CDL Driver Manual -July 2014 r 0416 - Driving

CDL Driver Manual -July 2014 r 0416 - Driving
Commercial
Driver License
Manual
2005 CDL Testing System
(July 2014)
CDL Driver’s Manual
COPYRIGHT © 2005 AAMVA
All Rights Reserved
This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration under Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH61-97-X-00017. Any
opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this
publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
COPYRIGHT © 2005 AAMVA. All rights reserved
This material has been created for and provided to State Driver License Agencies (SDLAs) by AAMVA for the purpose of educating Driver
License applicants (Commercial or Non-Commercial). Permission to reproduce, use, distribute or sell this material has been granted to
SDLAs only. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including
photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.
Any unauthorized reprint, use, distribution or sale of this material is prohibited.
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. Traffickers use force, fraud and coercion to control their victims.
Any minor engaged in commercial sex is a victim of human trafficking. Trafficking can occur in many
locations, including truck stops, restaurants, rest areas, brothels, strip clubs, private homes, etc. Truckers
are the eyes and the ears of our nation’s highways. If you see a minor working any of those areas or suspect
pimp control, call the National Hotline and report your tip:
1-888-3737-888 (US)
1-800-222-TIPS (Canada)
For law enforcement to open an investigation on your tip, they need “actionable information.” Specific tips
helpful when reporting to the hotline would include:
 Descriptions of cars (make, model, color, license plate number, etc.) and people (height, weight,
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hair color, eye color, age, etc.)
Take a picture if you can.
Specific times and dates (When did you see the event in question take place? What day was it?)
Addresses and locations where suspicious activity took place
Trafficking Red Flags to Look for:
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Lack of knowledge of their community or whereabouts
Not in control of own identification documents (ID/passport)
Restricted or controlled communication--not allowed to speak for self
Demeanor: fear, anxiety, depression, submissive, tense, nervous
Questions to Ask:

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Are you being paid?
Are you being watched or followed?
Are you free to leave? Come and go as you please?
Are you physically or sexually abused? Are you or your family threatened? What is the nature of the
threats?
Report by Email: [email protected]
Warning: Please do not approach traffickers. Call the hotline, and they will call the FBI and local police to
deal with them and rescue the victims. Approaching traffickers is not only dangerous for you and their
victims but could lead to problems in the eventual prosecution of traffickers. Go to
www.truckersagainsttrafficking.org for more information.
LITTER LAW AND STATS
Louisiana spends more than $40 million a year to clean up our highways. In 2004 alone, state and
sheriff cleanup crews picked up an estimated 450,000 bags (20,000 miles) of trash in our state.
LITTERING
Whether accidental or deliberate, littering is against the law. Depending on the nature and severity of
the littering, you can face either civil or criminal prosecution. According to Louisiana R.S.30:25312531.3, penalties for conviction range from a $50 fine plus 8 hours community service picking up litter
to a $5,000 fine, one year driver’s license suspension, 30 days in jail AND 100 hours of community
service. The driver is responsible for all litter coming from the vehicle’s interior or truck bed, and the
driver can be cited for littering committed by the passengers in his/her vehicle. Along roadways,
motorists and pedestrians are the biggest contributors to litter.
Tobacco products, mostly cigarette butts, are the most littered item along Louisiana roadways.
Many individuals believe that cigarette butts are biodegradable. This is incorrect. While some parts
of the cigarette usually decompose in one year, other parts never do because the filter is made of a
type of acetate that never fully breaks down. Worst yet, the cigarette butt that is thrown on the ground
will eventually find its way into the ocean or some other body of water. A recent cleanup of coastal
shorelines by volunteers found that 80% of the collected litter was washed from land into the water.
Cigarettes and cigarette butts accounted for a whopping 25% of the total collected. Cigarettes and
cigarette butts also contain many harmful chemicals which leak into the environment. To many
people, a cigarette butt may seem like a small thing, but with several trillion butts discarded every
year, toxic chemicals add up, and the damage to the environment is multiplied many times over.
Another problem often seen is the litter from packaging and beverage containers. This includes fast
food, snacks, tobacco, or other product packaging, and soft drink and beer containers.
Storm drains are a trap for litter that collects from streets and sidewalks. These are located in gutters
and are designed to drain excess rainfall from paved streets and parking lots. Because storm drains
eventually lead to waterways, litter near storm drains can potentially contaminate our water. This
causes litter to first be a problem on land and then later in our water.
The presence of litter in a community takes its toll on the quality of life, property values, and housing
prices. Besides the environmental impact that litter imposes, there are also economic consequences.
Businesses pay about 80% of the cost to clean up litter with the government funding the remainder.
Many communities depend on volunteers to clean up litter. Research studies have shown that heavily
littered areas are more likely to be targeted for crime and vandalism. Individuals are more likely to
litter in a littered area. Once there, litter attracts more litter. This cycle continues unless and until we
change our minds about the way we think about litter.
Individual attitudes can change the way we think about litter. On average, one in every five individuals
is a litterer with most of the behavior being a conscious act. This includes dropping the item, flicking
or flinging it away, or just leaving it in on the ground, table, bench or ledge. Studies also show that
age, and not gender, is a significant factor in littering. Those under 30 are more likely to litter than
those who are older.
A clean community discourages litter and improves overall community quality of life. It is the
responsibility of every individual to care about his neighborhood, park, roadway, or other public
space. Don’t just believe that someone will pick up after you when you litter. Start with these actions:
Choose not to litter. Make the commitment now to join with others not to spread litter.
Remind others not to litter and explain why.
Get a litter bag for your car or portable ash receptacles to share.
Volunteer in your community. Help prevent and clean up litter-from cigarette butts to illegal
dumps.
If you see litter, pick it up.
Become part of “Keep Louisiana Beautiful.” With all of us working together, we can make a
difference.
Citizens may report litterers by calling 1-888LITRBUG, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This
hotline is maintained by the Louisiana Department
of Wildlife and Fisheries. Cingular Wireless
customers in south Louisiana area may call
*LITTER.
The offender will receive a letter from DEQ
reminding him/her that littering is illegal and asking
for help in keeping Louisiana clean. You can also
post information regarding acts of litter at
Litter-Bug.org.
For more information concerning Louisiana’s litter
abatement programs, visit the websites:
www.keeplouisianabeautiful.org and www.deq.state.la.us/assistance/litter/index/htm
ORGAN DONATION
Thousands of people are waiting for a lifesaving or life
enhancing organ, tissue or cornea transplant. When you apply
for a driver’s permit, driver’s license, or state ID card, you will
be asked whether or not you wish to register as an organ, eye
and tissue donor. Your designation will be marked on the front
of your license or ID card with a red heart.
If you register through the OMV in person, your wishes will be
indicated in the registry. You may also register online at
DonatelifeLA.org. Either method is legal documentation of
your desire to save lives.
Louisiana’s registry allows citizens to make legally binding decisions to be donors. Family consent is
required only for minors. This makes it especially important for you to have a discussion with your
family about your wishes regarding donation.
Organs and tissues that can be donated include heart, lungs, liver, kidney, pancreas, intestines, skin,
heart valves, bone and connective tissue. For eye donation, the whole eye or the cornea can be
donated. Organs are distributed for transplantation on a patient-based, fair, equitable system. Donors
are treated with the greatest care and dignity throughout the donation process.
Here is some information to help you make an informed decision:
♡ Louisiana’s registry allows citizens to make legally binding decisions to become donors. Drivers
under the age of 17 can participate in this program and register their intent.
♡ Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, race, or medical history.
♡ You have the ability to save 9 lives and heal the lives of up to 50 additional people through tissue
donation.
♡ The level of medical care you receive in any hospital is not affected by your choice to register as
an organ, eye and tissue donor. The recovery team is only called in after all attempts have been
made to save your life.
♡ All major religions approve of organ, eye, and tissue donation and see it as an unselfish act of
charity.
♡ There is no change in the appearance of the body after donation and no interference in funeral
plans, including an open casket.
♡ There is no cost or payment to your family or your estate when you become a donor.
♡ It is illegal to buy or sell organs in the United States.
♡ All patients on the waiting list throughout the country are registered with the United Network for
Organ Sharing (UNOS) computer network. Organs are placed based on blood type, size, weight,
severity of illness, time on the waiting list, and geography. It is illegal to allocate organs based on
fame, wealth, citizenship or political power.
♡ Transplantation is a medically accepted treatment and is not experimental. Organ donation is not
a search for the cure – it is the cure!
Today there are nearly 117,000 patients waiting for this live saving gift; over 1,800 here in Louisiana.
Every day 18 people die waiting for an organ, and every 13 minutes another name is added to the
national waiting list. Choose to be an organ and tissue donor and tell your family about your decision.
For more information visit DonateLifeLA.org.
VOTER REGISTRATION PROGRAM
The National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), also known as The Motor Voter Act, was
signed into effect by President Bill Clinton in 1993. This legislation requires state governments to
allow for registration by qualifying voters whenever they apply for or renew their driver’s license,
thereby consolidating the driver’s application and voter registration processes. Simply make it known
to personnel at the Office of Motor Vehicles that you wish to register to vote when you apply for a
license or a renewal of your driver’s license.
You may also pick up a mail-in voter’s registration form from your local OMV. Please verify the form
for accuracy and sign it in the space provided before it is turned in or mailed.
If you choose to register to vote while at the OMV, your application will be submitted electronically to
the Louisiana Secretary of State. If you do not receive confirmation within two (2) weeks, please
contact your local Voter Registrar’s Office.
For more information concerning your right to vote and the procedures for
becoming a registered voter, contact your nearest Voter Registrar’s Office
or visit the website of the Louisiana Secretary of State at www.sos.la.gov .
HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
MAKE UP OF A COMPLEX SYSTEM
Today’s society has become very mobile. The Highway Transportation System (HTS), a vast network
of highways, streets and roads, has been built to accommodate the public and private vehicles that
provide this mobility. The HTS is only about 100 years old. In 1902, only about 2300 cars were on the
road and there was only about 150 miles of paved road. However, there were more than 17 million
horses using the roadways. Now, there are about 230 million registered vehicles with 4 million miles
of paved roads and horse travel has become a leisure activity. The goal of the HTS is to provide safe,
rapid and efficient transportation of persons and goods to a desired destination, in an environmentally
safe and sound fashion. From pedestrians to the largest transport vehicles, this system is shared by
all. A multitude of safety professionals at the local, regional, and national levels are involved in
legislating and providing a safe and efficient transportation environment. Each individual road user is
the core of the safe and efficient operation of the HTS. The responsibility of each individual is to
respect the rules of the system and cooperate with others.
As a nation, we rely on our vehicles for our daily needs. We spend at least half as much time stuck in
traffic each year as we do going on annual vacations. No matter where you live, commutes to school
or work are getting longer and more snarled with traffic. Roadways have become the number one
choice of moving people and goods. Trucks deliver food and other items to stores for us to buy and
use. Sixty percent of freight is transported on the roads. Emergency vehicles such as fire trucks and
police cars respond to emergencies by way of roads. Yet for all the advantages of motorized
transportation, there is a big price to pay. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death
among people ages 1-34 and the leading cause of injury for all age groups (in the US). And through it
all, Americans love their cars and the freedom they offer.
America’s system is one of the largest systems in the world with four million miles of public roads and
roughly 594,000 bridges. Transit systems operate approximately 226,400 directional route miles, of
which 216,620 are non-rail and 9,800 are rail route miles. Local governments own 75 percent of the
nearly four million-mile roadway network, about half of the nation's bridges and manage 90 percent of
the transit systems. Seventy-five percent of highway miles are in rural areas. The Highway
Transportation System exists to provide a safe and efficient mechanism to move people and goods
from one location to another. It is a complex system with many diverse elements.
THREE MAIN COMPONENTS
The Highway Transportation System consists of three major components:
People – This consists of several different groups, including the drivers and passengers in the
vehicles, pedestrians, construction workers, police officers, emergency personnel and children at
play.
Vehicles - Many types of vehicles utilize the HTS including; cars, trucks, vans, SUVs, large
commercial trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, farm vehicles, emergency
vehicles, construction vehicles, bicycles, military vehicles, and pedestrians.
Roads - Many types of roads make up the HTS including; interstates, U.S. highways, state
highways, county roads, toll roads and parkways.
The Highway Transportation System is an IMPORTANT system to our way of life and to our economy
in allowing:
* personal and individual transportation
* freedom to come and go as we wish
* going to work, to shop, to school
* social and recreation activities
* choice and length of vacations
The HTS is important to the economy of our nation relative to:
manufacture of motor vehicles
building and maintenance of highways
motor carriers as transporters of goods, gasoline and tire industries
travel and recreation industry
automobile maintenance and repair industry
MANAGEMENT OF THE HIGHWAY TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
There are six means of management of the Highway Transportation System:
1. The Department of Motor Vehicles regulates drivers licenses, truck weights and operators, license
plates, fees: registration, taxes, and titles to name a few of the items this branch of government
controls.
2. Law enforcement agencies such as local city police, the highway patrol, and sheriff’s departments
as well as other enforcement agencies work together to help maintain safe travel.
3. The traffic courts located in various locals in the country help to assure proper enforcement of the
law.
4. Engineering works in two ways. Highway engineering works to make our HTS the safest system in
the world and vehicle engineering works to make vehicles safer and easier to operate.
5. The emergency response system and trauma centers in the U.S. work to reduce the losses caused
by collisions both at the time of the crash and afterwards.
6. By educating the public with the use of public service announcements, high school driver education
programs, truck driving schools, substance abuse instruction, and private driver education schools,
individuals can be better prepared and informed regarding the HTS. The goal of educating the public
is to impart knowledge of the rules of the road; the basic skills involved in vehicle operation, and instill
and reinforce attitudes consistent with safe driving. An educated and informed public will produce
safer drivers and measurably lower crash rates.
TRAFFIC COLLISION COSTS
Vehicular collisions lead to tremendous social and economic costs. When someone is killed in a car
crash, a whole range of people from family members to friends and acquaintances feel the terrible
loss. Economically, in addition to lost wages, crash injuries contribute to expenses for medical care,
emergency services, nursing-home care, rehabilitation, home modifications, insurance administration
and property damage that amount to billions of dollars each year.
However, the biggest price society pays for transportation collisions is personal. Lives can change in
an instant. Just imagine how parents feel when they get a phone call telling them that their child has
been injured or killed in a vehicle collision. Traffic collisions have become the number one cause of
teenage deaths. In traffic, we judge ourselves by how safe the system is by the number of collisions
and deaths per 100 million miles traveled. We are currently near 1.6 deaths per 100 million miles
traveled. This is down from 4.7 deaths, 40 years ago. Most of this decrease is due to seat belts,
airbags, and improved safety features in vehicles. Loosely translated this means that about 44,000
people die on our highway system each year. Millions more are injured and we spend hundreds of
billions on this issue. The current statistics indicate that traffic collisions have become an epidemic. If
automobile crashes were an illness, the CDC would be trying to figure out a cure.
• In 2011, there were more than 32,367 highway fatalities nationally. On a positive note, this number
of traffic fatalities was down to the lowest since 1949 despite the fact that the number of miles driven
by Americans has gone up.
• More than 2.3 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms as the result of
being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.
• The total economic cost of motor vehicle crashes in 2000 was $231 billion. This is equal to $820 for
every person living in the U.S. Lost market productivity accounted for $61 billion, while property
damage accounted for $59 billion. Medical expenses totaled $33 billion and travel delay accounted
for $26 billion.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections has identified the five leading causes of
motor vehicles crashes in Louisiana (2010) as:
1. Careless, and/or Reckless Operation
2. Failure to Yield
3. Following Too Closely
4. Speeding
5. Unknown/Unspecified
In 2010 fatalities, injuries, and property damage in Louisiana as a result of motor vehicle crashes cost
on average each licensed driver in Louisiana $1855.00. Each year, the current statistics can be
obtained from http://datareports.lsu.edu/.
The HTS is often crowded. In the U.S., 88% of the population has a driver’s license which translates
to approximately 202 million drivers. At times 194 million drivers are on the roads in addition to 55
million pedestrians and bicyclists using the HTS. Add to this, no two users will be the same and the
amount of variables is staggering. Each driver, pedestrian and bicyclist will all have different
perspectives, needs and emotions as they operate on the roadways and use this system. With all of
this traffic, it is inevitable for drivers and pedestrians to make mistakes and drive recklessly. That is
why it is important to be able to anticipate and learn to cope with unsafe practices of others.
As you utilize the Highway Transportation System you will notice a wide variety of vehicles upon the
roadways. Each of these vehicles has different handling, braking, speed control and performance
capabilities. Another factor in how the vehicle performs is the condition of the vehicle. The equipment
it has, the age of the vehicle and whether or not regular maintenance has been performed on the
vehicle all affect its handling.
The drivers of each of these vehicles want safe, rapid and efficient use of the system. The size and
speed of these vehicles sharing the same system can create real problems. All of these factors can
affect the way you drive. Understanding the difference in the types of vehicles and how each
performs is important to you as a driver. While you may never drive a large commercial truck or a
motorcycle, understanding other vehicles’ capabilities is as important to you as knowing the traffic
laws.
People who drive at unsafe speeds are a major hazard, particularly on freeways and expressways.
This does not necessarily mean that these people are driving too fast. They may be driving under the
posted speed limit, yet still too fast for existing weather, traffic conditions, or even their own physical
health.
NUMBER AND TYPES OF HIGHWAYS
There are many different types of highways throughout the highway transportation system. The
design of the highway is based on the anticipated volume and composition of the traffic utilizing the
highway. This includes the lane width, shoulder width and type and width of the median area.
• Parish Road: A parish road is a road that is regulated and maintained by a certain parish.
• State Highway: A highway that is regulated by the state. Example - LA 1.
• U.S. Highway: A nationally regulated highway that is a predecessor to the Interstate Highway
program that was adopted in 1926. Highways like US 1 and US 6 are examples.
• Interstate Highways: These highways were created by Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 50’s. These
are expressways that crisscross the country that carry large volumes of traffic. EVEN numbered
highways go East and West. ODD numbered highways go North and South.
• Expressways: A national term that high volume roads are called. They are divided highways with at
least 4 lanes; most in the country are commissioned as Interstates.
• Freeways: Same as expressways. This term is used out west, especially in California.
• Toll ways: A highway that collects tolls. Usually from tollbooths a couple miles apart on a highway.
• Turnpikes: Another type of a toll way. The main difference is that these roads collect tolls using a
ticket system. You get a ticket when you get on the highway and you pay the ticket when you get off.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is the first modern turnpike in the country. Other examples are the
Massachusetts turnpike, and the now defunct Connecticut Turnpike.
• Parkway: A divided highway that has lots of trees and plants around, usually very beautiful and
scenic highways.
• Divided Highways: Highways with lanes going in the opposite directions divided by a median or
some sort of barrier between them.
• Other names for Divided Highways: Skyways, Bee Lines, and Toll Roads
• Limited Access Highway: A highway where access is limited to signed exits.
• Partial Access Highways: A highway that allows access at other streets, probably at a stop light,
though driveways and other forms of access are not allowed.
• Full Access Highways: Any road that is divided has driveways and any other type of access
allowed.
Early American roads were built along trails. Most were designed with little or no thought for the
future. Now engineers are carefully designing and thinking of routes that best fit everyone. The need
for better and safer roads is a challenge for highway engineers. The engineers must design roads
using scientific principles and standards. They have a large responsibility to ensure the safety of
vehicles on the highways. Newer highways are designed with wider shoulders, gentle curves and
grades in an effort to reduce the number of crashes. Reduction of roadside obstacles is necessary to
reduce the severity of the injury if a vehicle leaves the highway.
IMPACT OF ROAD CONDITIONS ON DRIVING
Road conditions play a major role in the safe operation of vehicles. Good pavement conditions are
important for traction and stopping quickly. When roadways are well-maintained, drivers have a better
chance of staying on the roadway. Swerving to avoid potholes, staying out of ruts and watching for
shoulder drop offs are all hazards drivers face on poorly maintained roadways.
Weather can also impact the road conditions. Rain, even a drizzle, can cause a vehicle’s tires to lose
traction. Too much water on the road can cause a vehicle’s tires to start skimming on the surface of
the water instead of gripping the road. This condition is called hydroplaning. To help eliminate this
hazard engineers design roadways to carry the water away quickly and construct the face of the
pavement with grooves and rough texture to help tires maintain better traction and avoid skids.
Another recent innovation is electronic signs that post warnings about hazardous conditions such as
fog, high winds or ice storms. In areas of the country where snow is common, engineers are
designing roads that have areas beside them for snow storage. The snowplow comes through and
pushes the snow to the curb or edge of the road.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a federal agency that has the chief responsibility of
improving roadway safety. The FHWA makes efforts to educate the public about roadway safety and
find ways to reduce the number of fatalities on the highway.
To drive safely on the HTS you must follow many rules and laws. As you observe these rules you
must know what traffic lights and signs mean. Traffic lights, signs and “right of way” devices and rules
tell you what to do or when to stop at an intersection. These devices can be defined by color, shape,
and information contained in them. You should always pay attention to traffic regulation devices used
in the HTS as they are an important aspect of driving. Safety features have been added to the
highways in an effort to reduce collisions. Retro reflective signs and pavement markings help
nighttime drivers. Forgiving roadside hardware such as breakaway poles and guard rails, skid
resistant pavement and all weather pavement markings also help minimize the severity of collisions.
Rumble strips alert the driver that he is veering off the road or heading into a different lane.
Intersections are a hazard to drivers. About 40 percent of all crashes occur at intersections. Efforts to
improve intersections include exclusive turn lanes, roundabouts and synchronized traffic signals.
Remember that as a driver you are part of the HTS. As part of the system you have driving
responsibilities to protect yourself and your passengers. You also have a responsibility towards other
drivers, pedestrians, and personal property. Safely sharing the roadway is essential for avoiding
crashes. The most important factor in the regulation of the highway transportation system is the driver
who obeys traffic laws and follows the “golden rule” of driving to treat others the way you would want
to be treated.
SHARING THE ROAD WITH BICYCLES
Louisiana Revised Statute 32:199 states that “all children under the age of 12, when operating a
bicycle or is a passenger on a bicycle, must wear an approved helmet with head straps when on a
public highway, bicycle path or other public right-of-way.”
Bicycling is a healthy form of recreation for many people, while for others it is a form of transportation.
As a result of rising auto, gas, and insurance costs, many individuals are turning to bicycles as an
alternative method of transportation. There are currently 90,000,000 cyclists in the US. Bicycles have
the same rights to use public roads as automobiles and must follow the same traffic laws as other
vehicles. Many drivers find it hard to know how to react to bicyclists riding in the street. In any given
year there are 800-1000 bicyclists that die on the roadways and some 500,000 will be treated for
injuries. For the safety of both drivers and bicyclists, the following precautions should be taken while
driving and bicycling.
Driving Safely Near Bicyclists
Approaching and passing bicyclists:
• You must yield to bicyclists in intersections as you would for
pedestrians and other vehicles.
• Increase following distances behind bicyclists because
bicycle-stopping distances are shorter than automobiles.
• Be aware that bicyclists not traveling in the extreme right of
the lane may be trying to avoid gravel, debris, bad pavement,
sewer grates and other obstacles.
• Be cautious of bicyclists moving legally into the center of the
lane because of road hazards or into the left lane because of
a left turn.
• Avoid passing between a bicyclist and an oncoming vehicle on a two-way road. Slow down and
allow the on-coming vehicle to pass. Then move to the left to allow plenty of room to safely pass the
bicyclist.
• A three foot distance must be present between the passing automobile and slower traveling
bicyclists.
• Give bicyclists the entire lane when they are passing parked cars. They need the space to avoid
opening doors.
• Use caution when passing bicyclists because the air current created by a passing vehicle may
cause bicyclists to have an accident.
• If you are pulling a trailer, allow for extra passing room when passing bicyclists.
• Extra caution should be used when motorists are near bicyclists in wet, windy, or icy weather.
• Reduce speed when encountering bicyclists and never tailgate.
• Do not blow your horn when near bicyclists.
Turning near bicyclists:
• Drivers who are turning left must wait until oncoming bicyclists pass. Accidents occur when turning
drivers do not notice the bicyclists in the flow of traffic or misjudge their speed.
• Do not swing in front of a bicyclist to make a right turn. Making a right turn after overtaking a bicyclist
is also a cause of accidents. Drivers should slow down and stay behind the
bicyclist, or look once, then again. Make sure you see the bicycle and know
its speed before you turn.
• Speeds of bicycles are hard to judge. They can vary from under 10 mph to
over 35 mph. Good communication and eye contact between drivers and
bicyclists are needed to prevent accidents.
Watch for bicyclists and use caution in hazardous conditions:
• When opening your car door into traffic, look first for bicyclists.
This collision is the driver’s fault.
• Railroad crossings can cause bicyclists to slow down and
possible zigzag in order to cross the tracks.
• Metal or grated surfaces may cause a bicycle to be less stable than a car. Bicyclists should slow
down and move to the center of the lane to allow room for handling the uneven surface. Drivers
should be prepared for the reaction of a bicyclist who may be less experienced and may swerve to
correct for the new surface.
• Trucks creating windblasts can move a bicyclist out of his path of travel on long open highways and
bridges.
• Children on bicycles may not be aware of their surroundings. Drivers should be aware that the
children may make sudden movements or change direction. Don’t expect children to know traffic
laws.
• Inclement weather conditions create high winds and slippery surfaces that can cause extreme
problems for bicyclists. Because these conditions create stability problems for all vehicles, drivers
should allow more following distance for bicyclists.
Bicycling Safety:
 Always wear a helmet.
 Use hand signals and eye contact to communicate your
actions with other drivers.
 Obey the instructions of official traffic control signals and
signs just like a motor vehicle.
 Ride on the right hand side of the road with traffic. If
you are making a left hand turn, ride on the left side of
the turn lane. You may ride in the center of the lane to
avoid hazards.
 Be predictable by riding in a straight line and following
traffic laws.
 Yield to pedestrians on crosswalks and on sidewalks.
 When riding at night, bicycles must have a white front light and a red rear light or reflector
visible from the rear.
 Carry no more persons than the number for which the bicycle is designed and equipped.
 Two cyclists may ride side-by-side, but it is safer to ride single file.
 Attach a rear view mirror so you can check traffic over your shoulder.
SHARING THE ROAD WITH MOTORCYCLES
As the price of gasoline increases, more of your friends, relatives, and neighbors are becoming
motorcycle riders. However, many drivers still have not adjusted to motorcycles appearing in traffic.
Traveling by motorcycle is appealing to some people; they are fuel and space efficient and can be
just plain fun to ride.
But there is a flip side. Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to injury than a driver of a larger vehicle if
involved in a crash. Research shows that over two-thirds of the
car/motorcycle collisions are the results of the other driver
turning in front of a motorcyclist. Motorcyclists and
cars/trucks need to mix in traffic without causing harm to
each other. Motorcycles present a narrow silhouette and are
usually much shorter in length than an automobile. The small
profile of the motorcycle may make it appear farther away
and traveling slower than it actually is. Remember that
motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or
missed in a quick look due to their smaller size. Because it is
difficult to judge the motorcycle’s distance and speed, car
drivers need to take a second look, and then a third. Its small
size also makes it more difficult to spot in traffic than another
car. Some motorcyclists take advantage of their small size
and maneuverability. They may cut between cars and put
themselves in places where drivers cannot see them.
Be alert for a motorcycle to appear unexpectedly.
Due to a motorcycle’s size, its position within a lane of traffic will change as traffic conditions change.
The motorcyclist should position himself in the lane to see and be seen. This often means riding in
the left portion of the traffic lane to allow a better view of traffic and road situations. It also makes the
motorcycle more visible to other traffic. However, as traffic and road conditions change, the rider may
move. This move could be to the center of the lane or even to the right side to avoid traffic or to be
seen by others on the road.
Most drivers take for granted the ability of their vehicles to handle minor road hazards such as
potholes, strong winds or railroad tracks. Minor problems for the four-wheeled vehicle can be major
problems for motorcycles. The cyclist will change position within the lane to increase the distance
from potential hazards. These lateral movements sometimes occur suddenly. Motorists need to be
alert for these sudden changes in position and direction, and drive accordingly. Respect the vehicle
space of a motorcycle and its position in traffic. Motorcycles are allowed the full width of a lane in
which to maneuver. Refrain from sharing a lane with a motorcycle. It restricts the rider’s ability to
avoid hazardous situations.
Because a motorcycle has the right to a full traffic lane, pass it just as you would another vehicle.
Don’t pass too fast or too close. The wind blast of large, fast moving vehicles can blow a motorcycle
out of control.
Intersections are the most likely place for car/motorcycle collisions to occur. This usually is the result
of a car driver NOT SEEING the motorcycle and turning into the motorcycle’s path. Misinterpreting a
cyclist’s intentions can also lead to problems. A cyclist will change lane position to prepare for
upcoming traffic conditions. The cyclist will move to one side of the lane in preparation for a turn or
possibly to move away from a hazard unseen by other motorists. Do not assume the cyclist’s
intention until the maneuver is unmistakably started, such as a turn into an intersection or driveway.
Also, turn signals may not automatically shut off on a motorcycle and cyclists occasionally forget to
cancel them after a turn is completed. Make sure you know what the cyclist is going to do before you
move into the motorcycle’s path.
When driving behind a motorcycle, allow at least a four (4)-second following distance. This provides
the cyclist enough room to maneuver or stop in an emergency. Due to its vulnerable nature and the
difficulty motorists have in judging a motorcycle’s speed and distance, space between the two
vehicles should be increased to avoid sudden braking. Both cyclists and drivers are more likely to
make incorrect decisions if there is not enough stopping distance or ability to see and react to
conditions. This leads to collisions. A cyclist’s chances of injury are greater if forced to avoid
obstacles ahead, as well as a driver following too closely. Remember that tailgating a motorcycle in
your car is comparable to an 18-wheeler tailgating you!
The single headlight and single tail light of a motorcycle can blend into the lights of other vehicles.
This can cause you to misjudge distance. Always dim your headlights for a motorcycle just as
required for other vehicles.

SHARING THE ROAD WITH BIG TRUCKS
It takes special driving skills and knowledge to drive safely around big trucks. You cannot drive
around a big truck the way you drive around other vehicles. The most important tip is to give a wide
clearance (berth) to the big truck. Collisions between large trucks and lighter vehicles frequently
result in death in the driver or occupants of the “other vehicles.”
Big trucks are different because they have a much longer stopping distance than other vehicles,
and longer still on wet roads. The ability of the truck driver to control the truck during emergency
braking is very limited. A tractor trailer loaded with freight, safe-rated tire, and properly adjusted
brakes traveling at 55 miles per hour on a clear, dry roadway requires a minimum of 290 feet to
come to a complete stop. Also, truck drivers cannot see you nearly as well as you can see the
truck, and if there is a crash, YOU LOSE. In crashes involving large trucks and automobiles, the
occupants of the cars sustain 78% of the fatalities. In more than 70% of these fatal crashes
involving cars and commercial vehicles, police report that the car driver contributed to the cause of
the crash.
Drivers of smaller vehicles need to practice the following safety tips:
 As a general rule, keep as much space as possible between your vehicle and big trucks.
 Do not cut in front of a truck just because you see open space there. That space is the truck’s
cushion of safety because of its longer stopping distance. If you have to stop suddenly, it will
be very difficult for the truck to avoid hitting you. Also, if the truck has a long hood, the driver
may not be able to see you at all.
 Do not linger alongside a truck; you may be in the trucker’s blind spot. The size and
configuration of many trucks, especially those with trailers, create large blind spots for the
truck driver. If you cannot see a truck driver’s face in one of his mirrors, the driver cannot
see you and probably does not know you are there.
 If you are following a truck and cannot see the truck’s side mirrors, you are driving too close.
The driver cannot see you, so back off.
 Always give trucks plenty of room when they are turning. The relationship between the cab,
mirrors, and trailer change constantly during a turn, creating varying blind spots. Also, trucks
need extra space to turn because of their size.
 If a truck is stopped on a hill, it will roll backwards when it begins to accelerate. If you find
yourself traveling behind a truck on a hill, leave extra space as a precaution.
 Avoid driving in the right lane, if possible, when traveling up or down hills, as well as near
truck weigh stations, where large vehicles will be attempting to re-enter faster-moving traffic.
By avoiding the right lane in these areas, you will reduce the possibility of a crash with a
large vehicle.
 On windy days, never drive alongside a truck for longer than you need to pass it.
Turbulence from a truck on a windy day can cause a vehicle to swerve on the road or even
spin out of control if the weather conditions are bad enough. To minimize this, stay to the
outer edge of the lane away from the truck and hold the wheel tightly with both hands.
Remember, trucks don’t drive like cars. Generally speaking, the bigger the truck is:
• The bigger its blind spots.
• The more room it needs to maneuver.
• The longer it takes to stop.
• The longer it takes to pass it.
• The longer it takes to accelerate.
• The more room it takes to turn.
• The more likely you’re going to be the loser in a collision.
Following trucks
In good road and weather conditions you should leave a gap of at least four to five (4-5) seconds
between your vehicle and the truck in front of you, and an even longer gap when conditions are
poor. This will prevent road spray picked up by the truck’s wheels from affecting your visibility. The
truck may also block your view of the road ahead, so hanging back will increase your field of vision
and give you more stopping distance if the truck brakes suddenly to avoid a hazard you can’t see.
Because of the size of trucks, another driver’s view of you may be restricted. At intersections and in
slow traffic, ensure you stay far enough away for other
drivers to see you. When following at night, keep your
headlights on low beam. The truck’s many side mirrors will
reflect high beam lights right into the driver’s eyes.
If you are traveling behind or beside a truck during rainy
weather you will need to watch out for splash and spray
created by the truck. Splash and spray from the road, wind,
and rain can make it difficult for you to see clearly. While
trucks are equipped with mud flaps or mudguards to reduce
the amount of debris thrown out from under their wheels, this
does not completely prevent spray being thrown out from the
sides and rear of the truck.
To maximize your safety when traveling alongside a truck in wet conditions:





Keep your windshield clean and windshield wipers in good condition. Keep a clear view. This
will help ensure you have the necessary field of vision.
If you are approaching an oncoming truck, turn on your wipers before it passes you. This will
ensure your windshield is cleaned as soon as any spray is thrown onto it. This will reduce the
time your visibility will be obscured and reduced.
Don’t pull out to pass a truck unless you can clearly see your way forward.
Slow down so the distance between you and the truck increases. This will get you further away
from the spray.
Avoid the NO-ZONE. Just like automobiles, the first rule of safety with trucks is SEE AND BE
SEEN. Large trucks have blind spots, or No-Zones, around the front, back and sides of the truck.
Watch out! A truck could even turn into you, because these No-Zones make it difficult for the
driver to see. So, don’t hang out in the No-Zones. Remember, if you can’t see the truck driver in
the truck’s mirror, the truck driver can’t see you.
STAY OUT OF THE “NO ZONE.”

Passing
If you are passing a truck, always pass on the left side and make sure to allow plenty of room before
cutting back in front of the truck. Keep a firm control on the steering wheel to counter the effect of air
turbulence. Look for the whole front of the vehicle in your rear-view mirror before pulling in front and
maintaining speed.

