Oregon Commercial Driver Manual - Driving

Oregon Commercial Driver Manual - Driving
2016 – 2017
Oregon Commercial
AND MOTOR
Driver Manual DRIVER
VEHICLE SERVICES
Tune radio to AM
1610 for updated
weather information
and road conditions
RESPECT THE PASS!
The Siskiyou Pass, commonly called “The Siskiyous,” is one of the most hazardous stretches of road
along Interstate 5.
Truckers Beware
The summit is at an elevation of 4,310 feet. You’ll lose about 2,300 feet of elevation in six miles at a 6
percent downgrade while maneuvering your truck through sharp curves and some of the most hazardous
visibility (fog) and road surface conditions in Oregon.
More than 13,000 vehicles travel this stretch of highway daily. Approximately half of the vehicles
involved in accidents on this stretch of highway were commercial trucks with trailers.
Extreme Caution Urged
Escape ramps are located Northbound at Mileposts 6.3 and 9.5
When in doubt about snow and ice conditions, chain-up your truck. It is better to be over prepared than
to chain-up after you jackknife.
Why Do I Have to Chain-Up Here?
Chain-up areas are set up prior to inspection sites so that chains can be installed with ample shoulder
space. Sometimes this needs to be done some distance from the snow line itself. Highway personnel are
there to help you get over the pass safely.
Be cooperative. Work with them.
If you are not fully chained-up prior to the inspection site you will be turned around! When required,
chains need to be installed prior to the inspection site. Inspection sites are at Milepost 1, Northbound
and Milepost 11, Southbound.
When is it the Best Time to Go Over the Pass?
TRUCKER WARNING
Mother Nature is hard to figure. At night temperatures drop and
freezing is common. Early in the morning when the sun comes up is
when fresh snow is the slickest. Midday is usually the best time to travel
over the pass.
Reminders For a Safe Descent
• Remember to check brakes before entering the downgrade.
• Be aware of the safe recommended speed for your vehicle.
• Posted speeds are maximums in good weather. Bad weather demands
slower speeds.
• Fog, snow, and black ice are common between October and April.
Be prepared!
• Descend the summit in the proper gear.
• Oregon law requires that you carry and use tire chains when
conditions warrant and/or signs posted.
• Be sure you have emergency warning devices (triangles) and
use them if you are stopped.
• Be sure all your lights are working.
• Don’t drive if you are fatigued!
DOT Registration Information
Motor carriers can obtain information and services about
trucking regulations and appropriate Oregon permits at
the Ashland Port of Entry located at I-5 Northbound,
Milepost 18.
For Oregon road conditions, call 511 (toll free within Oregon) for weather conditions on the hill
or 1-800-977-6368 (toll free within Oregon), or 1-503-588-2941 (outside Oregon)
Published by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Funds for this publication provided by the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program
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.
The manual has been modified for specific use in Oregon. Although DMV tries to ensure
the material is current and reflects applicable law at the time of publication, it is not a legal
authority and should not be referenced in a court of law.
Graphics/Layout
Front and back cover photos: I-84 looking west near Summit Creek
by Greg Westergaard
Help conserve our resources! Keep this manual in your vehicle for future reference. When you finish
using the manual, please recycle or return it to a local DMV field office. Thank you!
The Correct Way to Wear a Safety Belt
WEAR IT LOW
Yes
The lap portion of the safety belt should
be two to four inches below the waist,
snug across your hip and pelvic bones
— NOT across your stomach.
In a crash, a belt worn too high places
you at high risk of potentially fatal
internal injuries.
No
WEAR IT SNUG
Yes
The shoulder portion should rest
smoothly over your collarbone and across
your chest and shoulders. Pull the belt out
and let it retract to remove slack.
Safety belts will stretch slightly in a crash.
If not snug before the crash, you may slide
under and out or up and over
the belt.
No
WEAR IT RIGHT
Yes
If the belt rubs against your neck, try
changing the seat position or the way you sit.
Some vehicles have shoulder belt
adjusters which you slide up or down to
provide a correct, comfortable fit. Belt
extenders may also be purchased.
Some cars feature a shoulder belt that
automatically comes across your chest, but
you must fasten the lap portion manually
to achieve proper use and compliance with
Oregon law.
Safety belts should be worn over the front
of the shoulder, never behind your back or
under your arm.
ii
No
No
Table Of Contents
Section 1
Introduction........................................................................................................ 1-1
1.1 – Commercial Driver License Types.................................................................................................................................. 1-2
1.2 – Special Endorsements and Permits.................................................................................................................................. 1-2
1.3 – Obtaining Your License................................................................................................................................................... 1-3
1.4 – Commercial Tests............................................................................................................................................................. 1-4
1.5 – Driver Disqualifications................................................................................................................................................... 1-5
1.6 – Other Commercial Motor Vehicle Rules.......................................................................................................................... 1-6
Section 2
Driving Safely..................................................................................................... 2-1
2.1 – Vehicle Inspection............................................................................................................................................................ 2-1
2.2 – Basic Control of Your Vehicle......................................................................................................................................... 2-6
2.3 – Shifting Gears.................................................................................................................................................................. 2-7
2.4 – Seeing.............................................................................................................................................................................. 2-8
2.5 – Communicating................................................................................................................................................................ 2-9
2.6 – Controlling Speed.......................................................................................................................................................... 2-11
2.7 – Managing Space............................................................................................................................................................. 2-13
2.8 – Seeing Hazards............................................................................................................................................................... 2-16
2.9 – Distracted Driving.......................................................................................................................................................... 2-17
2.10 – Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage.................................................................................................................................... 2-18
2.11 – Driving at Night........................................................................................................................................................... 2-19
2.12 – Driving in Fog.............................................................................................................................................................. 2-20
2.13 – Driving in Winter......................................................................................................................................................... 2-20
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather....................................................................................................................................... 2-21
2.15 – Railroad-highway Crossings........................................................................................................................................ 2-22
2.16 – Mountain Driving......................................................................................................................................................... 2-24
2.17 – Driving Emergencies................................................................................................................................................... 2-25
2.18 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)................................................................................................................................ 2-26
2.19 – Skid Control and Recovery.......................................................................................................................................... 2-28
2.20 – Crash Procedures......................................................................................................................................................... 2-29
2.21 – Fires ........................................................................................................................................................................ 2-29
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving.............................................................................................................................. 2-30
2.23 – Staying Alert and Fit to Drive...................................................................................................................................... 2-32
2.24 – Hazardous Materials Rules For All Commercial Drivers............................................................................................ 2-33
Section 3
Transporting Cargo Safely................................................................................ 3-1
3.1 – Inspecting Cargo.............................................................................................................................................................. 3-1
3.2 – Weight and Balance......................................................................................................................................................... 3-1
3.3 – Securing Cargo................................................................................................................................................................. 3-2
3.4 – Cargo Needing Special Attention..................................................................................................................................... 3-3
Section 4
Transporting Passengers Safely........................................................................ 4-1
4.1 – Vehicle Inspection............................................................................................................................................................ 4-1
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start..................................................................................................................................................... 4-1
4.3 – On the Road..................................................................................................................................................................... 4-2
4.4 – After-trip Vehicle Inspection............................................................................................................................................ 4-3
4.5 – Prohibited Practices......................................................................................................................................................... 4-3
4.6 – Use of Brake-door Interlocks........................................................................................................................................... 4-3
Section 5
Air Brakes........................................................................................................... 5-1
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System.................................................................................................................................... 5-1
5.2 – Dual Air Brake................................................................................................................................................................. 5-5
5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems.......................................................................................................................................... 5-5
5.4 – Using Air Brakes.............................................................................................................................................................. 5-7
iii
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Section 6
Combination Vehicles........................................................................................ 6-1
6.1 – Driving Combination Vehicles Safely............................................................................................................................. 6-1
6.2 – Combination Vehicle Air Brakes..................................................................................................................................... 6-4
6.3 – Antilock Brake Systems................................................................................................................................................... 6-6
6.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling................................................................................................................................................ 6-7
6.5 – Inspecting a Combination Vehicle................................................................................................................................... 6-9
Section 7
Doubles and Triples........................................................................................... 7-1
7.1 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers......................................................................................................................................... 7-1
7.2 – Coupling and Uncoupling................................................................................................................................................ 7-1
7.3 – Inspecting Doubles and Triples........................................................................................................................................ 7-3
7.4 – Doubles/Triples Air Brake Check.................................................................................................................................... 7-3
Section 8
Tank Vehicles...................................................................................................... 8-1
8.1 – Inspecting Tank Vehicles................................................................................................................................................. 8-1
8.2 – Driving Tank Vehicles...................................................................................................................................................... 8-1
8.3 – Safe Driving Rules........................................................................................................................................................... 8-2
Section 9
Hazardous Materials......................................................................................... 9-1
9.1 – The Intent of the Regulations........................................................................................................................................... 9-1
9.2 – Hazardous Materials Transportation—Who Does What................................................................................................. 9-2
9.3 – Communication Rules...................................................................................................................................................... 9-2
9.4 – Loading and Unloading.................................................................................................................................................... 9-8
9.5 – Bulk Packaging Marking, Loading and Unloading....................................................................................................... 9-10
9.6 – Hazardous Materials -- Driving and Parking Rules....................................................................................................... 9-11
9.7 – Hazardous Materials -Emergencies............................................................................................................................... 9-12
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary....................................................................................................................................... 9-15
Section 10
School Bus......................................................................................................... 10-1
10.1 – Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors............................................................................................................................... 10-1
10.2 – Loading and Unloading................................................................................................................................................ 10-3
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation.................................................................................................................................. 10-5
10.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings........................................................................................................................................ 10-6
10.5 – Student Management................................................................................................................................................... 10-8
10.6 – Antilock Braking Systems........................................................................................................................................... 10-8
10.7 – Special Safety Considerations...................................................................................................................................... 10-9
Section 11
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test..................................................................... 11-1
11.1 – Engine Compartment................................................................................................................................................... 11-1
11.2 – External Inspection...................................................................................................................................................... 11-2
11.3 – Truck/Tractor Trailer.................................................................................................................................................... 11-4
11.4 – Lights & In Cab............................................................................................................................................................ 11-5
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus........................................................................................................................................................ 11-6
11.6 – School Bus Only.......................................................................................................................................................... 11-7
11.7 – Taking the CDL Pre-trip Inspection Test...................................................................................................................... 11-8
Section 12
Basic Control Skills Test.................................................................................. 12-1
12.1 – Scoring......................................................................................................................................................................... 12-1
12.2 – Exercises...................................................................................................................................................................... 12-1
Section 13
On-Road Driving Test........................................................................................13-1
13.1 – How You Will Be Tested.............................................................................................................................................. 13-1
iv
Section 1
Introduction
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
Commercial Driver License Types
Special Endorsements and Permits
Obtaining Your Commercial Driver License
Commercial Driver License Tests
Driver Disqualifications
Other CDL Rules
Do You Need a CDL?
No
Yes
Is the vehicle a
combination vehicle
towing a unit or units
over 10,000 pounds
GVWR or GVW?
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 want a
commercial driver license (CDL). The manual does NOT provide
information on all the federal and state requirements needed
before you can drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (www.fmcsa.dot.gov)
publishes rules for operation of commercial motor vehicles and
private companies offer printed copies of these rules for a fee. In
addition, the Oregon Vehicle Code (www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/
pages/form/vehiclecodebk.aspx) includes statutes that are specific
to Oregon CMV operators and operations.
To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills tests. This manual
will help you prepare for the tests. This manual is not a substitute
for a truck driver training class or program. Formal training is the
most reliable way to learn the many special skills required for safely
driving a large commercial vehicle and becoming a professional
driver in the trucking industry.
Yes
You need a
Class A
CDL .
No
Does the single
vehicle have a
GVWR or GVW over
26,000 pounds?
Yes
You need a
Class B
CDL .
Ye s
You need a
Class C
CDL .
No
Is the vehicle
designed to carry 16
or more people
(including the driver)?
Federal rules require you to have a CDL if you operate:
• Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
or actual gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,001 pounds
or more.
• A trailer or multiple trailers with a total GVWR or GVW of
more than 10,000 pounds when the gross combination weight
rating (GCWR) or actual gross combination weight (GCW) of
all vehicles combined is 26,001 pounds or more.
• A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers
(including the driver).
• Any size vehicle that is used in the transportation of any
material that requires hazardous materials placards or any
quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42
CFR, Part 73.
• Any motor home or recreational vehicle that meets the
definition above and is used for business purposes.
Does the vehicle or combination of
vehicles have a manufacturer’s weight
rating (GVWR) or actual gross vehicle
weight (GVW) over 26,000 pounds?
No
Does the vehicle
require hazardous
material placards or
transport a select
agent or toxin?
Yes
You need a
Class C
CDL
No
You DO NOT need
a CDL .
NOTE :
A bus may be Class A, B, or C depending on whether the
GV WR is over 26,001 pounds or is a combination vehicle.
Figure 1.1
Figure 1.1 helps you determine if you need a CDL.
1-1
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
1.1 – Commercial Driver License Types
Oregon issues three classes of licenses and five endorsement types
to drivers of CMV’s. Each class of license grants driving privileges
for that class and all lower classes. However, no license class grants
driving privileges which require an endorsement. For example, a
Class B CDL does not permit you to operate a tank vehicle unless
you also have a tank endorsement.
1.1.1 – License classifications
Remember, along with the license class, you must also obtain
the proper endorsements to be eligible to drive specific types of
commercial vehicles. For example, a Class A CDL does not allow
you to pull double and triple trailers unless you have a double and
triple trailer endorsement (see section 1.2)
• A Class A CDL lets you drive any vehicle or combination of
vehicles of any size.
• A Class B CDL lets you drive any single vehicle regardless
of weight. You may tow a trailer if the trailer’s GVWR and
GVW are not more than 10,000 pounds. If the trailer you are
towing has a GVWR or GVW of more than 10,000 pounds,
and the GCWR or GCW of all vehicles combined is more than
26,000 pounds, you will need a Class A CDL.
• A Class C CDL lets you drive any vehicle designed to transport
16 or more persons, including the driver, if the GVWR and
GVW are less than 26,001 pounds and you have a passenger
endorsement. It also lets you drive any vehicle used to transport
hazardous materials if the GVWR and GVW are less than
26,001 pounds and you have the proper endorsement.
The only drivers of CMV’s who do not need to get a CDL are on-duty
operators of emergency vehicles and members of the military while
operating a vehicle in the course of their military duties. Farmers/
ranchers are exempt from CDL requirements when operating a farm/
ranch vehicle that is plated or credentialed as a farm vehicle and is
transporting non-hazardous farm or ranch supplies within Oregon.
Such a vehicle may also be operated outside Oregon provided it is
no more than 150 air miles from the Oregon farm. When the vehicle
is not plated or credentialed as a farm vehicle, or is transporting
hazardous materials, the farmer may operate the vehicle under the
authority of a farm-endorsed license. See 1.2.3.
1.2 – Special Endorsements and Permits
A person who operates a CMV must have an endorsement on his/her
CDL to be eligible to drive specific types of commercial vehicles.
1.2.1 – Endorsements
• Tank endorsement – required to drive a commercial vehicle
(over 26,000 pounds) designed to transport any liquid or
gaseous material within a tank or tanks having an individual
rated capacity of 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. A commercial motor vehicle
transporting an empty storage container tank, not designed for
transportation, with a rated capacity of 1,000 gallons or more
that is temporarily attached to a flatbed trailer is not considered
a tank vehicle.
1-2
• Double and triple trailer endorsement – required to operate a
CMV pulling double or triple trailers.
• Passenger endorsement – required to drive any vehicle, except
a school bus, designed to carry 16 or more persons, including
the driver.
• School bus endorsement – required to drive a vehicle designed
to carry 16 or more persons, including the driver that is marked
with or displays the words “school bus” and is used to transport
students to or from school and may be used to transport
students to or from authorized school activities. School bus
operation in Oregon is regulated by the Oregon Department
of Education. Normally, a person will receive the training
and skills testing required for a school bus endorsement after
selection by a school district or pupil transportation contractor.
A school bus manufacturer, dealer or mechanic is not required
to have the endorsement while operating a school bus that
is not transporting students. A driver must also qualify for a
passenger endorsement to obtain a school bus endorsement.
• Hazardous materials endorsement – required to drive any
vehicle carrying hazardous materials that require placards
or transporting any amount of material listed in the Federal
Department of Health and Human Services regulations as a
select agent or toxin.
1.2.2 – Restrictions
• Air brake restriction – a person may not operate a CMV with
air brakes. To remove the air brake restriction, you must pass
both an air brake knowledge test and a skill test in a vehicle
equipped with air brakes.
• Passenger endorsement restrictions – a person may not operate
a passenger vehicle that is in a higher class than the class of
passenger vehicle the person used for testing. For example,
you may not drive a class B bus if you tested in a class C bus.
A person issued an original CDL may obtain or add an additional
endorsement at a later date. If you add an endorsement or remove
a restriction at a later date, DMV will charge a replacement fee, as
well as any testing fee(s), unless you are also renewing your CDL.
1.2.3 – Farm-endorsed Class C license
The farm endorsement allows you to haul agricultural products,
farm machinery and farm supplies, including hazardous materials
when the vehicle is properly placarded, within 150 air miles of the
farm. A farm endorsement may also allow farmers to operate tank
vehicles and vehicles towing one or two trailers when the vehicles
are used as described in this section. Any person having this license
must be driving a vehicle controlled or operated by a farmer within
the state of Oregon. It cannot be used in operation of a common
or contract for-hire motor carrier. A farm endorsement does not
allow a farmer to operate a vehicle designed to carry 16 or more
persons, including the driver or operate a triple trailer combination.
You must obtain the appropriate class of CDL and endorsement to
operate these vehicles.
You will not be eligible for a farm endorsement if you do not have a
good driving record. In addition, you will not be allowed to acquire
or retain a farm endorsement if you commit two or more of the
offenses described in Section 1.5.1 (except BAC less than .04%)
while operating a CMV.
Section 1 – Introduction
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
1.2.4 – Commercial Instruction Permits
You may apply for a commercial instruction permit to operate any
class of CMV if you:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
are at least 18 years old,
have at least one year of driving experience,
have a valid, unexpired Oregon driver license or CDL,
prove U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residence,
provide a valid social security number,
pass the CDL general knowledge test,
present or have on file with the DMV a valid medical certificate
or medical waiver, and
• pay the required fee.
With your permit, you may drive a CMV of any class as long as
the person in the seat next to you is at least 21 years of age and has
the appropriate class CDL and proper endorsement(s) to drive the
vehicle. However, you may not operate any vehicle transporting
hazardous materials. Your permit is valid for one year.
You must also certify the type of driving you intend to do while
holding a CDL or commercial instruction permit. Your options in
Oregon are:
• Non-excepted interstate – You intend to operate or may operate
a class A, B, or C CMV in interstate commerce that is not
excepted by federal regulations. You meet and will continue to
meet all federal requirements, including medical qualifications,
for operation of a CMV in interstate commerce while holding a
CDL or commercial instruction permit. You may also operate a
CMV in excepted interstate commerce and intrastate commerce.
• Excepted interstate – You intend to operate a class A, B, or C
CMV only in interstate commerce that is excepted under 49
CFR 390.3 (f), 391.2, 391.68, or 398. You will not be required
to maintain federal medical standards but you will have to meet
Oregon State CDL and commercial instruction permit medical
standards. You may also operate a CMV in intrastate commerce.
Operations that are excepted interstate include:
— School bus operations.
1.2.5 – Hardship Permits
If your driving privileges are suspended for any reason, you will
not be able to get a hardship permit to drive a commercial motor
vehicle. If you are eligible to obtain a hardship permit to drive
non-commercial vehicles, you will have to surrender your CDL.
1.3 – Obtaining Your Commercial
Driver License
To apply for a CDL, you must be at least 18 years old. You must
be at least 21 years old to drive commercial vehicles in interstate
commerce. (Note: “Interstate commerce” includes vehicle operation
within the Oregon, if the trade, traffic or transportation originates
or terminates outside Oregon.) All applicants must meet all the
requirements for a Class C, non-commercial driver license before
applying for a CDL. You also must have at least one year of driving
experience before you can apply.
A person who has a CDL issued by another state must obtain an
Oregon CDL within 30 days of being domiciled in Oregon.
You are required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful
permanent residence in the U.S. as well as evidence of your name,
age, identity and residence address. If you have a driver license,
you will need to have it with you when you come to the office.
You will also need to enter your social security number on the
CDL application and provide one other document to prove your
identity. Your social security number will be verified with the Social
Security Administration before issuance of a CDL or commercial
instruction permit.
Please refer to an Oregon Driver Manual or visit www.oregondmv.
com for a list of documents that might be used to fulfill the
requirements described in the preceding paragraph.
All applicants for an original CDL, including an upgrade to a higher
class, must submit a copy of their medical certificate to DMV unless
a copy has been previously submitted and is still valid.
Section 1 – Introduction
— Transportation performed by the federal government, a
state, or political subdivision.
— Occasional transport of personal property not for
compensation nor for a commercial enterprise.
— Transportation of human corpses or sick and injured
persons.
— Emergency delivery of propane winter heating fuel and
pipeline response.
— Farm custom operations (custom harvesters).
— Operation of a vehicle by a beekeeper engaged in seasonal
transportation of bees.
— Non-articulated farm vehicle operation within 150 miles
of the farm.
• Non-excepted intrastate – You intend to operate a class A,
B, or C CMV only in intrastate commerce. You will not be
required to maintain federal medical standards but you will
have to meet Oregon State CDL medical standards. You may
also operate a CMV in excepted interstate commerce.
Most drivers will want to certify a driving type of non-excepted
interstate. If there is any chance that you may operate a vehicle
in non-excepted interstate commerce and you qualify, you should
certify that driving type. Otherwise, your CDL and/or commercial
instruction permit may be needlessly restricted to use in Oregon only.
If you are convicted of giving a false statement on your application,
such as a false social security number, a false or fictitious name
or document, or giving a false address or age, you may face a
maximum fine of $6,250, a one-year jail sentence, or both. DMV
will also suspend your driving privileges for one year if you are
convicted of one of these offenses or if DMV otherwise determines
you committed one of these offenses.
1.3.1 – Hazardous materials endorsement
Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules require
every person who applies for a HAZMAT endorsement to undergo a
security background check that includes submission of fingerprints
1-3
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
for FBI review. Oregon is using an agent under contract with TSA
to collect fingerprints and initiate the security background checks.
You will be required to pay a fee to the agent for this security
background check. For information on requirements for the criminal
background check, locations and hours of operation of fingerprint
sites, or to complete the application and submit fees, visit the TSA
website at https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/hazmat-endorsement
or call (855) 347-8371.
Persons who are wanted or under indictment, have been found not
guilty by reason of insanity, have a felony conviction within the
previous 7 years, or were released from incarceration during the
previous 5 years for a felony conviction of certain crimes may be
considered a security threat by TSA and disqualified from holding
a hazardous materials endorsement. Also, an individual is not
qualified for a hazardous materials endorsement if the individual
has a mental defect as defined in TSA rules or has renounced their
U.S. citizenship.
If TSA determines that you represent a security threat, DMV will
not issue a CDL with hazardous materials endorsement. DMV will
not issue a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement until a
TSA back ground check has been received and entered into the
applicants Oregon driver record.
1.4 – Commercial Tests
employer about additional requirements for operation of a
triple trailer combination.)
Most other sections in this manual have titles to coincide with the
different endorsements. Read the section(s) you need to obtain the
desired endorsement(s). Endorsement exams cover not only the
material from individual endorsement sections, but also from other
sections. Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual you should
study for each particular class of license and for each endorsement.
DMV will waive all commercial knowledge tests EXCEPT the
hazardous materials knowledge test if you surrender a current valid,
or expired for less than one year, CDL from another jurisdiction
for a comparable Oregon CDL.
Oregon will waive the CDL general knowledge test if you surrender
a valid commercial instruction permit from another jurisdiction for
an Oregon commercial instruction permit.
If you fail your commercial knowledge test, you must wait at least
one day to retest. If you fail a fourth or subsequent test, however,
you must wait at least 28 days before taking the test again.
All knowledge tests are closed book. Only testers are allowed in
the testing area. During the knowledge test there is no talking,
cellphone use, operation of any electronic devices, writing or note
taking, or cheating of any kind. If you do not follow the testing
rules and guidelines or it is determined that you are cheating, your
test will be stopped immediately. You will not be allowed to test
again for 90 days.
1.4.1 – Knowledge Tests
You may go to any full-service DMV office to take your knowledge
tests. Many offices do not conduct knowledge tests after 4:00 p.m.
Look for signs in the lobby or ask the office staff. Go early enough to
give yourself plenty of time to take the tests before the office closes.
What Sections Should You Study?
LICENSE
ENDORSEMENT
TYPE
2
X
X
X
3
X
X
X
X
X
X
4
School Bus
X
Passenger
X
Tank Vehicles
Class C
X
D ouble / Triple
Class B
1-4
Sections to Study
• The general knowledge test, taken by all applicants.
• The passenger endorsement test, taken if operating vehicles
designed to transport 16 persons or more, including the driver.
• The school bus test, required in addition to the passenger
endorsement knowledge test, if you want to drive a school bus
designed to carry 16 persons or more, including the driver.
• The air brakes test, which you must take if your CMV has air
brakes, including air over hydraulic brakes. (Neither CDL nor
test is required to operate a non-CMV with air brakes.)
• The combination vehicles test, which is required if you want
to drive combination vehicles (Class A).
• The hazardous materials test, required if you want to haul
hazardous materials or waste in amounts that require placarding
or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in
42 CFR, Part 73. You must also pass the hazardous materials
knowledge test every time you renew your CDL with a
hazmat endorsement.
• The tank vehicle test, required if your CMV is designed to
transport a liquid or gas in a cargo tank or tanks rated at more
than 119 gallons with an aggregate capacity of 1,000 gallons
or more.
• The doubles and triples vehicle test, required if your CMV
combination includes double or triple trailers. (Contact your
Hazardous
Materials
Class A
1
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests, depending on
what class of license and what endorsements you need. All tests are
offered in English only. The commercial knowledge tests include:
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
Section 1 – Introduction
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
1.4.2 – Skills Test
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can take the CDL
skills tests. There are currently three types of general skills that
will be tested: pre-trip 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. DMV will not conduct a skills test
in a vehicle with hazardous materials on board, with double/triple
trailers, towing a trailer that has no brakes or uses surge brakes, or
is transporting any commercial load. A tractor, without trailer, may
not be used for any class of test. All trailers must have an operable
breakaway braking system that can be tested before the drive
test begins. Appropriate seating must be available for driver and
examiner. The vehicle must be equipped with operable seat belts for
driver and examiner unless it is a bus without passenger seat belts.
Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Test. You will be tested to see if you
know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to
do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and explain to the examiner
how you would inspect various components for safety. DMV cannot
permit use of a vehicle that has components marked or labeled in
any way. An exception exists for those components that have been
marked or labeled by the manufacturer. Section 11 of this manual
explains the details of the testing process.
Basic Control Skills Test. You will be tested on your skill to
control the vehicle. You will be asked to move your vehicle forward,
backward, and turn it within a defined area. These areas may be
marked with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something similar. The
examiner will tell you how each control test is to be done. Section 12
of this manual provides additional details.
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.
Section 13 of this manual explains more about this test.
If you are applying for a CDL with a passenger endorsement, the
vehicle used on the skills test must qualify as a passenger vehicle.
The skills test for a school bus endorsement must be taken in a
school bus. If you are applying for a CDL without the air brake
restriction, the vehicle used on the skills test must have air brakes.
If you are a new resident applying for a CDL and you have a valid
out-of-state CDL, or one that is expired for less than one year,
DMV may waive the skills test for the class of CDL you held in
the previous state.
If you need to take the skills tests, you may make an appointment
with DMV (503-945-5000) after successful completion of the
knowledge test(s). It’s a good idea to phone a minimum of three
weeks in advance of the date you want to take your test(s).
You may also take your skills test through a Third Party Tester.
Third Party Testers can often schedule tests more quickly and at
times or on days not available at DMV. Testing costs may be greater
when using a Third Party Tester, however. You must have a CDL
or commercial instruction permit and must have been licensed in
Oregon for at least 21 days to test with an independent Third Party
Tester. You must also present a copy of a valid medical certificate
Section 1 – Introduction
(and medical waiver, if needed) at the time you test. Contact DMV
or visit the DMV web site at www.oregondmv.com for the nearest
Third Party Tester.
If you fail your first attempt at the skills portion of the test, you may
try again after one week. If you fail your second attempt, you will
be required to wait two weeks before taking it again. Additional
tests will be given four weeks apart. If you fail your fifth test, you
must wait at least one year before taking another test.
All CDL skills tests in Oregon must be conducted in English only.
DMV may waive CDL skills testing when a member, or recent
member, of the military provides evidence of a primary specialty
(MOS, AFSC or Rating) whose principle duty is operation of a
commercial motor vehicle. Additional provisions and application
details are available at www.oregondmv.com under Commercial
Skills Tests or from DMV Customer Assistance at 503.945.5000.
1.4.3 – Fees
The cost of your original CDL or commercial instruction permit will
vary depending upon the number of tests you must take. DMV will
charge for each test you take. In addition, if you fail a knowledge
or skills test, you need to pay the test fee again each time you take
the test. Test fees must be paid prior to taking the test. Please bring
a separate payment for your issuance fee. For example, bring one
check for your test(s) and one check for your CDL issuance. If you
bring one check for both (the test and issuance fee) and you fail
your test, DMV cannot refund the difference. The fees are:
DMV TEST FEES:
Knowledge test................................................................$10
Skills test given by DMV personnel................................$70
Skills test given by a Third Party Tester..........................$40
(The fee a Third Party Tester collects to conduct a skills test is
separate from any DMV fee.)
LICENSING FEES:
Class C non-commercial issuance...................................$60.00
CDL issuance..................................................................$75.50
CDL Permit.....................................................................$23.50
Replacement license or
CDL.................................................................................$26.50
[Includes addition or removal of CDL endorsement(s)
or restrictions.]
1.5 – Driver Disqualifications
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if you are disqualified
for any reason. Suspensions of commercial driving privileges are
applied consecutively.
1.5.1 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an Accident,
Commission of a Felony, and Driving a CMV
While Suspended
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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
You will lose your commercial driving privileges for at least one
year for a first offense of:
• Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration is .04%
or higher.
• Driving any vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
• Driving any vehicle while under the influence of a controlled
substance.
• Leaving the scene of an accident involving any vehicle.
• Committing a felony involving the use of any vehicle.
• Driving a CMV while suspended as a result of prior violations
in a CMV.
You will lose your commercial driving privileges for at least three
years if the offense occurs while you are operating a CMV that is
placarded for hazardous materials.
A refusal to submit to a blood or breath test for alcohol in any
vehicle will also result in loss of your commercial driving privileges
for at least 3 years. If the offense occurs while operating a CMV
containing a hazardous material, you will lose your CDL and
commercial instruction permit for 5 years.
You will lose your commercial driving privileges for life for a
second occurrence of any combination of offenses described above.
You will lose your commercial driving privileges for life if you
use a CMV to commit a felony involving controlled substances.
You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours by a commercial motor
vehicle inspector if you have any detectable amount of alcohol
under .04%.
The holder of commercial driving privileges is not eligible for
diversion or any other action that prevents conviction for a traffic
offense from appearing on his/her driving record. A person “holds”
commercial driving privileges even if the commercial driving
privileges are suspended, cancelled or revoked.
1.5.2 – Serious Traffic Violations
Serious traffic violations are excessive speeding (15 mph or more
above the posted limit) in a CMV, reckless driving in any vehicle,
speeding at 100 mph or more in any vehicle, improper or erratic
lane changes in a CMV, following a vehicle too closely in a CMV,
texting or using a hand-held cell phone while operating a CMV,
driving a CMV without obtaining commercial driving privileges
or having a CDL or commercial instruction permit in the driver’s
possession, driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL or
without the proper endorsement, and traffic offenses committed in
a CMV in connection with fatal traffic accidents. Also, exceeding
the speed limit in any vehicle by 30 mph or more, when the court
imposes a suspension for that violation, is a serious violation.
You will lose your CDL and/or commercial instruction permit:
• For at least 60 days if you have committed two serious traffic
violations within a three-year period.
• For at least 120 days for three serious traffic violations within
a three-year period.
1.5.3 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
You will lose your CDL and/or commercial instruction permit:
• For 180 days if you have committed your first violation of an
out-of-service order or notice and you were not transporting
hazardous materials.
• For one year if you have committed your first violation of
an out-of-service order or notice and you were transporting
hazardous materials.
• For three years if you have committed a second or subsequent
violation of an out-of-service order or notice in a ten-year
period and you were not transporting hazardous materials.
• For five years if you have committed a second or subsequent
violation of an out-of-service order or notice in a ten-year
period and you were transporting hazardous materials.
It is a Class A misdemeanor to violate an out-of-service order. In
addition, DMV will impose a civil penalty, in the amount of $2,500
for a first offense and $5,000 for a second and subsequent offense,
if you violate an out-of-service order or notice. A civil penalty will
be imposed (up to $25,000) on an employer who knowingly allows
or requires violation.
These rules improve highway safety for you and for all highway users.
1.5.4 – Railroad-highway Grade Crossing Violations
You will lose your CDL and/or commercial instruction permit:
• For 60 days for your first violation.
• For 120 days for your second violation within any three-year
period.
• For one year for your third violation within any three-year
period.
These violations include violation of a federal, state or local law
or regulation pertaining to one of the following six offenses at
a railroad-highway grade crossing:
• For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to stop
before reaching the crossing if the tracks are not clear.
• For drivers who are not required to always stop, failing to slow
down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching
train.
• For drivers who are always required to stop, failing to stop
before driving onto the crossing.
• For all drivers, failing to have sufficient space to drive
completely through the crossing without stopping.
• For all drivers, failing to obey a traffic control device or the
directions of an enforcement official at the crossing.
• For all drivers, failing to negotiate a crossing because of
insufficient undercarriage clearance.
1.5.5 – Hazardous Materials Endorsement Background
Check and Disqualifications
If you require a hazardous materials endorsement you will be required
to submit your fingerprints and be subject to a background check.
You will be denied or you will lose your hazardous materials
endorsement if you:
• Are not a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
• Renounce your United States citizenship.
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Section 1 – Introduction
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• Are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
• Have a conviction in military or civilian court for certain
felonies.
• Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to
a mental institution.
• Are considered to pose a security threat as determined by the
Transportation Security Administration.
• Fail to obtain a background check from TSA, as required.
DMV will send you a notice prior to expiration of a previous
background check. Checks are required at 5-year intervals.
The examiner will provide you with a Medical Examiner’s
Certificate. You must submit a copy of the Medical Examiners
Certificate to DMV before original issuance of a CDL or commercial
instruction permit. You must maintain a valid, unexpired Medical
Examiner’s Certificate on file with DMV. The copy you send to
DMV must be complete and legible.
1.6 – Other Commercial Motor Vehicle Rules
Though Oregon does not, other states laws may require you to carry
a copy of your medical card.
The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Motor Carrier
Transportation Division (MCTD) has adopted Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Regulations. Some of these regulations are summarized
below. For detailed information, you should check with your
nearest DOT office and/or familiarize yourself with 49 CFR Parts
382, 383, 385, and 390-399.
