:
•Vehicle Inspection
•Basic Control of Your Vehicle
•Shifting Gears
•Seeing
•Communicating
•Space Management
•Controlling Your Speed
•Seeing Hazards
Revised 2013
A vehicle defect found during an inspection could save
you problems later. You could have a breakdown on
the road that will cost time and dollars, or even worse,
a crash caused by the defect.
Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect
their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may
inspect your vehicles. If they judge the vehicle to be
unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is fixed.
2.1.2 – Types of Vehicle Inspection
Pre-Trip Inspection. A pre-trip inspection will help you
find problems that could cause a crash or breakdown.
During A Trip. For safety you should:
•Watch gauges for signs of trouble.
•Distracted Driving
•Use your senses to check for problems (look, listen,
smell, feel).
•Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
•Check critical items when you stop:
•Night Driving
>>Tires, wheels and rims.
•Driving in Fog
>>Brakes.
•Winter Driving
>>Lights and reflectors.
•Hot Weather Driving
>>Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
•Railroad-Highway Crossings
>>Trailer coupling devices.
•Mountain Driving
>>Cargo securement devices.
•Driving Emergencies
•Antilock Braking Systems
•Skid Control and Recovery
•Accident Procedures
•Fires
•Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
•Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
•Hazardous Materials Rules
This section contains knowledge and safe driving information that all commercial drivers should know.
You must pass a test on this information to get a CDL.
This section does not have specific information on air
brakes, combination vehicles, doubles, or passenger
vehicles. When preparing for the Pre-trip Inspection
Test, you must review the material in Section 11 in addition to the information in this section. This section
does have basic information on hazardous materials
(HazMat) that all drivers should know. If you need a
HazMat endorsement, you should study Section 9.
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 Safety
After-Trip Inspection and Report. You should do an
after-trip inspection at the end of the trip, day, or tour of
duty on each vehicle you operated. It may include filling out a vehicle condition report listing any problems
you find. The inspection report helps a motor carrier
know when the vehicle needs repairs.
2.1.3 – What to Look For
Tire Problems
•Too much or too little air pressure.
•Bad wear. You need at least 4/32-inch tread depth
in every major groove on front tires. You need 2/32
inch on other tires. No fabric should show through
the tread or sidewall.
•Cuts or other damage.
•Tread separation.
•Dual tires that come in contact with each other or
parts of the vehicle.
•Mismatched sizes.
•Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
•Cut or cracked valve stems.
•Regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front
wheels of a bus. These are prohibited.
Page 2-1
danger.
S Mismatched,
Revised
2013
gerous.
leaking. See Figure 2.4.
bent, or cracked lock rings are dan-
Model Commercial
License
Manual
S Any loose, 2005
cracked,
broken, orDrivers
missing
frame
members.
S Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are
Wheel and Rim Problems
not safe.
•Damaged rims.
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
•Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are
S Cracked drums.
loose—check tightness. After a tire has been
changed,
a short
later andorre-check
tightS Shoesstop
or pads
withwhile
oil, grease,
brake fluid
on
nessthem.
of nuts.
• Missing
clamps,
studs,
or lugs
means
S Shoes
worn spacers,
dangerously
thin,
missing,
or danger.
broken.
•Mismatched,
bent, orDefects
cracked lock rings are dangerSteering System
ous.
S Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
•Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are
Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering colnotS safe.
umn, steering gear box, or tie rods.
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
S If power steering equipped, check hoses, pumps,
•Cracked
drums.
and fluid
level; check for leaks.
•Shoes
or pads
withplay
oil, of
grease,
brake
fluid on
S Steering
wheel
more or
than
10 degrees
them.
(approximately 2 inches movement at the rim of a
20-inch steering wheel) can make it hard to steer.
•Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.
Figure 2.1 illustrates a typical steering system.
Steering System Defects
Suspension System Defects. The suspension
•Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
system holds up the vehicle and its load. It keeps
•Bent,
broken
parts, such
as steering
colthe loose,
axles inorplace.
Therefore,
broken
suspension
parts
can begear
extremely
umn,
steering
box, ordangerous.
tie rods. Look for:
Figure
Figure
2005 Model Commercial
Drivers2.1
License Manual
•If Spower
check hoses,
pumps,
Springsteering
hangersequipped,
that allow movement
of axle
from
andproper
fluid level;
checkSee
for Figure
leaks. 2.2.
position.
•Steering
wheel
play ofspring
more hangers.
than 10 degrees (apS Cracked
or broken
proximately two inches movement at the rim of a
S Missing2.1
or illustrates
broken leaves
in any
leaf spring.
If one20-Figure
a typical
steering
system.
fourth or more are missing, it will put the vehicle
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:
•Spring hangers that allow movement of axle from
proper position. See Figure 2.2.
•Cracked or broken spring hangers.
•Missing
leaves in any leaf spring. If oneSectionor
2 - broken
Driving Safely
fourth or more are missing, it will put the vehicle “out
of service”, but any defect could be dangerous. See
Figure 2.3.
Figure 2.2
2.2
Figure
Page 2-- 2
Exhaust
system ca
berth. Loo
S Loose, b
flers, tail
•Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves that
have shifted so they might hit a tire or other part.
S Loose, b
clamps,
•Leaking shock absorbers.
S Exhaust
•Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or other
axle positioning parts that are cracked, damaged, or
missing.
parts, tir
S Exhaust
•Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or
leaking. See Figure 2.4.
Emergenc
equipped
•Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame mem-
S Fire extin
S Spare el
Page 2-2
Section 2 - Driving Safety
cuit brea
S Warning
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
•Warning devices for parked vehicles (for example,
three reflective warning triangles).
Cargo (Trucks). You must make sure the truck is not
overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured before each trip. If the cargo contains hazardous materials, you must inspect for proper papers and placarding.
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.
2.1.5 – Seven-Step Inspection Method
Figure 2.3
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. However, sequencing may vary on test day.
Approaching the Vehicle. Notice general condition.
Look for damage or vehicle leaning to one side. Look
under the vehicle for fresh oil, coolant, grease, or fuel
leaks. Check the area around the vehicle for hazards
to vehicle movement (people, other vehicles, objects,
low-hanging wires, limbs, etc.).
Vehicle Inspection Guide
Step 1: Vehicle Overview
Figure 2.4
Exhaust System Defects. A broken exhaust system
can let poison fumes into the cab or sleeper berth.
Look for:
•Loose, broken, or missing exhaust pipes, mufflers,
tailpipes, or vertical stacks.
•Loose, broken, or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts.
•Exhaust system parts rubbing against fuel system
parts, tires, or other moving parts of vehicle.
•Exhaust system parts that are leaking.
Emergency Equipment. Vehicles must be equipped
with emergency equipment. Look for:
•Fire extinguisher(s).
•Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with circuit
breakers).
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Review Last Vehicle Inspection Report. Drivers
may have to make a vehicle inspection report in writing each day. The motor carrier must repair any items
in the report that affect safety and certify on the report that repairs were made or were unnecessary. You
must sign the report only if defects were noted and
certified to be repaired or not needed to be repaired.
Step 2: Check Engine Compartment
Check That the Parking Brakes Are On and/or
Wheels Chocked. You may have to raise the hood,
tilt the cab (secure loose things so they don’t fall and
break something), or open the engine compartment
door. Check the following:
•Engine oil level.
•Coolant level in radiator; condition of hoses.
•Power steering fluid level; hose condition (if so
equipped).
•Windshield washer fluid level.
•Battery fluid level, connections, and tie downs (battery may be located elsewhere).
•Automatic transmission fluid level (may require engine to be running).
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•Check belts for tightness and excessive wear (alternator, water pump, air compressor)—learn how
much “give” the belts should have when adjusted
right, and check each one.
•Transmission controls.
•Leaks in the engine compartment (fuel, coolant, oil,
power steering fluid, hydraulic fluid, battery fluid).
•Horn(s).
•Cracked, worn electrical wiring insulation.
Lower and secure hood, cab, or engine compartment
door.
Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside the Cab
Get In and Start Engine
•Make sure parking brake is on.
•Put gearshift in neutral (or “park” if automatic).
>>Retarder controls (if vehicle has them).
•Interaxle differential lock (if vehicle has one).
•Windshield wiper/washer.
•Lights.
>>Headlights.
>>Dimmer switch.
>>Turn signal.
>>Four-way flashers.
>>Parking, clearance, identification, marker switch(es).
•Start engine; listen for unusual noises.
•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.
Look at the Gauges
•Oil pressure. Should come up to normal within seconds after engine is started. See Figure 2.5
•Air pressure. Pressure should build from 50 to 90 psi
within three minutes. Build air pressure to governor
cut-out (usually around 120 – 140 psi. Know your
vehicles’ requirements.
•Ammeter and/or voltmeter. Should be in normal
range(s).
•Coolant temperature. Should begin gradual rise to
normal operating range.
•Engine oil temperature. Should begin gradual rise to
normal operating range.
•Warning lights and buzzers. Oil, coolant, charging
circuit warning, and antilock brake system lights
should go out right away.
Check Condition of Controls. Check all of the following for looseness, sticking, damage, or improper
setting:
Figure 2.5
Check Mirrors and Windshield. Inspect mirrors and
windshield for cracks, dirt, illegal stickers, or other
obstructions to seeing clearly. Clean and adjust as
necessary.
Check Emergency Equipment
•Check for safety equipment:
>>Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has circuit
breakers).
•Steering wheel.
>>Three red reflective triangles.
•Clutch.
>>Properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
•Accelerator (“gas pedal”).
•Brake controls.
•Check for optional items such as:
>>Chains (where winter conditions require).
>>Foot brake.
>>Tire changing equipment.
>>Trailer brake (if vehicle has one).
>>List of emergency phone numbers.
>>Parking brake.
>>Accident reporting kit (packet).
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Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
Revised 2013
>>No loose, worn, bent, damaged or missing parts.
>>Must grab steering mechanism to test for looseness.
•Condition of windshield.
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.
>>Check for damage and clean if dirty.
Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection
>>Check wiper blades for damage, “stiff” rubber, and
securement.
•Go to front of vehicle and check that low beams are
on and both of the four-way flashers are working.
•Push dimmer switch and check that high beams
work.
• Turn off headlights and four-way emergency flashers.
•Turn on parking, clearance, side-marker, and identification lights.
>>Check windshield wiper arms for proper spring
tension.
•Lights and reflectors.
>>Parking, clearance, and identification lights clean,
operating, and proper color (amber at front).
>>Reflectors clean and proper color (amber at front).
>>Right front turn signal light clean, operating, and
proper color (amber or white on signals facing forward).
•Turn on right turn signal, and start walk-around inspection.
Right Side
General
•Right front: check all items as done on left front.
•Walkaround and inspect.
•Clean all lights, reflectors, and glass as you go along.
Left Front Side
•Driver’s door glass should be clean.
•Door latches or locks should work properly.
•Left front wheel.
>>Condition of wheel and rim—missing, bent, broken
studs, clamps, lugs, or any signs of misalignment.
>>Condition of tires—properly inflated, valve stem
and cap OK, no serious cuts, bulges, or tread
wear.
>>Use wrench to test rust-streaked lug nuts, indicating looseness.
>>Hub oil level OK, no leaks.
•Left front suspension.
•Primary and secondary safety cab locks engaged (if
cab-over-engine design).
•Right fuel tank(s).
>>Securely mounted, not damaged, or leaking.
>>Fuel crossover line secure.
>>Tank(s) contain enough fuel.
>>Cap(s) on and secure.
•Condition of visible parts.
>>Rear of engine—not leaking.
>>Transmission—not leaking.
>>Exhaust system—secure, not leaking, not touching wires, fuel, or air lines.
>>Frame and cross members—no bends or cracks.
>>Air lines and electrical wiring—secured against
snagging, rubbing, wearing.
>>Condition of spring, spring hangers, shackles, ubolts.
>>Spare tire carrier or rack not damaged (if so
equipped).
>>Shock absorber condition.
>>Spare tire and/or wheel securely mounted in rack.
•Left front brake.
>>Condition of brake drum or disc.
>>Condition of hoses.
Front
•Condition of front axle.
•Condition of steering system.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
>>Spare tire and wheel adequate (proper size, properly inflated).
•Cargo securement (trucks).
>>Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained, etc.
>>Header board adequate, secure (if required).
>>Side boards, stakes strong enough, free of damage, properly set in place (if so equipped).
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>>Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to
prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of mirrors.
>>Taillights clean, operating, and proper color (red
at rear).
>>If oversize, all required signs (flags, lamps, and
reflectors) safely and properly mounted and all required permits in driver’s possession.
>>Right rear turn signal operating, and proper color
(red, yellow, or amber at rear).
>>Curbside cargo compartment doors in good condition, securely closed, latched/locked and required
security seals in place.
Right Rear
•Condition of wheels and rims—no missing, bent, or
broken spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs.
•Condition of tires—properly inflated, valve stems
and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear,
tires not rubbing each other, and nothing stuck between them.
•Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias
types.
•License plate(s) present, clean, and secured.
•Splash guards present, not damaged, properly fastened, not dragging on ground, or rubbing tires.
•Cargo secure (trucks).
•Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained, etc.
•Tailboards up and properly secured.
•End gates free of damage, properly secured in stake
sockets.
•Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of either the rearview mirrors or rear lights.
•Wheel bearing/seals not leaking.
•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.
•Suspension.
•Rear doors securely closed, latched/locked.
•Tires evenly matched (same sizes).
>>Condition of spring(s), spring hangers, shackles,
and u-bolts.
>>Axle secure.
>>Powered axle(s) not leaking lube (gear oil).
>>Condition of torque rod arms, bushings.
>>Condition of shock absorber(s).
>>If retractable axle equipped, check condition of lift
mechanism. If air powered, check for leaks.
>>Condition of air ride components.
•Brakes.
>>Brake adjustment.
Left Side
•Check all items as done on right side, plus:
>>Battery(ies) (if not mounted in engine compartment).
>>Battery box(es) securely mounted to vehicle.
>>Box has secure cover.
>>Battery(ies) secured against movement.
>>Battery(ies) not broken or leaking.
>>Fluid in battery(ies) at proper level (except maintenance-free type).
>>Condition of brake drum(s) or discs.
>>Cell caps present and securely tightened (except
maintenance-free type).
>>Condition of hoses—look for any wear due to rubbing.
>>Vents in cell caps free of foreign material (except
maintenance-free type).
•Lights and reflectors.
>>Side-marker lights clean, operating, and proper
color (red at rear, others amber).
>>Side-marker reflectors clean and proper color (red
at rear, others amber).
Rear
•Lights and reflectors.
>>Rear clearance and identification lights clean, operating, and proper color (red at rear).
>>Reflectors clean and proper color (red at rear).
Page 2-6
Step 6: Check Signal Lights
Get In and Turn Off Lights
•Turn off all lights.
•Turn on stop lights (apply trailer hand brake or have
a helper put on the brake pedal).
•Turn on left turn signal lights.
Get Out and Check Lights
•Left front turn signal light clean, operating and proper
color (amber or white on signals facing the front).
•Left rear turn signal light and both stop lights clean,
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
operating, and proper color (red, yellow, or amber).
Get In Vehicle
•Turn off lights not needed for driving.
•Check for all required papers, trip manifests, permits, etc.
•Secure all loose articles in cab (they might interfere
with operation of the controls or hit you in a crash).
•Start the engine.
Step 7: Start the Engine and Check
Test for Hydraulic Leaks. If the vehicle has hydraulic
brakes, pump the brake pedal three times. Then apply
firm pressure to the pedal and hold for five seconds.
The pedal should not move. If it does, there may be
a leak or other problem. Get it fixed before driving. If
the vehicle has air brakes, do the checks described in
Sections 5 and 6 of this manual.
Brake System
Test Parking Brake(s)
•Fasten seat belt.
•Set parking brake (power unit only).
•Release trailer parking brake (if applicable).
•Place vehicle into a low gear.
•Gently pull forward against parking brake to make
sure the parking brake holds.
•Repeat the same steps for the trailer with trailer
parking brake set and power unit parking brakes released (if applicable).
Revised 2013
•Temperature gauges.
•Pressure gauges.
•Ammeter/voltmeter.
•Mirrors.
•Tires.
•Cargo, cargo covers.
•Lights.
If you see, hear, smell, or feel anything that might
mean trouble, check it out.
Safety Inspection. Drivers of trucks and truck tractors
when transporting cargo must inspect the securement
of the cargo within the first 50 miles of a trip and every
150 miles or every three hours (whichever comes first)
after.
2.1.7 – After-Trip Inspection and Report
You may have to make a written report each day on
the condition of the vehicle(s) you drove. Report anything affecting safety or possibly leading to mechanical breakdown.
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?
•If it doesn’t hold vehicle, it is faulty; get it fixed.
2. What things should you check during a trip?
Test Service Brake Stopping Action
3. Name some key steering system parts.
•Go about five miles per hour.
4. Name some suspension system defects.
•Push brake pedal firmly
5. What three kinds of emergency equipment must
you have?
•“Pulling” to one side or the other can mean brake
trouble.
6. What is the minimum tread depth for front tires?
For other tires?
•Any unusual brake pedal “feel” or delayed stopping
action can mean trouble.
7. Name some things you should check on the front
of your vehicle during the walkaround inspection.
If you find anything unsafe during the pre-trip inspection, get it fixed. Federal and state laws forbid operating an unsafe vehicle.
8. What should wheel bearing seals be checked for?
9. How many red reflective triangles should you carry?
2.1.6 – Inspection During a Trip
10. How do you test hydraulic brakes for leaks?
Check Vehicle Operation Regularly
11. Why put the starter switch key in your pocket during the pre-trip inspection?
You should check:
•Instruments.
•Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).
Section 2 - Driving Safety
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsection 2.1.
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2.2 – Basic Control of Your Vehicle
•Start in the proper position.
To drive a vehicle safely, you must be able to control
its speed and direction. Safe operation of a commercial vehicle requires skill in:
•Look at your path.
•Accelerating.
•Steering.
•Stopping.
•Backing safely.
Fasten your seat belt when on the road. Apply the
parking brake when you leave your vehicle.
2.2.1 – Accelerating
Don’t roll back when you start. You may hit someone
behind you. If you have a manual transmission vehicle, partly engage the clutch before you take your
right foot off the brake. Put on the parking brake whenever necessary to keep from rolling back. Release the
parking brake only when you have applied enough
engine power to keep from rolling back. On a tractortrailer 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
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:
Page 2-8
•Use mirrors on both sides.
•Back slowly.
•Back and turn toward the driver’s side whenever
possible.
•Use a helper whenever possible.
•These rules are discussed in turn below.
Start in the Proper Position. Put the vehicle in the
best position to allow you to back safely. This position
will depend on the type of backing to be done.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel before
you begin. Get out and walk around the vehicle. Check
your clearance to the sides and overhead, in and near
the path your vehicle will take.
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. Before you begin
backing, work out a set of hand signals that you both
understand. Agree on a signal for “stop.”
2.3 – Shifting Gears
Correct shifting of gears is important. If you can’t get
your vehicle into the right gear while driving, you will
have less control.
2.3.1 – Manual Transmissions
Basic Method for Shifting Up. Most heavy vehicles
with manual transmissions require double clutching to
change gears. This is the basic method:
•Release accelerator, push in clutch and shift to neutral at the same time.
•Release clutch.
•Let engine and gears slow down to the rpm required
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
for the next gear (this takes practice).
It also allows you to speed up as soon as you are out
of the curve.
•Push in clutch and shift to the higher gear at the
same time.
• Release clutch and press accelerator at the same time.
2.3.2 – Multi-Speed Rear Axles and
Auxiliary Transmissions
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.
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.
Knowing When to Shift Up. There are two ways of
knowing when to shift:
2.3.3 – Automatic Transmissions
Use Engine Speed (rpm). Study the driver’s manual
for your vehicle and learn the operating rpm range.
Watch your tachometer, and shift up when your engine
reaches the top of the range. (Some newer vehicles
use “progressive” shifting: the rpm at which you shift
becomes higher as you move up in the gears. Find out
what’s right for the vehicle you will operate.)
Use Road Speed (mph). Learn what speeds each
gear is good for. Then, by using the speedometer,
you’ll know when to shift up.
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
•Release clutch.
Some vehicles have “retarders.” Retarders help slow
a vehicle, reducing the need for using your brakes.
They reduce brake wear and give you another way
to slow down. There are four basic types of retarders
(exhaust, engine, hydraulic, and electric). All retarders
can be turned on or off by the driver. On some vehicles
the retarding power can be adjusted. When turned
“on,” retarders apply their braking power (to the drive
wheels only) whenever you let up on the accelerator
pedal all the way.
•Press accelerator, increase engine and gear speed
to the rpm required in the lower gear.
Because these devices can be noisy, be sure you
know where their use is permitted.
•Push in clutch and shift to lower gear at the same
time.
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.
With either method, you may learn to use engine
sounds to know when to shift.
Basic Procedures for Shifting Down
•Release accelerator, push in clutch, and shift to neutral at the same time.
•Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
time.
•Downshifting, like upshifting, requires knowing when
to shift. Use either the tachometer or the speedometer and downshift at the right rpm or road speed.
Special conditions where you should downshift are:
Before Starting Down a Hill. Slow down and shift
down to a speed that you can control without using the
brakes hard. Otherwise the brakes can overheat and
lose their braking power.
Downshift before starting down the hill. Make sure you
are in a low enough gear, usually lower than the gear
required to climb the same hill.
Before Entering a Curve. Slow down to a safe
speed, and downshift to the right gear before entering
the curve. This lets you use some power through the
curve to help the vehicle be more stable while turning.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
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?
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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 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.
2.4.2 – Seeing to the Sides and Rear
It’s important to know what’s going on behind and to
the sides. Check your mirrors regularly. Check more
often in special situations.
Mirror Adjustment. Mirror adjustment should be
checked prior to the start of any trip and can only be
checked accurately when the trailer(s) are straight.
You should check and adjust each mirror to show
some part of the vehicle. This will give you a reference
point for judging the position of the other images.
Regular Checks. You need to make regular checks
of your mirrors to be aware of traffic and to check your
vehicle.
Traffic. Check your mirrors for vehicles on either side
and in back of you. In an emergency, you may need
to know whether you can make a quick lane change.
Use your mirrors to spot overtaking vehicles. There
are “blind spots” that your mirrors cannot show you.
Check your mirrors regularly to know where other vehicles are around you, and to see if they move into
your blind spots.
Check Your Vehicle. Use the mirrors to keep an eye
on your tires. It’s one way to spot a tire fire. If you’re
carrying open cargo, you can use the mirrors to check
it. Look for loose straps, ropes, or chains. Watch for a
flapping or ballooning tarp.
Special Situations. Special situations require more
than regular mirror checks. These are lane changes,
turns, merges, and tight maneuvers.
Lane Changes. You need to check your mirrors to
make sure no one is alongside you or about to pass
you. Check your mirrors:
•Before you change lanes to make sure there is
enough room.
•After you have signaled, to check that no one has
moved into your blind spot.
•Right after you start the lane change, to doublecheck that your path is clear.
•After you complete the lane change.
Turns. In turns, check your mirrors to make sure the
rear of your vehicle will not hit anything.
Figure 2.6
Look for Traffic. Look for vehicles coming onto the
highway, into your lane, or turning. Watch for brake
lights from slowing vehicles. By seeing these things
far enough ahead, you can change your speed, or
change lanes if necessary to avoid a problem. If a traffic light has been green for a long time it will probably
change before you get there. Start slowing down and
be ready to stop.
Page 2-10
Merges. When merging, use your mirrors to make sure
the gap in traffic is large enough for you to enter safely.
Tight Maneuvers. Any time you are driving in close
quarters, check your mirrors often. Make sure you
have enough clearance.
How to Use Mirrors. Use mirrors correctly by checking them quickly and understanding what you see.
•When you use your mirrors while driving on the road,
check quickly. Look back and forth between the mirSection 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
rors and the road ahead. Don’t focus on the mirrors
for too long. Otherwise, you will travel quite a distance without knowing what’s happening ahead.
•Many large vehicles have curved (convex, “fisheye,”
“spot,” “bugeye”) mirrors that show a wider area than
flat mirrors. This is often helpful. But everything appears smaller in a convex mirror than it would if you
were looking at it directly. Things also seem farther
away than they really are. It’s important to realize
this and to allow for it. Figure 2.7 shows the field of
vision using a convex mirror.
Revised 2013
way a driver you didn’t see may have a chance to honk
his/her horn, or avoid your vehicle.
Slowing Down. Warn drivers behind you when you
see you’ll need to slow down. A few light taps on the
brake pedal—enough to flash the brake lights— should
warn following drivers. Use the four-way emergency
flashers for times when you are driving very slowly or
are stopped. Warn other drivers in any of the following
situations:
•Trouble Ahead. The size of your vehicle may make
it hard for drivers behind you to see hazards ahead.
If you see a hazard that will require slowing down,
warn the drivers behind by flashing your brake lights.
•Tight Turns. Most car drivers don’t know how slowly
you have to go to make a tight turn in a large vehicle.
Give drivers behind you warning by braking early
and slowing gradually.
•Stopping on the Road. Truck and bus drivers sometimes stop in the roadway to unload cargo or passengers, or to stop at a railroad crossing. Warn following drivers by flashing your brake lights. Don’t stop
suddenly.