Merging Courtesy
When traveling in the right lane, courtesy dictates
that you move over to allow a truck to merge. Be
careful when pulling behind a truck which has just
entered the highway; it takes a lot longer for a large
truck to get up to speed.
 Avoid Squeeze Play
Pay close attention to large vehicles turn signals and
give them plenty of room to maneuver. When a truck
(or bus) needs to make a right turn, it will sometimes
swing wide to the left in order to safely turn right and clear
the corner of a curb or other obstruction. Sometimes
space from other lanes is used to clear corners. If you try
to get in between the truck (or bus) and the curb, you will
be squeezed in between them and could suffer a serious
crash. To avoid a crash, do not turn until the truck (or bus)
has completed its turn.
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Table of Contents
Louisiana has 5 classes of driver’s license:
CDL Requirements
Page
i-ii
iii
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 Inspection.................................................................................................................. 11-1
Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test ........................................................................... 12-1
On-Road Driving ........................................................................................................................ 13-1
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Louisiana has 5 classes of driver’s license:
R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(a) and 405.1:
Class "A" Commercial Driver's License - Combination Vehicles
Age Requirements: 18 years or above for intrastate and 21 years or above for interstate.
Permits the operation of all vehicles within Classes "B," "C," "D," and "E," with any appropriate
endorsements and any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of
26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle or
vehicles being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
NOTE: If the pulling unit of the combination vehicle is 26,000 pounds or less, a
restriction (55 - No 18-wheelers) must be added to the license. If the vehicle is not
connected with a fifth wheel connection, a “no tractor trailer” restriction will be added.
R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(b) and 405.1:
Class "B" Commercial Driver's License - Heavy Straight Vehicle
Age Requirements: 18 years or above for intrastate and 21 years or above for interstate.
Permits the operation of any vehicle within Classes "C," "D," and "E," with any appropriate
endorsement(s) plus any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of twenty-six
thousand and one or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of
10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating. A "straight vehicle" is defined for the purpose of
this class as being one that does not bend or have a moveable joint in its frame between the
driver seat and the cargo or passenger compartment.
R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(c) and 405.1:
Class "C" Commercial Driver's License - Light Vehicle
Age Requirements: 18 years or above for intrastate and 21 years or above for interstate.
Permits the operation of any vehicle within Classes "D" and "E", with any appropriate
endorsement(s), plus any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR, or such vehicle
towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. This group includes vehicles
designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and which are not within
the definition of a Group "A" or "B" vehicle, and vehicles used in the transportation of
placarded amounts of hazardous materials.
R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(d) and 405.1:
Class "D" Chauffeurs Driver's License
Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
Permits the operation of all vehicles included in Class "E" plus any single motor vehicle used
in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle has a gross vehicle
weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds, or any combination of
vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the vehicle has a combined
vehicle weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds but less than 26,001 pounds inclusive of a
towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds; or any vehicle
designed or utilized for the transportation of passengers for hire or fee; and not utilized in the
transportation of materials found to be hazardous under the provisions of the Hazardous
Materials Transportation Act which requires the vehicle to bear a placard under the provision
of Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F).
i
R.S. 32:408 B.(2)(e) and 405.1:
Class "E" Driver's License - Personal Vehicle
Age Requirements: 17 years or above.
Permits the operation of any single motor vehicle under 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight,
any personal use recreational vehicle and farm vehicles controlled and operated by a farmer
to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to and from a farm within
150 air miles of the owner's or operator's farm (not used in operation of a Common or
Contract Carrier, and not used to transport passengers or property for hire) or any other
vehicle which is not used in the transportation of hazardous materials which is required to be
placarded. No first-time application for a Louisiana Class "E" license shall be received from
any person seventeen (17) years of age or older unless there is also submitted with the
application written evidence of the successful completion by the applicant of a full thirty-six
(36) hour driver's education course or of an approved six (6) hour "pre-licensing" training
course which was approved by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety & Corrections. The
applicant shall provide a signed statement to the department attesting that he has completed
a minimum of fifty (50) hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed parent, guardian,
or adult at least twenty one (21) or older. At least fifteen (15) of these hours must be night
time driving. New applicants transferring in with an out-of-state, foreign, or military license are
exempt from this requirement. In addition, this requirement shall not apply to those seventeen
(17) years of age if they do not live within twenty-five (25) miles of a location which provides
such course.
Note: The mentioned classes do not include the operation of motorcycles and motorscooters
except as an endorsement to the basic license.
ENDORSEMENTS:
R.S. 32:408 (3)
The following endorsements are possible to the classes of Commercial Driver's Licenses:
"T"
Double/Triple Trailers
"P"
Passenger
"N"
Tank Vehicles
"H"
Hazardous Materials * (issued only to persons 21 years of age or above)*
"X"
Combination Tank Vehicles and Hazardous Materials
"M" Motorcycle
"S"
School Bus
ii
CDL REQUIREMENTS
INITIAL ISSUANCE:
 Valid picture driver’s license
 Supplemental Application Form (DPSMV 2211 R 5/14) – Enclosure A
 Current, complete Physical Examination (DPSMV 2032 (R 04/04)) or its
equivalent
 Proof of liability insurance on personally owned vehicle/s
 Proof of Social Security number
 Proof of Louisiana residency
 Application fee is $15 due at the time of application
 Upon passing required test/s, applicant will be issued a 180 day learner’s
permit.
 Applicant is required to make an appointment with a CDL Third Party
Examiner for administration of the skills test (pre-trip inspection, basic
controls and road driving). A list of CDL Third Party Examiner’s is
available at any Office of Motor Vehicles location.
 Upon successful completion of the skills test, the Examiner will issue a
sealed envelope to be presented to the CDL office for issuance.
Tampering with this envelope may result in invalidation of your test.
CDL RENEWALS:
 CDL driver’s license
 Proof of Louisiana residency
 Current, complete Physical Examination (DPSMV 2032 (R 04/04)) or it’s
equivalent
 Proof of liability insurance on personally owned vehicle/s
 Testing is required for renewal of Hazardous Materials endorsement.
Hazmat testing is conducted at any Office of Motor Vehicle issuing office.
 Fingerprint background check must be within most recent 180 days.
(www.hazprints.com)
Questions:
1-225-925-6146 or www.expresslane.org
iii
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Section 1
INTRODUCTION
This Section Covers





Commercial Driver License Tests
Medical Requirements
Driver Disqualifications
Other Safety Rules
International Registration Program
There is a federal requirement that each state have
minimum standards for the licensing of commercial
drivers.
This manual provides driver license testing
information for drivers who wish to have a
commercial driver license (CDL). This manual does
NOT provide information on all the federal and
state requirements needed before you can drive a
commercial motor vehicle (CMV). You may have to
contact your state driver licensing authority for
additional information.
You must have a CDL to operate:
Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight
rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
A combination vehicle with a gross combination
weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds,
provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is
in excess of 10,000 pounds.
A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more
passengers (including the driver).
Any size vehicle which requires hazardous material
placards or is carrying material listed as a select
agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73. Federal
regulations through the Department of Homeland
Security require a background check and
fingerprinting for the Hazardous Materials
endorsement. Contact your local department of
driver licensing for more information.
(Your state may have additional definitions of
CMVs.)
To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills
tests. This manual will help you pass the tests,
however, it is not a substitute for a truck driver
training class or program. Formal training is the
most reliable way to learn the many special skills
required for safely driving a large commercial
vehicle and becoming a professional driver in the
trucking industry. Figure 1.1 helps you determine if
you need a CDL
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
Figure 1.1
NOTE:
A bus may be Class A, B, or C depending on whether
the GVWR is over 26,001 pounds or is a combination
vehicle.
Page 1-1
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
1.1 – Commercial Driver License Tests
1.1.1 – Knowledge Tests
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests,
depending on what class of license and what
endorsements you need. The CDL knowledge
tests include:
The general knowledge test, taken by all
applicants.
The passenger transport test, taken by all bus
driver applicants.
The air brakes test, which you must take if your
vehicle has air brakes, including air over hydraulic
brakes.
On-road Test. You will be tested on your skill to
safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic
situations. The situations may include left and right
turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up
and down grades, single or multi-lane roads,
streets, or highways. The examiner will tell you
where to drive.
Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual
you should study for each particular class of
license and for each endorsement.
What Sections Should You Study?
LICENSE
ENDORSEMENT
TYPE
X
2
X
X
X
3
X
X
X
The School Bus test, required if you want to drive a
school bus.
1.1.2 – Skills Tests
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can
take the CDL skills tests. There are three types of
general skills that will be tested: Vehicle inspection,
basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You
must take these tests in the type of vehicle for
which you wish to be licensed. Any vehicle that
has components marked or labeled cannot be
used for the Vehicle Inspection Test.
Vehicle Inspection. You will be tested to see if
you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive.
You will be asked to do a Vehicle inspection of
your vehicle and explain to the examiner what you
would inspect and why.
Basic Vehicle Control. You will be tested on your
skill to control the vehicle. You will be asked to
move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn it
within a defined area. These areas may be marked
with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
X
X
X
4
School Bus
X
Passenger
X
Tank Vehicles
Class C
The doubles/triples test, required if you want to pull
double or triple trailers.
Sections to Study
The tank vehicle test, required if you want to haul
any liquid or gaseous materials in a tank or tanks
having an individual rated capacity of more than
119 gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of
1,000 gallons or more that is either permanently or
temporarily attached to the vehicle or chassis
Double / Triple
Class B
1
The hazardous materials test is required if you
want to haul hazardous materials as defined in 49
CFR 383.5. In order to obtain this endorsement
you are also required to pass a Transportation
Security Administration (TSA) background check.
Hazardous
Materials
Class A
The combination vehicles test, which is required if
you want to drive combination vehicles.
similar. The examiner will tell you how each control
test is to be done.
X
5*
X
6
X
X
X
X
X
7
X
X
8
X
9
X
X
10
X
11
X
X
X
X
X
12
X
X
X
X
X
13
X
X
X
X
X
*Study section 5 if you plan to operate vehicles
equipped with air brakes.
Figure 1.2 – What to Study
Page 1-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
1.2 – Medical Documentation
Requirements
1.2.2 – Inter/Intrastate Commerce: Status Nonexcepted or Excepted?
Starting January 30, 2012 and no later than
January 30, 2014, if you are applying for a CDL
Permit; or are renewing, upgrading, adding
endorsements to a CDL; or transferring a CDL
from another state, you are required to provide
information to your State Driver’s License Agency
(SDLA) regarding the type of commercial motor
vehicle operation you drive in or expect to drive in
with your CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of
commerce will be required to submit a current
medical examiner’s certificate and/or any medical
variance documents that you have been issued
(i.e. Vision, Skills Performance or Diabetic waivers,
or other exemptions) to your SDLA to obtain a
“certified” medical status as part of your driving
record. You must contact your State Driver
Licensing Agency (SDLA) to obtain information
regarding the requirement for submitting these
documents.
Once you decide whether you will operate in
interstate commerce or intrastate commerce,
you must decide whether you will operate (or
expect to operate) in a non-excepted or excepted
status. This decision will tell you to which of the
four types of commerce you must self-certify.
If you are required to have a ”certified” medical
status and fail to provide and keep up-to-date your
medical examiner’s certificate you become ”notcertified” and may lose your CDL.
For the purpose of complying with the new
requirements for medical certification, it is
important to know how you are using the CMV.
The following information will help you decide how
to self-certify:
1.2.1 – Interstate or Intrastate Commerce
Do you, or will you, use a CDL to operate a CMV in
interstate or intrastate commerce?
Interstate commerce is when you drive a CMV:
From one State to another State or a foreign
country;
Between two places within a State, but during part
of the trip, the CMV crosses into another State or
foreign country; or
Between two places within a State, but the cargo
or passengers are part of a trip that began or will
end in another State or foreign country.
Intrastate commerce is when you drive a CMV
within a State and you do not meet any of the
descriptions above for interstate commerce.
If you operate in both intrastate commerce and
interstate commerce, you must choose interstate
commerce.
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
Interstate Commerce:
You operate in excepted interstate commerce
when you drive a CMV in interstate commerce only
for the following excepted activities:
To transport school children and/or school staff
between home and school;
As Federal, State or local government employees;
To transport human corpses or sick or injured
persons;
Fire truck or rescue vehicle drivers
emergencies and other related activities;
during
Primarily in the transportation of propane winter
heating fuel when responding to an emergency
condition requiring immediate response such as
damage to a propane gas system after a storm or
flooding;
In Response to a pipeline emergency condition
requiring immediate response such as a pipeline
leak or rupture;
In custom harvesting on a farm or to transport farm
machinery and supplies used in the custom
harvesting operation to and from a farm or to
transport custom harvested crops to storage or
market;
Beekeeper in the seasonal transportation of bees;
Controlled and operated by a farmer, but is not a
combination vehicle (power unit and towed unit),
and is used to transport agricultural products, farm
machinery or farm supplies (no placardable
hazardous materials) to and from a farm and within
150 air-miles of the farm;
As a private motor carrier of passengers for nonbusiness purposes ; or
To transport migrant workers.
If you answered yes to one or more of the above
activities as the only operation in which you drive,
you operate in excepted interstate commerce
and do not need a Federal medical examiner’s
certificate.
Page 1-3
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
If you answered no to all of the above activities,
you operate in non-excepted interstate
commerce and are required to provide a current
medical
examiner’s
certificate
(49
CFR
391.45),commonly referred to as a medical
certificate or DOT card, to your State Driver
Licensing Agency (SDLA). Most CDL holders who
drive CMVs in interstate commerce are nonexcepted interstate commerce drivers.
If you operate in both excepted interstate
commerce
and
non-excepted
interstate
commerce, you must choose non-excepted
interstate commerce to be qualified to operate in
both types of interstate commerce.
Intrastate Commerce:
You operate in excepted Intrastate commerce
when you drive a CMV only in intrastate commerce
activities for which your State of licensure has
determined do not require you to meet the State’s
medical certification requirements. (contact your
SDLA about their requirements).
You operate in non-excepted intrastate
commerce when you drive a CMV only in
intrastate commerce and are required to meet your
State
of
licensure’s
medical
certification
requirements (contact your SDLA about their
requirements).
If you operate in both excepted intrastate
commerce
and
non-excepted
intrastate
commerce, you must choose non-excepted
intrastate commerce.
1.2.3 – Self-Certification Statements
When completing an application for your CDL, you
will be required to check the box next to the
statement that describes your status. The actual
statements on your application may vary from
those shown below:
 Interstate non-excepted: I certify that I
operate or expect to operate in interstate
commerce, that I am subject to and meet the
Federal DOT medical card requirements under
49 CFR part 391; and that I am required to
obtain a medical examiner’s certificate.
 Interstate excepted: I certify that I operate or
expect to operate in interstate commerce, but
engage exclusively in transportation or
operations excepted under 49 CFR §§390.3(f),
391.2, 391.68 or 398.3 from all or parts of the
qualification requirements of 49 CFR part 391;
and that I am not required to obtain a medical
examiner’s certificate.
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
 Intrastate non-excepted: I certify that I
operate or expect to operate entirely in
intrastate commerce, that I am subject to and
meet the medical requirements for my State;
and that I am required to obtain a medical
examiner’s certificate.
 Intrastate excepted: I certify that I operate or
expect to operate entirely in intrastate
commerce, that I am not subject to the medical
requirements for my State; and that I am not
required to obtain a medical examiner’s
certificate.
1.3 - CDL Disqualifications
1.3.1 – General
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if
you are disqualified for any reason.
1.3.2 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an
Accident, and Commission of a Felony
It is illegal to operate a CMV if your blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. If you
operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have
given your consent to alcohol testing (implied
consent).
You will lose your CDL for at least one year for a
first offense for:
Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration
is .04% or higher.
Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol.
Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
Driving a CMV while under the influence of a
controlled substance.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV.
Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
Driving a CMV when the CDL is suspended.
Causing a fatality through negligent operation of a
CMV.
You will lose your CDL for at least three years if
the offense occurs while you are operating a CMV
that is placarded for hazardous materials.
You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense.
You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to
commit a felony involving controlled substances.
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You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you
have any detectable amount of alcohol under
.04%.
You will be disqualified from operating a school
bus for a minimum of ten years if you refuse to
undergo blood alcohol testing or upon a conviction
of DWI regardless of the type of vehicle driven at
the time of offense
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.
1.3.3 – Serious Traffic Violations
For drivers who are always required to stop, failing
to stop before driving onto the crossing.
Serious traffic violations are excessive speeding
(15 mph or more above the posted limit), reckless
driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following
a vehicle too closely, traffic offenses committed in
a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents,
driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL or having a
CDL in the driver’s possession, and driving a CMV
without the proper class of CDL and/or
endorsements.
For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to
drive completely through the crossing without
stopping.
You will lose your CDL:
1.3.6 – Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Background Check and Disqualifications
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 or more serious
traffic violations within a three-year period involving
a CMV.
1.3.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
You will lose your CDL:
For 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.
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.
[For at least 90 180 days if you have committed
your first violation of an out-of-service order.
Renounce your United States citizenship.
For at least one year if you have committed two
violations of an out-of-service order in a ten-year
period.
Have a conviction in military or civilian court for
certain felonies.
For at least three years if you have committed
three or more violations of an out-of-service order
in a ten-year period].
1.3.5 – Railroad-highway
Violations
Grade
Crossing
You will lose your CDL:
For at least 60 days for your first violation.
For at least 120 days for your second violation
within a three-year period.
For at least one year for your third violation within a
three-year period.
These violations include violation of a federal, state
or local law or regulation pertaining to one of the
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
Are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or
committed to a mental institution.
Are considered to pose a security threat as
determined by the Transportation Security
Administration.
The background check procedures vary from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Your licensing agency
will provide you with all the information you need to
complete the required TSA background check
procedures.
1.3.7 – Traffic Violations in Your Personal
Vehicle
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act
(MCSIA) of 1999 requires a CDL holder to be
disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle if the CDL holder has been convicted of
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
certain types of moving violations in their personal
vehicle.
If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to violations
of traffic control laws (other than parking violations)
you will also lose your CDL driving privileges.
If your privilege to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to alcohol,
controlled substance or felony violations, you will
lose your CDL for 1 year. If you are convicted of a
second violation in your personal vehicle or CMV
you will lose your CDL for life.
If your license to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended you may not
obtain a “hardship” license to operate a CMV.
1.4 – Other CDL Rules
There are other federal and state rules that affect
drivers operating CMVs in all states. Among them
are:
You cannot have more than one license. If you
break this rule, a court may fine you up to $5,000
or put you in jail and keep your home state license
and return any others.
You must notify your employer within 30 days of
conviction for any traffic violations (except parking).
This is true no matter what type of vehicle you
were driving.
You must notify your motor vehicle licensing
agency within 30 days if you are convicted in any
other jurisdiction of any traffic violation (except
parking). This is true no matter what type of vehicle
you were driving.
You must notify your employer within two business
days if your license is suspended, revoked, or
canceled, or if you are disqualified from driving.
You must give your employer information on all
driving jobs you have held for the past 10 years.
You must do this when you apply for a commercial
driving job.
No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle
without a CDL. A court may fine you up to $5,000
or put you in jail for breaking this rule.
If you have a hazardous materials endorsement
you must notify and surrender your hazardous
materials endorsement to the state that issued
your CDL within 24 hours of any conviction or
indictment in any jurisdiction, civilian or military, for,
or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a
disqualifying crime listed in 49 CFR 1572.103; who
is adjudicated as a mental defective or committed
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
to a mental institution as specified in 49 CFR
1572.109; or who renounces his or her U. S.
citizenship;
Your employer may not let you drive a commercial
motor vehicle if you have more than one license or
if you’re CDL is suspended or revoked. A court
may fine the employer up to $5,000 or put him/her
in jail for breaking this rule.
All states are connected to one computerized
system to share information about CDL drivers.
The states will check on drivers' accident records
to be sure that drivers do not have more than one
CDL.
You are not allowed to hold a mobile telephone to
conduct a voice communication or dial a mobile
telephone by pressing more than a single button
when driving.
You are not allowed to send or read text messages
while driving.
You must be properly restrained by a safety belt
at all times while operating a commercial motor
vehicle. The safety belt design holds the driver
securely behind the wheel during a crash,
helping the driver to control the vehicle and
reduces the chance of serious injury or death.
If you do not wear a safety belt, you are four
times more likely to be fatally injured if you are
thrown from the vehicle.
Your state may have additional rules that you
must also obey.
1.5 – International Registration Plan
International Fuel Tax Agreement
If you operate a CDL required vehicle in interstate
commerce, the vehicle, with few exceptions, is
required to be registered under the International
Registration Plan (IRP) and the International Fuel
Tax Agreement (IFTA). These federally mandated
programs provide for the equitable collection and
distribution of vehicle license fees and motor fuels
taxes for vehicles traveling throughout the 48
contiguous United States and 10 Canadian
provinces.
Under the IRP, jurisdictions must register
apportioned vehicles which includes issuing
license plates and cab cards or proper credentials,
calculate, collect and distribute IRP fees, audit
carriers for accuracy of reported distance and fees
and enforce IRP requirements.
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Registrant responsibilities under the Plan include
applying for IRP registration with base jurisdiction,
providing proper documentation for registration,
paying appropriate IRP registration fees, properly
displaying registration credentials, maintaining
accurate distance records, and making records
available for jurisdiction review.
The basic concept behind IFTA is to allow a
licensee (motor carrier) to license in a base
jurisdiction for the reporting and payment of motor
fuel use taxes.
Under the IFTA, a licensee is issued one set of
credentials which will authorize operations through
all IFTA member jurisdictions. The fuel use taxes
collected pursuant to the IFTA are calculated
based on the number of miles (kilometers) traveled
and the number of gallons (liters) consumed in the
member jurisdictions. The licensee files one
quarterly tax return with the base jurisdiction by
which the licensee will report all operations through
all IFTA member jurisdictions.
It is the base jurisdiction's responsibility to remit
the taxes collected to other member jurisdictions
and to represent the other member jurisdictions in
the tax collection process, including the
performance of audits.
An IFTA licensee must retain records to support
the information reported on the IFTA quarterly tax
return
The IRP registrant and the IFTA licensee may
be the vehicle owner or the vehicle operator.
The requirement for acquiring IRP plates for a
vehicle and IFTA license for a motor carrier is
determined by the definitions from the IRP Plan
and the IFTA for Qualified Vehicle and Qualified
Motor Vehicle:
For purposes of IRP:
A Qualified Vehicle is (except as provided
below) any Power Unit that is used or
intended for use in two or more Member
Jurisdictions and that is used for the
transportation of persons for hire or designed,
used, or maintained primarily for the
transportation of property, and:
(i) has two Axles and a gross Vehicle weight
or registered gross Vehicle weight in
(ii) excess of 26,000 pounds (11,793.401
kilograms), or
(iii) has three or more Axles, regardless of
weight, or
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2014
(iv) is used in combination, when the gross
Vehicle weight of such combination
exceeds
26,000
pounds (11,793.401
kilograms).
While similar, the Qualified Motor Vehicle in
IFTA means a motor vehicle used, designed, or
maintained for transportation of persons or
property and:
1) Having two axles and a gross vehicle
weight or registered gross vehicle weight
exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797
kilograms; or
2) Having three or more axles regardless of
weight; or
3) 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 Distance
Record (IVDR), sometimes times referred to as a
Driver Trip Report. This document reflects the
distance traveled and fuel purchased for a
vehicle
that
operates
interstate
under
apportioned (IRP) registration and IFTA fuel tax
credentials.
Although the actual format of the IVDR may vary,
the information that is required for proper record
keeping does not.
In order to satisfy the requirements for Individual
Vehicle Distance Records, these documents must
include the following information:
Distance
Per Article IV of the IRP Plan
(i) Date of trip (starting and ending)
(ii) Trip origin and destination – City and State
or Province
(iii) Route(s) of travel
(iv) Beginning and ending odometer or
hubometer reading of the trip
(v) Total distance traveled
(vi) In-Jurisdiction distance
(vii) Power unit number or vehicle identification
number.
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Fuel
Per Section P560 of the IFTA Procedures Manual
.300 An acceptable receipt or invoice must
include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
.005 Date of purchase
.010 Seller's name and address
.015 Number of gallons or liters purchased;
.020 Fuel type
.025 Price per gallon or liter or total amount of
sale
.030 Unit number or other unique vehicle
identifier
.035 Purchaser's name
An example of an IVDR that must be completed in
its entirety for each trip can be found in Figure 1
below. Each individual IVDR should be filled out
for only one vehicle. The rules to follow when
trying to determine how and when to log an
odometer reading are the following:



fines, penalties and suspension or revocation of
IRP registrations and IFTA licenses.
For additional information on the IRP and the
requirements related to the IRP, contact your base
jurisdiction motor vehicle department or IRP, Inc.
the official repository for the IRP. Additional
information can be found on the IRP, Inc. website
at www.irponline.org. There is a training video on
the website home page available in English,
Spanish and French
For additional information on IFTA and the
requirements related to IFTA, contact the
appropriate agency in your base jurisdiction. You
will also find useful information about the
Agreement at the official repository of IFTA at
http://www.iftach.org/index.php.
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.
Make sure that any trips that you enter are always
filled out in descending order and that your trips
include all state/provinces that you traveled through
on your route.
There are different routes that a driver may take,
and most of the miles may be within one state or
province. Whether or not the distance you travel is
primarily in one jurisdiction or spread among
several jurisdictions, all information for the trip
must be recorded. This includes the dates, the
routes, odometer readings and fuel purchases.
By completing this document in full and keeping all
records required by both the IRP and the IFTA, you
will have ensured that you and your company are
in compliance with all State and Provincial laws
surrounding fuel and distance record keeping
requirements.
The IVDR serves as the source document for the
calculation of fees and taxes that are payable to
the jurisdictions in which the vehicle is operated, so
these original records must be maintained for a
minimum of four years.
In addition, these records are subject to audit by
the taxing jurisdictions. Failure to maintain
complete and accurate records could result in
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Version: July 2014
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Figure 1 – Individual Vehicle Mileage & Fuel Record (Example)
Section 1 - Introduction
Version: July 2013
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Section 2
DRIVING SAFELY
This Section Covers
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Vehicle Inspection
Basic Control of Your Vehicle
Shifting Gears
Seeing
Communicating
Space Management
Controlling Your Speed
Seeing Hazards
Distracted Driving
Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
Night Driving & Driver Fatigue
Driving in Fog
Winter Driving
Hot Weather Driving
Railroad-highway Crossings
Mountain Driving
Driving Emergencies
Antilock Braking Systems
Skid Control and Recovery
Accident Procedures
Fires
Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
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 Vehicle Inspection Test, you must review
the material in Section 11 in addition to the
information in this section. This section does have
basic information on hazardous materials (HazMat)
that all drivers should know. If you need a HazMat
endorsement, you should study Section 9.
2.1 – Vehicle Inspection
2.1.1 – Why Inspect
Safety is the most important reason you inspect
your vehicle, safety for yourself and for other road
users.
A vehicle defect found during an inspection could
save you problems later. You could have a
breakdown on the road that will cost time and
dollars, or even worse, a crash caused by the
defect.
Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect
their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also
may inspect your vehicles. If they judge the vehicle
to be unsafe, they will put it "out of service" until it
is fixed.
2.1.2 – Types of Vehicle Inspection
Pre-trip Inspection. A Pre-trip inspection will help
you find problems that could cause a crash or
breakdown.
During a Trip. For safety you should:
Watch gauges for signs of trouble.
Use your senses to check for problems (look,
listen, smell, feel).
Check critical items when you stop:






Tires, wheels and rims.
Brakes.
Lights and reflectors.
Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
Trailer coupling devices.
Cargo securement devices.
After-trip Inspection and Report. You should do
an after-trip inspection at the end of the trip, day, or
tour of duty on each vehicle you operated. It may
include filling out a vehicle condition report listing
any problems you find. The inspection report helps
a motor carrier know when the vehicle needs
repairs.
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.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Cut or cracked valve stems.
Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the
front wheels of a bus are prohibited.
Wheel and Rim Problems
Damaged rims.
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.
Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are
loose--check tightness. After a tire has been
changed, stop a short while later and re-check
tightness of nuts.
Missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs means
danger.
Mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings are
dangerous.
Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are
not safe.
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
Cracked drums.
Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on
them.
Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.
Steering System Defects
Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
Figure 2.2
Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering
column, steering gear box, or tie rods.
If power steering equipped, check hoses, pumps,
and fluid level; check for leaks.
Steering wheel play of more than 10 degrees
(approximately 2 inches movement at the rim of a
20-inch steering wheel) can make it hard to steer.
Cracked or broken spring hangers.
Missing or broken leaves in any leaf spring. If onefourth or more are missing, it will put the vehicle
"out of service", but any defect could be
dangerous. See Figure 2.3.
Figure 2.3
Figure 2.1
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Figure 2.3
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Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves that
have shifted so they might hit a tire or other part.
Leaking shock absorbers.
Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or
other axle positioning parts that are cracked,
damaged, or missing.
Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or
leaking. See Figure 2.4.
Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame
members.
hazardous materials, you must inspect for proper
papers and placarding.
2.1.4 – CDL Pre-trip Inspection Test
In order to obtain a CDL you will be required to
pass a Pre-trip inspection test. You will be tested to
see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to
drive. You will be asked to do a Pre-trip inspection
of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what
you would inspect and why. The following sevenstep inspection method should be useful.
2.1.5 – Seven-step Inspection Method
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.
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, lowhanging 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).
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.
Warning devices for parked vehicles (for example,
three reflective warning triangles or 6 fusees or 3
liquid burning flares).
Power steering fluid level; hose condition (if so
equipped).
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
Battery fluid level, connections and tie downs
(battery may be located elsewhere)
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Windshield washer fluid level.
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.
Leaks in the engine compartment (fuel, coolant, oil,
power steering fluid, hydraulic fluid, battery fluid).
Cracked, worn electrical wiring insulation.
Lower and secure
compartment door.
hood,
cab,
or
Parking brake.
Retarder controls (if vehicle has them).
Transmission controls.
Interaxle differential lock (if vehicle has one).
Horn(s).
Windshield wiper/washer.
engine
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).
Lights.
Headlights.
Dimmer switch.
Turn signal.
Four-way flashers.
Parking,
clearance,
switch(es).
identification,
marker
Start engine; listen for unusual noises.
If equipped, check the Anti-lock Braking System
(ABS) indicator lights. Light on dash should come
on and then turn off. If it stays on the ABS is not
working properly. For trailers only, if the yellow
light on the left rear of the trailer stays on, the ABS
is not working properly.
Look at the Gauges
Oil pressure. Should come up to normal within
seconds after engine is started. See Figure 2.5
Air pressure. Pressure should build from 50 to 90
psi within 3 minutes. Build air pressure to governor
cut-out (usually around 120 – 140 psi. Know your
vehicle’s requirements.
Ammeter and/or voltmeter. Should be in normal
range(s).
Coolant temperature. Should begin gradual rise to
normal operating range.
Engine oil temperature. Should begin gradual rise
to normal operating range.
Warning lights and buzzers. Oil, coolant, charging
circuit warning, and antilock brake system lights
should go out right away.
Check Condition of Controls. Check all of the
following for looseness, sticking, damage, or
improper setting:
Steering wheel.
Clutch.
Accelerator ("gas pedal").
Brake controls.
Foot brake.
Trailer brake (if vehicle has one).
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Figure 2.5
Check Mirrors and Windshield. Inspect mirrors
and windshield for cracks, dirt, illegal stickers, or
other obstructions to seeing clearly. Clean and
adjust as necessary.
Check Emergency Equipment
Check for safety equipment:
Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has circuit
breakers).
Three red reflective triangles, 6 fusees or 3 liquid
burning flares.
Properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
Check for optional items such as:
Chains (where winter conditions require).
Tire changing equipment.
List of emergency phone numbers
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Accident reporting kit (packet).
Condition of front axle.
Check Safety Belt. Check that the safety belt is
securely mounted, adjusts; latches properly and is
not ripped or frayed.
Condition of steering system.
Step 4: Turn Off Engine and Check Lights
Must grab steering mechanism to test for
looseness.
Make sure the parking brake is set, turn off the
engine, and take the key with you. Turn on
headlights (low beams) and four-way emergency
flashers, and get out of the vehicle.
Step 5: Do Walk-around Inspection
Go to front of vehicle and check that low beams
are on and both of the four-way flashers are
working.
Push dimmer switch and check that high beams
work.
Turn off headlights and four-way emergency
flashers.
Turn on parking, clearance, side-marker, and
identification lights.
Turn on right turn signal, and start walk-around
inspection.
General
Walk around and inspect.
No loose, worn, bent, damaged or missing parts.
Condition of windshield.
Check for damage and clean if dirty.
Check windshield wiper arms for proper spring
tension.
Check wiper blades for damage, "stiff" rubber, and
securement.
Lights and reflectors.
Parking, clearance, and identification lights clean,
operating, and proper color (amber at front).
Reflectors clean and proper color (amber at front).
Right front turn signal light clean, operating, and
proper color (amber or white on signals facing
forward).
Right Side
Right front: check all items as done on left front.
Primary and secondary safety cab locks engaged
(if cab-over-engine design).
Driver's door glass should be clean.
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.
Door latches or locks should work properly.
Rear of engine--not leaking.
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.
Transmission--not leaking.
Clean all lights, reflectors, and glass as you go
along.
Left Front Side
Left front suspension.
Condition of spring, spring hangers, shackles,
u-bolts.
Shock absorber condition.
Left front brake.
Condition of brake drum or disc.
Condition of hoses.
Exhaust system--secure, not leaking, not touching
wires, fuel, or air-lines.
Frame and cross members--no bends or cracks.
Air-lines and electrical wiring--secured against
snagging, rubbing, wearing.
Spare tire carrier or rack not damaged (if so
equipped).
Spare tire and/or wheel securely mounted in rack.
Spare tire and wheel adequate (proper size,
properly inflated).
Cargo securement (trucks).
Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained, etc.
Header board adequate, secure (if required).
Front
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Side boards, stakes strong enough, free of
damage, properly set in place (if so equipped).
Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to
prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of mirrors.
Taillights clean, operating, and proper color (red at
rear).
Right rear turn signal operating, and proper color
(red, yellow, or amber at rear).
If oversize, all required signs (flags, lamps, and
reflectors) safely and properly mounted and all
required permits in driver's possession.
License plate(s) present, clean, and secured.
Curbside cargo compartment doors in good
condition, securely closed, latched/locked and
required security seals in place.
Cargo secure (trucks).
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.
Splash guards present, not damaged, properly
fastened, not dragging on ground, or rubbing tires.
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.
Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias
types.
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.
Tires evenly matched (same sizes).
Rear doors securely closed, latched/locked.
Wheel bearing/seals not leaking.
Suspension.
Condition of spring(s), spring hangers, shackles,
and u-bolts.
Axle secure.
Powered axle(s) not leaking lube (gear oil).
Condition of torque rod arms, bushings.
Condition of shock absorber(s).
If retractable axle equipped, check condition of lift
mechanism. If air powered, check for leaks.
Condition of air ride components.
Brakes.
Left Side
Check all items as done on right side, plus:
Battery(ies) (if not mounted in engine
compartment).
Battery box(es) securely mounted to vehicle.
Box has secure cover.
Battery(ies) secured against movement.
Battery(ies) not broken or leaking.
Fluid in battery(ies) at proper level (except
maintenance-free type).
Cell caps present and securely tightened (except
maintenance-free type).
Brake adjustment.
Condition of brake drum(s) or discs.
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).
Get In and Turn Off Lights
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).
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Step 6: Check Signal 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).
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Left rear turn signal light and both stop lights clean,
operating, and proper color (red, yellow, or amber).
Instruments.
Get In Vehicle
Temperature gauges.
Turn off lights not needed for driving.
Pressure gauges.
Check for all required papers, trip manifests,
permits, etc.
Ammeter/voltmeter.
Secure all loose articles in cab (they might interfere
with operation of the controls or hit you in a crash).
Start the engine.
Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).
Mirrors.
Tires.
Cargo, cargo covers.
Lights, etc
Step 7: Start the Engine and Check
Test for Hydraulic Leaks. If the vehicle has
hydraulic brakes, pump the brake pedal three
times. Then apply firm pressure to the pedal and
hold for five seconds. The pedal should not move.
If it does, there may be a leak or other problem.
Get it fixed before driving. If the vehicle has air
brakes, do the checks described in Sections 5 and
6 of this manual.
Brake System
Test Parking Brake(s)
Fasten safety belt
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.
Set parking brake (power unit only).
Release trailer parking brake (if applicable).
Place vehicle into a low gear.
Gently pull forward against parking brake to make
sure the parking brake holds.
Repeat the same steps for the trailer with trailer
parking brake set and power unit parking brakes
released (if applicable).
If it doesn't hold vehicle, it is faulty; get it fixed.
Test Service Brake Stopping Action
Go about five miles per hour.
Push brake pedal firmly
"Pulling" to one side or the other can mean brake
trouble.
Any unusual brake pedal "feel" or delayed stopping
action can mean trouble.
If you find anything unsafe during the Vehicle
inspection, get it fixed. Federal and state laws
forbid operating an unsafe vehicle.
2.1.6 – Inspection during a Trip
Check Vehicle Operation Regularly
You should check:
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Subsection 2.1
Test Your Knowledge
The vehicle inspection report tells the motor carrier
about problems that may need fixing. Keep a copy
of your report in the vehicle for one day. That way,
the next driver can learn about any problems you
have found.
1. What is the most important reason for doing a
vehicle inspection?
2. What things should you check during a trip?
3. Name some key steering system parts.
4. Name some suspension system defects.
5. What three kinds of emergency equipment
must you have?
6. What is the minimum tread depth for front
tires? For other tires?
7. Name some things you should check on the
front of your vehicle during the walk around
inspection.
8. What should wheel bearing seals be checked
for?
9. How many red reflective triangles should you
carry?
10. How do you test hydraulic brakes for leaks?
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11. Why put the starter switch key in your pocket
during the Vehicle inspection?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 2.1.
2.2 – Basic Control of Your Vehicle
To drive a vehicle safely, you must be able to
control its speed and direction. Safe operation of a
commercial vehicle requires skill in:
the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, push the clutch in
when the engine is close to idle.
2.2.4 – Backing Safely
Because you cannot see everything behind your
vehicle, backing is always dangerous. Avoid
backing whenever you can. When you park, try to
park so you will be able to pull forward when you
leave. When you have to back, here are a few
simple safety rules:
Start in the proper position.
Accelerating.
Look at your path.
Steering.
Use mirrors on both sides.
Stopping.
Back slowly.
Backing safely.
Back and turn toward the driver's side whenever
possible.
Fasten your seatbelt when on the road. Apply the
parking brake when you leave your vehicle.
Use a helper whenever possible.
These rules are discussed in turn below.
2.2.1 – Accelerating
Don't roll back when you start. You may hit
someone behind you. If you have a manual
transmission vehicle, partly engage the clutch
before you take your right foot off the brake. Put on
the parking brake whenever necessary to keep
from rolling back. Release the parking brake only
when you have applied enough engine power to
keep from rolling back. On a tractor-trailer
equipped with a trailer brake hand valve, the hand
valve can be applied to keep from rolling back.
Speed up smoothly and gradually so the vehicle
does not jerk. Rough acceleration can cause
mechanical damage. When pulling a trailer, rough
acceleration can damage the coupling.
Speed up very gradually when traction is poor, as
in rain or snow. If you use too much power, the
drive wheels may spin. You could lose control. If
the drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot off
the accelerator.
2.2.2 – Steering
Hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
Your hands should be on opposite sides of the
wheel. If you hit a curb or a pothole (chuckhole),
the wheel could pull away from your hands unless
you have a firm hold.
2.2.3 – Stopping
Push the brake pedal down gradually. The amount
of brake pressure you need to stop the vehicle will
depend on the speed of the vehicle and how
quickly you need to stop. Control the pressure so
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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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 that you can see better.
Backing toward the right side is very dangerous
because you can't see as well. If you back and turn
toward the driver's side, you can watch the rear of
your vehicle by looking out the side window. Use
driver-side backing--even if it means going around
the block to put your vehicle in this position. The
added safety is worth it.
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
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signals that you both understand. Agree on a
signal for "stop."
Press accelerator, increase engine and gear speed
to the rpm required in the lower gear.
2.3 – Shifting Gears
Push in clutch and shift to lower gear at the same
time.
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 for the next gear (this takes practice).
Push in clutch and shift to the higher gear at the
same time.
Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
time.
Shifting gears using double clutching requires
practice. If you remain too long in neutral, you may
have difficulty putting the vehicle into the next
gear. If so, don't try to force it. Return to neutral,
release clutch, increase engine speed to match
road speed, and try again.
Knowing When to Shift Up. There are two ways
of knowing when to shift:
Use Engine Speed (rpm). Study the driver's
manual for your vehicle and learn the operating
rpm range. Watch your tachometer, and shift up
when your engine reaches the top of the range.
(Some newer vehicles use "progressive" shifting:
the rpm at which you shift becomes higher as you
move up in the gears. Find out what's right for the
vehicle you will operate.)
Use Road Speed (mph). Learn what speeds each
gear is good for. Then, by using the speedometer,
you'll know when to shift up.
With either method, you may learn to use engine
sounds to know when to shift.
Basic Procedures for Shifting Down
Release accelerator, push in clutch, and shift to
neutral at the same time.
Release clutch.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
time.
Downshifting, like upshifting, requires knowing
when to shift. Use either the tachometer or the
speedometer and downshift at the right rpm or
road speed.
Special conditions where you should downshift
are:
Before Starting Down a Hill. Slow down and shift
down to a speed that you can control without using
the brakes hard. Otherwise the brakes can
overheat and lose their braking power.
Downshift before starting down the hill. Make sure
you are in a low enough gear, usually lower than
the gear required to climb the same hill.
Before Entering a Curve. Slow down to a safe
speed, and downshift to the right gear before
entering the curve. This lets you use some power
through the curve to help the vehicle be more
stable while turning. It also allows you to speed up
as soon as you are out of the curve.
2.3.2 – Multi-speed Rear Axles and Auxiliary
Transmissions
Multi-speed rear axles and auxiliary transmissions
are used on many vehicles to provide extra gears.
You usually control them by a selector knob or
switch on the gearshift lever of the main
transmission. There are many different shift
patterns. Learn the right way to shift gears in the
vehicle you will drive.
2.3.3 – Automatic Transmissions
Some vehicles have automatic transmissions. You
can select a low range to get greater engine
braking when going down grades. The lower
ranges prevent the transmission from shifting up
beyond the selected gear (unless the governor rpm
is exceeded). It is very important to use this
braking effect when going down grades.
2.3.4 – Retarders
Some vehicles have "retarders." Retarders help
slow a vehicle, reducing the need for using your
brakes. They reduce brake wear and give you
another way to slow down. There are four basic
types of retarders (exhaust, engine, hydraulic, and
electric). All retarders can be turned on or off by
the driver. On some vehicles the retarding power
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can be adjusted. When turned "on," retarders apply
their braking power (to the drive wheels only)
whenever you let up on the accelerator pedal all
the way.
Because these devices can be noisy, be sure you
know where their use is permitted.
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.
Caution. When your drive wheels have poor
traction, the retarder may cause them to skid.
Therefore, you should turn the retarder off
whenever the road is wet, icy, or snow covered.
Subsections 2.2 and 2.3
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
Why should you back toward the driver's
side?
If stopped on a hill, how can you start
moving without rolling back?
When backing, why is it important to use a
helper?
What's the most important hand signal that
you and the helper should agree on?
What are the two special conditions where
you should downshift?
When should you downshift automatic
transmissions?
Retarders keep you from skidding when
the road is slippery. True or False?
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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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.
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.
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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.
Merges. When merging, use your mirrors to make
sure the gap in traffic is large enough for you to
enter safely.
Tight Maneuvers. Any time you are driving in
close quarters, check your mirrors often. Make
sure you have enough clearance.
How to Use Mirrors. Use mirrors correctly by
checking them quickly and understanding what you
see.
When you use your mirrors while driving on the
road, check quickly. Look back and forth between
the mirrors and the road ahead. Don't focus on the
mirrors for too long. Otherwise, you will travel quite
a distance without knowing what's happening
ahead.
Many large vehicles have curved (convex,
"fisheye," "spot," "bug-eye") mirrors that show a
wider area than flat mirrors. This is often helpful.
But everything appears smaller in a convex mirror
than it would if you were looking at it directly.
Things also seem farther away than they really are.
It's important to realize this and to allow for it.
Figure 2.7 shows the field of vision using a convex
mirror.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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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 way a driver you didn't see may
have a chance to honk his/her horn, or avoid your
vehicle.
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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:
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you
pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the
four-way emergency flashers. This is important at
night. Do not trust taillights to give warning.
Drivers have crashed into the rear of a parked
vehicle because they thought it was moving
normally.
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.
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:
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.
If you 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
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.)
Don't Direct Traffic. Some drivers try to help out
others by signaling when it is safe to pass. You
should not do this. You could cause an accident.
You could be blamed and it could cost you many
thousands of dollars.
2.5.2 – Communicating Your Presence
Other drivers may not notice your vehicle even
when it's in plain sight. To help prevent accidents,
let them know you're there.
When Passing. Whenever you are about to pass a
vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist, assume they don't
see you. They could suddenly move in front of you.
When it is legal, tap the horn lightly or, at night,
flash your lights from low to high beam and back.
And, drive carefully enough to avoid a crash even
if they don't see or hear you.
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.
When It's Hard to See. At dawn, dusk, in rain, or
snow, you need to make yourself easier to see. If
you are having trouble seeing other vehicles, other
drivers will have trouble seeing you. Turn on your
lights. Use the headlights, not just the identification
or clearance lights. Use the low beams; high
beams can bother people in the daytime as well as
at night.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Figure 2.10
When putting out the triangles, hold them between
yourself and the oncoming traffic for your own
safety. (So other drivers can see you.)
Use Your Horn When Needed. Your horn can let
others know you're there. It can help to avoid a
crash. Use your horn when needed. However, it
can startle others and could be dangerous when
used unnecessarily.
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.
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
1¾ seconds. At 55 mph this accounts for 142 feet
traveled.
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Reaction distance.
The distance you will
continue to travel, in ideal conditions; before you
physically hit the brakes, in response to a hazard
seen ahead. The average driver has a reaction
time of ¾ second to 1 second. At 55 mph this
accounts for 61 feet traveled.
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
Braking distance. The distance your vehicle will
travel, in ideal conditions; while you are braking.
At 55 mph on dry pavement with good brakes, it
can take about 216 feet.
Total stopping distance. The total minimum
distance your vehicle has traveled, in ideal
conditions; with everything considered, including
perception distance, reaction distance and braking
distance, until you can bring your vehicle to a
complete stop. At 55 mph, your vehicle will travel
a minimum of 419 feet. See Figure 2.11.
You can't steer or brake a vehicle unless you have
traction. Traction is friction between the tires and
the road. There are some road conditions that
reduce traction and call for lower speeds.
Slippery Surfaces. It will take longer to stop, and
it will be harder to turn without skidding, when the
road is slippery. Wet roads can double stopping
distance. You must drive slower to be able to stop
in the same distance as on a dry road. Reduce
speed by about one-third (e.g., slow from 55 to
about 35 mph) on a wet road. On packed snow,
reduce speed by a half, or more. If the surface is
icy, reduce speed to a crawl and stop driving as
soon as you can safely do so.
Identifying Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes it's
hard to know if the road is slippery. Here are some
signs of slippery roads:
Shaded Areas. Shady parts of the road will remain
icy and slippery long after open areas have melted.
Bridges. When the temperature drops, bridges will
freeze before the road will. Be especially careful
when the temperature is close to 32 degrees
Fahrenheit.
Melting Ice. Slight melting will make ice wet. Wet
ice is much more slippery than ice that is not wet.
Figure 2.11
The Effect of Speed on Stopping Distance.
The faster you drive, the greater the impact or
striking power of your vehicle. When you double
your speed from 20 to 40 mph the impact is 4
times greater. The braking distance is also 4 times
longer. Triple the speed from 20 to 60 mph and
the impact and braking distance is 9 times greater.
At 60 mph, your stopping distance is greater than
the length of a football field. Increase the speed to
80 mph and the impact and braking distance are
16 times greater than at 20 mph. High speeds
greatly increase the severity of crashes and
stopping distances. By slowing down, you can
reduce braking distance.
The Effect of Vehicle Weight on Stopping
Distance. The heavier the vehicle, the more work
the brakes must do to stop it, and the more heat
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Black Ice. Black ice is a thin layer that is clear
enough that you can see the road underneath it. It
makes the road look wet. Any time the temperature
is below freezing and the road looks wet, watch out
for black ice.
Vehicle Icing. An easy way to check for ice is to
open the window and feel the front of the mirror,
mirror support, or antenna. If there's ice on these,
the road surface is probably starting to ice up.
Just After Rain Begins. Right after it starts to rain,
the water mixes with oil left on the road by
vehicles. This makes the road very slippery. If the
rain continues, it will wash the oil away.
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
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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.
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.
2.6.3 – Speed and Curves
Steepness of the grade.
Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in the
road. If you take a curve too fast, two things can
happen. The tires can lose their traction and
continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road.
Or, the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle
rolls over. Tests have shown that trucks with a high
center of gravity can roll over at the posted speed
limit for a curve.
Road conditions.
Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve.
Braking in a curve is dangerous because it is
easier to lock the wheels and cause a skid. Slow
down as needed. Don't ever exceed the posted
speed limit for the curve. Be in a gear that will let
you accelerate slightly in the curve. This will help
you keep control.
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
You should always be able to stop within the
distance you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other
conditions may require that you slowdown to be
able to stop in the distance you can see. At night,
you can't see as far with low beams as you can
with high beams. When you must use low beams,
slow down.
2.6.5 – Speed and Traffic Flow
When you're driving in heavy traffic, the safest
speed is the speed of other vehicles. Vehicles
going the same direction at the same speed are
not likely to run into one another. In many states,
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.
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.
The main reason drivers exceed speed limits is to
save time. But, anyone trying to drive faster than
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Subsections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6
Test Your Knowledge
1.
How far ahead does the manual say you
should look?
2.
What are two main things to look for ahead?
3.
What's your most important way to see the
sides and rear of your vehicle?
4.
What does "communicating" mean in safe
driving?
5.
Where should you place reflectors when
stopped on a divided highway?
6.
What three things add up to total stopping
distance?
7.
If you go twice as fast, will your stopping
distance increase by two or four times?
8.
Empty trucks have the best braking. True or
False?
9.
What is hydroplaning?
10. What is "black ice”?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.4, 2.5, and
2.6.
How Much Space? How much space should you
keep in front of you? One good rule says you need
at least one second for each 10 feet of vehicle
length at speeds below 40 mph. At greater speeds,
you must add 1 second for safety. For example, if
you are driving a 40-foot vehicle, you should leave
4 seconds between you and the vehicle ahead. In
a 60-foot rig, you'll need 6 seconds. Over 40 mph,
you'd need 5 seconds for a 40-foot vehicle and 7
seconds for a 60-foot vehicle. See Figure 2.12.
To know how much space you have, wait until the
vehicle ahead passes a shadow on the road, a
pavement marking, or some other clear landmark.
Then count off the seconds like this: "one
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.
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.
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Version: July 2014
Figure 2.12
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2.7.2 – Space Behind
You can't stop others from following you too
closely. But there are things you can do to make it
safer.
Stay to the Right. Heavy vehicles are often
tailgated when they can't keep up with the speed of
traffic. This often happens when you're going
uphill. If a heavy load is slowing you down, stay in
the right lane if you can. Going uphill, you should
not pass another slow vehicle unless you can get
around quickly and safely.
Dealing with Tailgaters Safely. In a large vehicle,
it's often hard to see whether a vehicle is close
behind you. You may be tailgated:
When you are traveling slowly. Drivers trapped
behind slow vehicles often follow closely.
In bad weather. Many car drivers follow large
vehicles closely during bad weather, especially
when it is hard to see the road ahead.
If you find yourself being tailgated, here are some
things you can do to reduce the chances of a
crash:
Avoid quick changes. If you have to slow down or
turn, signal early, and reduce speed very gradually.
Increase your following distance. Opening up room
in front of you will help you to avoid having to make
sudden speed or direction changes. It also makes
it easier for the tailgater to get around you.
Don't speed up. It's safer to be tailgated at a low
speed than a high speed.
Avoid tricks. Don't turn on your taillights or flash
your brake lights. Follow the suggestions above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
Commercial vehicles are often wide and take up
most of a lane. Safe drivers will manage what little
space they have. You can do this by keeping your
vehicle centered in your lane, and avoid driving
alongside others.
Staying Centered in a Lane. You need to keep
your vehicle centered in the lane to keep safe
clearance on either side. If your vehicle is wide,
you have little room to spare.
Traveling Next to Others. There are two dangers
in traveling alongside other vehicles:
Another driver may change lanes suddenly and
turn into you.
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You may be trapped when you need to change
lanes.
Find an open spot where you aren't near other
traffic. When traffic is heavy, it may be hard to find
an open spot. If you must travel near other
vehicles, try to keep as much space as possible
between you and them. Also, drop back or pull
forward so that you are sure the other driver can
see you.
Strong Winds. Strong winds make it difficult to
stay in your lane. The problem is usually worse for
lighter vehicles. This problem can be especially
bad coming out of tunnels. Don't drive alongside
others if you can avoid it.
2.7.4 – Space Overhead
Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure
you always have overhead clearance.
Don't assume that the heights posted at bridges
and overpasses are correct. 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
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underneath clearance. Don’t take a chance on
getting hung up halfway across.
Drivers on your left can be more readily seen. See
Figure 2.14.
2.7.6 – Space for Turns
The space around a truck or bus is important in
turns. Because of wide turning and off-tracking,
large vehicles can hit other vehicles or objects
during turns.
Right Turns. Here are some rules to help prevent
right-turn crashes:
Turn slowly to give yourself and others more time
to avoid problems.
If you are driving a truck or bus that cannot make
the right turn without swinging into another lane,
turn wide as you complete the turn. Keep the rear
of your vehicle close to the curb. This will stop
other drivers from passing you on the right.
Don't turn wide to the left as you start the turn. A
following driver may think you are turning left and
try to pass you on the right. You may crash into the
other vehicle as you complete your turn.
If you must cross into the oncoming lane to make a
turn, watch out for vehicles coming toward you.
Give them room to go by or to stop. However, don't
back up for them, because you might hit someone
behind you. See Figure 2.13.
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.
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
off-tracking.
If there are two turning lanes, always take the right
turn lane. Don't start in the inside lane because
you may have to swing right to make the turn.
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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
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quick lane change is much more likely to lead to a
crash.
Learning to See Hazards. There are often clues
that will help you see hazards. The more you drive,
the better you can learn to see hazards. This
section will talk about hazards that you should be
aware of.
2.8.2 – Hazardous Roads
Move-Over Laws
The incidents of law enforcement officers,
emergency medical services, fire department
personnel and people working on the road are
being struck while performing duties at the
roadside are increasing at a frightening pace. To
lessen the problem, move-over laws have been
enacted, which require drivers to slow and change
lanes when approaching a roadside incident or
emergency vehicle. Signs are posted on roadways
in states that have such laws.
When approaching an authorized emergency
vehicle stopped on the roadside or a work zone,
you should proceed with caution by slowing and
yielding the right-of-way by making a lane change
into a lane not next to that of the authorized
emergency vehicle or work zone if safety and
traffic conditions permit. If a lane change is
unsafe, slow down and proceed with caution while
maintaining a safe speed for traffic conditions.
Slow down and be very careful if you see any of
the following road hazards.
Work Zones. When people are working on the
road, it is a hazard. There may be narrower lanes,
sharp turns, or uneven surfaces. Other drivers are
often distracted and drive unsafely. Workers and
construction vehicles may get in the way. Drive
slowly and carefully near work zones. Use your
four-way flashers or brake lights to warn drivers
behind you.
Drop Off. Sometimes the pavement drops off
sharply near the edge of the road. Driving too near
the edge can tilt your vehicle toward the side of the
road. This can cause the top of your vehicle to hit
roadside objects (signs, tree limbs). Also, it can be
hard to steer as you cross the drop off, going off
the road, or coming back on.
Foreign Objects. Things that have fallen on the
road can be hazards. They can be a danger to
your tires and wheel rims. They can damage
electrical 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
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may be empty, but they may also contain some
solid or heavy material capable of causing
damage. The same is true of paper and cloth
sacks. It is important to remain alert for objects of
all sorts, so you can see them early enough to
avoid them without making sudden, unsafe moves.
Off Ramps/On Ramps. Freeway and turnpike
exits can be particularly dangerous for commercial
vehicles. Off ramps and on ramps often have
speed limit signs posted. Remember, these speeds
may be safe for automobiles, but may not be safe
for larger vehicles or heavily loaded vehicles. Exits
that go downhill and turn at the same time can be
especially dangerous. The downgrade makes it
difficult to reduce speed. Braking and turning at the
same time can be a dangerous practice. Make
sure you are going slowly enough before you get
on the curved part of an off ramp or on ramp.
2.8.3 – Drivers Who Are Hazards
In order to protect yourself and others, you must
know when other drivers may do something
hazardous. Some clues to this type of hazard are
discussed below.
Blocked Vision. People who can't see others are
a very dangerous hazard. Be alert for drivers
whose vision is blocked. Vans, loaded station
wagons, and cars with the rear window blocked are
examples. Rental trucks should be watched
carefully. Their drivers are often not used to the
limited vision they have to the sides and rear of the
truck. In winter, vehicles with frosted, ice-covered,
or snow-covered windows are hazards.
Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind
intersections or alleys. If you only can see the rear
or front end of a vehicle but not the driver, then he
or she can't see you. Be alert because he/she may
back out or enter into your lane. Always be
prepared to stop.
Delivery Trucks Can Present a Hazard.
Packages or vehicle doors often block the driver’s
vision. Drivers of step vans, postal vehicles, and
local delivery vehicles often are in a hurry and may
suddenly step out of their vehicle or drive their
vehicle into the traffic lane.
Parked Vehicles Can Be Hazards, especially
when people start to get out of them. Or, they may
suddenly start up and drive into your way. Watch
for movement inside the vehicle or movement of
the vehicle itself that shows people are inside.
Watch for brake lights or backup lights, exhaust,
and other clues that a driver is about to move.
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Be careful of a stopped bus. Passengers may
cross in front of or behind the bus, and they often
can't see you.
Pedestrians and Bicyclists Can Also Be
Hazards. Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists may be
on the road with their back to the traffic, so they
can't see you. Sometimes they wear portable
stereos with headsets, so they can't hear you
either. This can be dangerous. On rainy days,
pedestrians may not see you because of hats or
umbrellas. They may be hurrying to get out of the
rain and may not pay attention to the traffic.
Distractions. People who are distracted are
hazards. Watch for where they are looking. If they
are looking elsewhere, they can't see you. But be
alert even when they are looking at you. They may
believe that they have the right of way.
Children. Children tend to act quickly without
checking traffic. Children playing with one another
may not look for traffic and are a serious hazard.
Talkers. Drivers or pedestrians talking to one
another may not be paying close attention to the
traffic.
Workers. People working on or near the roadway
are a hazard clue. The work creates a distraction
for other drivers and the workers themselves may
not see you.
Ice Cream Trucks. Someone selling ice cream is
a hazard clue. Children may be nearby and may
not see you.
Disabled Vehicles. Drivers changing a tire or
fixing an engine often do not pay attention to the
danger that roadway traffic is to them. They are
often careless. Jacked up wheels or raised hoods
are hazard clues.
Accidents. Accidents are particularly hazardous.
People involved in the accident may not look for
traffic. Passing drivers tend to look at the accident.
People often run across the road without looking.
Vehicles may slow or stop suddenly.
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-
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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of-state license plates. Unexpected actions
(stopping in the middle of a block, changing lanes
for no apparent reason, backup lights suddenly
going on) are clues to confusion. Hesitation is
another clue, including driving very slowly, using
brakes often, or stopping in the middle of an
intersection. You may also see drivers who are
looking at street signs, maps, and house numbers.
These drivers may not be paying attention to you.
Slow Drivers. Motorists who fail to maintain
normal speed are hazards. Seeing slow moving
vehicles early can prevent a crash. Some vehicles,
by their nature, are slow and seeing them is a
hazard
clue
(mopeds,
farm
machinery,
construction machinery, tractors, etc.). Some of
these will have the "slow moving vehicle" symbol to
warn you. This is a red triangle with an orange
center. Watch for it.
Drivers Signaling a Turn May Be a Hazard.
Drivers signaling a turn may slow more than
expected or stop. If they are making a tight turn
into an alley or driveway, they may go very slowly.
If pedestrians or other vehicles block them, they
may have to stop on the roadway. Vehicles turning
left may have to stop for oncoming vehicles.
Drivers in a Hurry. Drivers may feel your
commercial vehicle is preventing them from getting
where they want to go on time. Such drivers may
pass you without a safe gap in the oncoming
traffic, cutting too close in front of you. Drivers
entering the road may pull in front of you in order to
avoid being stuck behind you, causing you to
brake. Be aware of this and watch for drivers who
are in a hurry.
Impaired Drivers. Drivers who are sleepy, have
had too much to drink, are on drugs, or who are ill
are hazards. Some clues to these drivers are:
Weaving across the road or drifting from one side
to another.
Leaving the road (dropping right wheels onto the
shoulder, or bumping across a curb in a turn).
Stopping at the wrong time (stopping at a green
light, or waiting for too long at a stop).
Open window in cold weather.
Speeding up or slowing down suddenly, driving too
fast or too slow.
Be alert for drunk drivers and sleepy drivers late at
night.
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
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make a turn, even though the turn signals aren't
on. Drivers making over-the-shoulder checks may
be going to change lanes. These clues are most
easily seen in motorcyclists and bicyclists. Watch
other road users and try to tell whether they might
do something hazardous.
Conflicts. You are in conflict when you have to
change speed and/or direction to avoid hitting
someone. Conflicts occur at intersections where
vehicles meet, at merges (such as turnpike on
ramps) and where there are needed lane changes
(such as the end of a lane, forcing a move to
another lane of traffic). Other situations include
slow moving or stalled traffic in a traffic lane, and
accident scenes. Watch for other drivers who are
in conflict because they are a hazard to you. When
they react to this conflict, they may do something
that will put them in conflict with you.
2.8.4 – Always Have a Plan
You should always be looking for hazards.
Continue to learn to see hazards on the road.
However, don't forget why you are looking for the
hazards--they may turn into emergencies. You look
for the hazards in order to have time to plan a way
out of any emergency. When you see a hazard,
think about the emergencies that could develop
and figure out what you would do. Always be
prepared to take action based on your plans. In
this way, you will be a prepared, defensive driver
who will improve your own safety as well as the
safety of all road users.
Subsections 2.7 and 2.8
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
How do you find out how many seconds of
following distance space you have?
If you are driving a 30-foot vehicle at 55
mph, how many seconds of following
distance should you allow?
You should decrease your following
distance if somebody is following you too
closely. True or False?
If you swing wide to the left before turning
right, another driver may try to pass you on
the right. True or False?
What is a hazard?
Why make emergency plans when you see
a hazard?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.7 and 2.8
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
2.9 – Distracted Driving
A driver distraction is anything that takes your
attention away from driving. Whenever you are
driving a vehicle and your full attention is not on
the driving task, you are putting yourself, your
passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians in
danger. Distractive 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. Distracted driving
can cause collisions, resulting in injury, death or
property damage.
Activities inside of the vehicle that can distract your
attention include: talking to passengers; adjusting
the radio, CD player or climate controls; eating,
drinking or smoking; reading maps or other
literature; picking up something that fell; reading
billboards or other road advertisements: watching
other people and vehicles including aggressive
drivers; talking on a cell phone or CB radio;
reading or sending text messages; using any type
of telematic or electronic
devices (such as
navigation systems, pagers, personal digital
assistant, computers, etc.); daydreaming or being
occupied with other mental distractions; and many
others.
Possible distractions that could occur outside a
moving vehicle: outside traffic, vehicles or
pedestrians; outside events such as police pulling
someone over or a crash scene; sunlight/sunset;
objects in roadway; road construction; and many
others.
2.9.1 – The Distracted Driving Crash Problem
The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS)
reported that 8 percent of large-truck crashes
occurred when Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)
drivers were externally distracted and 2 percent of
large truck crashes occurred when the driver was
internally distracted.
Approximately 5,500 people are killed each year
on U.S. roadways and an estimated 448,000 are
injured in motor vehicle crashes involving
distracted driving (NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts:
Distracted Driving).
Research indicates that the burden of talking on a
cell phone - even if it's hands-free - saps the brain
of 39% of the energy it would ordinarily devote to
safe driving. Drivers who use a hand-held device
are more likely to get into a crash serious enough
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to cause injury.
(NHTSA distracted driving
website, www.distraction.gov).
2.9.2 – Effects of Distracted Driving
Effects of distracted driving include slowed
perception, which may cause you to be delayed in
perceiving or completely fail to perceive an
important traffic event; delayed decision making
and improper action, which can cause you to be
delayed in taking the proper action or make
incorrect inputs to the steering, accelerator or
brakes.
2.9.3 – Types of Distractions
There are many causes of distraction, all with the
potential to increase risk.
Physical distraction – one that causes you to
take your hands off the wheel or eyes off the road,
such as reaching for an object.
Mental distraction – activities that take your mind
away from the road, such as engaging in
conversation with a passenger or thinking about
something that happened during the day.
Both physical and mental distraction – even
greater chance a crash could happen, such as
talking on a cell phone; or sending or reading text
messages.
2.9.4 – Cell/Mobile Phones
49 CFR Part 383, 384, 390, 391 and 392 of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSRs)
and
the
Hazardous
Materials
Regulations (HMR) restricts the use of hand-held
mobile telephones by drivers of commercial motor
vehicles (CMVs); and implements new driver
disqualification sanctions for drivers of CMVs who
fail to comply with this Federal restriction; or who
have multiple convictions for violating a State or
local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic
control that restricts the use of hand-held mobile
telephones. Additionally, motor carriers are
prohibited from requiring or allowing drivers of
CMVs to use hand-held mobile telephones.
The use of hand-held mobile telephones means,
‘‘using at least one hand to hold a mobile
telephone to conduct a voice communication;
“dialing a mobile telephone by pressing more than
a single button”; or “moving from a seated driving
position while restrained by a seat belt to reach for
a mobile telephone”. If you choose to use a mobile
phone while operating a CMV, you may only use a
hands free mobile phone that is located close to
you and that can be operated in compliance with
the rule to conduct a voice communication.
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Your CDL will be disqualified after two or more
convictions of any state law on hand-held mobile
telephone use while operating a CMV.
Disqualification is 60 days for the second offense
within 3 years and 120 days for three or more
offenses within 3 years. In addition, the first and
each subsequent violation of such a prohibition are
subject to civil penalties imposed on such drivers,
in an amount up to $2,750. Motor carriers must not
allow nor require drivers to use a hand-held mobile
telephone while driving. Employers may also be
subject to civil penalties in an amount up to
$11,000. There is an emergency exception that
allows you to use your hand-held mobile
telephones if necessary to communicate with law
enforcement officials or other emergency services.
Research shows that the odds of being involved in
a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash,
unintentional lane deviation) is 6 times greater for
CMV drivers who engage in dialing a mobile
telephone while driving than for those who do not.
Dialing drivers took their eyes off the forward
roadway for an average of 3.8 seconds. At 55 mph
(or 80.7 feet per second), this equates to a driver
traveling 306 feet, the approximate length of a
football field, without looking at the roadway.
Your primary responsibility is to operate a motor
vehicle safely. To do this, you must focus your full
attention on the driving task.
Note that hands-free devices are no less likely than
hand-held cell phones to cause you to become
distracted. Attention is diverted from the driving
task while using either device.
2.9.5 –Texting
49 CFR Part 383, 384, 390, 391, 392, the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR)
prohibits texting by commercial motor vehicle
(CMV) drivers while operating in interstate
commerce;
and
implements
new
driver
disqualification sanctions for drivers of CMVs who
fail to comply with this Federal prohibition; or who
have multiple convictions for violating a State or
local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic
control that prohibits texting while driving.
Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from
requiring or allowing their drivers to engage in
texting while driving.
Texting means manually entering text into, or
reading text from, an electronic device. This
includes, but is not limited to, short message
service, e-mailing, instant messaging, a command
or request to access a World Wide Web page, or
engaging in any other form of electronic text
retrieval or entry, for present or future
communication.
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Turn off all communication devices.
Electronic device includes, but is not limited to, a
cellular telephone; personal digital assistant;
pager; computer; or any other device used to
enter, write, send, receive, or read text.
Your CDL will be disqualified after two or more
convictions of any state law on texting while
operating a CMV. Disqualification is 60 days for the
second offense within 3 years and 120 days for
three or more offenses within 3 years. In addition,
the first and each subsequent violation of such a
prohibition are subject to civil penalties imposed on
such drivers, in an amount up to $2,750. No motor
carrier shall allow or require its drivers to engage in
texting while driving. There is an emergency
exception that allows you text if necessary to
communicate with law enforcement officials or
other emergency services.
Evidence suggests that text messaging is even
riskier than talking on a cell phone because it
requires you to look at a small screen and
manipulate the keypad with one’s hands. Texting
is the most alarming distraction because it involves
both
physical
and
mental
distraction
simultaneously.
Research shows that the odds of being involved in
a safety-critical event (e.g., crash, near-crash,
unintentional lane deviation) is 23.2 times greater
for CMV drivers who engage in texting while
driving than for those who do not. Sending or
receiving text takes your eyes from the road for an
average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, you would
travel 371 feet, or the length of an entire football
field – without looking at the roadway.
2.9.6 – Don’t Drive Distracted
Your goal should be to eliminate all in-vehicle
distractions before driving begins. Accomplishing
this goal can be done by:
Assessing all potential in-vehicle distractions
before driving
Developing a preventative plan to reduce/eliminate
possible distractions
Expecting distractions to occur
Discussing possible
behind the wheel
scenarios
before
getting
If you must use a mobile phone, make sure it is
within close proximity, that it is operable while you
are restrained, use an earpiece or the speaker
phone function, use voice-activated dialing; or use
the hands-free feature. Drivers are not in
compliance if they unsafely reach for a mobile
phone, even if they intend to use the hands-free
function.
Do not type or read a text message on a mobile
device while driving.
Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s features
and equipment, before you get behind the wheel.
Adjust all vehicle controls and mirrors to your
preferences prior to driving.
Pre-program radio stations and pre-load your
favorite CDs.
Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects and
secure cargo.
Review maps, program the GPS and plan your
route before you begin driving.
Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you drive.
Leave early to allow yourself time to stop to eat.
Don’t engage in complex or emotionally intense
conversations with other occupants.
Secure commitment from other occupants to
behave responsibly and to support the driver in
reducing distractions.
2.9.7 – Watch Out for Other Distracted Drivers
You need to be able to recognize other drivers who
are engaged in any form of driving distraction. Not
recognizing other distracted drivers can prevent
you from perceiving or reacting correctly in time to
prevent a crash. Watch for:
Vehicles that may drift over the lane divider lines or
within their own lane.
Vehicles traveling at inconsistent speeds.
Drivers who are preoccupied with maps, food,
cigarettes, cell phones, or other objects.
Drivers who appear to be involved in conversations
with their passengers.
Based on the assessment of potential distractions,
you can formulate a preventative plan to
reduce/eliminate possible distractions.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and
maintain your safe following distance.
If drivers react a half-second slower because of
distractions, crashes double. Some tips to follow so
you won’t become distracted:
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.
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and you won’t be as offended by other drivers’
actions.
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.
2.10.3 – What You Should Do When Confronted
by an Aggressive Driver
First and foremost, make every attempt to get out
of their way.
Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge
them by speeding up or attempting to hold-yourown in your travel lane.
Avoid eye contact.
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.
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.
2.10.2 – Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver
How you feel before you even start your vehicle
has a lot to do with how stress will affect you while
driving.
Reduce your stress before and while you drive.
Listen to “easy listening” music.
Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow
yourself to become distracted by talking on your
cell phone, eating, etc.
Be realistic about your travel time. Expect delays
because of traffic, construction, or bad weather
and make allowances.
If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal
with it. Take a deep breath and accept the delay.
Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to
imagine why he or she is driving that way.
Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do with
you.
Slow down and keep your following distance
reasonable.
Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
Avoid gestures. Keep your hands on the wheel.
Avoid making any gestures that might anger
another driver, even seemingly harmless
expressions of irritation like shaking your head.
Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another
driver seems eager to get in front of you, say, “Be
my guest.” This response will soon become a habit
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Subsections 2.9 and 2.10
Test Your Knowledge
1. What are some tips to follow so you won’t
become a distracted driver?
2. How do you use in-vehicle communications
equipment cautiously?
3. How do you recognize a distracted driver?
4. What is the difference between aggressive
driving and road rage?
5. What should you do when confronted with an
aggressive driver?
6. What are some things you can do to reduce
your stress before and while you drive?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and 2.10.
2.11 – Driving at Night
2.11.1 – It's More Dangerous
You are at greater risk when you drive at night.
Drivers can't see hazards as quickly as in daylight,
so they have less time to respond. Drivers caught
by surprise are less able to avoid a crash.
The problems of night driving involve the driver, the
roadway, and the vehicle.
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asleep behind the wheel and crash, injuring or
killing yourself or others.
2.11.2 – Driver Factors
Vision. Good vision is critical for safe driving.
Your control of the brake, accelerator, and steering
wheel is based on what you see. If you cannot see
clearly, you will have trouble identifying traffic and
roadway conditions, spotting potential trouble or
responding to problems in a timely manner.
Because seeing well is so critical to safe driving,
you should have your eyes checked regularly by
an eye specialist. You may never know you have
poor vision unless your eyes are tested. If you
need to wear glasses or contact lenses for driving,
remember to:
Always wear them when driving, even if driving
short distances.
If your driver license says
corrective lenses are required, it is illegal to move
a vehicle without using corrective lenses.
Keep an extra set of corrective lenses in your
vehicle. If your normal corrective lenses are
broken or lost, you can use the spare lenses to
drive safely.
Avoid using dark or tinted corrective lenses at
night, even if you think they help with glare. Tinted
lenses cut down the light that you need to see
clearly under night driving conditions.
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 can take several seconds to recover
from glare 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 is
physical or mental tiredness that can be caused by
physical or mental strain, repetitive tasks, illness or
lack of sleep. Just like alcohol and drugs, it
impairs your vision and judgment.
Fatigue causes errors related to speed and
distance, increases your risk of being in a crash,
causes you to not see and react to hazards as
quickly; and affects your ability to make critical
decisions. When you are fatigued, you could fall
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Fatigued or drowsy driving is one of the leading
causes of traffic collisions. NHTSA estimates that
100,000 police-reported crashes a year are the
result of drowsy driving. According to the National
Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of
Americans have driven while feeling sleepy and
more than one third (36 percent or 103 million
people) admit to having actually fallen asleep at
the wheel. Drivers may experience short bursts of
sleep lasting only a few seconds or fall asleep for
longer periods of time. Either way, the chance of a
collision increases dramatically.
At-Risk Groups
The risk of having a crash due to drowsy driving is
not uniformly distributed across the population.
Crashes tend to occur at times when sleepiness is
most pronounced, for example, during the night
and in the mid-afternoon. Most people are less
alert at night, especially after midnight. This is
particularly true if you have been driving for a long
time. Thus individuals who drive at night are much
more likely to have fall-asleep crashes.
Research has identified young males, shift
workers, commercial drivers, especially long-haul
drivers and people with untreated sleep disorders
or with short-term or chronic sleep deprivation as
being at increased risk for having a fall-asleep
crash. At least 15% of all heavy truck crashes
involve fatigue.
A congressionally mandated study of 80 long-haul
truck drivers in the United States and Canada
found that drivers averaged less than 5 hours of
sleep per day. (Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, 1996) It is no surprise then that the
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)
reported that drowsy driving was probably the
cause of more than half of crashes leading to a
truck driver’s death. (NTSB, 1990) For each truck
driver fatality, another three to four people are
killed. (NHTSA, 1994)
Warning Signs of Fatigue
According to the National Sleep Foundation’s
Sleep in America poll, 60% of Americans have
driven while feeling sleepy and 36% admit to
actually having fallen asleep at the wheel in the
past year. However, many people cannot tell if or
when they are about to fall asleep. Here are some
signs that should tell you to stop and rest:
Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking or heavy
eyelids
Yawning repeatedly or rubbing eyes
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Day-dreaming; or wandering/disconnected
thoughts
Trouble remembering the last few miles driven;
missing exits or traffic signs
Trouble keeping head up
Drifting from your lane, following too closely or
hitting a shoulder rumble strip
Feeling restless and irritable
When you are tired trying to “push on” is far more
dangerous than most drivers think. It is a major
cause of fatal accidents. If you notice any signs of
fatigue, stop driving and go to sleep for the night or
take a 15 – 20 minute nap.
Are You At Risk?
Before you drive, consider whether you are:
Sleep-deprived or fatigued (6 hours of sleep or less
triples your risk)
Suffering from sleep loss (insomnia), poor quality
sleep, or a sleep debt
Driving long distances without proper rest breaks
Driving through the night, mid-afternoon or when
you would normally be asleep. Many heavy motor
vehicle accidents occur between midnight and 6
a.m.
Taking sedating medications (antidepressants,
cold tablets, antihistamines)
Working more than 60 hours a week (increases
your risk by 40%)
Working more than one job, and your main job
involves shift work
Driving alone or on a long, rural, dark or boring
road
Flying, changing time zone
Preventing drowsiness before a trip:
Get adequate sleep – adults need 8 to 9 hours to
maintain alertness
Prepare route carefully to identify total distance,
stopping points and other logistic considerations
Schedule trips for the hours you are normally
awake, not the middle of the night
Drive with a passenger
Avoid medications that cause drowsiness
Consult your physician if you suffer from daytime
sleepiness, have difficulty sleeping at night or take
frequent naps
Incorporate exercise into your daily life to give you
more energy
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Maintaining alertness while driving:
Protect yourself from glare and eyestrain with
sunglasses
Keep cool by opening the window or using the air
conditioner
Avoid heavy foods
Be aware of down time during the day
Have another person ride with you, and take turns
driving
Take periodic breaks – about every 100 miles or 2
hours during long trips
Stop driving and get some rest or take a nap
Caffeine consumption can increase awareness for
a few hours, but do not drink too much. It will
eventually wear off. Do not rely on caffeine to
prevent fatigue
Avoid drugs. While they may keep you awake for a
while, they won’t make you alert.
If you are drowsy, the only safe cure is to get off
the road and get some sleep. If you don't, you risk
your life and the lives of others.
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 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.
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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 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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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clean and unscratched. Don't wear sunglasses at
night. Do a complete Pre-Trip inspection of your
vehicle. Pay attention to checking all lights and
reflectors, and cleaning those you can reach.
Avoid Blinding Others. Glare from your
headlights can cause problems for drivers coming
toward you. They can also bother drivers going in
the same direction you are, when your lights shine
in their rearview mirrors. Dim your lights before
they cause glare for other drivers. Dim your lights
within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and when
following another vehicle within 500 feet.
Avoid Glare from Oncoming Vehicles. Do not
look directly at lights of oncoming vehicles. Look
slightly to the right at a right lane or edge marking,
if available. If other drivers don't put their low
beams on, don't try to "get back at them" by putting
your own high beams on. This increases glare for
oncoming drivers and increases the chance of a
crash.
Use High Beams When You Can. Some drivers
make the mistake of always using low beams. This
seriously cuts down on their ability to see ahead.
Use high beams when it is safe and legal to do so.
Use them when you are not within 500 feet of an
approaching vehicle. Also, don't let the inside of
your cab get too bright. This makes it harder to see
outside. Keep the interior light off, and adjust your
instrument lights as low as you can to still be able
to read the gauges.
If You Get Sleepy, Stop at the Nearest Safe
Place. People often don't realize how close they
are to falling asleep even when their eyelids are
falling shut. If you can safely do so, look at yourself
in a mirror. If you look sleepy, or you just feel
sleepy, stop driving! You are in a very dangerous
condition. The only safe cure is to sleep.
2.12 – Driving in Fog
Fog can occur at any time. Fog on highways can
be extremely dangerous. Fog is often unexpected,
and visibility can deteriorate rapidly. You should
watch for foggy conditions and be ready to reduce
your speed. Do not assume that the fog will thin
out after you enter it.
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.
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Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for best
visibility even in daytime, and be alert for other
drivers who may have forgotten to turn on their
lights.
Turn on your 4-way flashers. This will give vehicles
approaching you from behind a quicker opportunity
to notice your vehicle.
Watch for vehicles on the side of the roadway.
Seeing taillights or headlights in front of you may
not be a true indication of where the road is ahead
of you. The vehicle may not be on the road at all.
Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to
determine how the road may curve ahead of you.
Listen for traffic you cannot see.
Avoid passing other vehicles.
Don’t stop along the side of the road, unless
absolutely necessary.
2.13 – Driving in Winter
2.13.1 – Vehicle Checks
Make sure your vehicle is ready before driving in
winter weather. You should make a regular Vehicle
inspection, paying extra attention to the following
items.
Coolant Level and Antifreeze Amount. Make
sure the cooling system is full and there is enough
antifreeze in the system to protect against freezing.
This can be checked with a special coolant tester.
Defrosting and Heating Equipment. Make sure
the defrosters work. They are needed for safe
driving. Make sure the heater is working, and that
you know how to operate it. If you use other
heaters and expect to need them (e.g., mirror
heaters, battery box heaters, fuel tank heaters),
check their operation.
Wipers and Washers. Make sure the windshield
wiper blades are in good condition. Make sure the
wiper blades press against the window hard
enough to wipe the windshield clean, otherwise
they may not sweep off snow properly. Make sure
the windshield washer works and there is washing
fluid in the washer reservoir.
Use windshield washer antifreeze to prevent
freezing of the washer liquid. If you can't see well
enough while driving (for example, if your wipers
fail), stop safely and fix the problem.
Tires. Make sure you have enough tread on your
tires. The drive tires must provide traction to push
the rig over wet pavement and through snow. The
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steering tires must have traction to steer the
vehicle. Enough tread is especially important in
winter conditions. You must have at least 4/32 inch
tread depth in every major groove on front tires
and at least 2/32 inch on other tires. More would
be better. Use a gauge to determine if you have
enough tread for safe driving.
Tire Chains. You may find yourself in conditions
where you can't drive without chains, even to get to
a place of safety. Carry the right number of chains
and extra cross-links. Make sure they will fit your
drive tires. Check the chains for broken hooks,
worn or broken cross-links, and bent or broken
side chains. Learn how to put the chains on before
you need to do it in snow and ice.
Lights and Reflectors. Make sure the lights and
reflectors are clean. Lights and reflectors are
especially important during bad weather. Check
from time to time during bad weather to make sure
they are clean and working properly.
Windows and Mirrors. Remove any ice, snow,
etc., from the windshield, windows, and mirrors
before starting. Use a windshield scraper, snow
brush, and windshield defroster as necessary.
Hand Holds, Steps, and Deck Plates. Remove all
ice and snow from hand holds, steps, and deck
plates. This will reduce the danger of slipping.
Radiator Shutters and Winterfront. Remove ice
from the radiator shutters. Make sure the
winterfront is not closed too tightly. If the shutters
freeze shut or the winterfront is closed too much,
the engine may overheat and stop.
Exhaust System. Exhaust system leaks are
especially dangerous when cab ventilation may be
poor (windows rolled up, etc.). Loose connections
could permit poisonous carbon monoxide to leak
into your vehicle. Carbon monoxide gas will cause
you to be sleepy. In large enough amounts it can
kill you. Check the exhaust system for loose parts
and for sounds and signs of leaks.
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
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ice. If they have ice, the road most likely will be icy
as well.
Do a normal pre-trip inspection, but pay special
attention to the following items.
Adjust Turning and Braking to Conditions.
Make turns as gently as possible. Don't brake any
harder than necessary, and don't use the engine
brake or speed retarder. (They can cause the
driving wheels to skid on slippery surfaces.)
Tires. Check the tire mounting and air pressure.
Inspect the tires every two hours or every 100
miles when driving in very hot weather. Air
pressure increases with temperature. Do not let air
out or the pressure will be too low when the tires
cool off. If a tire is too hot to touch, remain stopped
until the tire cools off. Otherwise the tire may blow
out or catch fire.
Adjust Speed to Conditions. Don't pass slower
vehicles unless necessary. Go slowly and watch
far enough ahead to keep a steady speed. Avoid
having to slow down and speed up. Take curves at
slower speeds and don't brake while in curves. Be
aware that as the temperature rises to the point
where ice begins to melt, the road becomes even
more slippery. Slow down more.
Adjust Space to Conditions. Don't drive
alongside other vehicles. Keep a longer following
distance. When you see a traffic jam ahead, slow
down or stop to wait for it to clear. Try hard to
anticipate stops early and slow down gradually.
Watch for snowplows, as well as salt and sand
trucks, and give them plenty of room.
Wet Brakes. When driving in heavy rain or deep
standing water, your brakes will get wet. Water in
the brakes can cause the brakes to be weak, to
apply unevenly, or to grab. This can cause lack of
braking power, wheel lockups, pulling to one side
or the other, and jackknife if you pull a trailer.
Avoid driving through deep puddles or flowing
water if possible. If not, you should:
Slow down and place transmission in a low gear.
Gently put on the brakes. This presses linings
against brake drums or discs and keeps mud, silt,
sand, and water from getting in.
Increase engine rpm and cross the water while
keeping light pressure on the brakes.
When out of the water, maintain light pressure on
the brakes for a short distance to heat them up and
dry them out.
Make a test stop when safe to do so. Check
behind to make sure no one is following, then
apply the brakes to be sure they work well. If not,
dry them out further as described above.
(CAUTION: Do not apply too much brake pressure
and accelerator at the same time, or you can
overheat brake drums and linings.)
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
2.14.1 – Pre-Trip Checks
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
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.
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When all pressure has been released, press down
on the cap and turn it further to remove it.
2.15 – Railroad-highway Crossings
Visually check level of coolant and add more
coolant if necessary.
Railroad-highway grade crossings are a special
kind of intersection where the roadway crosses
train tracks. These crossings are always
dangerous. Every such crossing must be
approached with the expectation that a train is
coming. It is extremely difficult to judge the
distance of the train from the crossing as well as
the speed of an approaching train.
Replace cap and turn all the way to the closed
position.
Engine Belts. Learn how to check v-belt tightness
on your vehicle by pressing on the belts. Loose
belts will not turn the water pump and/or fan
properly. This will result in overheating. Also, check
belts for cracking or other signs of wear.
Hoses. Make sure coolant hoses are in good
condition. A broken hose while driving can lead to
engine failure and even fire.
2.14.2 – Driving
Watch for Bleeding Tar. Tar in the road pavement
frequently rises to the surface in very hot weather.
Spots where tar "bleeds" to the surface are very
slippery.
Go Slowly Enough to Prevent Overheating.
High speeds create more heat for tires and the
engine. In desert conditions the heat may build up
to the point where it is dangerous. The heat will
increase chances of tire failure or even fire, and
engine failure.
Subsections 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, and 2.14
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
You should use low beams whenever you
can. True or False?
What should you do before you drive if you
are drowsy?
What effects can wet brakes cause? How can
you avoid these problems?
You should let air out of hot tires so the
pressure goes back to normal. True or False?
You can safely remove the radiator cap as
long as the engine isn't overheated. True or
False?
2.15.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does
not have any type of traffic control device. The
decision to stop or proceed rests entirely in your
hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize
the crossing, search for any train using the tracks
and decide if there is sufficient clear space to cross
safely. Passive crossings have yellow circular
advance warning signs, pavement markings and
crossbucks to assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a
traffic control device installed at the crossing to
regulate traffic at the crossing. These active
devices include flashing red lights, with or without
bells and flashing red lights with bells and gates.
2.15.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train
is coming. All passenger and hazmat carrying
vehicles are required to stop. See Figure 2.15.
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They
consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a nopassing marking on two-lane roads. See Figure
2.16.
red lights and bells. When the lights begin to flash,
stop! A train is approaching. You are required to
yield the right-of-way to the train. If there is more
than one track, make sure all tracks are clear
before crossing. See Figure 2.18.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. See Figure 2.18.
Figure 2.16
There is also a no passing zone sign on two-lane
roads. There may be a white stop line painted on
the pavement before the railroad tracks. The front
of the school bus must remain behind this line
while stopped at the crossing.
Cross-buck Signs. This sign marks the grade
crossing. It requires you to yield the right-of-way to
the train. If there is no white stop line painted on
the pavement, vehicles that are required to stop
must stop no closer than 15 feet or more than 50
feet from the nearest rail of the nearest track.
When the road crosses over more than one track,
a sign below the cross-buck indicates the number
of tracks. See Figure 2.17.
Figure 2.18
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
Never Race a Train to a Crossing. Never attempt
to race a train to a crossing. It is extremely difficult
to judge the speed of an approaching train.
Reduce Speed. Speed must be reduced in
accordance with your ability to see approaching
trains in any direction, and speed must be held to a
point which will permit you to stop short of the
tracks in case a stop is necessary.
Don't Expect to Hear a Train. Trains may not or
are prohibited from sounding horns when
approaching some crossings. Public crossings
where trains do not sound horns should be
identified by signs. Noise inside your vehicle may,
also prevent you from hearing the train horn until
the train is dangerously close to the crossing.
Figure2.17
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail
grade crossings, the cross-buck sign has flashing
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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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.
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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 Railroad- highway
Crossings
A full stop is required at grade crossings whenever:
The nature of the cargo makes a stop mandatory
under state or federal regulations.
Such a stop is otherwise required by law.
When stopping be sure to:
Check for traffic behind you while stopping
gradually. Use a pullout lane, if available.
Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
2.15.5 – Crossing the Tracks
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.
Railroad crossings with steep approaches can
cause your unit to hang up on the tracks.
Length of the grade.
Never permit traffic conditions to trap you in a
position where you have to stop on the tracks. Be
sure you can get all the way across the tracks
before you start across. It takes a typical tractortrailer unit at least 14 seconds to clear a single
track and more than 15 seconds to clear a double
track.
Road conditions.
Do not shift gears while crossing railroad tracks.
2.15.6 – Special Situations
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised
crossings:
Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get
out of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Steepness of the grade.
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
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damage the transmission and also lead to loss of
all engine braking effect.
as necessary until you have reached the end of the
downgrade.
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.
Escape ramps have been built on many steep
mountain downgrades. Escape ramps are made to
stop runaway vehicles safely without injuring
drivers and passengers. Escape ramps use a long
bed of loose, soft material to slow a runaway
vehicle, sometimes in combination with an
upgrade.
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.
Know escape ramp locations on your route. Signs
show drivers where ramp are located. Escape
ramps save lives, equipment and cargo.
Subsections 2.15 and 2.16
Test Your Knowledge
1. What factors determine your selection of a
"safe" speed when going down a long, steep
downgrade?
2. Why should you be in the proper gear before
starting down a hill?
3. Describe the proper braking technique when
going down a long, steep downgrade.
4. What type of vehicles can get stuck on a
railroad-highway crossing?
5. How long does it take for a typical tractortrailer unit to clear a double track?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.15 and
2.16.
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/or
steep downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in
the proper low gear, the following are the proper
braking techniques:
Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
slowdown.
When your speed has been reduced to
approximately five mph below your "safe" speed,
release the brakes. (This brake application should
last for about three seconds.)
When your speed has increased to your "safe"
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your "safe" speed is 40 mph, you
would not apply the brakes until your speed
reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard
enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph
and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
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.)
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Keep Both Hands on the Steering Wheel. In
order to turn quickly, you must have a firm grip on
the steering wheel with both hands. The best way
to have both hands on the wheel, if there is an
emergency, is to keep them there all the time.
How to Turn Quickly and Safely. A quick turn
can be made safely, if it's done the right way. Here
are some points that safe drivers use:
Do not apply the brake while you are turning. It's
very easy to lock your wheels while turning. If that
happens, you may skid out of control.
Do not turn any more than needed to clear
whatever is in your way. The more sharply you
turn, the greater the chances of a skid or rollover.
Be prepared to "counter-steer," that is, to turn the
wheel back in the other direction, once you've
passed whatever was in your path. Unless you are
prepared to counter-steer, you won't be able to do
it quickly enough. You should think of emergency
steering and counter-steering as two parts of one
driving action.
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 headon collision.
Leaving the Road. In some emergencies, you
may have to drive off the road. It may be less risky
than facing a collision with another vehicle.
Most shoulders are strong enough to support the
weight of a large vehicle and, therefore, offer an
available escape route. Here are some guidelines,
if you do leave the road.
Avoid Braking. If possible, avoid using the brakes
until your speed has dropped to about 20 mph.
Then brake very gently to avoid skidding on a
loose surface.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
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,
counter-steer immediately. The two turns should
be made as a single "steer-counter-steer" move.
2.17.2 – How to Stop Quickly and Safely
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there's enough distance to stop, and
you use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your
vehicle in a straight line and allow you to turn if it
becomes necessary. You can use the "controlled
braking" method or the "stab braking" method.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking the
wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking. With this method, you apply your
brakes all the way and release brakes when
wheels lock up. As soon as the wheels start
rolling, apply the brakes fully again. (It can take up
to one second for the wheels to start rolling after
you release the brakes. If you re-apply the brakes
before the wheels start rolling, the vehicle won't
straighten out.)
Don't Jam on the Brakes. Emergency braking
does not mean pushing down on the brake pedal
as hard as you can. That will only keep the wheels
locked up and cause a skid. If the wheels are
skidding, you cannot control the vehicle.
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2.17.3 – Brake Failure
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most
hydraulic brake failures occur for one of two
reasons: (Air brakes are discussed in Section 5.)
Loss of hydraulic pressure.
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.
Brake fade on long hills.
2.17.4 – Tire Failure
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.
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:
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear
will help to slow the vehicle.
Pump the Brakes. Sometimes pumping the brake
pedal will generate enough hydraulic pressure to
stop the vehicle.
Use the Parking Brake. The parking or
emergency brake is separate from the hydraulic
brake system. Therefore, it can be used to slow the
vehicle. However, be sure to press the release
button or pull the release lever at the same time
you use the emergency brake so you can adjust
the brake pressure and keep the wheels from
locking up.
Find an Escape Route. While slowing the vehicle,
look for an escape route--an open field, side-street,
or escape ramp. Turning uphill is a good way to
slow and stop the vehicle. Make sure the vehicle
does not start rolling backward after you stop. Put
it in low gear, apply the parking brake, and, if
necessary, roll back into some obstacle that will
stop the vehicle.
Brake Failure on Downgrades. Going slow
enough and braking properly will almost always
prevent brake failure on long downgrades. Once
the brakes have failed, however, you are going to
have to look outside your vehicle for something to
stop it.
Your best hope is an escape ramp. If there is one,
there'll be signs telling you about it. Use it. Ramps
are usually located a few miles from the top of the
downgrade. Every year, hundreds of drivers avoid
injury to themselves or damage to their vehicles by
using escape ramps. Some escape ramps use soft
gravel that resists the motion of the vehicle and
brings it to a stop. Others turn uphill, using the hill
to stop the vehicle and soft gravel to hold it in
place.
Any driver who loses brakes going downhill should
use an escape ramp if it's available. If you don't
use it, your chances of having a serious crash may
be much greater.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Sound. The loud "bang" of a blowout is an easily
recognized sign. Because it can take a few
seconds for your vehicle to react, you might think it
was some other vehicle. But any time you hear a
tire blow, you'd be safest to assume it is yours.
Vibration. If the vehicle thumps or vibrates heavily,
it may be a sign that one of the tires has gone flat.
With a rear tire, that may be the only sign you get.
Feel. If the steering feels "heavy," it is probably a
sign that one of the front tires has failed.
Sometimes, failure of a rear tire will cause the
vehicle to slide back and forth or "fishtail."
However, dual rear tires usually prevent this.
Respond to Tire Failure. When a tire fails, your
vehicle is in danger. You must immediately:
Hold the Steering Wheel Firmly. If a front tire fails,
it can twist the steering wheel out of your hand.
The only way to prevent this is to keep a firm grip
on the steering wheel with both hands at all times.
Stay off the Brake. It's natural to want to brake in
an emergency. However, braking when a tire has
failed could cause loss of control. Unless you're
about to run into something, stay off the brake until
the vehicle has slowed down. Then brake very
gently, pull off the road, and stop.
Check the Tires. After you've come to a stop, get
out and check all the tires. Do this even if the
vehicle seems to be handling all right. If one of
your dual tires goes, the only way you may know it
is by getting out and looking at it.
2.18 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
ABS is a computerized system that keeps your
wheels from locking up during hard brake
applications.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
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ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
2.18.1 – How Antilock Braking Systems Work
Sensors detect potential wheel lock up. An
electronic control unit (ECU) will then decrease
brake pressure to avoid wheel lockup.
Brake pressure is adjusted to provide
maximum braking without danger of lockup.
the
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.
Many commercial vehicles built before these dates
have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
2.18.3 – How to Know If Your Vehicle Is
Equipped with ABS
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
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS
malfunction lamps on the instrument panel.
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner.
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the bus, tractor, the trailer, or both.
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to
stay in control.
There is only one exception to this procedure. If
you drive a straight truck or combination with
working ABS on all axles, in an emergency stop,
you can fully apply the brakes.
2.18.7 – Braking If ABS Is Not Working
Without ABS you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something isn’t working.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
Over-acceleration. Supplying too much power to
the drive wheels, causing them to spin.
Driving Too Fast. Most serious skids result from
driving too fast for road conditions. Drivers who
adjust their driving to conditions don't overaccelerate and don't have to over-brake or oversteer from too much speed.
2.19.1 – Drive-wheel Skids
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
2.18.8 – Safety Reminders
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–ABS
should prevent brake-induced skids or jackknifes,
but not those caused by spinning the drive wheels
or going too fast in a turn.
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping
distance. ABS will help maintain vehicle control,
but not always shorten stopping distance.
ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate
stopping power–ABS is an “add-on” to your
normal brakes, not a replacement for them.
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 change the way you normally brake.
Under normal brake conditions, your vehicle will
stop as it always stopped. ABS only comes into
play when a wheel would normally have locked up
because of over braking.
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still
a safe driver.
Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
ABS.
Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to
prevent a serious crash.
2.19 – Skid Control and Recovery
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip
on the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
Over-braking. Braking too hard and locking up the
wheels. Skids also can occur when using the
speed retarder when the road is slippery.
Over-steering. Turning the wheels more sharply
than the vehicle can turn.
Figure 2.19
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Page 2-37
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
2.19.2 – Correcting a Drive-wheel Braking Skid
Do the following to correct a drive-wheel braking
skid.
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:
Stop Braking. This will let the rear wheels roll
again, and keep the rear wheels from sliding.
Protect the area.
Counter-steer. As a vehicle turns back on course,
it has a tendency to keep on turning. Unless you
turn the steering wheel quickly the other way, you
may find yourself skidding in the opposite direction.
Care for the injured.
Learning to stay off the brake, turn the steering
wheel quickly, push in the clutch, and counter-steer
in a skid takes a lot of practice. The best place to
get this practice is on a large driving range or "skid
pad."
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
Driving too fast for conditions causes most frontwheel skids. Other causes include lack of tread on
the front tires and cargo loaded so not enough
weight is on the front axle. In a front-wheel skid,
the front end tends to go in a straight line
regardless of how much you turn the steering
wheel. On a very slippery surface, you may not be
able to steer around a curve or turn.
Notify authorities.
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.
Put on your flashers.
Set out reflective triangles to warn other traffic.
Make sure other drivers can see them in time to
avoid the accident.
2.20.2 – Notify Authorities
When a front-wheel skid occurs, the only way to
stop the skid is to let the vehicle slow down. Stop
turning and/or braking so hard. Slow down as
quickly as possible without skidding.
Subsections 2.17, 2.18, and 2.19
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do
in an emergency. True or False?
What are some advantages of going right
instead of left around an obstacle?
What is an "escape ramp?"
If a tire blows out, you should put the brakes
on hard to stop quickly. True or False?
How do you know if your vehicle has antilock
brakes?
What is the proper braking technique when
driving a vehicle with antilock brakes?
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 you have a cell phone or CB, call for assistance
before you get out of your vehicle. If not, wait until
after the accident scene has been properly
protected, then phone or send someone to phone
the police. Try to determine where you are so you
can give the exact location.
2.20.3 – Care for the Injured
If a qualified person is at the accident and helping
the injured, stay out of the way unless asked to
assist. Otherwise, do the best you can to help any
injured parties. Here are some simple steps to
follow in giving assistance:
Don't move a severely injured person unless the
danger of fire or passing traffic makes it necessary.
Stop heavy bleeding by applying direct pressure to
the wound.
Keep the injured person warm.
2.21 – Fires
Truck fires can cause damage and injury. Learn
the causes of fires and how to prevent them. Know
what to do to extinguish fires.
2.21.1 – Causes of Fire
2.20 – Accident Procedures
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
The following are some causes of vehicle fires:
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
After Accidents. Spilled fuel, improper use of flares.
Tires. Under-inflated tires and duals that touch.
Electrical System. Short circuits due to damaged
insulation, loose connections.
Fuel. Driver smoking, improper fueling, loose fuel
connections.
Cargo. Flammable cargo, improperly sealed or
loaded cargo, poor ventilation.
2.21.2 – Fire Prevention
Pay attention to the following:
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.
2.21.3 – Fire Fighting
Knowing how to fight fires is important. Drivers who
didn’t know what to do have made fires worse.
Know how the fire extinguisher works. Study the
instructions printed on the extinguisher before you
need it. Here are some procedures to follow in
case of fire.
For a cargo fire in a van or box trailer, keep the
doors shut, especially if your cargo contains
hazardous materials. Opening the van doors will
supply the fire with oxygen and can cause it to
burn very fast.
Extinguish the Fire. Here are some rules to follow
in putting out a fire:
When using the extinguisher, stay as far away from
the fire as possible.
Aim at the source or base of the fire, not up in the
flames.
Use the Right Fire Extinguisher
Figures 2.20 and 2.21 detail the type of fire
extinguisher to use by class of fire.
The B:C type fire extinguisher is designed to work
on electrical fires and burning liquids.
The A:B:C type is designed to work on burning
wood, paper, and cloth as well.
Water can be used on wood, paper, or cloth, but
don't use water on an electrical fire (can cause
shock) or a gasoline fire (it will spread the flames).
A burning tire must be cooled. Lots of water may
be required.
If you're not sure what to use, especially on a
hazardous materials fire, wait for firefighters.
Position yourself upwind. Let the wind carry the
extinguisher to the fire.
Continue until whatever was burning has been
cooled. Absence of smoke or flame does not mean
the fire cannot restart.
Class/Type of Fires
Class
A
Pull Off the Road. The first step is to get the
vehicle off the road and stop. In doing so:
Park in an open area, away from buildings, trees,
brush, other vehicles, or anything that might catch
fire.
B
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Other Greasy
Liquids
Extinguish by Smothering, Cooling
or Heat Shielding using carbon
Dioxide or Dry Chemicals
Notify emergency services of your problem and
your location.
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.
Wood, Paper, Ordinary Combustibles
Extinguish by Cooling and
Quenching Using Water or Dry
Chemicals
Don't pull into a service station!
Keep the Fire from Spreading. Before trying to
put out the fire, make sure that it doesn't spread
any further.
Type
C
Electrical Equipment Fires
Extinguish with Non-conducting
Agents such as Carbon Dioxide or
Dry Chemicals. DO NOT USE
WATER.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Fires in Combustible Metals
D
Extinguish by Using Specialized
Extinguishing Powders
Figure 2.20
Class of Fire/Type of Extinguisher
Class of Fire
Fire Extinguisher Type
B or C
Regular Dry Chemical
A, B, C, or D
Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical
D
Purple K Dry Chemical
B or C
KCL Dry Chemical
D
Dry Powder Special
Compound
B or C
Carbon Dioxide (Dry)
B or C
Halogenated Agent (Gas)
A
Water
A
Water With Anti-Freeze
A or B
Water, Loaded Steam Style
B, On Some A
Foam
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and
Driving
2.22.1 – Alcohol and Driving
Drinking alcohol and then driving is very dangerous
and a serious problem. People who drink alcohol
are involved in traffic accidents resulting in over
20,000 deaths every year. Alcohol impairs muscle
coordination, reaction time, depth perception, and
night vision. It also affects the parts of the brain
that control judgment and inhibition. For some
people, one drink is all it takes to show signs of
impairment.
How Alcohol Works. Alcohol goes directly into the
blood stream and is carried to the brain. After
passing through the brain, a small percentage is
removed in urine, perspiration, and by breathing,
while the rest is carried to the liver. The liver can
only process one-third an ounce of alcohol per
hour, which is considerably less than the alcohol in
a standard drink. This is a fixed rate, so only time,
not black coffee or a cold shower, will sober you
up. If you have drinks faster than your body can
get rid of them, you will have more alcohol in your
body, and your driving will be more affected. The
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) commonly
measures the amount of alcohol in your body. See
Figure 2.22.
Figure 2.21
Subsections 2.20 and 2.21
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What are some things to do at an accident
scene to prevent another accident?
Name two causes of tire fires.
What kinds of fires is a B:C extinguisher not
good for?
When using your extinguisher, should you get
as close as possible to the fire?
Name some causes of vehicle fires.
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.20 and 2.21.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Page 2-40
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
What Is a Drink?
It is the alcohol in drinks that affects human
performance. It doesn't make any difference
whether that alcohol comes from "a couple of
beers,” or from two glasses of wine, or two shots of
hard liquor. Approximate Blood Alcohol Content
140
160
180
200
220
240
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.04
.06
.03
.05
.02
.05
.02
.04
.02
.04
.02
.03
.02
.03
.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
1
0
.38
.31
.27
.23
.21
.19
.17
.16
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.
Running stop signs and red lights.
Improper passing (See Figure 2.23).
Legally Intoxicated
Criminal Penalties
3
Alcohol and the Brain. Alcohol affects more and
more of the brain as BAC builds up. The first part
of the brain affected controls judgment and selfcontrol. One of the bad things about this is it can
keep drinkers from knowing they are getting drunk.
And, of course, good judgment and self-control are
absolutely necessary for safe driving.
Not signaling, failure to use lights.
Driving Skills Significantly
Affected
Criminal Penalties
.08
.03
Only Safe Impairment
Driving Limit
Begins
120
2
100
1
Effects
Drinks
0
Body Weight in Pounds
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).
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
All of the following drinks contain the same amount
of alcohol:
A 12-ounce glass of 5% beer.
A 5-ounce glass of 12% wine.
A 1 1/2-ounce shot of 80 proof liquor.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
Page 2-41
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Effects Of Increasing
Blood Alcohol Content
Blood Alcohol Content is the amount of alcohol in
your blood recorded in milligrams of alcohol per
100 milliliters of blood. Your BAC depends on the
amount of blood (which increases with weight)
and the amount of alcohol you consume over time
(how fast you drink). The faster you drink, the
higher your BAC, as the liver can only handle
about one drink per hour—the rest builds up in
your blood.
BAC
Effects on Body
.02
Mellow feeling,
slight body warmth.
.05
Noticeable
relaxation.
.08
Definite impairment
in coordination &
judgment
Effects on
Driving Condition
Less inhibited.
Less alert, less
self-focused,
coordination
impairment begins.
Drunk driving limit,
impaired
coordination &
judgment.
Noisy, possible
embarrassing
Reduction in
.10*
behavior, mood
reaction time.
swings.
Impaired balance &
.15
movement, clearly
Unable to drive.
drunk.
Many lose
.30
consciousness.
Most lose
.40
consciousness,
some die.
Breathing stops,
.50
many die.
BAC of .10 means that 1/10 of 1 % (or 1/1000) of
your total blood content is alcohol.
Figure 2.23
These effects mean increased chances of a crash
and chances of losing your driver's license.
Accident statistics show that the chance of a crash
is much greater for drivers who have been drinking
than for drivers who have not.
How Alcohol Affects Driving. All drivers are
affected by drinking alcohol. Alcohol affects
judgment, vision, coordination, and reaction time. It
causes serious driving errors, such as:
Increased reaction time to hazards.
Driving too fast or too slow.
Driving in the wrong lane.
Running over the curb.
Weaving.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
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-thecounter drugs (cold medicines), which may make
the driver drowsy or otherwise affect safe driving
ability. However, possession and use of a drug
given to a driver by a doctor is permitted if the
doctor informs the driver that it will not affect safe
driving ability.
Pay attention to warning labels for legitimate drugs
and medicines, and to doctor's orders regarding
possible effects. Stay away from illegal drugs.
Don't use any drug that hides fatigue--the only cure
for fatigue is rest. Alcohol can make the effects of
other drugs much worse. The safest rule is don't
mix drugs with driving at all.
Use of drugs can lead to traffic accidents resulting
in death, injury, and property damage.
Furthermore, it can lead to arrest, fines, and jail
sentences. It can also mean the end of a person's
driving career.
2.23 – Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
Driving a vehicle for long hours is tiring. Even the
best of drivers will become less alert. However,
there are things that good drivers do to help stay
alert and safe.
2.23.1 – Be Ready to Drive
Get Enough Sleep. Sleep is not like money. You
can’t save it up ahead of time and you can’t borrow
it. But, just as with money, you can go into debt
with it. If you don’t sleep enough, you ―owe more
sleep to yourself. This debt can only be paid off by
sleeping. You can’t overcome it with willpower, and
it won’t go away by itself. The average person
needs seven or eight hours of sleep every 24
hours. Leaving on a long trip when you're already
tired is dangerous. If you have a long trip
scheduled, make sure that you get enough sleep
before you go.
Schedule Trips Safely. Try to arrange your
schedule so you are not in ―sleep debt before a
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
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.
Your eyes close or go out of focus by themselves.
You have trouble keeping your head up.
You can’t stop yawning.
You have wandering, disconnected thoughts.
You don’t remember driving the last few miles.
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
You drift between lanes, tailgate, or miss traffic
signs.
You keep jerking the truck back into the lane.
You have drifted off the road and narrowly missed
crashing.
If you have even one of these symptoms, you may
be in danger of falling asleep. Pull off the road in a
safe place and take a nap.
2.23.3 – When You Do Become Sleepy
When you are sleepy, trying to "push on" is far
more dangerous than most drivers think. It is a
major cause of fatal accidents. Here are some
important rules to follow.
Stop to Sleep. When your body needs sleep,
sleep is the only thing that will work. If you have to
make a stop anyway, make it whenever you feel
the first signs of sleepiness, even if it is earlier than
you planned. By getting up a little earlier the next
day, you can keep on schedule without the danger
of driving while you are not alert.
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
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
will do more to overcome fatigue than a half-hour
coffee stop.
Class
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.
1
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.
4
2.2 – Illness
6
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.
2.2– Hazardous Materials Rules For All
Commercial Drivers
All drivers should know something about
hazardous materials. You must be able to
recognize hazardous cargo, and you must know
whether or not you can haul it without having a
hazardous materials endorsement on your CDL
license.
2
3
5
7
8
9
None
None
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Gases
Helium
Gasoline
Fuel,
Flammable
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Corrosives
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
MaterialCharcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 2.24
Contain the product.
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:
Communicate the risk.
In a pouch on the driver's door, or
Ensure safe drivers and equipment.
In clear view within reach while driving, or
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.
On the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
2.2.1 – What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk
to
health,
safety,
and
property
during
transportation. See Figure 2.24.
2.2.2 – Why Are There Rules?
You must follow the many rules about transporting
hazardous materials. The intent of the rules is to:
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a
shipping paper and diamond shaped hazard labels
to warn dockworkers and drivers of the risk.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
2.2.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards are used to warn others of hazardous
materials. Placards are signs put on the outside of
a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the
cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four
identical placards. They are put on the front, rear,
and both sides. Placards must be readable from all
four directions. They must be at least 10 3/4 inches
square, turned upright on a point, in a diamond
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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.
driver license with the hazardous materials
endorsement. To get the required endorsement,
you must pass a written test on material found in
Section 9 of this manual. A tank endorsement is
required for any commercial vehicle that is
designed to transport any liquid or gaseous
materials in a tank or tanks having an individual
rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an
aggregate capacity of 1,000 gallons or more that is
either permanently or temporarily attached to the
vehicle or chassis. The liquid or gas does not have
to be a hazardous material.
Drivers who need the hazardous materials
endorsement must learn the placard rules. If you
do not know if your vehicle needs placards, ask
your employer. Never drive a vehicle needing
placards unless you have the hazardous materials
endorsement. To do so is a crime. When stopped,
you will be cited and you will not be allowed to
drive your truck. It will cost you time and money. A
failure to placard when needed may risk your life
and others if you have an accident. Emergency
help will not know of your hazardous cargo.
Hazardous materials drivers must also know which
products they can load together, and which they
cannot. These rules are also in Section 9. Before
loading a truck with more than one type of product,
you must know if it is safe to load them together. If
you do not know, ask your employer and consult
the regulations.
Subsections 2.22, 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?
Figure 2.25
The rules require all drivers of placarded vehicles
to learn how to safely load and transport
hazardous products. They must have a commercial
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.22 and
2.23.
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Section 2 – Driving Safely
Version: July 2014
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Section 3
TRANSPORTING CARGO
SAFELY
This Section Covers