1.6.1 – Driver Qualifications
To meet minimum CMV driver qualifications in Oregon, you must:
• Be at least 18 years old to operate a CMV intrastate and at least
21 years old to drive in interstate commerce. (In some cases,
you may be operating a vehicle in interstate commerce even
if your vehicle does not leave the state. When in doubt, check
with your employer or ODOT MCTD at 503-378-5849.)
• Speak, read and write English well enough to understand
traffic signs and signals in English, to respond to officials and
to complete reports and records.
• Be able to operate the vehicle safely.
• Be able to properly locate, distribute and secure cargo on the
vehicle.
• Pass a physical examination and have a valid medical certificate
and, if required, a valid medical waiver or exemption.
• Have a valid license for the class and type of vehicle you drive.
• Pass a road test given by your employer.
• Fill out a detailed job application to include a report of all
traffic violations.
• Meet controlled substance and alcohol testing requirements.
1.6.2 – Annual Report to Employer
You may be required to furnish your employer, at least once every
12 months, a list of all the convictions for traffic violations (other
than parking violations) you have received throughout the previous
12-month period. This list will become part of your qualification file.
1.6.3 – Physical Examination
To qualify for a CDL or commercial instruction permit you must
undergo a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination
performed in accordance with CFR 49 §391.41 and CFR 49 §391.43.
The medical examination may only be performed by a Medical
Examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical
Examiners. 49 CFR, Part 390, Subpart D describes the requirements
to be listed in the National Registry. Additional information about
the National Registry is available at: http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov/.
Section 1 – Introduction
Federal regulations require CDL and commercial instruction permit
holders to carry a copy of the medical card for 15 days after the
date it was issued as valid proof of medical certification. This
allows time for the medical certificate information to be entered
to your driver record.
The medical certificate is valid for no more than two years. While
you hold a CDL or commercial instruction permit, DMV will monitor
the validity of your certificate. If it expires, you will be notified that
you must submit a new certificate to DMV, or surrender your CDL
or commercial instruction permit. DMV must cancel your CDL or
commercial instruction permit if you do neither.
Some physical conditions will disqualify you from driving a CMV.
A medical waiver may be issued for some otherwise disqualifying
conditions, but a medical waiver issued by DMV is good for no
more than two years and applies only to drivers operating a CMV
in intrastate commerce. An application for a medical waiver is
available from DMV by calling 503-945-0891.
A medical waiver or exemption to operate a CMV in non-excepted
interstate commerce may be issued by the U.S. DOT, Federal Motor
Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). If you believe you qualify
for a federal waiver or exemption, call 503-399-5775.
If the federal motor carrier safety administration or DMV has
issued a medical exemption letter or skill performance evaluation
certificate, the driver must have the current and valid documentation
in physical possession.
1.6.4 – Hours of Service
There are rules on how many hours commercial drivers can drive.
There are different rules depending on whether you are operating
a vehicle in interstate commerce or intrastate commerce only and
whether the vehicle is transporting property or passengers. Consult
49 CFR, Part 395 for information about interstate hours-of-service
limits and Oregon Administrative Rule 740-100-0010 (2)(g) through
(j) for information about intrastate hours-of-service limits. Both of
these regulations are discussed in detail at http://www.oregon.gov/
ODOT/MCT/Pages/EDUCATION.aspx#Safety.
1.6.5 – Other Rules
There are other federal and state rules that affect drivers operating
CMV’s 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 $6,500 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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• You must notify your employer if your license is suspended,
revoked, or canceled, or if you are disqualified from driving.
• You must give your employer information on all driving jobs
you have held for the past 10 years. You must do this when
you apply for a commercial driving job.
• No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle without a CDL
or commercial instruction permit. A court may fine you or put
you in jail for breaking this rule.
• If you have a hazardous materials endorsement you must
notify and surrender your hazardous materials endorsement
to the state that issued your CDL within 24 hours of any
conviction or indictment in any jurisdiction, civilian or
military, for, or found not guilty by reason of insanity of
a disqualifying crime listed in 49 CFR 1572.103; who is
adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental
institution as specified in 49 CFR 1572.109; or who renounces
his or her U. S. citizenship.
• Your employer may not let you drive a commercial motor
vehicle if you have more than one license or if your commercial
driving privilege is suspended or revoked. A court may fine
the employer or put him/her in jail for breaking this rule.
1-8
• All states are connected to one computerized system to share
information about commercial drivers. The states will check
drivers’ records to be sure they do not have more than one CDL.
• FMCSA rules and Oregon statutes do not permit courts to offer
diversion for traffic offenses if you held commercial driving
privileges at the time of the offense. This includes the ability to
plead guilty to a first DUII and get a diversion. The conviction for
Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) and all other
traffic convictions will be entered on your driving record if you
hold a CDL or commercial instruction permit. You are considered
to “hold” a CDL or commercial instruction permit even if your
privileges are suspended, cancelled or revoked.
• You may not operate a CMV with a ‘hardship’ permit.
• You must be properly restrained by a safety belt at all times
while operating a CMV.
• With some exceptions, Oregon law prohibits idling the primary
engine of a CMV for more than five minutes in any continuous
60 minute period. See Oregon Revised Statute 825.605 for
additional details.
• Texting and hand-held cell phone use while operating a CMV
is prohibited unless specifically exempted in ORS 811.507.
Section 1 – Introduction
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
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, passenger
vehicles, or school buses. You must read other sections of this manual
to learn these subjects. 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.
This section does not cover the details of the CDL pre-trip vehicle
inspection test. Section 11 of this manual tells you what to inspect
and how to inspect it.
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.
• Cut or cracked valve stems.
• Regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels of
a bus. These are prohibited.
Wheel and Rim Problems
• Damaged rims.
• Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are loose--check
tightness. After a tire has been changed, stop a short while later
and re-check tightness of nuts.
• Missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs means danger.
2-1
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• 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.
• 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.
Figure 2.2
Figure 2.1
Figure 2.1 illustrates a typical steering system.
Suspension System Defects. The suspension system holds up the
vehicle and its load. It keeps the axles in place. Therefore, broken
suspension parts can be extremely dangerous. Look for:
• Spring hangers that allow movement of axle from proper
position. See Figure 2.2.
• Cracked or broken spring hangers.
• Missing or broken leaves in any leaf spring. (Your vehicle
may be placed out-of-service if ¼ or more of the leaves in
any spring assembly are broken or if any leaf is missing or
separated.) See Figure 2.3.
• Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves that have shifted
so they might hit a tire or other part.
• Leaking shock absorbers.
• Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or other axle
positioning parts that are cracked, damaged, or missing.
2-2
Figure 2.3
• Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or leaking. See
Figure 2.4.
• Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame members.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
vehicle for hazards to vehicle movement (people, other vehicles,
objects, low-hanging wires, limbs, etc.).
Vehicle Inspection Guide
Step 1: Vehicle Overview
Review Last Vehicle Inspection Report. Drivers may have to
make a vehicle inspection report in writing each day. The motor
carrier must repair any items in the report that affect safety and
certify on the report that repairs were made or were unnecessary.
You must sign the report only if defects were noted and certified
to be repaired or not needed to be repaired.
Step 2: Check Engine Compartment
Check That the Parking Brakes Are On and/or Wheels Chocked.
You may have to raise the hood, tilt the cab (secure loose things so
they don’t fall and break something), or open the engine compartment
door. Check the following:
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).
• Warning devices for parked vehicles (for example, three
reflective warning triangles).
Cargo (Trucks). You must make sure the truck is not overloaded
and the cargo is balanced and secured before each trip. If the cargo
contains hazardous materials, you must inspect for proper papers
and placarding.
2.1.4 – CDL Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Test
In order to obtain a CDL, you will be required to pass a pre-trip
vehicle inspection test. The test assesses your ability to determine
whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to explain to
the examiner how you would inspect various components. Section
11 of this manual tells you what to inspect and how to inspect it
but the following seven-step 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.
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•
•
•
•
Engine oil level.
Coolant level in radiator; condition of hoses.
Power steering fluid level; hose condition (if so equipped).
Windshield washer fluid level.
Battery fluid level, connections, and tie downs (battery may
be located elsewhere).
Automatic transmission fluid level (may require engine to be
running).
Check belts for tightness and excessive wear (alternator, water
pump, air compressor)--learn how much “give” the belts should
have when adjusted right, and check each one.
Leaks on the ground and in the engine compartment (fuel,
coolant, oil, power steering fluid, hydraulic fluid, battery fluid).
Cracked, worn electrical wiring insulation.
Lower and secure hood, cab, or engine compartment door.
Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside the Cab
Get In and Start Engine
• Make sure parking brake is on.
• Put gearshift in neutral (or “park” if automatic).
• Start engine; listen for unusual noises.
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.
• 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.
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• List of emergency phone numbers.
• Accident reporting kit (packet).
Check Safety Belt. Check that the safety belt is securely mounted,
adjusts, latches properly and is not ripped or frayed.
Step 4: Turn Off Engine and Check Lights
Make sure the parking brake is set and turn off the engine. Take
the key with you to ensure no one can start or move the vehicle
while you are performing your walk-around inspection. 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. (The
key may need to be in the “ON” position to check high beam
operation.)
• 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
Figure 2.5
Check Condition of Controls. Check all of the following for
looseness, sticking, damage, or improper setting:
•
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•
•
•
•
•
Steering wheel.
Clutch.
Accelerator (“gas pedal”).
Brake controls.
— Foot brake.
— Trailer brake (if vehicle has one).
— Parking brake.
— Retarder controls (if vehicle has them).
Transmission controls.
Interaxle differential lock (if vehicle has one).
Horn(s).
Windshield wiper/washer.
Lights.
—Headlights.
— Dimmer switch.
— Turn signal.
— Four-way flashers.
— Parking, clearance, identification, marker switch(es).
Check Mirrors and Windshield. Inspect mirrors and windshield
for cracks, dirt, illegal stickers, or other obstructions to seeing
clearly. Clean and adjust as necessary.
Check Emergency Equipment
• Check for safety equipment:
— Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has circuit breakers).
— Three red reflective triangles.
— Properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
• Check for optional items such as:
— Chains (where winter conditions require).
— Tire changing equipment.
2-4
• Walk around and inspect.
• Clean all lights, reflectors, and glass as you go along.
Left Front Side
• Driver’s door glass should be clean.
• Door latches or locks should work properly.
• Left front wheel.
— Condition of wheel and rim--missing, bent, broken studs,
clamps, lugs, or any signs of misalignment.
— Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve stem and cap
OK, no serious cuts, bulges, or tread wear.
— Use wrench to test rust-streaked lug nuts, indicating
looseness.
— Hub oil level OK, no leaks.
• Left front suspension.
— Condition of spring, spring hangers, shackles, u-bolts.
— Shock absorber condition.
• Left front brake.
— Condition of brake drum or disc.
— Condition of hoses.
Front
• Condition of front axle.
• Condition of steering system.
— No loose, worn, bent, damaged or missing parts.
— Must grab steering mechanism to test for looseness.
• Condition of windshield.
— Check for damage and clean if dirty.
— Check windshield wiper arms for proper spring tension.
— Check wiper blades for damage, “stiff” rubber, and
securement.
• Lights and reflectors.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
— 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 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-overengine design).
• Right fuel tank(s).
— Securely mounted, not damaged, or leaking.
— Fuel crossover line secure.
— Tank(s) contain enough fuel.
— Cap(s) on and secure.
• Condition of visible parts.
— Rear of engine--not leaking.
— Transmission--not leaking.
— Exhaust system--secure, not leaking, not touching wires,
fuel, or air lines.
— Frame and cross members--no bends or cracks.
— Air lines and electrical wiring--secured against snagging,
rubbing, wearing.
— Spare tire carrier or rack not damaged (if so equipped).
— Spare tire and/or wheel securely mounted in rack.
— Spare tire and wheel adequate (proper size, properly
inflated).
• Cargo securement (trucks and trailers).
— Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained, etc.
— Headerboard secure (if equipped).
— Side boards and stakes are strong enough, free of damage,
and properly set in place (if so equipped).
— Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to prevent
tearing, billowing, or blocking of mirrors.
— If oversize, all required signs (flags, lamps, and reflectors)
safely and properly mounted and all required permits in
driver’s possession.
— Curbside cargo compartment doors in good condition,
securely closed, latched/locked and required security seals
in place.
Right Rear
• Condition of wheels and rims--no missing, bent, or broken
spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs.
• Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve stems and caps
OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear, tires not rubbing each
other, and nothing stuck between them.
• Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias types.
• Tires evenly matched (same sizes).
• Wheel bearing/seals not leaking.
• Suspension.
— Condition of spring(s), spring hangers, shackles, and
u-bolts.
— Axle secure.
— Powered axle(s) not leaking lube (gear oil).
— Condition of torque rods, radius arms, and bushings.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
— Condition of shock absorber(s).
— If retractable axle equipped, check condition of lift
mechanism. If air powered, check for leaks.
— Condition of air ride components.
• Brakes.
— Brake adjustment (improper adjustment is one of the most
common reasons for being placed out-of-service).
— Condition of brake drum(s) or discs.
— Condition of hoses--look for any wear due to rubbing.
• Lights and reflectors.
— Side-marker lights clean, operating, and proper color (red
at rear, others amber).
— Side-marker reflectors clean and proper color (red at rear,
others amber).
Rear
• Lights and reflectors.
— Rear clearance and identification lights clean, operating,
and proper color (red at rear).
— Reflectors clean and proper color (red at rear).
— Tail lights clean, operating, and proper color (red at rear).
— Right rear turn signal operating, and proper color (red or
amber at rear).
• License plate(s) present, clean, and secured.
• Splash guards present, not damaged, properly fastened, not
dragging on ground, or rubbing tires.
• Cargo secure (trucks and trailers).
• Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained, etc.
• Tail boards up and properly secured.
• End gates free of damage, properly secured in stake sockets.
• Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to prevent tearing,
billowing, or blocking of either the rearview mirrors or rear
lights.
• If over-length, or over-width, make sure all signs and/or
additional lights/flags are safely and properly mounted and
all required permits are in driver’s possession.
• Rear doors securely closed, latched/locked.
Left Side
• Check all items as done on right side, plus:
— Battery(ies) (if not mounted in engine compartment).
— Battery box(es) securely mounted to vehicle.
— Box has secure cover.
— Battery(ies) secured against movement.
— Battery(ies) not broken or leaking.
— Fluid in battery(ies) at proper level (except maintenancefree type).
— Cell caps present and securely tightened (except
maintenance-free type).
— Vents in cell caps free of foreign material (except
maintenance-free type).
Step 6: Check Signal Lights
Get In and Turn Off Lights
• Turn off all lights.
• Turn on stop lights (apply trailer hand brake or have a helper
put on the brake pedal).
• Turn on left turn signal lights.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Get Out and Check Lights
• Left front turn signal light clean, operating and proper color
(amber on signals facing the front).
• Left rear turn signal light and both stop lights clean, operating,
and proper color (red or amber).
Get In Vehicle
• Turn off lights not needed for driving.
• Check for all required papers, trip manifests, permits, etc.
• Secure all loose articles in cab (they might interfere with
operation of the controls or hit you in a crash).
• Start the engine.
2.1.7 – After-trip Inspection and Report
You may have to make a written report each day on the condition
of the vehicle(s) you drove. Report anything affecting safety or
possibly leading to mechanical breakdown.
The vehicle inspection report tells the motor carrier about problems
that may need fixing. Keep a copy of your report in the vehicle for
one day. That way, the next driver can learn about any problems
you have found.
SUBSECTION 2.1
Step 7: Start the Engine and Check
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
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.
1. What is the most important reason for doing a
vehicle inspection?
2. What things should you check during a trip?
3. Name some key steering system parts.
4. Name some suspension system defects.
5. What three kinds of emergency equipment must
you have?
6. What is the minimum tread depth for front tires?
For other tires?
7. Name some things you should check on the front
of your vehicle during the walk-around inspection.
8. What should wheel bearing seals be checked for?
9. How many red reflective triangles should you carry?
10.How do you test hydraulic brakes for leaks?
11.Why put the starter switch key in your pocket
during the pre-trip inspection?
Brake System
Test Parking Brake
•
•
•
•
Fasten seat belt.
Allow vehicle to move forward slowly.
Apply parking brake.
If it doesn’t stop 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 pre-trip inspection, get it
fixed. Federal and state laws forbid operating an unsafe vehicle.
2.1.6 – Inspection During a Trip
Check Vehicle Operation Regularly
You should check:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Instruments.
Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).
Temperature gauges.
Pressure gauges.
Ammeter/voltmeter.
Mirrors.
Tires.
Cargo, cargo covers.
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) thereafter.
2-6
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 2.1.
2.2 – Basic Control of Your Vehicle
To drive a vehicle safely, you must be able to control its speed and
direction. Safe operation of a commercial vehicle requires skill in:
•
•
•
•
Accelerating.
Steering.
Stopping.
Backing safely.
Fasten your seatbelt when on the road. Apply the parking brake
when you leave your vehicle.
2.2.1 – Accelerating
Oregon law requires many commercial motor vehicles to be equipped
with forward crossview mirrors or that drivers visually inspect the
intended path of the vehicle before reentering the vehicle. Ensure
your path is free of persons and objects before moving the vehicle.
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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 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:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Turn your 4-way flashers on.
Honk your horn.
Start in the proper position.
Look at your path.
Use mirrors on both sides.
Back slowly.
Back and turn toward the driver’s side whenever possible.
Use a helper whenever possible.
These rules are discussed in turn below.
Start in the Proper Position. Put the vehicle in the best position
to allow you to back safely. This position will depend on the type
of backing to be done.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel before you begin.
Get out and walk around the vehicle. Check your clearance to the
sides and overhead, in and near the path your vehicle will take.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside mirrors on both
sides frequently. Get out of the vehicle and check your position
and path if you are unsure.
Back Slowly. Always back as slowly as possible. Use the lowest
reverse gear. That way you can more easily correct any steering
errors. You also can stop quickly if necessary.
Back and Turn Toward the Driver’s Side. Back to the driver’s
side so you can see better. Backing toward the right side is very
dangerous because you can’t see as well. If you back and turn
Section 2 – Driving Safely
toward the driver’s side, you can watch the rear of your vehicle by
looking out the side window. Use driver-side backing--even if it
means going around the block to put your vehicle in this position.
The added safety is worth it.
Use a Helper. Use a helper when you can. There are blind spots
you can’t see. That’s why a helper is important. The helper should
stand near the back of your vehicle where you can see the helper.
Before you begin backing, work out a set of hand signals that you
both understand. Agree on a signal for “stop.”
2.3 – Shifting Gears
Correct shifting of gears is important. If you can’t get your vehicle
into the right gear while driving, you will have less control.
2.3.1 – Manual Transmissions
Basic Method for Shifting Up. Most heavy vehicles with manual
transmissions require double clutching to change gears. This is the
basic method:
• Release accelerator, push in clutch and shift to neutral at the
same time.
• Release clutch.
• Let engine and gears slow down to the rpm required 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.
• Press accelerator, increase engine and gear speed to the rpm
required in the lower gear.
• Push in clutch and shift to lower gear at the same time.
• Release clutch and press accelerator at the same time.
• Downshifting, like upshifting, requires knowing when to shift.
Use either the tachometer or the speedometer and downshift
at the right rpm or road speed.
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Special conditions where you should downshift are:
Before Starting Down a Hill. Slow down and shift down to a speed
that you can control without using the brakes hard. Otherwise the
brakes can overheat and lose their braking power.
Downshift before starting down the hill. Make sure you are in
a low enough gear, usually lower than the gear required to climb
the same hill.
Before Entering a Curve. Slow down to a safe speed, and downshift
to the right gear before entering the curve. This lets you use some
power through the curve to help the vehicle be more stable while
turning. It also allows you speed up as soon as you are out of the curve.
2.3.2 – Multi-speed Rear Axles and Auxiliary Transmissions
Multi-speed rear axles and auxiliary transmissions are used on
many vehicles to provide extra gears. You usually control them
by a selector knob or switch on the gearshift lever of the main
transmission. There are many different shift patterns. Learn the
right way to shift gears in the vehicle you will drive.
SUBSECTIONS 2.2 AND 2.3
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Why should you back toward the driver’s side?
2. If stopped on a hill, how can you start moving
without rolling back?
3. When backing, why is it important to use a helper?
4. What’s the most important hand signal that you
and the helper should agree on?
5. What are the two special conditions where you
should downshift?
6. When should you downshift automatic
transmissions?
7. Retarders keep you from skidding when the road
is slippery. True or False?
8. What are the two ways to know when to shift?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.2 and 2.3.
2.3.3 – 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.
2.4 – 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
2.3.4 – Retarders
Some vehicles have “retarders.” Retarders help slow a vehicle,
reducing the need for using your brakes. They reduce brake wear
and give you another way to slow down. There are four basic types
of retarders (exhaust, engine, hydraulic, and electric). All retarders
can be turned on or off by the driver. On some vehicles the retarding
power can be adjusted. When turned “on,” retarders apply their
braking power (to the drive wheels only) whenever you let up on
the accelerator pedal all the way.
Because these devices can be noisy, be sure you know where their
use is not permitted by law.
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.
All drivers look ahead; but many don’t look far enough ahead.
Importance of Looking Far Enough Ahead. Because stopping or
changing lanes can take a lot of distance, knowing what the traffic
is doing on all sides of you is very important. You need to look well
ahead to make sure you have room to make these moves safely.
How Far Ahead to Look. Most good drivers look at least 12 to
15 seconds ahead. That means looking ahead the distance you will
travel in 12 to 15 seconds. At lower speeds, that’s about one block.
At highway speeds it’s about a quarter of a mile. If you’re not
looking that far ahead, you may have to stop too quickly or make
quick lane changes. Looking 12 to 15 seconds ahead doesn’t mean
not paying attention to things that are closer. Good drivers shift
their attention back and forth, near and far. Figure 2.6 illustrates
how far to look ahead.
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.
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Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
How to Use Mirrors. Use mirrors correctly by checking them
quickly and understanding what you see.
• When you use your mirrors while driving on the road, check
quickly. Look back and forth between the mirrors and the road
ahead. Don’t focus on the mirrors for too long. Otherwise, you
will travel quite a distance without knowing what’s happening
ahead.
• Many large vehicles have curved (convex, “fisheye,” “spot,”
“bugeye”) mirrors that show a wider area than flat mirrors. This
is often helpful. But everything appears smaller in a convex
mirror than it would if you were looking at it directly. Things
also seem farther away than they really are. It’s important to
realize this and to allow for it. Figure 2.7 shows the field of
vision using a convex mirror.
Figure 2.6
2.4.2 – Seeing to the Sides and Rear
It’s important to know what’s going on behind and to the sides.
Check your mirrors regularly. Check more often in special situations.
Mirror Adjustment. Mirror adjustment should be checked prior
to the start of any trip and can only be checked accurately when
the trailer(s) are straight. You should check and adjust each mirror
to show some part of the vehicle. This will give you a reference
point for judging the position of the other images.
Regular Checks. You need to make regular checks of your mirrors
to be aware of traffic and to check your vehicle.
Traffic. Check your mirrors for vehicles on either side and in back
of you. In an emergency, you may need to know whether you can
make a quick lane change. Use your mirrors to spot overtaking
vehicles. There are “blind spots” that your mirrors cannot show
you. Check your mirrors regularly to know where other vehicles
are around you, and to see if they move into your blind spots.
Check Your Vehicle. Use the mirrors to keep an eye on your tires.
It’s one way to spot a tire fire. If you’re carrying open cargo, you
can use the mirrors to check it. Look for loose straps, ropes, or
chains. Watch for a flapping or ballooning tarp.
Special Situations. Special situations require more than regular
mirror checks. These are lane changes, turns, merges, and tight
maneuvers.
Lane Changes. You need to check your mirrors to make sure no
one is alongside you or about to pass you. Check your mirrors:
• Before you change lanes to make sure there is enough room.
• After you have signaled to check that no one has moved into
your blind spot.
• Right after you start the lane change, to double-check that your
path is clear.
• After you complete the lane change.
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.
Turns. In turns, check your mirrors to make sure the rear of your
vehicle will not hit anything.
Signaling what you intend to do is important for safety. Here are
some general rules for signaling.
Merges. When merging, use your mirrors to make sure the gap in
traffic is large enough for you to enter safely.
Turns. There are three good rules for using turn signals:
Tight Maneuvers. Any time you are driving in close quarters,
check your mirrors often. Make sure you have enough clearance.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
• Signal early. Signal well before you turn. It is the best way to
keep others from trying to pass you.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• Signal continuously. You need both hands on the wheel to
turn safely. Don’t cancel the signal until you have completed
the turn.
• Cancel your signal. Don’t forget to turn off your turn signal
after you’ve turned (if you don’t have self-canceling signals).
Lane Changes. Put your turn signal on before changing lanes.
Change lanes slowly and smoothly. That way a driver you didn’t
see may have a chance to honk his/her horn, or avoid your vehicle.
If you must stop on a road or the shoulder of any road, you must
put out your emergency warning devices within ten minutes. Place
your warning devices at the following locations:
If you must stop on or by a one-way or divided highway, place
warning devices 10 feet, 100 feet, and 200 feet toward the
approaching traffic. See Figure 2.8.
Slowing Down. Warn drivers behind you when you see you’ll need
to slow down. A few light taps on the brake pedal -- enough to flash
the brake lights – should warn following drivers. Use the four-way
emergency flashers for times when you are driving very slowly or
are stopped. Warn other drivers in any of the following situations:
• Trouble Ahead. The size of your vehicle may make it hard for
drivers behind you to see hazards ahead. If you see a hazard
that will require slowing down, warn the drivers behind by
flashing your brake lights.
• Tight Turns. Most car drivers don’t know how slowly you
have to go to make a tight turn in a large vehicle. Give drivers
behind you warning by braking early and slowing gradually.
• Stopping on the Road. Truck and bus drivers sometimes stop
in the roadway to unload cargo or passengers, or to stop at a
railroad crossing. Warn following drivers by flashing your
brake lights. Don’t stop suddenly.
• Driving Slowly. Drivers often do not realize how fast they
are catching up to a slow vehicle until they are very close. If
you must drive slowly, alert following drivers by turning on
your emergency flashers if it is legal. (Laws regarding the use
of flashers differ from one state to another. Check the laws of
the states where you will drive.)
Don’t Direct Traffic. Some drivers try to help out others by
signaling when it is safe to pass. You should not do this. You could
cause an accident. You could be blamed and it could cost you many
thousands of dollars.
2.5.2 – Communicating Your Presence
Other drivers may not notice your vehicle even when it’s in plain
sight. To help prevent accidents, let them know you’re there.
When Passing. Whenever you are about to pass a vehicle, pedestrian,
or bicyclist, assume they don’t see you. They could suddenly move
in front of you. When it is legal, tap the horn lightly or, at night, flash
your lights from low to high beam and back. And, drive carefully
enough to avoid a crash even if they don’t see or hear you.
When It’s Hard to See. At dawn, dusk, in rain, or snow, you need
to make yourself easier to see. If you are having trouble seeing other
vehicles, other drivers will have trouble seeing you. Turn on your
lights. Use the headlights, not just the identification or clearance
lights. Use the low beams; high beams can bother people in the
daytime as well as at night.
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you pull off the
road and stop, be sure to turn on the four-way emergency flashers.
This is important at night. Don’t trust the tail lights to give warning.
Drivers have crashed into the rear of a parked vehicle because they
thought it was moving normally.
2-10
Figure 2.8
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
is obstructed due to hill or curve, move the rear-most triangle to a
point back down the road so warning is provided. See Figure 2.10.
Figure 2.10
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. However, it can startle
others and could be dangerous when used unnecessarily.
2.6 – Controlling Speed
Driving too fast is a major cause of fatal crashes. You must adjust
your speed depending on driving conditions. These include traction,
curves, visibility, traffic and hills.
2.6.1 – Stopping Distance
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Braking Distance =
Total Stopping Distance
Perception Distance. This is 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
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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.
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.
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.
Identifying Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes it’s hard to know if the
road is slippery. Here are some signs of slippery roads:
Braking Distance. The distance your vehicle will travel, in ideal
conditions; while you are braking. At 55 mph on dry pavement
with good brakes, it can take about 216 feet.
Total Stopping Distance. The total minimum distance your vehicle
has traveled, in ideal conditions; with everything considered,
including perception distance, reaction distance and braking
distance, until you can bring your vehicle to a complete stop. At
55 mph, your vehicle will travel a minimum of 419 feet.
The Effect of Speed on Stopping Distance. The faster you drive,
the greater the impact or striking power of your vehicle. When you
double your speed from 20 to 40 mph the impact is 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.
Stopping Distance Chart
Miles
Per
Hour
Perception Driver
Vehicle
Total
Distance
Reaction Braking Stopping
Distance Distance Distance
15 mph
30 mph
45 mph
50 mph
55 mph
39 ft.
78 ft.
117 ft.
129 ft.
142 ft.
16 ft.
33 ft.
50 ft.
55 ft.
61 ft.
17 ft.
64 ft.
152 ft.
177 ft.
216 ft.
72 ft.
175 ft.
319 ft.
361 ft.
419 ft.
Figure 2.11
The Effect of Vehicle Weight on Stopping Distance. The heavier
the vehicle, the more work the brakes must do to stop it, and the
more heat they absorb. But the brakes, tires, springs, and shock
absorbers on heavy vehicles are designed to work best when the
vehicle is fully loaded. Empty trucks require greater stopping
distances because an empty vehicle has less traction.
2.6.2 – Matching Speed to the Road Surface
You can’t steer or brake a vehicle unless you have traction. Traction
is friction between the tires and the road. There are some road
conditions that reduce traction and call for lower speeds.
Slippery Surfaces. It will take longer to stop, and it will be harder
to turn without skidding, when the road is slippery. Wet roads can
double stopping distance. You must drive slower to be able to stop
in the same distance as on a dry road. Reduce speed by about one-
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• 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.
• 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 slow down. If the drive wheels start to skid, push
in the clutch to let them turn freely.
It does not take a lot of water to cause hydroplaning. Hydroplaning
can occur at speeds as low as 30 mph if there is a lot of water.
Hydroplaning is more likely if tire pressure is low, or the tread is
worn. (The grooves in a tire carry away the water; if they aren’t
deep, they don’t work well.)
Road surfaces where water can collect can create conditions
that cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Watch for clear reflections,
tire splashes, and raindrops on the road. These are indications of
standing water.
2.6.3 – Speed and Curves
Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in the road. If you take
a curve too fast, two things can happen. The tires can lose their
traction and continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road. Or,
the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle rolls over. Tests
have shown that trucks with a high center of gravity can roll over
at the posted speed limit for a curve.
Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve. Braking in a curve is
dangerous because it is easier to lock the wheels and cause a skid.
Slow down as needed. Don’t ever exceed the posted speed limit
for the curve. Be in a gear that will let you accelerate slightly in
the curve. This will help you keep control.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
You should always be able to stop within the distance you can see
ahead. Fog, rain, or other conditions may require that you slow
down to be able to stop in the distance you can see. At night, you
can’t see as far with low beams as you can with high beams. When
you must use low beams, slow down.
2.6.5 – Speed and Traffic Flow
When you’re driving in heavy traffic, the safest speed is the speed
of other vehicles as long as the speed is legal and not excessive for
conditions. 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. Keep a safe following distance.
SUBSECTIONS 2.4, 2.5, AND 2.6
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. How far ahead does the manual say you should look?
2. What are two main things to look for ahead?
3. What’s your most important way to see the sides and
rear of your vehicle?
4. What does “communicating” mean in safe driving?
5. Where should your reflectors be placed when stopped
on a divided highway?
6. What three things add up to total stopping distance?
7. If you go twice as fast, will your stopping distance
increase by two or four times?
8. Empty trucks have the best braking. True or False?
9. What is hydroplaning?
10.What is “black ice”?
The main reason drivers exceed speed limits is to save time. But,
anyone trying to drive faster than the speed of traffic will not be
able to save much time. The risks involved are not worth it. If you
go faster than the speed of other traffic, you’ll have to keep passing
other vehicles. This increases the chance of a crash, and it is more
tiring. Fatigue increases the chance of a crash. Going with the flow
of traffic is safer and easier.
2.7 – Managing Space
2.6.6 – Speed on Downgrades
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.
Your vehicle’s speed will increase on downgrades because of
gravity. Your most important objective is to select and maintain a
speed that is not too fast for the:
•
•
•
•
•
Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
Length of the grade.
Steepness of the grade.
Road conditions.
Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating “Maximum
Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed shown. Also, look for and
heed warning signs indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as the principal way
of controlling your speed on downgrades. The braking effect of
the engine is greatest when it is near the governed rpms and the
transmission is in the lower gears. Save your brakes so you will be
able to slow or stop as required by road and traffic conditions. Shift
your transmission to a low gear before starting down the grade and
use the proper braking techniques. Please read carefully the section
on going down long, steep downgrades safely in “Mountain Driving.”
2.6.7 – Roadway Work Zones
Speeding traffic is the number one cause of injury and death in
roadway work zones. Observe the posted speed limits at all times
when approaching and driving through a work zone. Watch your
speedometer, and don’t allow your speed to creep up as you drive
through long sections of road construction. Decrease your speed
for adverse weather or road conditions. Decrease your speed even
further when a worker is close to the roadway.
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6.
To have space available when something goes wrong, you need to
manage space. While this is true for all drivers, it is very important
for large vehicles. They take up more space and they require more
space for stopping and turning.
2.7.1 – Space Ahead
Of all the space around your vehicle, it is the area ahead of the
vehicle--the space you’re driving into --that is most important.
The Need for Space Ahead. You need space ahead in case you
must suddenly stop. According to accident reports, the vehicle that
trucks and buses most often run into is the one in front of them.
The most frequent cause is following too closely. Remember, if
the vehicle ahead of you is smaller than yours, it can probably stop
faster than you can. You may crash if you are following too closely.
How Much Space? How much space should you keep in front of
you? One good rule says you need at least one second for each 10
feet of vehicle length at speeds below 40 mph. At greater speeds,
you must add 1 second for safety. For example, if you are driving
a 40-foot vehicle, you should leave 4 seconds between you and
the vehicle ahead. In a 60-foot rig, you’ll need 6 seconds. Over 40
mph, you’d need 5 seconds for a 40-foot vehicle and 7 seconds for
a 60-foot vehicle. See Figure 2.12.
To know how much space you have, wait until the vehicle ahead
passes a shadow on the road, a pavement marking, or some other
clear landmark. Then count off the seconds like this: “one thousandand-one, one thousand-and-two” and so on, until you reach the
same spot. Compare your count with the rule of one second for
every ten feet of length.
If you are driving a 40-foot truck and only counted up to 2 seconds,
you’re too close. Drop back a little and count again until you have
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
• Avoid quick changes. If you have to slow down or turn, signal
early, and reduce speed very gradually.
• Increase your following distance. Opening up room in front
of you will help you to avoid having to make sudden speed or
direction changes. It also makes it easier for the tailgater to
get around you.
• Don’t speed up. It’s safer to be tailgated at a low speed than
a high speed.
• Avoid tricks. Don’t turn on your taillights or flash your brake
lights. Follow the suggestions above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
Commercial vehicles are often wide and take up most of a lane.
