Commercial driver`s guide to operation, safety and licensing

Commercial driver`s guide to operation, safety and licensing
COMMERCIAL
DRIVER’S GUIDE
to Operation, Safety and Licensing
TRUCKS, BUSES, EMERGENCY RESPONDERS & TAXIS
CITY
CENTRE
STOP
SCHOO
TAXI
MAXIMUM
30
L BUS
A COMMERCIAL
DRIVER’S
to Operation, Safety
GUIDE and Licensing
TRUCKS, BUSES, EMERGENCY
RESPONDERS AND TAXIS
Introduction
Being a professional driver involves more
than just driving a different type of vehicle.
It means taking pride in your work and
being recognized as a professional driver.
As a professional driver you must
always make sure you are mentally and
physically fit to drive, your vehicle is
well maintained and is in good working
condition, and you drive within the law
including driving without distractions.
Always drive defensively. Be patient and
tolerant of other drivers. Protect yourself,
the vehicle, the passengers and the cargo.
The more you can anticipate and avoid
dangerous situations, the less likely you
will be in a collision. Being involved in a
collision may result in loss of income, job,
health and possibly a life.
Remember that road safety is
everyone’s business.
This guide is also available on-line.
Web site: www.transportation.alberta.ca
(under Drivers and Vehicles)
2
A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Guides available:
Geared to Go
A Workbook for
Coaching New Drivers
The following guides provide information
about the safe operation of cars and
light trucks, commercial vehicles,
and motorcycles, and the licensing of
drivers and riders. These guides provide
information for all classes of operator
licences in Alberta, and will help you
obtain an Alberta operator’s licence.
Consider keeping the guides in your
vehicle as a reference.
A DRIVER’S GUIDE TO OPERATION,
SAFETY AND LICENSING
Cars and Light Trucks
This guide provides information
for all drivers.
A COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S GUIDE TO
OPERATION, SAFETY AND LICENSING
Trucks, Buses, Emergency Responders
and Taxis
This guide provides information about
driving commercial vehicles. It is used with
A Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and
Licensing. Both of these guides should be
used when preparing for the knowledge
test and when learning to operate a
tractor-trailer unit, large truck, ambulance,
taxi, bus or school bus, as well as when
handling dangerous goods.
A RIDER’S GUIDE TO OPERATION,
SAFETY AND LICENSING
Motorcycles, Mopeds and PowerAssisted Bicycles
This guide provides information on the
safe operation of motorcycles, mopeds
and power-assisted bicycles. It is used
with A Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety
and Licensing.
GEARED TO GO: A WORKBOOK
FOR COACHING NEW DRIVERS
This guide assists coaches who are
providing supervision to new drivers
as they gain experience and skills.
INTRODUCTION
3
This guide, along with the Driver’s Guide to
Operation, Safety and Licensing (Cars and
Light Trucks) will give you the necessary
information for learning to drive a truck,
tractor-trailer, ambulance, taxi or bus.
These two guides provide information that
will help you obtain a commercial Alberta
operator’s licence. It is recommended that
you obtain training and education from a
licensed driving school to enhance your
knowledge and skill. Driver education
courses are available for the operation of
passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles,
and motorcycles.
If you require information about
schools that provide driver education, or
information about the testing process to
obtain an operator’s licence:
• refer to your local Yellow Pages
• visit www.transportation.alberta.ca
(under Drivers and Vehicles)
• contact a Driver Programs Administrator
in Edmonton at 780–427–8901 or
Calgary at 403–297–6679
You can reach Alberta Government
offices toll-free from anywhere in the
province by first calling 310-0000.
This guide has no legal authority.
Municipalities are given authority under
the Traffic Safety Act to pass bylaws in
areas such as speed zones, school zones,
playground zones and parking. You must
know local municipal by-laws.
4
The laws that apply to driving a vehicle
can be found in the Traffic Safety Act and
its related regulations. These documents
are available at www.qp.alberta.ca/Laws_
Online.cfm, and:
Queen’s Printer Bookstore
Main Floor, Park Plaza
10611–98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2P7
Tel: 780–427–4952
Fax:780–452–0668
For toll free service anywhere in Alberta,
call 310-0000, then the number.
Some registry agent offices provide
knowledge tests and arrange road
tests with driver examiners. The driver
examiners operate independently and are
not employees of the registry.
To find testing services, and information
about driver licensing and vehicle registration:
• visit www.servicealberta.ca/1641.cfm
• visit the Association of Alberta Registries
at www.e-registry.ca
• refer to your local directory under
License and Registry Services
• call 780–427–7013 (Service Alberta)
A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Contents
1
Commercial Operator’s
Licence Requirements
9
Upgrading your licence
10
Knowledge test
10
Vision requirements
10
Road test
12
Learning requirements
12
Air brake equipped farm vehicles
13
Licences: renewal and changes
13
Definitions
35
Trip air brake inspection
36
Enroute check stop inspections
36
Reporting to a vehicle
inspection station
37
Post-trip inspection
4
Operating Class 1
Vehicles
40
Operating a truck-tractor
and semi-trailer
40
Air brakes
41
How long does it take to
stop a vehicle?
43
Coupling and uncoupling a trucktractor and semi-trailer
2
National Safety
Code
20
Provincial (Alberta) legislation
45
Coupling mechanisms
21
Federal legislation
46
22
Vehicle Inspection Program
Operating long combination
vehicles
23
Cargo securement
47
Driving skills and manoeuvres
47
Following distance
between vehicles
Trip
Inspections
48
Off-tracking
48
Turns
49
Curves
26
Purpose of daily vehicle
inspections
50
Parking
26
Vehicles that require inspections
50
Reversing
27
Driver inspection required
52
Important information for
commercial drivers
28
Trip inspections
3
5
Operating Class 2
Vehicles
8
Transporting Persons
with Disabilities
54
Information for Class 2 and
Class 4 bus operators
72
General rules for communicating
72
General rules for driving
54
Operating a school bus safely
73
54
School bus breakdowns
General rules for assisting a
person with a wheelchair
55
Left / Right turns
55Reversing
56Turnarounds
56
Passenger loading and unloading
58
Parking on a hill
58
Railway crossing procedures
59
Discipline and problem solving
59
Safe driving guidelines
Transporting
9
Dangerous Goods
76
Training requirements
76
What is a dangerous good?
78
Dangerous occurrences
78Documents
79
6
Operating Class 3
Vehicles
62
Loading and unloading
dump vehicles
64
Mixer truck operators
64
Parking on a hill
10
82
Safety marks
Responsible Driving
Tips for Commercial
Drivers
Distracted Driving Law
83Fatigue
7
Operating Class 4
Vehicles
66
Emergency vehicles
67
Operating a taxi
68
Seat belts
68
Reserved lanes
69
Other uses for a Class 4 licence
6
84
Railway crossing
86
Fire and fire extinguishers
11
Fueling and Fuel
Efficiency
90
Fueling a vehicle: gasoline,
diesel, propane
90
Fuel efficiency
A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
1
Commercial
Operator’s
Licence
Requirements
Information about the Class 7 and 5
Alberta operator’s licence classes, and
the vehicles that can be operated in each
class, can be found in the Driver’s Guide to
Operation, Safety and Licensing (Cars and
Light Trucks) book. All guides are available
from any Registry Agent office or on-line
at: www.transportation.alberta.ca (Under
Drivers and Vehicles).
Class 1
The minimum learning or licensing age is
18 years. You may not apply for a Class 1
operator’s licence as a probationary driver.
The holder of a Class 1 operator’s
licence may operate the following:
• any motor vehicle or combination of
vehicles other than a motorcycle
• class 6 type vehicles for learning only
You must provide a tractor-trailer
combination with three or more axles,
equipped with air brakes for the road test.
Proof of your air brake “Q” endorsement
or a course completion certificate from an
approved air brake organization is required
before a road test will be given. This also
includes drivers of farm vehicles registered
as tractor-trailers.
Class 2
The minimum learning or licensing age is
18 years. You may not apply for a Class 2
operator’s licence as a probationary driver.
The holder of a Class 2 operator’s
licence may operate the following:
8
• a bus
• any motor vehicle or combination of
vehicles that the holder of a Class 3, 4
or 5 operator’s licence may operate
• class 1 and 6 type vehicles for
learning only
You must provide a bus with a seating
capacity exceeding 24 passengers
excluding the operator for a road test. An
air brake “Q” endorsement is required to
operate air brake equipped vehicles. If
the vehicle provided for the road test is
equipped with air brakes, you must have
either an air brake “Q” endorsement or
a course completion certificate from an
approved air brake organization.
Class 3
The minimum learning or licensing age is
18 years. You may not apply for a Class 3
operator’s licence as a probationary driver.
The holder of a Class 3 operator’s
licence may operate the following:
• any motor vehicle or combination of
vehicles that the holder of a Class 5
operator’s licence may operate
• a single motor vehicle with three
or more axles
• a single motor vehicle with three or
more axles towing a trailer with one or
more axles, if the trailer is not equipped
with air brakes
• class 2 or 4 type vehicles
without passengers
• all motor vehicles under
Classes 1, 2 and 6 for learning only
A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
No holder of a Class 3 operator’s licence
shall operate a motor vehicle:
• that has a seating capacity of more than
15, while that vehicle is transporting
any person other than the driver
• to transport passengers for hire
is required to operate air brake equipped
vehicles. If the vehicle provided for the road
test is equipped with air brakes, you must
have either an air brake “Q” endorsement
or a course completion certificate from an
approved air brake organization.
You must provide a single motor vehicle
having three or more axles for the road
test. An air brake “Q” endorsement is
required to operate air brake equipped
vehicles. If the vehicle provided for the road
test is equipped with air brakes, you must
have either an air brake “Q” endorsement
or a course completion certificate from an
approved air brake organization.
Upgrading your
licence
NOTE: Drivers of single-motor vehicles
registered as farm vehicles do not
require an air brake “Q” endorsement.
Class 4
The minimum learning or licensing age is
18 years. You may not apply for a Class 4
operator’s licence as a probationary driver.
The holder of a Class 4 operator’s
licence may operate the following:
• any motor vehicle or combination of
vehicles that the holder of a Class 5
operator’s licence may operate
• a bus that has a seating capacity of not
more than 24, excluding the operator
• an ambulance or taxi
• all motor vehicles under classes 1, 2, 3
and 6 for learning only
You must provide a Class 5 vehicle or a
bus with a seating capacity not exceeding
24 passengers excluding the operator for
a road test. An air brake “Q” endorsement
CHAPTER ONE
The following information is specific for
upgrading an operator’s licence to the
professional classes.
General information for
Classes 1, 2, 3 and 4
• The minimum learning or licensing age
for these classes is 18 years. To learn
to drive a commercial class vehicle, you
must have at least a Class 5 or a Class
5 GDL operator’s licence. You may not
apply for these operator’s licences if you
are in the Graduated Driver Licensing
Program.
• You do not need an air brake
endorsement when learning to operate
a vehicle that is equipped with air
brakes.
• A medical report is required to upgrade
to a Class 1, 2 or 4 licence.
·· Medical forms are available from a
registry agent, or a doctor. A doctor
must complete this form.
·· A medical report is required when
first applying for a licence and:
- every 5 years after that, until
45 years of age
- every 2 years from age 45 to 65
- every year after you turn age 65.
COMMERCIAL OPERATOR’S LICENCE REQUIREMENTS
9
·· You are legally responsible to report
any disease or disability that may
interfere with the safe operation of
a motor vehicle to any Alberta
Registry Agent office.
·· Alberta Registries can request a
medical report from any driver, in any
licence class, if they have concerns
about a driver’s medical condition.
• A fee is charged for each knowledge
test, road test, and operator’s licence
re-classification. For information
regarding current fees, contact any
Registry Agent office.
• A 10-day waiting period is required
for all non-GDL Class 5, 5-6 and 6
new applicants from other Canadian
jurisdictions who want to re-class to
licence Classes 1 to 4. This waiting
period is required for Alberta to confirm
the applicant’s licence information.
• Driving with the wrong licence class is
against the law. It is also an offence for
a vehicle’s owner to allow the vehicle
to be driven by someone who does not
have the proper class of licence to drive
that vehicle.
Knowledge test
To upgrade an operator’s licence, you will
need to pass a knowledge test for the
class of licence for which you are applying.
You can take your knowledge test at most
Alberta Registry Agent offices. The test is
based on questions taken from this guide
and the Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety
and Licensing (Cars and Light Trucks)
book. You will be asked about safe driving
practices, driving laws and road signs.
Since Class 1 drivers may operate other
types of vehicles, applicants for a Class 1
licence may be asked questions from the
other chapters in this guide.
The test is 30 multiple choice questions
and you must score a minimum of 25
correct responses out of 30 to pass. When
six questions are answered incorrectly,
the test will be stopped and a fail will be
recorded.
Vision requirements
A vision assessment is required before
upgrading your Alberta operator’s licence.
If you do not meet the minimum vision
standards, you will be referred to an
optometrist or an ophthalmologist to have
a Vision Referral form completed. If you
have corrective glasses or contact lenses
bring them to the vision assessment.
Road test
If you are applying for a commercial
licence in the Class 1, 2 or 3 categories,
you will be required to conduct a pre-trip
inspection in addition to the road test. You
must communicate and demonstrate to
the driver examiner:
• a pre-trip inspection of the vehicle
• the appropriate uncouple/couple
procedures for Class 1 vehicles
• an inspection of the vehicle’s air brake
system for units equipped with
air brakes.
As part of communicating and
demonstrating, you should point to the
things you are inspecting and tell the
examiner what you are looking at. For
example, you could say, “I am checking
the left signal light to see that it is working,
10 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
is securely mounted, and that the lens is
clean and not cracked.”
This guide includes pre-trip inspections
for the various types of vehicles. Study and
practice the pre-trip that is appropriate
for the class of licence you are working
towards. The procedures in this book are
only guidelines to follow during a road test.
A vehicle may require different items to be
checked than those listed.
Each pre-trip inspection and road test
is allowed a certain amount of time. You
should be able to complete the inspection
and road test within that time.
If a vehicle does not pass the pre-trip
inspection, or you do not successfully
complete the pre-trip inspection, the road
test will not proceed.
An applicant who holds a Graduated
Driver Licence (GDL) may not take a road
test for a licence classification higher than
a Class 5.
• A Class 1 licence may not be obtained
without the driver first having qualified
for an air brake endorsement. The
actual “Q” endorsement does not
appear on the Class 1 licence. However,
it must appear on all other licence