Inspecting Cargo
Cargo Weight and Balance
Securing Cargo
Cargo Needing Special Attention
This section tells you about hauling cargo safely.
You must understand basic cargo safety rules to
get a CDL.
If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it, it can
be a danger to others and yourself. Loose cargo
that falls off a vehicle can cause traffic problems
and others could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo
could hurt or kill you during a quick stop or crash.
Your vehicle could be damaged by an overload.
Steering could be affected by how a vehicle is
loaded, making it more difficult to control the
vehicle.
Whether or not you load and secure the cargo
yourself, you are responsible for:
Inspecting your cargo.
Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced
weight.
Knowing your cargo is properly secured and does
not obscure your view ahead or to the sides.
Knowing your cargo does not restrict your access
to emergency equipment.
If you intend to carry hazardous material that
requires placards on your vehicle, you will also
need to have a hazardous materials endorsement.
Section 9 of this manual has the information you
need to pass the hazardous materials test.
3.1 – Inspecting Cargo
As part of your Vehicle inspection, make sure the
truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced
and secured properly.
After Starting. Inspect the cargo and its securing
devices again within the first 50 miles after
beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed.
Re-check. Re-check the cargo and securing
devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep
the load secure. You need to inspect again:
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Version: July 2014
After you have driven for 3 hours or 150 miles.
After every break you take during driving.
Federal, state, and local regulations for commercial
vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and
where you can drive large vehicles vary from place
to place. Know the rules where you will be driving.
3.2 – Weight and Balance
You are responsible for not being overloaded. The
following are some definitions of weight you should
know.
3.2.1 – Definitions You Should Know
Gross Vehicle Weight (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 value
specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight
of a single vehicle.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). The
value specified by the manufacturer of the power
unit, if the value is displayed on the Federal Motor
Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) certification
label; or the sum of the gross vehicle weight
ratings (GVWRs) of the power unit and the towed
unit(s), or any combination thereof, that produces
the highest value.
Axle Weight. The weight transmitted to the ground
by one axle or one set of axles.
Tire Load. The maximum safe weight a tire can
carry at a specified pressure. This rating is stated
on the side of each tire.
Suspension Systems. Suspension systems have
a manufacturer's weight capacity rating.
Coupling Device Capacity. Coupling devices are
rated for the maximum weight they can pull and/or
carry.
3.2.2 – Legal Weight Limits
You must keep weights within legal limits. States
have maximums for GVWRs, GCWRs, and axle
weights. Often, maximum axle weights are set by a
bridge formula. A bridge formula permits less
maximum axle weight for axles that are closer
together. This is to prevent overloading bridges
and roadways.
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Overloading can have bad effects on steering,
braking, and speed control. Overloaded trucks
have to go very slowly on upgrades. Worse, they
may gain too much speed on downgrades.
Stopping distance increases. Brakes can fail when
forced to work too hard.
During bad weather or in mountains, it may not be
safe to operate at legal maximum weights. Take
this into account before driving.
3.2.3 – Don't Be Top-heavy
The height of the vehicle's center of gravity is very
important for safe handling. A high center of gravity
(cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means
you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous
in curves, or if you have to swerve to avoid a
hazard. It is very important to distribute the cargo
so it is as low as possible. Put the heaviest parts of
the cargo under the lightest parts.
3.2.4 – Balance the Weight
Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling
unsafe. Too much weight on the steering axle can
cause hard steering. It can damage the steering
axle and tires. Under-loaded front axles (caused by
shifting weight too far to the rear) can make the
steering axle weight too light to steer safely. Too
little weight on the driving axles can cause poor
traction. The drive wheels may spin easily. During
bad weather, the truck may not be able to keep
going. Weight that is loaded so there is a high
center of gravity causes greater chance of rollover.
On flat bed vehicles, there is also a greater chance
that the load will shift to the side or fall off. See
Figure 3.1.
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 3.1
3.3.2 – Cargo Tie-down
On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo
must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling
off. In closed vans, tie-downs can also be
important to prevent cargo shifting that may affect
the handling of the vehicle. Tie-downs must be of
the proper type and proper strength. Federal
regulations require the aggregate working load limit
of any securement system used to secure an
article or group of articles against movement must
be at least one-half times the weight of the article
or group of articles. Proper tie-down equipment
must be used, including ropes, straps, chains, and
tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching
components). Tie-downs must be attached to the
vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts, rails, rings). See
figure 3.2.
Figure 3.2
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
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Cargo should have at least one tie-down for each
ten feet of cargo. Make sure you have enough tiedowns to meet this need. No matter how small the
cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.
There are special requirements for securing
various heavy pieces of metal. Find out what they
are if you are to carry such loads.
3.3.3 – Header Boards
Front-end header boards ("headache racks")
protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or
emergency stop. Make sure the front-end structure
is in good condition. The front-end structure should
block the forward movement of any cargo you
carry.
3.3.4 – Covering Cargo
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.
3.3.5 – Sealed and Containerized Loads
Containerized loads generally are used when
freight is carried part way by rail or ship. Delivery
by truck occurs at the beginning and/or end of the
journey. Some containers have their own tiedown
devices or locks that attach directly to a special
frame. Others have to be loaded onto flatbed
trailers. They must be properly secured just like
any other cargo.
You cannot inspect sealed loads, but you should
check that you don't exceed gross weight and axle
weight limits.
3.4 – Cargo Needing Special Attention
3.4.1 – Dry Bulk
Dry bulk tanks require special care because they
have a high center of gravity, and the load can
shift. Be extremely cautious (slow and careful)
going around curves and making sharp turns.
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Version: July 2014
3.4.2 – Hanging Meat
Hanging meat (suspended beef, pork, lamb) in a
refrigerated truck can be a very unstable load with
a high center of gravity. Particular caution is
needed on sharp curves such as off ramps and on
ramps. Go slowly.
3.4.3 – Livestock
Livestock can move around in a trailer, causing
unsafe handling. With less than a full load, use
false bulkheads to keep livestock bunched
together. Even when bunched, special care is
necessary because livestock can lean on curves.
This shifts the center of gravity and makes rollover
more likely.
3.4.4 – Oversized Loads
Over-length, over-width, and/or overweight loads
require special transit permits. Driving is usually
limited to certain times. Special equipment may be
necessary such as "wide load" signs, flashing
lights, flags, etc. Such loads may require a police
escort or pilot vehicles bearing warning signs
and/or flashing lights. These special loads require
special driving care.
Section 3
Test Your Knowledge
1. What four things related to cargo are drivers
responsible for?
2. How often must you stop while on the road to
check your cargo?
3. How is Gross Combination Weight Rating
different from Gross Combination Weight?
4. Name two situations where legal maximum
weights may not be safe.
5. What can happen if you don't have enough
weight on the front axle?
6. What is the minimum number of tie-downs for
any flatbed load?
7. What is the minimum number of tie-downs for
a 20-foot load?
8. Name the two basic reasons for covering
cargo on an open bed.
9. What must you check before transporting a
sealed load?
These questions may be on your test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read Section 3.
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Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
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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 more than
16 or more persons, including the driver.
Bus drivers must have a passenger endorsement
on their commercial driver license. To get the
endorsement you must pass a knowledge test on
Sections 2 and 4 of this manual. (If your bus has
air brakes, you must also pass a knowledge test on
Section 5.) You must also pass the skills tests
required for the class of vehicle you drive.
School bus drivers must have a school bus (S)
endorsement which requires an additional
knowledge test and possibly skills test. See
Section 10.
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).
Windshield wiper or wipers.
Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
Coupling devices (if present).
Wheels and rims.
Emergency equipment.
4.1.2 – Access Doors and Panels
As you check the outside of the bus, close any
open emergency exits. Also, close any open
access panels (for baggage, restroom service,
engine, etc.) before driving.
4.1.3 – Bus Interior
People sometimes damage unattended buses.
Always check the interior of the bus before driving
to ensure rider safety. Aisles and stairwells should
always be clear. The following parts of your bus
must be in safe working condition:
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.
Parking brake.
4.1.5 – Use Your Seatbelt!
Steering mechanism.
The driver's seat should have a seat belt. Always
use it for safety.
Lights and reflectors.
Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or regrooved tires).
Horn.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Version: July 2014
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start
Do not allow riders to leave carry-on baggage in a
doorway or aisle. There should be nothing in the
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aisle that might trip other riders. Secure baggage
and freight in ways that avoid damage and:
Allow the driver to move freely and easily.
Allow riders to exit by any window or door in an
emergency.
Protect riders from injury if carry-ons fall or shift.
4.2.1 – Hazardous Materials
Watch for cargo or baggage containing hazardous
materials. Most hazardous materials cannot be
carried on a bus.
The Federal Hazardous Materials Table shows
which materials are hazardous. They pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation.
The rules require shippers to mark containers of
hazardous material with the material's name,
identification number, and hazard label. There are
nine different four-inch, diamond-shaped hazard
labels. See Figure 4.1. Watch for the diamondshaped labels. Do not transport any hazardous
material unless you are sure the rules allow it.
Class
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
None
None
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Gases
Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
Flammable
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Corrosives
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
MaterialCharcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 4.1
4.2.2 – Forbidden Hazardous Materials
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Version: July 2014
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 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
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at the start of the trip. Explaining the rules at the
start will help to avoid trouble later on.
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.
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.
Before crossing after a train has passed, make
sure there isn't another train coming in the other
direction on other tracks.
4.3.2 – At Stops
If your bus has a manual transmission, never
change gears while crossing the tracks.
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.
You do not have to stop, but must slow down and
carefully check for other vehicles:
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.
At crossings marked as "exempt" or "abandoned."
4.3.3 – Common Accidents
The Most Common Bus Accidents. Bus
accidents often happen at intersections. Use
caution, even if a signal or stop sign controls other
traffic. School and mass transit buses sometimes
scrape off mirrors or hit passing vehicles when
pulling out from a bus stop. Remember the
clearance your bus needs, and watch for poles and
tree limbs at stops. Know the size of the gap your
bus needs to accelerate and merge with traffic.
Wait for the gap to open before leaving the stop.
Never assume other drivers will brake to give you
room when you signal or start to pull out.
4.3.4 – Speed on Curves
At streetcar crossings.
Where a policeman or flagman is directing traffic.
If a traffic signal is green.
4.3.6 – Drawbridges
Stop at Drawbridges. Stop at drawbridges that do
not have a signal light or traffic control attendant.
Stop at least 50 feet before the draw of the bridge.
Look to make sure the draw is completely closed
before crossing. You do not need to stop, but must
slow down and make sure it's safe, when:
There is a traffic light showing green.
The bridge has an attendant or traffic officer who
controls traffic whenever the bridge opens.
4.4 – After-trip Vehicle Inspection
Inspect your bus at the end of each shift. If you
work for an interstate carrier, you must complete a
written inspection report for each bus driven. The
report must specify each bus and list any defect
that would affect safety or result in a breakdown. If
there are no defects, the report should say so.
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!
Riders sometimes damage safety-related parts
such as handholds, seats, emergency exits, and
windows. If you report this damage at the end of a
shift, mechanics can make repairs before the bus
goes out again. Mass transit drivers should also
make sure passenger signaling devices and brakedoor interlocks work properly.
If your bus leans toward the outside on a banked
curve, you are driving too fast.
4.5 – Prohibited Practices
4.3.5 – Railroad-highway Crossing/ Stops
Stop at RR Crossings:
Avoid fueling your bus with riders on board unless
absolutely necessary. Never refuel in a closed
building with riders on board.
Stop your bus between 15 and 50 feet before
railroad crossings.
Don't talk with riders, or engage in any other
distracting activity, while driving.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Version: July 2014
Page 4-3
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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 Vehicle inspection.
2. What are some hazardous materials you can
transport by bus?
3. What are some hazardous materials you can’t
transport by bus?
4. What is a standee line?
5. Does it matter where you make a disruptive
passenger get off the bus?
6. How far from a railroad crossing should you
stop?
7. When must you stop before crossing a
drawbridge?
8. Describe from memory the
practices” listed in the manual.
“prohibited
9. The rear door of a transit bus has to be open
to put on the parking brake. True or False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Version: July 2014
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Section 5
AIR BRAKES
This Section Covers