Safe drivers will manage what little space they have. You can
do this by keeping your vehicle centered in your lane, and avoid
driving alongside others.
Staying Centered in a Lane. You need to keep your vehicle centered
in the lane to keep safe clearance on either side. If your vehicle is
wide, you have little room to spare.
Traveling Next to Others. There are two dangers in traveling
alongside other vehicles:
• Another driver may change lanes suddenly and turn into you.
• You may be trapped when you need to change lanes.
Find an open spot where you aren’t near other traffic. When
traffic is heavy, it may be hard to find an open spot. If you must
travel near other vehicles, try to keep as much space as possible
between you and them. Also, drop back or pull forward so that you
are sure the other driver can see you.
Strong Winds. Strong winds make it difficult to stay in your lane.
The problem is usually worse for lighter vehicles. This problem
can be especially bad coming out of tunnels. Don’t drive alongside
others if you can avoid it.
2.7.4 – Space Overhead
Figure 2.12
2.7.2 – Space Behind
You can’t stop others from following you too closely. But there are
things you can do to make it safer.
Stay to the Right. Heavy vehicles are often tailgated when they
can’t keep up with the speed of traffic. This often happens when
you’re going uphill. If a heavy load is slowing you down, stay in
the right lane if you can. Going uphill, you should not pass 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.
2-14
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.)
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
to make the turn. Drivers on your left can be more readily seen.
See Figure 2.14.
Railroad tracks can also cause problems, particularly when pulling
trailers with a low underneath clearance. Don’t take a chance on
getting hung up halfway across.
2.7.6 – Space for Turns
The space around a truck or bus is important in turns. Because of
wide turns and offtracking, large vehicles can hit other vehicles or
objects during turns.
Right Turns. Here are some rules to help prevent right-turn crashes:
• Turn slowly to give yourself and others more time to avoid
problems.
• If you are driving a truck or bus that cannot make the right turn
without swinging into another lane, turn wide as you complete
the turn. Keep the rear of your vehicle close to the curb. This
will stop other drivers from passing you on the right.
• 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
Figure 2.13
Left Turns. On a left turn, make sure you have reached the center
of the intersection before you start the left turn. If you turn too
soon, the left side of your vehicle may hit another vehicle because
of offtracking.
If there are two turning lanes, always take the right turn lane.
Don’t start in the inside lane because you may have to swing right
Section 2 – Driving Safely
What Is a Hazard? A hazard is any road condition or other road
user (driver, bicyclist, pedestrian) that is a possible danger. For
example, a car in front of you is headed toward the freeway exit,
but his brake lights come on and he begins braking hard. This could
mean that the driver is uncertain about taking the off ramp. He
might suddenly return to the highway. This car is a hazard. If the
driver of the car cuts in front of you, it is no longer just a hazard;
it is an emergency.
Seeing Hazards Lets You Be Prepared. You will have more time
to act if you see hazards before they become emergencies. In the
example above, you might make a lane change or slow down to
prevent a crash if the car suddenly cuts in front of you. Seeing
this hazard gives you time to check your mirrors and signal a lane
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
change. Being prepared reduces the danger. A driver who did not
see the hazard until the slow car pulled back on the highway in
front of him would have to do something very suddenly. Sudden
braking or a quick lane change is much more likely to lead to a crash.
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.
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.
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.
2.8.2 – Hazardous Roads
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
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.
2-16
Parked Vehicles Can Be Hazards, especially when people start to
get out of them. Or, they may suddenly start up and drive into your
way. Watch for movement inside the vehicle or movement of the
vehicle itself that shows people are inside. Watch for brake lights or
backup lights, exhaust, and other clues that a driver is about to move.
Be careful of a stopped bus. Passengers may cross in front of or
behind the bus, and they often can’t see you.
Pedestrians and Bicyclists Can Also Be Hazards. Walkers,
joggers, and bicyclists may be on the road with their back to the
traffic, so they can’t see you. Sometimes they wear portable stereos
with headsets, so they can’t hear you either. This can be dangerous.
On rainy days, pedestrians may not see you because of hats or
umbrellas. They may be hurrying to get out of the rain and may
not pay attention to the traffic.
Distractions. People who are distracted are hazards. Watch for
where they are looking. If they are looking elsewhere, they can’t
see you. But be alert even when they are looking at you. They may
believe that they have the right of way.
Children. Children tend to act quickly without checking traffic.
Children playing with one another may not look for traffic and are
a serious hazard.
Talkers. Drivers or pedestrians talking to one another may not be
paying close attention to the traffic.
Workers. People working on or near the roadway are a hazard clue.
The work creates a distraction for other drivers and the workers
themselves may not see you.
Ice Cream Trucks. Someone selling ice cream is a hazard clue.
Children may be nearby and may not see you.
Disabled Vehicles. Drivers changing a tire or fixing an engine
often do not pay attention to the danger that roadway traffic is to
them. They are often careless. Jacked up wheels or raised hoods
are hazard clues.
Crashes. Crashes are particularly hazardous. People involved in the
crash may not look for traffic. Passing drivers tend to look at the
crash. People often run across the road without looking. Vehicles
may slow or stop suddenly.
Shoppers. People in and around shopping areas are often not
watching traffic because they are looking for stores or looking
into store windows.
Confused Drivers. Confused drivers often change direction
suddenly or stop without warning. Confusion is common near
freeway or turnpike interchanges and major intersections. Tourists
unfamiliar with the area can be very hazardous. Clues to tourists
include car-top luggage and out-of-state license plates. Unexpected
actions (stopping in the middle of a block, changing lanes for no
apparent reason, backup lights suddenly going on) are clues to
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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 or sleepy drivers, especially late at night.
Driver Body Movement as a Clue. Drivers look in the direction
they are going to turn. You may sometimes get a clue from a driver’s
head and body movements that a driver may be going to make a
turn, even though the turn signals aren’t on. Drivers making overthe-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.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
When you see a hazard, think about the emergencies that could
develop and figure out what you would do. Always be prepared to
take action based on your plans. In this way, you will be a prepared,
defensive driver who will improve your own safety as well as the
safety of all road users.
SUBSECTIONS 2.7 AND 2.8
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. How do you find out how many seconds of following
distance space you have?
2. If you are driving a 30-foot vehicle at 55 mph, how
many seconds of following distance should you allow?
3. You should decrease your following distance if
somebody is following you too closely. True or False?
4. If you swing wide to the left before turning right,
another driver may try to pass you on the right. True
or False?
5. What is a hazard?
6. Why make emergency plans when you see a hazard?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.7 and 2.8.
2.9 – Distracted Driving
Whenever you are driving a vehicle and your attention is not on
the road, you’re putting yourself, your passengers, other vehicles,
and pedestrians in danger. Distracted driving can result when you
perform any activity that may shift your full attention from the
driving task. Taking your eyes off the road or hands off the steering
wheel presents obvious driving risks. Mental activities that take
your mind away from driving are just as dangerous. Your eyes can
gaze at objects in the driving scene but fail to see them because
your attention is distracted elsewhere.
Activities that can distract your attention include: talking to
passengers; adjusting the radio, CD player or climate controls; eating,
drinking or smoking; reading maps or other literature; picking up
something that fell; reading billboards and other road advertisements;
watching other people and vehicles including aggressive drivers;
talking on a CB radio; using telematic devices (such as navigation
systems, pagers, etc.); daydreaming or being occupied with other
mental distractions. Texting or using a hand-held cell phone while
operating a CMV is a serious traffic violation.
2.9.1 – Don’t Drive Distracted
If drivers react a half-second slower because of distractions, crashes
double. Some tips to follow so you won’t become distracted:
• Review and be totally familiar with all safety and usage
features on any in-vehicle electronics before you drive.
• Pre-program radio stations.
• Pre-load your favorite CDs.
• Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects.
• Review maps and plan your route before you begin driving.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• Adjust all mirrors for best all-round visibility before you start
your trip.
• Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
• Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you drive.
• Don’t engage in complex or emotionally intense conversations
with other occupants.
2.9.2 – Watch Out for Other Distracted Drivers
You need to be able to recognize other drivers who are engaged in
any form of driving distraction. Not recognizing other distracted
drivers can prevent you from perceiving or reacting correctly in
time to prevent a crash. Watch for:
• Vehicles that may drift over the lane divider lines or within
their own lane.
• Vehicles traveling at inconsistent speeds.
• Drivers who are preoccupied with maps, food, cigarettes, cell
phones, or other objects.
• Drivers who appear to be involved in conversations with their
passengers.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and maintain your safe
following distance.
Be very careful when passing a driver who seems to be distracted.
The other driver may not be aware of your presence, and they may
drift in front of you.
2.10 – Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
• Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to imagine
why he or she is driving that way. Whatever their reason, it
has nothing to do with you.
• Slow down and keep your following distance reasonable.
• Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
• Avoid gestures. Keep your hands on the wheel. Avoid making
any gestures that might anger another driver, even seemingly
harmless expressions of irritation like shaking your head.
• Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another driver seems
eager to get in front of you, say, “Be my guest.” This response
will soon become a habit and you won’t be as offended by
other drivers’ actions.
2.10.3 – What You Should Do When Confronted by an
Aggressive Driver
• First and foremost, make every attempt to get out of their way.
• Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge them by
speeding up or attempting to hold-your-own in your travel lane.
• Avoid eye contact.
• Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
• 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.
2.10.1 – What Is It?
Aggressive driving and road rage is not a new problem. However,
in today’s world, where heavy and slow-moving traffic and tight
schedules are the norm, more and more drivers are taking out their
anger and frustration in their vehicles.
Crowded roads leave little room for error, leading to suspicion and
hostility among drivers and encouraging them to take personally
the mistakes of other drivers.
Aggressive driving is the act of operating a motor vehicle in a
selfish, bold, or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or
safety of others. An aggressive driver may change lanes abruptly
and without warning, for instance.
Road rage is operating a motor vehicle with the intent of doing
harm to others or physically assaulting a driver or their vehicle.
2.10.2 – Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver
How you feel before you even start your vehicle has a lot to do
with how stress will affect you while driving.
• Reduce your stress before and while you drive. Listen to “easy
listening” music.
• Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow yourself to
become distracted by talking on your cell phone, eating, etc.
• 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.
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Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
SUBSECTIONS 2.9 AND 2.10
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What are some tips to follow so you won’t become a
distracted driver?
2. How do you use in-vehicle communications equipment
cautiously?
3. How do you recognize a distracted driver?
4. What is the difference between aggressive driving and
road rage?
5. What should you do when confronted with an aggressive
driver?
6. What are some things you can do to reduce your stress
before and while you drive?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and 2.10.
2.11 – Driving at Night
2.11.1 – It’s More Dangerous
You are at greater risk when you drive at night. Drivers can’t see
hazards as quickly as in daylight, so they have less time to respond.
Drivers caught by surprise are less able to avoid a crash.
The problems of night driving involve the driver, the roadway,
and the vehicle.
2.11.2 – Driver Factors
Vision. People can’t see as sharply at night or in dim light. Also,
their eyes need time to adjust to seeing in dim light. Most people
have noticed this when walking into a dark movie theater.
Glare. Drivers can be blinded for a short time by bright light. It takes
time to recover from this blindness. Older drivers are especially
bothered by glare. Most people have been temporarily blinded by
camera flash units or by the high beams of an oncoming vehicle. It
can take several seconds to recover from glare. Even two seconds
of glare blindness can be dangerous. A vehicle going 55 mph will
travel more than half the distance of a football field during that time.
Don’t look directly at bright lights when driving. Look at the right
side of the road. Watch the sidelines or fog lines when someone
coming toward you has very bright lights on.
Fatigue and Lack of Alertness. Fatigue (being tired) and lack of
alertness are bigger problems at night. The body’s need for sleep
is beyond a person’s control. Most people are less alert at night,
especially after midnight. This is particularly true if you have been
driving for a long time. Drivers may not see hazards as soon, or
react as quickly, so the chance of a crash is greater. If you are sleepy,
the only safe cure is to get off the road and get some sleep. If you
don’t, you risk your life and the lives of others.
2.11.3 – Roadway Factors
Poor Lighting. In the daytime there is usually enough light to see
well. This is not true at night. Some areas may have bright street
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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.
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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
2.11.5 – Night Driving Procedures
Pre-trip Procedures. Make sure you are rested and alert. If you are
drowsy, sleep before you drive! Even a nap can save your life or
the lives of others. If you wear eyeglasses, make sure they are clean
and unscratched. Don’t wear sunglasses at night. Do a complete
pre-trip inspection of your vehicle. Pay attention to checking all
lights and reflectors, and cleaning those you can reach.
Avoid Blinding Others. Glare from your headlights can cause
problems for drivers coming toward you. They can also bother
drivers going in the same direction you are, when your lights shine
in their rearview mirrors. Dim your lights before they cause glare
for other drivers. That means you should dim your lights within
500 feet of an oncoming vehicle. Oregon law requires you to dim
your lights within 350 feet of a vehicle you are following.
Avoid Glare from Oncoming Vehicles. Do not look directly at
lights of oncoming vehicles. Look slightly to the right at a right lane
or edge marking, if available. If other drivers don’t put their low
beams on, don’t try to “get back at them” by putting your own high
beams on. This increases glare for oncoming drivers and increases
the chance of a crash.
Use High Beams When You Can. Some drivers make the mistake
of always using low beams. This seriously cuts down on their ability
to see ahead. Use high beams when it is safe and legal to do so. Use
them when you are not within 500 feet of an approaching vehicle.
Also, don’t let the inside of your cab get too bright. This makes it
harder to see outside. Keep the interior light off, and adjust your
instrument lights as low as you can to still be able to read the gauges.
If You Get Sleepy, Stop Driving at the Nearest Safe Place. People
often don’t realize how close they are to falling asleep even when
their eyelids are falling shut. If you can safely do so, look at yourself
in a mirror. If you look sleepy, or you just feel sleepy, stop driving!
You are in a very dangerous condition. The only safe cure is to sleep.
2.12 – Driving in Fog
Fog can occur at any time. Fog on highways can be extremely
dangerous. Fog is often unexpected, and visibility can deteriorate
rapidly. You should watch for foggy conditions and be ready to
reduce your speed. Do not assume that the fog will thin out after
you enter it.
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. It is preferable that you
pull off the road into a rest area or truck stop until visibility is better.
If you must drive, be sure to consider the following:
• Obey all fog-related warning signs.
• Slow down before you enter fog.
• Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for best visibility
even in daytime, and be alert for other drivers who may have
forgotten to turn on their lights.
• Turn on your 4-way flashers. This will give vehicles
approaching you from behind a quicker opportunity to notice
your vehicle.
• Watch for vehicles on the side of the roadway. Seeing taillights
or headlights in front of you may not be a true indication of
where the road is ahead of you. The vehicle may not be on the
road at all.
2-20
• Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to determine how
the road may curve ahead of you.
• Listen for traffic you cannot see.
• Avoid passing other vehicles.
• Don’t stop along the side of the road, unless absolutely necessary.
2.13 – Driving in Winter
2.13.1 – Vehicle Checks
Make sure your vehicle is ready before driving in winter weather.
You should make a regular pre-trip inspection, paying extra attention
to the following items.
Coolant Level and Antifreeze Amount. Make sure the cooling
system is full and there is enough antifreeze in the system to protect
against freezing. This can be checked with a special coolant tester.
Defrosting and Heating Equipment. Make sure the defrosters
work. They are needed for safe driving. Make sure the heater is
working, and that you know how to operate it. If you use other
heaters and expect to need them (e.g., mirror heaters, battery box
heaters, fuel tank heaters), check their operation.
Wipers and Washers. Make sure the windshield wiper blades
are in good condition. Make sure the wiper blades press against
the window hard enough to wipe the windshield clean, otherwise
they may not sweep off snow properly. Make sure the windshield
washer works and there is washing fluid in the washer reservoir.
Use windshield washer antifreeze to prevent freezing of the washer
liquid. If you can’t see well enough while driving (for example, if
your wipers fail), stop safely and fix the problem.
Tires. Make sure you have enough tread on your tires. The drive tires
must provide traction to push the rig over wet pavement and through
snow. The steering tires must have traction to steer the vehicle. Enough
tread is especially important in winter conditions. You must have at
least 4/32 inch tread depth in every major groove on front tires and
at least 2/32 inch on other tires. More would be better. Use a gauge
to determine if you have enough tread for safe driving.
Tire Chains. You may find yourself in conditions where you can’t
drive without chains, even to get to a place of safety. Carry the
right number of chains and extra cross-links. Make sure they will
fit your drive tires. Check the chains for broken hooks, worn or
broken cross-links, and bent or broken side chains. Learn how to put
the chains on before you need to do it in snow and ice. You should
familiarize yourself with Oregon chain laws and requirements.
Information is available from the Safety section on ODOT’s Web
page (www.oregon.gov/odot/mct).
Lights and Reflectors. Make sure the lights and reflectors are clean.
Lights and reflectors are especially important during bad weather.
Check from time to time during bad weather to make sure they are
clean and working properly.
Windows and Mirrors. Remove any ice, snow, etc., from the
windshield, windows, and mirrors before starting. Use a windshield
scraper, snow brush, and windshield defroster as necessary.
Hand Holds, Steps, and Deck Plates. Remove all ice and snow
from hand holds, steps, and deck plates. This will reduce the danger
of slipping.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Radiator Shutters and Winterfront. Remove ice from the radiator
shutters. Make sure the winterfront is not closed too tightly. If the
shutters freeze shut or the winterfront is closed too much, the engine
may overheat and stop.
Exhaust System. Exhaust system leaks are especially dangerous
when cab ventilation may be poor (windows rolled up, etc.). Loose
connections could permit poisonous carbon monoxide to leak into
your vehicle. Carbon monoxide gas will cause you to be sleepy.
In large enough amounts it can kill you. Check the exhaust system
for loose parts and for sounds and signs of leaks.
2.13.2 – Driving
Slippery Surfaces. Drive slowly and smoothly on slippery roads.
If it is very slippery, you shouldn’t drive at all. Stop at the first
safe place.
Start Gently and Slowly. When first starting, get the feel of the
road. Don’t hurry.
Check for Ice. Check for ice on the road, especially bridges and
overpasses. A lack of spray from other vehicles indicates ice has
formed on the road. Also, check your mirrors and wiper blades
for ice. If they have ice, the road most likely will be icy as well.
Adjust Turning and Braking to Conditions. Make turns as gently
as possible. Don’t brake any harder than necessary, and don’t use
the engine brake or speed retarder. (They can cause the driving
wheels to skid on slippery surfaces.)
Adjust Speed to Conditions. Don’t pass slower vehicles unless
necessary. Go slowly and watch far enough ahead to keep a steady
speed. Avoid having to slow down and speed up. Take curves at
slower speeds and don’t brake while in curves. Be aware that as
the temperature rises to the point where ice begins to melt, the road
becomes even more slippery. Slow down more.
Adjust Space to Conditions. Don’t drive alongside other vehicles.
Keep a longer following distance. When you see a traffic jam ahead,
slow down or stop to wait for it to clear. Try hard to anticipate stops
early and slow down gradually. Watch for snowplows, as well as
salt and sand trucks, and give them plenty of room.
Wet Brakes. When driving in heavy rain or deep standing water,
your brakes will get wet. Water in the brakes can cause the brakes
to be weak, to apply unevenly, or to grab. This can cause lack of
braking power, wheel lockups, pulling to one side or the other, and
jackknife if you pull a trailer.
Avoid driving through deep puddles or flowing water if possible.
If you can’t, 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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
accelerator at the same time, or you can overheat brake drums
and linings.)
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
2.14.1 – Vehicle Checks
Do a normal pre-trip inspection, but pay special attention to the
following items.
Tires. Check the tire mounting and air pressure. Inspect the tires
every two hours or every 100 miles when driving in very hot weather.
Air pressure increases with temperature. Do not let air out or the
pressure will be too low when the tires cool off. If a tire is too hot
to touch, remain stopped until the tire cools off. Otherwise the tire
may blow out or catch fire.
Engine Oil. The engine oil helps keep the engine cool, as well as
lubricating it. Make sure there is enough engine oil. If you have
an oil temperature gauge, make sure the temperature is within the
proper range while you are driving.
Engine Coolant. Before starting out, make sure the engine cooling
system has enough water and antifreeze according to the engine
manufacturer’s directions. (Antifreeze helps the engine under hot
conditions as well as cold conditions.) When driving, check the
water temperature or coolant temperature gauge from time to time.
Make sure that it remains in the normal range. If the gauge goes
above the highest safe temperature, there may be something wrong
that could lead to engine failure and possibly fire. Stop driving as
soon as safely possible and try to find out what is wrong.
Some vehicles have sight glasses, see-through coolant overflow
containers, or coolant recovery containers. These permit you to
check the coolant level while the engine is hot. If the container is
not part of the pressurized system, the cap can be safely removed
and coolant added even when the engine is at operating temperature.
Never remove the radiator cap or any part of the pressurized system
until the system has cooled. Steam and boiling water can spray under
pressure and cause severe burns. If you can touch the radiator cap
with your bare hand, it is probably cool enough to open.
If coolant has to be added to a system without a recovery tank or
overflow tank, follow these steps:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Shut engine off.
Wait until engine has cooled.
Protect hands (use gloves or a thick cloth).
Turn radiator cap slowly to the first stop, which releases the
pressure seal.
Step back while pressure is released from cooling system.
When all pressure has been released, press down on the cap
and turn it further to remove it.
Visually check level of coolant and add more coolant if necessary.
Replace cap and turn all the way to the closed position.
Engine Belts. Learn how to check v-belt tightness on your vehicle
by pressing on the belts. Loose belts will not turn the water pump
and/or fan properly. This will result in overheating. Also, check
belts for cracking or other signs of wear.
Hoses. Make sure coolant hoses are in good condition. A broken
hose while driving can lead to engine failure and even fire.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
2.14.2 – Driving
Watch for Bleeding Tar. Tar in the road pavement frequently rises
to the surface in very hot weather. Spots where tar “bleeds” to the
surface are very slippery.
Go Slowly Enough to Prevent Overheating. High speeds create
more heat for tires and the engine. In desert conditions, the heat may
build up to the point where it is dangerous. The heat will increase
chances of tire failure or even fire, and engine failure.
SUBSECTIONS 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, AND 2.14
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. You should use low beams whenever you can. True
or False?
2. What should you do before you drive if you are drowsy?
3. What effects can wet brakes cause? How can you avoid
these problems?
4. You should let air out of hot tires so the pressure goes
back to normal. True or False?
5. You can safely remove the radiator cap as long as the
engine isn’t overheated. True or False?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
all of them, re-read subsections 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, and 2.14.
Figure 2.15
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean the same as the
advance warning sign. They consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR”
and a no-passing marking on two-lane roads. See Figure 2.16.
2.15 – Railroad-highway Crossings
Railroad-highway grade crossings are a special kind of intersection
where the roadway crosses train tracks. These crossings are always
dangerous. Every such crossing must be approached with the
expectation that a train is coming.
2.15.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does not have any type
of traffic control device. The decision to stop or proceed rests
entirely in your hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize
the crossing, search for any train using the tracks and decide if
there is sufficient clear space to cross safely. Passive crossings
have yellow circular advance warning signs, pavement markings
and crossbucks to assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a traffic control device
installed at the crossing to regulate traffic at the crossing. These
active devices include flashing red lights, with or without bells and
flashing red lights with bells and gates.
2.15.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-on-yellow warning
sign is placed ahead of a public railroad-highway crossing. The
advance warning sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for
the train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train is coming.
See Figure 2.15.
2-22
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 a school bus must remain behind this line while
stopped at the crossing.
Crossbuck Signs. This sign marks the grade crossing. It requires
you to yield the right-of-way to the train. If there is no white line
painted on the pavement, you must stop the bus before the crossbuck
sign. When the road crosses over more than one set of tracks, a sign
below the crossbuck indicates the number of tracks. See Figure 2.17
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 2.18
Figure 2.17
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail grade crossings,
the crossbuck sign has flashing red lights and bells. When the lights
begin to flash, stop! A train is approaching. You are required to yield
the right-of-way to the train. If there is more than one track, make
sure all tracks are clear before crossing. See Figure 2.18.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have gates with flashing
red lights and bells. Stop when the lights begin to flash and before
the gate lowers across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing. Proceed when it
is safe. See Figure 2.18.
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
Never Race a Train to a Crossing. Never attempt to race a train
to a crossing. It is extremely difficult to judge the speed of an
approaching train.
Reduce Speed. Speed must be reduced in accordance with your
ability to see approaching trains in any direction, and speed must
be held to a point which will permit you to stop short of the tracks
in case a stop is necessary.
Don’t Expect to Hear a Train. Because of noise inside your
vehicle, you cannot expect to hear the train horn until the train is
dangerously close to the crossing.
Don’t Rely on Signals. You should not rely solely upon the presence
of warning signals, gates, or flagmen to warn of the approach of
trains. Be especially alert at crossings that do not have gates or
flashing red light signals.
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 (In Oregon, refer to
ORS 811.455 through 811.475).
When stopping be sure to:
• Check for traffic behind you while stopping gradually. Use a
pullout lane, if available.
• Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
2.15.5 – Crossing the Tracks
Railroad crossings with steep approaches can cause your unit to
hang up on the tracks.
Never permit traffic conditions to trap you in a position where you
have to stop on the tracks. Be sure you can get all the way across
the tracks before you start across. It takes a typical tractor-trailer
unit at least 14 seconds to clear a single track and more than 15
seconds to clear a double track.
Do not shift gears while crossing railroad tracks.
Double Tracks Require a Double Check. Remember that a train
on one track may hide a train on the other track. Look both ways
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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2.15.6 – Special Situations
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
• Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van, possumbelly 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.
speed could damage the transmission and also lead to loss of all
engine braking effect.
With older trucks, a rule for choosing gears is to use the same gear
going down a hill that you would need to climb the hill. However,
new trucks have low friction parts and streamlined shapes for fuel
economy. They may also have more powerful engines. This means
they can go up hills in higher gears and have less friction and air
drag to hold them back going down hills. For that reason, drivers
of modern trucks may have to use lower gears going down a hill
than would be required to go up the hill. You should know what is
right for your vehicle.
2.16.3 – Brake Fading or Failure
2.16 – Mountain Driving
In mountain driving, gravity plays a major role. On any upgrade,
gravity slows you down. The steeper the grade, the longer the grade,
and/or the heavier the load--the more you will have to use lower
gears to climb hills or mountains. In coming down long, steep
downgrades, gravity causes the speed of your vehicle to increase.
You must select an appropriate safe speed, then use a low gear,
and proper braking techniques. You should plan ahead and obtain
information about any long, steep grades along your planned route
of travel. If possible, talk to other drivers who are familiar with the
grades to find out what speeds are safe.
You must go slowly enough so your brakes can hold you back
without getting too hot. If the brakes become too hot, they may start
to “fade.” This means you have to apply them harder and harder
to get the same stopping power. If you continue to use the brakes
hard, they can keep fading until you cannot slow down or stop at all.
2.16.1 – Select a “Safe” Speed
Your most important consideration is to select a speed that is not
too fast for the:
•
•
•
•
•
Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
Length of the grade.
Steepness of the grade.
Road conditions.
Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign indicating “Maximum
Safe Speed,” never exceed the speed shown. Also, look for and
heed warning signs indicating the length and steepness of the grade.
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub against the brake
drum or disks to slow the vehicle. Braking creates heat, but brakes
are designed to take a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or fail
from excessive heat caused by using them too much and not relying
on the engine braking effect.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely control a
vehicle, every brake must do its share of the work. Brakes out
of adjustment will stop doing their share before those that are in
adjustment. The other brakes can then overheat and fade, and there
will not be enough braking available to control the vehicle. Brakes
can get out of adjustment quickly, especially when they are used a
lot; also, brake linings wear faster when they are hot. Therefore,
brake adjustment must be checked frequently.
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember, the use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade is only
a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is
in the proper low gear, the following is the proper braking technique:
• Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite slowdown.
• When your speed has been reduced to approximately five
mph below your “safe” speed, release the brakes. (This brake
application should last for about three seconds.)
• When your speed has increased to your “safe” speed, repeat
steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your “safe” speed is 40 mph, you would not apply
the brakes until your speed reaches 40 mph. You now apply the
brakes hard enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph and
then release the brakes. Repeat this as often as necessary until you
have reached the end of the downgrade.
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.
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.
2.16.2 – Select the Right Gear Before Starting Down the Grade
Know escape ramp locations on your route. Signs show drivers where
ramp are located. Escape ramps save lives, equipment and cargo.
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
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Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
SUBSECTIONS 2.15 AND 2.16
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What factors determine your selection of a “safe” speed
when going down a long, steep downgrade?
2. Why should you be in the proper gear before starting
down a hill?
3. Describe the proper braking technique when going
down a long, steep downgrade.
4. What type of vehicles can get stuck on a railroadhighway crossing?
5. How long does it take for a typical tractor-trailer unit
to clear a double track?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.15 and 2.16.
2.17 – Driving Emergencies
Traffic emergencies occur when two vehicles are about to collide.
Vehicle emergencies occur when tires, brakes, or other critical parts
fail. Following the safety practices in this manual can help prevent
emergencies. But if an emergency does happen, your chances of
avoiding a crash depend upon how well you take action. Actions
you can take are discussed below.
2.17.1 – Steering to Avoid a Crash
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in an emergency. When
you don’t have enough room to stop, you may have to steer away
from what’s ahead. Remember, you can almost always turn to miss
an obstacle more quickly than you can stop. (However, top-heavy
vehicles and tractors with multiple trailers may flip over.)
• If you have been using your mirrors, you’ll know which lane
is empty and can be safely used.
• If the shoulder is clear, going right may be best. No one is likely
to be driving on the shoulder but someone may be passing you
on the left. You will know if you have been using your mirrors.
• If you are blocked on both sides, a move to the right may be
best. At least you won’t force anyone into an opposing traffic
lane and a possible head-on collision.
Leaving the Road. In some emergencies, you may have to drive
off the road. It may be less risky than facing a collision with
another vehicle.
Most shoulders are strong enough to support the weight of a large
vehicle and, therefore, offer an available escape route. Here are
some guidelines, if you do leave the road.
• Avoid Braking. If possible, avoid using the brakes until your
speed has dropped to about 20 mph. Then brake very gently
to avoid skidding on a loose surface.
• Keep One Set of Wheels on the Pavement, if Possible. This
helps to maintain control.
• Stay on the Shoulder. If the shoulder is clear, stay on it until
your vehicle has come to a stop. Signal and check your mirrors
before pulling back onto the road.
Returning to the Road. If you are forced to return to the road
before you can stop, use the following procedure:
• Hold the wheel tightly and turn sharply enough to get right
back on the road safely. Don’t try to edge gradually back on
the road. If you do, your tires might grab unexpectedly and
you could lose control.
• When both front tires are on the paved surface, countersteer
immediately. The two turns should be made as a single “steercountersteer” move.
2.17.2 – How to Stop Quickly and Safely
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.
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.
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:
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.
• Do not apply the brake while you are turning. It’s very easy
to lock your wheels while turning. If that happens, you may
skid out of control.
• Do not turn any more than needed to clear whatever is in your
way. The more sharply you turn, the greater the chances of a
skid or rollover.
• Be prepared to “countersteer,” that is, to turn the wheel back in
the other direction, once you’ve passed whatever was in your
path. Unless you are prepared to countersteer, you won’t be
able to do it quickly enough. You should think of emergency
steering and countersteering as two parts of one driving action.
Where to Steer. If an oncoming driver has drifted into your lane, a
move to your right is best. If that driver realizes what has happened,
the natural response will be to return to his or her own lane.
If something is blocking your path, the best direction to steer will
depend on the situation.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply the brakes as
hard as you can without locking the wheels. Keep steering wheel
movements very small while doing this. If you need to make a
larger steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release the brakes.
Re-apply the brakes as soon as you can.
Stab Braking
• Apply your brakes all the way.
• Release brakes when wheels lock up.
• As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the brakes fully again.
(It can take up to one second for the wheels to start rolling
after you release the brakes. If you re-apply the brakes before
the wheels start rolling, the vehicle won’t straighten out.)
Don’t Jam on the Brakes. Emergency braking does not mean
pushing down on the brake pedal as hard as you can. That will
only keep the wheels locked up and cause a skid. If the wheels are
skidding, you cannot control the vehicle.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
2.17.3 – Brake Failure
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most hydraulic brake
failures occur for one of two reasons: (Air brakes are discussed
in Section 5.)
• Loss of hydraulic pressure.
• Brake fade on long hills.
Loss of Hydraulic Pressure. When the system won’t build up
pressure, the brake pedal will feel spongy or go to the floor. Here
are some things you can do.
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear will help to slow
the vehicle.
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.
• 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.
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.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping distance, but it
does help you keep the vehicle under control during hard braking.
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.
Brake pressure is adjusted to provide the maximum braking without
danger of lockup.
If no escape ramp is available, take the least hazardous escape
route you can--such as an open field or a side road that flattens out
or turns uphill. Make the move as soon as you know your brakes
don’t work. The longer you wait, the faster the vehicle will go, and
the harder it will be to stop.
2.17.4 – Tire Failure
Recognize Tire Failure. Quickly knowing you have a tire failure
will let you have more time to react. Having just a few extra seconds
to remember what it is you’re supposed to do can help you. The
major signs of tire failure are:
• Sound. The loud “bang” of a blowout is an easily recognized
sign. Because it can take a few seconds for your vehicle to
react, you might think it was some other vehicle. But any time
you hear a tire blow, you’d be safest to assume it is yours.
2-26
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.
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.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
2.18.3 – How to Know If Your Vehicle Is Equipped with ABS
2.18.7 – Braking If ABS Is Not Working
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS malfunction
lamps on the instrument panel.
Without ABS you still have normal brake functions. Drive and
brake as you always have.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on the left side,
either on the front or rear corner.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps to tell you if
something isn’t working.
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.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the malfunction lamp comes
on at start-up for a bulb check, and then goes out quickly. On older
systems, the lamp could stay on until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on once you are
under way, you may have lost ABS control.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it was required by
the Department of Transportation, it may be difficult to tell if the
unit is equipped with ABS. Look under the vehicle for the ECU
and wheel speed sensor wires coming from the back of the brakes.
2.18.4 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a vehicle without
ABS, your wheels may lock up. When your steering wheels lock
up, you lose steering control. When your other wheels lock up, you
may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain control. You
may or may not be able to stop faster with ABS, but you should
be able to steer around an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids
caused by over braking.
2.18.5 – ABS on the Tractor Only or Only on the Trailer
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or even on only one
axle, still gives you more control over the vehicle during braking.
Brake normally.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes on once you are
under way, you may have lost ABS control on one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have regular brakes.
Drive normally, but get the system serviced soon.
2.18.8 – Safety Reminders
• ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more closely, or
drive less carefully.
• ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–ABS should
prevent brake-induced skids or jackknifes, but not those caused
by spinning the drive wheels or going too fast in a turn.
• ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance. ABS will
help maintain vehicle control, but not always shorten
stopping distance.
• ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping power–ABS is
an “add-on” to your normal brakes, not a replacement for them.
• ABS won’t change the way you normally brake. Under normal
brake conditions, your vehicle will stop as it always stopped.