•Driving Slowly. Drivers often do not realize how fast
they are catching up to a slow vehicle until they are
very close. If you must drive slowly, alert following
drivers by turning on your emergency flashers if it is
legal. (Laws regarding the use of flashers differ from
one state to another. Check the laws of the states
where you will drive.)
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:
•Signal early. Signal well before you turn. It is the best
way to keep others from trying to pass you.
•Signal continuously. You need both hands on the
wheel to turn safely. Don’t cancel the signal until you
have completed the turn.
•Cancel your signal. Don’t forget to turn off your turn
signal after you’ve turned (if you don’t have selfcanceling signals).
Lane Changes. Put your turn signal on before changing lanes. Change lanes slowly and smoothly. That
Section 2 - Driving Safety
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 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.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you
pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the fourway emergency flashers. This is important at night.
Don’t trust the taillights to give warning. Drivers have
crashed into the rear of a parked vehicle because they
thought it was moving normally.
If you must stop on a road or the shoulder of any road,
you must put out your emergency warning devices
within ten minutes. Place your warning devices at the
following locations:
If you must stop on or by a one-way or divided highway, place warning devices 10 feet, 100 feet, and 200
feet toward the approaching traffic. See Figure 2.8.
If you stop on a two-lane road carrying traffic in both
directions or on an undivided highway, place warning
devices within 10 feet of the front or rear corners to
mark the location of the vehicle and 100 feet behind
and ahead of the vehicle, on the shoulder or in the
lane you stopped in. See Figure 2.9.
Figure 2.9
Back beyond any hill, curve, or other obstruction that
prevents other drivers from seeing the vehicle within
500 feet. If line of sight view is obstructed due to hill
or curve, move the rear-most triangle to a point back
down the road so warning is provided. See Figure 2.10.
Figure 2.8
Figure 2.10
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Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
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
Perception Distance. The distance your vehicle travels, in ideal conditions; from the time your eyes see
a hazard until your brain recognizes it. Keep in mind
certain mental and physical conditions can affect your
perception distance. It can be affected greatly depending on visibility and the hazard itself. The average perception time for an alert driver is 1 3/4 seconds. At 55
mph this accounts for 142 feet traveled.
Reaction Distance. 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.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Figure 2.11
The Effect of Vehicle Weight on Stopping Distance.
The heavier the vehicle, the more work the brakes
must do to stop it, and the more heat they absorb.
But the brakes, tires, springs, and shock absorbers on
heavy vehicles are designed to work best when the
vehicle is fully loaded. Empty trucks require greater
stopping distances because an empty vehicle has less
traction.
2.6.2 – Matching Speed to the Road
Surface
You can’t steer or brake a vehicle unless you have
traction. Traction is friction between the tires and the
road. There are some road conditions that reduce
traction and call for lower speeds.
Slippery Surfaces. It will take longer to stop, and it
will be harder to turn without skidding, when the road
is slippery. Wet roads can double stopping distance.
You must drive slower to be able to stop in the same
distance as on a dry road. Reduce speed by about
one-third (e.g., slow from 55 to about 35 mph) on a
wet road. On packed snow, reduce speed by a half, or
more. If the surface is icy, reduce speed to a crawl and
stop driving as soon as you can safely do so.
Identifying Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes it’s hard
to know if the road is slippery. Here are some signs of
slippery roads:
•Shaded Areas. Shady parts of the road will remain
icy and slippery long after open areas have melted.
•Bridges. When the temperature drops, bridges will
freeze before the road will. Be especially careful
when the temperature is close to 32° Fahrenheit.
•Melting Ice. Slight melting will make ice wet. Wet ice
is much more slippery than ice that is not wet.
•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.
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Revised 2013
•Vehicle Icing. An easy way to check for ice is to open
the window and feel the front of the mirror, mirror
support, or antenna. If there’s ice on these, the road
surface is probably starting to ice up.
•Just After Rain Begins. Right after it starts to rain, the
water mixes with oil left on the road by vehicles. This
makes the road very slippery. If the rain continues, it
will wash the oil away.
•Hydroplaning. In some weather, water or slush collects on the road. When this happens, your vehicle
can hydroplane. It’s like water skiing—the tires lose
their contact with the road and have little or no traction. You may not be able to steer or brake. You can
regain control by releasing the accelerator and pushing in the clutch. This will slow your vehicle and let
the wheels turn freely. If the vehicle is hydroplaning, do not use the brakes to slow down. If the drive
wheels start to skid, push in the clutch to let them
turn freely.
It does not take a lot of water to cause hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning can occur at speeds as low as 30 mph
if there is a lot of water. Hydroplaning is more likely if
tire pressure is low, or the tread is worn. (The grooves
in a tire carry away the water; if they aren’t deep, they
don’t work well.)
Road surfaces where water can collect can create
conditions that cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Watch
for clear reflections, tire splashes, and raindrops on
the road. These are indications of standing water.
2.6.3 – Speed and Curves
Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in the
road. If you take a curve too fast, two things can
happen. The tires can lose their traction and continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road. Or,
the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle
rolls over. Tests have shown that trucks with a
high center of gravity can roll over at the posted
speed limit for a curve.
Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve. Braking in a curve is dangerous because it is easier to lock
the wheels and cause a skid. Slow down as needed.
Don’t ever exceed the posted speed limit for the curve.
Be in a gear that will let you accelerate slightly in the
curve. This will help you keep control.
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
You should always be able to stop within the distance
you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other conditions may
require that you 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.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
2.6.5 – Speed and Traffic Flow
When you’re driving in heavy traffic, the safest speed
is the speed of other vehicles. Vehicles going the same
direction at the same speed are not likely to run into
one another. In many states, speed limits are lower for
trucks and buses than for cars. It can vary as much
as 15 mph. Use extra caution when you change lanes
or pass on these roadways. Drive at the speed of the
traffic, if you can without going at an illegal or unsafe
speed. Keep a safe following distance.
The main reason drivers exceed speed limits is to
save time. But, anyone trying to drive faster than the
speed of traffic will not be able to save much time. The
risks involved are not worth it. If you go faster than
the speed of other traffic, you’ll have to keep passing
other vehicles. This increases the chance of a crash,
and it is more tiring. Fatigue increases the chance of a
crash. Going with the flow of traffic is safer and easier.
2.6.6 – Speed on Downgrades
Your vehicle’s speed will increase on downgrades because of gravity. Your most important objective is to
select and maintain a speed that is not too fast for the:
•Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
•Length of the grade.
•Steepness of the grade.
•Road conditions.
•Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating “Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed
shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs indicating the length and steepness of the grade. You must
use the braking effect of the engine as the principal
way of controlling your speed on downgrades. The
braking effect of the engine is greatest when it is near
the governed rpms and the transmission is in the lower
gears. Save your brakes so you will be able to slow or
stop as required by road and traffic conditions. Shift
your transmission to a low gear before starting down
the grade and use the proper braking techniques.
Please read carefully the section on going down long,
steep downgrades safely in “Mountain Driving.”
2.6.7 – Roadway Work Zones
Speeding traffic is the number one cause of injury and
death in roadway work zones. Observe the posted
speed limits at all times when approaching and driving through a work zone. Watch your speedometer,
and don’t allow your speed to creep up as you drive
through long sections of road construction. Decrease
your speed for adverse weather or road conditions.
Decrease your speed even further when a worker is
close to the roadway.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Subsections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6
Test Your Knowledge
1. How far ahead does the manual say you should
look?
2. What are two main things to look for ahead?
3. What’s your most important way to see the sides
and rear of your vehicle?
4. What does “communicating” mean in safe driving?
5. Where should 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?
Revised 2013
add 1 second for safety. For example, if you are driving a 40-foot vehicle, you should leave 4 seconds
between you and the vehicle ahead. In a 60-foot rig,
you’ll need 6 seconds. Over 40 mph, you’d need 5
seconds for a 40-foot vehicle and 7 seconds for a 60foot vehicle. See Figure 2.12.
To know how much space you have, wait until the vehicle ahead passes a shadow on the road, a pavement
marking, or some other clear landmark. Then count
off the seconds like this: ”one thousand- and-one,
one thousand-and-two” and so on, until you reach the
same spot. Compare your count with the rule of one
second for every ten feet of length.
If you are driving a 40-foot truck and only counted up
to 2 seconds, you’re too close. Drop back a little and
count again until you have 4 seconds of following distance (or 5 seconds, if you’re going over 40 mph). After
a little practice, you will know how far back you should
be. Remember to add 1 second for speeds above 40
mph. Also remember that when the road is slippery,
you need much more space to stop.
9. What is hydroplaning?
10. What is “black ice”?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6.
2.7 – Managing Space
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
Section 2 - Driving Safety
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
Page 2-15
Revised 2013
load is slowing you down, stay in the right lane if you
can. Going uphill, you should not pass another slow
vehicle unless you can get around quickly and safely.
Dealing with Tailgaters Safely. In a large vehicle, it’s
often hard to see whether a vehicle is close behind
you. You may be tailgated:
•When you are traveling slowly. Drivers trapped behind slow vehicles often follow closely.
•In bad weather. Many car drivers follow large vehicles closely during bad weather, especially when it is
hard to see the road ahead.
If you find yourself being tailgated, here are some
things you can do to reduce the chances of a crash.
•Avoid quick changes. If you have to slow down or
turn, signal early, and reduce speed very gradually.
•Increase your following distance. Opening up room
in front of you will help you to avoid having to make
sudden speed or direction changes. It also makes it
easier for the tailgater to get around you.
•Don’t speed up. It’s safer to be tailgated at a low
speed than a high speed.
•Avoid tricks. Don’t turn on your taillights or flash your
brake lights. Follow the suggestions above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
Commercial vehicles are often wide and take up most
of a lane. Safe drivers will manage what little space
they have. You can do this by keeping your vehicle
centered in your lane, and avoid driving alongside
others.
Staying Centered in a Lane. You need to keep your
vehicle centered in the lane to keep safe clearance on
either side. If your vehicle is wide, you have little room
to spare.
Traveling Next to Others. There are two dangers in
traveling alongside other vehicles:
•Another driver may change lanes suddenly and turn
into you.
•You may be trapped when you need to change lanes.
Find an open spot where you aren’t near other traffic.
When traffic is heavy, it may be hard to find an open
spot. If you must travel near other vehicles, try to keep
as much space as possible between you and them.
Also, drop back or pull forward so that you are sure the
other driver can see you.
Strong Winds. Strong winds make it difficult to stay
in your lane. The problem is usually worse for lighter
vehicles. This problem can be especially bad coming
out of tunnels. Don’t drive alongside others if you can
avoid it.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
2.7.4 – Space Overhead
Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure you
always have overhead clearance.
•Don’t assume that the heights posted at bridges and
overpasses are correct. Re-paving or packed snow
may have reduced the clearances since the heights
were posted.
•The weight of a cargo van changes its height. An
empty van is higher than a loaded one. That you
got under a bridge when you were loaded does not
mean that you can do it when you are empty.
•If you doubt you have safe space to pass under an
object, go slowly. If you aren’t sure you can make
it, take another route. Warnings are often posted on
low bridges or underpasses, but sometimes they are
not.
•Some roads can cause a vehicle to tilt. There can
be a problem clearing objects along the edge of
the road, such as signs, trees, or bridge supports.
Where this is a problem, drive a little closer to the
center of the road.
•Before you back into an area, get out and check for
overhanging objects such as trees, branches, or
electric wires. It’s easy to miss seeing them while
you are backing. (Also check for other hazards at the
same time.)
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:
•Turn slowly to give yourself and others more time to
avoid problems.
•If you are driving a truck or bus that cannot make
the right turn without swinging into another lane, turn
wide as you complete the turn. Keep the rear of your
vehicle close to the curb. This will stop other drivers
from passing you on the right.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Don’t turn wide to the left as you start the turn. A following driver may think you are turning left and try to
pass you on the right. You may crash into the other
vehicle as you complete your turn.
•If you must cross into the oncoming lane to make a
turn, watch out for vehicles coming toward you. Give
them room to go by or to stop. However, don’t back
up for them, because you might hit someone behind
you. See Figure 2.13.
Revised 2013
•Because of slow acceleration and the space large
vehicles require, you may need a much larger gap to
enter traffic than you would in a car.
•Acceleration varies with the load. Allow more room if
your vehicle is heavily loaded.
•Before you start across a road, make sure you can
get all the way across before traffic reaches you.
2.8 – Seeing Hazards
2.8.1 – Importance of Seeing Hazards
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
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Work Zones. When people are working on the road,
it is a hazard. There may be narrower lanes, sharp
turns, or uneven surfaces. Other drivers are often distracted and drive unsafely. Workers and construction
vehicles may get in the way. Drive slowly and carefully
near work zones. Use your four-way flashers or brake
lights to warn drivers behind you.
Drop Off. Sometimes the pavement drops off sharply
near the edge of the road. Driving too near the edge
can tilt your vehicle toward the side of the road. This
can cause the top of your vehicle to hit roadside objects (signs, tree limbs). Also, it can be hard to steer
as you cross the drop off, going off the road, or coming
back on.
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Revised 2013
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.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
2.8.3 – Drivers Who Are Hazards
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.
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.
Ice Cream Trucks. Someone selling ice cream is a
hazard clue. Children may be nearby and may not see
you.
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.
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.
Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind intersections
or alleys. If you only can see the rear or front end of a
vehicle but not the driver, then he or she can’t see you.
Be alert because he/she may back out or enter into
your lane. Always be prepared to stop.
Delivery Trucks Can Present a Hazard. Packages or
vehicle doors often block the driver’s vision. Drivers of
step vans, postal vehicles, and local delivery vehicles
often are in a hurry and may suddenly step out of their
vehicle or drive their vehicle into the traffic lane.
Parked Vehicles Can Be Hazards, especially when
people start to get out of them. Or, they may suddenly
start up and drive into your way. Watch for movement
inside the vehicle or movement of the vehicle itself
that shows people are inside. Watch for brake lights or
backup lights, exhaust, and other clues that a driver is
about to move.
Page 2-18
Accidents. Accidents are particularly hazardous.
People involved in the accident may not look for traffic.
Passing drivers tend to look at the accident. People often run across the road without looking. Vehicles may
slow or stop suddenly.
Shoppers. People in and around shopping areas are
often not watching traffic because they are looking for
stores or looking into store windows.
Confused Drivers. Confused drivers often change
direction suddenly or stop without warning. Confusion is common near freeway or turnpike interchanges
and major intersections. Tourists unfamiliar with the
area can be very hazardous. Clues to tourists include
car-top luggage and out-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.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2013
fic 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?
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:
2. If you are driving a 30-foot vehicle at 55 mph, how
many seconds of following distance should you allow?
•Weaving across the road or drifting from one side to
another.
3. You should decrease your following distance if
somebody is following you too closely. True or
False?
•Leaving the road (dropping right wheels onto the
shoulder, or bumping across a curb in a turn).
•Stopping at the wrong time (stopping at a green light,
or waiting for too long at a stop).
4. If you swing wide to the left before turning right, another driver may try to pass you on the right. True
or False?
•Open window in cold weather.
5. What is a hazard?
•Speeding up or slowing down suddenly, driving too
fast or too slow.
6. Why make emergency plans when you see a hazard?
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-theshoulder 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 trafSection 2 - Driving Safety
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.
Activities that can distract your attention include: talking to passengers; adjusting the radio, CD player or
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
•Do not use the equipment when approaching locations with heavy traffic, road construction, heavy pedestrian traffic, or severe weather conditions.
2.9.1 – Don’t Drive Distracted
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:
If drivers react a half-second slower because of distractions, crashes double. Some tips to follow so you
won’t become distracted:
•Review and be totally familiar with all safety and usage features on any in-vehicle electronics, including
your hands-free mobile telephone before you drive.
•Pre-program radio stations.
•Pre-load you favorite CDs or cassette tapes.
•Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects.
•Review maps and plan your route before you begin
driving.
•Adjust all mirrors for best all-round visibility before
you start your trip.
•Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
•Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you drive.
•Don’t engage in complex or emotionally intense conversations with other occupants.
2.9.2 – Use In-Vehicle Communication
Equipment Cautiously
•When possible, pull off the road in a safe, legal place
when making/receiving a call on communication
equipment.
•If possible, turn the cell phone off until your destination is reached.
•Position the cell phone within easy reach.
•Pre-program cell phones with commonly called numbers.
•If you have to place a call, find a safe place to pull off
the road. Do not place a call while driving.
•Some jurisdictions require that only hands-free devices can be used while driving. Even these devices
are unsafe to use when you are moving down the
road.
•If you must use your cell phone, keep conversations short. Develop ways to get free of long-winded
friends and associates while on the road. Never use
the cell phone for social visiting.
•Hang up in tricky traffic situations.
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•Do not attempt to type or read messages on your
satellite system while driving.
2.9.3 – Watch Out for Other Distracted
Drivers
•Vehicles that may drift over the lane divider lines or
within their own lane.
•Vehicles traveling at inconsistent speeds.
•Drivers who are preoccupied with maps, food, cigarettes, cell phones, or other objects.
•Drivers who appear to be involved in conversations
with their passengers.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and maintain
your safe following distance.
Be very careful when passing a driver who seems to
be distracted. The other driver may not be aware of
your presence, and they may drift in front of you.
2.10 – Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
2.10.1 – What Is It?
Aggressive driving and road rage is not a new problem. However, in today’s world, where heavy and
slow-moving traffic and tight schedules are the norm,
more and more drivers are taking out their anger and
frustration in their vehicles.
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.
•Reduce your stress before and while you drive. Listen to “easy listening” music.
•Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow yourself
to become distracted by talking on your cell phone,
eating, etc.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Be realistic about your travel time. Expect delays
because of traffic, construction, or bad weather and
make allowances.
•If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal
with it. Take a deep breath and accept the delay.
•Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to
imagine why he or she is driving that way. Whatever
their reason, it has nothing to do with you.
•Slow down and keep your following distance reasonable.
•Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
•Avoid gestures. Keep you hands on the wheel. Avoid
making any gestures that might anger another driver,
even seemingly harmless expressions of irritation
like shaking your head.
•Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another driver
seems eager to get in front of you, say, “Be my
guest.” This response will soon become a habit and
you won’t be as offended by other drivers’ actions.
2.10.3 – What You Should Do When
Confronted by an Aggressive Driver
•First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of
their way.
•Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge
them by speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own
in your travel lane.
•Avoid eye contact.
•Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
•Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate authorities by providing a vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible, direction of travel.
•If you have a cell phone, and can do it safely, call
the police.
•If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther
down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash
scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the
driving behavior that you witnessed.
Subsections 2.9 and 2.10 Test Your
Knowledge
1. What are some tips to follow so you won’t become
a distracted driver?
2. How do you use in-vehicle communications equipment cautiously?
3. How do you recognize a distracted driver?
4. What is the difference between aggressive driving
and road rage?
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Revised 2013
5. What should you do when confronted with an aggressive driver?
6. What are some things you can do to reduce your
stress before and while you drive?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and 2.10.
2.11 – Driving at Night
2.11.1 – It’s More Dangerous
You are at greater risk when you drive at night. Drivers
can’t see hazards as quickly as in daylight, so they
have less time to respond. Drivers caught by surprise
are less able to avoid a crash.
The problems of night driving involve the driver, the
roadway, and the vehicle.
2.11.2 – Driver Factors
Vision. People can’t see as sharply at night or in dim
light. Also, their eyes need time to adjust to seeing in
dim light. Most people have noticed this when walking
into a dark movie theater.
Glare. Drivers can be blinded for a short time by bright
light. It takes time to recover from this blindness. Older
drivers are especially bothered by glare. Most people
have been temporarily blinded by camera flash units or
by the high beams of an oncoming vehicle. It can take
several seconds to recover from glare. Even two seconds of glare blindness can be dangerous. A vehicle
going 55 mph will travel more than half the distance
of a football field during that time. Don’t look directly
at bright lights when driving. Look at the right side of
the road. Watch the sidelines when someone coming
toward you has very bright lights on.
Fatigue and Lack of Alertness. Fatigue (being tired)
and lack of alertness are bigger problems at night. The
body’s need for sleep is beyond a person’s control.
Most people are less alert at night, especially after
midnight. This is particularly true if you have been driving for a long time. Drivers may not see hazards as
soon, or react as quickly, so the chance of a crash is
greater. If you are sleepy, the only safe cure is to get
off the road and get some sleep. If you don’t, you risk
your life and the lives of others.
2.11.3 – Roadway Factors
Poor Lighting. In the daytime there is usually enough
light to see well. This is not true at night. Some areas
may have bright street lights, but many areas will have
poor lighting. On most roads you will probably have to
depend entirely on your headlights.
Less light means you will not be able to see hazards
as well as in daytime. Road users who do not have
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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.
Drunk Drivers. Drunk drivers and drivers under the
influence of drugs are a hazard to themselves and to
you. Be especially alert around the closing times for
bars and taverns. Watch for drivers who have trouble
staying in their lane or maintaining speed, who stop
without reason, or show other signs of being under the
influence of alcohol or drugs.
2.11.4 – Vehicle Factors
Headlights. At night your headlights will usually be
the main source of light for you to see by and for others to see you. You can’t see nearly as much with
your headlights as you see in the daytime. With low
beams you can see ahead about 250 feet and with
high beams about 350-500 feet. You must adjust your
speed to keep your stopping distance within your sight
distance. This means going slowly enough to be able
to stop within the range of your headlights. Otherwise,
by the time you see a hazard, you will not have time
to stop.
Night driving can be more dangerous if you have problems with your headlights. Dirty headlights may give
only half the light they should. This cuts down your
ability to see, and makes it harder for others to see
you. Make sure your lights are clean and working.
Headlights can be out of adjustment. If they don’t point
in the right direction, they won’t give you a good view
and they can blind other drivers. Have a qualified person make sure they are adjusted properly.
Other Lights. In order for you to be seen easily, the
following must be clean and working properly:
•Reflectors.
•Marker lights.
•Clearance lights.
•Taillights.
•Identification lights.
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
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clean mirrors. Bright lights at night can cause dirt on
your windshield or mirrors to create a glare of its own,
blocking your view. Most people have experienced
driving toward the sun just as it has risen or is about
to set, and found that they can barely see through a
windshield that seemed to look OK in the middle of the
day. Clean your windshield on the inside and outside
for safe driving at night.
2.11.5 – Night Driving Procedures
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.
Use High Beams When You Can. Some drivers
make the mistake of always using low beams. This
seriously cuts down on their ability to see ahead. Use
high beams when it is safe and legal to do so. Use
them when you are not within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle. Also, don’t let the inside of your cab get
too bright. This makes it harder to see outside. Keep
the interior light off, and adjust your instrument lights
as low as you can to still be able to read the gauges.
If You Get Sleepy, Stop 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.
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.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Do not assume that the fog will thin out after you enter it.
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. It is preferable that you pull off the road into a rest area or truck
stop until visibility is better. If you must drive, be sure
to consider the following:
•Obey all fog-related warning signs.
•Slow down before you enter fog.
•Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for best visibility even in daytime, and be alert for other drivers
who may have forgotten to turn on their lights.
•Turn on your 4-way flashers. This will give vehicles
approaching you from behind a quicker opportunity
to notice your vehicle.
•Watch for vehicles on the side of the roadway. Seeing taillights or headlights in front of you may not be
a true indication of where the road is ahead of you.
The vehicle may not be on the road at all.
•Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to determine how the road may curve ahead of you.
•Listen for traffic you cannot see.
•Avoid passing other vehicles.
•Don’t stop along the side of the road, unless absolutely necessary.
2.13 – Driving in Winter
2.13.1 – Vehicle Checks
Make sure your vehicle is ready before driving in winter weather. You should make a regular pre-trip inspection, paying extra attention to the following items.
Coolant Level and Antifreeze Amount. Make sure
the cooling system is full and there is enough antifreeze in the system to protect against freezing. This
can be checked with a special coolant tester.
Defrosting and Heating Equipment. Make sure the
defrosters work. They are needed for safe driving.
Make sure the heater is working, and that you know
how to operate it. If you use other heaters and expect
to need them (e.g., mirror heaters, battery box heaters, fuel tank heaters), check their operation.
Wipers and Washers. Make sure the windshield
wiper blades are in good condition. Make sure the
wiper blades press against the window hard enough
to wipe the windshield clean, otherwise they may not
sweep off snow properly. Make sure the windshield
washer works and there is washing fluid in the washer
reservoir.
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.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Revised 2013
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 crosslinks, 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.
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.
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Revised 2013
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:
•Slow down and place transmission in a low gear.
•Gently put on the brakes. This presses linings against
brake drums or discs and keeps mud, silt, sand, and
water from getting in.
•Increase engine rpm and cross the water while keeping light pressure on the brakes.
•When out of the water, maintain light pressure on the
brakes for a short distance to heat them up and dry
them out.
•Make a test stop when safe to do so. Check behind to
make sure no one is following, then apply the brakes
to be sure they work well. If not, dry them out further
as described above. (CAUTION: Do not apply too
much brake pressure and accelerator at the same
time, or you can overheat brake drums and linings.)
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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:
•Shut engine off.
•Wait until engine has cooled.
•Protect hands (use gloves or a thick cloth).
•Turn radiator cap slowly to the first stop, which releases the pressure seal.
•Step back while pressure is released from cooling
system.
•When all pressure has been released, press down
on the cap and turn it further to remove it.
2.14.1 – Vehicle Checks
•Visually check level of coolant and add more coolant
if necessary.