Air Brake System Parts
Dual Air Brake Systems
Inspecting Air Brakes
Using Air Brakes
This section tells you about air brakes. If you want
to drive a truck or bus with air brakes, or pull a
trailer with air brakes, you need to read this
section. If you want to pull a trailer with air brakes,
you also need to read Section 6, Combination
Vehicles.
Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes
work. Air brakes are a good and safe way of
stopping large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes
must be well maintained and used properly.
Air brakes are really three different braking
systems:
service brake, parking brake, and
emergency brake.
The service brake system applies and releases the
brakes when you use the brake pedal during
normal driving.
The parking brake system applies and releases the
parking brakes when you use the parking brake
control.
The emergency brake system uses parts of the
service and parking brake systems to stop the
vehicle in a brake system failure.
The parts of these systems are discussed in
greater detail below.
5.1.2 – Air Compressor Governor
The governor controls when the air compressor will
pump air into the air storage tanks. When air tank
pressure rises to the "cut-out" level (around 125
pounds per-square-inch or "psi"), the governor
stops the compressor from pumping air. When the
tank pressure falls to the "cut-in" pressure (around
100 psi), the governor allows the compressor to
start pumping again.
5.1.3 – Air Storage Tanks
Air storage tanks are used to hold compressed air.
The number and size of air tanks varies among
vehicles. The tanks will hold enough air to allow
the brakes to be used several times, even if the
compressor stops working.
5.1.4 – Air Tank Drains
Compressed air usually has some water and some
compressor oil in it, which is bad for the air brake
system. For example, the water can freeze in cold
weather and cause brake failure. The water and oil
tend to collect in the bottom of the air tank. Be sure
that you drain the air tanks completely. Each air
tank is equipped with a drain valve in the bottom.
There are two types:
Manually operated by turning a quarter turn or by
pulling a cable. You must drain the tanks yourself
at the end of each day of driving. See Figure 5.1.
Automatic--the water and oil are automatically
expelled. These tanks may be equipped for
manual draining as well.
Automatic air tanks are available with electric
heating devices. These help prevent freezing of
the automatic drain in cold weather.
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System
There are many parts to an air brake system. You
should know about the parts discussed here.
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.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
Figure 5.1
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
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.
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.)
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
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
Figure 5.2
Wedge Brakes. In this type of brake, the brake
chamber push rod pushes a wedge directly
between the ends of two brake shoes. This shoves
them apart and against the inside of the brake
drum. Wedge brakes may have a single brake
chamber, or two brake chambers, pushing wedges
in at both ends of the brake shoes. Wedge type
brakes may be self-adjusting or may require
manual adjustment.
Disc Brakes. In air-operated disc brakes, air
pressure acts on a brake chamber and slack
adjuster, like s-cam brakes. But instead of the scam, 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.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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 v
ehicles.) Increasing application pressure to hold
the same speed means the brakes are fading. You
should slow down and use a lower gear. The need
for increased pressure can also be caused by
brakes out of adjustment, air leaks, or mechanical
problems.
5.1.11 – Low Air Pressure Warning
A low air pressure warning signal is required on
vehicles with air brakes. A warning signal you can
see must come on before the air pressure in the
tanks falls below 60 psi. (Or one half the
compressor governor cutout pressure on older
vehicles.) The warning is usually a red light. A
buzzer may also come on.
Another type of warning is the "wig wag." This
device drops a mechanical arm into your view
when the pressure in the system drops below 60
psi. An automatic wig wag will rise out of your view
when the pressure in the system goes above 60
psi. The manual reset type must be placed in the
"out of view" position manually. It will not stay in
place until the pressure in the system is above 60
psi.
On large buses it is common for the low pressure
warning devices to signal at 80-85 psi.
5.1.12 – Stop Light Switch
Drivers behind you must be warned when you put
your brakes on. The air brake system does this
with an electric switch that works by air pressure.
The switch turns on the brake lights when you put
on the air brakes.
psi or more application pressure). These valves
cannot be controlled by the driver.
5.1.14 – Spring Brakes
All trucks, truck tractors, and buses must be
equipped with emergency brakes and parking
brakes. They must be held on by mechanical force
(because air pressure can eventually leak away).
Spring brakes are usually used to meet these
needs. When driving, powerful springs are held
back by air pressure. If the air pressure is
removed, the springs put on the brakes. A parking
brake control in the cab allows the driver to let the
air out of the spring brakes. This lets the springs
put the brakes on. A leak in the air brake system,
which causes all the air to be lost, will also cause
the springs to put on the brakes.
Tractor and straight truck spring brakes will come
fully on when air pressure drops to a range of 20 to
45 psi (typically 20 to 30 psi). Do not wait for the
brakes to come on automatically. When the low air
pressure warning light and buzzer first come on,
bring the vehicle to a safe stop right away, while
you can still control the brakes.
The braking power of spring brakes depends on
the brakes being in adjustment. If the brakes are
not adjusted properly, neither the regular brakes
nor the emergency/parking brakes will work right.
5.1.15 – Parking Brake Controls
In newer vehicles with air brakes, you put on the
parking brakes using a diamond-shaped, yellow,
push-pull control knob. You pull the knob out to put
the parking brakes (spring brakes) on, and push it
in to release them. On older vehicles, the parking
brakes may be controlled by a lever. Use the
parking brakes whenever you park.
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
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
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
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
parking a vehicle with a modulating control valve,
move the lever as far as it will go and hold it in
place with the locking device.
Dual Parking Control Valves. When main air
pressure is lost, the spring brakes come on. Some
vehicles, such as buses, have a separate air tank
which can be used to release the spring brakes.
This is so you can move the vehicle in an
emergency. One of the valves is a push-pull type
and is used to put on the spring brakes for parking.
The other valve is spring loaded in the "out"
position. When you push the control in, air from the
separate air tank releases the spring brakes so you
can move. When you release the button, the spring
brakes come on again. There is only enough air in
the separate tank to do this a few times. Therefore,
plan carefully when moving. Otherwise, you may
be stopped in a dangerous location when the
separate air supply runs out. See Figure 5.3.
5.1.16 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after
March 1, 1997, and other air brakes vehicles,
(trucks, buses, trailers, and converter dollies) built
on or after March 1, 1998, are required to be
equipped with antilock brakes. Many commercial
vehicles built before these dates have been
voluntarily equipped with ABS. Check the
certification label for the date of manufacture to
determine if your vehicle is equipped with ABS.
ABS is a computerized system that keeps your
wheels from locking up during hard brake
applications.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something isn’t working.
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS
malfunction lamps on the instrument panel.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner.
Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998 are
required to have a lamp on the left side.
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
Figure 5.3
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
.Subsection 5.1
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Figure 5.4
is one). The first system is called the "primary"
system. The other is called the "secondary"
system. See Figure 5.4.
Why must air tanks be drained?
What is a supply pressure gauge used for?
All vehicles with air brakes must have a
low air pressure warning signal. True or
False?
What are spring brakes?
Front wheel brakes are good under all
conditions. True or False?
How do you know if your vehicle is
equipped with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 5.1.
5.2 – Dual Air Brake
Most heavy-duty vehicles use dual air brake
systems for safety. A dual air brake system has
two separate air brake systems, which use a single
set of brake controls. Each system has its own air
tanks, hoses, lines, etc. One system typically
operates the regular brakes on the rear axle or
axles. The other system operates the regular
brakes on the front axle (and possibly one rear
axle). Both systems supply air to the trailer (if there
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
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.
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5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems
You should use the basic seven-step inspection
procedure described in Section 2 to inspect your
vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a
vehicle with air brakes than one without them.
These things are discussed below, in the order
they fit into the seven-step method.
5.3.1 – During Step 2 Engine Compartment
Checks
Check Air Compressor Drive Belt (if compressor is
belt-driven). If the air compressor is belt-driven,
check the condition and tightness of the belt. It
should be in good condition.
5.3.2 – During Step 5 Walk-around Inspection
Check Slack Adjusters on S-cam Brakes. Park on
level ground and chock the wheels to prevent the
vehicle from moving. Release the parking brakes
so you can move the slack adjusters. Use gloves
and pull hard on each slack adjuster that you can
reach. If a slack adjuster moves more than about
one inch where the push rod attaches to it, it
probably needs adjustment. Adjust it or have it
adjusted. Vehicles with too much brake slack can
be very hard to stop. Out-of-adjustment brakes are
the most common problem found in roadside
inspections. Be safe. Check the slack adjusters.
All vehicles built since 1994 have automatic slack
adjustors. Even though automatic slack adjustors
adjust themselves during full brake applications,
they must be checked.
Automatic adjusters should not have to be
manually adjusted except when performing
maintenance on the brakes and during installation
of the slack adjusters. In a vehicle equipped with
automatic adjusters, when the pushrod stroke
exceeds the legal brake adjustment limit, it is an
indication that a mechanical problem exists in the
adjuster itself, a problem with the related
foundation brake components, or that the adjuster
was improperly installed.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster to
bring a brake pushrod stroke within legal limits is
generally masking a mechanical problem and is
not fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most
automatic adjusters will likely result in premature
wear of the adjuster itself. It is recommended that
when brakes equipped with automatic adjusters
are found to be out of adjustment, the driver take
the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
to have the problem corrected.
The manual
adjustment of automatic slack adjusters is
dangerous because it may give the driver a false
sense of security regarding the effectiveness of the
braking system.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster
should only be used as a temporary measure to
correct the adjustment in an emergency situation
as it is likely the brake will soon be back out of
adjustment since this procedure usually does not
fix the underlying adjustment problem.
(Note: Automatic slack adjusters are made by
different manufacturers and do not all operate the
same.
Therefore, the specific manufacturer’s
Service Manual should be consulted prior to
troubleshooting a brake adjustment problem.)
Check Brake Drums (or Discs), Linings, and
Hoses. Brake drums (or discs) must not have
cracks longer than one half the width of the friction
area. Linings (friction material) must not be loose
or soaked with oil or grease. They must not be
dangerously thin. Mechanical parts must be in
place, not broken or missing. Check the air hoses
connected to the brake chambers to make sure
they aren't cut or worn due to rubbing.
5.3.3 – Step 7 Final Air Brake Check
Do the following checks instead of the hydraulic
brake check shown in Section 2, Step 7: Check
Brake System.
Test Low Pressure Warning Signal. Shut the
engine off when you have enough air pressure so
that the low pressure warning signal is not on. Turn
the electrical power on and step on and off the
brake pedal to reduce air tank pressure. The low
air pressure warning signal must come on before
the pressure drops to less than 60 psi in the air
tank (or tank with the lowest air pressure, in dual
air systems). See Figure 5.5.
If the warning signal doesn't work, you could lose
air pressure and you would not know it. This could
cause sudden emergency braking in a singlecircuit air system. In dual systems the stopping
distance will be increased. Only limited braking can
be done before the spring brakes come on.
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With the air pressure built up to governor cutoff
(120 – 140 psi), shut off the engine, chock your
wheels (if necessary), release the parking brake
(all vehicles), and the tractor protection valve
(combination vehicle); and fully apply the foot
brake. Hold the foot brake for one minute. Check
the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more
than three pounds in one minute (single vehicle) or
four pounds in one minute (combination vehicle). If
the air pressure falls more than three psi in one
minute for single vehicles (more than four psi for
combination vehicles), the air loss rate is too much.
Check for air leaks and fix before driving the
vehicle. Otherwise, you could lose your brakes
while driving.
Figure 5.5
Check That Spring Brakes Come On
Automatically.
Continue to fan off the air
pressure by stepping on and off the brake pedal to
reduce tank pressure. The tractor protection valve
and parking brake valve should close (pop out) on
a tractor-trailer combination vehicle and the
parking brake valve should close (pop out) on
other combination and single vehicle types when
the air pressure falls to the manufacturer’s
specification (20 – 45 psi). This will cause the
spring brakes to come on.
Check Rate of Air Pressure Buildup. When the
engine is at operating rpms, the pressure should
build from 85 to 100 psi within 45 seconds in dual
air systems. (If the vehicle has larger than
minimum air tanks, the buildup time can be longer
and still be safe. Check the manufacturer's
specifications.) In single air systems (pre-1975),
typical requirements are pressure build-up from 50
to 90 psi within 3 minutes with the engine at an idle
speed of 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.
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air
system (typically 125 psi), turn off the engine,
release the parking brake (push in); and time the
air pressure drop. The loss rate should be less
than two psi in one minute for single vehicles and
less than three psi in one minute for combination
vehicles.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
Check Air Compressor Governor Cut-in and
Cut-out Pressures. Pumping by the air
compressor should start at about 100 psi and stop
at about 125 psi. (Check manufacturer's
specifications.) Run the engine at a fast idle. The
air governor should cut-out the air compressor at
about the manufacturer's specified pressure. The
air pressure shown by your gauge(s) will stop
rising. With the engine idling, step on and off the
brake to reduce the air tank pressure. The
compressor should cut-in at about the
manufacturer's specified cut-in pressure. The
pressure should begin to rise.
If the air governor does not work as described
above, it may need to be fixed. A governor that
does not work properly may not keep enough air
pressure for safe driving.
Test Parking Brake. Stop the vehicle, put the
parking brake on, and gently pull against it in a low
gear to test that the parking brake will hold.
Test Service Brakes. Wait for normal air pressure,
release the parking brake, move the vehicle
forward slowly (about five mph), and apply the
brakes firmly using the brake pedal. Note any
vehicle "pulling" to one side, unusual feel, or
delayed stopping action.
This test may show you problems, which you
otherwise wouldn't know about until you needed
the brakes on the road.
Subsections 5.2 and 5.3
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
What is a dual air brake system?
What are the slack adjusters?
How can you check slack adjusters?
How can you test the low pressure warning
signal?
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
5. How can you check that the spring brakes
come on automatically?
6. What are the maximum leakage rates?
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to
stay in control.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 5.2 and 5.3.
There is only one exception to this procedure, if
you always drive a straight truck or combination
with working ABS on all axles, in an emergency
stop, you can fully apply the brakes.
5.4 – Using Air Brakes
5.4.1 – Normal Stops
Push the brake pedal down. Control the pressure
so the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, don't push the clutch
in until the engine rpm is down close to idle. When
stopped, select a starting gear.
5.4.2 – Braking with Antilock Brakes
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lock up, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
You may or may not be able to stop faster with
ABS, but you should be able to steer around an
obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused by
over braking.
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or
even on only one axle, still gives you more control
over the vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be able
to maintain steering control, and there is less
chance of jackknifing. But, keep your eye on the
trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely do
so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In
other words:
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.
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
5.4.3 – Emergency Stops
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there's enough distance to stop, and
you use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your
vehicle in a straight line and allow you to turn if it
becomes necessary. You can use the "controlled
braking" method or the "stab braking" method.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking the
wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking. Apply your brakes all the way.
Release brakes when wheels lock up. As soon as
the wheels start rolling, apply the brakes fully
again. (It can take up to one second for the wheels
to start rolling after you release the brakes. If you
re-apply the brakes before the wheels start rolling,
the vehicle won't straighten out.)
5.4.4 – Stopping Distance
Stopping distance was described in Section 2
under "Speed and Stopping Distance." With air
brakes there is an added delay - “Brake Lag”. This
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.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
The air brake lag distance at 55 mph on dry
pavement adds about 32 feet. So at 55 mph for an
average driver under good traction and brake
conditions, the total stopping distance is over 450
feet. See Figure 5.6.
Remember. 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 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
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Version: July 2014
If the low air pressure warning comes on, stop and
safely park your vehicle as soon as possible. There
might be an air leak in the system. Controlled
braking is possible only while enough air remains
in the air tanks. The spring brakes will come on
when the air pressure drops into the range of 20 to
45 psi. A heavily loaded vehicle will take a long
distance to stop because the spring brakes do not
work on all axles. Lightly loaded vehicles or
vehicles on slippery roads may skid out of control
when the spring brakes come on. It is much safer
to stop while there is enough air in the tanks to use
the foot brakes.
5.4.8 – Parking Brakes
Any time you park, use the parking brakes, except
as noted below. Pull the parking brake control
knob out to apply the parking brakes, push it in to
release. The control will be a yellow, diamondshaped knob labeled "parking brakes" on newer
vehicles. On older vehicles, it may be a round blue
knob or some other shape (including a lever that
swings from side to side or up and down).
Don't use the parking brakes if the brakes are very
hot (from just having come down a steep grade), or
if the brakes are very wet in freezing temperatures.
If they are used while they are very hot, they can
be damaged by the heat. If they are used in
freezing temperatures when the brakes are very
wet, they can freeze so the vehicle cannot move.
Use wheel chocks on a level surface to hold the
vehicle. Let hot brakes cool before using the
parking brakes. If the brakes are wet, use the
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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.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Why should you be in the proper gear before
starting down a hill?
What factors can cause brakes to fade or
fail?
The use of brakes on a long, steep
downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. True or False?
If you are away from your vehicle only a short
time, you do not need to use the parking
brake. True or False?
How often should you drain air tanks?
How should you brake when you drive a
tractor-trailer combination with ABS?
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
Version: July 2014
Page 5-10
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Section 6
COMBINATION VEHICLES
Avoid quick lane changes, especially when fully
loaded.
This Section Covers
Trucks with trailers have a dangerous "crack-thewhip" effect. When you make a quick lane change,
the crack-the-whip effect can turn the trailer over.
There are many accidents where only the trailer
has overturned.