ABS only comes into play when a wheel would normally have
locked up because of over braking.
• ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor brake maintenance.
• Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still a safe driver.
• Remember: Drive so you never need to use your ABS.
• Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to prevent a
serious crash.
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.
2.19 – Skid Control and Recovery
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.
Over-braking. Braking too hard and locking up the wheels. Skids
also can occur when using the speed retarder when the road is slippery.
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip on the road. This
is caused in one of four ways:
2.18.6 – Braking with ABS
Over-steering. Turning the wheels more sharply than the vehicle
can turn.
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should brake as you
always have. In other words:
Over-acceleration. Supplying too much power to the drive wheels,
causing them to spin.
• Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay
in control.
• Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have ABS on
the bus, tractor, the trailer, or both.
• As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer and back
off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
Driving Too Fast. Most serious skids result from driving too fast
for road conditions. Drivers who adjust their driving to conditions
don’t over-accelerate and don’t have to over-brake or over-steer
from too much speed.
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.
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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.19.1 – Drive-wheel Skids
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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 drivewheel skid can let the trailer push the towing vehicle sideways,
causing a sudden jackknife. See Figure 2.19.
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
Driving too fast for conditions causes most front-wheel skids. Other
causes include lack of tread on the front tires and cargo loaded so
not enough weight is on the front axle. In a front-wheel skid, the
front end tends to go in a straight line regardless of how much you
turn the steering wheel. On a very slippery surface, you may not
be able to steer around a curve or turn.
When a front-wheel skid occurs, the only way to stop the skid is
to let the vehicle slow down. Stop turning and/or braking so hard.
Slow down as quickly as possible without skidding.
SUBSECTIONS 2.17, 2.18, AND 2.19
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in an
emergency. True or False?
2. What are some advantages of going right instead of
left around an obstacle?
3. What is an “escape ramp?”
4. If a tire blows out, you should put the brakes on hard
to stop quickly. True or False?
5. How do you know if your vehicle has antilock brakes?
6. What is the proper braking technique when driving a
vehicle with antilock brakes?
7. How do antilock brakes help you?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.17, 2.18, and 2.19.
2.20 – Crash Procedures
When you’re in a crash and not seriously hurt, you need to act to
prevent further damage or injury. The basic steps to be taken at
any crash are to:
• Protect the area.
• Notify authorities.
• Care for the injured.
Figure 2.19
2.19.2 – Correcting a Drive-wheel Braking Skid
Do the following to correct a drive-wheel braking skid.
Stop Braking. This will let the rear wheels roll and keep them
from sliding any more.
Turn the Wheel Quickly. Turn the wheel in the direction of the skid.
Countersteer. As a vehicle turns back on course, it has a tendency
to keep on turning. Unless you turn the steering wheel quickly the
other way, you may find yourself skidding in the opposite direction.
Learning to stay off the brake, turn the steering wheel quickly, push
in the clutch, and countersteer in a skid takes a lot of practice. The
best place to get this practice is on a large driving range or “skid pad.”
2-28
2.20.1 – Protect the Area
The first thing to do at a crash scene is to keep another crash from
happening in the same spot. To protect the crash area:
• If your vehicle is involved in the crash, try to get it to the side
of the road. This will help prevent another crash and allow
traffic to move.
• If you’re stopping to help, park away from the crash. 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 crash scene.
2.20.2 – Notify Authorities
If you have a cell phone or CB, call for assistance before you get
out of your vehicle. If not, wait until after the crash scene has been
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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 crash and helping the injured, stay out
of the way unless asked to assist. Otherwise, do the best you can
to help any injured parties. Here are some simple steps to follow
in giving assistance:
• Don’t move a severely injured person unless the danger of fire
or passing traffic makes it necessary.
• Stop heavy bleeding by applying direct pressure to the wound.
• Keep the injured person warm.
2.21 – Fires
Truck fires can cause damage and injury. Learn the causes of fires
and how to prevent them. Know what to do to extinguish fires.
2.21.1 – Causes of Fire
The following are some causes of vehicle fires:
• After Accidents. Spilled fuel, improper use of flares.
• 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:
Keep the Fire from Spreading. Before trying to put out the fire,
make sure that it doesn’t spread any further.
• With an engine fire, turn off the engine as soon as you can.
Don’t open the hood if you can avoid it. Shoot foam through
louvers, radiator, or from the vehicle’s underside.
• For a cargo fire in a van or box trailer, keep the doors shut,
especially if your cargo contains hazardous materials. Opening
the van doors will supply the fire with oxygen and can cause
it to burn very fast.
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.
• 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.
Pull Off the Road. The first step is to get the vehicle off the road
and stop. In doing so:
• Park in an open area, away from buildings, trees, brush, other
vehicles, or anything that might catch fire.
• Don’t pull into a service station!
• Notify emergency services of your problem and your location.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Figure 2.20
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 2.21
SUBSECTIONS 2.20 AND 2.21
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What are some things to do at an accident scene to
prevent another accident?
2. Name two causes of tire fires.
3. What kinds of fires is a B:C extinguisher not good for?
4. When using your extinguisher, should you get as close
as possible to the fire?
5. Name some causes of vehicle fires.
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.20 and 2.21.
Figure 2.22
All of the following drinks contain the same amount of alcohol:
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.
• A 12-ounce glass of 5% beer.
• A 5-ounce glass of 12% wine.
• A 1 1/2-ounce shot of 80 proof liquor.
What Determines Blood Alcohol Concentration? BAC is
determined by the amount of alcohol you drink (more alcohol
means higher BAC), how fast you drink (faster drinking means
higher BAC), and your weight (a small person doesn’t have to
drink as much to reach the same BAC).
Alcohol and the Brain. Alcohol affects more and more of the brain as
BAC builds up. The first part of the brain affected controls judgment
and self-control. One of the bad things about this is it can keep
drinkers from knowing they are getting drunk. And, of course, good
judgment and self-control are absolutely necessary for safe driving.
As BAC continues to build up, muscle control, vision, and coordination
are affected more and more. Effects on driving may include:
•
•
•
•
•
Straddling lanes.
Quick, jerky starts.
Not signaling, failure to use lights.
Running stop signs and red lights.
Improper passing.
See Figure 2.23.
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Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
These effects mean increased chances of a crash and chances of
losing your driver 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.
2.22.2 – Other Drugs
Besides alcohol, other legal and illegal drugs are being used more
often. Laws prohibit possession or use of many drugs while on
duty. They prohibit being under the influence of any “controlled
substance,” amphetamines (including “pep pills,” “uppers,” and
“bennies”), narcotics, or any other substance, which can make the
driver unsafe. This could include a variety of prescription and overthe-counter drugs (cold medicines), which may make the driver
drowsy or otherwise affect safe driving ability. However, possession
and use of a drug given to a driver by a doctor is permitted if the
doctor informs the driver that it will not affect safe driving ability.
Pay attention to warning labels for legitimate drugs and medicines,
and to doctor’s orders regarding possible effects. Stay away from
illegal drugs.
Don’t use any drug that hides fatigue--the only cure for fatigue is
rest. Alcohol can make the effects of other drugs much worse. The
safest rule is don’t mix drugs with driving at all.
Use of drugs can lead to traffic accidents resulting in death, injury,
and property damage. Furthermore, it can lead to arrest, fines, and
jail sentences. It can also mean the end of a person’s driving career.
2.23 – Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
Driving a vehicle for long hours is tiring. Even the best of drivers
will become less alert. However, there are things that good drivers
do to help stay alert and safe.
2.23.1 – Be Ready to Drive
Get Enough Sleep. Sleep is not like money. You can’t save it up
ahead of time and you can’t borrow it. But, just as with money,
you can go into debt with it. If you don’t sleep enough, you “owe”
more sleep to yourself. This debt can only be paid off by sleeping.
You can’t overcome it with willpower, and it won’t go away by
itself. The average person needs seven or eight hours of sleep
every 24 hours. 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.
Figure 2.23
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Schedule Trips Safely. Try to arrange your schedule so you are
not in “sleep debt” before a long trip. Your body gets used to
sleeping during certain hours. If you are driving during those
hours, you will be less alert. If possible, try to schedule trips for
the hours you are normally awake. Many heavy motor vehicle
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accidents occur between midnight and 6 a.m. Tired drivers can
easily fall asleep at these times, especially if they don’t regularly
drive at those hours. Trying to push on and finish a long trip at
these times can be very dangerous.
Exercise Regularly. Resistance to fatigue and improved sleep are
among the benefits of regular exercise. Try to incorporate exercise
into your daily life. Instead of sitting and watching TV in your
sleeper, walk or jog a few laps around the parking lot. A little bit
of daily exercise will give you energy throughout the day.
Eat Healthy. It is often hard for drivers to find healthy food. But
with a little extra effort, you can eat healthy, even on the road. Try
to find restaurants with healthy, balanced meals. If you must eat at
fast-food restaurants, pick low-fat items. Another simple way to
reduce your caloric intake is to eliminate fattening snacks. Instead,
try fruit or vegetables.
Avoid Medication. Many medicines can make you sleepy. Those that
do, have a label warning against operating vehicles or machinery.
The most common medicine of this type is an ordinary cold pill.
If you have to drive with a cold, you are better off suffering from
the cold than from the effects of the medicine.
Visit Your Doctor. Regular checkups literally can be lifesavers.
Illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and skin and colon cancer
can be detected easily and treated if found in time.
• You 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 will do more to overcome fatigue than a
half-hour coffee stop.
Avoid Drugs. There are no drugs that can overcome being tired.
While they may keep you awake for a while, they won’t make you
alert. And eventually, you’ll be even more tired than if you hadn’t
taken them at all. Sleep is the only thing that can overcome fatigue.
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.
Do Not. Do not rely on coffee or another source of caffeine to keep
you awake. Do not count on the radio, an open window, or other
tricks to keep you awake.
2.23.2 – While You Are Driving
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.
Keep Cool. A hot, poorly ventilated vehicle can make you sleepy.
Keep the window or vent cracked open or use the air conditioner,
if you have one.
Take Breaks. Short breaks can keep you alert. But the time to take
them is before you feel really drowsy or tired. Stop often. Walk
around and inspect your vehicle. It may help to do some physical
exercises.
Be sure to take a mid-afternoon break and plan to sleep between
midnight and 6 a.m.
Recognize the Danger Signals of Drowsy Driving. Sleep is not
voluntary. If you’re drowsy, you can fall asleep and never even know
it. If you are drowsy, you are likely to have “micro sleeps”–brief
naps that last around four or five seconds. At 55 miles an hour,
that’s more than 100 yards, and plenty of time for a crash. Even if
you are not aware of being drowsy, if you have a sleep debt you
are still at risk. Here are a few ways to tell if you’re about to fall
asleep. If you experience any of these danger signs, take them as a
warning that you could fall asleep without meaning to.
•
•
•
•
•
•
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.
You drift between lanes, tailgate, or miss traffic signs.
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2.23.4 – Illness
2.24 – Hazardous Materials Rules For All
Commercial Drivers
All drivers should know something about hazardous materials. You
must be able to recognize hazardous cargo, and you must know
whether or not you can haul it without having a hazardous materials
endorsement on your CDL license.
2.24.1 – What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk to health, safety,
and property during transportation. See Figure 2.24.
2.24.2 – Why Are There Rules?
You must follow the many rules about transporting hazardous
materials. The intent of the rules is to:
• Contain the product.
• Communicate the risk.
• Ensure safe drivers and equipment.
To Contain the Product. Many hazardous products can injure or
kill on contact. To protect drivers and others from contact, the rules
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
placards. They are put on the front, rear, and both sides. Placards
must be readable from all four directions. They must be at least 10
3/4 inches square, turned upright on a point, in a diamond shape.
Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging display the identification
number of their contents on placards or orange panels.
Identification Numbers are a four digit code used by first responders
to identify hazardous materials. An identification number may be
used to identify more than one chemical on shipping papers. The
identification number will be preceded by the letters “NA” or “UN”.
The US DOT Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) lists the
chemicals and the identification numbers assigned to them.
Not all vehicles carrying hazardous materials need to have placards.
The rules about placards are given in Section 9 of this manual. You
can drive a vehicle that carries hazardous materials if it does not
require placards. If it requires placards, you cannot drive it unless
your driver license has the hazardous materials endorsement. See
Figure 2.25.
Figure 2.24
tell shippers how to package safely. Similar rules tell drivers how to
load, transport, and unload bulk tanks. These are containment rules.
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a shipping paper and
diamond shaped hazard labels to warn dockworkers and drivers
of the risk.
After an accident or hazardous material spill or leak, you may be
injured and unable to communicate the hazards of the materials
you are transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce
the amount of damage or injury at the scene if they know what
hazardous materials are being transported. Your life, and the lives
of others, may depend on quickly locating the hazardous materials
shipping papers. For that reason, you must identify shipping papers
related to hazardous materials or keep them on top of other shipping
papers. You must also keep shipping papers:
• In a pouch on the driver’s door, or
• In clear view within reach while driving, or
• On the driver’s seat when out of the vehicle.
Figure 2.25
2.24.3 – 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
Section 2 – Driving Safely
The rules require all drivers of placarded vehicles to learn how to
safely load and transport hazardous products. They must have a
commercial driver license with the hazardous materials endorsement.
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To get the required endorsement, you must pass a written test on
material found in Section 9 of this manual. A tank endorsement
may also be required when the vehicle transports hazardous liquids
or gases. See Section 8 of this manual.
Drivers who need the hazardous materials endorsement must learn
the placard rules. If you do not know if your vehicle needs placards,
ask your employer. Never drive a vehicle needing placards unless
you have the hazardous materials endorsement. To do so is a crime.
When stopped, you will be cited and you will not be allowed to
drive your truck further. It will cost you time and money. A failure
to placard when needed may risk your life and others if you have an
accident. Emergency help will not know of your hazardous cargo.
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.
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SUBSECTIONS 2.22, 2.23, AND 2.24
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Common medicines for colds can make you sleepy.
True or False?
2. What should you do if you become sleepy while driving?
3. Coffee and a little fresh air will help a drinker sober
up. True or False?
4. What is a hazardous materials placard?
5. Why are placards used?
6. What is “sleep debt”?
7. What are the danger signals of drowsy driving?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 2.22, 2.23, and 2.24.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Section 3
Transporting Cargo Safely
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Inspecting Cargo
Cargo Weight and Balance
Securing Cargo
Cargo Needing Special Attention
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
This section tells you about hauling cargo safely. You must
understand basic cargo safety rules to get a CDL.
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The total weight of a single vehicle
plus its load.
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.
Gross Combination Weight (GCW). The total weight of a powered
unit, plus trailer(s), plus the cargo.
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.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The maximum GVW
specified by the manufacturer for a single vehicle plus its load.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). The maximum
GCW specified by the manufacturer for a specific combination of
vehicles plus its load.
Axle Weight. The weight transmitted to the ground by one axle
or one set of axles.
Tire Load. The maximum safe weight a tire can carry at a specified
pressure. This rating is stated on the side of each tire.
Suspension Systems. Suspension systems have a manufacturer’s
weight capacity rating.
Coupling Device Capacity. Coupling devices are rated for the
maximum weight they can pull and/or carry.
3.2.2 – Legal Weight Limits
3.1 – Inspecting Cargo
As part of your pre-trip inspection, make sure the truck is not
overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured properly.
After Starting. Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again
within the first 50 miles after beginning a trip. Make any adjustments
needed.
Re-check. Re-check the cargo and securing devices as often as
necessary during a trip to keep the load secure. A good habit is to
inspect again:
• 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.
You must keep weights within legal limits. States have maximums
for GVWs, GCWs, and axle weights. Often, maximum axle weights
are set by a bridge formula. A bridge formula permits less maximum
axle weight for axles that are closer together. This is to prevent
overloading bridges and roadways.
Overloading can have bad effects on steering, braking, and speed
control. Overloaded trucks have to go very slowly on upgrades.
Worse, they may gain too much speed on downgrades. Stopping
distance increases. Brakes can fail when forced to work too hard.
During bad weather or in mountains, it may not be safe to operate
at legal maximum weights. Take this into account before driving.
3.2.3 – Don’t Be Top-heavy
The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very important for
safe handling. A high center of gravity (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.
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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.
proper strength. The working load limit of all cargo tiedowns must
be at least one-half times the weight of the cargo tied down. Proper
tiedown equipment must be used, including ropes, straps, chains,
and tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching components).
Tiedowns must be attached to the vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts,
rails, rings). See figure 3.2.
Cargo should have at least one tiedown for each ten feet of cargo.
Make sure you have enough tiedowns to meet this need. No matter
3.3 – Securing Cargo
3.3.1 – Blocking and Bracing
Blocking is used in the front, back, and/or sides of a piece of cargo
to keep it from sliding. Blocking is shaped to fit snugly against
cargo. It is secured to the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.
Bracing is also used to prevent movement of cargo. Bracing goes
from the upper part of the cargo to the floor and/or walls of the
cargo compartment.
Figure 3.2
how small the cargo, it should have at least two tiedowns.
There are special requirements for securing:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Logs.
Dressed lumber and building products.
Metal coils.
Paper rolls.
Concrete pipe.
Intermodal containers.
Automobiles, light trucks and vans.
Heavy vehicles and machinery.
Crushed vehicles.
Roll-on/Roll-off or hook lift containers.
Large boulders.
Find out what the requirements are before you carry such loads.
3.3.3 – Headerboards
Front-end headerboards (“headache racks”) protect you from
your cargo in case of a crash or emergency stop. If your vehicle is
equipped with a front-end structure, be sure it 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:
Figure 3.1
3.3.2 – Cargo Tiedown
On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo must be secured
to keep it from shifting or falling off. In closed vans, tiedowns
can also be important to prevent cargo shifting that may affect the
handling of the vehicle. Tiedowns must be of the proper type and
3-2
• 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.
Section 3 – Transporting Cargo Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
3.3.5 – Sealed and Containerized Loads
3.4.4 – Oversized 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.
Over-length, over-width, and/or overweight loads require special
transit permits. Driving is usually limited to certain times. Special
equipment may be necessary such as “wide load” signs, flashing
lights, flags, etc. Such loads may require a police escort or pilot
vehicles bearing warning signs and/or flashing lights. These special
loads require special driving care.
You cannot inspect sealed loads, but you should check that you
don’t exceed gross weight and axle weight limits.
3.4 – Cargo Needing Special Attention
3.4.1 – Dry Bulk
Dry bulk tanks require special care because they have a high center
of gravity, and the load can shift. Be extremely cautious (slow and
careful) going around curves and making sharp turns.
3.4.2 – Hanging Meat
Hanging meat (suspended beef, pork, lamb) in a refrigerated truck
can be a very unstable load with a high center of gravity. Particular
caution is needed on sharp curves such as off ramps and on ramps.
Go slowly.
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 in curves. This shifts the center of gravity
and makes rollover more likely.
Section 3 – Transporting Cargo Safely
SECTION 3
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What four things related to cargo are drivers responsible
for?
2. How often must you stop while on the road to check
your cargo?
3. How is Gross Combination Weight Rating different
from Gross Combination Weight?
4. Name two situations where legal maximum weights
may not be safe.
5. What can happen if you don’t have enough weight on
the front axle?
6. What is the minimum number of tiedowns for any flat
bed load?
7. What is the minimum number of tiedowns for a 20-foot
load?
8. Name the two basic reasons for covering cargo on an
open bed.
9. What must you check before transporting a sealed load?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read Section 3.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
3-4
Section 3 – Transporting Cargo Safely
Section 4
Transporting Passengers Safely
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
Vehicle Inspection
Loading
On the Road
After-trip Vehicle Inspection
Prohibited Practices
Use of Brake-door Interlocks
Bus drivers must have a commercial driver license if they drive a
vehicle designed to seat 16 or more persons, including the driver.
Bus drivers must have a passenger endorsement on their commercial
driver license. To get the endorsement you must pass a knowledge
test on Sections 2 and 4 of this manual. (If your bus has air brakes,
you must also pass a knowledge test on Section 5.) You must also
pass the skills tests required for the class of vehicle you drive. (In
Oregon, a restriction will be added to your CDL to limit operation
of passenger vehicles to those at or below the class of passenger
vehicle in which you tested.) School bus drivers must also have a
school bus endorsement. See Section 10 for requirements.
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
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/Emergency Equipment
You may lock some emergency roof hatches in a partly open position
for fresh air. Do not leave them open as a regular practice. Keep
in mind the bus’s higher clearance while driving with them open.
Make sure your bus has the fire extinguisher and emergency
reflectors required by law. The bus must also have spare electrical
fuses, unless equipped with circuit breakers.
4.1.5 – Use Your Seatbelt!
The driver’s seat should have a seat belt. Always use it for safety.
Make sure these things are in good working order before driving:
• Service brakes, including air hose couplings (if your bus has
a trailer or semitrailer).
• Parking brake.
• Steering mechanism.
• Lights and reflectors.
• Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or regrooved tires).
• Horn.
• 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.
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start
Do not allow riders to leave carry-on baggage in a doorway or
aisle. There should be nothing in the aisle that might trip other
riders. Secure baggage and freight in ways that avoid damage and:
• Allow the driver to move freely and easily.
• Allow riders to exit by any window or door in an emergency.
• Protect riders from injury if carry-ons fall or shift.
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,
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
Before coming to a complete stop, 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.
Charter bus drivers should not allow riders on the bus until departure
time. This will help prevent theft or vandalism of the bus.
4.3 – On the Road
4.3.1 – Passenger Supervision
Many charter and intercity carriers have passenger comfort and
safety rules. Mention rules about smoking, drinking, or use of radio
and tape players at the start of the trip. Explaining the rules at the
start will help to avoid trouble later on.
While driving, scan the interior of your bus as well as the road
ahead, to the sides, and to the rear. You may have to remind riders
about rules, or to keep arms and heads inside the bus.
Figure 4.1
and hazard label. There are nine different four-inch, diamond-shaped
hazard labels. See Figure 4.1. Watch for the diamond-shaped labels.
Do not transport any hazardous material unless you are sure the
rules allow it.
4.2.2 – Forbidden Hazardous Materials
Buses may carry small-arms ammunition labeled ORM-D,
emergency hospital supplies, and drugs. You can carry small amounts
of some other hazardous materials if the shipper cannot send them
any other way. Buses must never carry:
• Division 2.3 poison gas, liquid Class 6 poison, tear gas,
irritating material.
• More than 100 pounds of solid Class 6 poisons.
• Explosives in the space occupied by people, except small arms
ammunition.
• Labeled radioactive materials in the space occupied by people.
• More than 500 pounds total of allowed hazardous materials,
and no more than 100 pounds of any one class.
Riders sometimes board a bus with an unlabeled hazardous
material. Do not allow riders to carry on common hazards such as
car batteries or gasoline.
4-2
4.3.2 – At Stops
Riders can stumble when getting on or off, and when the bus starts or
stops. Caution riders to watch their step when leaving the bus. Wait
for them to sit down or brace themselves before starting. Starting
and stopping should be as smooth as possible to avoid rider injury.
Occasionally, you may have a drunk or disruptive rider. You must
ensure this rider’s safety as well as that of others. Don’t discharge
such riders where it would be unsafe for them. It may be safer at
the next scheduled stop or a well-lighted area where there are other
people. Many carriers have guidelines for handling disruptive riders.
4.3.3 – Common Accidents
Bus crashes 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.
Section 4 – Transporting Passengers Safely
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
4.3.4 – Speed on Curves
Crashes on curves that kill people and destroy buses result from
excessive speed, often when rain or snow has made the road slippery.
Every banked curve has a safe “design speed.” In good weather,
the posted speed is safe for cars but it may be too high for many
buses. With good traction, the bus may roll over; with poor traction,
it might slide off the curve. Reduce speed for curves! If your bus
leans toward the outside on a banked curve, you are driving too fast.
4.3.5 – Railroad-highway Crossings Stops
Stop at RR Crossings:
• Stop your bus at the stop line or, if a stop line is not present
or visible, between 15 and 50 feet before railroad crossings.
• Listen and look in both directions for trains. You should open
your forward door if it improves your ability to see or hear an
approaching train.
• Before crossing after a train has passed, make sure there isn’t
another train coming in the other direction on other tracks.
• If your bus has a manual transmission, never change gears
while crossing the tracks.
You do not have to stop, but must slow down and carefully check
for other vehicles:
•
•
•
•
At streetcar crossings.
Where a policeman or flagman is directing traffic.
If a traffic signal is green.
At crossings marked as “exempt” or “abandoned.”
Riders sometimes damage safety-related parts such as handholds,
seats, emergency exits, and windows. If you report this damage at
the end of a shift, mechanics can make repairs before the bus goes
out again. Mass transit drivers should also make sure passenger
signaling devices and brake-door interlocks work properly.
4.5 – Prohibited Practices
Avoid fueling your bus with riders on board unless absolutely
necessary. Never refuel in a closed building with riders on board.
Don’t talk with riders, or engage in any other distracting activity,
while driving.
Do not tow or push a disabled bus with riders aboard the vehicle,
unless getting off would be unsafe. Only tow or push the bus to the
nearest safe spot to discharge passengers. Follow your employer’s
guidelines on towing or pushing disabled buses.
4.6 – Use of Brake-door Interlocks
Urban mass transit coaches may have a brake and accelerator
interlock system. The interlock applies the service 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
4.3.6 – 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.
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Name some things to check in the interior of a
bus during a pre-trip inspection.
2. What are some hazardous materials you can
transport by bus?
3. What are some hazardous materials you can’t
transport by bus?
4. What is a standee line?
5. Does it matter where you make a disruptive
passenger get off the bus?
6. How far from a railroad crossing should you stop?
7. When must you stop before crossing a drawbridge?
8. Describe from memory the “prohibited practices”
listed in the manual.
9. The rear door of a transit bus has to be open to
put on the parking brake. True or False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Section 4 – Transporting Passengers Safely
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
4-4
Section 4 – Transporting Passengers Safely
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. You may operate
a vehicle with air brakes, without testing or studying this section, if
a CDL is not otherwise required to operate the vehicle. See Figure
1.1 in Section 1.
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.
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 the air
tanks are regularly drained. Each air tank is equipped with a drain
valve in the bottom. There are two types:
• Manually operated by turning a quarter turn or by pulling a
cable. You must drain the tanks yourself at the end of each day
of driving. See Figure 5.1.
• Automatic--the water and oil are automatically expelled. These
tanks may be equipped for manual draining as well.
Automatic air tanks are available with electric heating devices.
These help prevent freezing of the automatic drain in cold weather.
The parts of these systems are discussed in greater detail below.
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System
There are many parts to an air brake system. You should know about
the parts discussed here.
5.1.1 – Air Compressor
The air compressor pumps air into the air storage tanks (reservoirs).
The air compressor is connected to the engine through gears or a
v-belt. The compressor may be air cooled or may be cooled by the
engine cooling system. It may have its own oil supply or be lubricated
by engine oil. If the compressor has its own oil supply, check the
oil level before driving.
5.1.2 – Air Compressor Governor
The governor controls when the air compressor will pump air into
the air storage tanks. When air tank pressure rises to the “cut-out”
level (around 125 pounds per-square-inch or “psi”), the governor
stops the compressor from pumping air. When the tank pressure
falls to the “cut-in” pressure (around 100 psi), the governor allows
the compressor to start pumping again.
Figure 5.1
5.1.5 – Alcohol Evaporator
Some air brake systems have an alcohol evaporator to put alcohol
into the air system. This helps to reduce the risk of ice in air brake
valves and other parts during cold weather. Ice inside the system
can make the brakes stop working.
Check the alcohol container and fill up as necessary, every day
during cold weather. Daily air tank drainage is still needed to get
rid of water and oil. (Unless the system has automatic drain valves.)
5-1
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
5.1.6 – Safety Valve
A safety relief valve is installed in the first tank the air compressor
pumps air to. The safety valve protects the tank and the rest of the
system from too much pressure. The valve is usually set to open at
150 psi. If the safety valve releases air, something is wrong. Have
the fault fixed by a mechanic.
5.1.7 – The Brake Pedal
You put on the brakes by pushing down the brake pedal. (It is also called
the foot valve or treadle valve.) Pushing the pedal down harder applies
more air pressure. Letting up on the brake pedal reduces the air pressure
and releases the brakes. Releasing the brakes lets some compressed air
go out of the system, so the air pressure in the tanks is reduced. It must
be made up by the air compressor. Pressing and releasing the pedal
unnecessarily can let air out faster than the compressor can replace it.
If the pressure gets too low, the brakes won’t work.
5.1.8 – Foundation Brakes
Foundation brakes are used at each wheel. The most common type
is the s-cam drum brake. The parts of the brake are discussed below.
Brake Drums, Shoes, and Linings. Brake drums are located on
each end of the vehicle’s axles. The wheels are bolted to the drums.
The braking mechanism is inside the drum. To stop, the brake shoes
and linings are pushed against the inside of the drum. This causes
friction, which slows the vehicle (and creates heat). The heat a drum
can take without damage depends on how hard and how long the
brakes are used. Too much heat can make the brakes stop working.
S-cam Brakes. When you press the brake pedal, air is let into
each brake chamber. Air pressure forces the pushrod out of the
brake chamber, moving the slack adjuster, thus twisting the brake
camshaft. This turns the s-cam (so called because it is shaped like
the letter “S”). The s-cam forces the brake shoes away from one
another and presses them against the inside of the brake drum. When
you release the brake pedal, the s-cam rotates back and a spring
pulls the brake shoes away from the drum, letting the wheels roll
freely again. See Figure 5.2. Most S-cam brakes are self-adjusting
but some require manual adjustment.
Wedge Brakes. In this type of brake, the brake chamber pushrod
pushes a wedge directly between the ends of two brake shoes. This
forces them apart and against the inside of the brake drum. Wedge
brakes may have a single brake chamber, or two brake chambers,
pushing wedges in at both ends of the brake shoes. Wedge type
brakes may be self-adjusting or may require manual adjustment.
Disc Brakes. In air-operated disc brakes, air pressure acts on a
brake chamber and slack adjuster, like s-cam brakes. But instead
of the s-cam, a “power screw” is used. The pressure of the brake
chamber on the slack adjuster turns the power screw. The power
screw clamps the disc or rotor between the brake lining pads of a
caliper, similar to a large c-clamp.
Wedge brakes and disc brakes are less common than s-cam brakes.
5.1.9 – Supply Pressure Gauges
All vehicles with air brakes have a pressure gauge connected to
the air tank. If the vehicle has a dual air brake system, there will
be a gauge for each half of the system. (Or a single gauge with two
needles.) Dual systems will be discussed later. These gauges tell
you how much pressure is in the air tanks.
5.1.10 – Application Pressure Gauge
This gauge shows how much air pressure you are applying to the
brakes. (This gauge is not on all vehicles.) Increasing application
pressure to hold the same speed means the brakes are fading. You
should slow down and use a lower gear. The need for increased
pressure can also be caused by brakes out of adjustment, air leaks,
or mechanical problems.
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 the
brakes are applied.
5.1.13 – Front Brake Limiting Valve
Figure 5.2
5-2
Some older vehicles (made before 1975) have a front brake limiting
valve and a control in the cab. The control is usually marked “normal”
Section 5 – Air Brakes
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
and “slippery.” When you put the control in the “slippery” position,
the limiting valve cuts the “normal” air pressure to the front brakes
by half. Limiting valves were used to reduce the chance of the
front wheels skidding on slippery surfaces. However, they actually
reduce the stopping power of the vehicle. Front wheel braking is
good under all conditions. Tests have shown front wheel skids from
braking are not likely even on ice. Make sure the control is in the
“normal” position to have normal stopping power.
Many vehicles have automatic front wheel limiting valves. They
reduce the air to the front brakes except when the brakes are put
on very hard (60 psi or more application pressure). These valves
cannot be controlled by the driver.
5.1.14 – Spring Brakes
All trucks, truck tractors, and buses must be equipped with emergency
brakes and parking brakes. They must be held on by mechanical force
(because air pressure can eventually leak away). Spring brakes are
usually used to meet these needs. When driving, powerful springs
are held back by air pressure. If the air pressure is removed, the
springs put on the brakes. A parking brake control in the cab allows
the driver to let the air out of the spring brakes. This lets the springs
put the brakes on. A leak in the air brake system, which causes all
the air to be lost, will also cause the springs to apply the brakes.
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.
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
service 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. Pull the
knob out to put the parking brakes (spring brakes) on, and push it
in to release them. On older vehicles, the parking brakes may be
controlled by a lever. Use the parking brakes whenever you park.
Caution. Do not apply excessive brake pedal pressure 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.
Modulating Control Valves. In some vehicles a control handle on
the dash board may be used to apply the spring brakes gradually.
This is called a modulating valve. It is spring-loaded so you have a
feel for the braking action. The more you move the control lever, the
harder the spring brakes come on. They work this way so you can
control the spring brakes if the service brakes fail. When parking
a vehicle with a modulating control valve, move the lever as far as
it will go and hold it in place with the locking device.
Dual Parking Control Valves. When main air pressure is lost,
the spring brakes come on. Some vehicles, such as buses, have a
separate air tank which can be used to release the spring brakes.
This is so you can move the vehicle in an emergency. One of the
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Figure 5.3
5-3
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
WHEEL
SPEED
SENSOR
AIR DISK
BRAKE
ANTILOCK
MODULATOR
PARK BRAKE
CONTROL
VALVE
TRAILER
HAND
VALVE
ANTILOCK
MODULATOR
RELAY
VALVE
TRACTOR
PROTECTION
VALVE
ANTILOCK
MODULATOR
AUTOMATIC
SLACK
ADJUSTER
AIR DISK
BRAKE
QUICK
RELEASE
VALVE
SPRING
BRAKE
ACTUATOR
S-CAM
BRAKE
CONTROL
COUPLING
C
S
C
CONTROL
COUPLING
S
S-CAM
BRAKE
WHEEL
SPEED
SENSOR
ANTILOCK
WARNING
LIGHT
ABS
SPRING
BRAKE
ACTUATOR
AIR DISK
BRAKE
TRAILER
SPRING
BRAKE
VALVE
WHEEL
SPEED
SENSOR
AUTOMATIC
SLACK
SPRING ADJUSTER
BRAKE
ACTUATOR
AIR DISK
BRAKE
TRAILER
ANTILOCK
MODULE
AUTOMATIC
SLACK
ADJUSTER
S-CAM
BRAKE
7-PIN
CONNECTOR
SUPPLY
SUPPLY
COUPLING COUPLING
WHEEL
SPEED
SENSOR
AIR DISK
BRAKE
SPRING
BRAKE
ACTUATOR
S-CAM
WHEEL BRAKE
SPEED
SENSOR
AUTOMATIC
SLACK
ADJUSTER
7-PIN
CONNECTOR
Courtesy of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC. All rights Reserved.
Dual Air Brake System With ABS
DOUBLE
CHECK
VALVE
DRAIN
VALVE
PRIMARY
RESERVOIR
PRESSURE
INDICATION AND
LOW AIR WARNING
SECONDARY
RESERVOIR
CHECK
VALVE
DRAIN
VALVE
PRESSURE
PROTECTION
VALVE
CHECK
VALVE
ANTILOCK
CONTROL
UNIT
DRAIN
VALVE
SUPPLY
RESERVOIR
BRAKE
VALVE
AIR
DRYER
COMPRESSOR
WITH GOVERNOR
S-CAM
BRAKE
SERVICE
BRAKE
ACTUATOR
ANTILOCK
MODULATOR
QUICK
RELEASE
VALVE
AUTOMATIC
SLACK
ADJUSTER
WHEEL
SPEED
SENSOR
Figure 5.4
Section 5 – Air Brakes
5-4
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
The warning light (and buzzer, if equipped) 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.