classes that require the operation of air
brake equipped vehicles.
NOTE: A road test will not be done in
a vehicle that is required to display
dangerous goods placards.
Class 3 Road Test
Class 1 Road Test
• An applicant must provide a tractortrailer combination with three or
more axles, and the trailer must be
equipped with an air brake system to
its foundation brakes. You must show
proof of your air brake “Q” endorsement
or a course completion certificate from
an approved air brake organization.
This includes drivers of farm vehicles
registered as tractor-trailers.
• The examiner must see your road test
permit. Permits can be purchased from
most Registry Agents.
CHAPTER ONE
Class 2 Road Test
• An applicant must provide a bus
with a seating capacity exceeding 24
passengers, excluding the driver. If the
vehicle is equipped with air brakes,
the applicant must have either an air
brake “Q” endorsement or a course
completion certificate from an approved
air brake organization.
• The examiner must see your road test
permit. Permits can be purchased from
most Registry Agents.
• An applicant must provide a single
motor vehicle that has three or more
axles. Three axle recreational vehicles
may not be used. If the vehicle provided
for the road test is equipped with air
brakes, the applicant must have either
an air brake “Q” endorsement or a
course completion certificate from an
approved air brake organization.
NOTE: Drivers of single motor vehicles
registered as farm vehicles do not require
an air brake “Q” endorsement.
• The examiner must see your road test
permit. Permits can be purchased from
most Registry Agents.
COMMERCIAL OPERATOR’S LICENCE REQUIREMENTS
11
Class 4 Road Test
NOTE: Class 5 vehicles are also suitable
for learning.
• An applicant must provide a Class 5
vehicle or a bus with a seating capacity
not exceeding 24 passengers, excluding
the driver. If the vehicle is equipped
with air brakes, the applicant must have
either an air brake “Q” endorsement or
a course completion certificate from an
approved air brake organization.
• The examiner must see your road test
permit. Permits can be purchased from
most Registry Agents.
Learning requirements –
Classes 1, 2, 3 and 4
Desired
Licence
Class
Class
you must
have for
Learning
Minimum
Licensing
Age
Minimum
Learning
Age
Accompanied
by Instructor
Minimum
Age of
Instructor
Instructor
Class
must have
Minimum
Age to
Take
Road Test
1
2, 3, 4,
5 or
5-GDL*
18
18
Yes
18
1
18
non-GDL*
2
3, 4, 5 or
5-GDL*
18
18
Yes
18
1 or 2
18
non-GDL*
3
4, 5 or
5-GDL*
18
18
Yes
18
1, 2 or 3
18
non-GDL*
Yes
18
1, 2 or 4
18
non-GDL*
3, 5 or
18
18
5-GDL*
* GDL – Graduated Driver Licence (Probationary)
4
Air brake equipped farm vehicles
In Alberta, you are not required to hold
an air brake endorsement if operating a
single motor vehicle registered as a farm
vehicle. However, you do need an air
brake endorsement if driving a farm vehicle
combination that requires the driver to
hold a Class 1 operator’s licence. When
applying for a Class 1 operator’s licence,
you will need to show proof of your air
brake qualifications, even if the vehicle
you will be driving is registered as a
farm vehicle.
12 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Licences: renewal
and changes
brakes, and some of the vehicle’s axles
have hydraulic foundation brakes. An air
brake “Q” endorsement or Class 1 licence
is required to drive this type of vehicle.
It is your responsibility to renew your
operator’s licence on or before the
expiry date. A licence renewal application
will be mailed before the expiry date to your
last registered address. You must renew
your operator’s licence before it expires. If
you do not receive your application, you
must go to a Registry Agent office.
To change a name or address on your
operator’s licence, visit any Registry Agent.
By law, a person is required to notify
Alberta Registries, through a Registry
Agent, of any name or address change
immediately. Proper identification is
required before any change, replacement
or renewal can be made.
Air actuated hydraulic braking
system (air assisted, but
all foundation brakes are
hydraulic)
In an air actuated hydraulic braking system
the air compressor is used to boost
the hydraulic system to all the vehicle’s
foundation brakes. An air brake “Q”
endorsement is NOT required to drive this
type of vehicle.
NOTE: No drivers (other than a learner)
may operate a vehicle equipped with air
brakes, (air to all foundation brakes),
unless they hold either a Class 1 operator’s
licence or an operator’s licence with a “Q”
(air brake) endorsement.
Definitions
Air brakes (air to all
foundation brakes)
Ambulance
A vehicle with an air brake system has
brakes that are initiated by air pressure from
an engine-driven compressor. This sends
air pressure through a series of hoses,
reservoirs and control valves to all the
vehicle’s foundation brakes. An air brake “Q”
endorsement or Class 1 licence is required
to drive a vehicle with an air brake system.
An ambulance is an emergency vehicle
that is designed to transport injured
persons, and is equipped with rescue or
first aid equipment.
Axle
An axle is a shaft on which two or more
wheels revolve.
Air over hydraulic braking
system (combination of air
and hydraulic foundation
brakes)
Bus
In an air over hydraulic braking system the
vehicle’s axles have air actuated foundation
CHAPTER ONE
Section 130(1) (a) of the Traffic Safety Act;
“bus” means a commercial vehicle
(i) that is designed for carrying 11 or
more persons, including the person driving
the vehicle, and
COMMERCIAL OPERATOR’S LICENCE REQUIREMENTS
13
(ii) that is used or intended to be used for
the transportation of persons, and includes
any other commercial vehicle designated
as a bus by regulation;
“Q” Endorsement
A “Q” endorsement is placed on any
class of operator’s licence, except Class
1, when a driver successfully completes
an approved Alberta air brake course
through an authorized organization. Since
it is not possible to get a Class 1 licence
without the driver first having qualified for
an air brake endorsement, the actual “Q”
endorsement will not appear on the Class
1 licence. For information on taking an
approved air brake course, please contact
a Driver Programs Administrator at:
Edmonton 780–427–8901
or Calgary 403–297–6679
For toll free service from anywhere in
Alberta, call 310-0000.
“S” Endorsement
Drivers who have a Class 1, 2 or 4
licence can apply for the school bus
driver endorsement condition code “S”
to be placed on their licence when they
successfully complete the School Bus
Driver Improvement Program.
NOTE: Effective September 1, 2011 the
holder of a Safety Fitness Certificate issued
under Alberta’s National Safety Code
program shall not allow a person to
operate a school bus (school bus as
defined under Section 1(1) (k) of the
Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation
AR121/2009) that is transporting students
to and from school pursuant to Section
19 (1) of the Commercial Vehicle Safety
Regulation 121/2009, unless within 12
months of first hiring the driver, the driver
has successfully completed the School
Bus Driver Improvement course that
has been approved by the Registrar.
Subsequently, the driver must have the
appropriate “S” endorsement on their
operator’s licence.
This condition does not apply to operators
of a school bus while conducting school
field trips or other trips unrelated to school
activities.
School bus
Section 1(1) (k) of the Commercial Vehicle
Safety Regulation;
(k) “school bus” means a bus that meets
the requirements of a Type A1, A2, B, C or
D school bus described in CSA Standard
D250-2007 and that is used primarily to
transport students to and from a school;
Semi-trailer
Means a trailer that:
(i) has axles only at or near its rear end;
(ii) while being towed, is supported at
its front end by the truck tractor or the
immediately preceding trailer;
(iii) when connected to the truck tractor
or preceding trailer, is connected by means
of a kingpin and a fifth wheel;
14 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Trailer
Means a vehicle without motive power that
is designed to be towed by another vehicle.
Truck
Means a motor vehicle designed and
intended for the transport of goods or
carrying of loads.
Truck tractor
Means a truck that may be coupled to a
semi-trailer by means of a fifth wheel, but
does not include a bed truck, picker truck
or winch truck.
CHAPTER ONE
COMMERCIAL OPERATOR’S LICENCE REQUIREMENTS
15
NOTES
16 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
2
National
Safety Code
On April 1, 1989 each province and
territory in Canada agreed to a set of
performance and safety standards for
commercial motor carriers and the National
Safety Code (NSC) came into effect.
Alberta, like the other jurisdictions, has
passed legislation to put these standards
into effect.
A person or company operating a
commercial truck or bus is commonly
referred to as a “motor carrier”, or “carrier”
for short. There is both provincial and
federal NSC legislation that may require a
carrier to obtain a Safety Fitness Certificate
(SFC). Only one piece of legislation will
apply to a carrier at any given time.
Federal law applies to carriers wishing
to operate outside of Alberta and requires
carriers to obtain an SFC if they operate:
• A truck, tractor, or trailer or any
combination of these vehicles registered
for or weighing in excess of 4,500
kilograms, or
• A commercial passenger vehicle with an
original manufacturer’s seating capacity of
11 or more persons including the driver.
Provincial law applies to carriers operating
solely within Alberta and requires carriers
to obtain an SFC if they operate:
• A truck, tractor, or trailer or any
combination of these vehicles registered
for a weight of 11,794 kilograms or
greater, or
• A commercial passenger vehicle with an
original manufacturer’s seating capacity of
11 or more persons including the driver.
NOTE: Farmers are exempt from the
requirement to obtain an SFC under
provincial law but NOT the federal
regulations.
Each Canadian jurisdiction regulates
carriers that register an NSC vehicle within
their jurisdiction. An Alberta SFC can be
valid in all other Canadian jurisdictions
but only for those vehicles registered
with Alberta plates and only if the carrier
has declared that they are a “federal”
company. If an Alberta carrier also has a
commercial vehicle, regulated by the NSC
requirements of another jurisdiction, then
they will need a second SFC from that
jurisdiction.
Each jurisdiction monitors its own
NSC carriers and intervenes with those
that pose an unacceptable risk to the
public. Where a carrier does not respond
positively to intervention actions and
continues to represent an unacceptable
risk to the public, the carrier may be
prevented from operating by canceling
their SFC and their commercial vehicle
registrations.
Safety plans
In Alberta, a carrier must establish,
maintain and follow a written safety
program. A carrier failing to complete this
regulatory requirement may be subject to
disciplinary action including charges being
laid in the courts, an administrative penalty
being issued, or their Safety Fitness
Certificate being cancelled. A carrier’s
Safety Plan must address matters relating
to the safe use and operation of their
commercial vehicles including:
• speed limits, seat belt use, drug and
alcohol use, defensive driving, load
security, and fuelling
• proper records and recording of
information including, as required, bills
18 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
•
•
•
•
•
of lading, manifests, dangerous goods
documents, time records, drivers’ daily
logs and weigh slips
policy and procedures related to
compliance with the law, driver training
responsibilities, conduct and discipline
instructions for the use of safety
equipment including, as required,
the use of reflective triangles, fire
extinguishers, goggles, and hard hats
training for employees about safety laws
and their application and an ongoing
program for evaluating their driving skills
retention of complete records for each
driver in accordance with regulations
policies for ensuring that drivers are
properly qualified for the type of vehicle
they operate
All drivers have a responsibility to know
and follow the policies and procedures
contained in their company’s safety plan.
Each driver should:
• have received the training specified in
the company’s safety plan and know
how to perform their duties properly
and safely (e.g. training on drivers’
hours of service, trip inspections, cargo
securement, weights and dimension
requirements, etc.)
• ensure that the vehicle is being operated
in compliance with the owner’s policies
and procedures, and within the law
• have all the applicable documentation
completed and in his or her possession
when required (e.g. Bills of Lading and
Dangerous Goods documents)
• be medically fit to drive and not fatigued or
under the influence of alcohol or any drug
• be qualified to operate the vehicle and
have any required documents, such
as a valid operator’s licence, vehicle
CHAPTER TWO
registration and Dangerous Goods
training certificate and insurance
• report any violations, convictions,
and collisions to the carrier
For more information, refer to the
Commercial Vehicle Certificate and Insurance
Regulation AR 314/2002, which is available
from the Queen’s Printer. (See “Need more
information” at the end of this section.)
Preventive
maintenance plans
In Alberta, a carrier must establish,
maintain and follow a written maintenance
and inspection program that covers all
applicable vehicles registered to the carrier
in Alberta, including leased vehicles.
A carrier failing to complete this regulatory
requirement may be subject to disciplinary
action including charges being laid in the
courts, an administrative penalty being
issued, or their Safety Fitness Certificate
being cancelled. The policies and
procedures set out in the maintenance
program must provide for continuous
and regular inspections that meet the
requirements specified in the regulations.
Every driver is responsible to:
• understand the company’s
maintenance plan
• carry out those inspections and
maintenance required by the owner
• carry out any inspections required
by legislation, such as vehicle trip
inspections
• complete any documents required by
the owner and return those documents
to the owner
NATIONAL SAFETY CODE
19
• ensure the vehicle is inspected,
or make it available for inspection,
as specified in the company’s
preventive maintenance plan
• report any on-road inspections received
from an enforcement officer and provide
the documents to the carrier
• notify the carrier of any defects found
during an inspection;
• not operate any vehicle with a defect
that would jeopardize the safety of the
driver or any other person
For more information, refer to the
Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation,
AR 121/2009 which is available through
the Queen’s Printer. (See “Need more
information” at the end of this section.)
Hours of service
Hours of service legislation is safety
legislation that ensures commercial drivers
have enough opportunities to rest so they
do not drive when tired.
There is both federal and provincial
legislation that regulates drivers’ hours of
work. Alberta legislation applies to carriers
and their drivers who operate vehicles
solely within Alberta. The federal legislation
applies to carriers and their drivers who
operate one or more vehicles outside of
Alberta. Once it has been determined
that a carrier falls within the federal
legislation, all the drivers of the carrier’s
regulated vehicles must comply to federal
requirements, even those that never leave
Alberta. The main regulatory requirements
are summarized below. To fully understand
all requirements, one must read the
applicable regulations.
Provincial (Alberta)
legislation
The on-duty hours (consisting of “driving”
and “on-duty not driving” time) allowed
for a driver are regulated in work shifts
that generally start after having a period
of eight consecutive hours off-duty and
end when the driver has another period of
eight consecutive hours off-duty. Some
situations are considered equivalent to this
eight hour off-duty requirement.
During a work shift, a driver cannot drive:
• after having driven 13 hours; or
• after being on-duty for 15 hours
A driver must account for every day by
completing a daily log for each calendar
day, or indicating in the remarks section of
the daily log that the driver was off-duty on
the indicated dates.
When required to complete a daily log, a
driver must do the following:
• enter all the required information
• maintain the daily log current to the last
change of duty status, such as off-duty
time and driving time
• maintain the daily log accurately
• keep copies of documents received
during the trip, such as hotel receipts
and fuel receipts
• deliver the daily log, and all supporting
documents, to the employer within
20 days
• keep a copy of each daily log and
supporting documents for at least
six months
If ALL of the following four conditions
are met, a daily log is not required to be
completed. (however, all other regulated
requirements must still be met):
20 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
• the driver starts and ends the work shift
at the same place
• the driver stays within a 160 kilometre
radius of the home terminal
• there must be no more than 15 hours
from the time the driver starts work until
relieved of duty
• the employer must maintain a record
for at least six months of the time each
driver starts and ends a work shift
The driver’s employer must:
• ensure the driver follows the
regulations; and
• maintain the daily logs, in an orderly
manner, for each driver for six months
For more information, refer to the
Drivers Hours of Service Regulation
AR 317/2002, which is available from
the Queen’s Printer. (See “Need more
information” at the end of this section.)
Federal legislation
The federal drivers’ hours of service
regulations are more restrictive than the
Alberta regulations. It is important to realize
that the federal regulation has daily, work
shift and cumulative cycle limits that all
must be met every day. The following is
only a summary of the main regulatory
requirements.
During a day (a consecutive 24 hour
period determined by the carrier) a driver
cannot drive:
• after having driven 13 hours; or
• after being on-duty for 14 hours
In each day a driver must take 10 hours
of off-duty time, 8 of the hours off being
CHAPTER TWO
consecutive. The other two hours must be
taken in no less than 30 minute periods.
Some concessions apply.
During a work shift (a work shift starts
after the driver has 8 consecutive hours
off), a driver cannot drive:
• after having driven 13 hours;
• after being on-duty for 14 hours;
• after 16 hours of time has elapsed since
the conclusion of their most recent 8
hours of consecutive off-duty time
Sleeper berth requirements differ
between team and single drivers.
A carrier must ensure their drivers are
following cycle 1 or 2. The driver must then
indicate which cycle they are operating under
on their daily log. Depending on the cycle,
the driver shall not drive after accumulating:
Cycle 1 - 70 hours of on-duty time in 7
consecutive days; or
Cycle 2 - 120 hours of on-duty time in 14
consecutive days.
Drivers using cycle 2 are required to
take at least 24 consecutive hours off prior
to reaching their 70th hour of on duty time.
A driver operating on cycle 1 may reset
their accumulative hours back to zero by
taking 36 consecutive hours off-duty. A
driver operating on cycle 2 may reset their
accumulative hours to zero by taking 72
consecutive hours off-duty. A driver cannot
move from one cycle to the other without
taking a reset.
No driver may drive unless they have
taken at least 24 consecutive hours off in
the preceding 14 days.
A driver need not complete a daily log if:
• the driver operates or is instructed
by the motor carrier to operate a
commercial vehicle within a radius of
160 kilometres of the home terminal
NATIONAL SAFETY CODE
21
• the driver returns to the home terminal
each day to begin a minimum of 8
consecutive hours of off-duty time
• the motor carrier maintains accurate
and legible records showing, for each
day, the driver’s duty status and elected
cycle, the hour at which each duty
status begins and ends and the total
number of hours spent in each status
and keeps those records for a minimum
period of 6 months after the day on
which they were recorded and
• the driver is not driving under a permit
issued under these Regulations
Vehicle Safety and Carrier Services
Room 401, Provincial Building
4920 – 51 Street
Red Deer, Alberta
T4N 6K8
403 340-5021
For toll-free service from anywhere
in Alberta, call 310-0000
If a radius exemption from completing
a log is used, all other requirements of the
regulation must still be met.
For more information, refer to the
Commercial Vehicle Drivers Hours of
Service Regulation SOR/94-716, which is
available from the Queen’s Printer.
To maintain and enhance the safety of
commercial vehicles travelling on Alberta
highways, the province has a mandatory
safety inspection program. This is called
the Alberta Vehicle Inspection Program
(VIP) for Commercial Vehicles.
The VIP for Commercial Vehicles is not
a replacement for the ongoing preventive
maintenance carried out by vehicle
owners, but rather sets the standards for
owners’ maintenance programs.
A commercial vehicle passing inspection
under VIP will receive a Commercial
Vehicle Inspection Certificate, as well as a
Commercial Vehicle Inspection decal to be
placed on the vehicle.
As with the National Safety Code,
municipal transit buses and farm trucks are
exempt when operating solely within the
borders of Alberta from the VIP.
Need more
information?
To learn more about this legislation or to
ask questions about the requirements,
check the following.
Alberta legislation is available from the
Queen’s Printer at:
http://www.qp.alberta.ca
or phone 780–427–4952.
For toll-free service from anywhere in
Alberta, call 310-0000
Vehicle Inspection
Program (VIP) for
Commercial Vehicles
More information is available at:
http://www.transportation.alberta.ca
22 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Which commercial vehicles
need to be inspected under
Vehicle Inspection Program?
NOTE: Please request to speak to the
Vehicle Inspection Program Licensing
Analyst.
BUSES
All buses designed to carry more than 11
passengers, including the driver, must be
inspected. This does not include municipal
transit buses, but does include both school
buses and commercial buses. Buses must
be inspected every six months. Since
1978, Alberta has had a semi-annual
inspection requirement for buses.
Cargo securement
TRUCKS AND TRAILERS
All trucks, truck-tractors, trailers and semitrailers with a registered combined gross
vehicle weight (GVW) of 11,794 kg or more
must be inspected. Trucks and trailers
must be inspected every 12 months.
These are the same vehicles as governed
under the National Safety Code.
How can I find out more
about the Vehicle Inspection
Program for Commercial
Vehicles in Alberta?
For more information about inspection of
commercial vehicles in Alberta, or to apply
for a Vehicle Inspection Program Facility
Licence or a Vehicle Inspection Program
Technician Licence to inspect Commercial
Vehicles, contact:
Vehicle Safety
Main Floor, Twin Atria Building
4999 – 98 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T6B 2XB
780–427–8901
For toll-free service from anywhere
in Alberta, call 310-0000.
CHAPTER TWO
It is important to ensure that all cargo
carried by a commercial vehicle is properly
secured according to the requirements
of the Canadian National Safety Code
(NSC) Standard 10, adopted in Alberta’s
Commercial Vehicle Safety Regulation.
Commercial trucks registered over 4500
kg are required to ensure the cargo they
carry is secure:
• A carrier shall not permit a driver to
operate a commercial vehicle where the
cargo transported in or on the vehicle is
not contained, immobilized, or secured
in accordance with the NSC Standard
as it relates to the particular type of
commercial vehicle.
• A driver shall not operate a commercial
vehicle where the cargo transported
in or on the vehicle is not contained,
immobilized, or secured in accordance
with the NSC Standard as it relates
to the particular type of commercial
vehicle.
• A driver or carrier must ensure that
cargo transported by a commercial
vehicle is contained, immobilized or
secured so that it cannot:
·· leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall
through or otherwise be dislodged
from the vehicle
·· shift upon or within the vehicle to
such an extent that the vehicle’s
stability or ability to move is adversely
affected.
NATIONAL SAFETY CODE
23
If cargo is not properly secured, the
driver, carrier, or shipper could face fines
and penalties.
The North American Cargo Securement
Standard can be viewed on the Canadian
Council of Motor Transport Administrators
website at; www.ccmta.ca
24 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
3
Trip Inspections
Purpose of daily
vehicle inspections
Vehicles that require
inspections
The purpose of a daily vehicle inspection is
to ensure the early identification of a vehicle
problem and defects before the vehicle
is operated on the highway. Inspections
prevent the operation of a vehicle with
conditions that are likely to cause or
contribute to the severity of a collision.
The trip inspection process is part of
a carrier’s legal requirement to have and
implement a written maintenance program.
It also ensures there is clear communication
within the company about the vehicle’s dayto-day safety.
Inspection reports serve as
communication between drivers, the carrier
and the carrier’s maintenance department.
Reports are used to verify inspections,
record defects, report defects and may be
used to verify repairs. Reports are completed
immediately following an inspection.
A brief overview of the daily inspection
program includes:
• The driver conducts an inspection on a
vehicle or combination of vehicles.
• The inspection is conducted with the
use of a schedule which lists the vehicle
components and systems that require
inspection.
• The driver completes a report
of the inspection.
• The inspection and report are
valid for 24 hours.
• The driver is to carry the schedule and
report in the vehicle.
• The driver records any defects found
during the inspection, while en route
and at the end of the trip or day.
• The driver reports defects to the carrier.
Provincially regulated carriers (those
that operate solely within Alberta) must
complete trip inspection reports on:
• Trucks registered for a weight of 11,794
kilograms and greater; and
• Commercial passenger vehicles with a
designed seating capacity of 11 or more
persons, including the driver.
Federally regulated carriers (those that
operate one or more vehicles outside the
province of Alberta) must complete trip
inspection reports on:
• Trucks registered for a weight of 4,500
kilograms and greater; and
• Commercial passenger vehicles with a
designed seating capacity of 11 or more
persons, including the driver.
A “commercial vehicle” is defined as
a vehicle operated on a highway by or
on behalf of a person for the purpose
of providing transportation but does not
include a private passenger vehicle.
Vehicle defects
Recording defects
The driver is required to record a defect
on the report immediately after the initial
inspection or upon discovery of a defect
while travelling or when discovered at the
end of a trip or day.
26 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Reporting defects
For the purposes of reporting defects to
the carrier, the carrier may designate an
employee to receive reports of defects.
Minor and major defects, which are
listed in a schedule, must be reported
immediately by the driver or inspection
person to the carrier upon discovery
of the defect.
Depending on the driver’s situation,
reporting defects to the carrier may be
done in person, by phone, via written
report or by electronic means.
Driving with defects
A driver may continue to drive with a
minor defect that is listed on an inspection
schedule if the driver has immediately
entered the defect on the daily
inspection report and reported
the defect to the carrier.
Vehicle not to be operated
with a major defect
No carrier shall permit a person, and no
person shall, drive a commercial vehicle
on a highway when a major defect that is
listed on an inspection schedule is present
on the vehicle.
Driver inspection
required
The driver is required to complete and sign
a report upon completion of the inspection.
Drivers are not permitted to drive a truck
or tow a trailer unless the driver or another
person has conducted an inspection of the
CHAPTER THREE
vehicle(s) within the previous 24 hours.
In addition to the initial inspection,
whether conducted by the driver or
not, the driver is required to monitor the
condition of the vehicle(s) for defects while
en route.
In addition to drivers, other persons
such as maintenance or yard staff are
also permitted to conduct inspections and
complete and sign reports.
Where a trip inspection report has been
completed, the trip inspection is valid for
a maximum of 24 hours. This means a trip
inspection conducted by a person may be
used by another person provided it was
completed within 24 hours.
A person other than the driver who
conducts an inspection and signs the
report is responsible under law for the
inspection and the information contained in
the inspection report. The driver may rely
on such an inspection and produce the
report to an officer, unless the driver has
reason to believe the inspection and report
do not meet the requirements, or the driver
is aware or ought to be aware that the
vehicle has a defect.
Any number of trailers may be inspected
and added to a single report if the report
contains additional lines for additional
trailers.
All information required to be on a report
must be accurately completed in full.
On the demand of a peace officer,
a driver must produce the inspection
schedule and the written trip inspection
report. Alberta’s trip inspection legislation
is contained in sections 9 through
16 of the Commercial Vehicle Safety
Regulation 121/2009 and can be viewed
on the Queen’s Printer web site at: www.
qp.alberta.ca
TRIP INSPECTIONS
27
There are vehicle inspectors throughout
the province who conduct commercial
vehicle inspections. Vehicles that do not
meet the requirements can be taken
out-of-service until the repairs are made.
This can also result in fines and points
assessed on the Carrier Profile or the
driver’s Commercial Driver Abstract.
associations and organizations also
produce and sell schedules and
report forms.
Trip inspection
schedule
NOTE: Only the driver is referenced as
the inspection person throughout the
remainder of this chapter.
Application of inspection
schedule
Drivers may choose an inspection
procedure (circle procedure) that
best suits the vehicle and its location.
However, whichever procedure is used,
each regulated inspection item must
be inspected and where a defect is
discovered the defect must be recorded
on the report and reported to the carrier.
The following detailed trip inspection
is for reference only. Check with your
employer to determine if the company
has its own forms for recording vehicle
condition.
• A truck, a tractor and towed trailer
are inspected using Schedule 1. A
converter dolly is inspected as part of
the trailer it is carrying. The dolly is to
be inspected again when carrying a
different trailer.
• Carriers are required to supply drivers
with a copy of the inspection schedule.
• Drivers are required to carry and
produce the inspection schedule
to an officer.
• A schedule and an inspection report
may be combined on the same
document.
Where to get inspection
schedules
Schedule 1 - 4 of National Safety Code
Standard 13, which is published by
the Canadian Council of Transport
Administrators (CCMTA), is acceptable in
Alberta, including when produced by the
driver of an Alberta plated commercial
vehicle. These schedules may be viewed
at: www.ccmta.ca. Some companies,
Trip inspections
Inspection procedures
NOTE: A vehicle trip inspection is required
as part of the road test when applying for
a Class 1, 2 and 3 operator’s licence.
Before beginning the
inspection
Choose terrain that is as level as
possible and park the vehicle safely
away from traffic.
Set
parking/spring brake. Place the