Driving Combinations
Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
Antilock Brake Systems
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Combinations
This section provides information needed to pass
the tests for combination vehicles (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.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
6.1.2 – Steer Gently
"Rearward amplification" causes the crack-thewhip effect. Figure 6.1 shows eight types of
combination
vehicles
and
the
rearward
amplification each has in a quick lane change.
Rigs with the least crack-the-whip effect are shown
at the top and those with the most, at the bottom.
Rearward amplification of 2.0 in the chart means
that the rear trailer is twice as likely to turn over as
the tractor. You can see that triples have a
rearward amplification of 3.5. This means you can
roll the last trailer of triples 3.5 times as easily as a
five-axle tractor.
Steer gently and smoothly when you are pulling
trailers. If you make a sudden movement with your
steering wheel, your trailer could tip over. Follow
far enough behind other vehicles (at least 1
second for each 10 feet of your vehicle length, plus
another second if going over 40 mph). Look far
enough down the road to avoid being surprised
and having to make a sudden lane change. At
night, drive slowly enough to see obstacles with
your headlights before it is too late to change lanes
or stop gently. Slow down to a safe speed before
going into a turn.
6.1.3 – Brake Early
Control your speed whether fully loaded or empty.
Large combination vehicles take longer to stop
when they are empty than when they are fully
loaded. When lightly loaded, the very stiff
suspension springs and strong brakes give poor
traction and make it very easy to lock up the
wheels. Your trailer can swing out and strike other
vehicles. Your tractor can jackknife very quickly.
You also must be very careful about driving
"bobtail" tractors (tractors without semitrailers).
Tests have shown that bobtails can be very hard to
stop smoothly. It takes them longer to stop than a
tractor-semitrailer loaded to maximum gross
weight.
In any combination rig, allow lots of following
distance and look far ahead, so you can brake
early. Don't be caught by surprise and have to
make a "panic" stop.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Figure 6.1
6.1.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
6.1.5 – Prevent Trailer Skids
Railroad-highway crossings can also cause
problems, particularly when pulling trailers with low
underneath clearance.
When the wheels of a trailer lock up, the trailer will
tend to swing around. This is more likely to happen
when the trailer is empty or lightly loaded. This
type of jackknife is often called a "trailer jackknife."
See Figure 6.2.
These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get
out of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
The procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:
Recognize the Skid. The earliest and best way to
recognize that the trailer has started to skid is by
seeing it in your mirrors. Any time you apply the
brakes hard, check the mirrors to make sure the
trailer is staying where it should be. Once the
trailer swings out of your lane, it's very difficult to
prevent a jackknife.
* (From R.D. Ervin, R.L. Nisconger, C.C.
MacAdam, and P.S. Fancher, “Influence of size
and weight variables on the stability and control
properties of heavy trucks, “University of Michigan
Transportation Research Institute, 1983).
Page 6-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
starting the turn because it will keep other drivers
from passing you on the right. See Figure 6.4.
Figure 6.3
Figure 6.2
Stop Using the Brake. Release the brakes to get
traction back. Do not use the trailer hand brake (if
you have one) to "straighten out the rig." This is the
wrong thing to do since the brakes on the trailer
wheels caused the skid in the first place. Once the
trailer wheels grip the road again, the trailer will
start to follow the tractor and straighten out.
6.1.6 – Turn Wide
When a vehicle goes around a corner, the rear
wheels follow a different path than the front
wheels. This is called off-tracking or "cheating."
Figure 6.3 shows how off-tracking causes the path
followed by a tractor to be wider than the rig itself.
Longer vehicles will off-track more. The rear
wheels of the powered unit (truck or tractor) will offtrack some, and the rear wheels of the trailer will
off-track even more. If there is more than one
trailer, the rear wheels of the last trailer will 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 w ill 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
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Figure 6.4
6.1.7 – Backing with a Trailer.
Backing with a Trailer. When backing a car,
straight truck, or bus, you turn the top of the
steering wheel in the direction you want to go.
When backing a trailer, you turn the steering wheel
in the opposite direction. Once the trailer starts to
turn, you must turn the wheel the other way to
follow the trailer.
Whenever you back up with a trailer, try to position
your vehicle so you can back in a straight line. If
you must back on a curved path, back to the
driver's side so you can see. See Figure 6.5.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Subsection 6.1
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
What two things are important to prevent
rollover?
When you turn suddenly while pulling
doubles, which trailer is most likely to turn
over?
Why should you not use the trailer hand
brake to straighten out a jackknifing trailer?
What is off-tracking?
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?
What type of trailers can get stuck on
railroad-highway 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
Figure 6.5
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel
before you begin. Get out and walk around the
vehicle. Check your clearance to the sides and
overhead, in and near the path your vehicle.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside
mirrors on both sides frequently. Get out of the
vehicle and re-inspect your path if you are unsure.
Back Slowly. This will let you make corrections
before you get too far off course.
Correct Drift Immediately. As soon as you see
the trailer getting off the proper path, correct it by
turning the top of the steering wheel in the
direction of the drift.
Pull Forward. When backing a trailer, make pullups to re-position your vehicle as needed.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
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.
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6.2.2 – Tractor Protection Valve
The tractor protection valve keeps air in the tractor
or truck brake system should the trailer break away
or develop a bad leak. The tractor protection valve
is controlled by the "trailer air supply" control valve
in the cab. The control valve allows you to open
and shut the tractor protection valve. The tractor
protection valve will close automatically if air
pressure is low (in the range of 20 to 45 psi). When
the tractor protection valve closes, it stops any air
from going out of the tractor. It also lets the air out
of the trailer emergency line. This causes the trailer
emergency brakes to come on, with possible loss
of control. (Emergency brakes are covered later.)
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.
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 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
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
Figure 6.6
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Page 6-5
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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 airlines. Use the dummy couplers when the air-lines
are not connected to a trailer. If there are no
dummy couplers, the glad hands can sometimes
be locked together (depending on the couplings). It
is very important to keep the air supply clean.
6.2.6 – Trailer Air Tanks
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.
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.
Subsection 6.2
Test Your Knowledge
1.
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.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Why should you not use the trailer hand
valve while driving?
Describe what the trailer air supply control
does.
Describe what the service line is for.
What is the emergency air-line for?
Why should you use chocks when parking
a trailer without spring brakes?
Where are shut-off valves?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.2.
6.2.7 – 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
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Page 6-6
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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 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.
Figure 6.7
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Check to see that mounting to tractor is secure, no
cracks in frame, etc.
Be sure that the fifth wheel plate is greased as
required. Failure to keep the fifth wheel plate
lubricated could cause steering problems because
of friction between the tractor and trailer.
Check if fifth wheel is in proper position for
coupling:
Wheel tilted down toward rear of tractor.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Jaws open.
Step 8. Supply Air to Trailer
Safety unlocking handle in the automatic lock
position.
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.
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
Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
Don't hit the trailer.
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.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
Back tractor slowly under trailer to avoid hitting the
kingpin too hard.
Put on the parking brake.
Stop when the kingpin is locked into the fifth wheel.
Put transmission in neutral.
Step 11. Check Connection for Security
Step 6. Check Trailer Height
Raise trailer landing gear slightly off ground.
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.)
Pull tractor gently forward while the trailer brakes
are still locked to check that the trailer is locked
onto the tractor.
Check that the kingpin and fifth wheel are aligned.
Put parking brakes on.
Step 7. Connect Air-lines to Trailer
Shut off engine and take key with you so someone
else won't move truck while you are under it.
Check glad hand seals and connect tractor
emergency air-line to trailer emergency glad hand.
Check glad hand seals and connect tractor service
air-line to trailer service glad hand.
Make sure air-lines are safely supported where
they won't be crushed or caught while tractor is
backing under the trailer.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Step 12. Secure Vehicle
Put transmission in neutral.
Step 13. Inspect Coupling
Use a flashlight, if necessary.
Make sure there is no space between upper and
lower fifth wheel. If there is space, something is
wrong (kingpin may be on top of the closed fifth
wheel jaws, and trailer would come loose very
easily).
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Go under trailer and look into the back of the fifth
wheel. Make sure the fifth wheel jaws have closed
around the shank of the kingpin.
Check that the locking lever is in the "lock"
position.
Check that the safety latch is in position over
locking lever. (On some fifth wheels the catch must
be put in place by hand.)
If the coupling isn't right, don't drive the coupled
unit; get it fixed.
Step 14. Connect the Electrical Cord and Check
Air-lines
Plug the electrical cord into the trailer and fasten
the safety catch.
Check both air-lines and electrical line for signs of
damage.
Make sure air and electrical lines will not hit any
moving parts of vehicle.
Step 15. Raise Front Trailer Supports (Landing
Gear)
Use low gear range (if so equipped) to begin
raising the landing gear. Once free of weight,
switch to the high gear range.
Raise the landing gear all the way up. (Never drive
with landing gear only part way up as it may catch
on railroad tracks or other things.)
After raising landing gear, secure the crank handle
safely.
When full weight of trailer is resting on tractor:
Check for enough clearance between rear of
tractor frame and landing gear. (When tractor turns
sharply, it must not hit landing gear.)
Check that there is enough clearance between the
top of the tractor tires and the nose of the trailer.
Step 16. Remove Trailer Wheel Chocks
Remove and store wheel chocks in a safe place.
Step 2. Ease Pressure on Locking Jaws
Shut off trailer air supply to lock trailer brakes.
Ease pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by
backing up gently. (This will help you release the
fifth wheel locking lever.)
Put parking brakes on while tractor is pushing
against the kingpin. (This will hold rig with pressure
off the locking jaws.)
Step 3. Chock Trailer Wheels
Chock the trailer wheels if the trailer doesn't have
spring brakes or if you're not sure. (The air could
leak out of the trailer air tank, releasing its
emergency brakes. Without chocks, the trailer
could move.)
Step 4. Lower the Landing Gear
If trailer is empty, lower the landing gear until it
makes firm contact with the ground.
If trailer is loaded, after the landing gear makes
firm contact with the ground, turn crank in low gear
a few extra turns. This will lift some weight off the
tractor. (Do not lift trailer off the fifth wheel.) This
will:
Make it easier to unlatch fifth wheel.
Make it easier to couple next time.
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.
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
The following steps will help you to uncouple
safely.
Step 1. Position Rig
Make sure surface of parking area can support
weight of trailer.
Have tractor lined up with the trailer. (Pulling out at
an angle can damage landing gear.)
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Keep legs and feet clear of the rear tractor wheels
to avoid serious injury in case the vehicle moves.
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
Pull tractor forward until fifth wheel comes out from
under the trailer.
Stop with tractor frame under trailer (prevents
trailer from falling to ground if landing gear should
collapse or sink).
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Step 8. Secure Tractor
Apply parking brake.
Place transmission in neutral.
Coupling System Areas
Check fifth wheel (lower).
Securely mounted to frame.
No missing or damaged parts.
Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
Make sure ground is supporting trailer.
Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
Release parking brakes.
Check the area and drive tractor forward until it
clears.
Enough grease.
No visible space between upper and lower fifth
wheel.
Locking jaws around the shank, not the head of
kingpin. See Figure 6.8.
Release arm properly seated and safety
latch/lock engaged.
Subsections 6.3 and 6.4
Test Your Knowledge
1. What might happen if the trailer is too high
when you try to couple?
2. After coupling, how much space should be
between the upper and lower fifth wheel?
3. You should look into the back of the fifth wheel
to see if it is locked onto the kingpin. True or
False?
4. To drive you need to raise the landing gear
only until it just lifts off the pavement. True or
False?
5. How do you know if your trailer is equipped
with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 6.3 and 6.4.
Figure 6.8
Check fifth wheel (upper).
Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
Kingpin not damaged.
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
Walk-around Inspection
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2.
Air and electric lines to trailer.
Electrical cord firmly plugged in and secured.
Air-lines properly connected to glad hands, no air
leaks, properly secured with enough slack for
turns.
All lines free from damage.
Sliding fifth wheel.
Slide not damaged or parts missing.
Properly greased.
All locking pins present and locked in place.
If air powered--no air leaks.
Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward that
tractor frame will hit landing gear, or the cab hit the
trailer, during turns.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Page 6-10
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Landing Gear
Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
Crank handle in place and secured.
If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
6.5.2 – Combination Vehicle Brake Check
Do these checks in addition to Section 5.3:
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
The following section explains how to check air
brakes on combination vehicles. Check the brakes
on a double or triple trailer as you would any
combination vehicle.
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers. Use the
tractor parking brake and/or chock the wheels to
hold the vehicle. Wait for air pressure to reach
normal, then push in the red "trailer air supply"
knob. This will supply air to the emergency (supply)
lines. Use the trailer handbrake to provide air to the
service line. Go to the rear of the rig. Open the
emergency line shut-off valve at the rear of the last
trailer. You should hear air escaping, showing the
entire system is charged. Close the emergency line
valve. Open the service line valve to check that
service pressure goes through all the trailers (this
test assumes that the trailer handbrake or the
service brake pedal is on), and then close the
valve. If you do NOT hear air escaping from both
lines, check that the shut-off valves on the trailer(s)
and dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST
have air all the way to the back for all the brakes to
work.
the "emergency" position. Pull gently on the trailer
with the tractor to check that the trailer emergency
brakes are on.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal air
pressure, release the parking brakes, move the
vehicle forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes
with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you
the trailer brakes are connected and working. (The
trailer brakes should be tested with the hand valve
but controlled in normal operation with the foot
pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at all
wheels.)
Subsection 6.5
Test Your Knowledge
1. Which shut-off valves should be open and
which closed?
2. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
3. How can you test the tractor protection valve?
4. How can you test the trailer emergency
brakes?
5. How can you test the trailer service brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer all of them, re-read subsection 6.5.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer
Air-brake system. (That is, build up normal airpressure and push the "air supply" knob in.) Shut
the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal
several times to reduce the air pressure in the
tanks. The trailer air supply control (also called the
tractor protection valve control) should pop out (or
go from "normal" to "emergency" position) when
the air pressure falls into the pressure range
specified by the manufacturer. (Usually within the
range of 20 to 45 psi.)
If the tractor protection valve doesn't work right, an
air hose or trailer brake leak could drain all the air
from the tractor. This would cause the emergency
brakes to come on, with possible loss of control.
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the
trailer air brake system and check that the trailer
rolls freely. Then stop and pull out the trailer air
supply control (also called tractor protection valve
control or trailer emergency valve), or place it in
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Version: July 2014
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Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
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Section 7
DOUBLES AND TRIPLES
This Section Covers




Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Doubles and Triples
Checking Air Brakes
This section has information you need to pass the
CDL knowledge test for driving safely with double
and triple trailers. It tells about how important it is
to be very careful when driving with more than one
trailer, how to couple and uncouple correctly, and
about inspecting doubles and triples carefully. (You
should also study Sections 2, 5, and 6.)
7.1.5 – Manage Space
Doubles and triples take up more space than other
commercial vehicles. They are not only longer, but
also need more space because they can't be
turned or stopped suddenly. Allow more following
distance. Make sure you have large enough gaps
before entering or crossing traffic. Be certain you
are clear at the sides before changing lanes.
7.1.6 – Adverse Conditions
Be more careful in adverse conditions. In bad
weather, slippery conditions, and mountain driving,
you must be especially careful if you drive double
and triple bottoms. You will have greater length
and more dead axles to pull with your drive axles
than other drivers. There is more chance for skids
and loss of traction.
7.1.7 – Parking the Vehicle
7.1 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Take special care when pulling two and three
trailers. There are more things that can go wrong,
and doubles/triples are less stable than other
commercial vehicles. Some areas of concern are
discussed below.
Make sure you do not get in a spot you cannot pull
straight through. You need to be aware of how
parking lots are arranged in order to avoid a long
and difficult escape.
7.1.8 – Antilock Braking Systems on Converter
Dollies
7.1.1 – Prevent Trailer from Rolling Over
To prevent trailers from rolling over, you must steer
gently and go slowly around corners, on ramps, off
ramps, and curves. A safe speed on a curve for a
straight truck or a single trailer combination vehicle
may be too fast for a set of doubles or triples.
7.1.2 – Beware of the Crack-the-whip Effect
Doubles and triples are more likely to turn over
than other combination vehicles because of the
"crack-the-whip" effect. You must steer gently
when pulling trailers. The last trailer in a
combination is most likely to turn over. If you don't
understand the crack-the-whip effect, study
subsection 6.1.2 of this manual.
7.1.3 – Inspect Completely
There are more critical parts to check when you
have two or three trailers. Check them all. Follow
the procedures described later in this section.
7.1.4 – Look Far Ahead
Doubles and triples must be driven very smoothly
to avoid rollover or jackknife. Therefore, look far
ahead so you can slow down or change lanes
gradually when necessary.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Version: July 2014
Converter dollies built on or after March 1, 1998,
are required to have antilock brakes. These dollies
will have a yellow lamp on the left side of the dolly.
7.2 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is
basic to safe operation of doubles and triples.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. Coupling and uncoupling steps for
doubles and triples are listed below.
7.2.1 – Coupling Twin Trailers
Secure Second (Rear) Trailer
If the second trailer doesn't have spring brakes,
drive the tractor close to the trailer, connect the
emergency line, charge the trailer air tank, and
disconnect the emergency line. This will set the
trailer emergency brakes (if the slack adjusters are
correctly adjusted). Chock the wheels if you have
any doubt about the brakes.
For the safest handling on the road, the more
heavily loaded semitrailer should be in first position
behind the tractor. The lighter trailer should be in
the rear.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
A converter gear on a dolly is a coupling device of
one or two axles and a fifth wheel by which a
semitrailer can be coupled to the rear of a tractortrailer combination forming a double bottom rig.
See Figure 7.1.
Connect Converter Dolly to Rear Trailer
Make sure trailer brakes are locked and/or wheels
chocked.
Make sure trailer height is correct. (It must be
slightly lower than the center of the fifth wheel, so
trailer is raised slightly when dolly is pushed
under.)
Back converter dolly under rear trailer.
Raise landing gear slightly off ground to prevent
damage if trailer moves.
Test coupling by pulling against pin of the second
semitrailer.
Figure 7.1
Position Converter Dolly in Front of Second
(Rear) Trailer
Release dolly brakes by opening the air tank
petcock. (Or, if the dolly has spring brakes, use the
dolly parking brake control.)
If the distance is not too great, wheel the dolly into
position by hand so it is in line with the kingpin.
Or, use the tractor and first semitrailer to pick up
the converter dolly:
Position combination as close as possible to
converter dolly.
Move dolly to rear of first semitrailer and couple it
to the trailer.
Make visual check of coupling. (No space between
upper and lower fifth wheel. Locking jaws closed
on kingpin.)
Connect safety chains, air hoses, and light cords.
Close converter dolly air tank petcock and shut-off
valves at rear of second trailer (service and
emergency shut-offs).
Open shut-off valves at rear of first trailer (and on
dolly if so equipped).
Raise landing gear completely.
Charge trailer brakes (push "air supply" knob in),
and check for air at rear of second trailer by
opening the emergency line shut-off. If air pressure
isn't there, something is wrong and the brakes
won't work.
7.2.2 – Uncoupling Twin Trailers
Uncouple Rear Trailer
Lock pintle hook.
Park rig in a straight line on firm level ground.
Secure dolly support in raised position.
Apply parking brakes so rig won't move.
Pull dolly into position as close as possible to nose
of the second semitrailer.
Chock wheels of second trailer if it doesn't have
spring brakes.
Lower dolly support.
Lower landing gear of second semitrailer enough
to remove some weight from dolly.
Unhook dolly from first trailer.
Wheel dolly into position in front of second trailer in
line with the kingpin.
Connect Converter Dolly to Front Trailer
Back first semitrailer into position in front of dolly
tongue.
Hook dolly to front trailer.
Lock pintle hook.
Close air shut-offs at rear of first semitrailer (and
on dolly if so equipped).
Disconnect all dolly air and electric lines and
secure them.
Release dolly brakes.
Release converter dolly fifth wheel latch.
Slowly pull tractor, first semitrailer, and dolly
forward to pull dolly out from under rear semitrailer.
Secure converter gear support in raised position.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Version: July 2014
Page 7-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Uncouple Converter Dolly
Lower dolly landing gear.
Disconnect safety chains.
Apply converter gear spring brakes or chock
wheels.
also some new things to check. These are
discussed below.
7.3.1 – Additional Checks
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2, Step 5: Do a Walk-around Inspection.
Release pintle hook on first semi-trailer.
Slowly pull clear of dolly.
Coupling System Areas
Check fifth wheel (lower).
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.
Securely mounted to frame.
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple Trailers
No visible space between upper and lower fifth
wheel.
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.
No missing or damaged parts.
Enough grease.
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.
Uncouple Triple-trailer Rig
Uncouple third trailer by pulling the dolly out, then
unhitching the dolly using the method for
uncoupling doubles.
Uncouple remainder of rig as you would any
double-bottom rig using the method already
described.
7.2.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling Other
Combinations
Air and electric lines to trailer.
Electrical cord firmly plugged in and secured.
Air-lines properly connected to glad hands, no
air leaks, properly secured with enough slack
for turns.
All lines free from damage.
Sliding fifth wheel.
Slide not damaged or parts missing.
Properly greased.
The methods described so far apply to the more
common tractor-trailer combinations. However,
there are other ways of coupling and uncoupling
the many types of truck-trailer and tractor-trailer
combinations that are in use. There are too many
to cover in this manual. You will need to learn the
correct way to couple and uncouple the vehicle(s)
you will drive according to the manufacturer and/or
owner specifications.
7.3 – Inspecting Doubles and Triples
All locking pins present and locked in place.
If air powered, no air leaks.
Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward that
the tractor frame will hit landing gear, or cab
will hit the trailer, during turns.
Landing Gear
Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
Crank handle in place and secured.
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
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Version: July 2014
If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
Double and Triple Trailers
Shut-off valves (at rear of trailers, in service and
emergency lines).
Rear of front trailers: OPEN.
Page 7-3
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Rear of last trailer: CLOSED.
Converter dolly air tank drain valve: CLOSED.
Be sure air-lines are supported and glad hands are
properly connected.
If spare tire is carried on converter gear (dolly),
make sure it's secured.
Be sure pintle-eye of dolly is in place in pintle hook
of trailer(s).
Make sure pintle hook is latched.
Safety chains should be secured to trailer(s).
Be sure light cords are firmly in sockets on trailers.
7.3.2 – Additional Things to Check during a
Walk-around Inspection
Do these checks in addition to subsection 5.3,
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
7.4 – Doubles/Triples Air Brake Check
Check the brakes on a double or triple trailer as
you would any combination vehicle. Subsection
6.5.2 explains how to check air brakes on
combination vehicles. You must also make the
following checks on your double or triple trailers
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
pressure, release the parking brakes, move the
vehicle forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes
with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you
the trailer brakes are connected and working. (The
trailer brakes should be tested with the hand valve,
but controlled in normal operation with the foot
pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at all
wheels.)
7.4.1 – Additional Air Brake Checks
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers (Double
and Triple Trailers). Use the tractor parking brake
and/or chock the wheels to hold the vehicle. Wait
for air pressure to reach normal, then push in the
red "trailer air supply" knob. This will supply air to
the emergency (supply) lines. Use the trailer
handbrake to provide air to the service line. Go to
the rear of the rig. Open the emergency line shutoff 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
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Version: July 2014
Section 7
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
What is a converter dolly?
Do converter dollies have spring brakes?
What three methods can you use to secure a
second trailer before coupling?
How do you check to make sure trailer
height is correct before coupling?
What do you check when making a visual
check of coupling?
Why should you pull a dolly out from under a
trailer before you disconnect it from the
trailer in front?
What should you check for when inspecting
the converter dolly? The pintle hook?
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?
How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
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.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Section 8
TANK VEHICLES
This Section Covers



Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Driving Tank Vehicles
Safe Driving Rules
This section has information needed to pass the
CDL knowledge test for driving a tank vehicle. (You
should also study Sections 2, 5, 6, and 9). A tank
endorsement is required for certain vehicles that
transport liquids or gases. The liquid or gas does
not have to be a hazardous material. A tank
endorsement is required if your vehicle needs a
Class A or B CDL and you want to haul a liquid or
liquid gas in a tank or tanks having an individual
rated capacity of more than 119 gallons and an
aggregate rated capacity of 1000 gallons or more
that is either permanently or temporarily attached
to the vehicle or the chassis. A tank endorsement
is also required for Class C vehicles when the
vehicle is used to transport hazardous materials in
liquid or gas form in the above described rated
tanks.
Check manhole covers and vents. Make sure the
covers have gaskets and they close correctly.
Keep the vents clear so they work correctly.
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose Equipment
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment,
make sure it works:
Vapor recovery kits.
Grounding and bonding cables.
Emergency shut-off systems.
Built in fire extinguisher.
Never drive a tank vehicle with open valves or
manhole covers.
8.1.3 – Special Equipment
Check the emergency equipment required for your
vehicle. Find out what equipment you're required to
carry and make sure you have it (and it works).
8.2 – Driving Tank Vehicles
Hauling liquids in tanks requires special skills
because of the high center of gravity and liquid
movement. See Figure 8.1.
Before loading, unloading, or driving a tanker,
inspect the vehicle. This makes sure that the
vehicle is safe to carry the liquid or gas and is safe
to drive.
8.1 – Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Tank vehicles have special items that you need to
check. Tank vehicles come in many types and
sizes. You need to check the vehicle's operator
manual to make sure you know how to inspect
your tank vehicle.
Figure 8.1
8.1.1 – Leaks
8.2.1 – High Center of Gravity
On all tank vehicles, the most important item to
check for is leaks. Check under and around the
vehicle for signs of any leaking. Don't carry liquids
or gases in a leaking tank. To do so is a crime. You
will be cited and prevented from driving further.
You may also be liable for the clean-up of any spill.
In general, check the following:
High center of gravity means that much of the
load's weight is carried high up off the road. This
makes the vehicle top-heavy and easy to roll over.
Liquid tankers are especially easy to roll over.
Tests have shown that tankers can turn over at the
speed limits posted for curves. Take highway
curves and on ramp/off ramp curves well below the
posted speeds.
Check the tank's body or shell for dents or leaks.
Check the intake, discharge, and cut-off valves.
Make sure the valves are in the correct position
before loading, unloading, or moving the vehicle.
Check pipes, connections, and hoses for leaks,
especially around joints.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Page 8-1
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
8.2.3 – Bulkheads
Some liquid tanks are divided into several smaller
tanks by bulkheads. When loading and unloading
the smaller tanks, the driver must pay attention to
weight distribution. Don't put too much weight on
the front or rear of the vehicle.
8.2.4 – Baffled Tanks
Baffled liquid tanks have bulkheads in them with
holes that let the liquid flow through. The baffles
help to control the forward and backward liquid
surge. Side-to-side surge can still occur. This can
cause a roll over.
8.2.5 – Un-baffled Tanks
Un-baffled liquid tankers (sometimes called
"smooth bore" tanks) have nothing inside to slow
down the flow of the liquid. Therefore, forward-andback surge is very strong. Un-baffled tanks are
usually those that transport food products (milk, for
example). (Sanitation regulations forbid the use of
baffles because of the difficulty in cleaning the
inside of the tank.) Be extremely cautious (slow
and careful) in driving smooth bore tanks,
especially when starting and stopping.
Legal weight limits.
8.3 – Safe Driving Rules
In order to drive tank vehicles safely, you must
remember to follow all the safe driving rules. A few
of these rules are:
8.3.1 – Drive Smoothly
Because of the high center of gravity and the surge
of the liquid, you must start, slow down, and stop
very smoothly. Also, make smooth turns and lane
changes.
8.3.2 – Controlling Surge
Keep a steady pressure on the brakes. Do not
release too soon when coming to a stop.
Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your
following distance.
If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash,
use controlled or stab braking. If you do not
remember how to stop using these methods,
review subsection 2.17.2. Also, remember that if
you steer quickly while braking, your vehicle may
roll over.
8.3.3 – Curves
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly
through the curve. The posted speed for a curve
may be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.3.4 – Stopping Distance
Keep in mind how much space you need to stop
your vehicle. Remember that wet roads double the
normal stopping distance. Empty tank vehicles
may take longer to stop than full ones.
8.2.6 – Outage
8.3.5 – Skids
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.
Don't over steer, over accelerate, or over brake. If
you do, your vehicle may skid. On tank trailers, if
your drive wheels or trailer wheels begin to skid,
your vehicle may jackknife. When any vehicle
starts to skid, you must take action to restore
traction to the wheels.
8.2.7 – How Much to Load?
A full tank of dense liquid (such as some acids)
may exceed legal weight limits. For that reason,
you may often only partially fill tanks with heavy
liquids. The amount of liquid to load into a tank
depends on:
The amount the liquid will expand in transit.
Section 8
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
How are bulkheads different than baffles?
Should a tank vehicle take curves, on
ramps, or off ramps at the posted speed
limits?
The weight of the liquid.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
Version: July 2014
Page 8-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
How are smooth bore tankers different to
drive than those with baffles?
What three things determine how much
liquid you can load?
What is outage?
How can you help control surge?
What two reasons make special care
necessary when driving tank vehicles?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read Section 8.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
Version: July 2014
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Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
Version: July 2013
Page 8-4
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Section 9
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
This Section Covers