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.
SUBSECTION 5.1
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Why must air tanks be drained?
2. What is a supply pressure gauge used for?
3. All vehicles with air brakes must have a low air pressure
warning signal. True or False?
4. What are spring brakes?
5. Front wheel brakes are good under all conditions. True
or False?
6. How do you know if your vehicle is equipped with
antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsection 5.1.
5.2 – Dual Air Brake
Most heavy-duty vehicles use dual air brake systems for safety. A
dual air brake system has two separate air brake systems which use
a single set of brake controls. Each system has its own air tanks,
hoses, lines, etc. One system typically operates the regular brakes
on the rear axle or axles. The other system operates the regular
brakes on the front axle (and possibly one rear axle). Both systems
supply air to the trailer (if there is one). The first system is called
the “primary” system. The other is called the “secondary” system.
See Figure 5.4.
Before driving a vehicle with a dual air system, allow time for the air
compressor to build up a minimum of 100 psi pressure in both the
primary and secondary systems. Watch the primary and secondary
air pressure gauges (or needles, if the system has two needles in
one gauge). Pay attention to the low air pressure warning light
and buzzer. The warning light and buzzer should shut off when air
pressure in both systems rises to a value set by the manufacturer.
This value must be greater than 60 psi.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
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 pushrod attaches
to it, it probably needs adjustment. 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 and a leading
cause for vehicles being placed out-of-service. Be prepared and be
safe. Check the slack adjusters.
All vehicles built since 1991 have automatic slack adjustors. Even
though automatic slack adjustors adjust themselves during full brake
applications, they must be checked.
Automatic adjusters should not be manually adjusted except by
trained personnel when performing maintenance on the brakes and
during installation of the slack adjusters. In a vehicle equipped with
automatic adjusters, when the pushrod stroke exceeds the legal
brake adjustment limit, it is an indication that a mechanical problem
exists in the adjuster itself, a problem with the related foundation
brake components, or that the adjuster was improperly installed.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster to bring a brake
pushrod stroke within legal limits is generally masking a mechanical
problem and is not fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most
automatic adjusters will likely result in premature wear of the
adjuster itself. It is recommended that when brakes equipped with
automatic adjusters are found to be out of adjustment, the driver
take the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible to have the
problem corrected. The manual adjustment of automatic slack
adjusters is dangerous because it may give the driver a false sense
of security regarding the effectiveness of the braking system.
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.
5-5
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
the brake pedal to reduce air tank pressure. The low air pressure
warning signal must come on before the pressure drops to less than
60 psi in the air tank (or tank with the lowest air pressure, in dual
air systems). See Figure 5.5.
If the warning signal doesn’t work, you could lose air pressure
and you would not know it. This could cause sudden emergency
braking in a single-circuit air system. In dual systems the stopping
distance will be increased. Only limited braking can be done before
the spring brakes come on.
Check Spring Brakes Come On Automatically. Continue to fan
off the air pressure by stepping on and off the brake pedal to reduce
tank pressure. The tractor protection valve should close (pop out)
on a tractor-trailer combination vehicle and on other combination
vehicle types when the air pressure falls to the manufacturer’s
specification (20-45 psi).
Check Rate of Air Pressure Buildup. When the engine is at
operating rpms, the pressure should build from 85 to 100 psi within 45
seconds in dual air systems. (If the vehicle has larger than minimum
air tanks, the buildup time can be longer and still be safe. Check
the manufacturer’s specifications.) In single air systems (pre-1975),
typical requirements are pressure buildup from 50 to 90 psi within
3 minutes with the engine at an idle speed of 600-900 rpms.
If air pressure does not build up fast enough, your pressure may
drop too low during driving, requiring an emergency stop. Don’t
drive until you get the problem fixed.
Figure 5.5
(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
Note: Although the following air brake check is an acceptable
method, you will be required to perform the air brake check
described in Section 11 for the Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Test.
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
5-6
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air system (typically
125 psi), turn off the engine, release all brakes, and time the air
pressure drop. The loss rate should be less than two psi in one
minute for single vehicles and less than three psi in one minute for
combination vehicles. Then apply at least 50 pounds of pressure to
the servive brake. After the initial pressure drop, if the air pressure
falls more than three psi in one minute for single vehicles (more
than four psi for combination vehicles), the air loss rate is too much.
Check for air leaks and fix before driving the vehicle. Otherwise,
you could lose your brakes while driving.
Check Air Compressor Governor Cut-in and Cut-out Pressures.
Pumping by the air compressor should start at about 100 psi and
stop at about 125 psi. (Check manufacturer’s specifications.) Run
the engine at a fast idle. The air governor should cut-out the air
compressor at about the manufacturer’s specified pressure. The air
pressure shown by your gauge(s) will stop rising. With the engine
idling, step on and off the brake to reduce the air tank pressure.
The compressor should cut-in at about the manufacturer’s specified
cut-in pressure. The pressure should begin to rise.
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.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
SUBSECTIONS 5.2 AND 5.3
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
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?
How can you check that the spring brakes come on
automatically?
6. What are the maximum leakage rates?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 5.2 and 5.3.
5.4 – Using Air Brakes
5.4.1 – Normal Stops
Push the brake pedal down. Control the pressure so the vehicle
comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you have a manual transmission,
don’t push the clutch in until the engine rpm is down close to idle.
When stopped, select a starting gear.
5.4.2 – Braking with Antilock Brakes
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a vehicle without
ABS, your wheels may lock up. When your steering wheels lock
up, you lose steering control. When your other wheels lock up, you
may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer senses impending
lockup, reduces the braking pressure to a safe level, and you
maintain control.
You may or may not be able to stop faster with ABS, but you should
be able to steer around an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids
caused by over braking.
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or even on only one
axle, still gives you more control over the vehicle during braking.
Brake normally.
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be able to maintain
steering control, and there is less chance of jackknifing. But, keep
your eye on the trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely
do so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less likely to swing
out, but if you lose steering control or start a tractor jackknife, let
up on the brakes (if you can safely do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
• Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay
in control.
• Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have ABS on
the tractor, the trailer, or both.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
• As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer and back off
the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
There is only one exception to this procedure, if you always drive
a straight truck or combination with working ABS on all axles, in
an emergency stop, you can fully apply the brakes.
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions. Drive and
brake as you always have.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have regular brakes.
Drive normally, but get the system serviced soon.
5.4.3 – 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--the
time required for the brakes to work after the brake pedal is pushed.
With hydraulic brakes (used on cars and light/medium trucks), the
brakes work instantly. However, with air brakes, it takes a little time
(one half second or more) for the air to flow through the lines to
the brakes. Thus, the total stopping distance for vehicles with air
brake systems is made up of four different factors.
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Brake Lag Distance +
Braking Distance = Total Stopping Distance
The air brake lag distance at 55 mph on dry pavement adds about
32 feet to the total stopping distance. 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.
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.
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5.4.7 – Low Air Pressure
If the low air pressure warning comes on, stop and safely park
your vehicle as soon as possible. There might be an air leak in
the system. Controlled braking is possible only while enough air
remains in the air tanks. The spring brakes will come on when the
air pressure drops into the range of 20 to 45 psi. A heavily loaded
vehicle will take a long distance to stop because the spring brakes
do not work on all axles. Lightly loaded vehicles or vehicles on
slippery roads may skid out of control when the spring brakes come
on. It is much safer to stop while there is enough air in the tanks
to use the foot brakes.
5.4.8 – Parking Brakes
Except as noted below, use the parking brakes every time you park.
Pull the parking brake control knob out to apply the parking brakes,
push it in to release. The control will be a yellow, diamond-shaped
knob labeled “parking brakes” on newer vehicles. On older vehicles,
it may be a round blue knob or some other shape (including a lever
that swings from side to side or up and down).
Figure 5.6
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. This
means you have to apply increasing brake pedal pressure to slow
the vehicle. Continued overuse may increase brake fade until the
vehicle cannot be slowed down or stopped.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To safely control a vehicle,
every brake must do its share of the work. Brakes out of adjustment
will stop doing their share before those that are in adjustment.
The other brakes can then overheat and fade, and there will not be
enough braking available to control the vehicle(s). Brakes can get
out of adjustment quickly, especially when they are hot. Therefore,
check brake adjustment often.
5.4.6 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember, the use of brakes on a long and/or steep downgrade
is only a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. Once
the vehicle is in the proper low gear, the following is the proper
braking technique:
• 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.
5-8
Don’t use the parking brakes if the brakes are very hot (from just
having come down a steep grade), or if the brakes are very wet in
freezing temperatures. If they are used while they are very hot, they
can be damaged by the heat. If they are used in freezing temperatures
when the brakes are very wet, they can freeze so the vehicle cannot
move. Use wheel chocks to hold the vehicle. Let hot brakes cool
before using the parking brakes. If the brakes are wet, use the brakes
lightly while driving in a low gear to heat and dry them.
If your vehicle does not have automatic air tank drains, drain your
air tanks at the end of each working day to remove moisture and
oil. Otherwise, the brakes could fail.
Never leave your vehicle unattended without applying the
parking brakes or chocking the wheels. Your vehicle might roll
away and cause injury and damage.
SUBSECTION 5.4
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Why should you be in the proper gear before starting
down a hill?
2. What factors can cause brakes to fade or fail?
3. The use of brakes on a long, steep downgrade is only
a supplement to the braking effect of the engine. True
or False?
4. If you are away from your vehicle only a short time,
you do not need to use the parking brake. True or False?
5. How often should you drain air tanks?
6. How do you brake when you drive a tractor-trailer
combination with ABS?
7. You still have normal brake functions if your ABS is
not working. True or False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsection 5.4.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Section 6
Combination Vehicles
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
Driving Combinations
Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
Antilock Brake Systems
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Combinations
This section provides information needed to pass the tests for
combination vehicles (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 trucks are ten times more likely
to roll over in a crash than empty truck.
The following two things will help you prevent rollover--keep the
cargo as close to the ground as possible, and drive slowly around
turns. Keeping cargo low is even more important in combination
vehicles than in straight trucks. Also, keep the load centered on your
rig. If the load is to one side so it makes a trailer lean, a rollover
is more likely. Make sure your cargo is centered and spread out
as much as possible. (Cargo distribution is covered in Section 3
of this manual.)
Rollovers happen when you turn too fast. Drive slowly around
corners, on ramps, and off ramps. Avoid quick lane changes,
especially when fully loaded.
6.1.2 – Steer Gently
Trucks with trailers have a dangerous “crack-the-whip” effect.
When you make a quick lane change, the crack-the-whip effect
can turn the trailer over. There are many accidents where only the
trailer has overturned.
“Rearward amplification” causes the crack-the-whip effect. Figure
6.1 shows eight types of combination vehicles and the rearward
amplification each has in a quick lane change. Trucks 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 may take them longer to stop than a tractor-semitrailer
loaded to maximum gross weight.
In any combination rig, allow plenty of following distance and look
far ahead, so you can brake early. Don’t be caught by surprise and
have to make a sudden stop.
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Figure 6.1
6.1.4 – Railroad-Highway Crossings
The procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:
Railroad-highway crossings can also cause problems, particularly
when pulling trailers with low underneath clearance.
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.
These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
• Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van, possumbelly 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.
6.1.5 – Prevent Trailer Skids
• (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).
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.
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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 6.3
Figure 6.2
Figure 6.4
6.1.6 – Turn Wide
6.1.7 – Backing with a Trailer.
When a vehicle goes around a corner, the rear wheels follow a
different path than the front wheels. This is called offtracking
or “cheating.” Figure 6.3 shows how offtracking causes the path
followed by a tractor to be wider than the rig itself. Longer vehicles
will offtrack more. The rear wheels of the powered unit (truck or
tractor) will offtrack some, and the rear wheels of the trailer will
offtrack even more. If there is more than one trailer, the rear wheels
of the last trailer will offtrack the most. Steer the front end wide
enough around a corner so the rear end does not run over the curb,
pedestrians, etc. However, keep the rear of your vehicle close to the
curb. This will stop other drivers from passing you on the right. If
you cannot complete your turn without entering another traffic lane,
turn wide as you complete the turn. This is better than swinging
wide to the left before starting the turn because it will keep other
drivers from passing you on the right. See Figure 6.4.
Backing with a Trailer. When backing a car, straight truck, or bus,
you turn the top of the steering wheel in the direction you want
to go. When backing a trailer, you turn the steering wheel in the
opposite direction. Once the trailer starts to turn, you must turn the
wheel the other way to follow the trailer.
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
Whenever you back up with a trailer, try to position your vehicle so
you can back in a straight line. If you must back on a curved path,
back to the driver’s side so you can see. See Figure 6.5.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel before you begin.
Get out and walk around the vehicle. Check your clearance to the
sides and overhead, in and near the path of your vehicle.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside mirrors on both
sides frequently. Get out of the vehicle and re-inspect your path if
you are unsure.
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Back Slowly. This will let you make corrections before you get
too far off course.
Correct Drift Immediately. As soon as you see the trailer getting
off the proper path, correct it by turning the top of the steering
wheel in the direction of the drift.
Pull Forward. When backing a trailer, make pull-ups to re-position
your vehicle as needed.
SUBSECTION 6.1
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What two things are important to prevent rollover?
2. When you turn suddenly while pulling doubles, which
trailer is most likely to turn over?
3. Why should you not use the trailer hand brake to
straighten out a jackknifing trailer?
4. What is offtracking?
5. When you back a trailer, you should position your
vehicle so you can back in a curved path to the driver’s
side. True or False?
6. What type of trailers can get stuck on 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
You should study Section 5, Air Brakes, before reading this. In
combination vehicles the braking system has parts to control the
trailer brakes, in addition to the parts described in Section 5. These
parts are described below.
6.2.1 – Trailer Hand Valve
The trailer hand valve (also called the trolley valve or Johnson
bar) works the trailer brakes. The trailer hand valve should be used
only to test the trailer brakes. Do not use it in driving because of
the danger of making the trailer skid. The foot brake sends air to
all of the brakes on the vehicle (including the trailer(s)). There is
much less danger of causing a skid or jackknife when using just
the foot brake.
Never use the hand valve for parking because all the air might leak
out unlocking the brakes (in trailers that don’t have spring brakes).
Always use the parking brakes when parking. If the trailer does not
have spring brakes, use wheel chocks to keep the trailer from moving.
6.2.2 – Tractor Protection Valve
Figure 6.5
6-4
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.)
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
6.2.3 – Trailer Air Supply Control
The trailer air supply control on newer vehicles is a red eight-sided
knob, which you use to control the tractor protection valve. You
push it in to supply the trailer with air, and pull it out to shut the air
off and put on the trailer emergency brakes. The valve will pop out
(thus closing the tractor protection valve) when the air pressure drops
into the range of 20 to 45 psi. Tractor protection valve controls or
“emergency” valves on older vehicles may not operate automatically.
There may be a lever rather than a knob. The “normal” position is
used for pulling a trailer. The “emergency” position is used to shut
the air off and put on the trailer emergency brakes.
6.2.4 – Trailer Air Lines
Every combination vehicle has two air lines, the service line and the
emergency line. They run between each vehicle (tractor to trailer,
trailer to dolly, dolly to second trailer, etc.)
Service Air Line. The service line carries air, which is controlled
by the foot brake or the trailer hand brake. Depending on how hard
you press the foot brake or hand valve, the pressure in the service
line will similarly change. The service line is connected to relay
valves. These valves allow the trailer brakes to be applied more
quickly than would otherwise be possible.
Emergency Air Line. The emergency line (also called the supply
line) has two purposes. First, it supplies air to the trailer air tanks.
Second, the emergency line controls the emergency brakes on
combination vehicles. Loss of air pressure in the emergency line
causes the trailer emergency brakes to come on. The pressure loss
could be caused by a trailer breaking loose, thus tearing apart the
emergency air hose. Or it could be caused by a hose, metal tubing,
or other part breaking, letting the air out. When the emergency line
loses pressure, it also causes the tractor protection valve to close
(the air supply knob will pop out on the dash).
Figure 6.6
6.2.5 – Hose Couplers (Glad Hands)
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.
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.
Some vehicles have “dead end” or dummy couplers to which the
hoses may be attached when they are not in use. This will prevent
water and dirt from getting into the coupler and the air lines. Use
the dummy couplers when the air lines are not connected to a trailer.
If there are no dummy couplers, the glad hands can sometimes be
locked together (depending on the couplings). It is very important
to keep the air supply clean.
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.
When coupling, make sure to couple the proper glad hands together.
To help avoid mistakes, colors are sometimes used. Blue is used for
the service lines and red for the emergency (supply) lines. Sometimes,
metal tags are attached to the lines with the words “service” and
“emergency” stamped on them. See Figure 6.6
If you do cross the air lines, supply air will be sent to the service
line instead of going to charge the trailer air tanks. Air will not be
available to release the trailer spring brakes (parking brakes). If
the spring brakes don’t release when you push the trailer air supply
control, check the air line connections.
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
6.2.6 – Trailer Air Tanks
Each trailer and converter dolly has one or more air tanks. They are
filled by the emergency (supply) line from the tractor. They provide
the air pressure used to operate trailer brakes. Air pressure is sent
from the air tanks to the brakes by relay valves.
The pressure in the service line tells how much pressure the relay
valves should send to the trailer brakes. The pressure in the service
line is controlled by the brake pedal (and the trailer hand brake).
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
It is important that you don’t let water and oil build up in the air
tanks. If you do, the brakes may not work correctly. Each tank has a
drain valve on it and you should drain each tank every day. If your
tanks have automatic drains, they will keep most moisture out. But
you should still open the drains to make sure.
6.2.7 – Shut-off Valves
Shut-off valves (also called cut-out cocks) are used in the service
and supply air lines at the back of trailers used to tow other trailers.
These valves permit closing the air lines off when another trailer
is not being towed. You must check that all shut-off valves are in
the open position except the ones at the back of the last trailer,
which must be closed.
6.2.8 – Trailer Service, Parking and Emergency Brakes
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.
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.
SUBSECTION 6.2
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Why should you not use the trailer hand valve while
driving?
2. Describe what the trailer air supply control does.
3. Describe what the service line is for.
4. What is the emergency air line for?
5. Why should you use chocks when parking a trailer
without spring brakes?
6. Where are shut-off valves?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsection 6.2.
Figure 6.7
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does not decrease or
increase your normal braking capability. ABS only activates when
wheels are about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping distance, but it
does help you keep the vehicle under control during hard braking.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer senses impending
lockup, reduces the braking pressure to a safe level, and you
maintain control.
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Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Having ABS on only the trailer, or even on only one axle, still gives
you more control over the vehicle during braking.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less likely to swing
out, but if you lose steering control or start a tractor jackknife, let
up on the brakes (if you can safely do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
• Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay
in control.
• Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have ABS on
the tractor, the trailer, or both.
• As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer and back
off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still have regular brakes.
Drive normally, but get the system serviced soon.
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more closely, or drive
less carefully.
6.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is basic to safe
operation of combination vehicles. Wrong coupling and uncoupling
can be very dangerous. General coupling and uncoupling steps are
listed below. There are differences between different rigs, so learn
the details of coupling and uncoupling the truck(s) you will operate.
6.4.1 – Coupling Tractor-Semitrailers
Step 1. Inspect Fifth Wheel
• Check for damaged/missing parts.
• Check to see that mounting to tractor is secure, no cracks in
frame, etc.
• Be sure that the fifth wheel plate is greased as required. Failure
to keep the fifth wheel plate lubricated could cause steering
problems because of friction between the tractor and trailer.
• Check if fifth wheel is in proper position for coupling.
— Wheel tilted down toward rear of tractor.
— Jaws open.
— Safety unlocking handle in the automatic lock position.
— If you have a sliding fifth wheel, make sure it is locked.
— Make sure the trailer kingpin is not bent or broken.
Step 2. Inspect Area and Chock Wheels
• Make sure area around the vehicle is clear.
• Be sure trailer wheels are chocked or spring brakes are on.
• Check that cargo (if any) is secured against movement due to
tractor being coupled to the trailer.
Step 3. Position Tractor
• Put the tractor directly in front of the trailer. (Never back
under the trailer at an angle because you might push the trailer
sideways and break the landing gear.)
• Check position, using outside mirrors, by looking down both
sides of the trailer.
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
Step 4. Back Slowly
• Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
• Don’t hit the trailer.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
• Put on the parking brake.
• Put transmission in neutral.
Step 6. Check Trailer Height
• The trailer should be low enough that it is raised slightly by
the tractor when the tractor is backed under it. Raise or lower
the trailer as needed. (If the trailer is too low, the tractor may
strike and damage the trailer nose; if the trailer is too high, it
may not couple correctly.)
• Check that the kingpin and fifth wheel are aligned.
Step 7. Connect Air Lines to Trailer
• Check glad hand seals and connect tractor emergency air line
to trailer emergency glad hand.
• Check glad hand seals and connect tractor service air line to
trailer service glad hand.
• Make sure air lines are safely supported where they won’t be
crushed or caught while tractor is backing under the trailer.
Step 8. Supply Air to Trailer
• From cab, push in “air supply” knob or move tractor protection
valve control from the “emergency” to the “normal” position
to supply air to the trailer brake system.
• Wait until the air pressure is normal.
• Check brake system for crossed air lines.
— Shut engine off so you can hear the brakes.
— Apply and release trailer brakes and listen for sound of
trailer brakes being applied and released. You should hear
the brakes move when applied and air escape when the
brakes are released.
— Check air brake system pressure gauge for signs of major
air loss.
• When you are sure trailer brakes are working, start engine.
• Make sure air pressure is up to normal.
Step 9. Lock Trailer Brakes
Pull out the “air supply” knob or move the tractor protection
valve control from “normal” to “emergency.”
Step 10. Back Under Trailer
• Use lowest reverse gear.
• Back tractor slowly under trailer to avoid hitting the kingpin
too hard.
• Stop when the kingpin is locked into the fifth wheel.
Step 11. Check Connection for Security
• Raise trailer landing gear slightly off ground.
• Pull tractor gently forward while the trailer brakes are still
locked to check that the trailer is locked onto the tractor.
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Step 12. Secure Vehicle
• Put transmission in neutral.
• Put parking brakes on.
• Shut off engine and take key with you so someone else won’t
move truck while you are under it.
Step 13. Inspect Coupling
• Use a flashlight, if necessary.
• Make sure there is no space between upper and lower fifth
wheel. If there is space, something is wrong (kingpin may be
on top of the closed fifth wheel jaws, and trailer would come
loose very easily).
• Go under trailer and look into the back of the fifth wheel. Make
sure the fifth wheel jaws have closed around the shank of the
kingpin.
• Check that the locking mechanism release handle is in the
“lock” position.
• Check that the safety latch is in position over the release handle.
(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.
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
The following steps will help you to uncouple safely.
Step 1. Position Rig
• 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.
• Keep legs and feet clear of the rear tractor wheels to avoid
serious injury in case the vehicle moves.
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
• Pull tractor forward until fifth wheel comes out from under
the trailer.
• Stop with tractor frame under trailer (prevents trailer from
falling to ground if landing gear should collapse or sink).
Step 8. Secure Tractor
• Apply parking brake.
• Place transmission in neutral.
Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
• Make sure ground is supporting trailer.
• Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
• Release parking brakes.
• Check the area and drive tractor forward until it clears.
• Make sure surface of parking area can support weight of trailer.
• Have tractor lined up with the trailer. (Pulling out at an angle
can damage landing gear.)
Step 2. Ease Pressure on Locking Jaws
• Shut off trailer air supply to lock trailer brakes.
• Ease pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by backing up gently.
(This will help you release the fifth wheel locking lever.)
6-8
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
6.5 – Inspecting a Combination Vehicle
Use the seven-step inspection procedure described in Section 2 to
inspect your combination vehicle. There are more things to inspect
on a combination vehicle than on a single vehicle. (For example,
tires, wheels, lights, reflectors, etc.) However, there are also some
new things to check. These are discussed below.
6.5.1 – Additional Things to Check During a Walkaround Inspection
Figure 6.8
Landing Gear
• Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or other-wise damaged.
• Crank handle in place and secured.
• If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
Do these checks in addition to those already listed in Section 2.
6.5.2 – Combination Vehicle Brake Check
Coupling System Areas
Do these checks in addition to Section 5.3, Inspecting Air Brake
Systems.
• Check fifth wheel (lower).
— Securely mounted to frame.
— No missing or damaged parts.
— Enough grease.
— No visible space between upper and lower fifth wheel.
— Locking jaws around the shank, not the head of kingpin.
See Figure 6.8.
— Release handle properly seated and safety latch/lock engaged.
• Check fifth wheel (upper).
— Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
— Kingpin not damaged.
• Air and electric lines to trailer.
— Electrical cord firmly plugged in and secured.
— Air lines properly connected to glad hands, no air leaks,
properly secured with enough slack for turns.
— All lines free from damage.
• Sliding fifth wheel.
— Slide not damaged or parts missing.
— Properly greased.
— All locking pins present and locked in place.
— If air powered--no air leaks.
— Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward that tractor
frame will hit landing gear, or the cab hit the trailer, during
turns.
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
The following section explains how to check air brakes on
combination vehicles. Check the brakes on a double or triple trailer
as you would any combination vehicle.
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers. Use the tractor parking
brake and/or chock the wheels to hold the vehicle. Wait for air
pressure to reach normal, then push in the red “trailer air supply”
knob. This will supply air to the emergency (supply) lines. Use the
trailer handbrake to provide air to the service line. Go to the rear
of the rig. Open the emergency line shut-off valve at the rear of the
last trailer. You should hear air escaping, showing the entire system
is charged. Close the emergency line valve. Open the service line
valve to check that service pressure goes through all the trailers (this
test assumes that the trailer handbrake or the service brake pedal
is on), and then close the valve. If you do NOT hear air escaping
from both lines, check that the shut-off valves on the trailer(s) and
dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST have air all the
way to the back for all the brakes to work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer air brake system.
(That is, build up normal air pressure and push the “air supply” knob
in.) Shut the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal several
times to reduce the air pressure in the tanks. The trailer air supply
control (also called the tractor protection valve control) should pop
out (or go from “normal” to “emergency” position) when the air
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
pressure falls into the pressure range specified by the manufacturer.
(Usually within the range of 20 to 45 psi.)
with the hand valve but controlled in normal operation with the
foot pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at all wheels.)
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.
SUBSECTION 6.5
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the trailer air brake
system and check that the trailer rolls freely. Then stop and pull out
the trailer air supply control (also called tractor protection valve
control or trailer emergency valve), or place it in the “emergency”
position. Pull gently on the trailer with the tractor to check that the
trailer emergency brakes are on.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal air pressure, release
the parking brakes, move the vehicle forward slowly, and apply
trailer brakes with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you the trailer brakes
are connected and working. (The trailer brakes should be tested
6-10
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Which shut-off valves should be open and which
closed?
2. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
3. How can you test the tractor protection valve?
4. How can you test the trailer emergency brakes?
5. How can you test the trailer service brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
all of them, re-read subsection 6.5.
Section 6 – Combination Vehicles
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.)
If you operate a longer combination vehicle (LCV), your employer
must provide and document LCV training. An LCV is a combination
vehicle with two or more trailers that has a gross vehicle weight
greater than 80,000 pounds.
A permit, issued by ODOT Motor Carrier Transportation Division,
is required to operate a vehicle that tows a triple trailer combination
in Oregon. Triple trailers may not be legal in some states.
7.1 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Take special care when pulling two and three trailers. There are more
things that can go wrong, and doubles/triples are less stable than other
commercial vehicles. Some areas of concern are discussed below.
7.1.1 – Prevent Trailer from Rolling Over
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.
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 trailers. You will have greater length
and more dead axles to pull with your drive axles than other drivers.
There is more chance for skids and loss of traction.
7.1.7 – Parking the Vehicle
Make sure you do not get in a spot you cannot pull straight through.
You need to be aware of how parking lots are arranged in order to
avoid a long and difficult exit.
7.1.8 – Antilock Braking Systems on Converter Dollies
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.
Converter dollies built on or after March 1, 1998, are required to
have antilock brakes. These dollies will have a yellow lamp on the
left side of the dolly.
7.1.2 – Beware of the Crack-the-whip Effect
7.2 – Coupling and Uncoupling
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.
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is basic to safe
operation of doubles and triples. Wrong coupling and uncoupling
can be very dangerous. Coupling and uncoupling steps for doubles
and triples are listed below.
7.2.1 – Coupling Twin Trailers
7.1.3 – 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.
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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 7.1
For the safest handling on the road, the more heavily loaded
semitrailer should be in first position behind the tractor. The lighter
trailer should be in the rear.
A converter gear on a dolly is a coupling device of one or two axles
and a fifth wheel by which a semitrailer can be coupled to the rear
of a tractor-trailer combination. See Figure 7.1.
Position Converter Dolly in Front of Second (Rear) Trailer
Release dolly brakes by opening the air tank petcock. (Or, if the
dolly has spring brakes, use the dolly parking brake control.)
If the distance is not too great, wheel the dolly into position by
hand so it is in line with the kingpin.
Or, use the tractor and first semitrailer to pick up the converter dolly:
•
•
•
•
•
Position combination as close as possible to converter dolly.
Move dolly to rear of first semitrailer and couple it to the trailer.
Lock pintle hook.
Secure dolly support in raised position.
Pull dolly into position as close as possible to nose of the
second semitrailer.
• Lower dolly support.
• Unhook dolly from first trailer.
• Wheel dolly into position in front of second trailer in line with
the kingpin.
Connect Converter Dolly to Front Trailer
• Back first semitrailer into position in front of dolly tongue.
• Hook dolly to front trailer.
— Lock pintle hook.
— Secure converter gear support in raised position.
7-2
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 kingpin of the second
semitrailer.
• Make visual check of coupling. (No space between upper and
lower fifth wheel. Locking jaws closed on kingpin.)
• Connect safety chains, air hoses, and light cords.
• Close converter dolly air tank petcock and shut-off valves at
rear of second trailer (service and emergency shut-offs).
• Open shut-off valves at rear of first trailer (and on dolly if so
equipped).
• Raise landing gear completely.
• Charge trailer brakes (push “air supply” knob in), and check
for air at rear of second trailer by opening the emergency line
shut-off. If air pressure isn’t there, something is wrong and the
brakes won’t work.
7.2.2 – Uncoupling Twin Trailers
Uncouple Rear Trailer
•
•
•
•
Park rig in a straight line on firm level ground.
Apply parking brakes so rig won’t move.
Chock wheels of second trailer if it doesn’t have spring brakes.
Lower landing gear of second semitrailer enough to remove
some weight from dolly.
Section 7 – Doubles and Triples
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• Close air shut-offs at rear of first semitrailer (and on dolly if
so equipped).
• Disconnect all dolly air and electric lines and secure them.
• Release dolly brakes.
• Release converter dolly fifth wheel latch.
• Slowly pull tractor, first semitrailer, and dolly forward to pull
dolly out from under rear semitrailer.
Uncouple Converter Dolly
•
•
•
•
•
Lower dolly landing gear.
Disconnect safety chains.
Apply converter gear spring brakes or chock wheels.
Release pintle hook on first semi-trailer.
Slowly pull clear of dolly.
Never unlock the pintle hook with the dolly still under the rear
trailer. The dolly tow bar may fly up, possibly causing injury,
and making it very difficult to re-couple.
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple Trailers
Couple Tractor/First Semitrailer to Second/Third Trailers
• Couple tractor to first trailer. Use the method already described
for coupling tractor-semitrailers.
• Move converter dolly into position and couple first trailer to
second trailer using the method for coupling doubles. Triples
rig is now complete.
Uncouple Triple-trailer Rig
• Uncouple third trailer by pulling the dolly out, then unhitching
the dolly using the method for uncoupling doubles.
• Uncouple remainder of rig as you would any double-trailer
combination using the method already described.
7.2.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling Other Combinations
The methods described so far apply to the more common tractortrailer combinations. However, there are other ways of coupling
and uncoupling the many types of truck-trailer and tractor-trailer
combinations that are in use. There are too many to cover in this
manual. Learn the right way to couple the vehicle(s) you will drive
according to the manufacturer and/or owner.
7.3 – Inspecting Doubles and Triples
Use the seven-step inspection procedure described in Section 2 to
inspect your combination vehicle. There are more things to inspect
on a combination vehicle than on a single vehicle. Many of these
items are simply more of what you would find on a single vehicle.
(For example, tires, wheels, lights, reflectors, etc.) However, there
are also some new things to check. These are discussed below.
7.3.1 – Additional Checks
Do these checks in addition to those already listed in Section 2,
Step 5: Do walk-around Inspection.
Coupling System Areas
• Check fifth wheel (lower).
— Securely mounted to frame.
— No missing or damaged parts.
— Enough grease.
— No visible space between upper and lower fifth wheel.
— Locking jaws around the shank, not the head of kingpin.
— Release handle properly seated and safety latch/lock
engaged.
• Check fifth wheel (upper).
— Glide plate securely mounted to trailer frame.
— Kingpin not damaged.
• Air and electric lines to trailer.
— Electrical cord firmly plugged in and secured.
— Air lines properly connected to glad hands, no air leaks,
properly secured with enough slack for turns.
— All lines free from damage.
• Sliding fifth wheel.
— Slide not damaged or parts missing.
— Properly greased.
— All locking pins present and locked in place.
— If air powered, no air leaks.
— Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward that tractor
frame will hit landing gear, or cab hit the trailer, during
turns.
Landing Gear
•
•
•
Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or otherwise
damaged.
Crank handle in place and secured.
If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
Double and Triple Trailers
• Shut-off valves (at rear of trailers, in service and emergency lines).
— Rear of front trailers: OPEN.
— Rear of last trailer: CLOSED.
— Converter dolly air tank drain valve: CLOSED.
• Be sure air lines are supported and glad hands are properly
connected.
• If spare tire is carried on converter gear (dolly), make sure it’s
secured.
• Be sure pintle-eye of dolly is in place in pintle hook of trailer(s).
• Make sure pintle hook is latched.
• Safety chains should be secured to trailer(s).
• Be sure light cords are firmly in sockets on trailers.
7.3.2 – Additional Things to Check During a Walkaround Inspection
Do these checks in addition to subsection 5.3, Inspecting Air
Brake Systems.
7.4 – Doubles/Triples Air Brake Check
Check the brakes on a double or triple trailer as you would any
combination vehicle. Subsection 6.5.2 explains how to check air
brakes on combination vehicles. You must also make the following
checks on your double or triple trailers
Section 7 – Doubles and Triples
7-3
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
7.4.1 – Additional Air Brake Checks
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers (Double and Triple Trailers).