Do a normal pre-trip inspection, but pay special attention to the following items.
•Replace cap and turn all the way to the closed position.
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
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.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
Hoses. Make sure coolant hoses are in good condition. A broken hose while driving can lead to engine
failure and even fire.
lights with bells and gates.
2.14.2 – Driving
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-on-yellow
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.
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.
2.15.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
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.
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.
2.15 – Railroad-Highway Crossings
Railroad-highway grade crossings are a special kind
of intersection where the roadway crosses train tracks.
These crossings are always dangerous. Every such
crossing must be approached with the expectation
that a train is coming.
2.15.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does not
have any type of traffic control device. The decision
to stop or proceed rests entirely in your hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize the crossing,
search for any train using the tracks and decide if
there is sufficient clear space to cross safely. Passive
crossings have yellow circular advance warning signs,
pavement markings and crossbucks to assist you in
recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a traffic
control device installed at the crossing to regulate traffic at the crossing. These active devices include flashing red lights, with or without bells and flashing red
Section 2 - Driving Safety
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.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
Never Race A Train to a Crossing. Never attempt
to race a train to a crossing. It is extremely difficult to
judge the speed of an approaching train.
Reduce Speed. Speed must be reduced in accordance with your ability to see approaching trains in
any direction, and speed must be held to a point which
will permit you to stop short of the tracks in case a stop
is necessary.
Don’t Expect to Hear a Train. Because of noise inside your vehicle, you cannot expect to hear the train
horn until the train is dangerously close to the crossing.
Don’t Rely on Signals. You should not rely solely
upon the presence of warning signals, gates, or flagmen to warn of the approach of trains. Be especially
alert at crossings that do not have gates or flashing
red light signals.
Figure 2.17
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 gates go up and
the lights have stopped flashing. Proceed when it is
safe. See Figure 2.18.
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:
•The nature of the cargo makes a stop mandatory under state or federal regulations.
•Such a stop is otherwise required by law.
•When stopping be sure to:
•Check for traffic behind you while stopping gradually.
Use a pullout lane, if available.
•Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
2.15.6 – Special Situations
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised
crossings:
•Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
•Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle tractor.
Figure 2.18
Page 2-26
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
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
identifiable landmarks, especially the DOT number, if
posted.
2.16 – Mountain Driving
In mountain driving, gravity plays a major role. On any
upgrade, gravity slows you down. The steeper the
grade, the longer the grade, and/or the heavier the
load—the more you will have to use lower gears to
climb hills or mountains. In coming down long, steep
downgrades, gravity causes the speed of your vehicle to increase. You must select an appropriate safe
speed, then use a low gear, and proper braking techniques. You should plan ahead and obtain information
about any long, steep grades along your planned route
of travel. If possible, talk to other drivers who are familiar with the grades to find out what speeds are safe.
You must go slowly enough so your brakes can hold
you back without getting too hot. If the brakes become
too hot, they may start to “fade.” This means you have
to apply them harder and harder to get the same stopping power. If you continue to use the brakes hard,
they can keep fading until you cannot slow down or
stop at all.
2.16.1 – Select a “Safe” Speed
Your most important consideration is to select a speed
that is not too fast for the:
•Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
•Length of the grade.
•Steepness of the grade.
•Road conditions.
•Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating “Maximum Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed
shown. Also, look for and heed warning signs indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as the
principal way of controlling your speed. The braking
effect of the engine is greatest when it is near the governed rpms and the transmission is in the lower gears.
Save your brakes so you will be able to slow or stop as
required by road and traffic conditions.
2.16.2 – Select the Right Gear Before
Starting Down the Grade
Shift the transmission to a low gear before starting
down the grade. Do not try to downshift after your
speed has already built up. You will not be able to shift
into a lower gear. You may not even be able to get
back into any gear and all engine braking effect will be
lost. Forcing an automatic transmission into a lower
gear at high speed could damage the transmission
and also lead to loss of all engine braking effect.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Revised 2013
With older trucks, a rule for choosing gears is to use
the same gear going down a hill that you would need
to climb the hill. However, new trucks have low friction
parts and streamlined shapes for fuel economy. They
may also have more powerful engines. This means
they can go up hills in higher gears and have less friction and air drag to hold them back going down hills.
For that reason, drivers of modern trucks may have to
use lower gears going down a hill than would be required to go up the hill. You should know what is right
for your vehicle.
2.16.3 – Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub
against the brake drum or disks to slow the vehicle.
Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to take
a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or fail from
excessive heat caused by using them too much and
not relying on the engine braking effect.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely
control a vehicle, every brake must do its share of the
work. Brakes out of adjustment will stop doing their
share before those that are in adjustment. The other
brakes can then overheat and fade, and there will not
be enough braking available to control the vehicle.
Brakes can get out of adjustment quickly, especially
when they are used a lot; also, brake linings wear
faster when they are hot. Therefore, brake adjustment
must be checked frequently.
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/or steep
downgrade is only a supplement to the braking effect
of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the proper low
gear, the following is the proper braking technique:
•Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
slowdown.
•When your speed has been reduced to approximately five mph below your “safe” speed, release the
brakes. (This brake application should last for about
three seconds.)
•When your speed has increased to your “safe”
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph, you would
not apply the brakes until your speed reaches 40 mph.
You now apply the brakes hard enough to gradually
reduce your speed to 35 mph and then release the
brakes. Repeat this as often as necessary until you
have reached the end of the downgrade.
Escape ramps have been built on many steep mountain downgrades. Escape ramps are made to stop
runaway vehicles safely without injuring drivers and
passengers. Escape ramps use a long bed of loose,
soft material to slow a runaway vehicle, sometimes in
Page 2-27
Revised 2013
combination with an upgrade.
Know escape ramp locations on your route. Signs
show drivers where ramps are located. Escape ramps
save lives, equipment and cargo.
Subsections 2.15 and 2.16
Test Your Knowledge
1. What factors determine your selection of a “safe”
speed when going down a long, steep downgrade?
2. Why should you be in the proper gear before starting down a hill?
3. Describe the proper braking technique when going
down a long, steep downgrade.
4. What type of vehicles can get stuck on a railroadhighway crossing?
5. How long does it take for a typical tractor-trailer unit
to clear a double track?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsections 2.15 and 2.16.
2.17 – Driving Emergencies
Traffic emergencies occur when two vehicles are
about to collide. Vehicle emergencies occur when tires,
brakes, or other critical parts fail. Following the safety
practices in this manual can help prevent emergencies. But if an emergency does happen, your chances
of avoiding a crash depend upon how well you take
action. Actions you can take are discussed below.
2.17.1 – Steering to Avoid a Crash
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in an
emergency. When you don’t have enough room to
stop, you may have to steer away from what’s ahead.
Remember, you can almost always turn to miss an
obstacle more quickly than you can stop. (However,
top-heavy vehicles and tractors with multiple trailers
may flip over.)
Keep Both Hands on the Steering Wheel. In order
to turn quickly, you must have a firm grip on the steering wheel with both hands. The best way to have both
hands on the wheel, if there is an emergency, is to
keep them there all the time.
How to Turn Quickly and Safely. A quick turn can be
made safely, if it’s done the right way. Here are some
points that safe drivers use:
•Do not apply the brake while you are turning. It’s very
easy to lock your wheels while turning. If that happens, you may skid out of control.
•Do not turn any more than needed to clear whatever
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
is in your way. The more sharply you turn, the greater
the chances of a skid or rollover.
•Be prepared to “countersteer,” that is, to turn the
wheel back in the other direction, once you’ve passed
whatever was in your path. Unless you are prepared
to countersteer, you won’t be able to do it quickly
enough. You should think of emergency steering and
countersteering as two parts of one driving action.
Where to Steer. If an oncoming driver has drifted into
your lane, a move to your right is best. If that driver
realizes what has happened, the natural response will
be to return to his or her own lane.
If something is blocking your path, the best direction to
steer will depend on the situation.
•If you have been using your mirrors, you’ll know
which lane is empty and can be safely used.
•If the shoulder is clear, going right may be best. No
one is likely to be driving on the shoulder but someone may be passing you on the left. You will know if
you have been using your mirrors.
•If you are blocked on both sides, a move to the right
may be best. At least you won’t force anyone into an
opposing traffic lane and a possible head-on collision.
Leaving the Road. In some emergencies, you may
have to drive off the road. It may be less risky than
facing a collision with another vehicle.
Most shoulders are strong enough to support the
weight of a large vehicle and, therefore, offer an available escape route. Here are some guidelines, if you do
leave the road.
Avoid Braking. If possible, avoid using the brakes
until your speed has dropped to about 20 mph. Then
brake very gently to avoid skidding on a loose surface.
Keep One Set of Wheels on the Pavement, if Possible. This helps to maintain control.
Stay on the Shoulder. If the shoulder is clear, stay
on it until your vehicle has come to a stop. Signal and
check your mirrors before pulling back onto the road.
Returning to the Road. If you are forced to return
to the road before you can stop, use the following
procedure:
•Hold the wheel tightly and turn sharply enough to get
right back on the road safely. Don’t try to edge gradually back on the road. If you do, your tires might grab
unexpectedly and you could lose control.
•When both front tires are on the paved surface,
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
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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. Reapply the brakes as soon as you can.
Stab Braking
•Apply your brakes all the way.
•Release brakes when wheels lock up.
•As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the brakes
fully again. (It can take up to one second for the
wheels to start rolling after you release the brakes. If
you re-apply the brakes before the wheels start rolling, the vehicle won’t straighten out.)
Revised 2013
stop the vehicle. Make sure the vehicle does not start
rolling backward after you stop. Put it in low gear, apply the parking brake, and, if necessary, roll back into
some obstacle that will stop the vehicle.
Brake Failure on Downgrades. Going slow enough
and braking properly will almost always prevent brake
failure on long downgrades. Once the brakes have
failed, however, you are going to have to look outside
your vehicle for something to stop it.
Your best hope is an escape ramp. If there is one, there
will 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.
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.
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.
2.17.3 – Brake Failure
2.17.4 – Tire Failure
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most hydraulic brake failures occur for one of two reasons: (Air
brakes are discussed in Section 5.)
•Loss of hydraulic pressure.
•Brake fade on long hills.
Loss of Hydraulic Pressure. When the system won’t
build up pressure, the brake pedal will feel spongy or
go to the floor. Here are some things you can do.
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear will
help to slow the vehicle.
Pump the Brakes. Sometimes pumping the brake
pedal will generate enough hydraulic pressure to stop
the vehicle.
Use the Parking Brake. The parking or emergency
brake is separate from the hydraulic brake system.
Therefore, it can be used to slow the vehicle. However, be sure to press the release button or pull the
release lever at the same time you use the emergency
brake so you can adjust the brake pressure and keep
the wheels from locking up.
Find an Escape Route. While slowing the vehicle,
look for an escape route—an open field, side street, or
escape ramp. Turning uphill is a good way to slow and
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Recognize Tire Failure. Quickly knowing you have a
tire failure will let you have more time to react. Having
just a few extra seconds to remember what it is you’re
supposed to do can help you. The major signs of tire
failure are:
•Sound. The loud “bang” of a blowout is an easily
recognized sign. Because it can take a few seconds
for your vehicle to react, you might think it was some
other vehicle. But any time you hear a tire blow,
you’d be safest to assume it is yours.
•Vibration. If the vehicle thumps or vibrates heavily, it
may be a sign that one of the tires has gone flat. With
a rear tire, that may be the only sign you get.
•Feel. If the steering feels “heavy,” it is probably a
sign that one of the front tires has failed. Sometimes,
failure of a rear tire will cause the vehicle to slide
back and forth or “fishtail.” However, dual rear tires
usually prevent this.
Respond to Tire Failure. When a tire fails, your vehicle is in danger. You must immediately:
•Hold the Steering Wheel Firmly. If a front tire fails,
it can twist the steering wheel out of your hand. The
only way to prevent this is to keep a firm grip on the
steering wheel with both hands at all times.
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Revised 2013
•Stay Off the Brake. It’s natural to want to brake in an
emergency. However, braking when a tire has failed
could cause loss of control. Unless you’re about to
run into something, stay off the brake until the vehicle has slowed down. Then brake very gently, pull
off the road, and stop.
•Check the Tires. After you’ve come to a stop, get
out and check all the tires. Do this even if the vehicle
seems to be handling all right. If one of your dual
tires goes, the only way you may know it is by getting
out and looking at it.
2.18 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
ABS is a computerized system that keeps your wheels
from locking up during hard brake applications.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does not
decrease or increase your normal braking capability.
ABS only activates when wheels are about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle under control during hard braking.
2.18.1 – How Antilock Braking Systems Work
Sensors detect potential wheel lockup. An electronic
control unit (ECU) will then decrease brake pressure
to avoid wheel lockup.
Break 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:
•Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after March
1, 1997.
•Other air brake vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers, and
converter dollies) built on or after March 1, 1998.
•Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a gross
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs. or more built on
or after March 1, 1999.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998, are
required to have a lamp on the left side.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the malfunction
lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb check, and then
goes out quickly. On older systems, the lamp could
stay on until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on
once you are under way, you may have lost ABS control.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it was
required by the Department of Transportation, it may
be difficult to tell if the unit is equipped with ABS. Look
under the vehicle for the ECU and wheel speed sensor
wires coming from the back of the brakes.
2.18.4 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a vehicle
without ABS, your wheels may lock up. When your
steering wheels lock up, you lose steering control.
When your other wheels lock up, you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain control. You may or may not be able to stop faster with
ABS, but you should be able to steer around an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused by over
braking.
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 start a
tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if you can safely
do so) until you regain control.
2.18.6 – Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should brake
as you always have. In other words:
Many commercial vehicles built before these dates
have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
•Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
2.18.3 – How to Know If Your Vehicle Is
Equipped with ABS
•Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have
ABS on the bus, tractor, the trailer, or both.
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.
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•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
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
drive a straight truck or combination with working ABS
on all axles, in an emergency stop, you can fully apply
the brakes.
2.18.7 – Braking If ABS Is Not Working
Without ABS you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps to
tell you if something isn’t working.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the malfunction
lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb check and then
goes out quickly. On older systems, the lamp could
stay on until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on
once you are under way, you may have lost ABS control on one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system serviced soon.
2.18.8 – Safety Reminders
•ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
•ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–ABS
should prevent brake-induced skids or jackknifes,
but not those caused by spinning the drive wheels or
going too fast in a turn.
Revised 2013
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 towing trailers,
a drive-wheel skid can let the trailer push the towing
vehicle sideways, causing a sudden jackknife. See
Figure 2.19.
•ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not always shorten stopping distance.
•ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
power–ABS is an “add-on” to your normal brakes,
not a replacement for them.
•ABS won’t change the way you normally brake. Under normal brake conditions, your vehicle will stop as
it always stopped. ABS only comes into play when
a wheel would normally have locked up because of
over braking.
•ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor brake
maintenance.
•Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still a
safe driver.
• Remember: Drive so you never need to use your ABS.
•Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to prevent
a serious crash.
2.19 – Skid Control and Recovery
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip on
the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
Over-Braking. Braking too hard and locking up the
wheels. Skids also can occur when using the speed
retarder when the road is slippery.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
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
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
on ice, push in the clutch to let the wheels turn freely.
•Notify authorities.
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.
•Care for the injured.
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.”
2.20.1 – 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:
•If your vehicle is involved in the accident, try to get it
to the side of the road. This will help prevent another
accident and allow traffic to move.
•If you’re stopping to help, park away from the accident. The area immediately around the accident will
be needed for emergency vehicles.
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
•Put on your flashers.
Driving too fast for conditions causes most front-wheel
skids. Other causes include lack of tread on the front
tires and cargo loaded so not enough weight is on the
front axle. In a front-wheel skid, the front end tends to
go in a straight line regardless of how much you turn
the steering wheel. On a very slippery surface, you
may not be able to steer around a curve or turn.
•Set out reflective triangles to warn other traffic. Make
sure other drivers can see them in time to avoid the
accident.
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.
2.20.2 – Notify Authorities
If you have a cell phone or CB, call for assistance before you get out of your vehicle. If not, wait until after
the accident scene has been properly protected, then
phone or send someone to phone the police. Try to
determine where you are so you can give the exact
location.
2.20.3 – Care for the Injured
Subsections 2.17, 2.18, and 2.19
Test Your Knowledge
1. Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in an
emergency. True or False?
2. What are some advantages of going right instead of
left around an obstacle?
3. What is an “escape ramp?”
4. If a tire blows out, you should put the brakes on
hard to stop quickly. True or False?
5. How do you know if your vehicle has antilock
brakes?
6. What is the proper braking technique when driving
a vehicle with antilock brakes?
7. How do antilock brakes help you?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.17, 2.18, and 2.19.
If a qualified person is at the accident and helping the
injured, stay out of the way unless asked to assist.
Otherwise, do the best you can to help any injured
parties. Here are some simple steps to follow in giving
assistance:
•Don’t move a severely injured person unless the
danger of fire or passing traffic makes it necessary.
•Stop heavy bleeding by applying direct pressure to
the wound.
•Keep the injured person warm.
2.21 – Fires
Truck fires can cause damage and injury. Learn the
causes of fires and how to prevent them. Know what
to do to extinguish fires.
2.21.1 – Causes of Fire
The following are some causes of vehicle fires:
•After Accidents. Spilled fuel, improper use of flares.
2.20 – Accident Procedures
•Tires. Under-inflated tires and duals that touch.
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:
•Electrical System. Short circuits due to damaged insulation, loose connections.
•Protect the area.
Page 2-32
•Fuel. Driver smoking, improper fueling, loose fuel
connections.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Cargo. Flammable cargo, improperly sealed or
loaded cargo, poor ventilation.
2.21.2 – Fire Prevention
Pay attention to the following:
•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.
•En Route Inspection. Check the tires, wheels, and
truck body for signs of heat whenever you stop during a trip.
•Follow Safe Procedures. Follow correct safety procedures for fueling the vehicle, using brakes, handling flares, and other activities that can cause a fire.
•Monitoring. Check the instruments and gauges often
for signs of overheating and use the mirrors to look
for signs of smoke from tires or the vehicle.
•Caution. Use normal caution in handling anything
flammable.
Revised 2013
Use the Right Fire Extinguisher
•Figures 2.20 and 2.21 detail the type of fire extinguisher to use by class of fire.
•The B:C type fire extinguisher is designed to work on
electrical fires and burning liquids.
•The A:B:C type is designed to work on burning wood,
paper, and cloth as well.
•Water can be used on wood, paper, or cloth, but don’t
use water on an electrical fire (can cause shock) or a
gasoline fire (it will spread the flames).
•A burning tire must be cooled. Lots of water may be
required.
•If you’re not sure what to use, especially on a hazardous materials fire, wait for firefighters.
•Position yourself upwind. Let the wind carry the extinguisher to the fire.
•Continue until whatever was burning has been
cooled. Absence of smoke or flame does not mean
the fire cannot restart.
2.21.3 – Fire Fighting
Class/Type of Fires
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.
Class
A
Wood, Paper, Ordinary Combustibles
Extinguish by cooling and quenching
using water or dry chemicals.
Pull Off the Road. The first step is to get the vehicle
off the road and stop. In doing so:
B
Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Other Greasy Liquids
Extinguish by smothering, cooling or
heat shielding using carbon dioxide or
dry chemicals.
C
Electric Equipment Fires
Extinguish with non-conducting
agents such as carbon dioxide and dry
chemicals. DO NOT USE WATER.
D
Fires in Combustible Metals
Extinguish by using specialized
extinguishing powders.
•Park in an open area, away from buildings, trees,
brush, other vehicles, or anything that might catch fire.
Type
•Don’t pull into a service station!
•Notify emergency services of your problem and your
location.
Keep the Fire from Spreading. Before trying to put
out the fire, make sure that it doesn’t spread any
further.
•With an engine fire, turn off the engine as soon as
you can. Don’t open the hood if you can avoid it.
Shoot foam through louvers, radiator, or from the vehicle’s underside.
•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.
Figure 2.20
Class of Fires/Type of Extinguisher
Class of Fire
B or C
A, B, C, or D
D
B or C
D
Fire Extinguisher Type
Regular Dry Chemical
Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical
Purple K Dry Chemical
KCL Dry Chemical
Dry Powder special Compound
B or C
Carbon Dioxide (Dry)
Extinguish the Fire. Here are some rules to follow in
putting out a fire:
B or C
Halogenated Agent (Gas)
A
Water
•When using the extinguisher, stay as far away from
the fire as possible.
A
Water with Anti-Freeze
• Aim at the source or base of the fire, not up in the flames.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
A or B
Water, Loaded Steam Style
B, on some A Foam
Figure 2.21
Page 2-33
Revised 2013
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.
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?
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
1
.04
.03
.03
.02
.02
.02
.02
.02
2
.08
.06
.05
.05
.04
.04
.03
.03
3
.11
.09
.08
.07
.06
.06
.05
.05
4
.15
.12
.11
.09
.08
.08
.07
.06
5
.19
.16
.13
.12
.11
.09
.09
.08
6
.23
.19
.16
.14
.13
.11
.10
.09
7
.26
.22
.19
.16
.15
.13
.12
.11
8
.30
.25
.21
.19
.17
.15
.14
.13
9
.34
.28
.24
.21
.19
.17
.15
.14
10
.38
.31
.27
.23
.21
.19
.17
.16
Driving Skills Significantly
Affected – Criminal Penalties
.00
Impairment
Begins
Legally Intoxicated
Criminal Penalties
Page 2-34
0
Only Safe
Driving Limit
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).
240
•A 1 1/2-ounce shot of 80 proof liquor.
220
•A 5-ounce glass of 12% wine.
200
•A 12-ounce glass of 5% beer.
180
All of the following drinks contain the same amount of
alcohol:
160
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 onethird 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.
140
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.
Body Weight in Pounds
120
2.22.1 – Alcohol and Driving
Approximate Blood Alcohol Content
100
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
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.
Effects
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsection 2.20 and 2.21.
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, of course,
good judgment and self-control are absolutely necessary for safe driving.
Drinks
5. Name some causes of vehicle fires.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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:
•Straddling lanes.
•Quick, jerky starts.
•Not signaling, failure to use lights.
•Running stop signs and red lights.
•Improper passing.
See Figure 2.23.
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
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.
doctor informs the driver that it will not affect safe driving ability.
Effects of Increasing Blood Alcohol Content
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.
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 Driving
Condition
Effects on Body
Pay attention to warning labels for legitimate drugs
and medicines, and to doctor’s orders regarding possible effects. Stay away from illegal drugs.
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.
Mellow feeling, slight body
warmth.
Less inhibited.
2.23 – Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
.05
Noticeable relaxation.
Less, alert, less selffocused, coordination
impairment begins.
.08
Definite impairment
in coordination and
judgement.
Drunk driving limit, impaired
coordination and judgment.
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.
.10*
Noisy, possible
embarrassing behavior,
mood swings.
Reduction in reaction time.
.15
Impaired balance and
movement, clearly drunk.
Unable to drive.
.30
Many lose consciousness.
.40
Most lose consciousness,
some die.
.50
Breathing stops, many die.
.02
*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:
•Increased reaction time to hazards.
•Driving too fast or too slow.
•Driving in the wrong lane.
•Running over the curb.
•Weaving.
2.22.2 – Other Drugs
Besides alcohol, other legal and illegal drugs are being used more often. Laws prohibit possession or use
of many drugs while on duty. They prohibit being under
the influence of any “controlled substance,” amphetamines (including “pep pills,” “uppers,” and “bennies”),
narcotics, or any other substance, which can make
the driver unsafe. This could include a variety of prescription and over-the-counter drugs (cold medicines),
which may make the driver drowsy or otherwise affect
safe driving ability. However, possession and use of
a drug given to a driver by a doctor is permitted if the
Section 2 - Driving Safety
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 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.
Page 2-35
Revised 2013
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.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
2.23.3 – When You Do Become Sleepy
When you are sleepy, trying to “push on” is far more
dangerous than most drivers think. It is a major cause
of fatal accidents. Here are some important rules to
follow.
Stop to Sleep. When your body needs sleep, sleep
is the only thing that will work. If you have to make a
stop anyway, make it whenever you feel the first signs
of sleepiness, even if it is earlier than you planned. By
getting up a little earlier the next day, you can keep on
schedule without the danger of driving while you are
not alert.
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.
Avoid Drugs. There are no drugs that can overcome
being tired. While they may keep you awake for a
while, they won’t make you alert. And eventually, you’ll
be even more tired than if you hadn’t taken them at all.
Sleep is the only thing that can overcome fatigue.
Do Not. Do not rely on coffee or another source of caffeine to keep you awake. Do not count on the radio, an
open window, or other tricks to keep you awake.
2.23.4 – Illness
Once in a while, you may become so ill that you cannot operate a motor vehicle safely. If this happens to
you, you must not drive. However, in case of an emergency, you may drive to the nearest place where you
can safely stop.
2.24 – Hazardous Materials Rules For All
Commercial Drivers
•Your eyes close or go out of focus by themselves.
All drivers should know something about hazardous
materials. You must be able to recognize hazardous
cargo, and you must know whether or not you can haul
it without having a hazardous materials endorsement
on your CDL license.
•You have trouble keeping your head up.
2.24.1 – What Are Hazardous Materials?
•You can’t stop yawning.
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation. See
Figure 2.24.
•You have wandering, disconnected thoughts.
•You don’t remember driving the last few miles.