transmission in low gear for a
manual transmission.
Shut off the engine.
28 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Chock the wheels and ensure the
chocks will keep the vehicle from moving
especially for vehicles equipped with air
brakes when they are released later. The
minimum size for square blocks should
be 15 by 15 centimetres.
Start
Circle check
The drawings below illustrate one way to
make a full circle check. Do a walk-around
check before starting any trip. The circle
check may be done in any order, but
make sure that you check everything and
always make a complete circle around the
vehicle. Much of the pre-trip information
listed below is common to all commercial
vehicles. Where there are extra items for
specific vehicle types, it is indicated under
its own heading.
NOTE: The categories for a bus includes;
commercial, school and private buses.
Unique school bus items, if applicable
are noted.
Start
Start
Ambulance
Daily walk-around procedure
– items to check:
Starting at the front of the vehicle and
going down the driver’s side of the vehicle,
from the front to the back, check the
following:
OUTSIDE OF THE VEHICLE
Under the hood
All vehicle types
radiator has no leaks, has adequate
Truck-tractor and semi-trailer
Start
School bus
CHAPTER THREE
coolant level and proper fitting cap
fan
has no bent, cracked, missing

blades or loose mountings
all belts have correct tension and do not
show signs of wear
oil
 and other fluid levels are adequate
air filter for condition
battery has no cracks, excessive corrosion
or leaks, terminal connections are secure,
battery is securely mounted (battery
location varies on different vehicles)
TRIP INSPECTIONS
29
steering mechanism has no bent,
right and left turn signals work, lenses
broken or missing parts, power steering
pump and hose for leaks and adequate
fluid level, steering mechanism has no
wear or excessive play
all
 hose connections are secure,
have no leaks, kinks, cuts, abrasions
or cracks
shock absorbers are not loose or
leaking (if visible on the vehicle)
suspension has no cracked, missing or
broken leaf springs, or U-bolts that are
loose, broken or missing (if visible on
the vehicle)
are clean and not cracked
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
and reflectors are clean
windshield
is clean and free of

major cracks
Truck-tractor
licence plate is valid, clean and secure
Bus
alternating amber and red flashing lights
Vehicles with Air Brakes
air compressor is securely mounted,
condition of lines, fittings, hoses
and couplers
brake chambers for condition
and security
slack adjuster angle, push rod travel,
mechanical condition and wear
air lines have no leaks, kinks, cuts,
abrasions or cracks
work, lenses are clean and not cracked
(school bus only)
pedestrian-student
safety crossing arm

is secure, not damaged and works
(school bus only)
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
reflectors are clean
crossover mirror is secure, clean and
not cracked (school bus only)
Ambulance
NOTE: During the pre-trip inspection,
return to the driver’s compartment as
required to turn the lights on and off to
check that they are working properly.
FRONT OF VEHICLE
All Vehicle types
emergency lights work, lenses are clean
and not cracked
DRIVER’S SIDE
OF THE VEHICLE
All Vehicle Types
steering axle tire has adequate tread
no traces of leaking fluids on the
ground under the vehicle
high and low beam headlights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked
hazard warning lights work, lenses are
clean and not cracked
depth (not less than 3.2 mm), proper
inflation, no bulges, sidewall separation,
cuts or uneven wear
steering axle rim has no cracks, missing
pieces, bends or rust streaks, wheel
fasteners are secure and not missing,
broken or loose
30 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
oil level in steering axle wheel bearing,
if equipped
inspection decal is present, valid and in
the proper location (if required for the
specific vehicle)
mirrors
are attached securely

and not cracked
driver’s door operates properly (does
not apply to a bus)
windows
are clean

fuel cap is present and secure (fuel cap
location may vary on each vehicle)
Truck-tractor and
three axle vehicles
handrail is secure
steps are secure and in good condition
fuel tank has no leaks, tank is secure,
the air vent is not plugged and that the
proper fitting cap is secure
fuel
system lines are secure and

have no leaks
exhaust system is in good condition, has
no leaks, muffler is securely attached,
and the heat shield (if present) is secure
storage compartment doors open and
close properly and contents are secure
first drive axle tires have adequate tread
depth (not less than 1.6 mm), proper
inflation, no bulges, sidewall separation,
cuts or uneven wear, dual tires are not
touching and nothing is trapped
between them
first drive axle wheel rims have no
cracks, missing pieces, bends or rust
streaks, wheel fasteners are secure and
not missing or broken
second drive axle tires have adequate
tread depth (not less than 1.6 mm),
proper inflation, no bulges, sidewall
separation, cuts or uneven wear, dual
CHAPTER THREE
tires are not touching and nothing is
trapped between them
second drive axle wheel rims have no
cracks, missing pieces, bends or rust
streaks, wheel fasteners are secure and
not missing, broken or loose
fifth wheel coupler bolt is secure, slider
is locked and secure, plate shows no
damage, cracks or weld separations,
plate is flush to the apron (no daylight is
visible between them)
fifth wheel locking jaws are closed,
plate sits flat on the underside of trailer,
kingpin is enclosed
kingpin and pintle hitch eyehook (if
equipped) is not worn, damaged,
cracked or broken
hitches
(if equipped), pintle hitch or

ball hitch is not worn and locking
mechanism is closed
chains, cables (if equipped) have no
stress cracks or weld breaks and are
securely attached
drive shaft is in good condition and
there are no obstructions
suspension
has no cracked, missing or