Use the tractor parking brake and/or chock the wheels to hold the
vehicle. Wait for air pressure to reach normal, then push in the red
“trailer air supply” knob. This will supply air to the emergency
(supply) lines. Use the trailer handbrake to provide air to the service
line. Go to the rear of the rig. Open the emergency line shut-off valve
at the rear of the last trailer. You should hear air escaping, showing
the entire system is charged. Close the emergency line valve. Open
the service line valve to check that service pressure goes through
all the trailers (this test assumes that the trailer handbrake or the
service brake pedal is on), and then close the valve. If you do NOT
hear air escaping from both lines, check that the shut-off valves on
the trailer(s) and dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST
have air all the way to the back for all the brakes to work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer air brake system.
(That is, build up normal air pressure and push the “air supply” knob
in.) Shut the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal several
times to reduce the air pressure in the tanks. The trailer air supply
control (also called the tractor protection valve control) should pop
out (or go from “normal” to “emergency” position) when the air
pressure falls into the pressure range specified by the manufacturer.
(Usually within the range of 20 to 45 psi.)
If the tractor protection valve doesn’t work properly, an air hose
or trailer brake leak could drain all the air from the tractor. This
would cause the emergency brakes to come on, with possible loss
of control.
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.
7-4
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal air pressure, release
the parking brakes, move the vehicle forward slowly, and apply
trailer brakes with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you the trailer brakes
are connected and working. (The trailer brakes should be tested
with the hand valve, but controlled in normal operation with the
foot pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at all wheels.)
SECTION 7
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What is a converter dolly?
2. Do converter dollies have spring brakes?
3. What three methods can you use to secure a second
trailer before coupling?
4. How do you check to make sure trailer height is correct
before coupling?
5. What do you check when making a visual check of
coupling?
6. Why should you pull a dolly out from under a trailer
before you disconnect it from the trailer in front?
7. What should you check for when inspecting the
converter dolly? The pintle hook?
8. Should the shut-off valves on the rear of the last trailer
be open or closed? On the first trailer in a set of doubles?
On the middle trailer of a set of triples?
9. How can you test that air flows to all trailers?
10.How do you know if your converter dolly is equipped
with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read Section 7.
Section 7 – Doubles and Triples
Section 8
Tank Vehicles
This Section Covers
• Inspecting Tank Vehicles
• Driving Tank Vehicles
• Safe Driving Rules
This section has information needed to pass the CDL knowledge
test for driving a tank vehicle. (You should also study Sections 2, 5,
6, and 9). A tank endorsement is required for certain vehicles that
transport liquids or gases. The liquid or gas does not have to be a
hazardous material. A tank endorsement is required if your vehicle
needs a CDL and you want to haul a liquid or liquid gas within
a tank or tanks having an individual rated capacity of more than
450 liters (119 gallons) and an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000
gallons or more. The same requirement applies whether the tanks
are permanently attached to the vehicle or temporarily attached to
the vehicle. A tank endorsement is also required for Class C vehicles
when the vehicle is used to transport hazardous materials in liquid
or gas form in the above described rated tanks.
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose Equipment
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment, make sure it
works:
•
•
•
•
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).
Before loading, unloading, or driving a tanker, inspect the vehicle.
This makes sure that the vehicle is safe to carry the liquid or gas
and is safe to drive.
8.1 – Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Tank vehicles have special items that you need to check. Tank
vehicles come in many types and sizes. You need to check the
vehicle’s operator manual to make sure you know how to inspect
your tank vehicle.
8.1.1 – Leaks
On all tank vehicles, the most important item to check for is leaks.
Check under and around the vehicle for signs of any leaking. Don’t
carry liquids or gases in a leaking tank. To do so is a crime. You
will be cited and prevented from driving further. You may also be
liable for the clean up of any spill. In general, check the following:
• Check the tank’s body or shell for dents or leaks.
• Check the intake, discharge, and cut-off valves. Make sure the
valves are in the correct position before loading, unloading, or
moving the vehicle.
• Check pipes, connections, and hoses for leaks, especially
around joints.
• Check manhole covers and vents. Make sure the covers have
gaskets and they close correctly. Keep the vents clear so they
work correctly.
Figure 8.1
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.
8.2.1 – High Center of Gravity
High center of gravity means that much of the load’s weight is carried
high up off the road. This makes the vehicle top-heavy and easy
to roll over. Liquid tankers are especially easy to roll over. Tests
have shown that tankers can turn over at the speed limits posted
for curves. Take highway curves and on ramp/off ramp curves well
below the posted speeds.
8-1
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
8.2.2 – Danger of Surge
8.3.1 – Drive Smoothly
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.
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.
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-and-back surge is very strong. Un-baffled tanks are usually
those that transport food products (milk, for example). (Sanitation
regulations forbid the use of baffles because of the difficulty in
cleaning the inside of the tank.) Be extremely cautious (slow and
careful) in driving smooth bore tanks, especially when starting
and stopping.
If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash, use controlled or stab
braking. If you do not remember how to stop using these methods,
review subsection 2.17.2. Also, remember that if you steer quickly
while braking, your vehicle may roll over.
8.3.3 – Curves
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly through the curve.
The posted speed for a curve may be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.3.4 – Stopping Distance
Keep in mind how much space you need to stop your vehicle.
Remember that wet roads double the normal stopping distance.
Empty tank vehicles may take longer to stop than full ones.
8.3.5 – Skids
Don’t over steer, over accelerate, or over brake. If you do, your
vehicle may skid. On tank trailers, if your drive wheels or trailer
wheels begin to skid, your vehicle may jackknife. When any
vehicle starts to skid, you must take action to restore traction to
the wheels.
8.2.6 – Outage
Never load a cargo tank totally full. Liquids expand as they warm
and you must leave room for the expanding liquid. This is called
“outage.” Since different liquids expand by different amounts, they
require different amounts of outage. You must know the outage
requirement when hauling liquids in bulk.
8.2.7 – How Much to Load?
A full tank of dense liquid (such as some acids) may exceed legal
weight limits. For that reason, you may often only partially fill
tanks with heavy liquids. The amount of liquid to load into a tank
depends on:
• The amount the liquid will expand in transit.
• The weight of the liquid.
• Legal weight limits.
SECTION 8
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. How are bulkheads different than baffles?
2. Should a tank vehicle take curves, on ramps, or off
ramps at the posted speed limits?
3. How are smooth bore tankers different to drive than
those with baffles?
4. What three things determine how much liquid you can
load?
5. What is outage?
6. How can you help control surge?
7. What two reasons make special care necessary when
driving tank vehicles?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read Section 8.
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:
8-2
Section 8 – Tank Vehicles
Section 9
Hazardous Materials
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The Intent of the Regulations
Hazardous Material Transportation—Who Does What?
Communications Rules
Loading and Unloading
Bulk Packaging Marking, Loading and Unloading
Hazardous Materials—Driving and Parking Rules
Hazardous Materials—Emergencies
Hazardous Materials Glossary
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 gases, solids, flammable and combustible liquids,
and other materials. Because of the risks involved and the potential
consequences these risks impose, many levels of government
regulate the handling of hazardous materials.
The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is found in parts 100185 of Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations. The common
reference for these regulations is 49 CFR 100-185.
The Hazardous Materials Table in these regulations contains a list
of these items. However, this list is not all-inclusive. Whether or
not a material is considered hazardous is based on its characteristics
and the shipper’s decision on whether or not the material meets a
definition of a hazardous material in the regulations.
The regulations require vehicles transporting certain types or
quantities of hazardous materials to display diamond-shaped, square
on point, warning signs called placards.
This section is designed to assist you in understanding your role and
responsibilities in hauling hazardous materials. Due to the constantly
changing nature of government regulations, it is impossible to
guarantee absolute accuracy of the materials in this section. An
up-to-date copy of the complete regulations is essential for you to
have. Included in these regulations is a complete glossary of terms.
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL) with a hazardous
materials endorsement before you drive any size vehicle that is used
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
that training on each employee as long as that employee is working
with hazardous materials, and for 90 days thereafter. The regulations
require that hazardous materials employees be trained and tested
by their employer at least once every three years.
All drivers must be trained in the security risks of hazardous materials
transportation. This training must include how to recognize and
respond to possible security threats.
The regulations also require that drivers have special training before
driving a vehicle transporting certain flammable gas materials or
highway route controlled quantities of radioactive materials. In
addition, drivers transporting cargo tanks and portable tanks must
receive specialized training. Each driver’s employer or his or her
designated representative must provide such training.
Some locations require permits to transport certain explosives or bulk
hazardous wastes. States and counties also may require drivers to
follow special hazardous materials routes. The federal government
may require permits or exemptions for special hazardous materials
cargo such as rocket fuel. Find out about permits, exemptions, and
special routes for the places you drive.
9.1 – The Intent of the Regulations
9.1.1 – Contain the Material
Transporting hazardous materials can be risky. The regulations are
intended to protect you, those around you, and the environment.
They tell shippers how to package the materials safely and drivers
how to load, transport, and unload the material. These are called
“containment rules.”
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
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
9.3 – Communication Rules
9.3.1 – Definitions
Some words and phrases have special meanings when talking about
hazardous materials. Some of these may differ from meanings you
are used to. The words and phrases in this section may be on your
test. The meanings of other important words are in the glossary at
the end of Section 9.
Hazardous Materials Class
9.2.1 – The Shipper
• Sends products from one place to another by truck, rail, vessel,
or airplane.
• Uses the hazardous materials regulations to determine the
product’s:
— Proper shipping name.
— Hazard class.
— Identification number.
— Packing group.
— 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).
1
2
9.2.3 – The Driver
• Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked, and labeled the
hazardous materials properly.
• Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
• Placards his vehicle when loading, if required.
9-2
Name of Class or
Division
Examples
1.1 Mass Explosion
Dynamite
1.2 Projection Hazard
Flares
1.3 Fire Hazard
Display Fireworks
1.4 Minor Explosion
Ammunition
1.5 Very Insensitive
Blasting Agents
1.6 Extremely Insensitive
Explosive Devices
2.1 Flammable Gases
Propane
2.2 Non-Flammable Gases Helium
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic Gases Fluorine, Compressed
3
-
Flammable Liquids
Gasoline
4.1 Flammable Solids
Ammonium Picrate
4.2 Spontaneously
Combustible
Wetted White
Phosphorus
4.3 Dangerous When Wet
Sodium
5.1 Oxidizers
Ammonium Nitrate
5
5.2 Organic Peroxides
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Peroxide
6.1 Poison (Toxic
Material)
Potassium Cyanide
6
6.2 Infectious Substances
Anthrax Virus
4
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.
Division
Class
9.2 – Hazardous Materials
Transportation—Who Does What
• 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.
7
–
Radioactive
Uranium
8
–
Corrosives
Battery Fluid
–
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCB)
–
ORM-D (Other
Regulated MaterialDomestic)
Food Flavorings,
Medicines
–
Combustible Liquids
Fuel Oil
9
e
Figure 9.1
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
A material’s hazard class reflects the risks associated with it. There
are nine different hazard classes. The types of materials included
in these nine classes are in Figure 9.1.
A shipping paper describes the hazardous materials being
transported. Shipping orders, bills of lading, and manifests are
all shipping papers. Figure 9.6 shows an example shipping paper.
After an accident or hazardous materials spill or leak, you may be
injured and unable to communicate the hazards of the materials
you are transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or reduce
the amount of damage or injury at the scene if they know what
hazardous materials are being carried. Your life, and the lives of
others, may depend on quickly locating the hazardous materials
shipping papers. For that reason the rules require:
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.
• 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 when 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.
Examples of HAZMAT Placards. Figure 9.3
Identification numbers are a four-digit code used by first responders
to identify hazardous materials. An identification number may be
used to identify more than one chemical. The letters “NA or “UN”
will precede the identification number. The United States Department
of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG) lists
the chemicals and the identification numbers assigned to them.
There are three main lists used by shippers, carriers, and drivers
when trying to identify hazardous materials. Before transporting
a material, look for its name on three lists. Some materials are on
all lists, others on only one.
Always check the following lists:
• Section 172.101, the Hazardous Materials Table.
• Appendix A to Section 172.101, the List of Hazardous
Substances and Reportable Quantities.
• Appendix B to Section 172.101, the List of Marine Pollutants.
Examples of HAZMAT labels. Figure 9.2
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
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.
9-3
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table
Packaging (173. ***)
Symbols
Hazardous Materials
Description & Proper
Shipping Names
Hazard
Identification
Class or
Numbers
Division
(1)
(2)
(3)
A
Acetaldehyde ammonia
9
PG
Label
Codes
Special
Provisions
(172.102)
Exceptions
Non
Bulk
Bulk
(4)
(5)
(6)
(7)
(8A)
(8B)
(8C)
UN1841
III
9
IB8, IP6
155
204
240
Figure 9.4
Six different symbols may appear in Column 1 of the table.
(+) Shows the proper shipping name, hazard class, and packing
group to use, even if the material doesn’t meet the hazard
class definition.
(A) Means the hazardous material described in Column 2
is subject to the HMR only when offered or intended
for transport by air unless it is a hazardous substance or
hazardous waste.
(W) Means the hazardous material described in Column 2 is
subject to the HMR only when offered or intended for
transportation by water unless it is a hazardous substance,
hazardous waste, or marine pollutant.
(D) Means the proper shipping name is appropriate for describing
materials for domestic transportation, but may not be proper
for international transportation.
(I) Identifies a proper shipping name that is used to describe
materials in international transportation. A different shipping
name may be used when only domestic transportation is
involved.
(G) Means this hazardous material described in Column 2 is a
generic shipping name. A generic shipping name must be
accompanied by a technical name on the shipping paper.
A technical name is a specific chemical that makes the
product hazardous.
Column 2 lists the proper shipping names and descriptions of
regulated materials. Entries are in alphabetical order so you can
more quickly find the right entry. The table shows proper shipping
names in regular type. The shipping paper must show proper shipping
names. Names shown in italics are not proper shipping names.
Column 3 shows a material’s hazard class or division, or the entry
“Forbidden.” Never transport a “Forbidden” material. Placard
shipments based on the quantity and hazard class. You can decide
which placards to use if you know these three things:
• Material’s hazard class.
• Amount being shipped.
• Amount of all hazardous materials of all classes on your
vehicle.
Column 4 lists the identification number for each proper shipping
name. Identification numbers are preceded by the letters “UN” or
“NA.” The letters “NA” are associated with proper shipping names
that are only used within the United States and to and from Canada.
The identification number must appear on the shipping paper as
part of the shipping description and also appear on the package. It
also must appear on cargo tanks and other bulk packaging. Police
9-4
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172
List of Hazardous Substances and
Reportable Quantities
Hazardous Substances
Reportable Quantity (RQ)
Pounds (Kilograms)
Phenyl mercaptan @
100 (45.4)
Phenylmercury acetate
100 (45.4)
N-Phenylthiourea
100 (45.4)
Phorate
10 (4.54)
Phosgene
10 (4.54)
Phosphine
100 (45.4) *
Phosphoric acid
5,000 (2270)
Phosphoric acid, diethyl
4-nitrophenyl ester
100 (45.4)
Phosphoric acid, lead salt
10 (4.54)
* Spills of 10 pounds or more must be reported.
Figure 9.5
and firefighters use this number to quickly identify the hazardous
materials.
Column 5 shows the packing group (in Roman numeral) assigned
to a material.
Column 6 shows the hazard warning label(s) shippers must put
on packages of hazardous materials. Some products require use of
more than one label due to a dual hazard being present
Column 7 lists the additional (special) provisions that apply to this
material. When there is an entry in this column, you must refer to
the federal regulations for specific information. The numbers 1-6
in this column mean the hazardous material is a poison inhalation
hazard (PIH). PIH materials have special requirements for shipping
papers, marking, and placards.
Column 8 is a three-part column showing the section numbers
covering the packaging requirements for each hazardous material.
Note: Columns 9 and 10 do not apply to transportation by
highway.
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172.101 - The List of Hazardous
Substances and Reportable Quantities. The DOT and the EPA
want to know about spills of hazardous substances. They are named
in the List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities. See
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
Shipping Paper
TO:
ABC
Corporation
88 Valley
Street
Anywhere,
VA
Quantity
1
cylinder
HM
RQ
(“RQ”
means that
this is a
reportable
quantity.)
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.
9.3.5 – The Item Description
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and non-hazardous
products, the hazardous materials will be either:
• Described first.
• Highlighted in a contrasting color.
• Identified by an “X” placed before the shipping name in a
column captioned “HM”. The letters “RQ” may be used instead
of “X” if a reportable quantity is present in one package.
The basic description of hazardous materials includes the
identification number, the 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”.
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
25 lbs
Zone A
(UN1076 is the
Identification Number
from Column 4 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.
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”.
• A proper shipping description for each hazardous material.
• A shipper’s certification, signed by the shipper, saying they
prepared the shipment according to the regulations.
UN1076,Phosgene,
2.3,
Weight
Phosgene is the
proper shipping name
from Column 2 of the
Hazardous Materials
Table.
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
Description
Page
1 of 1
Poison, Inhalation
Hazard,
Appendix B to 49 CFR 172.101 - List of Marine Pollutants
(Phosgene is the proper shipping name from Column 2 of the
Hazardous Materials Table.) (2.3 is the Hazard Class from Column
3 of the Hazardous Materials Table.) (UN1076 is the Identification
Number from Column 4 of the Hazardous materials Table.)
FROM:
DEF
Corporation
55
Mountain
Street
Nowhere,
CO
Shipper:
Per:
Date
DEF
Corporation
Smith
October 15,
2003
Carrier:
Per:
Date:
Safety
First
Special Instructions: 24 hour Emergency Contact,
John Smith 1-800-555-5555
Figure 9.6
Shipping name, hazard class, and identification number 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 letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
If the letters RQ appear, the name of the hazardous substance.
For all materials with the letter “G” (Generic) in Column 1,
the technical name of the hazardous material.
Shipping papers also must list an emergency response telephone
number. The emergency response telephone number is the
responsibility of the shipper. It can be used by emergency responders
to obtain information about any hazardous materials involved in
a spill or fire. Some hazardous materials do not need a telephone
number. You should check the regulations to determine which
materials need a telephone number.
9-5
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Shippers also must provide emergency response information to
the motor carrier for each hazardous material being shipped. The
emergency response information must be able to be used away from
the motor vehicle and must provide information on how to safely
handle incidents involving the material. It must include information
on the shipping name of the hazardous materials, risks to health,
fire, explosion, and initial methods of handling spills, fires, and
leaks of the materials.
Such information can be on the shipping paper or some other
document that includes the basic description and technical name of
the hazardous material. Or, it may be in a guidance book such as the
Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG). Motor carriers may assist
shippers by keeping an ERG on each vehicle carrying hazardous
materials. The driver must provide the emergency response
information to any federal, state, or local authority responding to
a hazardous materials incident or investigating one.
Total quantity must appear before or after the basic description. The
packaging type and the unit of measurement may be abbreviated.
For example:
10 ctns. Paint, 3, UN1263, PG II, 500 lbs.
The shipper of hazardous wastes must put the word WASTE before
the proper shipping name of the material on the shipping paper
(hazardous waste manifest). For example:
Waste Acetone, 3, UN1090, PG II.
A non-hazardous material may not be described by using a hazard
class or an identification number.
9.3.6 – Shipper’s Certification
When the shipper packages hazardous materials, he/she certifies that
the package has been prepared according to the rules. The signed
shipper’s certification appears on the original shipping paper. The
only exceptions are when a shipper is a private carrier transporting
their own product and when the package is provided by the carrier
(for example, a cargo tank). Unless a package is clearly unsafe
or does not comply with the HMR, you may accept the shipper’s
certification concerning proper packaging. Some carriers have
additional rules about transporting hazardous materials. Follow
your employer’s rules when accepting shipments.
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
Shippers print required markings directly on the package, an
attached label, or tag. An important package marking is the name
of the hazardous materials. It is the same name as the one on the
shipping paper. The requirements for marking vary by package size
and material being transported. When required, the shipper will put
the following on the package:
• The name and address of shipper or consignee.
• The hazardous material’s shipping name and identification
number.
• The labels required.
It is a good idea to compare the shipping paper to the markings
and labels. Always make sure that the shipper shows the correct
basic description on the shipping paper and verifies that the proper
9-6
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. 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.
• Kept clear of attachments or devices such as ladders, doors,
and tarpaulins.
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Placard Table 1
Placard Table 2
Any Amount
IF YOUR VEHICLE
PLACARD AS…
CONTAINS ANY
AMOUNT OF……
1,001 Pounds Or More
Placard Name
Category of Material
1.1 Mass Explosives
1.2 Project Hazards
1.3 Mass Fire Hazards
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic
Gases
4.3 Dangerous When Wet
5.2 (Organic Peroxide,
Type B, liquid or solid,
Temperature
controlled)
6.1 (Inhalation hazard
zone A & B only)
7 (Radioactive Yellow III
label only)
Explosives 1.1
Explosives 1.2
Explosives 1.3
Poison Gas
Dangerous When Wet
Organic Peroxide
Poison/toxic inhalation
Radioactive
Figure 9.7
• 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.
You may use DANGEROUS placards instead of separate placards
for each Table 2 hazard class when:
• You have 1,001 pounds or more of two or more Table 2 hazard
classes, requiring different placards, and
• You have not loaded 2,205 pounds or more of any Table 2
hazard class material at any one place. (You must use the
specific placard for this material.)
• The dangerous placard is an option, not a requirement. You
can always placard for the materials.
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
(Hazard class or division
number and additional
description, as appropriate)
1.4 Minor Explosion
Explosives 1.4
1.5 Very Insensitive
Explosives 1.5
1.6 Extremely Insensitive
Explosives 1.6
2.1 Flammable Gases
Flammable Gas
2.2 Non- Flammable Gases
Non-Flammable Gas.
3 Flammable Liquids
Combustible Liquid
Flammable
Combustible*
4.1 Flammable Solids
Flammable Solid
4.2 Spontaneously Combustible
Spontaneously
Combustible
5.1 Oxidizers
Oxidizer
5.2 (other than organic
Organic Peroxide
peroxide, Type B, liquid or
solid, Temperature Controlled)
6.1 (other than inhalation hazard
zone A or B)
Poison
6.2 Infectious Substances
(None)
8
Corrosives
Corrosive
9
Miscellaneous Hazardous
Materials
Class 9**
ORM-D
(None)
* FLAMMABLE may be used in place of a
COMBUSTIBLE on a cargo tank or portable tank.
** Class 9 Placard is not required for domestic
transportation.
Figure 9.8
If the words INHALATION HAZARD are on the shipping
paper or package, you must display POISON GAS or POISON
INHALATION placards in addition to any other placards needed
by the product’s hazard class. The 1,000 pound exception does not
apply to these materials.
Materials with a secondary hazard of dangerous when wet must
display the DANGEROUS WHEN WET placard in addition to any
other placards needed by the product’s hazard class. The 1,000-pound
exception to placarding does not apply to these materials.
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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
A 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.
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:
SUBSECTIONS 9.1, 9.2, AND 9.3
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Shippers package in order to (fill in the blank) the
material.
2. Drivers placard their vehicle to (fill in the blank) the
risk.
3. What three things do you need to know to decide which
placards (if any) you need?
4. A hazardous materials identification number must
appear on the (fill in the blank) and on the (fill in the
blank). The identification number must also appear on
cargo tanks and other bulk packaging.
5. Where must you keep shipping papers describing
hazardous materials?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3.
• Class 1 (Explosives)
• Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
• Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
The rules usually forbid use of cargo heaters, including automatic
cargo heater/air conditioner units. Unless you have read all the
related rules, don’t load the above products in a cargo space that
has a heater.
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have overhang or tailgate
loads of:
• Class 1 (Explosives)
• Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
• Class 5 (Oxidizers)
You must load these hazardous materials into a closed cargo space
unless all packages are:
• Fire and water resistant.
• Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
Precautions for Specific Hazards
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
Do all you can to protect containers of hazardous materials. Don’t
use any tools that might damage containers or other packaging
during loading. Don’t use hooks.
9.4.1 – General Loading Requirements
Before loading or unloading, set the parking brake. Make sure the
vehicle will not move.
Many products become more hazardous when exposed to heat.
Load hazardous materials away from heat sources.
Watch for signs of leaking or damaged containers: LEAKS SPELL
TROUBLE! Do not transport leaking packages. Depending on
the material, you, your truck, and others could be in danger. It is
illegal to move a vehicle from the location of loading when the
cargo includes packages or containers leaking hazardous materials.
Containers of hazardous materials must be braced to prevent
movement of the packages during transportation.
Class 1 (Explosives) Materials. Turn your engine off before loading
or unloading any explosives. Then check the cargo space. You must:
• Disable cargo heaters. Disconnect heater power sources and
drain heater fuel tanks.
• Make sure there are no sharp points that might damage cargo.
Look for bolts, screws, nails, broken side panels, and broken
floorboards.
• Use a floor lining with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3. The floors must
be tight and the liner must be either non-metallic material or
non-ferrous metal.
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.
No Smoking. When loading or unloading hazardous materials, keep
fire away. Don’t let people smoke nearby. Never smoke around:
•
•
•
•
•
9-8
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
Class 5 (Oxidizers)
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Do not transport Class 1.1 or 1.2 in vehicle combinations if:
• There is a marked or placarded cargo tank in the combination.
• The other vehicle in the combination contains:
— Division 1.1 A (Initiating Explosives).
— Packages of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials labeled
“Yellow III.”
— Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division 6.1 (Poisonous)
materials.
— Hazardous materials in a portable tank, on a DOT Spec
106A or 110A tank.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5 (Oxidizers) Materials.
Class 4 materials are solids that react (including fire and explosion)
to water, heat, and air or even react spontaneously.
Class 4 and 5 materials must be completely enclosed in a vehicle or
covered securely. Class 4 and 5 materials, which become unstable
and dangerous when wet, must be kept dry while in transit and during
loading and unloading. Materials that are subject to spontaneous
combustion or heating must be in vehicles with sufficient ventilation.
Class 8 (Corrosive) Materials. If loading by hand, load breakable
containers of corrosive liquid one by one. Keep them right side up.
Do not drop or roll the containers. Load them onto an even floor
surface. Stack carboys only if the lower tiers can bear the weight
of the upper tiers safely.
Do not load nitric acid above any other product.
Load charged storage batteries so their liquid won’t spill. Keep
them right side up. Make sure other cargo won’t fall against or
short circuit them.
rules for loading and unloading Class 2 materials in cargo tanks.
You must have special training to do this.
Class 7 (Radioactive) Materials. Some packages of Class 7
(Radioactive) materials bear a number called the “transport index.”
The shipper labels these packages Radioactive II or Radioactive
III, and prints the package’s transport index on the label. Radiation
surrounds each package, passing through all nearby packages. To
deal with this problem, the number of packages you can load together
is controlled. Their closeness to people, animals, and unexposed
film is also controlled. The transport index tells the degree of
control needed during transportation. The total transport index of
all packages in a single vehicle must not exceed 50. Table A to this
section shows rules for each transport index. It shows how close
you can load Class 7 (Radioactive) materials to people, animals, or
film. For example, you can’t leave a package with a transport index
of 1.1 within two feet of people or cargo space walls.
Mixed loads. The rules require some products to be loaded
separately. You cannot load them together in the same cargo space.
Figure 9.9 lists some examples. The regulations (the Segregation
Table for Hazardous Materials) name other materials you must
keep apart.
Do Not Load Table
Do Not Load
Division 6.1 or 2.3
(POISON or poison
inhalation hazard
labeled material).
Animal or human food unless the
poison package is over packed in
an approved way. Foodstuffs are
anything you swallow. However,
mouthwash, toothpaste, and skin
creams are not foodstuff.
Division 2.3 (Poisonous) gas Zone A or
Division 6.1 (Poison)
liquids, PGI, Zone A.
Division 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).
Never load corrosive liquids next to or above:
•
•
•
•
•
Division 1.4 (Explosives C).
Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids).
Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet).
Class 5 (Oxidizers).
Division 2.3, Zone B (Poisonous Gases).
Never load corrosive liquids with:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Division 1.1 or 1.2 (Explosives A).
Division 1.2 or 1.3 (Explosives B).
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents).
Division 2.3, Zone A (Poisonous Gases).
Division 4.2 (Spontaneously Combustible Materials).
Division 6.1, PGI, Zone A (Poison Liquids).
Class 2 (Compressed Gases) Including Cryogenic Liquids. If
your vehicle doesn’t have racks to hold cylinders, the cargo space
floor must be flat. The cylinders must be:
• Held securely upright.
• In racks attached to the vehicle or in boxes that will keep them
from turning over.
Charged storage bat- Division 1.1.
teries.
Class 1 (Detonating
primers).
Any other explosives unless in
authorized containers or packages.
Division 6.1 (Cyanides or cyanide
mixtures).
Acids, corrosive materials, or
other acidic materials which
could release hydrocyanic acid.
For Example:
Cyanides, Inorganic, n.o.s.
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Cyanide.
Nitric acid (Class 8).
Other materials unless the nitric
acid is not loaded above any
other material.
Cylinders may be loaded in a horizontal position (lying down) if it
is designed so the relief valve is in the vapor space.
Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division 6.1 (Poisonous)
Materials. Never transport these materials in containers with
interconnections. Never load a package labeled POISON or POISON
INHALATION HAZARD in the driver’s cab or sleeper or with
food material for human or animal consumption. There are special
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
In The Same Vehicle With
Figure 9.9
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
9.5.2 – Tank Loading
SUBSECTION 9.4
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Around which hazard classes must you never smoke?
2. Which three hazard classes should not be loaded into
a trailer that has a heater/air conditioner unit?
3. Should the floor liner required for Division 1.1 or 1.2
materials be stainless steel?
4. At the shipper’s dock you’re given a paper for 100
cartons of battery acid. You already have 100 pounds
of dry Silver Cyanide on board. What precautions do
you have to take?
5. Name a hazard class that uses transport indexes to
determine the amount that can be loaded in a single
vehicle.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsection 9.4.
The person in charge of loading and unloading a cargo tank must
be sure a qualified person is always watching. This person watching
the loading or unloading must:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Be alert.
Have a clear view of the cargo tank.
Be within 25 feet of the tank.
Know of the hazards of the materials involved.
Know the procedures to follow in an emergency.
Be authorized to move the cargo tank and able to do so.
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
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 that 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, diamondshaped background if no placards are required. Specification cargo
tanks must show re-test date markings.
Portable tanks must also show the lessee or owner’s name. They
must also display the shipping name of the contents on two opposing
sides. The letters of the shipping name must be at least two inches
tall on portable tanks with capacities of more than 1,000 gallons
and one-inch tall on portable tanks with capacities of less than
1,000 gallons. The identification number must appear on each side
and each end of a portable tank or other bulk packaging that hold
1,000 gallons or more and on two opposing sides, if the portable
tank holds less than 1,000 gallons. The identification numbers must
still be visible when the portable tank is on the motor vehicle. If
they are not visible, you must display the identification number on
both sides and ends of the motor vehicle.
Turn off your engine before loading or unloading any flammable
liquids. Only run the engine if needed to operate a pump. Ground
a cargo tank correctly before filling it through an open filling hole.
Ground the tank before opening the filling hole, and maintain the
ground until after closing the filling hole.
9.5.4 – Compressed Gas
Keep liquid discharge valves on a compressed gas tank closed except
when loading and unloading. Unless your engine runs a pump for
product transfer, turn it off when loading or unloading. If you use
the engine, turn it off after product transfer, before you unhook the
hose. Unhook all loading/unloading connections before coupling,
uncoupling, or moving a cargo tank. Always chock trailers and
semi-trailers to prevent motion when uncoupled from the power unit.
SUBSECTION 9.5
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. What are cargo tanks?
2. How is a portable tank different from a cargo tank?
3. Your engine runs a pump used during delivery of
compressed gas. Should you turn off the engine before
or after unhooking hoses after delivery?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsection 9.5.
Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are bulk packages, but are not
required to have the owner’s name or shipping name.
9-10
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
9.6 – Hazardous Materials -- Driving and
Parking Rules
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 Explosives
Never park with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 explosives within five
feet of the traveled part of the road. Except for short periods of
time needed for vehicle operation necessities (e.g., fueling), do not
park within 300 feet of:
• A bridge, tunnel, or building.
• A place where people gather.
• An open fire.
If you must park to do your job, do so only briefly.
Don’t park on private property unless the owner is aware of the
danger. Someone must always watch the parked vehicle. You may
let someone else watch it for you only if your vehicle is:
9.6.5 – Route Restrictions
Some states and counties require permits to transport hazardous
materials or wastes. They may limit the routes you can use. Local
rules about routes and permits change often. It is your job as driver
to find out if you need permits or must use special routes. Make
sure you have all needed papers before starting.
If you work for a carrier, ask your dispatcher about route restrictions
or permits. If you are an independent trucker and are planning a
new route, check with state agencies where you plan to travel.
Some localities prohibit transportation of hazardous materials
through tunnels, over bridges, or other roadways. Always check
before you start.
Whenever placarded, avoid heavily populated areas, crowds, tunnels,
narrow streets, and alleys. Take other routes, even if inconvenient,
unless there is no other way. Never drive a placarded vehicle near
open fires unless you can safely pass without stopping.
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.
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.
9.6.2 – Parking a Placarded Vehicle Not Transporting
Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class A or B) Explosives
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.
• On the shipper’s property.
• On the carrier’s property.
• On the consignee’s property.
You may park a placarded vehicle (not laden with explosives) within
five feet of the traveled part of the road only if your work requires
it. Do so only briefly. Someone must always watch the vehicle
when parked on a public roadway or shoulder. Do not uncouple a
trailer and leave it with hazardous materials on a public street. Do
not park within 300 feet of an open fire.
9.6.3 – Attending Parked Vehicles
The person attending a placarded vehicle must:
• Be in the vehicle, awake, and not in the sleeper berth, or within
100 feet of the vehicle and have it within clear view.
• Be aware of the hazards of the materials being transported.
• Know what to do in emergencies.
• Be able to move the vehicle, if needed.
9.6.4 – No Flares!
You might break down and have to use stopped vehicle signals.
Use reflective triangles or red electric lights. Never use burning
signals, such as flares or fuses, around a:
• Tank used for Class 3 (Flammable Liquids) or Division 2.1
(Flammable Gas) whether loaded or empty.
• Vehicle loaded with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 Explosives.
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
9.6.6 – No Smoking
Do not smoke within 25 feet of a placarded cargo tank used for
Class 3 (flammable liquids) or Division 2.1 (gases). Also, do not
smoke or carry a lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of
any vehicle, which contains:
•
•
•
•
Class 1 (Explosives)
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. Check placarded vehicles
with dual tires at the start of each trip and when you park. You
must check the tires each time you stop. The only acceptable way
to check tire pressure is to use a tire pressure gauge.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
• Has cargo tanks, whether loaded or empty used for hazardous
materials.
You must stop 15 to 50 feet before the nearest rail. Proceed only
when you are sure no train is coming. Don’t shift gears while
crossing the tracks.
9.6.10 – Where to Keep Shipping Papers and Emergency
Response Information
9.7 – Hazardous Materials -Emergencies
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.
9.7.1 – Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG)
• 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.
9.6.11 – Papers for Division 1.1, 1.2 or, 1.3 Explosives
A carrier must give each driver transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or
1.3 explosives a copy of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSR), Part 397. The carrier must also give written instructions
on what to do if delayed or in an accident. The written instructions
must include:
• 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.
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.
Follow this checklist:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Check to see that your driving partner is OK.
Keep shipping papers with you.
Keep people far away and upwind.
Warn others of the danger.