•You drift between lanes, tailgate, or miss traffic signs.
•You keep jerking the truck back into the lane.
•You have drifted off the road and narrowly missed
crashing.
If you have even one of these symptoms, you may be
in danger of falling asleep. Pull off the road in a safe
place and take a nap.
Page 2-36
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Class
Class Name
Example
1
Explosives
Ammunition, Dynamite,
Fireworks
2
Gases
Propane, Oxygen, Helium
3
Flammable
Gasoline Fuel, Acetone
4
Flammable Solids
Matches, Fuses
Oxidizers
Ammonium Nitrate,
Hydrogen Peroxide
5
6
Poisons
Pesticides, Arsenic
7
Radioactive
Uranium, Plutonium
8
Corrosives
Hydrochloric Acid, Battery
Acid
9
Miscellaneous Hazardous
Materials
Formaldehyde, Asbestos
None
ORM-D (Other Regulated
Material-Domestic)
Hair spray or Charcoal
None
Combustible Liquids
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:
Revised 2013
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.
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a shipping paper and diamond shaped hazard labels to warn
dockworkers and drivers of the risk.
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.
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:
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.
•Contain the product.
•Communicate the risk.
•Ensure safe drivers and equipment.
To Contain the Product. Many hazardous products
can injure or kill on contact. To protect drivers and others from contact, the rules tell shippers how to package
safely. Similar rules tell drivers how to load, transport,
and unload bulk tanks. These are containment rules.
•In a pouch on the driver’s door, or
•In clear view within reach while driving, or
•On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
2.24.3 Lists of Regulated Products
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
Section 2 - Driving Safety
Page 2-37
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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.
Page 2-38
Section 2 - Driving Safety
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 3
TRANSPORTING CARGO
SAFELY
This section covers:
•Inspecting Cargo
•Cargo Weight and Balance
•Securing Cargo
•Cargo Needing Special Attention
This section tells you about hauling cargo safely. You
must understand basic cargo safety rules to get a CDL.
If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it, it can be a
danger to others and yourself. Loose cargo that falls
off a vehicle can cause traffic problems and others
could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo could hurt or kill
you during a quick stop or crash. Your vehicle could be
damaged by an overload. Steering could be affected
by how a vehicle is loaded, making it more difficult to
control the vehicle.
Whether or not you load and secure the cargo yourself, you are responsible for:
•Inspecting your cargo.
•Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight.
•Knowing your cargo is properly secured and does
not obscure your view ahead or to the sides.
•Knowing your cargo does not restrict your access to
emergency equipment.
If you intend to carry hazardous material that requires
placards on your vehicle, you will also need to have a
hazardous materials endorsement. Section 9 of this
manual has the information you need to pass the hazardous materials test.
Revised 2013
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.
As part of your pre-trip inspection, make sure the truck
is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured properly.
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.
After Starting. Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within the first 50 miles after beginning a
trip. Make any adjustments needed.
During bad weather or in mountains, it may not be safe
to operate at legal maximum weights. Take this into account before driving.
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:
3.2.3 – Don’t Be Top-Heavy
3.1 – Inspecting Cargo
•After you have driven for three hours or 150 miles.
•After every break you take during driving.
Federal, state, and local regulations for commercial
vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and
where you can drive large vehicles vary from place to
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very
important for safe handling. A high center of gravity
(cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means
you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous in
curves, or if you have to swerve to avoid a hazard. It
is very important to distribute the cargo so it is as low
as possible. Put the heaviest parts of the cargo under
the lightest parts.
Page 3-1
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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:
•To protect people from spilled cargo.
•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.
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.
Figure 3.1
3.3.2 – Cargo Tiedown
On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo must
be secured to keep it from shifting or falling off. In
closed vans, tiedowns can also be important to prevent
cargo shifting that may affect the handling of the vehicle. Tiedowns must be of the proper type and proper
strength. Federal regulations require the aggregate
working load limit of any securement system used to
Page 3-2
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
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Revised 2013
Section 3
Test Your Knowledge
1. What four things related to cargo are drivers responsible for?
2. How often must you stop while on the road to check
your cargo?
3. How is Gross Combination Weight Rating different
from Gross Combination Weight?
4. Name two situations where legal maximum weights
may not be safe.
5. What can happen if you don’t have enough weight
on the front axle?
6. What is the minimum number of tiedowns for any
flat bed load?
7. What is the minimum number of tiedowns for a 20foot load?
8. Name the two basic reasons for covering cargo on
an open bed.
9. What must you check before transporting a sealed
load?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read Section 3.
Page 3-3
Revised 2013
Page 3-4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 4
TRANSPORTING
PASSENGERS SAFELY
This section covers:
•Vehicle Inspection
•Loading
•On the Road
•After-Trip Vehicle Inspection
•Prohibited Practices
•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:
•Service brakes, including air hose couplings (if your
bus has a trailer or semitrailer).
•Parking brake.
•Steering mechanism.
Revised 2013
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:
•Each handhold and railing.
•Floor covering.
•Signaling devices, including the restroom emergency buzzer, if the bus has a restroom.
•Emergency exit handles.
The seats must be safe for riders. All seats must be
securely fastened to the bus.
Never drive with an open emergency exit door or window. The “Emergency Exit” sign on an emergency
door must be clearly visible. If there is a red emergency door light, it must work. Turn it on at night or any
other time you use your outside lights.
4.1.4 – Roof Hatches
You may lock some emergency roof hatches in a partly
open position for fresh air. Do not leave them open as
a regular practice. Keep in mind the bus’s higher clearance while driving with them open.
Make sure your bus has the fire extinguisher and
emergency reflectors required by law. The bus must
also have spare electrical fuses, unless equipped with
circuit breakers.
4.1.5 – Use Your Seat Belt
The driver’s seat should have a seat belt. Always use
it for safety.
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start
•Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or regrooved tires).
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:
•Horn.
•Allow the driver to move freely and easily.
•Windshield wiper or wipers.
•Allow riders to exit by any window or door in an
emergency.
•Lights and reflectors.
•Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
•Coupling devices (if present).
•Wheels and rims.
•Emergency equipment.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
•Protect riders from injury if carry-ons fall or shift.
4.2.1 – Hazardous Materials
Watch for cargo or baggage containing hazardous maPage 4-1
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
terials. Most hazardous materials cannot be carried on
a bus.
The Federal Hazardous Materials Table shows which
materials are hazardous. They pose a risk to health,
safety, and property during transportation. The rules
require shippers to mark containers of hazardous material with the material’s name, identification number,
and hazard label. There are nine different four-inch, diamond-shaped hazard labels. See Figure 4.1. Watch
for the diamond-shaped labels. Do not transport any
hazardous material unless you are sure the rules allow it.
Class
Class Name
Example
1
Explosives
Ammunition, Dynamite,
Fireworks
2
Gases
Propane, Oxygen, Helium
3
Flammable
Gasoline Fuel, Acetone
4
Flammable Solids
Matches, Fuses
5
Oxidizers
Ammonium Nitrate,
Hydrogen Peroxide
6
Poisons
Pesticides, Arsenic
7
Radioactive
Uranium, Plutonium
8
Corrosives
Hydrochloric Acid, Battery
Acid
9
Miscellaneous Hazardous
Materials
Formaldehyde, Asbestos
None
ORM-D (Other Regulated
Material-Domestic)
Hair spray or Charcoal
None
Combustible Liquids
Fuel Oils, Lighter 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:
•Division 2.3 poison gas, liquid Class 6 poison, tear
gas, irritating material.
•More than 100 pounds of solid Class 6 poisons.
•Explosives in the space occupied by people, except
small arms ammunition.
•Labeled radioactive materials in the space occupied
by people.
•More than 500 pounds total of allowed hazardous
materials, and no more than 100 pounds of any one
class.
Riders sometimes board a bus with an unlabeled hazardous material. Do not allow riders to carry on common hazards such as car batteries or gasoline.
4.2.3 – Standee Line
No rider may stand forward of the rear of the driver’s
seat. Buses designed to allow standing must have
Page 4-2
a two-inch line on the floor or some other means of
showing riders where they cannot stand. This is called
the standee line. All standing riders must stay behind it.
4.2.4 – At Your Destination
When arriving at the destination or intermediate stops
announce:
•The location.
•Reason for stopping.
•Next departure time.
•Bus number.
Remind riders to take carry-ons with them if they get
off the bus. If the aisle is on a lower level than the
seats, remind riders of the step-down. It is best to tell
them before coming to a complete stop.
Charter bus drivers should not allow riders on the bus
until departure time. This will help prevent theft or vandalism of the bus.
4.3 – On the Road
4.3.1 – Passenger Supervision
Many charter and intercity carriers have passenger
comfort and safety rules. Mention rules about smoking, drinking, or use of radio and tape players at the
start of the trip. Explaining the rules at the start will
help to avoid trouble later on.
While driving, scan the interior of your bus as well as
the road ahead, to the sides, and to the rear. You may
have to remind riders about rules, or to keep arms and
heads inside the bus.
4.3.2 – At Stops
Riders can stumble when getting on or off, and when
the bus starts or stops. Caution riders to watch their
step when leaving the bus. Wait for them to sit down
or brace themselves before starting. Starting and stopping should be as smooth as possible to avoid rider
injury.
Occasionally, you may have a drunk or disruptive rider.
You must ensure this rider’s safety as well as that of
others. Don’t discharge such riders where it would be
unsafe for them. It may be safer at the next scheduled stop or a well-lighted area where there are other
people. Many carriers have guidelines for handling
disruptive riders.
4.3.3 – Common Accidents
The Most Common Bus Accidents. Bus accidents
often happen at intersections. Use caution, even if a
signal or stop sign controls other traffic. School and
mass transit buses sometimes scrape off mirrors or hit
passing vehicles when pulling out from a bus stop. ReSection 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
member 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:
•Stop your bus between 15 and 50 feet before railroad crossings.
•Listen and look in both directions for trains. You
should open your forward door if it improves your
ability to see or hear an approaching train.
•Before crossing after a train has passed, make sure
there isn’t another train coming in the other direction
on other tracks.
•If your bus has a manual transmission, never change
gears while crossing the tracks.
•You do not have to stop, but must slow down and
carefully check for other vehicles:
>>At streetcar crossings.
>>Where a policeman or flagman is directing traffic.
>>If a traffic signal is green.
>>At crossings marked as “exempt” or “abandoned.”
4.3.6 – Drawbridges
Stop at Drawbridges. Stop at drawbridges that do not
have a signal light or traffic control attendant. Stop at
least 50 feet before the draw of the bridge. Look to
make sure the draw is completely closed before crossing. You do not need to stop, but must slow down and
make sure it’s safe, when:
Revised 2013
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 brake-door 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.
4.6 – Use of Brake-Door Interlocks
Urban mass transit coaches may have a brake and
accelerator interlock system. The interlock applies the
brakes and holds the throttle in idle position when the
rear door is open. The interlock releases when you
close the rear door. Do not use this safety feature in
place of the parking brake.
Section 4
Test Your Knowledge
1. Name some things to check in the interior of a bus
during a 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?
•There is a traffic light showing green.
7. When must you stop before crossing a drawbridge?
•The bridge has an attendant or traffic officer who
controls traffic whenever the bridge opens.
8. Describe from memory the “prohibited practices”
listed in the manual.
4.4 – After-Trip Vehicle Inspection
9. The rear door of a transit bus has to be open to put
on the parking brake. True or False?
Inspect your bus at the end of each shift. If you work
for an interstate carrier, you must complete a written
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Page 4-3
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Page 4-4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 5
AIR BRAKES
This section covers:
•Air Brake System Parts
•Dual Air Brake Systems
•Inspecting Air Brakes
•Using Air Brakes
This section tells you about air brakes. If you want to
drive a truck or bus with air brakes, or pull a trailer with
air brakes, you need to read this section. If you want
to pull a trailer with air brakes, you also need to read
Section 6, Combination Vehicles.
Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes
work. Air brakes are a good and safe way of stopping
large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes must be well
maintained and used properly.
Air brakes are really three different braking systems:
service brake, parking brake, and emergency brake.
•The service brake system applies and releases the
brakes when you use the brake pedal during normal
driving.
•The parking brake system applies and releases the
parking brakes when you use the parking brake control.
Revised 2013
ernor allows the compressor to start pumping again.
5.1.3 – Air Storage Tanks
Air storage tanks are used to hold compressed air. The
number and size of air tanks varies among vehicles.
The tanks will hold enough air to allow the brakes to
be used several times, even if the compressor stops
working.
5.1.4 – Air Tank Drains
Compressed air usually has some water and some
compressor oil in it, which is bad for the air brake
system. For example, the water can freeze in cold
weather and cause brake failure. The water and oil
tend to collect in the bottom of the air tank. Be sure
that you drain the air tanks completely. Each air tank
is equipped with a drain valve in the bottom. There are
two types:
•Manually operated by turning a quarter turn or by
pulling a cable. You must drain the tanks yourself at
the end of each day of driving. See Figure 5.1.
•Automatic—the water and oil are automatically expelled. These tanks may be equipped for manual
draining as well.
Automatic air tanks are available with electric heating
devices. These help prevent freezing of the automatic
drain in cold weather.
•The emergency brake system uses parts of the service and parking brake systems to stop the vehicle in
a brake system failure.
The parts of these systems are discussed in greater
detail below.
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System
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 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 govSection 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 drainage
is still needed to get rid of water and oil. (Unless the
system has automatic drain valves.)
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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.
Page 5-2
Figure 5.2
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.
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
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
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.
justed properly, neither the regular brakes nor the
emergency/parking brakes will work right.
On large buses it is common for the low pressure
warning devices to signal at 80-85 psi.
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.
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 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 adSection 5 - Air Brakes
5.1.15 – Parking Brake Controls
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. When you push the control in, air
from the separate air tank releases the spring brakes
so you can move. When you release the button, the
spring brakes come on again. There is only enough air
in the separate tank to do this a few times. Therefore,
plan carefully when moving. Otherwise, you may be
stopped in a dangerous location when the separate air
supply runs out. See Figure 5.3.
5.1.16 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after March
1, 1997, and other air brakes vehicles, (trucks, buses,
trailers, and converter dollies) built on or after March
1, 1998, are required to be equipped with antilock
brakes. Many commercial vehicles built before these
dates have been voluntarily equipped with ABS. Check
the certification label for the date of manufacture to determine if your vehicle is equipped with ABS. ABS is
a computerized system that keeps your wheels from
locking up during hard brake applications.
Page 5-3
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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
Figure 5.3
On newer vehicles, the malfunction lamp comes on at
start-up for a bulb check, and then goes out quickly.
On older systems, the lamp could stay on until you are
driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on
once you are under way, you may have lost ABS control at one or more wheels.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it was
required by the Department of Transportation, it may
be difficult to tell if the unit is equipped with ABS. Look
under the vehicle for the electronic control unit (ECU)
and wheel speed sensor wires coming from the back
of the brakes.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does not
decrease or increase your normal braking capability.
ABS only activates when wheels are about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle under control during hard braking.
Page 5-4
Most heavy-duty vehicles use dual air brake systems
for safety. A dual air brake system has two separate air
brake systems, which use a single set of brake controls. Each system has its own air tanks, hoses, lines,
etc. One system typically operates the regular brakes
on the rear axle or axles. The other system operates
the regular brakes on the front axle (and possibly one
rear axle). Both systems supply air to the trailer (if
there is one). The first system is called the “primary”
system. The other is called the “secondary” system.
See Figure 5.4.
Before driving a vehicle with a dual air system, allow
time for the air compressor to build up a minimum
of 100 psi pressure in both the primary and secondary systems. Watch the primary and secondary air
pressure gauges (or needles, if the system has two
needles in one gauge). Pay attention to the low air
pressure warning light and buzzer. The warning light
and buzzer should shut off when air pressure in both
systems rises to a value set by the manufacturer. This
value must be greater than 60 psi.
The warning light and buzzer should come on before
the air pressure drops below 60 psi in either system. If
this happens while driving, you should stop right away
and safely park the vehicle. If one air system is very
low on pressure, either the front or the rear brakes will
not be operating fully. This means it will take you longer to stop. Bring the vehicle to a safe stop, and have
the air brakes system fixed.
5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems
You should use the basic seven-step inspection procedure described in Section 2 to inspect your vehicle.
There are more things to inspect on a vehicle with air
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
Figure 5.4
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. Outof-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.
Section 5 - Air Brakes
Automatic adjusters should not have to be manually
adjusted except when performing maintenance on the
brakes and during installation of the slack adjusters. In
a vehicle equipped with automatic adjusters, when the
pushrod stroke exceeds the legal brake adjustment
limit, it is an indication that a mechanical problem exists in the adjuster itself, a problem with the related
foundation brake components, or that the adjuster was
improperly installed.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster to
bring a brake pushrod stroke within legal limits is generally masking a mechanical problem and is not fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most automatic
adjusters will likely result in premature wear of the
adjuster itself. It is recommended that when brakes
equipped with automatic adjusters are found to be
out of adjustment, the driver take the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible to have the problem
corrected.
The manual adjustment of 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.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
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.
Page 5-6
Figure 5.5
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air system (typically 125 psi), turn off the engine, release the
parking brake, and time the air pressure drop. The
loss rate should be less than two psi in one minute for
single vehicles and less than three psi in one minute
for combination vehicles. Then apply 90 psi or more
with the brake pedal. After the initial pressure drop, if
the air pressure falls more than three psi in one minute
for single vehicles (more than four psi for combination
vehicles), the air loss rate is too much. Check for air
leaks and fix before driving the vehicle. Otherwise, you
could lose your brakes while driving.
Check Air Compressor Governor Cut-in and Cutout Pressures. Pumping by the air compressor
should start at about 100 psi and stop at about 125
psi. (Check manufacturer’s specifications.) Run the
engine at a fast idle. The air governor should cutout the air compressor at about the manufacturer’s
specified pressure. The air pressure shown by your
gauge(s) will stop rising. With the engine idling, step
on and off the brake to reduce the air tank pressure.
The compressor should cut-in at about the manufacturer’s specified cut-in pressure. The pressure should
begin to rise.
If the air governor does not work as described above,
it may need to be fixed. A governor that does not work
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
properly may not keep enough air pressure for safe
driving.
on only one axle, still gives you more control over the
vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
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.
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.
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?
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
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less likely
to swing out, but if you lose steering control or start a
tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if you can safely
do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with ABS,
you should brake as you always have. In other words:
•Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
•Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have
ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
•As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay
in control.
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 – Using Air Brakes
5.4.3 – Emergency Stops
5.4.1 – Normal 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.
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
Section 5 - Air Brakes
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. Reapply the brakes as soon as you can.
Stab Braking
•Apply your brakes all the way.
•Release brakes when wheels lock up.
•As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the brakes
fully again. (It can take up to one second for the
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
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.
work. Brakes out of adjustment will stop doing their
share before those that are in adjustment. The other
brakes can then overheat and fade, and there will not
be enough braking available to control the vehicle(s).
Brakes can get out of adjustment quickly, especially
when they are hot. Therefore, check brake adjustment
often.
5.4.6 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/or steep
downgrade is only a supplement to the braking effect
of the engine. Once the vehicle is in the proper low
gear, the following is the proper braking technique:
•Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
slowdown.
•When your speed has been reduced to approximately five mph below your “safe” speed, release the
brakes. (This application should last for about three
seconds.)
•When your speed has increased to your “safe”
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph, you would
not apply the brakes until your speed reaches 40 mph.
You now apply the brakes hard enough to gradually
reduce your speed to 35 mph and then release the
brakes. Repeat this as often as necessary until you
have reached the end of the downgrade.
5.4.7 – Low Air Pressure
Figure 5.6
5.4.5 – Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub
against the brake drum or disks to slow the vehicle.
Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to take
a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or fail from
excessive heat caused by using them too much and
not relying on the engine braking effect.
Excessive use of the service brakes results in overheating and leads to brake fade. Brake fade results
from excessive heat causing chemical changes in
the brake lining, which reduce friction, and also causing expansion of the brake drums. As the overheated
drums expand, the brake shoes and linings have to
move farther to contact the drums, and the force of this
contact is reduced. Continued overuse may increase
brake fade until the vehicle cannot be slowed down or
stopped.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely
control a vehicle, every brake must do its share of the
Page 5-8
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 damSection 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
aged 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.
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
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 5 - Air Brakes
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 6
COMBINATION VEHICLES
This section covers:
•Driving Combinations
•Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
•Antilock Brake System
•Coupling and Uncoupling
•Inspecting Combinations
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.)
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-the-whip”
effect. When you make a quick lane change, the crackthe-whip effect can turn the trailer over. There are
many accidents where only the trailer has overturned.
“Rearward amplification” causes the crack-the-whip
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Revised 2013
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.
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 tractorsemitrailer 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.
6.1.4 – Railroad-Highway Crossings
Railroad-highway crossings can also cause problems,
particularly when pulling trailers with low underneath
clearance.
These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
•Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
•Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get out
of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check signposts or signal housing at the crossing for emergency
notification information. Call 911 or other emergency
number. Give the location of the crossing using all
identifiable landmarks, especially the DOT number, if
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Figure 6.1
posted.
6.1.5 – Prevent Trailer Skids
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.
The procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:
Recognize the Skid. The earliest and best way to recognize that the trailer has started to skid is by seeing
it in your mirrors. Any time you apply the brakes hard,
check the mirrors to make sure the trailer is staying
where it should be. Once the trailer swings out of your
lane, it’s very difficult to prevent a jackknife.
*(From R.D. Ervin, R.L. Nisconger, C.C. MacAdam, and P.S.
Fancher, “Influence of size and weigh variables on the stability
and control properties of heavy trucks,” University of Michigan
Transportation Research Institute, 1983).
Figure 6.2
Page 6-2
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Stop Using the Brake. Release the brakes to get traction back. Do not use the trailer hand brake (if you have
one) to “straighten out the rig.” This is the wrong thing
to do since the brakes on the trailer wheels caused the
skid in the first place. Once the trailer wheels grip the
road again, the trailer will start to follow the tractor and
straighten out.
6.1.6 – Turn Wide
When a vehicle goes around a corner, the rear wheels
follow a different path than the front wheels. This is
called offtracking or “cheating.” Figure 6.3 shows how
offtracking causes the path followed by a tractor to be
wider than the rig itself. Longer vehicles will offtrack
more. The rear wheels of the powered unit (truck or
tractor) will offtrack some, and the rear wheels of the
trailer will offtrack even more. If there is more than one
trailer, the rear wheels of the last trailer will offtrack
the most. Steer the front end wide enough around a
corner so the rear end does not run over the curb,
pedestrians, etc. However, keep the rear of your vehicle close to 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
Revised 2013
6.1.7 – Backing with a Trailer
Backing with a Trailer. When backing a car, straight
truck, or bus, you turn the top of the steering wheel in
the direction you want to go. When backing a trailer,
you turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction.
Once the trailer starts to turn, you must turn the wheel
the other way to follow the trailer.
Whenever you back up with a trailer, try to position
your vehicle so you can back in a straight line. If you
must back on a curved path, back to the driver’s side
so you can see. See Figure 6.5.
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.
Figure 6.4
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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.
Page 6-3
Revised 2013
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?
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
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
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
the range of 20 to 45 psi). When the tractor protection
valve closes, it stops any air from going out of the tractor. It also lets the air out of the trailer emergency line.
This causes the trailer emergency brakes to come on,
with possible loss of control. (Emergency brakes are
covered later.)
6.2.3 – Trailer Air Supply Control
The trailer air supply control on newer vehicles is a red
eight-sided knob, which you use to control the tractor protection valve. You push it in to supply the trailer
with air, and pull it out to shut the air off and put on the
trailer emergency brakes. The valve will pop out (thus
closing the tractor protection valve) when the air pressure drops into the range of 20 to 45 psi. Tractor protection valve controls or “emergency” valves on older
vehicles may not operate automatically. There may be
a lever rather than a knob. The “normal” position is
used for pulling a trailer. The “emergency” position is
used to shut the air off and put on the trailer emergency brakes.
6.2.4 – Trailer Air Lines
Every combination vehicle has two air lines, the service line and the emergency line. They run between
each vehicle (tractor to trailer, trailer to dolly, dolly to
second trailer, etc.)
Service Air Line. The service line (also called the control line or signal line) carries air, which is controlled by
the foot brake or the trailer hand brake. Depending on
how hard you press the foot brake or hand valve, the
pressure in the service line will similarly change. The
service line is connected to relay valves. These valves
allow the trailer brakes to be applied more quickly than
would otherwise be possible.
Emergency Air Line. The emergency line (also called
the supply line) has two purposes. First, it supplies
air to the trailer air tanks. Second, the emergency
line controls the emergency brakes on combination
vehicles. Loss of air pressure in the emergency line
causes the trailer emergency brakes to come on. The
pressure loss could be caused by a trailer breaking
loose, thus tearing apart the emergency air hose. Or it
could be caused by a hose, metal tubing, or other part
breaking, letting the air out. When the emergency line
loses pressure, it also causes the tractor protection
valve to close (the air supply knob will pop out).
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
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
and rubber seals before a connection is made. When
connecting the glad hands, press the two seals together with the couplers at a 90 degree angle to each
other. A turn of the glad hand attached to the hose will
join and lock the couplers.