broken springs, torsion bars or walking
beams are secure and not damaged,
no loose, missing, or broken U-bolts,
shock absorbers are securely mounted
and not leaking. If a vehicle has air
suspension, check for damaged, worn
or inoperative air bags
axle
assembly has no breaks, cracks,

holes, broken seals or bends
signal lights work, lenses are clean
and not cracked
brake
lights work, lenses are clean and

not cracked (whenever possible, have
another person activate the brakes
while you check for proper operation)
backing
and docking lights work, lenses

are clean and not cracked (whenever
TRIP INSPECTIONS
31
possible, have another person activate
the controls while you check for
proper operation)
brake chambers are secure, no signs of
cracks, corrosion or holes and nothing
obstructs the push rod travel
slack adjusters - pull manually or use a
pry bar to check for travel, mechanical
condition and wear
air
 lines are secured, no leaks, kinks,
cuts, abrasions or cracks in housing
mud flap is secure and does
not rub tires
body
has no damage, broken or missing

rivets, holes or weld separations.
Bus
stop arm is secure and not damaged
(school bus only)
body has no damage, broken or
missing rivets, holes or weld separations
frame and structural supports have no
holes, bends, cracks, weld separations
or broken cross members
retro-reflective
tape is clean (school bus

only)
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
reflectors are clean
suspension has no cracked, missing or
broken springs, no loose, missing
or broken U-bolts
Ambulance
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
reflectors are clean
drive axle tire has adequate tread depth
(not less than 1.6 mm), proper inflation,
no bulges, sidewall separation, cuts or
uneven wear, dual tires if equipped are
not touching and nothing is trapped
between them
drive axle wheel rim has no cracks,
wheel fasteners are secure and
not missing
Driver’s front and side of a trailer
(if equipped)
inspection decal is present, valid
and in the proper location
body has no damage, broken or
missing rivets, holes or weld separations
frame and structural supports have no
holes, bends, cracks, weld separations
or broken cross members
landing
gear is raised, handle is secure,

there are no cracks or breaks in
cross members or webbing, lowering
mechanism is secure
air
 lines are secured safely, there are no
leaks, kinks, cuts, abrasions or cracks
in housing
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
reflectors and retro-reflective tape
is clean
load security devices work, anchor
points are secure, vehicle and load
devices are not damaged
first trailer axle tires have adequate tread
depth (not less than 1.6 mm), proper
inflation, no bulges, sidewall separation,
cuts or uneven wear, dual tires are
not touching and nothing is trapped
between them
first
trailer axle wheel rims have no

cracks, missing pieces, bends or rust
streaks, wheel fasteners are secure and
not missing or broken
second
trailer axle tires have adequate

32 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
tread depth (not less than 1.6 mm),
proper inflation, no bulges, sidewall
separation, cuts or uneven wear, dual
tires are not touching and nothing is
trapped between them
second
trailer axle wheel rims have no

cracks, missing pieces, bends or rust
streaks, wheel fasteners are secure and
not missing, broken or loose
sliding
tandem and locking pin - the pin

is locked and secure, no bends, cracks,
breaks or weld separations in the cross
members, torsion bars or flanges
brake
chambers are secure, have no

cracks or corrosion, and nothing will
obstruct the push rod travel
all slack adjusters - pull manually or use
a pry bar to check for travel, mechanical
condition and wear
suspension has no cracked, missing or
broken springs, torsion bars or walking
beams are secure and not damaged,
no loose, missing or broken U-bolts. If
the trailer has air suspension, check for
damaged, worn or inoperative air bags
axle
assembly has no breaks, cracks,

holes or cracked seals.
REAR OF A VEHICLE
All Vehicle Types
right and left turn signals work, lenses
are clean and not cracked
hazard
warning lights work, lenses are

clean and not cracked
brake lights work, lenses are clean and
not cracked (whenever possible, have
another person activate the brakes
while you check for proper operation)
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
reflectors and retro-reflective tape (if
applicable) is clean
CHAPTER THREE
licence plate is clean, attached securely,
the registration decal is valid, licence
plate light is secure and works, and the
lens is clean
doors or gates work, are closed and
secure (if applicable)
rear windows are clean (if applicable)
mud flaps are secure and
do not rub on the tires
exhaust
system is secure and has no

visible leaks, muffler is securely attached
(if applicable)
Bus
alternating amber and red flashing lights
work, lenses are clean and not cracked
(school bus only)
white flashing strobe light works
(school bus only)
clearance and marker lights work,
lenses are clean and not cracked,
reflectors (retro-reflective tape is clean
for school bus only)
rear door opens properly, closes
securely, emergency buzzer works and
rear door seal is not damaged (school
bus only)
specialized equipment for transporting
persons with disabilities is operating and
is secured properly, if equipped
spare tire, if equipped, is inflated
and secure, jack and tools are
properly secured.
Ambulance
Patient compartment
medical equipment is stowed properly
and inventory is completed
fire extinguisher is fully charged and
label indicates that it has not expired,
an approved warning device is present
TRIP INSPECTIONS
33
PASSENGER SIDE
OF A VEHICLE
All Vehicle Types
Continue inspecting the passenger side of
the unit using the same procedures as on
the driver’s side of the truck-tractor and
semi-trailer.
there is no unusual noise when the
clutch is pushed in and released while
the transmission is in neutral for a
manual transmission (if applicable)
radio equipment and P. A. system
work and siren works in all modes (if
applicable)
Truck-tractor
Bus
hand throttle and accelerator pedal
fuel filler cap is present and secure
passenger door operates smoothly and
air pressure build-up time is adequate
closes securely from the inside
steps are clean and step light works,
if equipped
inspection decal is present, valid and in
correct location.
and the air pressure drop does not
exceed an acceptable amount when the
brakes are applied
service brakes have been tested by
driving forward slowly and stopping
INSIDE THE VEHICLE
AND ENGINE START UP
All Vehicle Types
Bus
seat and mirrors are adjusted properly
seat belt is adjusted and fastened properly
feel and operation of brake pedal and
label indicates that it is valid, an
approved warning device is present
first
aid kit is fully equipped

all emergency exits open and close
properly (the alarm system is working
for school bus only)
parking
brake works

stop arm and lights work
(school bus only)
passenger seats are securely fastened
to the floor and are in good condition
the interior for cleanliness and damage
restraints for the wheelchair work and
are secured, if equipped
clutch pedal (if equipped)
steering has no excessive play or slack
all gauges and warning lights work
fuel level is adequate
windows are clean, windshield is clean
and free of major cracks
windshield wipers work, washer has
adequate fluid and sprays well
defroster and heater work properly
horn works and backing alarm works
properly if equipped - some regulations
require a backing alarm when vehicles
are around workers on foot
engine runs smoothly
there are no unusual engine noises
operate properly
handrail is secure
fire extinguisher is fully charged and
34 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Extra equipment and
documentation
Step 2 (Tractor protection
system)
All Vehicle Types
Leave the engine off with the key in the
fire extinguisher is fully charged and
label shows that it has not expired
an approved warning device is present
first aid kit is fully equipped
all necessary documentation is in the
vehicle. This could include the vehicle
registration and valid insurance, Vehicle
Inspection Program (VIP) inspection
certificate, pre-trip inspection form,
safety fitness certificate, permits,
logbook, are valid and any other
supporting documents.
all
 personal protective equipment that
is required before going on a work site
is present
tools are properly secured
spare light bulbs, fuses, belts and other
required parts are present.
‘run’ position.
Push
the trailer air supply valve (red

button); the park control valve (yellow
button) should be pulled.
Disconnect both air lines to the trailer.
Trailer air supply valve should “pop” out
at 40 - 60 PSI (276 - 414 kPa) or higher.
Low air pressure warning should come
on by 60 PSI (414 kPa).
Apply
and hold foot or hand valve; no

air should leak from the open trailer
service line.
Step 3 (Park control valve)
Push park control valve (yellow button).
Pump the foot valve.
Park control valve should “pop” out at
20 - 45 PSI (138 - 311 kPa).
Reconnect both air lines to the trailer.
Trip air brake
inspection
The following information is a guide only.
As in the trip inspection of the vehicle,
the driver plays an important role in
maintaining the air brake unit. A driver
must be alert and know how the air brake
system works. Any brake problems must
be reported so the necessary repairs can
be done.
Step 1
• Chock the wheels with the vehicle on
level ground.
• Perform a visual inspection of the air
brake components.
CHAPTER THREE
Step 4 (Supply circuit)
Start the engine and run at fast idle
around 1200 RPM.
Perform
compressor build-up test; 50

to 90 PSI (345 to 621 kPa) within
3 minutes.
Low air pressure warning light should
go out by 60 PSI (414 kPa).
Build air pressure to system maximum
to confirm governor cut-out at
120 - 135 PSI (828 - 931 kPa).
Pump
service brakes to reduce air

pressure until governor cuts in. Confirm
cut-in is 20 - 25 PSI (138 - 172 kPa)
less than cut-out pressure.
TRIP INSPECTIONS
35
Step 5 (Air system leaks)
Push both park control valves and
rebuild air pressure.
Turn off the engine.
Apply and firmly hold a full service brake
application for 2 minutes.
Maximum 4 PSI (28 kPa) loss for power
units, plus an additional 2 PSI (14 kPa)
per trailer, after the system stabilizes.
Release service brake application and
reapply spring park brakes.
Step 6 (Service brake
response)
Remove wheel chocks.
Release spring park brakes.
Perform a brake response test using the
foot valve.
Perform a brake response test using the
trailer hand valve.
Enroute check stop
inspections
Rest and check stops serve two purposes.
First, they provide a break and a change
of routine. You will feel less tired and more
alert after a rest stop. Second, you can
check your vehicle after it has been on the
road for some time. You will be able to see
if everything is still secure and working the
way it should.
Schedule rest and check stops
according to National Safety Code (NSC)
requirements and your company’s policy.
When choosing a stop, keep the
following in mind:
• Make sure the vehicle is completely
off the road.
• You should be able to enter and exit a
rest or check stop so that you do not
have to back the vehicle.
• Do not make a stop at the bottom of a
hill or on an uphill slope.
• The stop area should have an adequate
acceleration lane to allow you to
merge on to the highway at the
appropriate speed.
A vehicle inspection at a rest and check
stop should include the following:
• All lights are clean and in working order.
• There are no air leaks.
• All the wheels are secure, and tires are
properly inflated and are not hot.
• There are no broken or loose items on
the vehicle.
• The load is secure.
• The dangerous goods placards are
clean and secure (if applicable).
• The trailer locking mechanisms are
secure and in good condition.
• The brakes are properly adjusted.
Reporting to a
vehicle inspection
station
One of the most common misconceptions
regarding vehicle inspection stations is
that only large commercial vehicles have
to report. The law is that all commercial
vehicles or combinations weighing over
4,500 kg are required to report to inspection
stations when the highway lights are
flashing. A “commercial vehicle” is defined
as a vehicle operated on a highway by
or on behalf of a person for the purpose
of providing transportation but does not
include a private passenger vehicle.
36 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
If you are operating a motor vehicle
that is required to report, if the vehicle is
loaded, drive slowly across the scale lane.
If empty, drive slowly in the lane beside
the scale lane. Whether loaded or empty
watch the light board for instructions. If the
“STOP” light is activated, stop the vehicle
and wait for further instructions. If the
“BACK UP” light is activated, slowly and
safely back the vehicle up keeping in mind
there may be other vehicles behind you.
If the “PARK” light is activated park the
vehicle in the lot and bring all of the vehicle
and driver documents to the scale building
check the condition of the
emergency equipment
report any minor damage and fluid leaks
under the bus
check the tires for damage and air leaks
Post-trip inspection
At the end of a shift, it is recommended
you do a post-trip inspection. This will
enable you to obtain service or repairs if
required before the next trip. The report
should include any problems discovered
during the trip. Waiting to do the inspection
can result in problems that are frustrating,
time consuming and costly.
Post-trip inspection for
school buses
A school bus is subject to considerable
wear and tear. It travels in poor weather
conditions, often over difficult roads, and is
usually full of lively children. For this reason,
it is important that you inspect the bus both
inside and outside at the end of every trip.
You will need to do the following:
inspect
the bus for lost articles and