Call for help.
Follow your employer’s instructions.
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.
9.6.12 – Equipment for Chlorine
A driver transporting chlorine in cargo tanks must have an approved
gas mask in the vehicle. The driver must also have an emergency kit
for controlling leaks in dome cover plate fittings on the cargo tank.
9.6.13 – Stop Before Railroad Crossings
Stop before a railroad crossing if your vehicle:
• Is placarded.
• Carries any amount of chlorine.
9-12
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
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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.
Secure the area.
Stay there.
Send someone else for help.
When sending someone for help, give that person:
• A description of the emergency.
• Your exact location and direction of travel.
• Your name, the carrier’s name, and the name of the community
or city where your terminal is located.
• The proper shipping name, hazard class, and identification
number of the hazardous materials, if you know them.
This is a lot for someone to remember. It is a good idea to write
it all down for the person you send for help. The emergency
response team must know these things to find you and to handle
the emergency. They may have to travel miles to get to you. This
information will help them to bring the right equipment the first
time, without having to go back for it.
Never move your vehicle if doing so will cause contamination or
damage the vehicle. Keep upwind and away from roadside rests,
truck stops, cafes, and businesses. Never try to repack leaking
containers. Unless you have the training and equipment to repair
leaks safely, don’t try it. Call your dispatcher or supervisor for
instructions and, if needed, emergency personnel.
9.7.4 – Responses to Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives). If your vehicle has a breakdown or accident
while carrying explosives, warn others of the danger. Keep
bystanders away. Do not allow smoking or open fire near the
vehicle. If there is a fire, warn everyone of the danger of explosion.
Remove all explosives before separating vehicles involved in a
collision. Place the explosives at least 200 feet from the vehicles
and occupied buildings. Stay a safe distance away.
Class 2 (Compressed Gases). If compressed gas is leaking from
your vehicle, warn others of the danger. Only permit those involved
in removing the hazard or wreckage to get close. You must notify
the shipper if compressed gas is involved in any accident.
Unless you are fueling machinery used in road construction or
maintenance, do not transfer a flammable compressed gas from
one tank to another on any public roadway.
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids). If you are transporting a flammable
liquid and have an accident or your vehicle breaks down, prevent
bystanders from gathering. Warn people of the danger. Keep them
from smoking.
Never transport a leaking cargo tank farther than needed to reach
a safe place. Get off the roadway if you can do so safely. Don’t
transfer flammable liquid from one vehicle to another on a public
roadway except in an emergency.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5 (Oxidizing Materials).
If a flammable solid or oxidizing material spills, warn others of the
fire hazard. Do not open smoldering packages of flammable solids.
Remove them from the vehicle if you can safely do so. Also, remove
unbroken packages if it will decrease the fire hazard.
Class 6 (Poisonous Materials and Infectious Substances). It is
your job to protect yourself, other people, and property from harm.
Remember that many products classed as poison are also flammable.
If you think a Division 2.3 (Poison Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poison
Materials) might be flammable, take the added precautions needed
for flammable liquids or gases. Do not allow smoking, open flame,
or welding. Warn others of the hazards of fire, of inhaling vapors,
or coming in contact with the poison.
A vehicle involved in a leak of Division 2.3 (Poison Gases) or
Division 6.1 (Poisons) must be checked for stray poison before
being used again.
If a Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) package is damaged in
handling or transportation, you should immediately contact your
supervisor. Packages that appear to be damaged or show signs of
leakage should not be accepted.
Class 7 (Radioactive Materials). If radioactive material is involved
in a leak or broken package, tell your dispatcher or supervisor as
soon as possible. If there is a spill, or if an internal container might
be damaged, do not touch or inhale the material. Do not use the
vehicle until it is cleaned and checked with a survey meter.
Class 8 (Corrosive Materials). If corrosives spill or leak during
transportation, be careful to avoid further damage or injury when
handling the containers. Parts of the vehicle exposed to a corrosive
liquid must be thoroughly washed with water. After unloading, wash
out the interior as soon as possible before reloading.
If continuing to transport a leaking tank would be unsafe, get off the
road. If safe to do so, contain any liquid leaking from the vehicle.
Keep bystanders away from the liquid and its fumes. Do everything
possible to prevent injury to yourself and to others.
9.7.5 – Required Notification
The National Response Center helps coordinate emergency response
to chemical hazards. It is a resource to the police and firefighters. It
maintains a 24-hour toll-free line. You or your employer must phone
when any of the following occur as a direct result of a hazardous
materials incident listed below:
•
•
•
•
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.
9-13
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• One or more major transportation arteries or facilities are
closed for one hour or more.
• Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive contamination
occurs.
• Fire, breakage, spillage or suspected contamination occur
involving shipment of etiologic agents (bacteria or toxins).
• A situation exists of such a nature (e.g., continuing danger to
life exists at the scene of an incident) that, in the judgment of
the carrier, should be reported.
National Response Center
(800) 424-8802
Persons telephoning the National Response Center should be ready
to give:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Their name.
Name and address of the carrier they work for.
Phone number where they can be reached.
Date, time, and location of incident.
The extent of injuries, if any.
Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous materials
involved, if such information is available.
• Type of incident and nature of hazardous materials involvement
and whether a continuing danger to life exists at the scene.
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.
Figure 9.10
Be prepared to give your employer the required information as
well. Carriers must make detailed written reports within 30 days
of an incident.
SUBSECTIONS 9.6 AND 9.7
CHEMTREC
(800) 424-9300
The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center (CHEMTREC)
in Washington also has a 24-hour toll-free line. CHEMTREC was
created to provide emergency personnel with technical information
about the physical properties of hazardous materials. The National
Response Center and CHEMTREC are in close communication.
If you call either one, they will tell the other about the problem
when appropriate.
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III labeled packages
near people, animals, or film longer than shown in Figure 9.10
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. If your placarded trailer has dual tires, how often should
you check the tires?
2. What is a safe haven?
3. How close to the traveled part of the roadway can you
park with Division 1.2 or 1.3 materials?
4. How close can you park to a bridge, tunnel, or building
with the same load?
5. What type of fire extinguisher must placarded vehicles
carry?
6. You’re hauling 100 pounds of Division 4.3 (dangerous
when wet) materials. Do you need to stop before a
railroad-highway crossing?
7. At a rest area you discover your hazardous materials
shipments slowly leaking from the vehicle. There is
no phone around. What should you do?
8. What is the Emergency Response Guide (ERG)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read subsections 9.6 and 9.7.
9-14
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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-to-date copy of these rules for your reference.
(Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.)
Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.
Bulk packaging – Packaging, other than a vessel, or a barge,
including a transport vehicle or freight container, in which hazardous
materials are loaded with no intermediate form of containment
and which has:
1.A maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119 gallons) as a
receptacle for a liquid;
2.A maximum net mass greater than 400 kg (882 pounds) or
a maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119 gallons) as a
receptacle for a solid; or
3.A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1000 pounds) as a
receptacle for a gas as defined in Sec. 173.115.
Cargo tank – A bulk packaging which:
1.Is a tank intended primarily for the carriage of liquids or gases
and includes appurtenances, reinforcements, fittings, and
closures (for “tank”, see 49 CFR 178.3451(c), 178.3371, or
178.3381, as applicable);
2.Is permanently attached to or forms a part of a motor vehicle,
or is not permanently attached to a motor vehicle but which,
by reason of its size, construction, or attachment to a motor
vehicle is loaded or unloaded without being removed from the
motor vehicle; and
3.Is not fabricated under a specification for cylinders, portable
tanks, tank cars, or multiunit tank car tanks.
Carrier – A person engaged in the transportation of passengers
or property by:
1.Land or water as a common, contract, or private carrier, or
2.Civil aircraft.
Consignee – The business or person to whom a shipment is delivered.
provisions of the Sec. 172.101 Table. A material may meet the
defining criteria for more than one hazard class but is assigned
to only one hazard class.
Hazardous materials – A substance or material which has been
determined by the Secretary of Transportation to be capable of posing
an unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property when transported
in commerce, and which has been so designated. The term includes
hazardous substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants, elevated
temperature materials and materials designated as hazardous in the
hazardous materials table of §172.101, and materials that meet the
defining criteria for hazard classes and divisions in §173, subchapter
c of this chapter.
Hazardous substance – A material, including its
mixtures and solutions, that:
1.Is listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
2.Is in a quantity, in one package, which equals or exceeds the
reportable quantity (RQ) listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
and
3.When in a mixture or solution
(i) For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph 7 of Appendix
A to Sec. 172.101.
(ii) For other than radionuclides, is in a concentration
by weight which equals or exceeds the concentration
corresponding to the RQ of the material, as shown in
Figure 9.11.
This definition of hazardous substance does not apply to petroleum
Hazardous Substance Concentrations
RQ Pounds
(Kilograms)
5,000 (2,270)
1,000 (454)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
1 (0.454)
Concentration by Weight
Percent
PPM
10
100,000
2
20,000
.2
2,000
.02
200
.002
20
Figure 9.11
Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Freight container – A reusable container having a volume of 64
cubic feet or more, designed and constructed to permit being lifted
with its contents intact and intended primarily for containment of
packages (in unit form) during transportation.
Fuel tank – A tank, other than a cargo tank, used to transport
flammable or combustible liquid or compressed gas for the purpose
of supplying fuel for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it
is attached, or for the operation of other equipment on the transport
vehicle.
Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of a packaging plus the
weight of its contents.
Hazard class – The category of hazard assigned to a hazardous
material under the definitional criteria of Part 173 and the
Section 9 – Hazardous Materials
products that are lubricants or fuels (see 49 CFR Part 171.8).
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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Mixture – A material composed of more than one chemical
compound or element.
Name of contents – The proper shipping name as specified in
Sec. 172.101.
Non-bulk packaging – A packaging, which has:
1.A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle
for a liquid;
2.A maximum net mass less than 400 kg (882 pounds) and a
maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons) or less as a receptacle
for a solid; or
3.A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1,000 pounds) or less
as a receptacle for a gas as defined in Sec. 173.115.
N.O.S. – Not otherwise specified.
Outage or ullage – The amount by which a packaging falls short
of being liquid full, usually expressed in percent by volume.
Portable tank – Bulk packaging (except a cylinder having a water
capacity of 1,000 pounds or less) designed primarily to be loaded
onto, or on, or temporarily attached to a transport vehicle or ship
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, multiunit tank car tank, or trailer carrying
3AX, 3AAX, or 3T cylinders.
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, multiunit 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.
Reportable quantity (RQ) – The quantity specified in Column
2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for any material identified in
Column 1 of the Appendix.
RSPA – now PHMSA – The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation,
Washington, DC 20590.
Shipper’s certification – A statement on a shipping paper, signed
by the shipper, saying he/she prepared the shipment properly
according to law. For example:
“This is to certify that the above named materials are properly
classified, described, packaged, marked and labeled, and are in
proper condition for transportation according to the applicable
regulations or the Department of Transportation.” or
“I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully
and accurately described above by the proper shipping name
and are classified, packaged, marked and labeled/placarded,
and are in all respects in proper condition for transport by •
according to applicable international and national government
regulations.”
• words may be inserted here to indicate mode of transportation
(rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel)
Shipping paper – A shipping order, bill of lading, manifest, or
other shipping document serving a similar purpose and containing
the information required by Sec. 172.202, 172.203, and 172.204.
Technical name – A recognized chemical name or microbiological
name currently used in scientific and technical handbooks, journals,
and texts.
Transport vehicle – A cargo-carrying vehicle such as an automobile,
van, tractor, truck, semi-trailer, tank car, or rail car used for the
transportation of cargo by any mode. Each cargo-carrying body
(trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport vehicle.
P.s.i. or psi – Pounds per square inch.
UN standard packaging – A specification packaging conforming
to the standards in the UN recommendations.
P.s.i.a. or psia – Pounds per square inch absolute.
UN – United Nations.
9-16
Section 9 – Hazardous Materialss
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
spot behind the bus could extend up to 400 feet depending on the
width of the bus.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see:
• 200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus.
• Along the sides of the bus.
• The rear tires touching the ground.
You must pass both a school bus knowledge test and a skills test
in a school bus to obtain a school bus endorsement. You must pass
a school bus knowledge test on this section.
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. In Oregon,
you will be informed of specific licensing and testing requirements
when you become employed to operate a school bus.
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. A danger zone may extend as much as 30 feet from
the front bumper with the first 10 feet being the most dangerous.
Danger zones are also present 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
Figure 10.2 shows how both the outside left and right side flat
mirrors should be adjusted.
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
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 10.2
Figure 10.3
provide a view of traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the
bus. These mirrors present a view of people and objects that does
not accurately reflect their size and distance from the bus.
You should position these mirrors to see:
• The entire side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
• Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
• At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.
Figure 10.3 shows how both the outside left and right side convex
mirrors should be adjusted.
10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side Crossover Mirrors
These mirrors are mounted on both left and right front corners of
the bus. They are used to see the front bumper “danger zone” area
directly in front of the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and
to view the “danger zone” area to the left side and right side of the
bus, including the service door and front wheel area. The mirror
presents a view of people and objects that does not accurately reflect
their size and distance from the bus. The driver must ensure that
these mirrors are properly adjusted.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so you can see:
• The entire area in front of the bus from the front bumper at
ground level to a point where direct vision is possible. Direct
vision and mirror view vision should overlap.
• The right and left front tires touching the ground.
• The area from the front of the bus to the service door.
10-2
Figure 10.4
• These mirrors, along with the convex and flat mirrors, should
be viewed in a logical sequence to ensure that a child or object
Section 10 – School Busess
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
is not in any of the danger zones.
Figure 10.4 illustrates how the left and right side crossover mirrors
should be adjusted.
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
This mirror is mounted directly above the windshield on the driver’s
side area of the bus. This mirror is used to monitor passenger
activity inside the bus. It may provide limited visibility directly
in back of the bus if the bus is equipped with a glass-bottomed
rear emergency door. There is a blind spot area directly behind the
driver’s seat as well as a large blind spot area that begins at the
rear bumper and could extend up to 400 feet or more behind the
bus. You must use the exterior side mirrors to monitor traffic that
approaches and enters this area.
You should position the mirror to see:
• The top of the rear window in the top of the mirror.
• All of the students, including the heads of the students right
behind you.
10.2 – Loading and Unloading
More students are killed while getting on or off a school bus each
year than are killed as passengers inside of a school bus. As a result,
knowing what to do before, during, and after loading or unloading
students is critical. This section will give you specific procedures
to help you avoid unsafe conditions which could result in injuries
and fatalities during and after loading and unloading students.
The information in this section is intended to provide a broad
overview, but is not a definitive set of actions. It is imperative
that you learn and obey the state laws and regulations governing
loading/unloading operations in your state.
10.2.1 – Approaching the Stop
Each school district establishes official routes and official school
bus stops. All stops should be approved by the school district prior
to making the stop. You should never change the location of a bus
stop without written approval from the appropriate school district
official.
You must use extreme caution when approaching a school bus
stop. You are in a very demanding situation when entering these
areas. It is critical that you understand and follow all state and
local laws and regulations regarding approaching a school bus
stop. This would involve the proper use of mirrors, alternating
flashing lights, and when equipped, the moveable stop signal arm
and crossing control arm.
When approaching the stop, you should:
• Approach cautiously at a slow rate of speed.
• Look for pedestrians, traffic, or other objects before, during,
and after coming to a stop.
• Continuously check all mirrors.
• Activate alternating flashing amber warning lights 100 to 300
feet before the school bus stop.
• Continuously check mirrors to monitor the danger zones for
students, traffic, and other objects.
Section 10 – School Buses
• 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 by partially opening the door, or
by other means, when traffic is a safe distance from the school
bus. Ensure stop arm is extended if so equipped.
• Make a final check to see that all traffic has stopped before
completely opening the door and signaling students to
approach.
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
• Perform a safe stop as described in subsection 10.2.1.
• Students should wait in a designated location for the school
bus, facing the bus as it approaches.
• Students should board the bus only when signaled by the driver.
• Monitor all mirrors continuously.
• Count the number of students at the bus stop and be sure all
board the bus. If possible, know names of students at each stop.
If there is a student missing, ask the other students where the
student is.
• Have the students board the school bus slowly, in single file,
and use the handrail. The dome light should be on while loading
in the dark.
• Wait until students are seated and facing forward before
moving the bus.
• Check all mirrors. Make certain no one is running to catch the
bus.
• If you cannot account for a student outside, secure the bus,
take the key, and check around and underneath the bus.
• When all students are accounted for, prepare to leave by:
— Closing the door.
— Engaging the transmission.
— Releasing the parking brake.
— Turning off alternating flashing red lights if they did not
turn off upon closing the door.
— Turning on signal if reentering traffic from an off-road
stop.
— Checking all mirrors again.
— Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
• When it is safe, move the bus as necessary to enter traffic flow
and continue the route.
The loading procedure is essentially the same wherever you load
students, but there are slight differences. When students are loading
at the school campus, you should:
• Turn off the ignition switch.
• Remove key if leaving driver’s compartment.
• Position yourself to supervise loading as required or
recommended by your state or local regulations.
10.2.3 – Unloading Procedures on the Route
• Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas as described
in subsection 10.2.1.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
• Check all mirrors.
• Count the number of students while unloading to confirm the
location of all students before pulling away from the stop.
• Tell students to exit the bus and walk at least 10 feet away from
the side of the bus to a position where the driver can plainly
see all students.
• Check all mirrors again. Make sure no students are around or
returning to the bus.
• If you cannot account for a student outside the bus, secure the
bus, and check around and underneath the bus.
• When all students are accounted for, prepare to leave by:
— Closing the door.
— Engaging transmission.
— Releasing parking brake.
— Turning off alternating flashing red lights if they did not
turn off upon closing the door.
— Turning on signal if reentering traffic from an off-road
stop.
— Checking all mirrors again.
— Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
• When it is safe, move the bus as necessary to enter the traffic
flow and continue the route.
Note. If you have missed a student’s unloading stop, do not back
up. Be sure to follow local procedures.
Additional Procedures for Students That Must Cross the
Roadway. You should understand what students should do when
exiting a school bus and crossing the street in front of the bus. In
addition, the school bus driver should understand that students might
not always do what they are supposed to do. If a student or students
must cross the roadway, they should follow these procedures:
• Walk approximately 10 feet away from the side of the school
bus to a position where you can see them.
• Walk to a location at least 10 feet in front of the right corner
of the bumper, but still remaining away from the front of the
school bus.
• Stop at the right edge of the roadway. You should be able to
see the student’s feet.
When students reach the edge of the roadway, they should:
• Stop and look in all directions, making sure the roadway is
clear and is safe.
• Check to see if the red flashing lights on the bus are still
flashing.
• Wait for your signal before crossing the roadway.
Upon your signal, the students should:
• Cross far enough in front of the school bus to be in your view.
• Walk to the left edge of the school bus, stop, and look again
for your signal to continue to cross the roadway.
• Look for traffic in both directions, making sure roadway is
clear.
• Proceed across the roadway, continuing to look in all directions.
Note: The school bus driver should enforce any state or local
regulations or recommendations concerning student actions outside
the school bus.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
State and local laws and regulations regarding unloading students
at schools, particularly in situations where such activities take place
in the school parking lot or other location that is off the traveled
roadway, are often different than unloading along the school bus
route. It is important that the school bus driver understands and
obeys state and local laws and regulations. The following procedures
are meant to be general guidelines.
When unloading at the school you should follow these procedures:
• Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas as described
in subsection 10.2.1.
• Secure the bus by:
— Turning off the ignition switch.
— Removing key if leaving driver’s compartment.
• Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
• Position yourself to supervise unloading as required or
recommended by your state or local regulations.
• Have students exit in orderly fashion.
• Observe students as they step from bus to see that all move
promptly away from the unloading area.
• Walk through the bus and check for hiding/sleeping students
and items left by students.
• Check all mirrors. Make certain no students are returning to
the bus.
• If you cannot account for a student outside the bus and the bus
is secure, check around and underneath the bus.
• When all students are accounted for, prepare to leave by:
— Closing the door.
— Fastening safety belt.
— Starting engine.
— Engaging the transmission.
— Releasing the parking brake.
— Turning off alternating flashing red lights if they did not
turn off upon closing the door.
— Turning on left turn signal.
— Checking all mirrors again.
— Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
• When it is safe, pull away from the unloading area.
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and Unloading
Dropped or Forgotten Objects. Always focus on students as they
approach the bus and watch for any who disappear from sight.
Students may drop an object near the bus during loading and
unloading. Stopping to pick up the object, or returning to pick up
the object may cause the student to disappear from the driver’s
sight at a very dangerous moment.
Students should be told to leave any dropped object and move to
a point of safety out of the danger zones and attempt to get the
driver’s attention to retrieve the object.
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Section 10 – School Busess
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Handrail Hang-ups. Students have been injured or killed when
clothing, accessories, or even parts of their body get caught in the
handrail or door as they exited the bus. You should closely observe
all students exiting the bus to confirm that they are in a safe location
prior to moving the bus.
10.2.6 – Post-trip Inspection
When your route or school activity trip is finished, you should
conduct a post-trip inspection of the bus.
You should walk through the bus and around the bus looking for
the following:
•
•
•
•
Articles left on the bus.
Sleeping students.
Open windows and doors.
Mechanical/operational problems with the bus, with special
attention to items that are unique to school buses – mirror
systems, flashing warning lamps and stop signal arms.
• Damage or vandalism.
Any problems or special situations should be reported immediately
to your supervisor or school authorities.
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
An emergency situation can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.
It could be a crash, a stalled school bus on a railroad-highway
crossing or in a high-speed intersection, an electrical fire in the
engine compartment, a medical emergency to a student on the school
bus, etc. Knowing what to do in an emergency–before, during and
after an evacuation–can mean the difference between life and death.
10.3.1 – Planning for Emergencies
Determine Need to Evacuate Bus. The first and most important
consideration is for you to recognize the hazard. If time permits,
school bus drivers should contact their dispatcher to explain the
situation before making a decision to evacuate the school bus.
As a general rule, student safety and control is best maintained by
keeping students on the bus during an emergency and/or impending
crisis situation, if so doing does not expose them to unnecessary
risk or injury. Remember, the decision to evacuate the bus must
be a timely one.
A decision to evacuate should include consideration of the following
conditions:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Is there a fire or danger of fire?
Is there a smell of raw or leaking fuel?
Is there a chance the bus could be hit by other vehicles?
Is the bus in the path of a sighted tornado or rising waters?
Are there downed power lines?
Would removing students expose them to speeding traffic,
severe weather, or a dangerous environment such as downed
power lines?
• Would moving students complicate injuries such as neck and
back injuries and fractures?
• Is there a hazardous spill involved? Sometimes, it may be safer
to remain on the bus and not come in contact with the material.
Section 10 – School Buses
Mandatory Evacuations. The driver must evacuate the bus when:
•
•
•
•
•
The bus is on fire or there is a threat of a fire.
The bus is stalled on or adjacent to a railroad-highway crossing.
The position of the bus may change and increase the danger.
There is an imminent danger of collision.
There is a need to quickly evacuate because of a hazardous
materials spill.
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. When possible, assign two
responsible, older student assistants to each emergency exit.
Teach them how to assist the other students off the bus. Assign
another student assistant to lead the students to a “safe place” after
evacuation. However, you must recognize that there may not be
older, responsible students on the bus at the time of the emergency.
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.
• Avoid areas that are subject to flash floods.
General Procedures. Determine if evacuation is in the best interest
of safety.
• Determine the best type of evacuation:
— Front, rear or side door evacuation, or some combination
of doors.
— Roof or window evacuation.
• Secure the bus by:
— Placing transmission in Park, or if there is no shift point,
in Neutral.
— Setting parking brakes.
— Shutting off the engine.
— Removing ignition key.
— Activating hazard-warning lights.
• If time allows, notify dispatch office of evacuation location,
conditions, and type of assistance needed.
• Dangle radio microphone or telephone out of driver’s window
for later use, if operable.
• If no radio, or radio is inoperable, dispatch a passing motorist
or area resident to call for help. As a last resort, dispatch two
older, responsible students to go for help.
• Order the evacuation.
• Evacuate students from the bus.
— 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 or spinal
injury victims to prevent further injury.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 10.5
• Direct a student assistant to lead students to the nearest safe
place.
• Walk through the bus to ensure no students remain on the bus.
Retrieve emergency equipment.
• Join waiting students. Account for all students and check for
their safety.
• Protect the scene. Set out emergency warning devices as
necessary and appropriate.
• Prepare information for emergency responders.
10.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
10.4.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does not have any type
of traffic control device. You must stop at these crossings and
follow proper procedures. However, the decision to proceed rests
entirely in your hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize
the crossing, search for any train using the tracks and decide if
there is sufficient clear space to cross safely. Passive crossings
have yellow circular advance warning signs, pavement markings
and crossbucks to assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a traffic control device
installed at the crossing to regulate traffic at the crossing. These
active devices include flashing red lights, with or without bells and
flashing red lights with bells and gates.
10.4.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-on-yellow warning
sign is placed ahead of a public 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.
10-6
Figure 10.6
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean the same as the
advance warning sign. They consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR”
and a no-passing marking on two-lane roads.
There is also a no passing zone sign on two-lane roads. There may
be a white stop line painted on the pavement before the railroad
tracks. The front of the school bus must remain behind this line
while stopped at the crossing. See Figure 10.6.
Crossbuck Signs. This sign marks the crossing. It requires you to
yield the right-of-way to the train. If there is no white line painted
on the pavement, you must stop the bus before the crossbuck sign.
When the road crosses over more than one set of tracks, a sign
below the crossbuck indicates the number of tracks. See Figure 10.7.
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highway-rail grade crossings,
the crossbuck sign has flashing red lights and bells. When the lights
begin to flash, stop! A train is approaching. You are required to yield
the right-of-way to the train. If there is more than one track, make
sure all tracks are clear before crossing. See Figure 10.8.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have gates with flashing
red lights and bells. Stop when the lights begin to flash and before
the gate lowers across the road lane. Remain stopped until the gates
go up and the lights have stopped flashing. Proceed when it is safe.
If the gate stays down after the train passes, do not drive around
the gate. Instead, call your dispatcher. See Figure 10.8.
10.4.3 – Recommended Procedures
Each state has laws and regulations governing how school buses
must operate at railroad-highway crossings. It is important for you
to understand and obey these state laws and regulations. In general,
school buses must stop at all crossings, and ensure it is safe before
proceeding across the tracks. The specific procedures required in
each state vary.
Section 10 – School Busess
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Figure 10.7
A school bus is one of the safest vehicles on the highway. However,
a school bus does not have the slightest edge when involved in a
crash with a train. Because of a train’s size and weight it cannot
stop quickly. An emergency escape route does not exist for a
train. You can prevent school bus/train crashes by following these
recommended procedures.
• Approaching the Crossing:
— Slow down, including shifting to a lower gear in a manual
transmission bus, and test your brakes.
— Activate hazard lights approximately 200 feet before the
crossing. Make sure your intentions are known.
— Scan your surroundings and check for traffic behind you.
— Stay to the right of the roadway if possible.
— Choose an escape route in the event of a brake failure or
problems behind you.
• At the Crossing:
— Stop at the stop line or, if there is no clearly marked stop
line, no closer than 15 feet and no farther than 50 feet
from the nearest rail, where you have the best view of the
tracks.
— Keep the service brake applied. If there is any indication
of an approaching train, place the transmission in Park, or
if there is no Park shift point, in Neutral and press down
on the service brake or set the parking brakes.
— Turn off all radios and noisy equipment, and silence the
passengers.
— Open the service door and driver’s window. Look and
listen for an approaching train.
Section 10 – School Buses
Figure 10.8
• Crossing the Track:
— Check the crossing signals again before proceeding.
— At a multiple-track crossing, stop only before the first set
of tracks. When you are sure no train is approaching on
any track, proceed across all of the tracks until you have
completely cleared them.
— Cross the tracks in a low gear. Do not change gears while
crossing.
— If the gate comes down after you have started across, drive
through it even if it means you will break the gate.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
Bus Stalls or Trapped on Tracks. If your bus stalls or is trapped
on the tracks, get everyone out and off the tracks immediately.
Move everyone far from the bus at an angle, which is both away
from the tracks and toward the train.
Police Officer at the Crossing. If a police officer is at the crossing,
obey directions. If there is no police officer, and you believe the
signal is malfunctioning, call your dispatcher to report the situation
and ask for instructions on how to proceed.
Obstructed View of Tracks. Plan your route so it provides maximum
sight distance at highway-rail grade crossings. Do not attempt to
cross the tracks unless you can see far enough down the track to
know for certain that no trains are approaching. Passive crossings
are those that do not have any type of traffic control device. Be
especially careful at “passive” crossings. Even if there are active
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railroad signals that indicate the tracks are clear, you must look
and listen to be sure it is safe to proceed.
10.6 – Antilock Braking Systems
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.
10.6.1 – Vehicles Required to Have Antilock Braking
Systems
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.
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.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain control. You
may or may not be able to stop faster with ABS, but you should
be able to steer around an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids
caused by over braking.
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
Tips on handling serious problems:
• Follow your school’s procedures for discipline or refusal of
rights to ride the bus.
• Stop the bus. Park in a safe location off the road, perhaps a
parking lot or a driveway.
• Secure the bus. Take the ignition key with you if you leave
your seat.
• Stand up and speak respectfully to the offender or offenders.
Speak in a courteous manner with a firm voice. Remind the
offender of the expected behavior. Do not show anger, but do
show that you mean business.
• If a change of seating is needed, request that the student move
to a seat near you.
• Never put a student off the bus except at school or at his or
her designated school bus stop. If you feel that the offense
is serious enough that you cannot safely drive the bus, call
for a school administrator or the police to come and remove
the student. Always follow your state or local procedures for
requesting assistance.
10.6.3 – Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should brake as you
always have. In other words:
• Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely and stay
in control.
• Brake the same way, regardless of whether you have ABS on
the bus. However, in emergency braking, do not pump the
brakes on a bus with ABS.
• As you slow down, monitor your bus and back off the brakes
(if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
10.6.4 – 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.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
• ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more closely, or
drive less carefully.
• ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–ABS should
prevent brake-induced skids but not those caused by spinning
the drive wheels or going too fast in a turn.
• ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance. ABS will
help maintain vehicle control, but not always shorten stopping
distance.
• ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping power–ABS
is an “add-on” to your normal brakes, not a replacement for
them.
• ABS won’t change the way you normally brake. Under normal
brake conditions, your vehicle will stop as it always stopped.
ABS only comes into play when a wheel would normally have
locked up because of over braking.
• ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor brake maintenance.
• Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still a safe driver.
• Remember: Drive so you never need to use your ABS.
• Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to prevent a serious
crash.
10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
Backing is dangerous and increases your risk of a collision. If you
have no choice and you must back your bus, follow these procedures:
• Post a lookout. The purpose of the lookout is to warn you
about obstacles, approaching persons, and other vehicles. The
lookout should not give directions on how to back the bus.
• Signal for quiet on the bus.
• Constantly check all mirrors and rear windows.
• Back slowly and smoothly.
• If no lookout is available:
— Set the parking brake.
— Turn off the motor and take the keys with you.
— Walk to the rear of the bus to determine whether the way
is clear.
• If you must back-up at a student pick-up point, be sure to pick
up students before backing and watch for late comers.
• 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.
10.7.1 – Strobe Lights
Some school buses are equipped with roof-mounted, white strobe
lights. If your bus is so equipped, the overhead strobe light should
be used when you have limited visibility. This means that you cannot
easily see around you – in front, behind, or beside the school bus.
Your visibility could be only slightly limited or it could be so bad
that you can see nothing at all. In all instances, understand and obey
your state or local regulations concerning the use of these lights.
10.7.2 – Driving in High Winds
Strong winds affect the handling of the school bus! The side of a
school bus acts like a sail on a sailboat. Strong winds can push the
school bus sideways. They can even move the school bus off the
road or, in extreme conditions, tip it over.
If you are caught in strong winds:
• Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Try to anticipate
gusts.
• You should slow down to lessen the effect of the wind, or pull
off the roadway and wait.
• Contact your dispatcher to get more information on how to
proceed.
10.7.3 – Backing
Backing a school bus is strongly discouraged. You should back your
bus only when you have no other safe way to move the vehicle. You
should never back a school bus when students are outside of the bus.
Section 10 – School Buses
SECTION 10
TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE
1. Define the danger zone. How far does the danger zone
extend around the bus?
2. What should you be able to see if the outside flat mirrors
are adjusted properly? The outside convex mirrors?
The crossover mirrors?
3. You are loading students along the route. When should
you activate your alternating flashing amber warning
lights?
4. You are unloading students along your route. Where
should students walk to after exiting the bus?
5. After unloading at school, why should you walk through
the bus?
6. What position should students be in front of the bus
before they cross the roadway?
7. Under what conditions must you evacuate the bus?
8. How far from the nearest rail should you stop at a
highway-rail crossing?
9. What is a passive highway-rail crossing? Why should
you be extra cautious at this type of crossing?
10.How should you use your brakes if your vehicle is
equipped with antilock brakes (ABS)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t answer
them all, re-read Section 10.
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Section 10 – School Busess
Section 11
Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Test
This Section Covers
• Internal Inspection
• External Inspection
When a pre-trip inspection test is required, it will be conducted
before other required skills tests. During the pre-trip inspection, you
must show that the vehicle is safe to drive. You may not take other
required skills tests until you have passed the pre-trip inspection test.
You will be given a CDL Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Memory
Aid to use while you are performing the test. This identifies the
components that you will need to check. Other memory aids, lists,
notes, etc., may not be used during the test. Follow the list in the
order it is printed as you walk around the vehicle. Point to or touch
each component and explain to the examiner how you are checking
that component. Be specific. General explanations such as, “looks
good” or, “I’m checking to ensure it is secure”, are not acceptable
and you will be asked for more detail. Tell the examiner what leads
you to believe the component “looks good” or how you know
the component “is secure”. (You may check the security of many
components simply by grabbing the component and trying to shake
or move it. Make sure the examiner knows what you are doing.)
An examiner will not knowingly take a person on a drive test in
a vehicle that may be unsafe or illegal to operate. If the examiner
determines that any of the following components are defective,
unsafe or missing, the test will be considered an “equipment failure”
and the drive test will be postponed.
• Air Brakes
— Low air warning device does not activate by 55 psi.
— Tractor protection valve on combination vehicle is missing
or inoperative.
— Air compressor cannot compensate for any leaks that may
exist.
— The tractor protection valve does not close before the air
pressure drops below 20 psi.
• Any apparent fuel leak (not to be confused with an overfilled
tank).
• Wheels and tires
— Tire is flat or has noticeable leak.
— Loose, missing, broken, or stripped lug nuts or bolts:
a)3 anywhere or 2 adjacent on a 10-bolt wheel.
b)2 anywhere on an 8-bolt (or less) wheel.
— Tires that are bald or damaged and constitute a hazard,
e.g.: the tire has obvious breaks or bulges in the tread or
sidewall; the tire is so bald that fabric material or metal is
showing through the tread; the tire is bald over the entire
width of the tire.
• Other:
— Brake lights.
— Valid license plates.
— Windshield cracks that obstruct view.
— Turn signals.
— Mirrors (both sides).
—Horn.
— Four-way flashers (hazard lights).