When coupling, make sure to couple the proper glad
hands together. To help avoid mistakes, colors are
sometimes used. Blue is used for the service lines
and red for the emergency (supply) lines. Sometimes,
metal tags are attached to the lines with the words
“service” and ”emergency” stamped on them. See Figure 6.6
If you do cross the air lines, supply air will be sent to
the service line instead of going to charge the trailer
air tanks. Air will not be available to release the trailer
spring brakes (parking brakes). If the spring brakes
don’t release when you push the trailer air supply control, check the air line connections.
Older trailers do not have spring brakes. If the air supply in the trailer air tank has leaked away there will be
no emergency brakes, and the trailer wheels will turn
freely. If you crossed the air lines, you could drive away
but you wouldn’t have trailer brakes. This would be
very dangerous. Always test the trailer brakes before
driving with the hand valve or by pulling the air supply (tractor protection valve) control. Pull gently against
them in a low gear to make sure the brakes work.
Some vehicles have “dead end” or dummy couplers
to which the hoses may be attached when they are
not in use. This will prevent water and dirt from getting
into the coupler and the air lines. Use the dummy couplers when the air lines are not connected to a trailer.
If there are no dummy couplers, the glad hands can
sometimes be locked together (depending on the couplings). It is very important to keep the air supply clean.
Revised 2013
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.
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
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-5
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
Subsection 6.2
Test Your Knowledge
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.
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 Figure
6.7. Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998,
are required to have a lamp on the left side.
In the case of vehicles manufactured before the required date, it may be difficult to tell if the unit is
equipped with ABS. Look under the vehicle for the
ECU and wheel speed sensor wires coming from the
back of the brakes.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle under control during hard braking.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
Having ABS on only the trailer, or even on only one
axle, still gives you more control over the vehicle during braking.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less likely
to swing out, but if you lose steering control or start a
tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if you can safely
do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with ABS,
you should brake as you always have. In other words:
•Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
•Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have
ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
•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
•Check for damaged/missing parts.
•Check to see that mounting to tractor is secure, no
cracks in frame, etc.
Figure 6.7
Page 6-6
•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.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Check if fifth wheel is in proper position for coupling.
>>Wheel tilted down toward rear of tractor.
>>Jaws open.
>>Safety unlocking handle in the automatic lock position.
>>If you have a sliding fifth wheel, make sure it is
locked.
>>Make sure the trailer kingpin is not bent or broken.
Step 2. Inspect Area and Chock Wheels
•Make sure area around the vehicle is clear.
•Be sure trailer wheels are chocked or spring brakes
are on.
•Check that cargo (if any) is secured against movement due to tractor being coupled to the trailer.
Step 3. Position Tractor
•Put the tractor directly in front of the trailer. (Never
back under the trailer at an angle because you might
push the trailer sideways and break the landing
gear.)
•Check position, using outside mirrors, by looking
down both sides of the trailer.
Step 4. Back Slowly
Revised 2013
Step 8. Supply Air to Trailer
•From cab, push in “air supply” knob or move tractor protection valve control from the “emergency” to
the “normal” position to supply air to the trailer brake
system.
•Wait until the air pressure is normal.
•Check brake system for crossed air lines.
>>Shut engine off so you can hear the brakes.
>>Apply and release trailer brakes and listen for
sound of trailer brakes being applied and released.
You should hear the brakes move when applied
and air escape when the brakes are released.
>>Check air brake system pressure gauge for signs
of major air loss.
•When you are sure trailer brakes are working, start
engine.
•Make sure air pressure is up to normal.
Step 9. Lock Trailer Brakes
Pull out the “air supply” knob or move the tractor protection valve control from “normal” to “emergency.”
Step 10. Back Under Trailer
•Use lowest reverse gear.
•Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
•Back tractor slowly under trailer to avoid hitting the
kingpin too hard.
•Don’t hit the trailer.
•Stop when the kingpin is locked into the fifth wheel.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
Step 11. Check Connection for Security
•Put on the parking brake.
•Put transmission in neutral.
Step 6. Check Trailer Height
•The trailer should be low enough that it is raised
slightly by the tractor when the tractor is backed under it. Raise or lower the trailer as needed. (If the
trailer is too low, the tractor may strike and damage
the trailer nose; if the trailer is too high, it may not
couple correctly.)
•Raise trailer landing gear slightly off ground.
•Pull tractor gently forward while the trailer brakes are
still locked to check that the trailer is locked onto the
tractor.
Step 12. Secure Vehicle
•Put transmission in neutral.
•Put parking brakes on.
•Check that the kingpin and fifth wheel are aligned.
•Shut off engine and take key with you so someone
else won’t move truck while you are under it.
Step 7. Connect Air Lines to Trailer
Step 13. Inspect Coupling
•Check glad hand seals and connect tractor emergency air line to trailer emergency glad hand.
•Use a flashlight, if necessary.
•Check glad hand seals and connect tractor service
air line to trailer service glad hand.
•Make sure air lines are safely supported where they
won’t be crushed or caught while tractor is backing
under the trailer.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
•Make sure there is no space between upper and
lower fifth wheel. If there is space, something is
wrong (kingpin may be on top of the closed fifth
wheel jaws, and trailer would come loose very easily).
•Go under trailer and look into the back of the fifth
wheel. Make sure the fifth wheel jaws have closed
around the shank of the kingpin.
Page 6-7
Revised 2013
•Check that the locking lever is in the “lock” position.
•Check that the safety latch is in position over locking
lever. (On some fifth wheels the catch must be put in
place by hand.)
•If the coupling isn’t right, don’t drive the coupled unit;
get it fixed.
Step 14. Connect the Electrical Cord and Check
Air Lines
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
against the kingpin. (This will hold rig with pressure
off the locking jaws.)
Step 3. Chock Trailer Wheels
•Chock the trailer wheels if the trailer doesn’t have
spring brakes or if you’re not sure. (The air could leak
out of the trailer air tank, releasing its emergency
brakes. Without chocks, the trailer could move.)
Step 4. Lower the Landing Gear
•Plug the electrical cord into the trailer and fasten the
safety catch.
•If trailer is empty, lower the landing gear until it makes
firm contact with the ground.
•Check both air lines and electrical line for signs of
damage.
•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 sure air and electrical lines will not hit any
moving parts of vehicle.
Step 15. Raise Front Trailer Supports (Landing
Gear)
•Use low gear range (if so equipped) to begin raising
the landing gear. Once free of weight, switch to the
high gear range.
•Raise the landing gear all the way up. (Never drive
with landing gear only part way up as it may catch on
railroad tracks or other things.)
•After raising landing gear, secure the crank handle
safely.
•When full weight of trailer is resting on tractor:
>>Check for enough clearance between rear of tractor frame and landing gear. (When tractor turns
sharply, it must not hit landing gear.)
>>Check that there is enough clearance between the
top of the tractor tires and the nose of the trailer.
>>Make it easier to unlatch fifth wheel.
>>Make it easier to couple next time.
Step 5. Disconnect Air Lines and Electrical Cable
•Disconnect air lines from trailer. Connect air line glad
hands to dummy couplers at back of cab or couple
them together.
•Hang electrical cable with plug down to prevent
moisture from entering it.
•Make sure lines are supported so they won’t be damaged while driving the tractor.
Step 6. Unlock Fifth Wheel
•Raise the release handle lock.
•Pull the release handle to “open” position.
•Keep legs and feet clear of the rear tractor wheels to
avoid serious injury in case the vehicle moves.
Step 16. Remove Trailer Wheel Chocks
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
•Remove and store wheel chocks in a safe place.
•Pull tractor forward until fifth wheel comes out from
under the trailer.
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
The following steps will help you to uncouple safely.
Step 1. Position Rig
•Stop with tractor frame under trailer (prevents trailer
from falling to ground if landing gear should collapse
or sink).
•Make sure surface of parking area can support
weight of trailer.
Step 8. Secure Tractor
•Have tractor lined up with the trailer. (Pulling out at
an angle can damage landing gear.)
•Place transmission in neutral.
Step 2. Ease Pressure on Locking Jaws
•Shut off trailer air supply to lock trailer brakes.
•Ease pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by backing
up gently. (This will help you release the fifth wheel
locking lever.)
•Put parking brakes on while tractor is pushing
Page 6-8
•Apply parking brake.
Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
•Make sure ground is supporting trailer.
•Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
•Release parking brakes.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Check the area and drive tractor forward until it
clears.
Subsections 6.3 and 6.4
Test Your Knowledge
Revised 2013
>>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.
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.
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.
Coupling System Areas
•Check fifth wheel (lower).
Figure 6.8
•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.
Landing Gear
>>Securely mounted to frame.
•Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or otherwise
damaged.
>>No missing or damaged parts.
•Crank handle in place and secured.
>>Enough grease.
•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.
>>Release arm properly seated and safety latch/lock
engaged.
•Check fifth wheel (upper).
>>Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
>>Kingpin not damaged.
•Air and electric lines to trailer.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Do these checks in addition to Section 5.3: Inspecting
Air Brake Systems.
The following section explains how to check air brakes
on combination vehicles. Check the brakes on a
double or triple trailer as you would any combination
vehicle.
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers. Use the tractor
parking brake and/or chock the wheels to hold the vehicle. Wait for air pressure to reach normal, then push
in the red “trailer air supply” knob. This will supply air
Page 6-9
Revised 2013
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.
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the trailer
air brake system and check that the trailer rolls freely.
Page 6-10
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Then stop and pull out the trailer air supply control
(also called tractor protection valve control or trailer
emergency valve), or place it in the “emergency” position. Pull gently on the trailer with the tractor to check
that the trailer emergency brakes are on.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal air
pressure, release the parking brakes, move the vehicle
forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes with the hand
control (trolley valve), if so equipped. You should feel
the brakes come on. This tells you the trailer brakes
are connected and working. (The trailer brakes should
be tested with the hand valve but controlled in normal
operation with the foot pedal, which applies air to the
service brakes at all wheels.)
Subsection 6.5
Test Your Knowledge
1. Which shut-off valves should be open and which
closed?
2. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
3. How can you test the tractor protection valve?
4. How can you test the trailer emergency brakes?
5. How can you test the trailer service brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer all of them, re-read subsection 6.5.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 7
DOUBLES AND TRIPLES
Revised 2013
Make sure you have large enough gaps before entering or crossing traffic. Be certain you are clear at the
sides before changing lanes.
This section covers:
7.1.6 – Adverse Conditions
•Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
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.
•Coupling and Uncoupling
•Inspecting Doubles and Triples
•Checking Air Brakes
This section has information you need to pass the CDL
knowledge test for driving safely with double and triple trailers. It tells about how important it is to be very
careful when driving with more than one trailer, how to
couple and uncouple correctly, and about inspecting
doubles and triples carefully. (You should also study
Sections 2, 5, 6, and 7.)
7.1.7 – Parking the Vehicle
Make sure you do not get in a spot you cannot pull
straight through. You need to be aware of how parking
lots are arranged in order to avoid a long and difficult
escape.
7.1 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
7.1.8 – Antilock Braking Systems on
Converter Dollies
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.
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.
7.1.1 – 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.
7.2 – 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
7.1.2 – Beware of the Crack-the-Whip Effect
Secure Second (Rear) Trailer
Doubles and triples are more likely to turn over than
other combination vehicles because of the “crack-thewhip” 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.
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.
7.1.3 – Inspect Completely
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.
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.
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 tractor-trailer combination forming a double bottom rig. See Figure 7.1.
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.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Page 7-1
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Figure 7.1
gency shut-offs).
Position Converter Dolly in Front of Second
(Rear) Trailer
•Open shut-off valves at rear of first trailer (and on
dolly if so equipped).
Release dolly brakes by opening the air tank petcock.
(Or, if the dolly has spring brakes, use the dolly parking brake control.)
•Raise landing gear completely.
If the distance is not too great, wheel the dolly into position by hand so it is in line with the kingpin.
•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.
Or, use the tractor and first semitrailer to pick up the
converter dolly:
7.2.2 – Uncoupling Twin Trailers
•Position combination as close as possible to converter dolly.
•Park rig in a straight line on firm level ground.
•Move dolly to rear of first semitrailer and couple it to
the trailer.
•Lock pintle hook.
•Secure dolly support in raised position.
•Pull dolly into position as close as possible to nose of
the second semitrailer.
•Lower dolly support.
Uncouple Rear Trailer
•Apply parking brakes so rig won’t move.
•Chock wheels of second trailer if it doesn’t have
spring brakes.
•Lower landing gear of second semitrailer enough to
remove some weight from dolly.
•Close air shut-offs at rear of first semitrailer (and on
dolly if so equipped).
•Unhook dolly from first trailer.
•Disconnect all dolly air and electric lines and secure
them.
•Wheel dolly into position in front of second trailer in
line with the kingpin.
•Release dolly brakes.
Connect Converter Dolly to Front Trailer
•Back first semitrailer into position in front of dolly
tongue.
•Hook dolly to front trailer.
>>Lock pintle hook.
>>Secure converter gear support in raised position.
Connect Converter Dolly to Rear Trailer
•Make sure trailer brakes are locked and/or wheels
chocked.
•Release converter dolly fifth wheel latch.
•Slowly pull tractor, first semitrailer, and dolly forward
to pull dolly out from under rear semitrailer.
Uncouple Converter Dolly
•Lower dolly landing gear.
•Disconnect safety chains.
•Apply converter gear spring brakes or chock wheels.
•Release pintle hook on first semi-trailer.
•Slowly pull clear of dolly.
•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.)
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.
•Back converter dolly under rear trailer.
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple
Trailers
•Raise landing gear slightly off ground to prevent
damage if trailer moves.
•Test coupling by pulling against pin of the second
semitrailer.
•Make visual check of coupling. (No space between
upper and lower fifth wheel. Locking jaws closed on
kingpin.)
•Connect safety chains, air hoses, and light cords.
•Close converter dolly air tank petcock and shut-off
valves at rear of second trailer (service and emerPage 7-2
Couple Tractor/First Semitrailer to Second/Third
Trailers
•Couple tractor to first trailer. Use the method already
described for coupling tractor-semitrailers.
•Move converter dolly into position and couple first
trailer to second trailer using the method for coupling
doubles. Triples rig is now complete.
Uncouple Triple-Trailer Rig
•Uncouple third trailer by pulling the dolly out, then
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
unhitching the dolly using the method for uncoupling
doubles.
•Uncouple remainder of rig as you would any doublebottom rig using the method already described.
7.2.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling Other
Combinations
Revised 2013
•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.
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.
Landing Gear
7.3 – Inspecting Doubles and Triples
•If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
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.
Double and Triple Trailers
7.3.1 – Additional Checks
•Be sure air lines are supported and glad hands are
properly connected.
Do these checks in addition to those already listed in
Section 2, Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection.
Coupling System Areas
•Check fifth wheel (lower).
•Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or otherwise
damaged.
•Crank handle in place and secured.
•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.
•If spare tire is carried on converter gear (dolly), make
sure it’s secured.
•Be sure pintle-eye of dolly is in place in pintle hook
of trailer(s).
>>Securely mounted to frame.
•Make sure pintle hook is latched.
>>No missing or damaged parts.
•Safety chains should be secured to trailer(s).
>>Enough grease.
•Be sure light cords are firmly in sockets on trailers.
>>No visible space between upper and lower fifth
wheel.
7.3.2 – Additional Things to Check During a
Walkaround Inspection
>>Locking jaws around the shank, not the head of
kingpin.
>>Release arm properly seated and safety latch/lock
engaged.
•Check fifth wheel (upper).
>>Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
>>Kingpin not damaged.
•Air and electric lines to trailer.
>>Electrical cord firmly plugged in and secured.
>>Air lines properly connected to glad hands, no
air leaks, properly secured with enough slack for
turns.
>>All lines free from damage.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Do these checks in addition to subsection 5.3, Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
7.4 – Doubles/Triples Air Brake Check
Check the brakes on a double or triple trailer as you
would any combination vehicle. Subsection 6.5.2 explains how to check air brakes on combination vehicles. You must also make the following checks on your
double or triple trailers.
7.4.1 – Additional Air Brake Checks
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers (Double and
Triple Trailers). Use the tractor parking brake and/
or chock the wheels to hold the vehicle. Wait for air
pressure to reach normal, then push in the red “trailer
air supply” knob. This will supply air to the emergency
Page 7-3
Revised 2013
(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 shutoff 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.
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
Page 7-4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
pressure, release the parking brakes, move the vehicle
forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes with the hand
control (trolley valve), if so equipped. You should feel
the brakes come on. This tells you the trailer brakes
are connected and working. (The trailer brakes should
be tested with the hand valve, but controlled in normal
operation with the foot pedal, which applies air to the
service brakes at all wheels.)
Section 7
Test Your Knowledge
1. What is a converter dolly?
2. Do converter dollies have spring brakes?
3. What three methods can you use to secure a second trailer before coupling?
4. How do you check to make sure trailer height is
correct before coupling?
5. What do you check when making a visual check
of coupling?
6. Why should you pull a dolly out from under a trailer
before you disconnect it from the trailer in front?
7. What should you check for when inspecting the
converter dolly? The pintle hook?
8. Should the shut-off valves on the rear of the last
trailer be open or closed? On the first trailer in a
set of doubles? On the middle trailer of a set of
triples?
9. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
10. How do you know if your converter dolly is
equipped with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read Section 7.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 8
TANK VEHICLES
Revised 2013
•Check manhole covers and vents. Make sure the
covers have gaskets and they close correctly. Keep
the vents clear so they work correctly.
This section covers:
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose Equipment
•Inspecting Tank Vehicles
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment,
make sure it works:
•Driving Tank Vehicles
•Safe Driving Rules
This section has information needed to pass the CDL
knowledge test for driving a tank vehicle. (You should
also study Sections 2, 5, 6, 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 to
operate a commercial motor vehicle that is designed to
transport any liquid or gaseous material within a tank
or tanks having an individual rated capacity of more
than 119 gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of
1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. A commercial motor vehicle transporting an empty storage
container tank, not designed for transportation, with
a rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is temporarily attached to a flatbed trailer is not considered
a tank vehicle. In summary, if you are hauling multiple
tanks each rated more than 119 gallons or more AND
the combined volume of those tanks is 1,000 gallons
or more, you need a tank endorsement. If you are only
hauling one tank and that one tank is 1,000 gallon capacity or more, you need a tank endorsement.
•Vapor recovery kits.
•Grounding and bonding cables.
•Emergency shut-off systems.
•Built in fire extinguisher.
Never drive a tank vehicle with open valves or manhole covers.
8.1.3 – Special Equipment
Check the emergency equipment required for your vehicle. Find out what equipment you’re required to carry
and make sure you have it (and it works).
8.2 – Driving Tank Vehicles
Hauling liquids in tanks requires special skills because
of the high center of gravity and liquid movement. See
Figure 8.1.
Before loading, unloading, or driving a tanker, inspect
the vehicle. This makes sure that the vehicle is safe to
carry the liquid or gas and is safe to drive.
8.1 – Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Tank vehicles have special items that you need to
check. Tank vehicles come in many types and sizes.
You need to check the vehicle’s operator manual to
make sure you know how to inspect your tank vehicle.
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:
•Check the tank’s body or shell for dents or leaks.
•Check the intake, discharge, and cut-off valves.
Make sure the valves are in the correct position before loading, unloading, or moving the vehicle.
•Check pipes, connections, and hoses for leaks, especially around joints.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
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
Revised 2013
8.2.3 – Bulkheads
Some liquid tanks are divided into several smaller
tanks by bulkheads. When loading and unloading the
smaller tanks, the driver must pay attention to weight
distribution. Don’t put too much weight on the front or
rear of the vehicle.
8.2.4 – Baffled Tanks
Baffled liquid tanks have bulkheads in them with holes
that let the liquid flow through. The baffles help to control the forward and backward liquid surge. Side-toside surge can still occur. This can cause a roll over.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your following distance.
If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash, use
controlled or stab braking. If you do not remember
how to stop using these methods, review subsection
2.17.2. Also, remember that if you steer quickly while
braking, your vehicle may roll over.
8.3.3 – Curves
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly
though the curve. The posted speed for a curve may
be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.2.5 – Un-Baffled Tanks
8.3.4 – Stopping Distance
Un-baffled liquid tankers (sometimes called “smooth
bore” tanks) have nothing inside to slow down the
flow of the liquid. Therefore, forward-and-back surge
is very strong. Un-baffled tanks are usually those that
transport food products (milk, for example). (Sanitation regulations forbid the use of baffles because of
the difficulty in cleaning the inside of the tank.) Be extremely cautious (slow and careful) in driving smooth
bore tanks, especially when starting and stopping.
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.
8.2.6 – 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:
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?
•The amount the liquid will expand in transit.
4. What three things determine how much liquid you
can load?
•The weight of the liquid.
5. What is outage?
•Legal weight limits.
6. How can you help control surge?
8.3 – Safe Driving Rules
7. What two reasons make special care necessary
when driving tank vehicles?
In order to drive tank vehicles safely, you must remember to follow all the safe driving rules. A few of these
rules are:
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read Section 8.
8.3.1 – Drive Smoothly
Because of the high center of gravity and the surge
of the liquid, you must start, slow down, and stop very
smoothly. Also, make smooth turns and lane changes.
8.3.2 – Controlling Surge
Keep a steady pressure on the brakes. Do not release
too soon when coming to a stop.
Page 8-2
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 9
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
This section covers:
•The Intent of the Regulations
•Bulk Tank Loading, Unloading, and
Marking
•Driver Responsibilities
•Driving and Parking Rules
•Communications Rules
•Emergencies
•Loading and Unloading
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation. The
term often is shortened to HAZMAT, which you may
see on road signs, or to HM in government regulations. Hazardous materials include explosives, various types of gas, solids, flammable and combustible
liquid, and other materials. Because of the risks involved and the potential consequences these risks
impose, all levels of government regulate the handling
of hazardous materials.
The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is found
in parts 100-185 of title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The common reference for these regulations
is 49 CFR 100-185.
The Hazardous Materials Table in 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 must pass a written
test about the regulations and requirements to get this
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Revised 2013
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 drivers how to load,
transport, and unload the material. These are called
”containment rules.”
Page 9-1
Revised 2013
9.1.2 – Communicate the Risk
To communicate the risk, shippers must warn drivers
and others about the material’s hazards. The regulations require shippers to put hazard warning labels
on packages, provide proper shipping papers, emergency response information, and placards. These
steps communicate the hazard to the shipper, the carrier, and the driver.
9.1.3 – Assure Safe Drivers and Equipment
In order to get a hazardous materials endorsement on
a CDL, you must pass a written test about transporting
hazardous materials. To pass the test, you must know
how to:
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
been prepared according to the rules (unless you
are pulling cargo tanks supplied by you or your employer).
9.2.2 – The Carrier
•Takes the shipment from the shipper to its destination.
•Prior to transportation, checks that the shipper correctly described, marked, labeled, and otherwise
prepared the shipment for transportation.
•Refuses improper shipments.
•Reports accidents and incidents involving hazardous
materials to the proper government agency.
•Identify what are hazardous materials.
9.2.3 – The Driver
•Safely load shipments.
•Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked, and
labeled the hazardous materials properly.
•Properly placard your vehicle in accordance with the
rules.
•Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
•Safely transport shipments.
•Placards his vehicle when loading, if required.
Learn the rules and follow them. Following the rules
reduces the risk of injury from hazardous materials.
Taking shortcuts by breaking rules is unsafe. Noncompliance with regulations can result in fines and jail.
•Safely transports the shipment without delay.
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
•Sends products from one place to another by truck,
rail, vessel, or airplane.
•Uses the hazardous materials regulations to determine the product’s:
•Proper shipping name.
•Hazard class.
•Identification number.
•Packing group.
•Follows all special rules about transporting hazardous materials.
•Keeps hazardous materials shipping papers and
emergency response information in the proper place.
9.3 – Communication Rules
9.3.1 – Definitions
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.
•Correct packaging.
•Correct label and markings.
•Correct placards.
•Must package, mark, and label the materials; prepare shipping papers; provide emergency response
information; and supply placards.
•Certify on the shipping paper that the shipment has
Page 9-2
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Hazardous Materials Class
Division
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
Mass Explosion
Projection Hazard
Fire Hazard
Very Insensitive
Extremely Insensitive
Dynamite
Flares
Display Fireworks
Ammunition
Blasting Agents
Explosive Devices
2.1
2.2
Flammable Gases
Nonflammable Gases
Poisonous/Toxic Gases
Propane
Helium
Flammable Liquids
Gasoline
Flammable Solids
Spontaneously
Combustible
Spontaneously
Dangerous When Wet
Ammonium Picrate
Wetted
White Phosphorus
Sodium
5.1
5.2
Oxidizers
Organic Peroxides
Ammonium Nitrate
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Peroxide
6
6.1
6.2
Poison (Toxic Material)
Infection Substances
Potassium Cyanide
Anthrax Virus
7
-
Radioactive
Uranium
8
-
Corrosives
Battery Fluid
-
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCB)
-
ORM-D (Other
Regulated Material Domestic)
Food Flavorings
Medicines
-
Combustible Liquids
Fuel Oil
Class
Name of Class or
Division
1
2
2.3
3
4
5
9
4.1
4.2
4.3
Examples
>>On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
9.3.2 – Package Labels
Shippers put diamond-shaped hazard warning labels
on most hazardous materials packages. These labels
inform others of the hazard. If the diamond label won’t
fit on the package, shippers may put the label on a
tag securely attached to the package. For example,
compressed gas cylinders that will not hold a label will
have tags or decals. Labels look like the examples in
Figure 9.2.