children who are sleeping or still
on the bus
clean the floors, particularly around the
front steps
CHAPTER THREE
TRIP INSPECTIONS
37
NOTES
38 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
4
Operating
Class 1 Vehicles
Maximum overall length 23m (75.5ft.)
Maximum box length 16.2m (53ft.)
(including load)
4.15m
Effective rear overhang
(max. 0.35 x wheelbase)
Kingpin setback
max. 2.0m (6.5ft.)
radius
Wheelbase
min. 6.25m (20.5ft.)
max. 12.5m (41ft.)
Interaxle spacing
Interaxle spacing
Tandem axle speed
min. 1.2m (47in.)
max. 1.85m (72in.)
Tractor wheelbase
max. 6.2m (244in.)
Operating a trucktractor and semitrailer
Size and weight restrictions
of commercial vehicles
Commercial vehicles must not be more
than the following dimensions:
• 2.6 metres in width. If the vehicle is
wider than 2.05 metres, clearance lights
are required. These must be amber in
the front and red in the rear.
• 4.15 metres in height from the
ground surface
• 12.5 metres in length for a straight truck
• 6.2 metres in wheelbase length for a
truck-tractor
• 23 metres in overall length for a tractor
semi-trailer or truck and towed trailer
combination
• 25 metres in overall length for
Transportation Association of Canada
(TAC) vehicle combinations consisting of
A, B and C trains.
3.0m min. (118in.)
No vehicle or combination of vehicles
will be allowed to operate on a highway
if the weight on a tire, axle or axle groups
or gross vehicle weight is more than what
is allowed under the Commercial Vehicle
Dimension and Weight Regulation (AR
315/2002).
Specialized, oversized or overweight
equipment requires a special permit. The
permit will have specific conditions on it.
These conditions will state:
• the routes you may travel on
• the days and hours of travel
• the type of equipment that
must be used
• anything else that is needed to prevent
road damage and to ensure safety.
Air Brakes
Detailed air brake information can be
found in the Alberta Air Brake Manual.
This Manual will be given to you when you
complete the Alberta Air Brake Program
at a licensed driving school or certified
40 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
delivery agent. You must complete the
Program in order to obtain the air brake
“Q” endorsement on your operator’s
licence. This endorsement is required to
operate any vehicle with air brakes.
How long does
it take to stop a
vehicle?
In order to stop a moving vehicle, a driver
needs to perform three actions:
• See - a hazard
• Think - decide to stop
• Do - place foot on the brake pedal
until vehicle stops
The function of any braking system is to
slow the motion of a moving vehicle. Heavy
commercial vehicles take more time and
more distance to stop than smaller vehicles.
More braking force is needed to overcome
their weight and forward motion.
The distance a commercial vehicle
needs to stop is affected by the following
four factors:
• Brake condition. All the brakes on
a vehicle must share the task in the
same way. If one or more brakes are
not properly aligned or maintained, the
remaining brakes will have to generate
more friction. This means that it will take
longer to stop the vehicle.
1 Traction. Traction is the friction
between the road surface and the
area where the tire contacts that
surface. The amount of traction a
vehicle has depends on:
• the condition of the road
• how much tire contact there is with
the road surface
CHAPTER FOUR
• the condition and inflation pressure
of the tires
• the gross vehicle weight (GVW)
of the vehicle
The more traction the vehicle has, the
less time and distance it will take to stop.
There is the most traction just before all
the wheels lock up. There is less traction
when the wheels are skidding.
2 Weight (GVW). A heavy vehicle, even
though it has better traction, needs more
time and distance to stop. When the
weight is doubled, the amount of force
needed to stop the vehicle is doubled,
and it will take about twice as long for
that vehicle to stop (Figure 1 - page 42).
3 Speed. The greater the speed, the more
time and distance are needed to stop.
Figure 2 illustrates that doubling the
vehicle speed means that four times
the braking force is required to bring
the vehicle to a stop. Figure 3 illustrates
that if both the speed and weight are
doubled, the amount of force required
to stop the vehicle will be increased by
eight times.
Stopping distance
The total stopping distance to bring a
vehicle to a complete stop is measured
from the time a driver realizes the need to
apply the brakes until the vehicle comes to
a full stop. The time it takes for a vehicle to
stop is affected by four factors:
1 Perception time is the amount of
time it takes a person to realize the
need to stop the vehicle. The average
perception time is about three-quarters
of a second. Perception time can
increase if a person is not paying
OPERATING CLASS 1 VEHICLES
41
IF WEIGHT
IS DOUBLED
BRAKING FORCE
MUST BE DOUBLED
Figure 1
IF SPEED
IS DOUBLED
BRAKING FORCE MUST
BE INCREASED 4 TIMES
Figure 2
IF WEIGHT AND
SPEED ARE DOUBLED
BRAKING FORCE MUST
BE INCREASED 8 TIMES
Figure 3
attention to driving, or is not feeling
well physically or mentally. Perception
distance is how far a vehicle travels
during this time.
2 Driver reaction time is the amount of
time it takes between deciding to stop
and actually applying pressure to the
brake pedal. Normal driver reaction time
is about three quarters of a second.
Reaction time will be slower if the driver:
• is tired, or
• has been drinking alcohol or
using drugs
Reaction distance is how far a vehicle
travels during this time.
3 Lag time is the amount of time it takes
for the air brake system to respond after
the driver has applied pressure on the
brake pedal. Air brakes do not respond
immediately because it takes time for
the compressed air to flow through the
system and apply the brakes which
takes about 4/10 of a second. Lag time
distance is how far a vehicle travels
during this time.
4 Braking time is the amount of time
it takes for the vehicle to come to a
complete stop after the brakes have
been applied. Braking time depends on:
• the force with which the brakes
are applied
• the condition of the brake
linings and drums
• the traction of the tires on
the road surface
• the vehicle weight and speed
Braking distance is how far a vehicle
travels during this time.
Total stopping distance is the
sum of perception distance, reaction
distance, lag time distance and
braking distance.
Another factor involved in stopping
distances is the slope or grade of the road.
A vehicle travelling down a hill will need a
longer stopping distance than a vehicle
travelling at the same speed on a level
surface because of the effect of gravity.
A vehicle travelling up a hill will stop in a
shorter distance than a vehicle travelling
the same speed on a level surface, again
because of the effect of the grade.
General braking
information
• When applying the brakes, press down
the pedal using an even pressure and
then ease off the pedal as the vehicle
slows down. Just before the stop,
release the brakes to avoid a sudden
jerk or rebound. Then apply pressure
to the brake pedal again to hold the
vehicle while it is stopped.
• Do not pump (alternately applying and
then releasing) the air brakes as this will
42 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
•
•
•
•
•
•
result in a loss of air pressure. Pumping
the brakes on a long downhill grade may
mean that you do not have enough air
pressure for the brakes to work properly.
Avoid using the brakes too much going
down hills. Downshift before going
over the top of the hill. Use engine
compression as a way to control your
speed on steep grades.
If there is a low air pressure warning,
stop as soon as possible in a safe
place. Increase the air pressure before
continuing.
Before going down a hill, test the brakes.
Look at the air pressure gauge, apply
the brakes, and check for abnormal air
pressure loss. Do not proceed if there is
abnormal pressure loss.
If the trailer hand valve is used too
much, particularly on steep hills, the
trailer brakes may fail. Use of the trailer
hand valve only is not recommended
as it leads to a greater wear on the
trailer brakes then the truck-tractor
brakes. This causes unbalanced braking
between the truck-tractor and the trailer
which could cause the unit to jackknife.
Always be sure the brakes are adjusted
properly. If they are not, some brakes
will have to work harder than the others.
This could cause a skid.
A driver must not pull any trailer that
weighs more than 2,300 kg that is not
equipped with brakes controlled by
the driver.
Coupling and
uncoupling a trucktractor and semi-trailer
CHAPTER FOUR
Coupling
The basic steps for coupling a truck-tractor
to a semi-trailer are as follows:
Chock the semi-trailer wheel. If you only
have one chock, place it to the rear of
the semi-trailer wheel. If you have two
chocks, place one to the front and one
to rear of the semi-trailer wheel.
Check
that the jaws on the fifth wheel

are in the unlocked (open) position.
Check the condition of the semitrailer apron, king pin and it’s collar for
excessive wear or cracks.
Back the truck-tractor in line for the
hook-up with the semi-trailer. Stop
before contact is made between the fifth
wheel and the trailer apron.
Check that the height of the fifth wheel
and the semi-trailer match.
NOTE: Some older trailers may not have
spring brakes.
If the semi-trailer does have spring
brakes on at least one axle, connect air
lines from the truck-tractor to the semitrailer and fill the trailer air tanks.
Set the semi-trailer brakes.
Back the truck-tractor until a connection
has been made.
Perform a firm tug test to ensure you
have a good hook-up. If noticeable
slack is present, make
necessary corrections.
Visually check that the fifth wheel jaws
are properly locked around the trailer
king pin.
Raise the landing gear and hook-up
the electrical line.
Remove wheel chocks.
OPERATING CLASS 1 VEHICLES
43
Uncoupling
The basic steps for uncoupling a trucktractor from a semi-trailer are as follows:
Park the truck-tractor and semi-trailer in
a straight line and set the park brakes.
Chock semi-trailer wheel. If you only
have one chock, place it to the front of
the semi-trailer wheel. If you have two
chocks, place one to the front and one
to the rear of the semi-trailer wheel.
Lower the landing gear.
Disconnect the electrical and air lines
and unlock the fifth wheel.
Secure the electrical connection and air
lines to the truck-tractor.
Move the truck-tractor ahead slowly
until the fifth wheel just clears the semitrailer and stop.
Check that the ground and landing gear
support the semi-trailer.
Move
the truck-tractor ahead slowly

until the tractor frame completely clears
the semi-trailer.
Coupling and uncoupling
pintle hitch attachments
The Basic Steps In Uncoupling Pintle Hitch
Attachments Are:
Park the towing/power unit and trailer
in a straight line.
Set the parking brakes of the towing/
power unit and trailer.
Chock trailer wheels.
Disconnect air lines, electrical line and
other associated hoses (if applicable).
Disconnect
safety cables/chains from

towing/power unit.
Disconnect safety pin (if equipped).
Release pintle hook locking
(safety latch) mechanism.
Pintle hitch with hook and eye
Lower landing leg if equipped;
otherwise, block the drawbar
when required.
Move
towing/power unit ahead slowly

until pintle eye completely clears
pintle hook.
Stop and visually check that the pintle
eye is free of the pintle hook.
The Basic Steps In Coupling Pintle Hitch
Attachments Are:
Position the towing/power unit in line to
receive the pintle eye.
Stop the towing/power unit before
contact is made with the pintle eye.
Chock trailer wheels.
Ensure pintle hook is open to receive
pintle eye.
Ensure
pintle hook and eye has no

cracks and or signs of excessive wear.
Ensure pintle eye is the proper height
to lower onto the pintle hook, adjust
drawbar height if necessary.
Position
towing/power unit so the

pintle eye can be lowered onto the
pintle hook.
Snap pintle hook shut and ensure
safety latch is locked.
Properly attach safety cables/chains to
towing/power unit.
Fasten safety pin (if applicable).
44 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Properly attach air lines, electrical
line and other associated hoses (if
applicable).
Charge air system and if equipped
with a “no-slack ram”, do a tug test to
ensure the ram is energized.
Perform
a visual inspection to ensure all

locking mechanisms are properly secured.
Place landing leg (if applicable) in
transport position and remove chocks.
Ensure
hitching devices are secure and