— Brakes that act on all wheels, including trailer wheels.
— Exhaust system.
— Parking brake.
—Headlights.
—Speedometer.
— Seatbelts for driver and examiner (except busses that have
no belts for passengers).
These additional items must operate dependent upon weather and
lighting conditions:
• Taillights, clearance and marker lights
• Windshield Wipers
• Heater/Defroster
Trucks and tractors must also have hand and footholds that allow
3-point contact for entry or exit.
DMV cannot test when the vehicle is a combination vehicle with
a coupling system that is not described in section 11.2.8, 11.2.9 or
11.2.10. If unsure, contact DMV before scheduling a skills test.
You may still pass the pre-trip inspection test even though the
examiner postpones the basic controls and/or drive test for an
equipment failure.
Study the following vehicle components for the type of vehicle
you will be using during the CDL skills tests. You will need to
identify each. For most components, you must also explain to the
examiner how you would determine whether the component is or is
not secure and what conditions would make the component unsafe.
11.1 Engine Compartment (All Vehicles)
Leaks
• Look for fluid leaks on the ground under the engine. You are
checking for puddles of oil, coolant, or fuel.
• Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine and
transmission.
• Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Oil Level
• Indicate where dipstick is located.
• See that oil level is within safe operating range. Level must
be above refill mark.
Coolant Level
• Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
• (If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and check for visible
coolant level.
Power Steering Fluid
• Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick or reservoir sight
glass is located.
• Check for adequate power steering fluid level. Level must be
above refill mark.
Engine Compartment Belts
• Check the following belts (if equipped) for snugness (1/2 to
3/4 inch play at center of belt) and condition (cracks, frays,
loose fibers or other signs of wear).
— Power steering belt
— Water Pump belt
— Alternator belt
— Air compressor belt
Alternator
• Check that the alternator is mounted securely with no loose or
missing bolts.
• Check for loose electrical connections or exposed, burned or
broken wiring.
Power Steering Pump
• Check that the pump is securely mounted with no loose or
missing bolts.
• Check for fluid leaks or cut, cracked or frayed hoses.
Air Compressor
• Check that the compressor is mounted securely with no loose
or missing bolts.
• Check for any fluid or air leaks from the compressor.
Water Pump
• Check that the water pump is not leaking.
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
11.2.1– Steering
Steering Box/Hoses
• Check that the steering box is securely mounted to the frame.
• Look for any loose or missing bolts.
• Check for power steering fluid leaks, damage to hoses and
cracks in the housing.
Steering Linkage
• See that connecting links, arms, and rods from the steering
box to the wheel are not worn, cracked or bent.
• Check that joints and sockets are not worn or loose and that
there are no missing nuts, bolts, or cotter keys.
11-2
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, radius
rods or other types of suspension components, check that there
are no loose or missing bolts, bushings or mounting parts. Also
check the condition to ensure that the arm or rod is not cracked
or broken.
• Air ride suspension should be checked to ensure air bags are
inflated and have no cuts, bulges or audible leaks.
Mounts
• Look for cracked or broken spring hangers, missing or
damaged bushings, and broken, loose, or missing bolts, u-bolts
or other axle mounting parts. (The mounts should be checked
at each point where they are secured to the vehicle frame and
axle[s]).
Shock Absorbers
• See that shock absorbers are secure (no cracked mounting
brackets, loose or missing bolts) and that there are no leaks.
Note: If your vehicle has more than one type of suspension, be
prepared to check each type.
11.2.3 – Side of Vehicle
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
• Check that door(s) are not damaged and that they open and
close properly from the outside.
• Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
• Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are not damaged and
are mounted securely with no loose fittings.
Fuel Tank
• Check that tank(s) are secure by inspecting nuts and/or bolts of
mounting brackets or looking for shiny areas near the mounting
straps that would indicate shifting.
• Check that fuels cap(s) are tight, and that there are no leaks
from tank(s) or lines.
Battery/Box
• Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure, connections
are tight, and cell caps are present.
• Battery connections should not show signs of excessive
corrosion.
• Battery box and cover or door must be secure.
Drive Shaft
• See that drive shaft is lubricated and is not bent or cracked.
• Make certain the drive shaft is mounted securely (grab and try
to shake laterally, if possible, or check nuts/bolts on U-joints or
carrier bearing housing), shaft couplings appear to be secure,
U-joints and/or carrier bearings are not cracked or broken and
free of foreign objects.
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Exhaust System
• Check system for damage such as cracks, holes or severe dents
and any signs of leaks such as rust or carbon soot.
• System must be connected tightly and mounted securely with
no loose or missing nuts/bolts.
Frame
• Look for cracks, broken welds or bends in the longitudinal
frame members; loose or damaged cross members; loose or
missing bolts/rivets; holes in the floor or floor damage.
11.2.4 – Rear of Vehicle
Splash Guards
• Check that splash guards or mud flaps are not torn or damaged,
are mounted securely and not more than 10 inches from the
ground.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
• Check that doors and hinges are not damaged, that doors are
latched, and handles are locked in place.
• Ties, straps, chains, and binders must be secured.
• If equipped with a cargo lift, the lift must be fully retracted
and latched securely.
Air/Electric Lines
• Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and electrical lines
are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn (steel braid should not
show through).
• Make sure air and electrical lines are not tangled, pinched, or
dragging against tractor parts.
Catwalk
• Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects, and securely
bolted to tractor frame.
11.2.5 – Brakes
Slack Adjusters/Push Rod
• Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
• Check for brake adjustment. The pushrod should not move
more than one inch (with the brakes released) or exceed the
maximum stroke identified on a brake stroke indicator when
pulled by hand.
• The angle between the pushrod and adjuster arm should not be
less than 90 degrees when the brakes are applied or the parking
brake set. If the angle between the pushrod and adjuster arm
is less than 90 degrees, it is an indication that the brakes may
be out of adjustment.
Brake Chambers
• Check that the chamber is mounted securely to mounting
brackets and there are no loose or missing bolts.
• Check that brake chambers are not cracked or dented.
Brake Hoses/Lines
• Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines, and couplings.
• Ensure hoses or lines are securely connected.
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
Brake Drum/Rotor and Lining/Pad
• Check the drum or rotor for excessive wear or cracks.
• On some brakes, there are openings where the brake linings or
pads are visible. Verify that the linings or pads are not cracked
or broken and are at least ¼ inch in thickness.
• Brake drums/rotors and brake linings/pads should be free of
oil or grease.
11.2.6 – Wheels
Rims
• Check for cracks or welds. Rims cannot have welding repairs.
• Check for dents in the bead flange.
• Make sure there is no distortion of the bolt holes.
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).
— Sidewall condition: Check for cuts, bulges, abrasions or
other damage to the 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. A visual check is not acceptable for dual tires.
— Between the tires (duals only): Check that dual tires are
not touching and that no debris is lodged between the tires.
Note: You will not get credit if you simply kick the tires to check
for proper inflation.
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
• See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are not leaking and,
if wheel has a sight glass, oil level is adequate.
Note: If your vehicle has more than one type of hub, be prepared
to inspect each type.
Lug Nuts
• Check that all lug nuts are present, free of cracks and
distortions, and show no signs of looseness such as rust trails,
shiny threads, bolt-hole distortion or cracks around the boltholes.
Spacers
• 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.
11.3 — Truck/Tractor Trailer
11.3.1 – Fifth Wheel Coupling
Mounting Bolts
• Check that bolts and nuts are not loose or missing.
• Check for rust trails which may indicate loose nuts.
• Check for shiny metal or filings that may indicate shifting.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Platform
• Check for cracks or breaks in the platform structure, above the
upper mounting bolts, that supports the fifth wheel skid plate.
• Check for loose or missing pins or cotter keys.
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
• If equipped, make sure the release arm is in the engaged
position.
Kingpin
• Check that the kingpin is not bent or cracked and that the jaws
are locked around it.
Apron
• Make sure the visible part of the apron (plate attached to
underside of trailer that rests on the skid plate) is not bent,
cracked, or broken.
• Check that the trailer is laying flat on the fifth wheel skid plate
(no gap).
Sliding Fifth Wheel Locking Pins
• 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.
Skid Plate
• Check for proper lubrication and that 5th wheel skid plate is
securely mounted to the platform and that all bolts and pins
are secure and not missing.
11.3.2 – Pintle Hook/Ball Hitch Coupling Systems
Mounting Bolts
• Check that bolts and nuts are not loose or missing.
• Check for rust trails, shiny metal, or filings that might indicate
loose nuts.
• Check for broken or cracked welds.
11.3.3 – Tow Truck Underlift System
Underlift Reach
• Check that the reach has no cracks or bends and no welded
repairs to the structure.
Pivot Pin
• Ensure the pivot pin is not cracked, broken or excessively worn.
Crossbar
• Check the crossbar for cracks and bends.
Receiver and Retaining Pins
• Check that both receiver and retaining pins are in place and
secure.
Tie-down Chains or Straps
• Check that the chains have no breaks or the straps have no
frays or cuts.
Safety Chains/Cables
• Check that the chains or cables are attached, hooked, or
otherwise connected to the towing unit and towed vehicle.
11.3.4 – Trailer Front
Air/Electrical Connections
• Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in good
condition.
• Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of damage or
air leaks.
• Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated and locked
in place.
Headerboard
• If equipped, check the headerboard to see that it is secure, free
of damage and strong enough to contain cargo.
• If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be mounted and
fastened securely.
• On enclosed trailers, check the front area for signs of damage
such as cracks, bulges, or holes.
Pintle Hook/Ball
• Check that there are no cracks or breaks in the pintle hook
structure and there is not excessive wear on the pintle hook.
• Check that the nut on the shank of the ball is tight.
Safety Latch/Locking Device
• Make sure the safety latch or locking device is engaged.
Safety Chains/Cables
• Check that the chains or cables are attached, hooked, or
otherwise connected to the towing unit.
Eye/Coupler
• Check that there are no cracks or excessive wear on the eye,
or cracks or breaks in the coupler.
Drawbar/Tongue
11.3.5 – Side of Trailer
Landing Gear
• Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no missing parts,
crank handle is secure, and the support frame is not damaged.
• If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
• If equipped, check that doors are latched securely and that
handles are locked in place.
• Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are secure.
• If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, damaged or
missing parts and explain how it should be checked for correct
operation.
• Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
• Check the condition of the drawbar or tongue. Check for cracks
and verify that it is not bent.
11-4
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
Frame
Anti-lock Braking System (if equipped)
• Look for missing bolts, cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the frame, cross members and floor.
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
• If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked in place
and release arm is secured.
11.3.6 – Remainder of Trailer
Remainder of Trailer
• Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for detailed
inspection procedures regarding the following components:
—Wheels.
— Suspension system.
— Brakes.
—Doors/ties/lift.
— Splash guards.
11.4 – Lights & In Cab (All Vehicles)
11.4.1 Lights/Reflectors
• Check that all external lights and reflective equipment are clean
and functional. Light and reflector checks include:
—
—
—
—
—
—
—
Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere).
Headlights (high and low beams).
Tail lights.
Turn signals (left and right).
Four-way flashers.
Brake lights.
Red reflectors or reflective tape (on rear) and amber
reflectors (elsewhere).
• Check that warning light turns off.
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.
Lighting Indicators
• Left and right turn signal indicators operate when the
corresponding signal is activated.
• Four-way emergency flasher indicator operates when the
flasher is turned on.
• High beam headlight indicator operates when headlights
switched to high beam.
Mirrors and Windshield
• Mirrors should be clean, not cracked, broken or loose and
adjusted properly from the inside.
• Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers, no
obstructions, and no cracks.
Emergency Equipment
• Check for spare electrical fuses.
• Check for three red reflective triangles, 6 fusees or 3 liquid
burning flares.
• Check for a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical fuses, you must
mention this to the examiner.
Wipers/Washers
• Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not damaged,
and operate smoothly. If equipped, windshield washers must
operate correctly.
Note: Checks of brake lights, turn signals and four-way flasher
functions must be done separately.
Horn
11.4.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Heater/Defroster
Clutch/Gearshift
• Depress clutch if the vehicle has a manual transmission.
• Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for automatic
transmissions).
• Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
Air Gauge
• Make sure the air gauge is working properly and that air
pressure builds while the engine is running.
Oil Pressure Gauge
• Make sure oil pressure gauge is working.
• Check that pressure gauge shows increasing or normal oil
pressure or that the warning light goes off.
Ammeter/Voltmeter
• Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
• Test that the heater and defroster fan works.
Parking Brake Check
• Apply parking brake only and make sure that it will hold the
vehicle by shifting into a lower gear and gently pulling forward
against the brake. Alternatively, pull forward slowly and apply
the parking brake.
• With the parking brake released and the trailer parking brake
engaged (combination vehicles only), check that the trailer
parking brake will hold the vehicle by gently trying to pull
forward.
• If your vehicle is equipped with an auto-neutral feature that
automatically places the transmission in neutral when the
parking brake is applied, drive forward slowly (<5 mph) and
then apply the parking brake. The vehicle should stop almost
immediately.
• Check that gauges show alternator and/or generator is charging
or that warning light is off.
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
11-5
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
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 (back-up) system,
with the key off, depress the brake pedal and listen for the
sound of the reserve system electric motor.
• Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles Only)
• Failure to perform an air brake check properly 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. During the brake checks,
you must explain to the examiner what you are doing as
you do it as well as the specific criteria that would make
your vehicle unsafe to operate. Unless certain the vehicle
will not roll, use wheel chocks while performing the checks.
You will be scored based on the following procedure:
Leaks Test:
• This test will determine if there are any air leaks that may
deplete the vehicle air reserves and cause the spring brakes to
drag or lock up.
— With the engine running, build the air pressure to governed
cut-out (100-125 psi).
— Release all brakes and fan the air pressure down, by
rapidly applying and releasing the foot brake, to 90 psi
or until the air compressor is operating.
— Fully apply the foot brake (at least 50 pounds of application
pressure) and hold it for one minute. After the initial air
pressure drop, due to the brake application, the air supply
pressure must remain steady or increase. Any decrease in
air pressure will be considered an equipment failure.
Low Air Warning:
• This test will determine that the low air warning system will
function early enough to allow the driver to stop the vehicle
safely.
— With the engine running and all brakes released, begin
fanning off the air pressure by rapidly applying and
releasing the foot brake.
— The low air warning devices (buzzer, light, flag) should
activate before air pressure drops below 60 psi. The low
air warning device must activate by 55 psi or it will be
considered an equipment failure.
Tractor Protection Valve:
• This test will be performed on a combination vehicle only
when the trailer has air brakes. The test will determine that
the tractor protection valve functions properly by stopping air
flow to the trailer so that the truck/tractor’s service brakes will
remain operable.
— With the engine running, parking brakes released and
the tractor protection control valve in the normal position,
continue to fan down the brake air pressure.
— At approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer combination
vehicle, the tractor protection valve and parking brake
11-6
valve should close (pop out). On other combination vehicle
types and single vehicle types, the parking brake valve
should close (pop out).
— If the knob on the dash fails to pop out by 20 psi, you
must manually check that the tractor protection valve
is functioning. To do this, the air pressure must be built
up to above 60 psi and the engine shut off. Place the
transmission in the lowest possible gear and release the
parking brake. Then disconnect the emergency air line
from the trailer. There should be a rapid discharge of air
from the emergency line. If the tractor protection valve
is working properly, it will shut off the air flow from
the emergency line. This is verified by looking at the air
pressure reservoir gauge. It must stop at 20 pounds or
greater. If the tractor protection valve fails to operate
by 20 psi, it will be considered an equipment failure.
Service Brake Check
• You may be required to check the application of air or hydraulic
service brakes. This procedure is designed to determine that
the brakes are working correctly and that the vehicle does not
pull to one side or the other.
— Pull forward at 5 mph, apply the service brake and stop.
Check to see that the vehicle does not pull to either side
and that it stops when the brake is applied.
Breakaway Control Module
• This check will be performed only on a combination vehicle
when the trailer has electric brakes. This test will determine if
the module functions properly and will set the trailer brakes.
— Disconnect the breakaway wiring from the connector on
the trailer.
— Start the engine, place the transmission in first gear and
drive the truck forward.
— The truck should be incapable of moving forward or the
truck will move forward and the trailer tires will drag. If
the combination moves forward freely (trailer tires do
not drag) or if there is an absence of braking action on 20
percent or more of the wheels, the emergency breakaway
is inoperative. If the emergency breakaway is inoperative,
it will be considered an equipment failure.
Safety Belt
• Check that the safety belt is securely mounted, adjusts, latches
properly and is not ripped or badly frayed.
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus Only
The following items must be inspected in addition to items listed
in sections 11.1, 11.2 and 11.4
Passenger Entry/Lift
• Check that entry doors operate smoothly and close securely
from the inside.
• Check that hand rails are secure and, if equipped, that the step
light(s) are working.
• Check that the entry steps are clear, with the treads not loose
or worn excessively.
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
• If equipped with a wheelchair lift, look for any leaking,
damaged or missing part, and explain how it should be checked
for correct operation.
• Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exits
• Make sure that emergency exits are identified and that
emergency exit doors 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.
Doors/Mirrors
• Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged and operate smoothly
from the outside. Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
• Make sure that the passenger exit mirrors and all external
mirrors and mirror brackets are not damaged and are mounted
securely with no loose fittings.
Baggage Compartment
• Check that baggage and all other exterior compartment doors
are not damaged, operate properly and latch securely.
— Check for proper adjustment.
— Checks that all internal and external mirrors and mirror
brackets are not damaged and are mounted securely with
no loose fittings.
— Checks that visibility is not impaired due to dirty mirrors.
Stop Arm
• If equipped, check the stop arm to see that it is mounted
securely to the frame of the vehicle. Also, check for loose
fittings and damage.
Passenger Entry/Lift
• 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.
• The entry steps must be clear with the treads not loose or worn
excessively.
• If equipped with a wheelchair 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 emergency exits are identified, and that
emergency exit doors operate smoothly and close securely
from the inside.
• Check that any emergency exit warning devices are working.
Baggage Compartment
11.6 – School Bus Only
The following items must be inspected in addition to items listed
in sections 11.1, 11.2 and 11.4
Emergency Equipment
• In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses (if equipped),
three reflective triangles, and properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher, school bus drivers must also inspect the following
emergency equipment:
— Fully stocked and sealed first aid kit.
— Fully stocked and sealed body fluid cleanup kit.
Lighting Indicators
• In addition to checking the lighting indicators listed in Section
11.1.2 of this manual, school bus drivers must also check the
following lighting indicators (internal panel lights):
— Alternately flashing amber lights indicator, if equipped.
— Alternately flashing red lights indicator.
• Check that baggage and all other exterior compartment doors
are not damaged, operate properly and latch securely.
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.
School Bus Labeling
• Check to ensure “Unlawful to Pass When Red Lights Flash:”
lettering on rear of bus is present and clear.
• Check that “School Bus” letters and bus numbers are clear and
legible.
Lights/Reflectors
• In addition to checking the lights and reflective devices listed
in Section 11.2.1 of this manual, school bus drivers must also
check the following (external) lights and reflectors:
— Stop arm light, if equipped.
— Alternately flashing amber lights, if equipped.
— Alternately flashing red lights.
Student Mirrors
• In addition to checking the external mirrors, school bus drivers
must also check the internal and external mirrors used for
observing students:
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
11.7 – Taking the CDL Pre-trip Inspection Test
11.7.2 – Class B Pre-trip Inspection Test
11.7.1 – Class A Pre-trip Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class B CDL, you will be required to
perform a pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you have brought with
you for testing.
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be required to
perform a pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you have brought with
you for testing. The test includes a check of lights and reflectors,
engine compartment, the outside of the truck or tractor, the coupling
system, trailer and an in-cab-inspection.
The test includes a check of lights and reflectors, engine compartment,
the outside of the truck or bus, and an in-cab inspection. You will
also have to inspect any special features of your vehicle (e.g.,
school or transit bus).
11.7.3 – Class C Pre-trip Inspection Test
The pre-trip inspection for class C commercial vehicles includes
the same components and areas that are inspected in the Class B
CDL test.
11-8
Section 11 – Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Test
Section 12
Basic Control Skills Test
This Section Covers
• Basic Control Skills Test Scoring
• Basic Control Skills Exercises
Your basic control skills could be tested using one or more of the
following exercises off-road or somewhere on the street during
the road test:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Straight line backing.
Offset back/right.
Offset back/left.
Parallel park (driver side).
Parallel park (conventional).
Alley dock.
Final Position – It is important that you finish each exercise exactly
as the examiner has instructed you. If you do not maneuver the
vehicle into its final position as described by the examiner, you
will be penalized and could fail the basic skills test.
12.2 – Exercises
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
You may be asked to back your vehicle in a straight line for 100
feet without touching or crossing over the exercise boundaries.
The alley formed by the exercise boundaries is 12 feet wide. (See
Figure 12.1.)
These exercises are shown in Figures 12-1 through 12-6.
12.1 – Scoring
Crossing Boundaries (encroachments)
Pull-ups
Vehicle Exits
Final Position
Encroachments – The examiner will score the number of times
you touch or cross over an exercise boundary line with any portion
of your vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an error.
Pull-ups – When a driver stops and reverses direction to get a better
position, it is scored as a “pull-up”. Stopping without changing
direction does not count as a pull-up. You will not be penalized
for initial pull-ups. 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. (Face forward when
exiting a bus, and 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.
Figure 12.1: Straight Line Backing
12.2.2– Offset Back/Right
You may be asked to back into a space that is to the right rear of
your vehicle. You will drive straight forward and back your vehicle
into that space without touching or crossing the side boundaries or
other boundary established by the examiner. The alley formed by the
exercise boundaries is 12 feet wide and 40 feet long. Your vehicle
must be straight upon completion of the exercise. (See Figure 12.2)
Figure 12.2: Offset Back/Right
The maximum number of times that you may look to check the
position of your vehicle is two (2) except for the Straight Line
Backing exercise, which allows one look. Each time you open the
door and move from a seated position where in physical control
of the vehicle or walk to the back of a bus to get a better view, it
is scored as a “look”.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
12.2.3– Offset Back/Left
12.2.5– Parallel Park (Conventional)
You may be asked to back into a space that is to the left rear of your
vehicle. You will drive straight forward and back your vehicle into
that space without touching or crossing the side boundaries or other
boundary established by the examiner. The alley formed by the
exercise boundaries is 12 feet wide and 40 feet long. Your vehicle
must be straight upon completion of the exercise. (See Figure 12.3)
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking space that is on
your right. You are to drive past the parking space and back into
it bringing the rear of your vehicle as close as possible to the rear
of the space without crossing side or rear boundaries marked by
cones. You are required to get your vehicle completely into the
space. (See Figure 12.5)
Figure 12.3: Offset Back/Left
Figure 12.5: Parallel Park (Conventional)
12.2.4– Parallel Park (Driver Side)
12.2.6– Alley Dock
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking space that is on
your left. You are to drive past the parking space and back into it
bringing the rear of your vehicle as close as possible to the rear
of the space without crossing side or rear boundaries marked by
cones. You are required to get your vehicle completely into the
space. (See Figure 12.4)
You may be asked to back your vehicle into a driver-side alley,
bringing the rear of your vehicle within 3 feet of the rear of the alley
without touching or crossing the side boundaries, rear boundary or
other boundary established by the examiner. The alley formed by the
exercise boundaries is 12 feet wide and 40 feet long. Your vehicle
must be straight upon completion of the exercise. (See Figure 12.6.)
Note: This exercise is more difficult when a long tractor-trailer
combination is used.
Figure 12.4: Parallel Park (Driver Side)
Figure 12.6: Alley Dock
12-2
Section 12 – Basic Vehicle Control Tests
Section 13
On-Road Driving Test
This Section Covers
• How You Will Be Tested
You will drive over a test route that has a variety of traffic situations.
At all times during the test, you must drive in a safe and responsible
manner and:
• Wear your safety belt.
• Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
• Complete the test without an accident or moving violation.
During the driving test, the examiner will be scoring you on
specific driving maneuvers as well as on your general driving
behavior. You will follow the directions of the examiner.
Directions will be given to you so you will have plenty of time
to do what the examiner has asked. You will not be asked to
drive in an unsafe manner.
If your test route does not have certain traffic situations, you may
be asked to simulate a traffic situation. You will do this by telling
the examiner what you are or would be doing if you were in that
traffic situation.
13.1 – How You Will Be Tested
13.1.1 – Turns
You have been asked to make a turn:
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks.
• Use turn signals and safely get into the lane needed for the
turn.
As you approach the turn:
• Use turn signals to warn others of your turn.
• Slow down smoothly, change gears as needed to keep power,
but do not coast unsafely. Unsafe coasting occurs when your
vehicle is out of gear (clutch depressed or gearshift in neutral)
for more than the length of your vehicle.
• Check traffic, including pedestrians and mirror checks (both
mirrors) before starting the turn.
When turning:
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks (both
mirrors).
• Keep both hands on the steering wheel during the turn.
• Do not change gears during the turn.
• Keep checking your mirror to make sure the vehicle does not
hit anything on the inside or outside of the turn.
• Vehicle should finish turn in correct lane.
After turn:
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks (both
mirrors).
• Make sure turn signal is off.
• Get up to speed of traffic, use turn signal, and move into rightmost lane when safe to do so (if not already there).
13.1.2 – Intersections
As you approach an intersection:
•
•
•
•
Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
Decelerate gently.
Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change gears.
If necessary, come to a complete stop (no coasting) behind any
stop signs, signals, sidewalks, or stop lines maintaining a safe
gap behind any vehicle in front of you.
• Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward.
When driving through an intersection:
• Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
• Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and traffic in the
intersection.
• Avoid entering the intersection unless you can clear the other
side without blocking traffic.
• Do not change lanes or shift gears while proceeding through
the intersection.
• Keep your hands on the wheel.
Once through the intersection:
• Continue checking traffic.
• Accelerate smoothly and change gears as necessary.
If you must stop before making the turn:
• Come to a smooth stop without skidding.
• Come to a complete stop behind the stop line, crosswalk, or
stop sign.
• If stopping behind another vehicle, stop where you can see the
rear tires on the vehicle ahead of you (safe gap).
• Do not let your vehicle roll.
• Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
13.1.3 – Urban/Rural Driving
During this part of the test, you are expected to make regular traffic
checks to include mirror checks (at least every 8-10 seconds) and
maintain a safe following distance. Your vehicle should be centered
in the proper lane (normally, the right-most lane) and you should
keep up with the flow of traffic but not exceed the posted speed limit.
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2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
13.1.4 – Lane Changes
During the multiple lane portions of the urban and rural sections,
you may be asked to change lanes to the left, and then back to the
right. You should make the necessary right and left mirror and
traffic checks first, then use proper signals and smoothly change
lanes when it is safe to do so.
13.1.5 – Freeway
Before entering the freeway:
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks at least
every 8-10 seconds.
• Use proper signals.
• Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
Once on the freeway:
• Maintain proper lane positioning, vehicle spacing, and vehicle
speed.
• Continue to check traffic thoroughly in all directions, including
mirror checks at least every 8-10 seconds.
You will be instructed to change lanes:
• You must make necessary traffic checks, including mirror
checks.
• Use proper signals.
• Change lanes smoothly when it is safe to do so.
When exiting the freeway:
•
•
•
•
Make necessary traffic checks, including mirror checks.
Use proper signals.
Decelerate smoothly in the exit lane.
Once on the exit ramp, you must continue to decelerate within
the lane markings and maintain adequate spacing between your
vehicle and other vehicles.
• Remove your feet from the brake and clutch pedals.
When instructed to resume:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Check traffic and your mirrors thoroughly in all directions.
Turn off your four-way flashers.
Activate the left turn signal.
When traffic permits, you should release the parking brake
and pull straight ahead without rolling backward.
Do not turn the wheel before your vehicle moves.
Check traffic from all directions, especially to the left.
Steer and accelerate smoothly into the proper lane when safe
to do so.
Once your vehicle is back into the flow of traffic, cancel your
left turn signal.
13.1.7 – Curve
When approaching a curve:
• Check traffic thoroughly in all directions, including mirror
checks.
• Before entering the curve, reduce speed so further braking or
shifting is not required in the curve.
• Keep vehicle in the lane.
• Continue checking traffic in all directions, including mirrors,
throughout the curve.
13.1.8 – Upgrade
As you approach an upgrade:
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks at least
every 8-10 seconds.
• Select the proper gear to maintain speed and not lug the engine.
• Move to the right-most or curb lane.
• If legal to do so, use four-way flashers if traveling too slowly
for the flow of traffic.
13.1.6 – Stop/Start
For this maneuver, you will be asked to pull your vehicle over to the
side of the road and stop as if you were going to get out and check
something on your vehicle. You must check traffic thoroughly in all
directions and move to the right-most lane or shoulder of the road.
As you prepare for the stop:
•
•
•
•
Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks.
Activate your right turn signal.
Decelerate smoothly, brake evenly, change gears as necessary.
Bring your vehicle to a full stop without coasting and without
rolling backward.
Once stopped:
• Vehicle must be parallel to the curb or shoulder of the road
and safely out of the traffic flow.
• Vehicle should not be blocking driveways, fire hydrants,
intersections, signs, etc.
• Cancel your turn signal.
• Activate your four-way emergency flashers.
• Apply the parking brake.
• Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
13-2
13.1.9 – Downgrade
Most drive test routes do not include a section of downgrade that
is steep enough or long enough to evaluate your skill at downgrade
driving. Therefore, you may be asked to orally describe the proper
procedure for approaching and descending a long, steep downgrade.
Before starting down the grade:
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks.
• Downshift as needed to control speed. The gear selected should
be the gear you would use to drive up the same hill or one gear
lower.
• Test the brakes by gently applying the foot brake.
As your vehicle moves down the grade:
• Continue checking traffic in all directions, including mirror
checks at least every 8-10 seconds.
• Stay in the lane farthest to the right or curb lane and, if legal,
use your four-way flashers if your vehicle is moving too slowly
for traffic.
• Increase following distance.
• Use snub braking to maintain a safe, controlled speed.
• Do not ride the clutch, race the engine, change gears, or coast.
Section 13 – On-Road Driving Tests
2016 – 2017 Commercial Driver License Manual
13.1.10 – Railroad Crossing
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial drivers should:
• Decelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as necessary.
• Look and listen for the presence of trains.
• Check traffic in all directions, including mirror checks.
Do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle, or change lanes
while any part of your vehicle is in the crossing.
If you are driving a bus, a school bus, or a vehicle displaying placards,
you should be prepared to observe the following procedures at every
railroad crossing (unless the crossing is exempt):
• As the vehicle approaches a railroad crossing, activate the
four-way flashers.
• Stop the vehicle at the stop line or, if there is no clearly marked
stop line, within 50 feet but not less than 15 feet from the
nearest rail.
• Listen and look in both directions along the track for an
approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a
train. If operating a bus, you may also be required to open the
window and door prior to crossing tracks.
• Keep hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle crosses the
tracks.
• 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.
Not all driving road test routes will have a railroad crossing. You
may be asked to explain and demonstrate the proper railroad crossing
procedures to the examiner at a simulated location.
13.1.11 – Bridge/Overpass/Sign
After driving under an overpass, you may be asked to tell the
examiner what the posted clearance or height was. After going
over a bridge, you may be asked to tell the examiner what the
posted weight limit was. If your test route does not have a bridge
or overpass, you may be asked about another traffic sign. When
asked, be prepared to identify and explain to the examiner any
traffic sign which may appear on the route.
13.1.12 – Clutch Usage (for Manual Transmission)
•
•
•
•
Always use clutch to shift.
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.
Section 13 – On-Road Driving Tests
13.1.13 – Gear Usage (for Manual Transmission)
•
•
•
•
Do not grind or clash gears.
Select gear that does not over-rev or lug engine.
Do not shift in turns and intersections.
Do not coast in neutral.
13.1.14 – Brake Usage
• Do not ride or pump brake.
• Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using steady pressure.
13.1.15 – Lane Usage
• Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or lane markings.
• Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop signs.
• Move to or remain in right lane unless the lane is blocked or
other obstructions prevent use.
• Finish a right turn in the right (curb) lane.
• Do not wander outside the proper lane of travel.
13.1.16 – Steering
• Keep both hands on the wheel at all times unless shifting. Once
you have completed the shift, return both hands to the steering
wheel.
• Do not “palm” the wheel.
13.1.17 – Regular Traffic Checks
• Check traffic regularly.
• Check mirrors regularly.
• Check mirrors and traffic before, while in and after an
intersection.
• Scan and check traffic in high volume areas and areas where
pedestrians are expected to be present.
13.1.18 – 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.
13.1.19 – Student Discharge (School Bus)
If you are applying for a school bus endorsement, you will be required
to demonstrate the procedures for unloading students. Please refer
to sections 10.2.1 and 10.2.3 for these procedures.
13-3
RESPECT THE HILL!
Emigrant Hill, commonly called “Cabbage Hill” is one of the most hazardous stretches of
road along westbound Interstate 84.
This seven-mile downgrade, 35 miles west of La Grande, Oregon, has some of the most
changeable and severe weather conditions in the Northwest. These conditions may
impair visibility and cause icy road surfaces.
You’ll lose about 2,000 feet of elevation in six miles and twist through a double hair pin turn
at a 6-percent downgrade.
On an average 78 percent of the Cabbage Hill crashes involve out-of-state motor carriers!
Extreme caution urged
Drivers traveling west on I-84 are urged to be prepared before descending the hill, and to use
extreme caution and defensive driving techniques as you maneuver through the downgrade,
which begins at Milepost 227 and continues through Milepost 217.
Brake problems contribute to, on average, 59 percent of
accidents on the Hill. Drivers should check their brakes
before the downgrade. A brake check area is located at
the weigh station at Milepost 227.
Warning signs provide recommended speeds for
trucks descending the Hill. Drivers in trucks with
Green Light transponders will receive a personalized
message from a “variable message sign” with the
recommended speed.
Escape ramps are located at Milepost 221 and Milepost 220.
TRUCKER WARNING
Reminders for a safe descent
• Make sure your brakes are properly adjusted and
check them before entering the downgrade.
• Be aware of the safe recommended speed for
your vehicle.
• Descend the hill in proper gear.
• Control your speed! Posted speeds are
maximums in good weather. Bad weather
demands lower speeds.
• Fog, snow, and black ice are common between
October and April. Be prepared.
• Oregon law requires that you carry and use
tire chains when conditions warrant and/or
signs posted.
• Be sure you have emergency warning devices
(triangles) and use them if you are stopped.
• Be sure all your lights are working.
• Don’t drive if you are fatigued!
For Oregon road conditions, call 511 (toll free within Oregon) for weather conditions on the hill or
1-800-977-6368 (toll free within Oregon), or 1-503-588-2941 (outside Oregon)
Published by the Oregon Department of Transportation. Funds for this publication provided by the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program
Notes
Notes
Notes
ODOT is an Equal Employment Opportunity and
Affirmative Action Employer.
ODOT does not discriminate on the basis of disability in
admission or access to our programs, services, activities,
hiring, and employment practices.
Questions: 1-877-336-6368 (EEO-ODOT).
This information can be made available in an alternative
format by contacting a local ODOT/DMV field office.
Drive Safely
and Courteously
It Could Save a Life!
This Message is Brought to You by Your Local DMV Office
Form 735-36 (1-16) ©
STK #300010
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