Fluorine, Compresses
Figure 9.1
After an accident or hazardous materials spill or leak,
you may be injured and unable to communicate the
hazards of the materials you are transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce the amount
of damage or injury at the scene if they know what
hazardous materials are being carried. Your life, and
the lives of others, may depend on quickly locating the
hazardous materials shipping papers. For that reason
the rules require:
•Shippers to describe hazardous materials correctly
and include an emergency response telephone number on shipping papers.
•Carriers and drivers to quickly identify hazardous materials shipping papers, or keep them on top of other
shipping papers and keep the required emergency
response information with the shipping papers.
•Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping papers:
>>In a pouch on the driver’s door, or
>>In clear view within immediate reach while the
seat belt is fastened while driving, or
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Revised 2013
Figure 9.2
9.3.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards. Placards are used to warn others of hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the outside
of a vehicle and on bulk packages, which identify the
hazard class of the cargo. A placarded vehicle must
have at least four identical placards. They are put
on the front, rear, and both sides of the vehicle. See
Figure 9.3. Placards must be readable from all four
directions. They are at least 10 3/4 inches square,
square-on-point, in a diamond shape. Cargo tanks
and other bulk packaging display the identification
number of their contents on placards or orange panels
or white square-on-point 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 States Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response
Guidebook (ERG) lists the chemicals and the identification numbers assigned to them.
States Department of Transportation’s Emergency
Response Guidebook (ERG) lists the chemicals and
Page 9-3
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
(D)Means the proper shipping name is appropriate
for describing materials for domestic transportation, but may not be proper for international transportation.
(I) Identifies a proper shipping name that is used to
describe materials in international transportation.
A different shipping name may be used when only
domestic transportation is involved.
(G)Means this hazardous material described in Column 2 is a generic shipping name. A generic shipping name must be accompanied by a technical
name on the shipping paper. A technical name is a
specific chemical that makes the product hazardous.
Examples of HAZMAT Placards.
Figure 9.3
the identification numbers assigned to them.
There are three main lists used by shippers, carriers,
and drivers when trying to identify hazardous materials. Before transporting a material, look for its name
on three lists. Some materials are on all lists, others
on only one. Always check the following lists:
•Section 172.101, the Hazardous Materials Table.
•Appendix A to Section 172.101, the List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities.
•Appendix B to Section 172.101, the List of Marine
Pollutants.
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.
(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.
Page 9-4
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:
•Material’s hazard class.
•Amount being shipped.
•Amount of all hazardous materials of all classes on
your vehicle.
Column 4 lists the identification number for each
proper shipping name. Identification numbers are preceded by the letters “UN” or “NA.” The letters “NA”
are associated with proper shipping names that are
only used within the United States and to and from
Canada. The identification number must appear on
the shipping paper as part of the shipping description
and also appear on the package. It also must appear
on cargo tanks and other bulk packaging. Police and
firefighters use this number to quickly identify the hazardous materials.
Column 5 shows the packing group (in Roman numeral) assigned to a material.
Column 6 shows the hazard warning label(s) shippers
must put on packages of hazardous materials. Some
products require use of more than one label due to a
dual hazard being present.
Column 7 lists the additional (special) provisions that
apply to this material. When there is an entry in this
column, you must refer to the federal regulations for
specific information. The numbers 1-6 in this column
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table
Symbols
Hazardous Materials
Description and Proper
Shipping Names
Hazard
Class or
Division
Identification
Numbers
(1)
(2)
(3)
A
Acetaidehyde
ammonia
9
Packaging (173.***
PG
Label
Codes
Special
Provisions
(172.102)
Exceptions
Non
Bulk
Bulk
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8A)
(8B)
(8C)
UN1841
III
9
IB8, IP6
155
204
240
Figure 9.4
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172
List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities
Hazardous Substances
Reportable Quantity (RQ) Pounds
(Kilograms)
Phenyl mercaplan @
100 (45.4)
Phenylmercury acetate
100 (45.4)
N-Phenylthiourea
100 (45.4)
Phorate
10 (4.54)
Phosgene
10 (4.54)
Phosphoric acid
5,000 (2270)
Phosphoric acid, diethyl
4-nitrophenyl ester
100 (45.4)
Phosphoric aciad, lead salt
10 (4.54)
*Spills of 10 pounds or more must be reported.
Figure 9.5
mean the hazardous material is a poison inhalation
hazard (PIH). PIH materials have special requirements for shipping papers, marking, and placards.
Column 8 is a three-part column showing the section
numbers covering the packaging requirements for
each hazardous material.
Note: Columns 9 and 10 do not apply to transportation
by highway.
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172.101 - The List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities. The
DOT and the EPA want to know about spills of hazardous substances. They are named in the List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities. See
Figure 9.5. Column 3 of the list shows each product’s
reportable quantity (RQ). When these materials are
being transported in a reportable quantity or greater in
one package, the shipper displays the letters RQ on
the shipping paper and package. The letters RQ may
appear before or after the basic description. You or
your employer must report any spill of these materials,
which occurs in a reportable quantity.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD appear on the
shipping paper or package, the rules require display
of the POISON INHALATION HAZARD or POISON
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
GAS placards, as appropriate. These placards must
be used in addition to other placards, which may be
required by the product’s hazard class. Always display
the hazard class placard and the POISON INHALATION HAZARD placard, even for small amounts.
Appendix B to 49 CFR 172.101 - List of Marine
Pollutants
Appendix B is a listing of chemicals that are toxic to
marine life. For highway transportation, this list is only
used for chemicals in a container with a capacity of
119 gallons or more without a placard or label as specified by the HMR.
Any bulk packages of a Marine Pollutant must display
the Marine Pollutant marking (white triangle with a fish
and an “X” through the fish). This marking (it is not a
placard) must also be displayed on the outside of the
vehicle. In addition, a notation must be made on the
shipping papers near the description of the material:
“Marine Pollutant”.
9.3.4 – The Shipping Paper
The shipping paper shown in Figure 9.6 describes a
shipment. A shipping paper for hazardous materials
must include:
Page 9-5
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Shipping Paper
TO:
ABC
Corporation
88 Valley
Street
Anywhere,
VA
Quanity
1
HM
RQ
(“RQ”
means that
this is a
reportable
quantity.)
DEF
Corporation
55 Mountain
Street,
Nowhere,
CO
From:
Description
Phosgene, 2.3,
UN1076
Poison, Inhalation Hazard,
Zone A
Page
1 of 1
•The total quantity and unit of measure.
•The letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
Weight
25 lbs
(Phosgene is the proper
shipping name from
Column 2 of the Hazardous
Materials Table.) (2.3 is
the Hazard Class from
Column 3 of the Hazardous
Materials Table.) (Un1076
is the Identification Number
from Column 4 of the
Hazardous Materials
Table.)
DEF
Corporation
Smith
October 15,
2003
Carrier:
Per:
Date:
•If the letters RQ appear, the name of the hazardous
substance.
•For all materials with the letter “G” (Generic) in Column 1, the technical name of the hazardous material.
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 fo the United States
Department of Transportation.
Shipper:
Per:
Date:
ber must not be abbreviated unless specifically authorized in the hazardous materials regulations. The
description must also show:
Safety
First
Special Instructions: 24-hour Emergency Contact:
John Smith 1-800-555-5555
Figure 9.6
•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.”
•A proper shipping description for each hazardous
material.
•A shipper’s certification, signed by the shipper, saying they prepared the shipment according to the
regulations.
9.3.5 – The Item Description
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and nonhazardous products, the hazardous materials will be
either:
•Described first.
•Highlighted in a contrasting color.
Shipping papers also must list an emergency response telephone number. The emergency response
telephone number is the responsibility of the shipper.
It can be used by emergency responders to obtain information about any hazardous materials involved in a
spill or fire. Some hazardous materials do not need a
telephone number. You should check the regulations
to determine which do need a telephone number.
Shippers also must provide emergency response information to the motor carrier for each hazardous
material being shipped. The emergency response
information must be able to be used away from the
motor vehicle and must provide information on how to
safely handle incidents involving the material. It must
include information on the shipping name of the hazardous materials, risks to health, fire, explosion, and
initial methods of handling spills, fires, and leaks of the
materials.
Such information can be on the shipping paper or
some other document that includes the basic description and technical name of the hazardous 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.
•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 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:
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”.
Waste Acetone, 3, UN1090, PG II.
Shipping name, hazard class, and identification numPage 9-6
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/
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
she certifies that the package has been prepared according to the rules. The signed shipper’s certification
appears on the original shipping paper. The only exceptions are when a shipper is a private carrier transporting their own product and when the package is
provided by the carrier (for example, a cargo tank).
Unless a package is clearly unsafe or does not comply with the HMR, you may accept the shipper’s certification concerning proper packaging. Some carriers
have additional rules about transporting hazardous
materials. Follow your employer’s rules when accepting shipments.
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
Shippers print required markings directly on the package, an attached label, or tag. An important package
marking is the name of the hazardous 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:
•The name and address of shipper or consignee.
•The hazardous material’s shipping name and identification number.
•The labels required.
It is a good idea to compare the shipping paper to the
markings and labels. Always make sure that the shipper shows the correct basic description on the shipping
paper and verifies that the proper labels are shown on
the packages. If you are not familiar with the material,
ask the shipper to contact your office.
If rules require it, the shipper will put RQ, MARINE
POLLUTANT, BIOHAZARD, HOT, or INHALATIONHAZARD on the package. Packages with liquid containers inside will also have package orientation
markings with the arrows pointing in the correct upright direction. The labels used always reflect the hazard class of the product. If a package needs more than
one label, the labels must be close together, near the
proper shipping name.
9.3.8 – Recognizing Hazardous Materials
Learn to recognize shipments of hazardous materials.
To find out if the shipment includes hazardous materials, look at the shipping paper. Does it have:
Revised 2013
tions, or fireworks dealer?
•Are there tanks with diamond labels or placards on
the premises?
•What type of package is being shipped? Cylinders
and drums are often used for hazardous materials
shipments.
•Is a hazard class label, proper shipping name, or
identification number on the package?
•Are there any handling precautions?
9.3.9 – Hazardous Waste Manifest
When transporting hazardous wastes, you must sign
by hand and carry a Uniform Hazardous Waste Manifest. The name and EPA registration number of the
shippers, carriers, and destination must appear on
the manifest. Shippers must prepare, date, and sign
by hand the manifest. Treat the manifest as a shipping paper when transporting the waste. Only give the
waste shipment to another registered carrier or disposal/treatment facility. Each carrier transporting the
shipment must sign by hand the manifest. After you
deliver the shipment, keep your copy of the manifest.
Each copy must have all needed signatures and dates,
including those of the person to whom you delivered
the waste.
9.3.10 – Placarding
Attach the appropriate placards to the vehicle before
you drive it. You are only allowed to move an improperly placarded vehicle during an emergency, in order
to protect life or property.
Placards must appear on both sides and both ends of
the vehicle. Each placard must be:
•Easily seen from the direction it faces.
•Placed so the words or numbers are level and read
from left to right.
•At least three inches away from any other markings.
•Kept clear of attachments or devices such as ladders, doors, and tarpaulins.
•Kept clean and undamaged so that the color, format,
and message are easily seen.
•Be affixed to a background of contrasting color.
•An entry with a proper shipping name, hazard class,
and identification number?
•The use of “Drive Safely” and other slogans is prohibited.
•A highlighted entry, or one with an X or RQ in the
hazardous materials column?
•The front placard may be on the front of the tractor or
the front of the trailer.
Other clues suggesting hazardous materials:
To decide which placards to use, you need to know:
•What business is the shipper in? Paint dealer?
Chemical supply? Scientific supply house? Pest
control or agricultural supplier? Explosives, muni-
•The hazard class of the materials.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
•The amount of hazardous materials shipped.
Page 9-7
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•The total weight of all classes of hazardous materials
in your vehicle.
Placard Table 2
1,001 Pounds or More
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.
Placard Table 1
Any Amount
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
IF YOUR VEHICLE
CONTAINS ANY AMOUNT
OF...
PLACARD AS...
1.1 Mass Explosives
Explosives 1.1
1.2 Project Hazards
Explosives 1.2
1.3 Mass Fire Hazards
Explosives 1.3
Poison Gas
6.1 (other than inhalation
hazard zone A or B)
Poison
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic Gases
4.3 Dangerous When Wet
Dangerous When Wet
6.2 Infectious Substances
(None)
5.2 (Organic Peroxide, Type
B, liquid or solid, Temperature
controlled)
Organic Peroxide
8 Corrosives
Corrosive
9 Miscellaneous Hazardous
Materials
Class 9**
6.1 (Inhalation hazard zone
A & B only)
Poison/Toxic Inhalation
ORM-D
(None)
7 (Radioactive Yellow III
label only)
Radioactive
* 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 9.7
You may use DANGEROUS placards instead of separate placards for each Table 2 hazard class when:
•You have 1,001 pounds or more of two or more Table
2 hazard classes, requiring different placards, and
•You have not loaded 2,205 pounds or more of any
Table 2 hazard class material at any one place. (You
must use the specific placard for this material.)
•The dangerous placard is an option, not a requirement. You can always placard for the materials.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD are on the shipping paper or package, you must display POISON
GAS or POISON INHALATION placards in addition
to any other placards needed by the product’s hazard
class. The 1,000 pound exception does not apply to
these materials.
Materials with a secondary hazard of dangerous when
wet must display the DANGEROUS WHEN WET placard in addition to any other placards needed by the
product’s hazard class. The 1,000-pound exception to
placarding does not apply to these materials.
Figure 9.8
Placards used to identify the primary or subsidiary
hazard class of a material must have the hazard class
or division number displayed in the lower corner of the
placard. Permanently affixed subsidiary hazard placards without the hazard class number may be used as
long as they stay within color specifications.
Placards may be displayed for hazardous materials
even if not required so long as the placard identifies
the hazard of the material being transported.
Bulk packaging is a single container with a capacity
of 119 gallons or more. A bulk package, and a vehicle
transporting a bulk package, must be placarded, even
if it only has the residue of a hazardous material. Certain bulk packages only have to be placarded on the
two opposite sides or may display labels. All other bulk
packages must be placarded on all four sides.
Subsections 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3
Test Your Knowledge
1. Shippers package in order to (fill in the blank) the
material.
2. Driver placard their vehicle to (fill in the blank) the risk.
Page 9-8
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
3. What three things do you need to know to decide
which placards (if any) you need?
Cargo Heater Rules. There are special cargo heater
rules for loading:
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.
•Class 1 (Explosives)
5. Where must you keep shipping papers describing
hazardous materials?
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.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3.
•Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
•Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have overhang or tailgate loads of:
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
•Class 1 (Explosives)
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.
•Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
9.4.1 – General Loading Requirements
Before loading or unloading, set the parking brake.
Make sure the vehicle will not move.
Many products become more hazardous when exposed to heat. Load hazardous materials away from
heat sources.
Watch for signs of leaking or damaged containers:
LEAKS SPELL TROUBLE! Do not transport leaking
packages. Depending on the material, you, your truck,
and others could be in danger. It is illegal to move a
vehicle with leaking hazardous materials.
Containers of hazardous materials must be braced
to prevent movement of the packages during
transportation.
No Smoking. When loading or unloading hazardous materials, keep fire away. Don’t let people smoke
nearby. Never smoke around:
•Class 1 (Explosives)
•Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
•Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
•Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
•Class 5 (Oxidizers)
Secure Against Movement. Brace containers so they
will not fall, slide, or bounce around during transportation. Be very careful when loading containers that
have valves or other fittings. All hazardous materials
packages must be secured during transportation.
After loading, do not open any package during your
trip. Never transfer hazardous materials from one
package to another while in transit. You may empty a
cargo tank, but do not empty any other package while
it is on the vehicle.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
•Class 5 (Oxidizers)
You must load these hazardous materials into a closed
cargo space unless all packages are:
•Fire and water resistant.
•Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
Precautions for Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives) Materials. Turn your engine
off before loading or unloading any explosives. Then
check the cargo space. You must:
•Disable cargo heaters. Disconnect heater power
sources and drain heater fuel tanks.
•Make sure there are no sharp points that might damage cargo. Look for bolts, screws, nails, broken side
panels, and broken floorboards.
•Use a floor lining with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3. The
floors must be tight and the liner must be either nonmetallic material or non-ferrous metal.
Use extra care to protect explosives. Never use hooks
or other metal tools. Never drop, throw, or roll packages. Protect explosive packages from other cargo
that might cause damage.
Do not transfer a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 from one
vehicle to another on a public roadway except in an
emergency. If safety requires an emergency transfer,
set out red warning reflectors, flags, or electric lanterns. You must warn others on the road.
Never transport damaged packages of explosives. Do
not take a package that shows any dampness or oily
stain.
Do not transport Division 1.1 or 1.2 Explosives in vehicle combinations if:
•There is a marked or placarded cargo tank in the
combination.
•The other vehicle in the combination contains:
Page 9-9
Revised 2013
>>Division 1.1 A (Initiating Explosives).
>>Packages of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials labeled “Yellow III.”
>>Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division 6.1 (Poisonous) materials.
>>Hazardous materials in a portable tank, on a DOT
Spec 106A or 110A tank.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5 (Oxidizers) Materials. Class 4 materials are solids that react
(including fire and explosion) to water, heat, and air or
even react spontaneously.
Class 4 and 5 materials must be completely enclosed
in a vehicle or covered securely. Class 4 and 5 materials, which become unstable and dangerous when wet,
must be kept dry while in transit and during loading
and unloading. Materials that are subject to spontaneous combustion or heating must be in vehicles with
sufficient ventilation.
Class 8 (Corrosive) Materials. If loading by hand,
load breakable containers of corrosive liquid one by
one. Keep them right side up. Do not drop or roll the
containers. Load them onto an even floor surface.
Stack carboys only if the lower tiers can bear the
weight of the upper tiers safely.
Do not load nitric acid above any other product.
Load charged storage batteries so their liquid won’t
spill. Keep them right side up. Make sure other cargo
won’t fall against or short circuit them.
Never load corrosive liquids next to or above:
•Division 1.4 (Explosives C).
•Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids).
•Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet).
•Class 5 (Oxidizers).
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•In racks attached to the vehicle or in boxes that will
keep them from turning over.
Cylinders may be loaded in a horizontal position (lying
down) if it is designed so the relief valve is in the vapor
space.
Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division 6.1 (Poisonous) Materials. Never transport these materials in
containers with interconnections. Never load a package labeled POISON or POISON INHALATION HAZARD in the driver’s cab or sleeper or with food material
for human or animal consumption. There are special
rules for loading and unloading Class 2 materials in
cargo tanks. You must have special training to do this.
Class 7 (Radioactive) Materials. Some packages of
Class 7 (Radioactive) materials bear a number called
the “transport index.” The shipper labels these packages Radioactive II or Radioactive III, and prints the
package’s transport index on the label. Radiation surrounds each package, passing through all nearby
packages. To deal with this problem, the number of
packages you can load together is controlled. Their
closeness to people, animals, and unexposed film is
also controlled. The transport index tells the degree of
control needed during transportation. The total transport index of all packages in a single vehicle must
not exceed 50. Table A to this section shows rules for
each transport index. It shows how close you can load
Class 7 (Radioactive) materials to people, animals,
or film. For example, you can’t leave a package with
a transport index of 1.1 within two feet of people or
cargo space walls.
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.
•Division 2.3, Zone B (Poisonous Gases).
Never load corrosive liquids with:
•Division 1.1 or 1.2 (Explosives A).
•Division 1.2 or 1.3 (Explosives B).
•Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents).
•Division 2.3, Zone A (Poisonous Gases).
•Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible Materials).
•Division 6.1, PGI, Zone A (Poison Liquids).
Class 2 (Compressed Gases) Including Cryogenic
Liquids. If your vehicle doesn’t have racks to hold cylinders, the cargo space floor must be flat. The cylinders must be:
•Held upright.
Page 9-10
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Do Not Load Table
Do Not Load
In the Same Vehicle with
Revised 2013
9.5 – Bulk Packaging Marking, Loading and
Unloading
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents),
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.
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases),
Class 4 (Flammable Solids).
9.5.1 – Markings
Charged storage batteries.
Division 1.1.
Class 1 (Detonating
primers).
Any other explosives unless in
authorized containers or packages.
Division 6.1 (Cyanides or
cyanide mixtures).
Acids, corrosive materials, or
other acidic materials which could
release hydrocyanic acid .
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.
Division 6.1 or 2.3
(POISON or poison
inhalation hazard labeled
material).
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 2.3 (Poisonous)
gas Zone A or Division
6.1 (Poison) liquids, PGI,
Zone A.
Division 5.1 (Oxidizers), Class
3 (Flammable Liquids), Class 8
(Corrosive Liquids), Division 5.2
(Organic Peroxides),
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Explosives,
For Example:
Cyanides, Inorganic, n.o.s.
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Cyanide.
Nitric acid (Class 8).
Other materials unless the nitric
acid is not loaded above any other
material.
Figure 9.9
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.
Portable tanks must also show the lessee or owner’s
name. They must also display the shipping name of
the contents on two opposing sides. The letters of
the shipping name must be at least two inches tall on
portable tanks with capacities of more than 1,000 gallons and one-inch tall on portable tanks with capacities
of less than 1,000 gallons. The identification number
must appear on each side and each end of a portable
tank or other bulk packaging that hold 1,000 gallons or
more and on two opposing sides, if the portable tank
holds less than 1,000 gallons. The identification numbers must still be visible when the portable tank is on
the motor vehicle. If they are not visible, you must display the identification number on both sides and ends
of the motor vehicle.
Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are bulk packages, but are not required to have the owner’s name
or shipping name.
9.5.2 – Tank Loading
The person in charge of loading and unloading a cargo
tank must be sure a qualified person is always watching.
This person watching the loading or unloading must:
•Be alert.
•Have a clear view of the cargo tank.
•Be within 25 feet of the tank.
•Know of the hazards of the materials involved.
•Know the procedures to follow in an emergency.
•Be authorized to move the cargo tank and able to
do so.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-11
Revised 2013
There are special attendance rules for cargo tanks
transporting propane and anhydrous ammonia.
Close all manholes and valves before moving a tank of
hazardous materials, no matter how small the amount
in the tank or how short the distance. Manholes and
valves must be closed to prevent leaks. It is illegal to
move a cargo tank with open valves or covers unless
it is empty according to 49 CFR 173.29.
9.5.3 – Flammable Liquids
Turn off your engine before loading or unloading any
flammable liquids. Only run the engine if needed to
operate a pump. Ground a cargo tank correctly before filling it through an open filling hole. Ground the
tank before opening the filling hole, and maintain the
ground until after closing the filling hole.
9.5.4 – Compressed Gas
Keep liquid discharge valves on a compressed gas
tank closed except when loading and unloading. Unless your engine runs a pump for product transfer, turn
it off when loading or unloading. If you use the engine,
turn it off after product transfer, before you unhook
the hose. Unhook all loading/unloading connections
before coupling, uncoupling, or moving a cargo tank.
Always chock trailers and semi-trailers to prevent motion when uncoupled from the power unit.
Subsection 9.5
Test Your Knowledge
1. What are cargo tanks?
2. How is a portable tank different from a cargo tank?
3. Your engine runs a pump used during delivery of
compressed gas. Should you turn off the engine
before or after unhooking hoses after delivery?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsection 9.5.
9.6 – Hazardous Materials—Driving and
Parking Rules
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
Explosives
Never park with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives
within five feet of the traveled part of the road. Except
for short periods of time needed for vehicle operation
necessities (e.g., fueling), do not park within 300 feet of:
•A bridge, tunnel, or building.
•A place where people gather.
•An open fire.
Page 9-12
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
If you must park to do your job, do so only briefly.
Don’t park on private property unless the owner is
aware of the danger. Someone must always watch the
parked vehicle. You may let someone else watch it for
you only if your vehicle is:
•On the shipper’s property.
•On the carrier’s property.
•On the consignee’s property.
You are allowed to leave your vehicle unattended in
a safe haven. A safe haven is an approved place for
parking unattended vehicles loaded with explosives.
Designation of authorized safe havens is usually made
by local authorities.
9.6.2 – Parking a Placarded Vehicle Not
Transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (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:
•Be in the vehicle, awake, and not in the sleeper
berth, or within 100 feet of the vehicle and have it
within clear view.
•Be aware of the hazards of the materials being transported.
•Know what to do in emergencies.
•Be able to move the vehicle, if needed.
9.6.4 – No Flares!
You might break down and have to use stopped vehicle
signals. Use reflective triangles or red electric lights.
Never use burning signals, such as flares or fuses,
around a:
•Tank used for Class 3 (Flammable Liquids) or Division 2.1 (Flammable Gas) whether loaded or empty.
•Vehicle loaded with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 Explosives.
9.6.5 – Route Restrictions
Some states and counties require permits to transport
hazardous materials or wastes. They may limit the
routes you can use. Local rules about routes and permits change often. It is your job as driver to find out if
you need permits or must use special routes. Make
sure you have all needed papers before starting.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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 cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of any vehicle, which
contains:
•Class 1 (Explosives)
•Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases)
•Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
•Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids)
•Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible)
•Class 5 (Oxidizers)
9.6.7 – Refuel with Engine Off
Revised 2013
time you stop. The only acceptable way to check tire
pressure is to use a tire pressure gauge.