re-check safety latch.
The most important task in the coupling
procedure is to physically and visually
check all connections. Failure to do so
may be the cause of a serious incident.
Coupling
mechanisms
A train – example of a unit connected by
a type A converter dolly.
B TRAIN
In a B train, the converter is part of the
lead trailer. The fifth wheel assembly sits on
the rear axle of the lead trailer. It is either
permanently fixed in position or slides out
with the rear axle.
No converter dolly is required, as the
second unit connects directly to the
extended frame of the lead unit.
Double trailer
combination types
When adding a second trailer to the rear
of a lead trailer, a converter mechanism is
needed. Each converter must have its own
fifth wheel attachment. There are three
different types of converters.
A TRAIN
This converter has an A shaped drawbar
that joins into a single pintle hitch point on
the lead trailer. Due to its A shape, it is often
called an A-dolly. When two trailers are
joined together using the A-dolly, the whole
unit is called an A train. These converters
provide two points of articulation (joints that
allow side to side or lateral movement). One
of these points is at the pintle and the other
is at the fifth wheel.
CHAPTER FOUR
B train – example of a unit connected
by a type B converter dolly.
C TRAIN
A C train is like the A train, in that it uses
an independent converter. The difference
between the two is that the C train has
two drawbars and two pintle hitches in the
double drawbar converter.
OPERATING CLASS 1 VEHICLES
45
Two bars mean there is only one
articulation point. The result is that the
trailer moves less from side-to-side.
To improve performance even more,
double drawbar converters have a
self-steering axle.
When driving a C train, check that the air
pressure on the self-steering axle is within
the manufacturer’s standards. If the air
pressure falls too low, the wheels will steer
too much and the unit becomes unstable.
This can lead to skid steering, which can
damage the converter and hitch.
EXAMPLES OF LONG
COMBINATION VEHICLES
Rocky Mountain Double
Triple
Turnpike Double
C train – example of a unit connected by a type
C converter dolly.
Link-up arrangement
When linking two or more trailers to a
towing unit, always hook the heaviest
trailer directly to the tractor. The lightest
trailer should be the furthest away from
the towing unit. This rule applies no matter
how long each trailer is. If the trailers are
not joined according to weight, the unit will
be unstable. The rear trailer will sway and
control of the unit could be lost.
Operating long
combination vehicles
When a permit is issued according to
Section 62 of the Traffic Safety Act
authorizing the movement of Long
Combination Vehicles (LCVs), a list of
general provisions must be followed. Some
of these provisions are listed below.
NOTE: For a complete, current list of all
provisions, carriers who wish to operate
LCVs should contact the Transport
Engineering Branch at (403) 340-5189.
For toll-free service from anywhere in
Alberta, call 310-0000.
46 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
• Companies must have and be able
to provide proof that their drivers and
driver trainers meet and maintain the
requirements outlined in the Canadian
Trucking Alliance’s Longer Combination
Vehicle Driver’s and/or Instructor’s Manual.
• The carrier is responsible for issuing
an annual LCV Driver’s Certificate. The
Driver’s Certificate is valid for 12 months
after the date of issue, and must be in
the possession of the driver at all times
when operating an LCV. Before issuing
an LCV Driver’s Certificate, the carrier
must ensure that the driver meets the
following qualifications. The driver:
·· holds a valid Class 1 driver’s licence
or equivalent
·· has passed a recognized air
brake course
·· has a minimum of 24 months
or 150,000 kilometres of driving
experience with articulated vehicles
in the Class one category
·· has passed a Professional Driver
Improvement Course (PDIC) within
the past 48 months
·· has passed the Canadian Trucking
Alliance’s Longer Combination Vehicles
Driver Training Course or equivalent
·· has a driver’s abstract that is dated
not more than one month prior
to the issue date of the Driver’s
Certificate. It must show no drivingrelated criminal code convictions in
the prior 36 months; no more than
two moving violations in the prior
12 months; and no more than three
moving violations in the prior 36
months. The date of conviction and
the current date are the dates used
to determine the time periods.
CHAPTER FOUR
·· has in the past 12 months been
instructed on all current regulations,
permit conditions and issues
covering the operation of LCVs.
SPEED LIMITS FOR LONG
COMBINATION VEHICLES
The maximum speed limit for drivers of
long combination vehicles shall not be
more than 100 km/h or the posted speed
limit, whichever is lower.
Driving skills and
manoeuvres
Following distance
between vehicles
Remember that the two-second rule is the
minimum following distance for passenger
vehicles and is accurate at any speed.
When operating a large vehicle, use the
four-second rule to determine a safe
following distance. Watch the vehicle
ahead pass a fixed object, like a telephone
post, and start to count one-thousandand-one, one-thousand-and-two, and so
on. If you reach the object before counting
to one-thousand-and-four, you are
following too closely. You must slow down
to increase the distance between your
vehicle and the vehicle ahead.
Double and triple trailer units take
up more space than other commercial
vehicles. They are not only longer, but
also need more space because they
cannot turn or stop as quickly. Allow more
following distance. Make sure the gaps are
large enough before entering or crossing
traffic. Be certain you are clear at the sides
before changing lanes. When weather,
OPERATING CLASS 1 VEHICLES
47
road or traffic conditions are poor, double
your following distance.
RIGHT TURNS
Off-tracking
In any vehicle where the rear axle cannot
steer during a turn, the rear tires will follow
a different path than the steering tires. This
is called off-tracking. There are two types
of off-tracking:
1 Low speed off-tracking is common when
driving in a city. In low or moderate speed
turns, the rear tires are pulled inward
of the steering path. The longer the
wheelbase of the vehicle or the tighter the
turn, the more off-tracking occurs.
2 High speed off-tracking is the effect of
centrifugal (outward) force. It is seen when
a vehicle travels at higher speeds, and the
rear tires pull outward from the steering
path during a turn. When you are driving
a large vehicle, use a moderate speed
when entering curves on open highways.
Otherwise, you may encounter serious
high-speed off-tracking that may result in
a dangerous situation.
Turns
Be aware that, for every turn of the
steering wheel, the rear wheels will follow
a shorter path than the front wheels. Allow
for this low speed off-tracking on every
turn. Otherwise, your vehicle could hit
another vehicle, or stationary object, or run
over a curb and hit a pedestrian.
If the street is narrow, drive well into the
intersection before starting the turn. You
might need to go over the centre line of the
street you are entering or into the second
traffic lane. Whenever making a turn, be
cautious and ensure it can be done safely.
Look for smaller vehicles and cyclists
that may try to pull along the right side of
your tractor-trailer during the turn.
It takes different skills and knowledge to
turn a large vehicle compared to turning
a passenger vehicle. To start, have a look
at the general turn rules that are explained
in the Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety
and Licensing book. Remember the offtracking tendencies of the large vehicle,
and that it has a wider turning radius.
The hand-over-hand steering method is
recommended. Always use both hands to
steer the vehicle. Select the appropriate
gear before starting the turn unless the
vehicle has an automatic transmission.
48 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
LEFT TURNS
a loss of control of the vehicle. If you are
travelling at too great a speed and try to
slow down by applying the brakes, this
may cause the vehicle to skid, roll over or
jackknife.
RIGHT CURVES
When turning left, ensure your vehicle’s
turning arc is wide enough to allow the
vehicle to off-track on the left side without
crossing the centre line. Your turn must be
wide enough to prevent the vehicle from
cutting the corner and hitting another vehicle.
Complete the turn by driving to the right side
of the centre line of the road entered.
Curves
Keep the front of the vehicle closer to the
centre of the road so the trailer wheels
do not roll over the curb or drop off the
pavement on the right.
LEFT CURVES
Enter a curve at a speed that does not
require braking, but does allow you to
gradually accelerate while in the curve.
When entering a curve, centrifugal force
acts on the vehicle. This force pushes the
vehicle towards the outside of the curve.
Traction resists centrifugal force. The
amount of traction your wheels have with
the road’s surface determines the amount
of control that can be maintained over the
vehicle.
When speed is increased, both
momentum and centrifugal force are
greater. When entering a curve too quickly,
these forces may be greater than the
traction that is present. This can cause
CHAPTER FOUR
Keep the front of the vehicle closer to the
outside of the curve (right side of road) so
the trailer wheels do not cut into the other
lane of traffic on the left.
OPERATING CLASS 1 VEHICLES
49
Parking
Always select a safe place to park the
vehicle. Set the parking brake in the
tractor. Do not use the trailer hand valve
to hold a parked unit. Put the transmission
in the lowest forward or reverse gear (if
applicable). If the vehicle has a two-speed
axle, put the axle in low range.
Properly block the wheels using wheel
chocks. The minimum size for square
blocks should be 15 centimetres by 15
centimetres.
Do not expect the transmission to do
the work of securing the vehicle. Always
use the vehicle’s parking brake system and
wheel blocks.
PARKING ON A HILL
The law requires that the wheels of a
parked vehicle be no more than 50
centimetres from the curb. When parked,
the vehicle must be left in low gear or
reverse for a manual transmission or
park for an automatic transmission. Have
the park brake engaged. The following
information applies to vehicles parked
on the right-hand side of the road. For
vehicles parked on the left-hand side of the
road (one-way), turn the front wheels in the
opposite direction.
• For parking downhill, with or without a
curb, the front wheels should always be
turned to the right.
• For parking uphill with a curb, the
front wheels should always be turned
to the left.
• For parking uphill without a curb,
tractor-trailer units with one articulation
point should always have the front
wheels turned to the left.
NOTE: If there is a curb, allow the vehicle
to roll to the point where the front wheels
are making contact with the curb before
setting the park brake. This helps to
prevent the vehicle from jumping the curb
if the vehicle starts to move.
Reversing
• When reversing a semi-trailer, turn the
steering wheel in the opposite direction
to where you want the trailer to go.
Another method is to place your hand
on the bottom of the steering wheel and
move your hand in the same direction
that you want the trailer to go. The
tractor must follow an S-shape in order
to bring the trailer around smoothly.
• Always reverse the vehicle slowly and
use both the rear view mirrors. Never
forget that there is always a blind spot
directly behind the vehicle that is not
visible in the mirrors.
• Avoid unnecessary reversing by
planning ahead.
• Sound the horn as a safety precaution
before reversing. Repeat at least once
for every vehicle length reversed.
• If possible, ask someone to act as
a guide and establish hand signals
between the driver and the guide. The
guide must be able to see the path
the vehicle is taking. The driver must
be able to see the guide. Stop if you
cannot see the guide.
• Remember that even with a guide,
the driver is still responsible for all
movements of the vehicle.
50 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
GUIDE HAS VIEW OF
VEHICLE’S PATH AND EYE
CONTACT WITH DRIVER
• If it is not possible to have a guide,
always check the area where you are
reversing before beginning the move.
Get out of the vehicle, walk behind it
and visually check the area. Look for
obstructions and clearance.
• If the reversing distance exceeds two
vehicle lengths, stop, get out and
visually recheck the areas behind,
above, below and around the entire unit.
• Keep your foot off the throttle. You will
rarely need to use it to start your unit
reversing. Always select the lowest
reverse gear available. Move very slowly
and keep your right foot covering the
brake pedal in case you need to stop
quickly.
Here are some examples of hand signals.
Move left
Move right
STRAIGHT LINE REVERSING
Straight line is the easiest and safest form
of reversing. Reverse straight whenever
possible. Normally you will have a clear
view in both mirrors of the space that you
are reversing into.
90 DEGREE REVERSING,
CLEAR SIDE (LEFT SIDE)
Reversing to the left provides a clear view in
the left mirror of the space you are reversing
into.
Start reversing and turn the steering wheel
to the right to move the trailer to the left.
Once the trailer is curving towards the space,
turn the steering wheel to the left and let the
tractor follow the trailer into the space.
When the trailer is in line with the parking
space, turn the steering wheel even more
to the left to straighten the tractor in relation
to the trailer. Slowly finish reversing into the
loading dock or parking space.
90 DEGREE REVERSING,
BLIND SIDE (RIGHT SIDE)
This far to go
CHAPTER FOUR
OPERATING CLASS 1 VEHICLES
51
Reversing from the blind side uses
the same steps as clear side reversing.
However, it is harder to see where you are
going. Once the reversing has started, you