The Intent of the Regulations
Bulk Tank Loading, Unloading, and
Marking
Driver Responsibilities
Driving and Parking Rules
Communications Rules
Emergencies
Loading and Unloading
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk
to
health,
safety,
and
property
during
transportation. The term often is shortened to
HAZMAT, which you may see on road signs, or to
HM in government regulations. Hazardous
materials include explosives, various types of gas,
solids, flammable and combustible liquid, and other
materials. Because of the risks involved and the
potential consequences these risks impose, all
levels of government regulate the handling of
hazardous materials.
The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is
found in parts 100 - 185 of title 49 of the Code of
Federal Regulations. The common reference for
these regulations is 49 CFR 100 - 185
The Hazardous Materials Table in the regulations
contains a list of these items. However, this list is
not all-inclusive. Whether or not a material is
considered
hazardous
is
based
on
its
characteristics and the shipper's decision on
whether or not the material meets a definition of a
hazardous material in the regulations.
The regulations require vehicles transporting
certain types or quantities of hazardous materials
to display diamond-shaped, square on point,
warning signs called placards.
This section is designed to assist you in
understanding your role and responsibilities in
hauling hazardous materials. Due to the constantly
changing nature of government regulations, it is
impossible to guarantee absolute accuracy of the
materials in this section. An up-to-date copy of the
complete regulations is essential for you to have.
Included in these regulations is a complete
glossary of terms.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL)
with a hazardous materials endorsement before
you drive any size vehicle that is used to transport
hazardous material as defined in 49 CFR 383.5.
You must pass a written test about the regulations
and requirements to get this endorsement.
Everything you need to know to pass the written
test is in this section. However, this is only a
beginning. Most drivers need to know much more
on the job. You can learn more by reading and
understanding the federal and state rules
applicable to hazardous materials, as well as,
attending hazardous materials training courses.
Your employer, colleges and universities, and
various associations usually offer these courses.
You can get copies of the Federal Regulations (49
CFR) through your local Government Printing
Office bookstore and various industry publishers.
Union or company offices often have copies of the
rules for driver use. Find out where you can get
your own copy to use on the job.
The regulations require training and testing for all
drivers involved in transporting hazardous
materials. Your employer or a designated
representative is required to provide this training
and testing. Hazardous materials employers are
required to keep a record of training for each
employee as long as that employee is working with
hazardous materials, and for 90 days thereafter.
The regulations require that hazardous materials
employees be trained and tested at least once
every three years.
All drivers must be trained in the security risks of
hazardous materials transportation. This training
must include how to recognize and respond to
possible security threats.
The regulations also require that drivers have
special training before driving a vehicle
transporting certain flammable gas materials or
highway route controlled quantities of radioactive
materials. In addition, drivers transporting cargo
tanks and portable tanks must receive specialized
training. Each driver’s employer or his or her
designated representative must provide such
training.
Some locations require permits to transport certain
explosives or bulk hazardous wastes. States and
counties also may require drivers to follow special
hazardous
materials
routes.
The
federal
government may require permits or exemptions for
special hazardous materials cargo such as rocket
fuel. Find out about permits, exemptions, and
special routes for the places you drive.
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9.1 – The Intent of the Regulations
9.1.1 – Contain the Material
Proper shipping name.
Hazard class.
Packing group.
Transporting hazardous materials can be risky.
The regulations are intended to protect you, those
around you, and the environment. They tell
shippers how to package the materials safely and
drivers how to load, transport, and unload the
material. These are called "containment rules."
9.1.2 – Communicate the Risk
To communicate the risk, shippers must warn
drivers and others about the material's hazards.
The regulations require shippers to put hazard
warning labels on packages, provide proper
shipping papers, emergency response information,
and placards. These steps communicate the
hazard to the shipper, the carrier, and the driver.
9.1.3 – Assure Safe Drivers and Equipment
In order to get a hazardous materials endorsement
on a CDL, you must pass a written test about
transporting hazardous materials. To pass the test,
you must know how to:
Identify what are hazardous materials.
Safely load shipments.
Properly placard your vehicle in accordance with
the rules.
Safely transport shipments.
Learn the rules and follow them. Following the
rules reduces the risk of injury from hazardous
materials. Taking shortcuts by breaking rules is
unsafe. Non-compliance with regulations can result
in fines and jail.
Inspect your vehicle before and during each trip.
Law enforcement officers may stop and inspect
your vehicle. When stopped, they may check your
shipping papers, vehicle placards, and the
hazardous materials endorsement on your driver
license, and your knowledge of hazardous
materials.
9.2 – Hazardous Materials
Transportation—Who Does What
Correct packaging.
Correct label and markings.
Correct placards.
Must package, mark, and label the materials;
prepare shipping papers; provide emergency
response information; and supply placards.
Certify on the shipping paper that the shipment has
been prepared according to the rules (unless you
are pulling cargo tanks supplied by you or your
employer).
9.2.2 – The Carrier
Takes the shipment from the shipper to its
destination.
Prior to transportation, checks that the shipper
correctly described, marked, labeled, and
otherwise prepared the shipment for transportation.
Refuses improper shipments.
Reports accidents and incidents involving
hazardous materials to the proper government
agency.
9.2.3 – The Driver
Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked, and
labeled the hazardous materials properly.
Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
Placards vehicle when loading, if required.
Safely transports the shipment without delay.
Follows all special rules about transporting
hazardous materials.
Keeps hazardous materials shipping papers and
emergency response information in the proper
place.
9.3 – Communication Rules
9.3.1 – Definitions
Sends products from one place to another by truck,
rail, vessel, or airplane.
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.
Uses the hazardous materials regulations to
determine the product’s:
A material's hazard class reflects the risks
associated with it. There are nine different hazard
9.2.1 – The Shipper
Identification number
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Page 9-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
classes. The types of materials included in these
nine classes are in Figure 9.1.
Hazardous Materials Class
2
Division
Class
1
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
2.1
2.2
2.3
3
4
4.1
4.2
4.3
5
Name of Class or
Division
Examples
Mass Explosion
Projection Hazard
Fire Hazard
Minor Explosion
Very Insensitive
Extremely
Insensitive
Dynamite
Flares
Display Fireworks
Ammunition
Blasting Agents
Explosive Devices
Flammable Gases
Non-Flammable
Gases
Poisonous/Toxic
Gases
Flammable Liquids
Flammable Solids
Spontaneously
Combustible
Dangerous When
Wet
Propane
Helium
Fluorine, Compressed
Gasoline
Ammonium Picrate,
Wetted
White Phosphorus
Sodium
5.1
5.2
Oxidizers
Organic Peroxides
Ammonium Nitrate
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Peroxide
6.1
Poison (Toxic
Material)
Infectious
Substances
Radioactive
Corrosives
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated MaterialDomestic)
Combustible Liquids
Potassium Cyanide
6
6.2
7
8
-
9
-
e
-
Anthrax Virus
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
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.
Uranium
Battery Fluid
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCB)
Food Flavorings,
Medicines
Fuel Oil
Figure 9.1
A shipping paper describes the hazardous
materials being transported. Shipping orders, bills
of lading, and manifests are all shipping papers.
Figure 9.6 shows an example shipping paper.
After an accident or hazardous materials spill or
leak, you may be injured and unable to
communicate the hazards of the materials you are
transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or
reduce the amount of damage or injury at the
scene if they know what hazardous materials are
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Examples of HAZMAT Labels. Figure 9.2
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
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.
(+)
(A)
(W)
(D)
(I)
Examples of HAZMAT Placards
Figure 9.3
Identification numbers are a four-digit code used
by first responders to identify hazardous materials.
An identification number may be used to identify
more than one chemical. The letters “NA or “UN”
will precede the identification number. The United
States Department of Transportation’s Emergency
Response Guidebook (ERG) lists the chemicals
and the identification numbers assigned to them.
There are three main lists used by shippers,
carriers, and drivers when trying to identify
hazardous materials. Before transporting a
material, look for its name on three lists. Some
materials are on all lists, others on only one.
Always check the following lists:
(G)
Shows the proper shipping name, hazard
class, and packing group to use, even if
the material doesn't meet the hazard class
definition.
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.
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.
Means the proper shipping name is
appropriate for describing materials for
domestic transportation, but may not be
proper for international transportation.
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.
Means this hazardous material described
in Column 2 is a generic shipping name. A
generic
shipping
name
must
be
accompanied by a technical name on the
shipping paper. A technical name is a
specific chemical that makes the product
hazardous
Column 2 lists the proper shipping names and
descriptions of regulated materials. Entries are in
alphabetical order so you can more quickly find the
right entry. The table shows proper shipping
names in regular type. The shipping paper must
show proper shipping names. Names shown in
italics are not proper shipping names.
Section 172.101, the Hazardous Materials Table.
Appendix A to Section 172.101, the List of
Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Page 9-4
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table
Packaging (173. ***)
Symbols
Hazardous Materials
Description & Proper
Shipping Names
Hazard
Class or
Division
Identification
Numbers
PG
Label
Codes
Special
Provisions
(172.102)
Exceptions
Non
Bulk
Bulk
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8A)
(8B)
(8C)
A
Acetaldehyde ammonia
9
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
Phenyl mercaptan @
Phenylmercury acetate
N-Phenylthiourea
Phorate
Phosgene
Phosphine
Phosphoric acid
Phosphoric acid, diethyl
4-nitrophenyl ester
Phosphoric acid, lead salt
Reportable Quantity (RQ) Pounds
(Kilograms)
100 (45.4)
100 (45.4)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
10 (4.54)
100 (45.4) *
5,000 (2270)
100 (45.4)
10 (.454)
* Spills of 10 pounds or more must be reported.
Figure 9.5
Column 3 shows a material's hazard class or
division, or the entry "Forbidden." Never transport
a "Forbidden" material. Placard hazardous
materials shipments based on the quantity and
hazard class. You can decide which placards to
use if you know these three things:
Material's hazard class.
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.
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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 mean the hazardous material is
a poison inhalation hazard (PIH). PIH materials
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
have special requirements for shipping papers,
marking, and placards.
A proper shipping description for each hazardous
material.
Column 8 is a three-part column showing the
section numbers covering the packaging
requirements for each hazardous material.
A shipper's certification, signed by the shipper,
saying they prepared the shipment according to
the regulations.
Note: Columns 9 and 10 do not apply to
transportation by highway.
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172.101 - The List of
Hazardous
Substances
and
Reportable
Quantities. The DOT and the EPA want to know
about spills of hazardous substances. They are
named in the List of Hazardous Substances and
Reportable Quantities. See Figure 9.5. Column 3
of the list shows each product's reportable quantity
(RQ). When these materials are being transported
in a reportable quantity or greater in one package,
the shipper displays the letters RQ on the shipping
paper and package. The letters RQ may appear
before or after the basic description. You or your
employer must report any spill of these materials,
which occurs in a reportable quantity.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD appear on the
shipping paper or package, the rules require
display of the POISON INHALATION HAZARD or
POISON GAS placards, as appropriate. These
placards must be used in addition to other
placards, which may be required by the product's
hazard class. Always display the hazard class
placard and the POISON INHALATION HAZARD
placard, even for small amounts.
Appendix B to 49 CFR 172.101 – List of Marine
Pollutants
Appendix B is a listing of chemicals that are toxic
to marine life. For highway transportation, this list
is only used for chemicals in a container with a
capacity of 119 gallons or more without a placard
or label as specified by the HMR.
Any bulk packages of a Marine Pollutant must
display the Marine Pollutant marking (white triangle
with a fish and an “X” through the fish). This
marking (it is not a placard) must also be displayed
on the outside of the vehicle. In addition, a notation
must be made on the shipping papers near the
description of the material: “Marine Pollutant”.
9.3.4 – The Shipping Paper
The shipping paper shown in Figure 9.6 describes
a shipment. A shipping paper for hazardous
materials must include:
Page numbers if the shipping paper has more than
one page. The first page must tell the total number
of pages. For example, "Page 1 of 4".
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Shipping Paper
TO:
ABC
Corporation
88
Valley
Street
Anywhere,
VA
Quantity
1
cylinder
HM
RQ
(“RQ”
means that
this is a
reportable
quantity.)
DEF
Corporation
55
FROM:
Mountain
Street
Nowhere,
CO
Description
Page
1 of 1
UN1076,Phosgene,
2.3,
Poison,
Inhalation
Hazard,
Zone A
25 lbs
Weight
(UN1076 is the
Identification
Number from
Column 4 of the
Hazardous materials
Table.
Phosgene is the
proper shipping
name from Column
2 of the Hazardous
Materials Table.
2.3 is the Hazard
Class from Column
3 of the Hazardous
Materials Table.)
This is to certify that the above named materials are
properly classified, described, packaged marked and
labeled, and are in proper condition for transportation
according to the applicable regulations of the
Department of Transportation.
DEF
Corporation
Smith
October 15,
2003
Special Instructions: 24 hour
John Smith 1-800-555-5555
Shipper:
Per:
Date:
Carrier:
Per:
Date:
Safety
First
Emergency Contact,
Figure 9.6
9.3.5 – The Item Description
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and
non-hazardous products, the hazardous materials
must be:
Entered first.
Highlighted in a contrasting color, OR.
Identified by an "X" placed before the shipping
description (ID#, Shipping Name, Hazard Class,
Page 9-6
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Packing Group) in a column captioned "HM". The
letters "RQ" may be used instead of "X" if a
reportable quantity needs to be identified.
a minimum,
information:
it
must
include
the
following
The basic description of hazardous materials
includes the identification number, proper shipping
name, hazard class or division, and the packing
group, if any, in that order. The packing group is
displayed in Roman numerals and may be
preceded by "PG".
Identification number, shipping name, and hazard
class must not be abbreviated unless specifically
authorized in the hazardous materials regulations.
The description must also show:
The total quantity and unit of measure.
The number and type of packages (example: “6
Drums”).
The letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
If the letters RQ appear, the name of the
hazardous substance (if not included in the
shipping name).
For all materials with the letter “G” (Generic) in
Column 1, the technical name of the hazardous
material.
Shipping papers also must list an emergency
response telephone number (unless excepted).
The emergency response telephone number is the
responsibility of the shipper. It can be used by
emergency responders to obtain information about
any hazardous materials involved in a spill or fire.
Some hazardous materials do not need a
telephone number.
You should check the
regulations to determine which do need a
telephone number. The telephone number must
be:
The number of the person offering the hazardous
material for transportation (if the shipper/offerer is
the emergency response information (ERI)
provider); or
The number of an agency or organization capable
of, and accepting responsibility for, providing the
detailed information required by paragraph (a)(2) of
this section. The person who is registered with the
ERI provider must be identified by name, or
contract number or other unique identifier assigned
by the ERI provider, on the shipping paper
Shippers also must provide emergency response
information to the motor carrier for each hazardous
material being shipped. The emergency response
information must be able to be used away from the
motor vehicle and must provide information on how
to safely handle incidents involving the material. At
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Page 9-7
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
The basic description and technical name;
Immediate hazards to health;
Risks of fire or explosion;
Immediate precautions to be taken in the event of
an accident or incident;
Immediate methods for handling fires;
Initial methods for handling spills or leaks in the
absence of fires; and
Preliminary first aid measures
Such information can be on the shipping paper or
some other document that includes the basic
description and technical name of the hazardous
material. Or, it may be in a guidance book such as
the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).
Motor carriers may assist shippers by keeping an
ERG on each vehicle carrying hazardous
materials. The driver must provide the emergency
response information to any federal, state, or local
authority responding to a hazardous materials
incident or investigating one.
Total quantity and number & type of packages
must appear before or after the basic description.
The packaging type and the unit of measurement
may be abbreviated. For example:
10 ctns. UN1263, Paint, 3, PG II, 500 lbs.
The shipper of hazardous wastes must put the
word WASTE before the proper shipping name of
the material on the shipping paper (hazardous
waste manifest). For example:
UN1090, Waste Acetone, 3, PG II.
A non-hazardous material may not be described by
using a hazard class or an identification number.
Shippers must keep a copy of shipping papers (or
an electronic image) for a period of 2 years (3
years for hazardous waste) after the material is
accepted by the initial carrier.
If one provides a carrier service only and is not the
originator of the shipment, a carrier is required to
keep a copy of the shipping paper (or an electronic
image) for a period of 1 year.
IMPORTANT NOTE: To view complete regulatory
requirements for the transportation of hazardous
materials one should refer to the Code of Federal
Regulations, Title 49, Parts 100-185.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
9.3.6 – Shipper's Certification
When the shipper packages hazardous materials,
he/she certifies that the package has been
prepared according to the rules. The signed
shipper's certification appears on the original
shipping paper. The only exceptions are when a
shipper is a private carrier transporting their own
product and when the package is provided by the
carrier (for example, a cargo tank). Unless a
package is clearly unsafe or does not comply with
the HMR, you may accept the shipper's
certification concerning proper packaging. Some
carriers have additional rules about transporting
hazardous materials. Follow your employer's rules
when accepting shipments.
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
Shippers print required markings directly on the
package, an attached label, or tag. An important
package marking is the name of the hazardous
material. It is the same name as the one on the
shipping paper. The requirements for marking vary
by package size and material being transported.
When required, the shipper will put the following on
the package:
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
INHALATION-HAZARD 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.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Does it have:
An entry with a proper shipping name, hazard
class, and identification number?
A highlighted entry, or one with an X or RQ in the
hazardous materials column?
Other clues suggesting hazardous materials:
What business is the shipper in? Paint dealer?
Chemical supply? Scientific supply house? Pest
control or agricultural supplier? Explosives,
munitions, or fireworks dealer?
Are there tanks with diamond labels or placards on
the premises?
What type of package is being shipped? Cylinders
and drums are often used for hazardous materials
shipments.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Kept clear of attachments or devices such as
ladders, doors, and tarpaulins.
Kept clean and undamaged so that the color,
format, and message are easily seen.
Be affixed to a background of contrasting color.
The use of “Drive Safely” and other slogans is
prohibited.
The front placard may be on the front of the tractor
or the front of the trailer.
To decide which placards to use, you need to
know:
The hazard class of the materials.
The amount of hazardous materials shipped.
The total weight of all classes of hazardous
materials in your vehicle.
9.3.11 – Placard Tables
There are two placard tables, Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1 materials must be placarded whenever any
amount is transported. See Figure 9.7.
Except for bulk packaging, the hazard classes in
Table 2 need placards only if the total amount
transported is 1,001 pounds or more including the
package. Add the amounts from all shipping
papers for all the Table 2 products you have on
board. See Figure 9.8.
Placard Table 1
Any Amount
IF YOUR VEHICLE
CONTAINS ANY AMOUNT
OF……
1.1 Mass Explosives
1.2 Project Hazards
1.3 Mass Fire Hazards
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic Gases
4.3 Dangerous When Wet
PLACARD AS…
Explosives 1.1
Explosives 1.2
Explosives 1.3
Poison Gas
Dangerous When
Wet
5.2 (Organic Peroxide, Type
B, liquid or solid,
Temperature controlled)
Organic Peroxide
6.1 (Inhalation hazard zone
A & B only)
Poison/toxic
inhalation
7 (Radioactive Yellow III
label only)
Radioactive
Figure 9.7
You may use DANGEROUS placards instead of
separate placards for each Table 2 hazard class
when:
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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 1,000pound exception to placarding does not apply to
these materials.
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
Placard Table 2
1,001 Pounds Or More
Category of Material (Hazard
class or division number and
additional description, as
appropriate)
1.4 Minor Explosion
1.5 Very Insensitive
1.6 Extremely Insensitive
2.1 Flammable Gases
2.2 Non- Flammable Gases
3 Flammable Liquids
Combustible Liquid
4.1 Flammable Solids
4.2 Spontaneously
Combustible
5.1 Oxidizers
1.
Placard Name
Explosives 1.4
Explosives 1.5
Explosives 1.6
Flammable Gas
Non-Flammable Gas.
Flammable
Combustible*
Flammable Solid
Spontaneously
Combustible
Oxidizer
5.2 (other than organic
peroxide, Type B, liquid or
solid, Temperature
Controlled)
Organic Peroxide
6.1 (other than inhalation
hazard zone A or B)
Poison
6.2 Infectious Substances
(None)
8 Corrosives
Corrosive
9 Miscellaneous Hazardous
Class 9**
Materials
ORM-D
(None)
* FLAMMABLE may be used in place of a
COMBUSTIBLE on a cargo tank or portable tank.
** Class 9 Placard is not required for domestic
transportation.
Figure 9.8
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
2.
3.
4.
5.
Shippers package in order to (fill in the
blank) the material.
Driver placard their vehicle to (fill in the
blank) the risk.
What three things do you need to know to
decide which placards (if any) you need?
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.
Where must you keep shipping papers
describing hazardous materials?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and
9.3.
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
Do all you can to protect containers of hazardous
materials. Don't use any tools, which might
damage containers or other packaging during
loading. Don't use hooks.
9.4.1 – General Loading Requirements
Before loading or unloading, set the parking brake.
Make sure the vehicle will not move.
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Many products become more hazardous when
exposed to heat. Load hazardous materials away
from heat sources.
You must load these hazardous materials into a
closed cargo space unless all packages are:
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.
Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
Containers of hazardous materials must be braced
to prevent movement of the packages during
transportation.
Disable cargo heaters. Disconnect heater power
sources and drain heater fuel tanks.
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.
Cargo Heater Rules. There are special cargo
heater rules for loading:
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
Fire and water resistant.
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:
Make sure there are no sharp points that might
damage cargo. Look for bolts, screws, nails,
broken side panels, and broken floorboards.
Use a floor lining with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3.
The floors must be tight and the liner must be
either non-metallic material or non-ferrous metal.
(Non-ferrous metals are any metal that does not
contain iron or iron alloys).
Use extra care to protect explosives. Never use
hooks or other metal tools. Never drop, throw, or
roll packages. Protect explosive packages from
other cargo that might cause damage.
Do not transfer a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 from one
vehicle to another on a public roadway except in
an emergency. If safety requires an emergency
transfer, set out red warning reflectors, flags, or
electric lanterns. You must warn others on the
road.
Never transport damaged packages of explosives.
Do not take a package that shows any dampness
or oily stain.
Do not transport Division 1.1 or 1.2 in vehicle
combinations if:
There is a marked or placarded cargo tank in the
combination.
The other vehicle in the combination contains:
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
Division 1.1 A (Initiating Explosives).
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.
Packages of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials
labeled "Yellow III."
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have
overhang or tailgate loads of:
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
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 5 (Oxidizers)
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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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).
Never load a package labeled POISON or
POISON INHALATION HAZARD in the driver's cab
or sleeper or with food material for human or
animal consumption. There are special rules for
loading and unloading Class 2 materials in cargo
tanks. You must have special training to do this.
Class 7 (Radioactive) Materials. Some packages
of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials bear a number
called the "transport index." The shipper labels
these packages Radioactive II or Radioactive III,
and prints the package's transport index on the
label. Radiation surrounds each package, passing
through all nearby packages. To deal with this
problem, the number of packages you can load
together is controlled. Their closeness to people,
animals, and unexposed film is also controlled. The
transport index tells the degree of control needed
during transportation. The total transport index of
all packages in a single vehicle must not exceed
50.Table A to this section shows rules for each
transport index. It shows how close you can load
Class 7 (Radioactive) materials to people, animals,
or film. For example, you can't leave a package
with a transport index of 1.1 within two feet of
people or cargo space walls.
Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet).
Class 5 (Oxidizers).
Division 2.3, Zone B (Poisonous Gases).
Never load corrosive liquids with:
Division 1.1 or 1.2
Do Not Load Table
Do Not Load
Division 6.1 or 2.3
(POISON or poison
inhalation hazard
labeled material).
Division 1.2 or 1.3
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents).
Division 2.3, Zone A (Poisonous Gases).
Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible
Materials).
Division 2.3
(Poisonous) gas Zone
A or Division 6.1
(Poison) liquids, PGI,
Zone A.
Division 6.1, PGI, Zone A (Poison Liquids).
Charged storage
batteries.
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:
Class 1 (Detonating
primers).
Held upright.
Division 6.1
(Cyanides or cyanide
mixtures).
In racks attached to the vehicle or in boxes that will
keep them from turning over.
Nitric acid (Class 8).
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
In The Same Vehicle With
Animal or human food unless the
poison package is over packed in
an approved way. Foodstuffs are
anything you swallow. However,
mouthwash, toothpaste, and skin
creams are not foodstuff.
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Explosives,
Division 5.1 (Oxidizers), Class 3
(Flammable Liquids), Class 8
(Corrosive Liquids), Division 5.2
(Organic Peroxides),
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 Explosives,
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents),
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases),
Class 4 (Flammable Solids).
Division 1.1.
Any other explosives unless in
authorized containers or
packages.
Acids, corrosive materials, or other
acidic materials which could
release hydrocyanic acid.
For Example:
Cyanides, Inorganic, n.o.s.
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Cyanide.
Other materials unless the nitric
acid is not loaded above any other
material.
Figure 9.9
Mixed loads. The rules require some products to
be loaded separately. You cannot load them
together in the same cargo space. Figure 9.9 lists
some examples. The regulations (the Segregation
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Table for Hazardous Materials)
materials you must keep apart.
name other
Subsection 9.4
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Around which hazard classes must you
never smoke?
Which three hazard classes should not be
loaded into a trailer that has a heater/air
conditioner unit?
Should the floor liner required for Division
1.1 or 1.2 materials be stainless steel?
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?
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.
9.5 – Bulk Packaging Marking, Loading
and Unloading
The glossary at the end of this section gives the
meaning of the word bulk. Cargo tanks are bulk
packaging permanently attached to a vehicle.
Cargo tanks remain on the vehicle when you load
and unload them. Portable tanks are bulk
packaging, which are not permanently attached to
a vehicle. The product is loaded or unloaded while
the portable tanks are off the vehicle. Portable
tanks are then put on a vehicle for transportation.
There are many types of cargo tanks in use. The
most common cargo tanks are MC306 for liquids
and MC331 for gases.
9.5.1 – Markings
You must display the identification number of the
hazardous materials in portable tanks and cargo
tanks and other bulk packaging (such as dump
trucks). Identification numbers are in column 4 of
the Hazardous Materials Table. The rules require
black 100 mm (3.9 inch) numbers on orange
panels, placards, or a white, diamond-shaped
background if no placards are required.
Specification cargo tanks must show re-test date
markings.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Know of the hazards of the materials involved.
Know the procedures to follow in an emergency.
Be authorized to move the cargo tank and able to
do so.
There are special attendance rules for cargo tanks
transporting propane and anhydrous ammonia.
Close all manholes and valves before moving a
tank of hazardous materials, no matter how small
the amount in the tank or how short the distance.
Manholes and valves must be closed to prevent
leaks. It is illegal to move a cargo tank with open
valves or covers unless it is empty according to 49
CFR 173.29.
9.5.3 – Flammable Liquids
Turn off your engine before loading or unloading
any flammable liquids. Only run the engine if
needed to operate a pump. Ground a cargo tank
correctly before filling it through an open filling
hole. Ground the tank before opening the filling
hole, and maintain the ground until after closing
the filling hole.
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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.
You are allowed to leave your vehicle unattended
in a safe haven. A safe haven is an approved
place for parking unattended vehicles loaded with
explosives. Designation of authorized safe havens
is usually made by local authorities.
9.6.2 – Parking a Placarded Vehicle Not
Transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3)
Explosives
You may park a placarded vehicle (not laden with
explosives) within five feet of the traveled part of
the road only if your work requires it. Do so only
briefly. Someone must always watch the vehicle
when parked on a public roadway or shoulder. Do
not uncouple a trailer and leave it with hazardous
materials on a public street. Do not park within 300
feet of an open fire.
9.6.3 – Attending Parked Vehicles
The person attending a placarded vehicle must:
Be in the vehicle, awake, and not in the sleeper
berth, or within 100 feet of the vehicle and have it
within clear view.
Be aware of the hazards of the materials being
transported.
Know what to do in emergencies.
Be able to move the vehicle, if needed.
9.6 – Hazardous Materials -- Driving
and Parking Rules
9.6.4 – No Flares!
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
Explosives
You might break down and have to use stopped
vehicle signals. Use reflective triangles or red
electric lights. Never use burning signals, such as
flares or fuses, around a:
Never park with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives
within five feet of the traveled part of the road.
Except for short periods of time needed for vehicle
operation necessities (e.g., fueling), do not park
within 300 feet of:
A bridge, tunnel, or building.
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.
A place where people gather.
9.6.5 – Route Restrictions
An open fire.
Some states and counties require permits to
transport hazardous materials or wastes. They
may limit the routes you can use. Local rules about
routes and permits change often. It is your job as
driver to find out if you need permits or must use
special routes. Make sure you have all needed
papers before starting.
If you 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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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
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hazardous materials through tunnels, over bridges,
or other roadways. Always check before you start.
The only acceptable way to check tire pressure is
to use a tire pressure gauge.
Whenever placarded, avoid heavily populated
areas, crowds, tunnels, narrow streets, and alleys.
Take other routes, even if inconvenient, unless
there is no other way. Never drive a placarded
vehicle near open fires unless you can safely pass
without stopping.
Do not drive with a tire that is leaking or flat except
to the nearest safe place to fix it. Remove any
overheated tire. Place it a safe distance from your
vehicle. Don't drive until you correct the cause of
the overheating. Remember to follow the rules
about parking and attending placarded vehicles.
They apply even when checking, repairing, or
replacing tires.
If transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives,
you must have a written route plan and follow that
plan. Carriers prepare the route plan in advance
and give the driver a copy. You may plan the route
yourself if you pick up the explosives at a location
other than your employer's terminal. Write out the
plan in advance. Keep a copy of it with you while
transporting the explosives. Deliver shipments of
explosives only to authorized persons or leave
them in locked rooms designed for explosives
storage.
A carrier must choose the safest route to transport
placarded radioactive materials. After choosing the
route, the carrier must tell the driver about the
radioactive materials, and show the route plan.
9.6.6 – No Smoking
Do not smoke within 25 feet of a placarded cargo
tank used for Class 3 (flammable liquids) or
Division 2.1 (gases). Also, do not smoke or carry a
lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of any
vehicle, which contains:
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.
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
Class 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible)
9.6.7 – Refuel with Engine Off
Turn off your engine before fueling a motor vehicle
containing hazardous materials. Someone must
always be at the nozzle, controlling fuel flow.
9.6.8 – 10 B C Fire Extinguisher
The power unit of placarded vehicles must have a
fire extinguisher with a UL rating of 10 B:C or
more.
9.6.9 – Check Tires
Make sure your tires are properly inflated.
You must examine each tire on a placarded motor
vehicle with dual tires at the beginning of each trip
and each time the vehicle is parked.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
A carrier must give each driver transporting
Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives a copy of
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSR), Part 397. The carrier must also give
written instructions on what to do if delayed or in
an accident. The written instructions must include:
The names and telephone numbers of people to
contact (including carrier agents or shippers).
The nature of the explosives transported.
The precautions to take in emergencies such as
fires, accidents, or leaks.
Drivers must sign a receipt for these documents.
You must be familiar with, and have in your
possession while driving, the:
Shipping papers.
Written emergency instructions.
Written route plan.
A copy of FMCSR, Part 397.
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9.6.11 – Equipment for Chlorine
Call for help.
A driver transporting chlorine in cargo tanks must
have an approved gas mask in the vehicle. The
driver must also have an emergency kit for
controlling leaks in dome cover plate fittings on the
cargo tank.
Follow your employer's instructions.
9.6.12 – Stop before Railroad Crossings
Stop before a railroad crossing if your vehicle:
Is placarded.
Carries any amount of chlorine.
Has cargo tanks, whether loaded or empty used for
hazardous materials.
You must stop 15 to 50 feet before the nearest rail.
Proceed only when you are sure no train is coming
and you can clear the tracks without stopping.
Don't shift gears while crossing the tracks.
9.7 – Hazardous Materials Emergencies
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 an incident is to:
Keep people away from the scene.
Limit the spread of material, only if you can safely
do so.
Communicate the danger of the hazardous
materials to emergency response personnel.
Provide emergency responders with the shipping
papers and emergency response information.
9.7.3 – Fires
You might have to control minor truck fires on the
road. However, unless you have the training and
equipment to do so safely, don't fight hazardous
materials fires. Dealing with hazardous materials
fires requires special training and protective gear.
When you discover a fire, call for help. You may
use the fire extinguisher to keep minor truck fires
from spreading to cargo before firefighters arrive.
Feel trailer doors to see if they are hot before
opening them. If hot, you may have a cargo fire
and should not open the doors. Opening doors lets
air in and may make the fire flare up. Without air,
many fires only smolder until firemen arrive, doing
less damage. If your cargo is already on fire, it is
not safe to fight the fire. Keep the shipping papers
with you to give to emergency personnel as soon
as they arrive. Warn other people of the danger
and keep them away.
If you discover a cargo leak, identify the hazardous
materials leaking by using shipping papers, labels,
or package location. Do not touch any leaking
material--many people injure themselves by
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.
Follow this checklist:
Secure the area.
Check to see that your driving partner is OK.
Stay there.
Keep shipping papers with you.
Send someone else for help.
Keep people far away and upwind.
When sending someone for help, give that person:
Warn others of the danger.
A description of the emergency.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Your exact location and direction of travel.
Your name, the carrier's name, and the name of
the community or city where your terminal is
located.
The proper shipping name, hazard class, and
identification number of the hazardous materials, if
you know them.
This is a lot for someone to remember. It is a good
idea to write it all down for the person you send for
help. The emergency response team must know
these things to find you and to handle the
emergency. They may have to travel miles to get to
you. This information will help them to bring the
right equipment the first time, without having to go
back for it.
Never move your vehicle, if doing so will cause
contamination or damage the vehicle. Keep
upwind and away from roadside rests, truck stops,
cafes, and businesses. Never try to repack leaking
containers. Unless you have the training and
equipment to repair leaks safely, don't try it. Call
your dispatcher or supervisor for instructions and, if
needed, emergency personnel.
9.7.4 – Responses to Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives). If your vehicle has a
breakdown or accident while carrying explosives,
warn others of the danger. Keep bystanders away.
Do not allow smoking or open fire near the vehicle.
If there is a fire, warn every one of the danger of
explosion.
Remove all explosives before separating vehicles
involved in a collision. Place the explosives at least
200 feet from the vehicles and occupied buildings.
Stay a safe distance away.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Never transport a leaking cargo tank farther than
needed to reach a safe place. Get off the roadway
if you can do so safely. Don't transfer flammable
liquid from one vehicle to another on a public
roadway except in an emergency.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5
(Oxidizing Materials). If a flammable solid or
oxidizing material spills, warn others of the fire
hazard. Do not open smoldering packages of
flammable solids. Remove them from the vehicle if
you can safely do so. Also, remove unbroken
packages if it will decrease the fire hazard.
Class 6 (Poisonous Materials and Infectious
Substances). It is your job to protect yourself,
other people, and property from harm. Remember
that many products classed as poison are also
flammable. If you think a Division 2.3 (Poison
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poison Materials) might be
flammable, take the added precautions needed for
flammable liquids or gases. Do not allow smoking,
open flame, or welding. Warn others of the hazards
of fire, of inhaling vapors, or coming in contact with
the poison.
A vehicle involved in a leak of Division 2.3 (Poison
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poisons) must be checked
for stray poison before being used again.
If a Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) package is
damaged in handling or transportation, you should
immediately contact your supervisor. Packages
that appear to be damaged or show signs of
leakage should not be accepted.
Class 7 (Radioactive Materials). If radioactive
material is involved in a leak or broken package,
tell your dispatcher or supervisor as soon as
possible. If there is a spill, or if an internal
container might be damaged, do not touch or
inhale the material. Do not use the vehicle until it is
cleaned and checked with a survey meter.
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.
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9.7.5 – Required Notification
CHEMTREC
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.
(800) 424-9300
The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center
(CHEMTREC) in Washington also has a 24-hour
toll-free line. CHEMTREC was created to provide
emergency personnel with technical information
about the physical properties of hazardous
materials. The National Response Center and
CHEMTREC are in close communication. If you
call either one, they will tell the other about the
problem when appropriate.
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III
labeled packages near people, animals, or film
longer than shown in Figure 9.10
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
Center should be ready to give:
Response
Their name.
Name and address of the carrier they work for.
Phone number where they can be reached.
Date, time, and location of incident.
The extent of injuries, if any.
Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous
materials involved, if such information is available.
Type of incident and nature of hazardous materials
involvement and whether a continuing danger to
life exists at the scene.
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.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
TOTAL
INDEX
MINIMUM DISTANCE IN FEET TO
NEAREST UNDEVELOPED FILM
None
0.1
1.0
1.1
5.0
5.1
10.0
10.1
20.0
20.1
30.0
30.1
40.0
40.1
50.0
to
to
to
to
to
to
to
TO PEOPLE OR CARGO
COMPARTMENT
PARTITIONS
TRANSPORT
Radioactive Separation
Table A
0-2
Hrs.
2-4
Hrs.
4-8
Hrs.
8-12
Hrs.
Over 12
Hrs.
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
1
3
4
6
8
11
2
4
6
9
11
15
3
5
8
12
16
22
4
7
10
15
20
29
5
8
11
17
22
33
6
9
12
19
24
36
Class
1
2
3
4
5
6
Figure 9.10
Classes of Hazardous Materials
7
8
9
None
None
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.
Figure 9.11
Subsections 9.6 and 9.7
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Hazard Class Definitions
Table B
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane,
Gases
Oxygen, Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
Flammable
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
Hydrochloric
Corrosives
Acid, Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
MaterialCharcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
If your placarded trailer has dual tires, how
often should you check the tires?
What is a safe haven?
How close to the traveled part of the
roadway can you park with Division 1.2 or
1.3 materials?
How close can you park to a bridge, tunnel,
or building with the same load?
What type of fire extinguisher must
placarded vehicles carry?
You’re hauling 100 pounds of Division 4.3
(dangerous when wet) materials. Do you
need to stop before a railroad-highway
crossing?
At a rest area you discover your hazardous
materials shipments slowly leaking from the
vehicle. There is no phone around. What
should you do?
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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.
Consignee – The business or person to whom a
shipment is delivered.
Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary
This glossary presents definitions of certain terms
used in this section. A complete glossary of terms
can be found in the federal Hazardous Materials
Rules (49 CFR 171.8). You should have an up-todate copy of these rules for your reference.
(Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.)
Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.
Bulk packaging – Packaging, other than a vessel,
or a barge, including a transport vehicle or freight
container, in which hazardous materials are loaded
with no intermediate form of containment and
which has:
A maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119
gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
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
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:
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);
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
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:
Land or water as a common, contract, or private
carrier, or
FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations.
Freight container – a reusable container having a
volume of 64 cubic feet or more, designed and
constructed to permit being lifted with its contents
intact and intended primarily for containment of
packages (in unit form) during transportation.
Fuel tank – A tank, other than a cargo tank, used
to transport flammable or combustible liquid or
compressed gas for the purpose of supplying fuel
for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it is
attached, or for the operation of other equipment
on the transport vehicle.
Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of the
packaging plus the weight of its contents.
Hazard class – The category of hazard assigned
to a hazardous material under the definitional
criteria of Part 173 and the provisions of the Sec.
172.101 Table. A material may meet the defining
criteria for more than one hazard class but is
assigned to only one hazard class.
Hazardous materials – A substance or material
which has been determined by the Secretary of
Transportation to be capable of posing an
unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property
when transported in commerce, and which has
been so designated. The term includes hazardous
substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants,
elevated temperature materials and materials
designated as hazardous in the hazardous
materials table of §172.101, and materials that
meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and
divisions in §173, subchapter c of this chapter.
Hazardous substance - A material, including its
mixtures and solutions, that:
Is listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
Is in a quantity, in one package, which equals or
exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ) listed in
Appendix A to Sec. 172.101; and
When in a mixture or solution For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph 7 of
Appendix A to Sec. 172.101.
Civil aircraft.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
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.
Hazardous Substance Concentrations
Concentration by Weight
RQ Pounds
(Kilograms
Percent
PPM
5,000
(2,270)
1,000 (454)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
1 (0.454)
10
100,000
2
.2
.02
.002
20,000
2,000
200
20
Figure 9.12
This definition does not apply to petroleum
products that are lubricants or fuels (see 40 CFR
300.6).
Hazardous waste – For the purposes of this
chapter, means any material that is subject to the
Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specified in
40 CFR Part 262.
Intermediate bulk container (IBC) – A rigid or
flexible portable packaging, other than a cylinder or
portable tank, which is designed for mechanical
handling. Standards for IBCs manufactured in the
United States are set forth in subparts N and O
§178.
Limited quantity – The maximum amount of a
hazardous material for which there may be specific
labeling or packaging exception.
Marking – The descriptive name, identification
number,
instructions,
cautions,
weight,
specification, or UN marks or combinations thereof,
required by this subchapter on outer packaging of
hazardous materials.
Mixture – A material composed of more than one
chemical compound or element.
Name of contents – The proper shipping name as
specified in Sec. 172.101.
Non-bulk packaging - A packaging, which has:
A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) as a
receptacle for a liquid;
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
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
Outage or ullage – The amount by which a
packaging falls short of being liquid full, usually
expressed in percent by volume.
Portable tank – Bulk packaging (except a cylinder
having a water capacity of 1,000 pounds or less)
designed primarily to be loaded onto, or on, or
temporarily attached to a transport vehicle or ship
and equipped with skids, mountings, or
accessories to facilitate handling of the tank by
mechanical means. It does not include a cargo
tank, tank car, multi-unit tank car tank, or trailer
carrying 3AX, 3AAX, or 3T cylinders.
Proper shipping name – The name of the
hazardous materials shown in Roman print (not
italics) in Sec. 172.101.
P.s.i. or psi – Pounds per square inch.
P.s.i.a. or psia – Pounds per square inch
absolute.
Reportable quantity (RQ) - The quantity specified
in Column 2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for
any material identified in Column 1 of the
Appendix.
RSPA – now PHMSA – The Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S.
Department of Transportation, Washington, DC
20590.
Shipper's certification – A statement on a
shipping paper, signed by the shipper, saying
he/she prepared the shipment properly according
to law. For example:
"This is to certify that the above named materials
are properly classified, described, packaged,
marked and labeled, and are in proper condition
for transportation according to the applicable
regulations or the Department of Transportation.";
or
I hereby declare that the contents of this
consignment are fully and accurately described
above by the proper shipping name and are
classified,
packaged,
marked
and
labeled/placarded, and are in all respects in proper
condition for transport by * according to applicable
international and national government regulations."
* words may be inserted here to indicate mode of
transportation (rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel)
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Shipping paper – A shipping order, bill of lading,
manifest, or other shipping document serving a
similar purpose and containing the information
required by Sec. 172.202, 172.203, and 172.204.
Technical name – A recognized chemical name or
microbiological name currently used in scientific
and technical handbooks, journals, and texts.
Transport vehicle – A cargo-carrying vehicle such
as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semi-trailer,
tank car, or rail car used for the transportation of
cargo by any mode. Each cargo-carrying body
(trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport
vehicle.
UN standard packaging – A specification
packaging conforming to the standards in the UN
recommendations.
UN – United Nations.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Version: July 2014
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Section 9 - Hazardous Material
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Page 9-23
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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.
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.
Figure 10.1
10.1.3 – Outside Left and Right Side Flat
Mirrors
These mirrors are mounted at the left and right
front corners of the bus at the side or front of the
windshield. They are used to monitor traffic, check
clearances and students on the sides and to the
rear of the bus. There is a blind spot immediately
below and in front of each mirror and directly in
back of the rear bumper. The blind spot behind the
bus extends 5o to 150 feet and could extend up to
400 feet depending on the length and width of the
bus.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so
you can see:
200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus.
Along the sides of the bus.
The rear tires touching the ground.
Figure 10.2 shows how both the outside left and
right side flat mirrors should be adjusted.
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Figure 10.3
Figure 10.2
10.1.4 – Outside Left and Right Side Convex
Mirrors
The convex mirrors are located below the outside
flat mirrors. They are used to monitor the left and
right sides at a wide angle. They provide a view of
traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the
bus. These mirrors present a view of people and
objects that does not accurately reflect their size
and distance from the bus.
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 side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
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.
Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
The right and left front tires touching the ground.
At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.
The area from the front of the bus to the service
door.
You should position these mirrors to see:
Figure 10.3 shows how both the outside left and
right side convex mirrors should be adjusted.
10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side Crossover
Mirrors
These mirrors are mounted on both left and right
front corners of the bus. They are used to see the
front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of
the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to
view the “danger zone” area to the left side and the
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
These mirrors, along with the convex and flat
mirrors, should be viewed in a logical sequence to
ensure that a child or object is not in any of the
danger zones.
Figure 10.4 illustrates how the left and right side
crossover mirrors should be adjusted.
Page 10-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
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.
Figure 10.4
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
This mirror is mounted directly above the
windshield on the driver’s side area of the bus.
This mirror is used to monitor passenger activity
inside the bus. It may provide limited visibility
directly in back of the bus if the bus is equipped
with a glass-bottomed rear emergency door. There
is a blind spot area directly behind the driver’s seat
as well as a large blind spot area that begins at the
rear bumper and could extend up to 400 feet or
more behind the bus. You must use the exterior
side mirrors to monitor traffic that approaches and
enters this area.
You should position the mirror to see:
You must use extreme caution when approaching
a school bus stop. You are in a very demanding
situation when entering these areas. It is critical
that you understand and follow all state and local
laws and regulations regarding approaching a
school bus stop. This would involve the proper use
of mirrors, alternating flashing lights, and when
equipped, the moveable stop signal arm and
crossing control arm.
When approaching the stop, you should:
Approach cautiously at a slow rate of speed.
Look for pedestrians, traffic, or other objects
before, during, and after coming to a stop.
Continuously check all mirrors.
If the school bus is so equipped, activate
alternating flashing amber warning lights at least
100 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.
The top of the rear window in the top of the mirror.
Continuously check mirrors to monitor the danger
zones for students, traffic, and other objects.
All of the students, including the heads of the
students right behind you.
Move as far as possible to the right on the traveled
portion of the roadway.
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.
You will be required to
demonstrate the procedures of off-loading
passengers during the road test.
When stopping you should:
Bring school bus to a full stop with the front
bumper at least 10 feet away from students at the
designated stop. This forces the students to walk
to the bus so you have a better view of their
movements.
Place transmission in Park, or if there is no Park
shift point, in Neutral and set the parking brake at
each stop.
Activate alternating red lights when traffic is a safe
distance from the school bus and ensure stop arm
is extended.
The information in this section is intended to
provide a broad overview, but is not a definitive set
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Make a final check to see that all traffic has
stopped before completely opening the door and
signaling students to approach.
10.2.3 – Unloading Procedures on the Route
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
Perform a safe stop as described in subsection
10.2.1.
Check all mirrors.
Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas
as described in subsection 10.2.1.
Students should wait in a designated location for
the school bus, facing the bus as it approaches.
Count the number of students while unloading to
confirm the location of all students before pulling
away from the stop.
Students should board the bus only when signaled
by the driver.
Check traffic, ahead, to the rear, and especially to
the left side before allowing student to exit the bus.
Monitor all mirrors continuously.
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.
Count the number of students at the bus stop and
be sure all board the bus. If possible, know names
of students at each stop. If there is a student
missing, ask the other students where the student
is.
Have the students board the school bus slowly, in
single file, and use the handrail. The dome light
should be on while loading in the dark.
Wait until students are seated and facing forward
before moving the bus.
Check all mirrors. Make certain no one is running
to catch the bus.
If you cannot account for a student outside, secure
the bus, take the key, and check around and
underneath the bus.
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.
Deactivate stop arm
Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
Turning on left turn signal.
Closing the door.
Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
Engaging the transmission.
When it is safe, move the bus, enter the traffic flow
and continue the route.
Releasing the parking brake.
Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
Turning on left turn signal.
Checking all mirrors again.
Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
When it is safe, move the bus to enter traffic flow
and continue the route.
The loading procedure is essentially the same
wherever you load students, but there are slight
differences. When students are loading at the
school campus, you should:
Turn off the ignition switch.
Remove key if leaving driver’s compartment.
Position yourself to supervise loading as required
or recommended by your state or local regulations.
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
Checking all mirrors again.
Turn signal off when fully in new driving lane.
Note. If you have missed a student’s unloading
stop, do not back up. Be sure to follow local
procedures.
Additional Procedures for Students That Must
Cross the Roadway. You should understand what
students should do when exiting a school bus and
crossing the street in front of the bus. In addition,
the school bus driver should understand that
students might not always do what they are
supposed to do. If a student or students must cross
the roadway, they should follow these procedures:
Walk approximately 10 feet away from the side of
the school bus to a position where you can see
them.
Walk to a location at least 10 feet in front of the
right corner of the bumper, but still remaining away
from the front of the school bus.
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Stop at the right edge of the roadway. You should
be able to see the student’s feet.
Observe students as they step from bus to see that
all move promptly away from the unloading area.
When students reach the edge of the roadway,
they should:
Walk through the bus and check for
hiding/sleeping students and items left by students.
Stop and look in all directions, making sure the
roadway is clear and is safe.
Check all mirrors. Make certain no students are
returning to the bus.
Check to see if the red flashing lights on the bus
are still flashing.
If you cannot account for a student outside the bus
and the bus is secure, check around and
underneath the bus.
Wait for your signal before crossing the roadway.
Upon your signal, the students should:
When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
Cross far enough in front of the school bus to be in
your view.
Closing the door.
Stop at the left edge of the school bus, stop, and
look again for your signal to continue to cross the
roadway.
Starting engine.
Look for traffic in both directions, making sure
roadway is clear.
Releasing the parking brake.
Proceed across the roadway, continuing to look in
all directions.
Turning on left turn signal.
Note: The school bus driver should enforce any
state or local regulations or recommendations
concerning student actions outside the school bus.
Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and
Unloading
State and local laws and regulations regarding
unloading students at schools, particularly in
situations where such activities take place in the
school parking lot or other location that is off the
traveled roadway, are often different than
unloading along the school bus route. It is
important that the school bus driver understands
and obeys state and local laws and regulations.
The following procedures are meant to be general
guidelines.
When unloading at the school you should follow
these procedures:
Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas
as described in subsection 10.2.1.
Secure the bus by:
Turning off the ignition switch.
Removing key if leaving driver’s compartment.
Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
Fastening safety belt.
Engaging the transmission.
Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
Checking all mirrors again.
When it is safe, pull away from the unloading area.
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.
Position yourself to supervise unloading as
required or recommended by your state or local
regulations.
Have students exit in orderly fashion.
Section 10 – School Buses
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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.
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?
Sleeping students.
Open windows and doors.
Mechanical/operational problems with the bus, with
special attention to items that are unique to school
buses – mirror systems, flashing warning lamps
and stop signal arms.
Is there a hazardous spill involved? Sometimes, it
may be safer to remain on the bus and not come in
contact with the material.
Mandatory Evacuations.
evacuate the bus when:
The
driver
Damage or vandalism.
The bus is on fire or there is a threat of a fire.
Any problems or special situations should be
reported immediately to your supervisor or school
authorities.
The bus is stalled on or adjacent to a railroadhighway crossing.
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
An emergency situation can happen to anyone,
anytime, anywhere. It could be a crash, a stalled
school bus on a railroad-highway crossing or in a
high-speed intersection, an electrical fire in the
engine compartment, a medical emergency to a
student on the school bus, etc. Knowing what to do
in an emergency–before, during and after an
evacuation–can mean the difference between life
and death.
10.3.1 – Planning for Emergencies
Determine Need to Evacuate Bus. The first and
most important consideration is for you to
recognize the hazard. If time permits, school bus
drivers should contact their dispatcher to explain
the situation before making a decision to evacuate
the school bus.
As a general rule, student safety and control is
best maintained by keeping students on the bus
during an emergency and/or impending crisis
situation, if so doing does not expose them to
unnecessary risk or injury. Remember, the
decision to evacuate the bus must be a timely one.
A decision to evacuate should
consideration of the following conditions:
include
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?
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
must
The position of the bus may change and increase
the danger.
There is an imminent danger of collision.
There is a need to quickly evacuate because of a
hazardous materials spill.
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. When possible,
assign two responsible, older student assistants to
each emergency exit. Teach them how to assist
the other students off the bus. Assign another
student assistant to lead the students to a “safe
place” after evacuation. However, you must
recognize that there may not be older, responsible
students on the bus at the time of the emergency.
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.
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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.
10.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
10.4.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does not
have any type of traffic control device. You must
stop at these crossings and follow proper
procedures. However, the decision to proceed
rests entirely in your hands. Passive crossings
require you to recognize the crossing, search for
any train using the tracks and decide if there is
sufficient clear space to cross safely. Passive
crossings have yellow circular advance warning
signs, pavement markings and cross-bucks to
assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a traffic
control device installed at the crossing to regulate
traffic at the crossing. These active devices include
flashing red lights, with or without bells and
flashing red lights with bells and gates.
Setting parking brakes.
Shutting off the engine.
Removing ignition key.
Activating hazard-warning lights.
If time allows, notify dispatch office of evacuation
location, conditions, and type of assistance
needed.
10.4.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train
is coming. See Figure 10.5.
Dangle radio microphone or telephone out of
driver’s window for later use, if operable.
If no radio, or radio is inoperable, dispatch a
passing motorist or area resident to call for help.
As a last resort, dispatch two older, responsible
students to go for help.
Order the evacuation.
Evacuate students from the bus.
Do not move a student you believe may have
suffered a neck or spinal injury unless his or her
life is in immediate danger.
Special procedures must be used to move neck
spinal injury victims to prevent further injury.
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.
Figure 10.5
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They
consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a nopassing marking on two-lane roads.
Protect the scene. Set out emergency warning
devices as necessary and appropriate.
Prepare information for emergency responders.
Section 10 – School Buses
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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.
than one track, make sure all tracks are clear
before crossing. See Figure 10.8.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. If the gate stays down
after the train passes, do not drive around the
gate. Instead, call your dispatcher. See Figure
10.8.
Figure 10.6
Cross-buck Signs. This sign marks the crossing.
It requires you to yield the right-of-way to the train.
If there is no white line painted on the pavement,
you must stop the bus before the cross-buck sign.
When the road crosses over more than one set of
tracks, a sign below the cross-buck indicates the
number of tracks. See Figure 10.7.
Figure 10.8
10.4.3 – Recommended Procedures
Each state has laws and regulations governing
how school buses must operate at railroadhighway 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.
Figure 10.7
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail
grade crossings, the cross-buck sign has flashing
red lights and bells. When the lights begin to flash,
stop! A train is approaching. You are required to
yield the right-of-way to the train. If there is more
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
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.
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Approaching the Crossing:





Slow down, including shifting to a lower
gear in a manual transmission bus, and
test your brakes.
Activate hazard lights approximately 200
feet before the crossing. Make sure your
intentions are known.
Scan your surroundings and check for
traffic behind you.
Stay to the right of the roadway if possible.
Choose an escape route in the event of a
brake failure or problems behind you.
At the Crossing:




Stop no closer than 15 feet and no farther
than 50 feet from the nearest rail, where
you have the best view of the tracks.
Place the transmission in Park, or if there
is no Park shift point, in Neutral and press
down on the service brake or set the
parking brakes.
Turn off all radios and noisy equipment,
and silence the passengers.
Open the service door and driver’s
window. Look and listen for an
approaching train.
Crossing the Track:




Check the crossing signals again before
proceeding.
At a multiple-track crossing, stop only
before the first set of tracks. When you are
sure no train is approaching on any track,
proceed across all of the tracks until you
have completely cleared them.
Cross the tracks in a low gear. Do not
change gears while crossing.
If the gate comes down after you have
started across, drive through it even if it
means you will break the gate.
grade crossings. Do not attempt to cross the tracks
unless you can see far enough down the track to
know for certain that no trains are approaching.
Passive crossings are those that do not have any
type of traffic control device. Be especially careful
at “passive” crossings. Even if there are active
railroad signals that indicate the tracks are clear,
you must look and listen to be sure it is safe to
proceed.
Containment or Storage Areas. If it won’t fit,
don’t commit! Know the length of your bus and the
size of the containment area at highway-rail
crossings on the school bus route, as well as any
crossing you encounter in the course of a school
activity trip. When approaching a crossing with a
signal or stop sign on the opposite side, pay
attention to the amount of room there. Be certain
the bus has enough containment or storage area
to completely clear the railroad tracks on the other
side if there is a need to stop. As a general rule,
add 15 feet to the length of the school bus to
determine an acceptable amount of containment or
storage area.
10.5 – Student Management
10.5.1 – Don’t Deal with On-bus Problems
When Loading and Unloading
In order to get students to and from school safely
and on time, you need to be able to concentrate on
the driving task.
Loading and unloading requires all your
concentration. Don’t take your eyes off what is
happening outside the bus.
If there is a behavior problem on the bus, wait until
the students unloading are safely off the bus and
have moved away. If necessary, pull the bus over
to handle the problem.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
Bus Stalls or Trapped on Tracks. If your bus
stalls or is trapped on the tracks, get everyone out
and off the tracks immediately. Move everyone far
from the bus at an angle, which is both away from
the tracks and toward the train.
Police Officer at the Crossing. If a police officer
is at the crossing, obey directions. If there is no
police officer, and you believe the signal is
malfunctioning, call your dispatcher to report the
situation and ask for instructions on how to
proceed.
Obstructed View of Tracks. Plan your route so it
provides maximum sight distance at highway-rail
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
Tips on handling serious problems:
Follow your school’s procedures for discipline or
refusal of rights to ride the bus.
Stop the bus. Park in a safe location off the road,
perhaps a parking lot or a driveway.
Secure the bus. Take the ignition key with you if
you leave your seat.
Stand up and speak respectfully to the offender or
offenders. Speak in a courteous manner with a firm
voice. Remind the offender of the expected
behavior. Do not show anger, but do show that you
mean business.
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If a change of seating is needed, request that the
student move to a seat near you.
Never put a student off the bus except at school or
at his or her designated school bus stop. If you feel
that the offense is serious enough that you cannot
safely drive the bus, call for a school administrator
or the police to come and remove the student.
Always follow your state or local procedures for
requesting assistance.
10.6 – Antilock Braking Systems
10.6.1 – Vehicles Required to Have Antilock
Braking Systems
The Department of Transportation requires that
antilock braking systems be on:
Air brakes vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers and
converter dollies) built on or after March 1, 1998.
Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a gross
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or more built on
or after March 1, 1999.
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.
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.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids –
ABS should prevent brake-induced skids but not
those caused by spinning the drive wheels or
going too fast in a turn.
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping
distance. ABS will help maintain vehicle control,
but not always shorten stopping distance.
ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate
stopping power – ABS is an “add-on” to your
normal brakes, not a replacement for them.
ABS 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.
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.
10.6.3 – Braking with ABS
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still
a safe driver.
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
ABS.
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.
Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to
prevent a serious crash.
As you slow down, monitor your bus and back off
the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
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10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
10.7.1 – Strobe Lights
Some school buses are equipped with roofmounted, white strobe lights. If your bus is so
equipped, the overhead strobe light should be
used when you have limited visibility. This means
that you cannot easily see around you – in front,
behind, or beside the school bus. Your visibility
could be only slightly limited or it could be so bad
that you can see nothing at all. In all instances,
understand and obey your state or local
regulations concerning the use of these lights.
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.
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.
Back slowly and smoothly.
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.
If no lookout is available:
Set the parking brake.
Turn off the motor and take the keys with you.
Walk to the rear of the bus to determine whether
the way is clear.
Section 10 – School Buses
Version: July 2014
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Section 11
Pre-Trip Vehicle
Inspection Test
Check for adequate power steering fluid level.
Level must be above refill mark.
Air Compressor
Point to or touch air compressor. Make sure it is
operating properly, not damaged or leaking, and
mounted securely.
This Section Covers
Alternator


Point to or touch alternator. Make sure it is
securely mounted and all wires are securely
fastened.
Internal Inspection
External Inspection
During the pre-trip inspection, you must show that
the vehicle is safe to drive. You will have to walk
around the vehicle and point to or touch each item
and explain to the examiner what you are checking
and why.
Most of the items listed are standard on most
vehicles.
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)
Power Steering Pump
Point to or touch power steering pump. Make sure
it is operating properly, not damaged or leaking,
and mounted securely.
Water Pump
Point to or touch water pump. Make sure it is
operating properly, not damaged or leaking, and
mounted securely.
Engine Compartment Belts
Check the following belts for snugness (up to 3/4
inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays, loose
fibers, or signs of wear:




Power steering belt.
Water pump belt.
Alternator belt.
Air compressor belt.
Leaks/Hoses
Look for puddles on the ground.
Note: If any of the components listed above are
not belt driven, you must:
Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine and
transmission.
Tell the examiner which component(s) are not belt
driven.
Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
Oil Level
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Indicate where dipstick is located.
Safe Start
See that oil level is within safe operating range.
Level must be above refill mark.
Depress clutch.
Coolant Level
Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for
automatic transmissions).
Inspect reservoir sight glass (adequate level will
show in sight glass), or
Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
(If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and
check for visible coolant level.
Oil Pressure Gauge
Power Steering Fluid
Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is
located.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
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.
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Temperature Gauge
Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
Temperature should begin to climb to the normal
operating range or temperature light should be off.
Air Gauge
Make sure the air gauge is working properly.
Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly 120140 psi. psi or as specified by manufacturer
Ammeter/Voltmeter
Check that gauges show alternator and/or
generator is charging or that warning light is off.
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.
Lights/Reflectors/Reflector Tape Condition
(Front, Sides & 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.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
Check that all external lights and reflective
equipment are clean, are not missing or broken,
are the proper color, and functional. Light and
reflector checks include:
Clearance lights are clean, not broken, (red on
rear, amber elsewhere).
Headlights (high and low beams).
Taillights.
Backing lights.
Emergency Equipment
Check for spare electrical fuses.
Turn signals.
Four-way flashers.
Check for three red reflective triangles, 6 fusees or
3 liquid burning flares.
Brake lights.
Check for a properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors
(elsewhere).
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical
fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.
Reflector tape condition is present and affixed
securely
Steering Play
Note: Checks of brake, turn signal and four-way
flasher functions must be done separately.
Non-power steering: Check the excessive play by
turning steering wheel back and forth. Play should
not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a
20-inch wheel).
Power steering: With the engine running, check for
excessive play by turning the steering wheel back
and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or
about two inches on a 20-inche wheel) before front
left wheel barely moves.
Wipers/Washers
Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not
damaged, and operate smoothly.
If equipped, checks for windshield washer fluid and
that the windshield wipers and washers operate
correctly.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
Horn
Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Heater/Defroster
Test that the heater and defroster work.
Parking Brake Check
With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes
released on combination vehicles), check that the
parking brake will hold vehicle by gently trying to pull
forward with parking brake on.
With the parking brake released and the trailer
parking brake engaged (combination vehicles
only), check that the trailer parking brake will hold
vehicle by gently trying to pull forward with the
trailer parking brake on.
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Hydraulic Brake Check
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 with a hydraulic brake reserve (backup) system, with the key off, depress the brake
pedal and listen for the sound of the reserve
system electric motor.
Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles
Only)
Failure to perform all three components of the air
brake check correctly will result in an automatic
failure of the vehicle inspection test. Air brake
safety devices vary. However, this procedure is
designed to see that any safety device operates
correctly as air pressure drops from normal to a
low air condition. For safety purposes, in areas
where an incline is present, you will use wheel
chocks during the air brake check. The proper
procedures for inspecting the air brake system are
as follows:
1. With the air pressure built up to governor cutoff
(120 – 140 psi), shut off the engine, chock your
wheels if necessary, release the parking brake
(all vehicles), and the tractor protection valve
(combination vehicle) and fully apply the foot
brake. Hold the foot brake for one minute.
after stabilization of the air gauge. 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). and listens for air leaks.
2. Without re-starting the engine, turn electrical
power to the “on” or “battery charge” position.
Begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly
applying and releasing the foot brake. Low air
warning devices (buzzer, light, flag) should
activate before air pressure drops below 60 psi
or level specified by the manufacturer.
3. Continue to fan off the air pressure. At
approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer
combination vehicle (or level specified by the
manufacturer), the tractor protection valve and
parking brake valve should close (pop out). On
other combination vehicle types and single
vehicle types, the parking brake valve should
close (pop out).
Service Brake Check
correctly and that the vehicle does not pull to one
side or the other.
Pull forward at 5 mph, apply the service brake and
stop. Check to see that the vehicle does not pull to
either side and that it stops when brake is applied.
Safety Belt
Check that the safety belt is securely mounted,
adjusts, latches properly and is not ripped or
frayed.
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
11.2.1– Steering
Steering Box/Hoses
Check that the steering box is securely mounted
and not leaking. Look for any missing nuts, bolts,
and cotter keys.
Check for power steering fluid leaks or damage to
power steering hoses.
Steering Linkage
See that connecting links, arms, and rods from the
steering box to the wheel are not worn or cracked.
Check that joints and sockets are not worn or loose
and that there are no missing nuts, bolts, or cotter
keys.
11.2.2 – Suspension
Springs/Air/Torque
Look for missing, shifted, cracked, or broken leaf
springs.
Look for broken or distorted coil springs.
If vehicle is equipped with torsion bars, torque
arms, or other types of suspension components,
check that they are not damaged and are mounted
securely.
Air ride suspension should be checked for damage
and leaks.
Mounts
Look for cracked or broken spring hangers,
missing or damaged bushings, and broken, loose,
or missing bolts, u-bolts or other axle mounting
parts. (The mounts should be checked at each
point where they are secured to the vehicle frame
and axle[s]).
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
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Shock Absorbers
See that shock absorbers are secure and that
there are no leaks.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same
suspension components inspection on every axle
(power unit and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.3 – Brakes
Slack Adjustors and Pushrods
Check that slack adjuster is securely mounted.
Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
For manual slack adjustors, the brake pushrod
should not move more than one inch (with the
brakes released) when pulled by hand.
Check for rust trails that may indicate rim is loose
on wheel.
Tires
The following items must be inspected on every
tire:
Tread depth: Check for minimum tread depth
(4/32 on steering axle tires, 2/32 on all other tires).
Tire condition: Check that tread is evenly worn
and look for cuts or other damage to tread or
sidewalls. Also, make sure that valve caps and
stems are not missing, broken, or damaged.
Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation by using a
tire gauge. Note: You will not get credit if you
simply kick the tires to check for proper inflation.
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
Brake Chambers
See that brake chambers are not leaking, cracked,
or dented and are mounted securely. . Make sure
there are no loose or missing clamps.
See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are
not leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level
is adequate.
Lug Nuts
Brake Hoses/Lines
Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines,
and couplings.
Check that hoses or lines can supply air or
hydraulic fluid to brakes.
Note: If electric brakes, check that electric lines
are secure and casing is not worn or cracked.
Drum Brake
Check for cracks, dents, or holes. Also check for
loose or missing bolts.
Check for contaminates such debris or oil/grease.
Brake linings (where visible) should not be worn
dangerously thin.
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, checks for
damage, and foreign objects
Note: Be prepared to perform the same wheel
inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if
equipped).
Brake Linings
On some brake drums, there are openings where
the brake linings can be seen from outside the
drum. For this type of drum, check that a visible
amount of brake lining is showing.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same brake
components inspection on every axle (power unit
and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.4 – Wheels
Rims
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
Check that door(s) are not damaged and that they
open and close properly from the outside.
Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no loose
fittings.
Checks mirrors for proper adjustment.
Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot
have welding repairs.
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Fuel Tank
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
Check that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight, and
that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
Air/Electric Lines
Battery/Box
Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and
electrical lines are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn
(steel braid should not show through).
Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
Make sure air and electrical lines are not tangled,
pinched, or dragging against tractor parts.
Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
Catwalk/Steps
Battery box and cover or door must be secure.
Drive Shaft
See that drive shaft is not bent, twisted or cracked.
Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Check that steps leading to the cab entry and
catwalk (if equipped) are solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Couplings should be secure and free of foreign
objects.
Mounting Bolts
Exhaust System
Look for loose or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts. Both the fifth wheel and the
slide mounting must be solidly attached.
Check system for damage (cracks, holes, or
severe dents) and signs of leaks such as rust or
carbon soot.
System should be connected tightly and mounted
securely.
Frame
Check for cracks, or bends in longitudinal frame
members. Checks for loose, cracked, bent, broken
or missing cross members.
Looks for signs of breaks or holes in box or trailer
floor.
On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect all coupling components
and mounting brackets for missing or broken parts.
Hitch Release Lever
Check to see that the hitch release lever is in place
and is secure.
Locking Jaws
Look into fifth wheel gap and check that locking
jaws are fully closed around the kingpin.
If equipped, check that splash guards or mud flaps
are not damaged and are mounted securely.
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.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
5 Wheel Skid Plate
Check that doors and hinges are not damaged and
that they open, close, and latch properly from the
outside, if equipped.
Check for proper lubrication and that 5 wheel skid
plate is securely mounted to the platform and that
all bolts and pins are secure and not missing.
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.
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
Check for cracks or breaks in the platform structure
which supports the fifth wheel skid plate. Check
that platform is securely mounted to frame or
sliding assembly.
Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
Release Arm and Safety Latch
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
Splash Guards
th
th
Check that the release arm is secured and all the
way in If equipped with safety latch, make sure the
release arm is in the engaged position and the
safety latch is in place.
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Kingpin/Apron/Gap
Check that the kingpin is not bent or damaged.
Explain that locking jaw holds kingpin in place.
Make sure the visible part of the apron is not bent,
cracked, or broken.
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):
Check that the trailer is lying flat on the fifth wheel
skid plate (no gap).
Alternately flashing amber lights indicator, if
equipped.
Check for kingpin lock.
Alternately flashing red lights indicator.
Strobe light indicator, if equipped.
Sliding Fifth Wheel Locking Pins (clearance)
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.
Lights/Reflectors
In addition to checking the lights and reflective
devices listed in Section 10.2 of this manual,
school bus drivers must also check the following
(external) lights and reflectors:
Strobe light, if equipped.
Stop arm light, if equipped.
Sliding Pintle
Alternately flashing amber lights, if equipped.
Check that the sliding pintle is secured with no
loose or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is in
place.
Alternately flashing red lights.
Pintle Hook
Check the pintle hook for cracks or breaks and
excessive wear.
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 the tongue/draw-bar is not bent or
twisted and checks for broken welds and stress
cracks.
Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not worn
excessively.
Tongue Storage Area
Check that the storage area is solid and secured to
the tongue.
Check that cargo in the storage area i.e. chains,
binders, etc. are secure.
11.3 – School Bus Only
Emergency Equipment
In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses (if
equipped), three red reflective triangles, and a
properly charged and rated fire extinguisher,
school bus drivers must also inspect the following
emergency equipment:
Emergency Kit
Checks that all internal and external mirrors and
mirror brackets are not damaged and are mounted
securely with no loose fittings.
Checks that visibility is not impaired due to dirty
mirrors.
Stop Arm/Safety Arm
If equipped, check the stop arm to see that it is
mounted securely to the frame of the vehicle. Also,
check for loose fittings and damage.
Check that stop arm extends fully when operated.
Check that stop arm lights are operational.
If equipped, checks that safety arm is securely
mounted and functions properly in conjunction with
stop arm.
Passenger Entry/Lift
Check that the entry door is not damaged,
operates smoothly, and closes securely from the
inside.
Hand rails are secure and the step light is working,
if equipped.
Body Fluid Cleanup Kit
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The entry steps must be clear with the treads not
loose or worn excessively.
If equipped with a handicap lift, look for leaking,
damaged, or missing parts and explain how lift
should be checked for correct operation. Lift must
be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exit
Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely
from the inside.
Check that any emergency exit warning devices
are working.
Seating
Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
If trailer is equipped with electric bakes, checks
that breakaway chains or cables with battery
backup are not missing or damaged.
Special Note: On other types of coupling systems
(i.e., ball hitch, draw-bar/eye, etc.) inspect the
locking mechanism for missing or broken parts and
security. If present, safety cables or chains must
be secured and free of kinks and excessive slack.
11.4.2 – Side of Trailer
Landing Gear
Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no
missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the
support frame and pads are not damaged.
If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
11.4 – Trailer
If equipped, check that doors are not damaged.
Check that doors open, close, and latch properly
from the outside.
11.4.1 – Trailer Front
Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are
secure.
Air/Electrical Connections
Check that both the truck and trailer air connectors
are sealed and in good condition.
Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of
damage or air leaks.
If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Frame
Make sure both the truck and the trailer electrical
plug is firmly seated and locked in place.
Look for cracks, or bends in longitudinal frame
members
Header Board or Bulkhead
Check for loose, cracked, bent, broken or missing
cross members.
If equipped, check the header board or bulkhead 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, missing rivets,
or holes.
Safety Devices
Check that latch is secured and locked in place;
cotter pin is not missing, is in place, and not
damaged.
Safety chains are hooked and crisscrossed, free of
kinks and excessive slack, cotter pins to hooks are
in place and hooks are secured with hooks
pointing in the outward position.
Look for signs of breaks or holes in box or trailer
floor.
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked
in place and release arm is secured.
11.4.3 – Remainder of Trailer
Remainder of Trailer
Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures regarding the
following components:
Wheels.
Suspension system.
Brakes.
Doors/ties/lift.
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Splash guards.
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
Passenger Entry/Lift
Fuel Tank(s)
See that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks from
tank(s) or lines. Check that fuel cap(s) are tight.
Baggage Compartments
Check that entry doors operate smoothly and close
securely from the inside.
Check that baggage and all other exterior
compartment doors are not damaged, operate
properly, and latch securely.
Check that hand rails are secure and, if equipped,
that the step light(s) are working.
Battery/Box
Check that the entry steps are clear, with the
treads not loose or worn excessively.
Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
If equipped with a handicap lift, look for any
leaking, damaged or missing part, and explain how
it should be checked for correct operation.
Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Check that battery box and cover or door is not
damaged and is secure.
Emergency Exits
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/ Transit Bus
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.
Remainder of Vehicle
Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures for the remainder of
the vehicle.
Remember, the Vehicle Inspection must be
passed before you can proceed to the Basic
Control Skills test.
11.6 – Taking the CDL Vehicle
Inspection Test
11.6.1 – Class A Vehicle Inspection Test
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
Doors/Mirrors
Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged and
operate smoothly from the outside. Hinges should
be secure with seals intact.
Check door window for damage and excessive dirt
(buses)
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.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the four versions of a
Vehicle inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the four tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start, an in-cabinspection, and an inspection of the coupling
system. Then, your test may require an inspection
of the entire vehicle or only a portion of the vehicle
which your CDL Examiner will explain to you.
11.6.2 – Class B and C Vehicle Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class B CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the three versions of a
Vehicle inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the three tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
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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).
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Section 12
Basic Vehicle Control
Skills Test
This Section Covers


Skills Test Scoring
Skills Test Exercises
Your basic control skills could be tested using one
or more of the following exercises off-road or
somewhere on the street during the road test:
Straight line backing.
Offset back/right
Offset back/left
bus, maintain a firm grasp on the handrail at all
times). If you do not safely secure the vehicle or
safely exit the vehicle it may result in an automatic
failure of the basic control skills test.
The maximum number of times that you may look
to check the position of you vehicle is two (2)
except for the Straight Line Backing exercise,
which allows one look. Each time you open the
door, move from a seated position where in
physical control of the vehicle or on a bus walk to
the back of a bus to get a better view, it is scored
as a “look”.
Final Position/Inside Parallel – It is important that
you finish each exercise exactly as the examiner
has instructed you. If you do not maneuver the
vehicle into its final position as described by the
examiner, you will be penalized and could fail the
basic skills test.
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
Outside Vehicle Observations (looks)
Final Position/Inside Parallel
Encroachments – The examiner will score the
number of times you touch or cross over an
exercise boundary line or cone with any portion of
your vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an
error.
Pull-ups – When a driver stops and pulls forward
to clear an encroachment or to get a better
position, it is scored as a “pull-up”. Stopping
without changing direction does not count as a
pull-up. You will not be penalized for initial pullups. However, an excessive number of pull-ups,
will count as errors.
Outside Vehicle Observations (Looks) – You
may be permitted to safely stop and exit the
vehicle to check the external position of the vehicle
(look). When doing so, you must place the vehicle
in neutral and set the parking brake(s). Then,
when exiting the vehicle, you must do so safely by
facing the vehicle and maintaining three points of
contact with the vehicle at all times (when exiting a
Section 12 – Basic Control Skills
Version: July 2014
12.2
Exercises
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
You may be asked to back your vehicle in a
straight line between two rows of cones without
touching or crossing over the exercise boundaries.
(See Figure 12.1.)
12.2.2 – Offset Back/Right
You may be asked to back into a space that is to
the right rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight
forward to the outer boundary. From that position
you must back the vehicle into the opposite lane
until the front of your vehicle has passed the first
set of cones without striking boundary lines or
cones. (See Figure 12.2)
12.2.3 – Offset Back/Left
You may be asked to back into a space that is to
the left rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight
forward to the outer boundary. From that position,
you must back the vehicle into the opposite lane
until the front of your vehicle has passed the first
set of cones without striking boundary lines or
cones. (See Figure 12.3)
12.2.4 – Parallel Park (Driver Side)
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking
space that is on your left. You are to drive past the
entrance to the parallel parking space with your
vehicle parallel to the parking area and back into
the space without crossing front, side or rear
boundaries marked by cones. You are required to
get your entire vehicle completely into the space.
(See Figure 12.4)
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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 entrance to the parallel parking space with your
vehicle parallel to the parking area and back into
the space without crossing front, side or rear
boundaries marked by cones. You are required to
get your entire vehicle completely into the space.
(See Figure 12.5)
12.2.6 – Alley Dock
You may be asked to sight-side back your vehicle
into an alley. You will drive past the alley and
position your vehicle parallel to the outer boundary.
From that position, back into the alley bringing the
rear of your vehicle within three feet of the rear of
the alley without touching boundary lines or cones.
Your vehicle must be straight within the alley/lane
when you have completed the maneuver. (See
Figure 12.6.)
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Figure 12.1: Straight Line Backing
Figure 12.2: Offset Back/Right
Figure 12.3: Offset Back/Left
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Figure 12.4: Parallel Park (Driver Side)
Figure 12.5: Parallel Park (Conventional)
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Figure 12.6: Alley Dock
90° Alley Dock
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Section 13
On-road Driving
or gearshift in neutral) for more than the length of
your vehicle.
If you must stop before making the turn:
This Section Covers
Come to a smooth stop without skidding.

Come to a complete stop behind the stop line,
crosswalk, or stop sign.
How You Will Be Tested
You will drive over a test route that has a variety of
traffic situations. At all times during the test, you
must drive in a safe and responsible manner and
you must:
Wear your safety belt.
Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
Complete the test without an accident or moving
violation.
During the driving test, the examiner will be scoring
you on specific driving maneuvers as well as on
your general driving behavior. You will follow the
directions of the examiner. Directions will be given
to you so you will have plenty of time to do what
the examiner has asked. You will not be asked to
drive in an unsafe manner.
If your test route does not have certain traffic
situations, you may be asked to simulate a traffic
situation. You will do this by telling the examiner
what you are or would be doing if you were in that
traffic situation.
If stopping behind another vehicle, stop where you
can see the rear tires on the vehicle ahead of you
(safe gap).
Do not let your vehicle roll.
Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
When ready to turn:
Check traffic in all directions.
Keep both hands on the steering wheel during the
turn.
Keep checking your mirror to make sure the
vehicle does not hit anything on the inside of the
turn, check traffic to the rear and observe the rear
wheels of the vehicle.
Avoid unnecessary stops during turn. Maintain
smooth even acceleration. Yield to traffic and
pedestrians. Gear changes are allowed while the
vehicle is moving straight ahead thru multi-lane
intersections.
Vehicle should not move into oncoming traffic.
Vehicle should finish turn in correct lane.
13.1 – How You Will Be Tested
Vehicle finishes in the left most driving lane for left
turns.
13.1.1 – Turns
Vehicle finishes in the right most driving lane for
right 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.
After turn:
Make sure turn signal is off.
As you approach the turn:
Get up to speed of traffic (do not lug engine), use
turn signal, and move into right-most lane when
safe to do so (if not already there).
Use turn signals to warn others of your turn.
Check mirrors and traffic.
For Right Turns, vehicle in right most lane, but not
over markings on left side of lane.
13.1.2 – Intersections
For Left Turns, vehicle in left most lane, but not
over lane markings.
As you approach an intersection:
Take foot off accelerator. Slow down smoothly with
no lugging of engine, change gears as needed to
keep power, but do not coast unsafely. Break
smoothly and evenly. Unsafe coasting occurs
when your vehicle is out of gear (clutch depressed
Decelerate gently (take foot off accelerator.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Version: July 2014
Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
Anticipate stop, brake smoothly and, if necessary,
change gears.
Maintain lane position.
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If necessary, come to a complete stop (no
coasting) behind any stop signs, signals,
sidewalks, or stop lines (crosswalks and sidewalks
must be visible) maintaining a safe gap behind any
vehicle in front of you (must be able to see rear
wheels of vehicle in front).
No unnecessary stops.
Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward.
Once on the expressway:
When driving through an intersection:
Maintain proper lane positioning, vehicle spacing,
and vehicle speed.
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.
Do not cross over solid painted lines early.
Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
Cancel signal.
Continue to
directions.
check
traffic
thoroughly
in
all
When exiting the expressway:
Make necessary traffic checks.
Keep your hands on the wheel.
Use proper signals.
Once through the intersection:
Decelerate smoothly in the exit lane.
Continue checking mirrors and traffic.
Once on the exit ramp, you must continue to
decelerate within the lane markings and maintain
adequate spacing between your vehicle and other
vehicles, do not exceed posted speed limit.
Keep in correct lane.
Accelerate smoothly and change gears as
necessary.
Cancel signal.
13.1.3 – Urban Business
13.1.6 – Stop/Start
During this part of the test, you are expected to
make regular traffic checks and maintain a safe
following distance. Watch for hazards (vehicles
pulling out from a driveway or store entrance),
check cross traffic when approaching intersecting
streets and roadways. Check mirrors every 8 to 10
seconds. 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. Keep vehicle within lane markers.
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.
13.1.4 –Lane Changes
Decelerate smoothly, brake evenly, change gears
as necessary.
During multiple lane portions of the test, you will be
asked to change lanes to the left, and then back to
the right. You should make the necessary traffic
checks first, then use proper signals and smoothly
change lanes when it is safe to do so. Do not
tailgate, wait for safe gap before changing lanes,
no hard (sharp) turns, maintain speed, avoid
changing lanes at roadway intersections and
entrance ramps.
13.1.5 – Expressway or Rural/Limited Access
Highway
Before entering the expressway:
Check traffic.
Use proper signals.
Do not exceed ramp/turn speed.
As you prepare for the stop:
Check traffic
Activate your right turn signal.
Bring your vehicle to a full stop without coasting.
Once stopped:
Vehicle must be parallel to the curb (do not rub
curb) or shoulder of the road and safely out of the
traffic flow.
Vehicle should not be blocking driveways, fire
hydrants, intersections, signs, etc.
Cancel your turn signal.
Activate your four-way emergency flashers.
Apply the parking brake.
Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
Remove your feet from the brake and clutch
pedals.
Do not tailgate.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Version: July 2014
Page 13-2
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
When instructed to resume:
Check traffic and your mirrors thoroughly in all
directions.
Turn off your four-way flashers.
Activate the left turn signal.
When traffic permits, you should release the
parking brake and pull straight ahead.
Do not turn the wheel before your vehicle moves.
Check traffic from all directions, especially to the
left.
Steer (no sharp turns) and accelerate smoothly
into the proper lane when safe to do so.
Once your vehicle is back into the flow of traffic,
cancel your left turn signal.
13.1.7 – Curve
When approaching a curve:
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. Make sure to close the door
before crossing the tracks.
Keep hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle
crosses the tracks.
Do not stop, change gears, or change lanes while
any part of your vehicle is proceeding across the
tracks.
Four-way flashers should be deactivated after the
vehicle crosses the tracks.
Continue to check mirrors and traffic.
Not all driving road test routes will have a railroad
crossing. You may be asked to explain and
demonstrate the proper railroad crossing
procedures to the examiner at a simulated location.
Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
13.1.9 – Bridge/Overpass/Sign
Before entering the curve, reduce speed so further
braking or shifting is not required in the curve.
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.
Maintain speed during curve.
Keep vehicle in the lane.
Continue checking traffic in all directions.
13.1.8 – Railroad Crossing
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial
drivers should:
Decelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as
necessary.
13.1.10 – Student Discharge (School Bus)
Vehicle in right-most or curb lane.
If you are applying for a School Bus endorsement,
you will be required to demonstrate a student
discharge. Please refer to section 10 of this
manual.
Look and listen (roll window down) (bus - may
open door) for the presence of trains.
As you approach the student pick up, you must:
Check traffic in all directions.
Decelerate and approach at a slow rate of speed
while continuing to check traffic.
Do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle,
or change lanes while any part of your vehicle is in
the crossing.
Activate amber warning lights and right turn
signals.
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):
Move as far as possible to the right on the traveled
portion of the roadway.
Recheck traffic.
As you stop for the student discharge, you must:
As the vehicle approaches a railroad crossing,
activate the four-way flashers.
Bring school bus to a complete stop at least 10’
away from students at the stop.
Stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15
feet from the nearest rail.
Place the transmission in neutral/park and set the
parking brake.
Activate the stop arm and red warning lights.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Version: July 2014
Page 13-3
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
When discharging students, you must:
Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop signs.
Communicate to students.
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).
Check traffic.
Open the student door.
Check for students.
When students are crossing, you must:
Check traffic.
Communicate to students.
Check for students.
When resuming from the student discharge, you
must:
Check all mirrors.
Turn off warning lights and stop arm.
Close the door
Check traffic.
Accelerate away from the stop area.
13.1.11 – General Driving Behaviors
You will be scored on your overall performance in
the following general driving behavior categories:
13.1.11(a) – Clutch Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
Always use clutch to shift.
You must double-clutch when shifting. Do not rev
or lug the engine.
Do not ride clutch to control speed, coast with the
clutch depressed, or "pop" the clutch.
13.1.12(b) – Gear Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
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 shift,
return both hands to the steering wheel.
13.1.16 – Regular Traffic Checks
Check traffic regularly.
Check mirrors regularly.
Check mirrors and traffic before, while in and after
an intersection.
Make eye contact with other drivers and
pedestrians.
Scan and check traffic in high volume areas and
areas where pedestrians are expected to be
present.
13.1.17 – Use of Turn Signals
Use turn signals properly.
Activate turn signals when required.
Activate turn signals at appropriate times.
Cancel turn signals upon completion of a turn or
lane change.
Do not grind or clash gears.
Select gear that does not rev or lug engine.
Do not shift in turns and intersections.
Do not coast.
13.1.13(c) – Brake Usage
Do not ride or pump brake.
Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using steady
pressure.
13.1.14(d) – Lane Usage
Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or lane
markings.
Do not change lanes at intersections.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Version: July 2014
Page 13-4
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
ROAD TEST AUTOMATIC FAILURES
Driver fails to use the seat belt.
Driver received a traffic citation for a moving
violation during the Road Test.
Driver did not obey signs or signals.
Driver sped, rolled through stops, or ignored traffic
laws.
Driver did not appropriately yield the right-of-way to
pedestrians or other vehicles during driving
maneuvers.
Driver was involved in an avoidable crash or
accident.
Driver’s vehicle had physical contact with other
vehicles, objects, or pedestrians, etc.
Driver commits any act that creates a dangerous or
unsafe traffic environment (near accidents, etc.)
Drivers of other vehicles or pedestrians were
forced to take evasive actions.
Driver forces examiner to take verbal or physical
control of the vehicle.
Driver put vehicle over curbs or sidewalks
unnecessarily.
States and jurisdictions may add additional
automatic failures as they see fit.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Version: July 2014
Page 13-5
Louisiana Department of Public Safety
Office of Motor Vehicles
www.expresslane.org
1-225-925-6146
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