Do not drive with a tire that is leaking or flat except
to the nearest safe place to fix it. Remove any overheated tire. Place it a safe distance from your vehicle.
Don’t drive until you correct the cause of the overheating. Remember to follow the rules about parking and
attending placarded vehicles. They apply even when
checking, repairing, or replacing tires.
9.6.10 – Where to Keep Shipping Papers
and Emergency Response Information
Do not accept a hazardous materials shipment without
a properly prepared shipping paper. A shipping paper
for hazardous materials must always be easily recognized. Other people must be able to find it quickly after
a crash.
•Clearly distinguish hazardous materials shipping papers from others by tabbing them or keeping them on
top of the stack of papers.
•When you are behind the wheel, keep shipping papers within your reach (with your seat belt on), or in a
pouch on the driver’s door. They must be easily seen
by someone entering the cab.
•When not behind the wheel, leave shipping papers in
the driver’s door pouch or on the driver’s seat.
•Emergency response information must be kept in the
same location as the shipping paper.
•Papers for Division 1.1, 1.2 or, 1.3 explosives.
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:
•The names and telephone numbers of people to
contact (including carrier agents or shippers).
•The nature of the explosives transported.
•The precautions to take in emergencies such as
fires, crashes, or leaks.
Turn off your engine before fueling a motor vehicle
containing hazardous materials. Someone must always be at the nozzle, controlling fuel flow.
Drivers must sign a receipt for these documents.
9.6.8 – 10 B:C Fire Extinguisher
•Shipping papers.
The power unit of placarded vehicles must have a fire
extinguisher with a UL rating of 10 B:C or more.
•Written emergency instructions.
9.6.9 – Check Tires
•A copy of FMCSR, Part 397.
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
You must be familiar with, and have in your possession while driving, the:
•Written route plan.
9.6.11 – Equipment for Chlorine
A driver transporting chlorine in cargo tanks must have
Page 9-13
Revised 2013
an approved gas mask in the vehicle. The driver must
also have an emergency kit for controlling leaks in
dome cover plate fittings on the cargo tank.
9.6.12 – Stop Before Railroad Crossings
Stop before a railroad crossing if your vehicle:
•Is placarded.
•Carries any amount of chlorine.
•Has cargo tanks, whether loaded or empty used for
hazardous materials.
You must stop 15 to 50 feet before the nearest rail.
Proceed only when you are sure no train is coming.
Don’t shift gears while crossing the tracks.
9.7 – Hazardous Materials Emergencies
9.7.1 – Emergency Response Guidebook
(ERG)
The Department of Transportation has a guidebook for
firefighters, police, and industry workers on how to protect themselves and the public from hazardous materials. The guide is indexed by proper shipping name and
hazardous materials identification number. Emergency
personnel look for these things on the shipping paper.
That is why it is vital that the proper shipping name,
identification number, label, and placards are correct.
9.7.2 – Crashes/Incidents
As a professional driver, your job at the scene of a
crash or incident is to:
•Keep people away from the scene.
•Limit the spread of material, only if you can safely
do so.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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 touching hazardous materials. Do not try to identify the material or find
the source of a leak by smell. Toxic gases can destroy
your sense of smell and can injure or kill you even if
they don’t smell. Never eat, drink, or smoke around a
leak or spill.
If hazardous materials are spilling from your vehicle,
do not move it any more than safety requires. You may
move off the road and away from places where people
gather, if doing so serves safety. Only move your vehicle if you can do so without danger to yourself or others.
Never continue driving with hazardous materials leaking from your vehicle in order to find a phone booth,
truck stop, help, or similar reason. Remember, the carrier pays for the cleanup of contaminated parking lots,
roadways, and drainage ditches. The costs are enormous, so don’t leave a lengthy trail of contamination.
If hazardous materials are spilling from your vehicle:
•Park it.
•Communicate the danger of the hazardous materials
to emergency response personnel.
•Secure the area.
•Provide emergency responders with the shipping papers and emergency response information.
•Send someone else for help.
Follow this checklist:
•Check to see that your driving partner is OK.
•Keep shipping papers with you.
•Keep people far away and upwind.
•Warn others of the danger.
•Call for help.
•Follow your employer’s instructions.
9.7.3 – 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.
Page 9-14
•Stay there.
When sending someone for help, give that person:
•A description of the emergency.
•Your exact location and direction of travel.
•Your name, the carrier’s name, and the name of the
community or city where your terminal is located.
•The proper shipping name, hazard class, and identification number of the hazardous materials, if you
know them.
This is a lot for someone to remember. It is a good
idea to write it all down for the person you send for
help. The emergency response team must know these
things to find you and to handle the emergency. They
may have to travel miles to get to you. This information will help them to bring the right equipment the first
time, without having to go back for it.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
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.
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poisons) must be checked for
stray poison before being used again.
9.7.4 – Responses to Specific Hazards
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 1 (Explosives). If your vehicle has a breakdown or accident while carrying explosives, warn others of the danger. Keep bystanders away. Do not allow
smoking or open fire near the vehicle. If there is a fire,
warn everyone of the danger of explosion.
Remove all explosives before separating vehicles involved in a collision. Place the explosives at least 200
feet from the vehicles and occupied buildings. Stay a
safe distance away.
Class 2 (Compressed Gases). If compressed gas is
leaking from your vehicle, warn others of the danger.
Only permit those involved in removing the hazard or
wreckage to get close. You must notify the shipper if
compressed gas is involved in any accident.
Unless you are fueling machinery used in road construction or maintenance, do not transfer a flammable
compressed gas from one tank to another on any public roadway.
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids). If you are transporting
a flammable liquid and have an accident or your vehicle breaks down, prevent bystanders from gathering.
Warn people of the danger. Keep them from smoking.
Never transport a leaking cargo tank farther than
needed to reach a safe place. Get off the roadway if
you can do so safely. Don’t transfer flammable liquid
from one vehicle to another on a public roadway except in an emergency.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5 (Oxidizing Materials). If a flammable solid or oxidizing material spills, warn others of the fire hazard. Do not open
smoldering packages of flammable solids. Remove
them from the vehicle if you can safely do so. Also,
remove unbroken packages if it will decrease the fire
hazard.
Class 6 (Poisonous Materials and Infectious Substances). It is your job to protect yourself, other people, and property from harm. Remember that many
products classed as poison are also flammable. If
you think a Division 2.3 (Poison Gases) or Division
6.1 (Poison Materials) might be flammable, take the
added precautions needed for flammable liquids or
gases. Do not allow smoking, open flame, or welding.
Warn others of the hazards of fire, of inhaling vapors,
or coming in contact with the poison.
A vehicle involved in a leak of Division 2.3 (Poison
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
If a Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) package is
damaged in handling or transportation, you should immediately contact your supervisor. Packages that appear to be damaged or show signs of leakage should
not be accepted.
Class 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:
•A person is killed.
•An injured person requires hospitalization.
•Estimated property damage exceeds $50,000.
• The general public is evacuated for more than one hour.
•One or more major transportation arteries or facilities
are closed for one hour or more.
•Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive
contamination occurs.
•Fire, breakage, spillage or suspected contamination
occur involving shipment of etiologic agents (bacteria or toxins).
•A situation exists of such a nature (e.g., continuing
danger to life exists at the scene of an incident) that,
in the judgment of the carrier, should be reported.
National Response Center
(800) 424-8802
Persons telephoning the National Response Center
should be ready to give:
Page 9-15
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Their name.
beled packages near people, animals, or film longer
than shown in Figure 9.10
•Name and address of the carrier they work for.
•Phone number where they can be reached.
Classes of Hazardous Materials
•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.
•The extent of injuries, if any.
•Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous materials involved, if such information is available.
Hazard Class Definitions
Table B
•Type of incident and nature of hazardous materials
involvement and whether a continuing danger to life
exists at the scene.
Class
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 tollfree 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.
Radioactive Separation
Table A
0.2
Hrs.
2-4
Hrs.
4-8
Hrs.
8-12
Hrs.
Over
12
Hrs.
To People
or Cargo
Compartment
Partitions
Total Transport
Index
MINIMUM DISTANCE IN FEET TO
NEAREST UNDEVELOPED FILM
None
0
0
0
0
0
0
0.1 to
1.0
1
2
3
4
5
1
1.1 to
5.0
3
4
6
8
11
2
5.1 to
10.0
4
6
9
11
15
3
10.1 to
20.0
5
8
12
16
22
4
20.1 to
30.0
7
10
15
20
29
5
30.1 to
40.0
8
11
17
22
33
6
40.1 to
50.0
9
12
19
24
36
Figure 9.10
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III laPage 9-16
Class Name
Example
1
Explosives
Ammunition, Dynamite,
Fireworks
2
Gases
Propane, Oxygen, Helium
3
Flammable
Gasoline Fuel, Acetone
4
Flammable Solids
Matches, Fuses
5
Oxidizers
Ammonium Nitrate,
Hydrogen Peroxide
6
Poisons
Pesticides, Arsenic
7
Radioactive
Uranium, Plutonium
8
Corrosives
Hydrochloric Acid, Battery
Acid
9
Miscellaneous Hazardous
Materials
Formaldehyde, Asbestos
None
ORM-D (Other Regulated
Material-Domestic)
Hair Spray or Charcoal
None
Combustible Liquids
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?
8. What is the Emergency Response Guide (ERG)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer them all, re-read subsections 9.6 and 9.7.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary
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.
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.
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
Gross weight or gross mass - The weight of a package 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 Sec. 172.101, and materials that
meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in Sec. 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:
a.For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph 7 of
Appendix A to Sec. 172.101.
b. For other than radionuclides, is in a concentration by weight which equals or exceeds the concentration corresponding to the RQ of the material, as shown in Figure 9.12.
Hazardous Substance Concentrations
2. Civil aircraft.
Consignee - The business or person to whom a shipment is delivered.
RQ Pounds
(Kilograms)
Percent
Division - A subdivision of a hazard class.
5,000 (2,270)
EPA - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
1,000 (454)
FMCSR - The
Regulations.
Federal
Motor
Carrier
Safety
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Concentration by Weight
PPM
10
100,000
2
20,000
100 (45.4)
.2
2,000
10 (4.54)
.02
200
.002
20
1 (0.454)
Figure 9.12
This definition does not apply to petroleum products
that are lubricants or fuels (see 40 CFR 300.6).
Page 9-17
Revised 2013
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.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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
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.
“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.”
Mixture - A material composed of more than one
chemical compound or element.
*Words may be inserted here to indicate mode of transportation
(rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel).
Name of contents - The proper shipping name as
specified in Sec. 172.101.
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.
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.
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.
Portable tank - Bulk packaging (except a cylinder having a water capacity of 1,000 pounds or less) designed
primarily to be loaded onto, or on, or temporarily attached to a transport vehicle or ship and equipped with
skids, mountings, or accessories to facilitate handling
of the tank by mechanical means. It does not include a
cargo tank, tank car, multi-unit tank car tank, or trailer
carrying 3AX, 3AAX, or 3T cylinders.
Proper shipping name - The name of the hazardous
materials shown in Roman print (not italics) in Sec.
172.101.
P.s.i. or psi - Pounds per square inch.
P.s.i.a. or psia - Pounds per square inch absolute.
Reportable quantity (RQ) - The quantity specified in
Column 2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for any material identified in Column 1 of the Appendix.
Page 9-18
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 10
SCHOOL BUSES
This section covers:
•Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
•Loading and Unloading
•Emergency Exit and Evacuation
•Railroad-Highway Grade Crossings
•Student Management
•Antilock Braking Systems
•Special Safety Considerations
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.
Revised 2013
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:
•200 feet or four bus lengths behind the bus.
•Along the sides of the bus.
•The rear tires touching the ground.
Figure 10.2 shows how both the outside left
and right side flat mirrors should be adjusted.
Figure 10.2
10.1.4 – Outside Left and Right Side
Convex Mirrors
Figure 10.1
Section 10 - School Buses
The convex mirrors are located below the outside flat
Page 10-1
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
mirrors. They are used to monitor the left and right
sides at a wide angle. They provide a view of traffic,
clearances, and students at the side of the bus. These
mirrors present a view of people and objects that does
not accurately reflect their size and distance from the
bus.
You should position these mirrors to see:
•The entire side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
•The area from the front of the bus to the service door.
•These mirrors, along with the convex and flat mirrors, should be viewed in a logical sequence to ensure that a child or object is not in any of the danger
zones.
Figure 10.4 illustrates how the left and right side crossover mirrors should be adjusted.
•Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
•At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.
Figure 10.3 shows how both the outside left and right
side convex mirrors should be adjusted.
Figure 10.4
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
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:
•The entire area in front of the bus from the front bumper at ground level to a point where direct vision is
possible. Direct vision and mirror view vision should
overlap.
•The right and left front tires touching the ground.
Page 10-2
This mirror is mounted directly above the windshield
on the driver’s side area of the bus. This mirror is used
to monitor passenger activity inside the bus. It may
provide limited visibility directly in back of the bus if
the bus is equipped with a glass-bottomed rear emergency door. There is a blind spot area directly behind
the driver’s seat as well as a large blind spot area that
begins at the rear bumper and could extend up to 400
feet or more behind the bus. You must use the exterior side mirrors to monitor traffic that approaches and
enters this area.
You should position the mirror to see:
•The top of the rear window in the top of the mirror.
•All of the students, including the heads of the students right behind you.
10.2 – Loading and Unloading
More students are killed while getting on or off a school
bus each year than are killed as passengers inside of
a school bus. As a result, knowing what to do before,
during, and after loading or unloading students is critical. This section will give you specific procedures to
help you avoid unsafe conditions which could result
in injuries and fatalities during and after loading and
unloading students.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
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.
Revised 2013
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
•Perform a safe stop as described in subsection
10.2.1.
•Students should wait in a designated location for the
school bus, facing the bus as it approaches.
•Students should board the bus only when signaled
by the driver.
•Monitor all mirrors continuously.
•Count the number of students at the bus stop and
be sure all board the bus. If possible, know names of
students at each stop. If there is a student missing,
ask the other students where the student is.
•Have the students board the school bus slowly, in
single file, and use the handrail. The dome light
should be on while loading in the dark.
•Wait until students are seated and facing forward before moving the bus.
NOTE:See page 7 in the North Dakota Information Section for
North Dakota requirements.
•Check all mirrors. Make certain no one is running to
catch the bus.
When approaching the stop, you should:
•If you cannot account for a student outside, secure
the bus, take the key, and check around and underneath the bus.
•Approach cautiously at a slow rate of speed.
•Look for pedestrians, traffic, or other objects before,
during, and after coming to a stop.
•Continuously check all mirrors.
•If the school bus is so equipped, activate alternating
flashing amber warning lights at least 200 feet or approximately 5-10 seconds before the school bus stop
or in accordance with state law.
•Turn on right turn signal indicator about 100-300 feet
or approximately 3-5 seconds before pulling over.
•Continuously check mirrors to monitor the danger
zones for students, traffic, and other objects.
•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.
•Move as far as possible to the right on the traveled
portion of the roadway.
•When it is safe, move the bus to enter traffic flow and
continue the route.
•Bring school bus to a full stop with the front bumper
at least 10 feet away from students at the designated
stop. This forces the students to walk to the bus so
you have a better view of their movements.
The loading procedure is essentially the same wherever you load students, but there are slight differences.
When students are loading at the school campus, you
should:
•Place transmission in Park, or if there is no Park shift
point, in Neutral and set the parking brake at each
stop.
•Turn off the ignition switch.
•Activate alternating red lights when traffic is a safe
distance from the school bus and ensure stop arm
is extended.
•Make a final check to see that all traffic has stopped
before completely opening the door and signaling
students to approach.
Section 10 - School Buses
•Remove key if leaving driver’s compartment.
•Position yourself to supervise loading as required or
recommended by your state or local regulations.
10.2.3 – Unloading Procedures on the
Route
•Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas
as described in subsection 10.2.1.
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
•Wait for your signal before crossing the roadway.
•Check all mirrors.
Upon your signal, the students should:
•Count the number of students while unloading to
confirm the location of all students before pulling
away from the stop.
•Cross far enough in front of the school bus to be in
your view.
•Tell students to exit the bus and walk at least 10 feet
away from the side of the bus to a position where the
driver can plainly see all students.
•Check all mirrors again. Make sure no students are
around or returning to the bus.
•If you cannot account for a student outside the bus,
secure the bus, and check around and underneath
the bus.
•When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
>>Closing the door.
>>Engaging transmission.
>>Releasing parking brake.
>>Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
>>Turning on left turn signal.
>>Checking all mirrors again.
>>Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
•When it is safe, move the bus, enter the traffic flow
and continue the route.
NOTE: If you have missed a student’s unloading stop, do not back
up. Be sure to follow local procedures.
•Stop at the left edge of the school bus, stop, and
look again for your signal to continue to cross the
roadway.
•Look for traffic in both directions, making sure roadway is clear.
•Proceed across the roadway, continuing to look in all
directions.
NOTE: The school bus driver should enforce any state or local regulations or recommendations concerning student actions
outside the school bus.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
State and local laws and regulations regarding unloading students at schools, particularly in situations where
such activities take place in the school parking lot or
other location that is off the traveled roadway, are often
different than unloading along the school bus route. It
is important that the school bus driver understands and
obeys state and local laws and regulations. The following procedures are meant to be general guidelines.
When unloading at the school you should follow these
procedures:
•Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas
as described in subsection 10.2.1.
•Secure the bus by:
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:
•Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
•Walk approximately 10 feet away from the side of the
school bus to a position where you can see them.
•Observe students as they step from bus to see that
all move promptly away from the unloading area.
•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.
•Walk through the bus and check for hiding/sleeping
students and items left by students.
•Stop at the right edge of the roadway. You should be
able to see the student’s feet.
>>Turning off the ignition switch.
>>Removing key if leaving driver’s compartment.
•Position yourself to supervise unloading as required
or recommended by your state or local regulations.
•Have students exit in orderly fashion.
•Check all mirrors. Make certain no students are returning to the bus.
When students reach the edge of the roadway, they
should:
•If you cannot account for a student outside the bus
and the bus is secure, check around and underneath
the bus.
•Stop and look in all directions, making sure the roadway is clear and is safe.
•When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
•Check to see if the red flashing lights on the bus are
still flashing.
Page 10-4
>>Closing the door.
>>Fastening safety belt.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
>>Starting engine.
>>Engaging the transmission.
>>Releasing the parking brake.
>>Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
>>Turning on left turn signal.
>>Checking all mirrors again.
>>Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
•When it is safe, pull away from the unloading area.
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and
Unloading
Dropped or Forgotten Objects. Always focus on students as they approach the bus and watch for any who
disappear from sight.
Students may drop an object near the bus during loading and unloading. Stopping to pick up the object, or
returning to pick up the object may cause the student
to disappear from the driver’s sight at a very dangerous moment.
Students should be told to leave any dropped object
and move to a point of safety out of the danger zones
and attempt to get the driver’s attention to retrieve the
object.
Handrail Hang-Ups. Students have been injured or
killed when clothing, accessories, or even parts of
their body get caught in the handrail or door as they
exited the bus. You should closely observe all students
exiting the bus to confirm that they are in a safe location prior to moving the bus.
10.2.6 – Post-trip Inspection
When your route or school activity trip is finished, you
should conduct a post-trip inspection of the bus.
You should walk through the bus and around the bus
looking for the following:
•Articles left on the bus.
Revised 2013
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:
•Is there a fire or danger of fire?
•Is there a smell of raw or leaking fuel?
•Is there a chance the bus could be hit by other vehicles?
•Is the bus in the path of a sighted tornado or rising
waters?
•Are there downed power lines?
•Would removing students expose them to speeding
traffic, severe weather, or a dangerous environment
such as downed power lines?
•Would moving students complicate injuries such as
neck and back injuries and fractures?
•Is there a hazardous spill involved? Sometimes, it
may be safer to remain on the bus and not come in
contact with the material.
•Sleeping students.
Mandatory Evacuations. The driver must evacuate
the bus when:
•Open windows and doors.
•The bus is on fire or there is a threat of a fire.
•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.
• The bus is stalled on or adjacent to a railroad-highway
crossing.
•Damage or vandalism.
•There is an imminent danger of collision.
Any problems or special situations should be reported
immediately to your supervisor or school authorities.
•There is a need to quickly evacuate because of a
hazardous materials spill.
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
An emergency situation can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. It could be a crash, a stalled school
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. When possible, assign two responsible, older student assistants to each
Section 10 - School Buses
•The position of the bus may change and increase
the danger.
Page 10-5
Revised 2013
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:
•A safe place will be at least 100 feet off the road in
the direction of oncoming traffic. This will keep the
students from being hit by debris if another vehicle
collides with the bus.
•Lead students upwind of the bus if fire is present.
•Lead students as far away from railroad tracks as
possible and in the direction of any oncoming train.
•Lead students upwind of the bus at least 300 feet if
there is a risk from spilled hazardous materials.
•If the bus is in the direct path of a sighted tornado and
evacuation is ordered, escort students to a nearby
ditch or culvert if shelter in a building is not readily
available, and direct them to lie face down, hands
covering their head. They should be far enough
away so the bus cannot topple on them. Avoid areas
that are subject to flash floods.
General Procedures. Determine if evacuation is in
the best interest of safety.
•Determine the best type of evacuation:
>>Front, rear or side door evacuation, or some combination of doors.
>>Roof or window evacuation.
•Secure the bus by:
>>Placing transmission in Park, or if there is no shift
point, in Neutral.
>>Setting parking brakes.
>>Shutting off the engine.
>>Removing ignition key.
>>Activating hazard-warning lights.
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Order the evacuation.
•Evacuate students from the bus.
>>Do not move a student you believe may have suffered a neck or spinal injury unless his or her life is
in immediate danger.
>>Special procedures must be used to move neck
spinal injury victims to prevent further injury.
•Direct a student assistant to lead students to the
nearest safe place.
•Walk through the bus to ensure no students remain
on the bus. Retrieve emergency equipment.
•Join waiting students. Account for all students and
check for their safety.
•Protect the scene. Set out emergency warning devices as necessary and appropriate.
•Prepare information for emergency responders.
10.4 – Railroad-Highway Crossings
10.4.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does not
have any type of traffic control device. You must stop
at these crossings and follow proper procedures.
However, the decision to proceed rests entirely in your
hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize the
crossing, search for any train using the tracks and decide if there is sufficient clear space to cross safely.
Passive crossings have yellow circular advance warning signs, pavement markings and crossbucks to assist you in recognizing a crossing.
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-on-yellow
warning sign is placed ahead of a public railroadhighway 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.)
•If time allows, notify dispatch office of evacuation location, conditions, and type of assistance needed.
•Dangle radio microphone or telephone out of driver’s
window for later use, if operable.
•If no radio, or radio is inoperable, dispatch a passing
motorist or area resident to call for help. As a last
resort, dispatch two older, responsible students to go
for help.
Page 10-6
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Revised 2013
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.)
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.)
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.)
Section 10 - School Buses
Figure 10.8
Page 10-7
Revised 2013
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
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
>>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.
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.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
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.
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.
•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
know.
>>Scan your surroundings and check for traffic behind you.
>>Stay to the right of the roadway if possible.
>>Choose an escape route in the event of a brake
failure or problems behind you.
•At the Crossing:
>>Stop no closer than 15 feet and no farther than 50
feet from the nearest rail, where you have the best
view of the tracks.
>>Place the transmission in Park, or if there is no
Park shift point, in Neutral and press down on the
service brake or set the parking brakes.
>>Turn off all radios and noisy equipment, and silence the passengers.
>>Open the service door and driver’s window. Look
and listen for an approaching train. Keep door
open while crossing.
•Crossing the Track:
>>Check the crossing signals again before proceeding.
Page 10-8
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.
Obstructed View of Tracks. Plan your route so it provides maximum sight distance at highway-rail grade
crossings. Do not attempt to cross the tracks unless
you can see far enough down the track to know for certain that no trains are approaching. Passive crossings
are those that do not have any type of traffic control
device. Be especially careful at “passive” crossings.
Even if there are active railroad signals that indicate
the tracks are clear, you must look and listen to be
sure it is safe to proceed.
Containment or Storage Areas. If it won’t fit, don’t
commit! Know the length of your bus and the size of
the containment area at highway-rail crossings on
the school bus route, as well as any crossing you encounter in the course of a school activity trip. When
approaching a crossing with a signal or stop sign on
the opposite side, pay attention to the amount of room
there. Be certain the bus has enough containment or
storage area to completely clear the railroad tracks on
the other side if there is a need to stop. As a general
rule, add 15 feet to the length of the school bus to
determine an acceptable amount of containment or
storage area.
10.5 – Student Management
10.5.1 – Don’t Deal with On-Bus Problems
When Loading and Unloading
In order to get students to and from school safely and
on time, you need to be able to concentrate on the
driving task.
Loading and unloading requires all your concentration.
Don’t take your eyes off what is happening outside the
bus.
Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
If there is a behavior problem on the bus, wait until
the students unloading are safely off the bus and have
moved away. If necessary, pull the bus over to handle
the problem.
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
Revised 2013
ABS, but you should be able to steer around an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused by over
braking.
10.6.3 – Braking with ABS
Tips on handling serious problems:
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should brake
as you always have. In other words:
•Follow your school’s procedures for discipline or refusal of rights to ride the bus.
•Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
•Stop the bus. Park in a safe location off the road,
perhaps a parking lot or a driveway.
•Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have
ABS on the bus. However, in emergency braking, do
not pump the brakes on a bus with ABS.
•Secure the bus. Take the ignition key with you if you
leave your seat.
•Stand up and speak respectfully to the offender or
offenders. Speak in a courteous manner with a firm
voice. Remind the offender of the expected behavior. Do not show anger, but do show that you mean
business.
•If a change of seating is needed, request that the
student move to a seat near you.
•Never put a student off the bus except at school or
at his or her designated school bus stop. If you feel
that the offense is serious enough that you cannot
safely drive the bus, call for a school administrator or
the police to come and remove the student. Always
follow you state or local procedures for requesting
assistance.
10.6 – Antilock Braking Systems
•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 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.
10.6.1 – Vehicles Required to Have Antilock
Braking Systems
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have
regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the system serviced soon.
The Department of Transportation requires that antilock braking systems be on:
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
•Air brakes vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers and converter dollies) built on or after March 1, 1998.
•Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a gross
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs. or more built on
or after March 1, 1999.
Many buses built before these dates have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
Your school bus will have a yellow ABS malfunction
lamp on the instrument panel if it is equipped with ABS.
10.6.2 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up. When
your steering wheels lock up, you lose steering control. When your other wheels lock up, you may skid or
even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain control. You may or may not be able to stop faster with
Section 10 - School Buses
•ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
•ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids—ABS
should prevent brake-induced skids but not those
caused by spinning the drive wheels or going too
fast in a turn.
•ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not always shorten stopping distance.
•ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
power—ABS is an “add-on” to your normal brakes,
not a replacement for them.
•ABS won’t change the way you normally brake. Under normal brake conditions, your vehicle will stop as
it always stopped. ABS only comes into play when
a wheel would normally have locked up because of
over braking.
•ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor brake
Page 10-9
Revised 2013
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
maintenance.
>>Set the parking brake.
•Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still a
safe driver.
•Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
ABS.
•Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to prevent
a serious crash.
10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
10.7.1 – Strobe Lights
Some school buses are equipped with roof-mounted,
white strobe lights. If your bus is so equipped, the
overhead strobe light should be used when you have
limited visibility. This means that you cannot easily see
around you—in front, behind, or beside the school
bus. Your visibility could be only slightly limited or it
could be so bad that you can see nothing at all. In
all instances, understand and obey your state or local
regulations concerning the use of these lights.
10.7.2 – 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:
•Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Try to anticipate gusts.
•You should slow down to lessen the effect of the
wind, or pull off the roadway and wait.
•Contact your dispatcher to get more information on
how to proceed.
10.7.3 – Backing
Backing a school bus is strongly discouraged. You
should back your bus only when you have no other
safe way to move the vehicle. You should never back
a school bus when students are outside of the bus.
Backing is dangerous and increases your risk of a collision. If you have no choice and you must back your
bus, follow these procedures:
•Post a lookout. The purpose of the lookout is to warn
you about obstacles, approaching persons, and
other vehicles. The lookout should not give directions on how to back the bus.
•Signal for quiet on the bus.
•Constantly check all mirrors and rear windows.
>>Turn off the motor and take the keys with you.
>>Walk to the rear of the bus to determine whether
the way is clear.
•If you must back-up at a student pick-up point, be
sure to pick up students before backing and watch
for late comers at all times.
•Be sure that all students are in the bus before backing.
•If you must back-up at a student drop-off point, be
sure to unload students after backing.
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.
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.
•Back slowly and smoothly.
•If no lookout is available:
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Section 10 - School Buses
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 11
PRE-TRIP VEHICLE
INSPECTION TEST
This section covers:
Revised 2013
>>Air compressor belt.
NOTE: If any of the components listed above are not belt driven,
you must:
•Tell the examiner which component(s) are not belt
driven.
•Internal Inspection
•Make sure component(s) are operating properly, are
not damaged or leaking, and are mounted securely.
•External Inspection
Clutch/Gearshift/Safe Start
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
•Depress clutch.
•Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for automatic transmissions).
•Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Oil Pressure Gauge
•Make sure oil pressure gauge is working.
•Check that pressure gauge shows increasing or normal oil pressure or that the warning light goes off.
•If equipped, oil temperature gauge should begin a
gradual rise to the normal operating range.
•Look for puddles on the ground.
Temperature Gauge
•Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine and
transmission.
•Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
•Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
•Temperature should begin to climb to the normal operating range or temperature light should be off.
Oil Level
Air Gauge
•Indicate where dipstick is located.
•Make sure the air gauge is working properly.
•See that oil level is within safe operating range. Level
must be above refill mark.
•Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly 120140 psi.
Coolant Level
Ammeter/Voltmeter
•Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
•Check that gauges show alternator and/or generator
is charging or that warning light is off.
•(If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and check
for visible coolant level.
Power Steering Fluid
•Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is located.
•Check for adequate power steering fluid level. Level
must be above refill mark.
Mirrors and Windshield
•Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from
the inside.
•Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers,
no obstructions, or damage to the glass.
Emergency Equipment
Engine Compartment Belts
•Check for spare electrical fuses.
•Check the following belts for snugness (up to 3/4
inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays:
•Check for three red reflective triangles, six fusees or
three liquid burning flares.
>>Power steering belt.
>>Water pump belt.
>>Alternator belt.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
•Check for a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
NOTE: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical fuses, you must
mention this to the examiner.
Page 11-1
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Steering Play
Parking Brake Check
•Non-power steering: Check for excessive play by
turning steering wheel back and forth. Play should
not exceed 10 degrees (or about 2 inches on a 20inch wheel).
•With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes released on combination vehicles), check that the
parking brake will hold vehicle by gently trying to pull
forward with parking brake on.
•Power steering: With the engine running, check for
excessive play by turning the steering wheel back
and forth. Play should not exceed 5.25 inches (or approximately 26 degrees on a 20-inch wheel) before
front left wheel barely moves.
•With the parking brake released and the trailer parking brake engaged (combination vehicles only),
check that the trailer parking brake will hold vehicle
by gently trying to pull forward with the trailer parking
brake on.
Wipers/Washers
Hydraulic Brake Check
•Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not
damaged, and operate smoothly.
•Pump the brake pedal three times, then hold it down
for five seconds. The brake pedal should not move
(depress) during the five seconds.
•If equipped, windshield washers must operate correctly.
Lights/Reflectors/Reflector Tape Condition (Sides
and Rear)
•Test that dash indicators work when corresponding
lights are turned on:
>>Left turn signal.
>>Right turn signal.
>>Four-way emergency flashers.
>>High beam headlight.
>>Antilock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
•Check that all external lights and reflective equipment are clean and functional. Light and reflector
checks include:
>>Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere).
>>Headlights (high and low beams).
>>Taillights.
>>Backing lights.
>>Turn signals.
>>Four-way flashers.
>>Brake lights.
>>Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors
(elsewhere).
>>Reflector tape condition.
NOTE: Checks of brake, turn signal, and four-way flasher functions
must be done separately.
Horn
•Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Heater/Defroster
•Test that the heater and defroster work.
Page 11-2
•If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve (back-up)
system, with the key off, depress the brake pedal
and listen for the sound of the reserve system electric motor.
•Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles
Only)
•Failure to perform all three components of the air
brake check correctly will result in an automatic failure of the vehicle inspection test. Air brake safety
devices vary. However, this procedure is designed
to see that any safety device operates correctly as
air pressure drops from normal to a low air condition. For safety purposes, in areas where an incline
is present, you will use wheel chocks during the air
brake check. The proper procedures for inspecting
the air brake system are as follows:
>>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 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).
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Service Brake Check
•You will be required to check the application of air or
hydraulic service brakes. This procedure is designed
to determine that the brakes are working correctly
and that the vehicle does not pull to one side or the
other.
Revised 2013
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
•Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
•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.
•For manual slack adjustors, the brake pushrod
should not move more than one inch (with the brakes
released) when pulled by hand.
Seat Belt
Brake Chambers
•Check that the seat belt is securely mounted, adjusts,
and latches properly and is not ripped or frayed.
•See that brake chambers are not leaking, cracked,
or dented and are mounted securely.
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
Brake Hoses/Lines
11.2.1 – Steering
•Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines, and
couplings.
Steering Box/Hoses
•Check that the steering box is securely mounted and
not leaking. Look for any missing nuts, bolts, and
cotter keys.
•Check for power steering fluid leaks or damage to
power steering hoses.
Steering Linkage
•See that connecting links, arms, and rods from the
steering box to the wheel are not worn or cracked.
Drum Brake
•Check for cracks, dents, or holes. Also check for
loose or missing bolts.
•Check for contaminates such as oil or grease.
•Brake linings (where visible) should not be worn dangerously thin.
Brake Linings
•Check that joints and sockets are not worn or loose
and that there are no missing nuts, bolts, or cotter
keys.
•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.
11.2.2 – Suspension
NOTE:Be prepared to perform the same brake components inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if equipped).
Springs/Air/Torque
11.2.4 – Wheels
•Look for missing, shifted, cracked, or broken leaf
springs.
Rims
•Look for broken or distorted coil springs.
•If vehicle is equipped with torsion bars, torque arms,
or other types of suspension components, check that
they are not damaged and are mounted securely.
•Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot have
welding repairs.
Tires
•The following items must be inspected on every tire:
•Air ride suspension should be checked for damage
and leaks.
>>Tread depth: Check for minimum tread depth
(4/32 on steering axle tires, 2/32 on all other tires).
Mounts
>>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.
•Look for cracked or broken spring hangers, missing
or damaged bushings, and broken, loose, or missing bolts, u-bolts or other axle mounting parts. (The
mounts should be checked at each point where they
are secured to the vehicle frame and axle[s]).
Shock Absorbers
>>Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation by using a
tire gauge.
NOTE: You will not get credit if you simply kick the tires to check for
proper inflation.
•See that shock absorbers are secure and that there
are no leaks.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-3
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are not
leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level is
adequate.
Splash Guards
Lug Nuts
Check that all lug nuts are present, free of cracks and
distortions, and show no signs of looseness such as
rust trails or shiny threads.
Make sure all bolt holes are not cracked or distorted.
Spacers or Budd Spacing
If equipped, check that spacers are not bent, damaged, or rusted through.
Spacers should be evenly centered, with the dual
wheels and tires evenly separated.
•If equipped, check that splash guards or mud flaps
are not damaged and are mounted securely.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
•Check that doors and hinges are not damaged and
that they open, close, and latch properly from the
outside, if equipped.
•Ties, straps, chains, and binders must also be secure.
•If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, damaged or missing parts and explain how it should be
checked for correct operation.
•Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
NOTE: Be prepared to perform the same wheel inspection on every
axle (power unit and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle Door(s)/Mirror(s)
Air/Electric Lines
•Check that door(s) are not damaged and that they
open and close properly from the outside.
•Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
• Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are not damaged and are mounted securely with no loose fittings.
Fuel Tank
•Check that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight, and
that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
Battery/Box
•Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
•Battery connections should not show signs of excessive corrosion.
•Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and electrical lines are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn (steel
braid should not show through).
•Make sure air and electrical lines are not tangled,
pinched, or dragging against tractor parts.
Catwalk
•Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects, and
securely bolted to tractor frame.
Mounting Bolts
•Look for loose or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts. Both the fifth wheel and the
slide mounting must be solidly attached.
•Battery box and cover or door must be secure.
•On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect all coupling components
and mounting brackets for missing or broken parts.
Drive Shaft
Hitch Release Lever
•See that drive shaft is not bent or cracked.
•Couplings should be secure and free of foreign objects.
Exhaust System
•Check system for damage and signs of leaks such
as rust or carbon soot.
•System should be connected tightly and mounted
securely.
Frame
•Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other damage to the longitudinal frame members, cross members, box, and floor.
Page 11-4
•Check to see that the hitch release lever is in place
and is secure.
Locking Jaws
•Look into fifth wheel gap and check that locking jaws
are fully closed around the kingpin.
•On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect the locking 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
•Check for proper lubrication and that the fifth wheel
skid plate is securely mounted to the platform and
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
that all bolts and pins are secure and not missing.
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
•Check for cracks or breaks in the platform structure
which supports the fifth wheel skid plate.
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
•If equipped, make sure the release arm is in the engaged position and the safety latch is in place.
Kingpin/Apron/Gap
Revised 2013
Lighting Indicators
•In addition to checking the lighting indicators listed in
Section 10.2 of this manual, school bus drivers must
also check the following lighting indicators (internal
panel lights):
>>Alternately flashing amber lights indicator, if
equipped.
>>Alternately flashing red lights indicator.
>>Strobe light indicator, if equipped.
•Check that the kingpin is not bent.
Lights/Reflectors
•Make sure the visible part of the apron is not bent,
cracked, or broken.
•In addition to checking the lights and reflective devices listed in Section 10.2 of this manual, school
bus drivers must also check the following (external)
lights and reflectors:
•Check that the trailer is laying flat on the fifth wheel
skid plate (no gap).
Locking Pins (Fifth Wheel)
•If equipped, look for loose or missing pins in the slide
mechanism of the sliding fifth wheel. If air powered,
check for leaks.
•Make sure locking pins are fully engaged.
•Check that the fifth wheel is positioned properly so
that the tractor frame will clear the landing gear during turns.
Sliding Pintle
•Check that the sliding pintle is secured with no loose
or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is in place.
>>Strobe light, if equipped.
>>Stop arm light, if equipped.
>>Alternately flashing amber lights, if equipped.
>>Alternately flashing red lights.
Student Mirrors
In addition to checking the external mirrors, school bus
drivers must also check the internal and external mirrors used for observing students:
•Check for proper adjustment.
Tongue or Draw-bar
•Check that all internal and external mirrors and mirror brackets are not damaged and are mounted securely with no loose fittings.
•Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not bent or twisted
and check for broken welds and stress cracks.
•Check that visibility is not impaired due to dirty mirrors.
•Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not worn excessively.
Stop Arm
Tongue Storage Area
•Check that the storage area is solid and secured to
the tongue.
•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
•Check that cargo in the storage area (i.e., chains,
binders, etc.) are secure.
•Check that the entry door is not damaged, operates
smoothly, and closes securely from the inside.
11.3 – School Bus Only
•Hand rails are secure and the step light is working,
if equipped.
Emergency Equipment
•In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses (if
equipped), three red reflective triangles, and a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher, school bus
drivers must also inspect the following emergency
equipment:
>>Emergency Kit.
>>Body Fluid Cleanup Kit
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
•The entry steps must be clear with the treads not
loose or worn excessively.
•If equipped with a handicap lift, look for leaking, damaged, or missing parts and explain how lift should be
checked for correct operation. Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exit
•Make sure that all emergency exits are not damPage 11-5
Revised 2013
aged, operate smoothly, and close securely from the
inside.
•Check that any emergency exit warning devices are
working.
Seating
•Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
•Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
11.4 – Trailer
11.4.1 – Trailer Front
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
age to the frame, cross members, box, and floor.
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
•If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked in
place and release arm is secured.
11.4.3 – Remainder of Trailer
Remainder of Trailer
•Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for detailed inspection procedures regarding the following
components:
>>Wheels.
>>Suspension system.
Air/Electrical Connections
>>Brakes.
•Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in
good condition.
>>Doors/ties/lift.
•Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of
damage or air leaks.
•Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated
and locked in place.
Header Board
•If equipped, check the header board to see that it is
secure, free of damage, and strong enough to contain cargo.
•If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be
mounted and fastened securely.
•On enclosed trailers, check the front area for signs of
damage such as cracks, bulges, or holes.
>>Splash guards.
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
Passenger Entry/Lift
•Check that entry doors operate smoothly and close
securely from the inside.
•Check that hand rails are secure and, if equipped,
that the step light(s) are working.
•Check that the entry steps are clear, with the treads
not loose or worn excessively.
11.4.2 – Side of Trailer
•If equipped with a handicap lift, look for any leaking,
damaged or missing part, and explain how it should
be checked for correct operation.
Landing Gear
•Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
•Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no
missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the support frame is not damaged.
Emergency Exits
•If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
•If equipped, check that doors are not damaged.
Check that doors open, close, and latch properly
from the outside.
•Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are secure.
•If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, damaged or missing parts and explain how it should be
checked for correct operation.
•Make sure that all emergency exits are not damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely from the
inside.
•Check that any emergency exit warning devices are
working.
Passenger Seating
•Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
•Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
•Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Doors/Mirrors
Frame
•Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged and operate smoothly from the outside. Hinges should be
secure with seals intact.
•Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other damPage 11-6
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Make sure that the passenger exit mirrors and all external mirrors and mirror brackets are not damaged
and are mounted securely with no loose fittings.
11.5.3 – External Inspection of Coach/
Transit Bus
Level/Air Leaks
•See that the vehicle is sitting level (front and rear),
and if air-equipped, check for audible air leaks from
the suspension system.
Fuel Tank(s)
•See that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks from
tank(s) or lines.
Baggage Compartments
•Check that baggage and all other exterior compartment doors are not damaged, operate properly, and
latch securely.
Battery/Box
•Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
•Battery connections should not show signs of excessive corrosion.
•Check that battery box and cover or door is not damaged and is secure.
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/Transit Bus
Remainder of Vehicle
Revised 2013
11.6 – Taking the CDL Pre-trip Inspection
Test
11.6.1 – Class A Pre-trip Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be required to perform 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 pretrip 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).
•Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for detailed inspection procedures for the remainder of the
vehicle.
Remember, the pre-trip vehicle inspection must be
passed before you can proceed to the basic vehicle
control skills test.
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-7
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2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
CDL Vehicle Inspection Memory Aid
Page 11-8
Section 11 - Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 12
BASIC VEHICLE CONTROL
SKILLS TEST
This section covers:
•Skills Test Exercises
Revised 2013
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.
•Skills Test Scoring
12.2 – EXERCISES
Your basic control skills could be tested using one or
more of the following exercises off-road or somewhere
on the street during the road test:
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
•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)
•Offset back/right.
12.2.2 – Offset Back/Right
•Offset back/left.
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.)
•Parallel park (driver side).
•Parallel park (conventional).
•Alley dock.
These exercises are shown in Figures 12-1 through
12-6.
12.1 – Scoring
•Crossing boundaries (encroachments).
•Pull-ups.
•Vehicle exits.
•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 position where
in physical control of the vehicle or, on a bus, walk to
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
12.2.3 – Offset Back/Left
You may be asked to back into a space that is to the
left rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight forward
and back your vehicle into that space without striking
the side or rear boundaries marked by cones. You
must place your vehicle completely into the space.
(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 going beyond
the exercise boundary marked by a line or row of
cones. You are required to get your vehicle completely
into the space with your entire vehicle straight with the
alley. (See Figure 12.6.)
Page 12-1
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Page 12-2
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Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
Revised 2013
Page 12-3
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Page 12-4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 12 - Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 13
ON-ROAD DRIVING
Revised 2013
When ready to turn:
•Check traffic in all directions.
This section covers:
•Keep both hands on the steering wheel during the
turn.
•How You Will Be Tested (Also read North
Dakota Information section.)
•Keep checking your mirror to make sure the vehicle
does not hit anything on the inside of 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
•Vehicle should not move into oncoming traffic.
•Wear your seat belt.
After turn:
•Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
•Make sure turn signal is off.
•Complete the test without an accident or moving violation.
•Get up to speed of traffic, use turn signal, and move
into right-most lane when safe to do so (if not already
there).
During the driving test, the examiner will be scoring
you on specific driving maneuvers as well as on your
general driving behavior. You will follow the directions
of the examiner. Directions will be given to you so you
will have plenty of time to do what the examiner has
asked. You will not be asked to drive in an unsafe
manner.
If your test route does not have certain traffic situations, you may be asked to simulate a traffic situation.
You will do this by telling the examiner what you are
or would be doing if you were in that traffic situation.
13.1 – How You Will Be Tested
13.1.1 – Turns
You have been asked to make a turn:
•Check traffic in all directions.
•Use turn signals and safely get into the lane needed
for the turn.
As you approach the turn:
•Use turn signals to warn others of your turn.
•Slow down smoothly, change gears as needed to
keep power, but do not coast unsafely. Unsafe coasting occurs when your vehicle is out of gear (clutch
depressed or gearshift in neutral) for more than the
length of your vehicle.
•Vehicle should finish turn in correct lane.
•Check mirrors and traffic.
13.1.2 – Intersections
As you approach an intersection:
•Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
•Decelerate gently.
•Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change gears.
•If necessary, come to a complete stop (no coasting)
behind any stop signs, signals, sidewalks, or stop
lines maintaining a safe gap behind any vehicle in
front of you.
•Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward.
When driving through an intersection:
•Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
•Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and traffic in
the intersection.
•Do not change lanes while proceeding through the
intersection.
•Keep your hands on the wheel.
Once through the intersection:
•Continue checking traffic.
If you must stop before making the turn:
•Accelerate smoothly and change gears as necessary.
•Come to a smooth stop without skidding.
13.1.3 – Urban/Rural Straight
•Come to a complete stop behind the stop line, crosswalk, or stop sign.
•If stopping behind another vehicle, stop where you
can see the rear tires on the vehicle ahead of you
(safe gap).
During this part of the test, you are expected to make
regular traffic checks and maintain a safe following distance. Your vehicle should be centered in the proper
lane (right-most lane) and you should keep up with the
flow of traffic but not exceed the posted speed limit.
•Do not let your vehicle roll.
13.1.4 – Lane Changes
•Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
During multiple lane portions of the test, you will be
Section 13 - On Road Driving
Page 13-1
Revised 2013
asked to change lanes to the left, and then back to the
right. You should make the necessary traffic checks
first, then use proper signals and smoothly change
lanes when it is safe to do so.
13.1.5 – Expressway
Before entering the expressway:
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
When instructed to resume:
•Check traffic and your mirrors thoroughly in all directions.
•Turn off your four-way flashers.
•Activate the left turn signal.
•Check traffic.
•When traffic permits, you should release the parking
brake and pull straight ahead.
•Use proper signals.
•Do not turn the wheel before your vehicle moves.
•Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
•Check traffic from all directions, especially to the left.
Once on the expressway:
•Steer and accelerate smoothly into the proper lane
when safe to do so.
•Maintain proper lane positioning, vehicle spacing,
and vehicle speed.
•Continue to check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
When exiting the expressway:
•Make necessary traffic checks.
•Use proper signals.
•Decelerate smoothly in the exit lane.
•Once on the exit ramp, you must continue to decelerate within the lane markings and maintain adequate
spacing between your vehicle and other vehicles.
•Once your vehicle is back into the flow of traffic, cancel your left turn signal.
13.1.7 – Curve
When approaching a curve:
•Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
•Before entering the curve, reduce speed so further
braking or shifting is not required in the curve.
•Keep vehicle in the lane.
•Continue checking traffic in all directions.
13.1.6 – Stop/Start
13.1.8 – Railroad Crossing
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.
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial
drivers should:
As you prepare for the stop:
•Check traffic.
•Activate your right turn signal.
•Decelerate smoothly, brake evenly, change gears as
necessary.
•Decelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as necessary.
•Look and listen for the presence of trains.
•Check traffic in all directions.
Do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle, or
change lanes while any part of your vehicle is in the
crossing.
Once stopped:
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):
•Vehicle must be parallel to the curb or shoulder of
the road and safely out of the traffic flow.
•As the vehicle approaches a railroad crossing, activate the four-way flashers.
•Vehicle should not be blocking driveways, fire hydrants, intersections, signs, etc.
•Stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15
feet from the nearest rail.
•Cancel your turn signal.
•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.
•Bring your vehicle to a full stop without coasting.
•Activate your four-way emergency flashers.
•Apply the parking brake.
•Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
•Remove your feet from the brake and clutch pedals.
Page 13-2
•Keep hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle
crosses the tracks.
Section 13 - On-Road Driving
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
•Do not stop, change gears, or change lanes while
any part of your vehicle is proceeding across the
tracks.
•Four-way flashers should be deactivated after the
vehicle crosses the tracks.
•Continue to check mirrors and traffic.
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.
Revised 2013
13.1.14 – Lane Usage
•Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or lane
markings.
•Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop signs.
•Complete a turn in the proper lane on a multiple lane
road (vehicle should finish a left turn in the lane directly to the right of the center line).
•Finish a right turn in the right-most (curb) lane.
•Move to or remain in right-most lane unless lane is
blocked.
13.1.15 – Steering
•Do not over or under steer the vehicle.
•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
•Check traffic and mirrors on a regular basis.
•Check mirrors and traffic before, while in and after
an intersection.
• Scan and check traffic in high-volume area and areas
where pedestrians are expected to be present.
You will be scored on your overall performance in the
following general driving behavior categories:
13.1.17 – Use of Turn Signals
13.1.11 – Clutch Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
•Activate turn signals at the appropriate time.
•Use clutch to shift, when needed.
•Activate turn signals when required.
•Cancel turn signals upon completion of a turn or lane
change.
•Double-clutch when shifting, if necessary.
•Do not rev or lug the engine.
•Do not ride clutch to control speed, coast with the
clutch depressed, or “pop” the clutch.
13.1.12 – Gear Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
•Do not grind or clash gears.
•Select gear that does not rev or lug engine.
•Do not shift on railroad tracks. Be sure both the
power unit and trailer(s) have cleared the tracks before shifting.
13.1.13 – Brake Usage
•Do not ride or pump brake.
•Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using steady
pressure.
Section 13 - On Road Driving
Page 13-3
Revised 2013
Page 13-4
2005 Model Commercial Drivers License Manual
Section 13 - On-Road Driving
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