will mostly be using the right side mirror,
including the convex mirror.
You should stop often and get out of the
tractor to check your position.
This type of reversing is the most
difficult and also potentially the most
dangerous. Avoid it if you can.
Important information
for commercial
drivers
• When carrying logs on a vehicle, the
overhanging logs may swing across the
other traffic lanes when you turn. Try to
let traffic behind pass before you make
the turn.
• If a breakdown occurs on the highway,
park the vehicle as soon as possible,
in a safe position on the right side
of the roadway.
• If the breakdown occurs on a
highway, outside the limits of an urban
municipality between sunrise and sunset
(during the day), activate the emergency
hazard lights. Place an approved
warning device on the highway in line
with the vehicle about 30 metres (about
100 feet) in both front and reverse
of the vehicle.
• If the breakdown occurs on a
highway, outside the limits of an urban
municipality between sunset and
sunrise (in darkness), or anytime when
there is not enough light to clearly see
people or vehicles on a highway at a
distance of 150 metres, activate the
emergency hazard lights. Place an
approved warning device 75 metres
(about 250 feet) in front of and behind
the vehicle.
• If your truck is carrying explosives or
flammable goods, you must stop before
every uncontrolled railway crossing.
• When driving in urban areas (cities
and towns), you must drive only on
the routes specified for trucks and
dangerous goods vehicles.
• If driving a vehicle that carries
dangerous goods, you must comply
with the federal and provincial laws
describing how dangerous goods
should be handled, stored and
transported.
If a vehicle’s load reaches or extends
more than 1.5 metres beyond the rear of
the vehicle, the following is required:
• During daylight hours, a red flag, not
less than 30 centimetres square, must
be attached to the end of the extension.
• During nighttime hours, a red light must
be attached to the end of the extension.
NOTE: If your truck or vehicle is carrying
goods or commodities to the United
States, and this is not something you
do on a regular scheduled basis, you
must contact either the Department of
Transportation or the Department of
Highways in each state where you will
be travelling before starting your trip.
Each state has different laws. Your trip
will be faster and smoother if you obtain
all the proper permits and documents
before you go.
52 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
5
Operating
Class 2 Vehicles
SCHOOL BUS
Information for class
2 and class 4 bus
operators
While the following information may apply
to various types of buses, it is primarily
about the operation of school buses. If you
drive a bus, even if it is not a school bus,
you should still read this section carefully.
Most of the facts and procedures that
follow apply to all bus operations.
As a bus operator you are responsible
for the safe transportation of a large
number of passengers, regardless
of weather, road or traffic conditions
experienced during the trip. That
responsibility exists whether the bus you
drive is a commercial, school or private
bus. You must have the skills to adjust
quickly to changing conditions both inside
and outside the bus.
Know all the rules and regulations
under which you operate, including
company policy.
Operating a school
bus safely
School bus breakdowns
Even if a walk-around of the bus is done
daily and a regular maintenance schedule
is followed, the bus may break down when
you least expect it. If this happens on the
road, do the following:
• If possible, stop the bus in a safe place
as far off the roadway as practical.
• Analyze the situation. If the bus is
stopped in a dangerous location,
get the passengers off the bus and
guide them to a safe location. If there
is no danger, it is usually safer if the
passengers stay on the bus.
• If a breakdown occurs, and the vehicle
is stationary on a highway outside the
limits of an urban municipality during
the period between sunrise and sunset
(during the day), activate the emergency
hazard lights. Place an approved
54 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
warning device 30 metres (about 100
feet) in front of and behind the bus.
• If a breakdown occurs, and the vehicle
is stationary on a highway outside the
limits of an urban municipality during the
period between sunset and sunrise (in
darkness), or anytime when there is not
sufficient light to see people or vehicles
clearly on a highway at a distance of
150 metres (about 492 feet), activate
the emergency hazard lights. Place an
approved warning device 75 metres
(about 250 feet) in front of and
behind the bus.
• If you cannot fix the problem quickly
or cannot radio or phone for help, stay
with the bus.
Left / right turns
When turning left or right at an intersection
do the following:
• Prepare well in advance by positioning
the bus in the appropriate lane
depending on the direction of travel.
• Give the proper turn signal in sufficient
time to provide a reasonable warning to
other motorists of your intention.
• Reduce your speed and downshift to the
proper gear needed to execute the turn.
• Check traffic and conditions to your left
and right then left again before making
your turn. Watch for both vehicle and
pedestrian traffic.
• Check for traffic signals or signs that are
directed to you plus be aware of signs
or signals that apply to cross-traffic.
• Executing the turn
·· Turning left – take the left most
lane available (unless directed
otherwise by arrows on a traffic sign
or markings on the road surface). If
CHAPTER FIVE
•
•
•
•
stopped waiting to turn, keep the
front wheels pointed straight and the
break pedal depressed to ensure
your brake lights are on and if struck
from behind your bus will not be
pushed into oncoming traffic. When
turning left off a two-lane highway,
make a quick shoulder and mirror
check to ensure you are not about to
be passed by an overtaking vehicle.
·· Turning right – take the right-most
lane available.
On dual left turn lanes, it is preferable to
use the outer left turning lane.
Never shift gears during the turn.
Check the left and right mirrors as you are
turning for bus body swing and clearance.
Check that your turn signal has been
cancelled once the turn is complete.
Reversing
Reversing a school bus is a leading cause
of school bus collisions. It should be
avoided whenever possible. It is illegal to
reverse a loaded or unloaded school bus
in a schoolyard or at a location next to a
school ground unless there is a responsible
guide located outside at the rear of the bus
giving direction. Remember that you are
responsible for all movements of the bus.
Here are some guidelines to follow.
• Physically check the area for any
obstructions and clearances.
• Have a responsible adult act as a guide.
• Agree on the hand signals that
will be used.
• Tell the person where to stand.
• Tap the horn.
• Reverse slowly.
• Stop immediately if you lose sight
of the guide.
OPERATING CLASS 2 VEHICLES
55
Remember, even with a guide, you
are still responsible for all movements
of the bus.
When required to reverse, other than
on school property, make sure the area
is clear of obstructions and use both side
mirrors.
• Load the passengers before the
turnaround (see 1 and 2 on the diagram).
• Unload the passengers after backing
(see 3 and 4 on the diagram).
4
1
Turnarounds
Some bus routes may require a driver
to do a turnaround. The only time a
turnaround should ever be done on a
two-lane highway is if it cannot be done
on private property. Turnarounds are
done by backing into a road on the right
of the main roadway. Never back onto
or across a highway. When a turnaround
must be done, the following procedure is
recommended:
• Start slowing down well in advance of
the turnaround.
• Stop the bus in the proper position on
the main roadway. It should be about
one bus length ahead of the road that
you will be reversing into. Check traffic
in all directions to ensure that there is
enough time and space in the traffic to
allow the turnaround. Wait for traffic to
pass around you.
• Back into the road on the right when it
is clear, using your mirrors and shoulder
checking to the right.
• Re-enter the main roadway when it is
clear and safe to do so.
Remember, never back onto or across
a highway.
If required to load or unload passengers at
the turnaround point, do the following:
2
3
A U-turn can be done on a four-lane
divided highway if the length of the bus
is less than the width of the median
separating the flow of traffic.
The bus must be brought to a full stop
on the crossroad. The front and back of
the bus must be clear of all traffic lanes.
SCHOOL BUS
MEDIAN
Passenger loading and
unloading
School bus operators should follow
these procedures:
• The law requires that the alternately
flashing red lights and stop arm only
be used when loading and unloading
passengers. The driver must know when
the alternately flashing lights must be
used. Local authorities may prohibit
56 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
•
•
•
•
•
•
or restrict their use. All drivers must
activate the alternately flashing
lights when loading and unloading
passengers, except when operating
on a roadway where a bylaw
prohibits their use.
Drivers of vehicles must stop when
approaching a stopped school bus
displaying alternately flashing red lights
from either direction on an undivided
highway, and from behind the bus on a
divided highway.
On buses equipped with the eight-light
system, the alternately flashing amber
lights shall be activated as the bus
begins to slow down for the stop. Where
possible, minimize traffic disruption by
allowing vehicles to pass before turning
on the alternately flashing red lights.
Pull as far to the right as practical before
stopping to load or unload passengers.
Choose a location that allows safe
footing and is at least one metre away
from the students waiting to board.
The law allows a driver to stop on the
roadway if a suitable and safe location
off the roadway is not available.
Activate the alternately flashing red
lights when the bus comes to a
complete stop. The alternately
flashing lights must not be used
when the bus is not involved in
loading or unloading passengers.
Before loading or unloading, check
that all traffic has stopped, that the
transmission is in neutral for a manual
transmission, or park for an automatic
and the park brake is applied. Keep firm
pressure on the brake pedal.
Open the door of the bus and let the
passengers on or off.
CHAPTER FIVE
• If students must cross the highway in
a rural area after getting off the bus,
instruct them to go at least 10 paces in
front of the bus, stop before they enter
the roadway and wait for your direction
before crossing the road. Establish a
line of sight with them; look up and
down the roadway checking for traffic
before you let them cross in front of the
bus. Do not lose sight of the students
as they cross and be sure that you can
account for all of them.
• Before moving, check all mirrors,
including the cross over mirror, to
ensure that no students are lingering
near the bus.
• Turn off the alternately flashing lights
after all the students are seated, release
the park brake, and when it is safe
signal left and re-enter the traffic flow.
Drivers must also be aware of the
following:
• The bus must not be moving while
students enter or exit.
• It is against the law to back a school
bus in a schoolyard without guidance
from a responsible person located
outside and at the rear of the bus. You
must be able to see the guide at all
times. You are responsible for all your
movements.
• Be sure that all the students are seated
while the bus is in motion.
• Never exceed the seating capacity
of the bus.
• Always use frequent mirror checks to be
sure that it is safe before activating the
alternately flashing red lights or giving
a signal for the students to cross the
roadway. Even though other drivers are
required by law to stop, they may not.
OPERATING CLASS 2 VEHICLES
57
• If a driver of a vehicle does not stop for
the alternately flashing red lights, write
down the vehicle’s licence plate number
and report the incident immediately
to the local police authority and your
supervisor.
Parking on a hill
The law requires that the wheels of a
parked vehicle be no more than 50
centimetres (about 19 inches) from the
curb. When parked, the vehicle must be
left in low gear or reverse for a manual
transmission or neutral for an automatic
transmission. Have the park brake
engaged. The following information applies
to vehicles parked on the right-hand side
of the road. (For vehicles parked on the
left-hand side of the road, turn the front
wheels in the opposite direction):
• For parking downhill, with or without a
curb, the front wheels should always be
turned to the right.
• For parking uphill with a curb, the
front wheels should always be turned
to the left.
• For parking uphill without a curb, single
unit vehicles should always have their
front wheels turned to the right.
NOTE: If there is a curb, allow the vehicle
to roll to the point where the front wheels
are making contact with the curb before
setting the park brake. This helps to
prevent the vehicle from jumping the curb
if the vehicle starts to move.
Railway crossing procedures
Railway crossings present a special hazard
because any time is train time. Know the
railway crossing laws and school board
policy, as well as municipal bylaws.
As a driver of a school bus, you are
required by law to stop at a railway
crossing unless:
• the crossing has a traffic control signal,
lights and bell, or
• a peace officer or flagman directs
you to proceed.
The following procedures apply at all
uncontrolled railway crossings:
• There should be no excess noise from
the bus. Turn off any fans or radio that
are working and ask the passengers to
be quiet.
• If in the left lane of a multi-lane highway,
signal and change to the far right lane
well in advance of the crossing.
• Check for traffic behind. The alternately
flashing amber or red lights must not be
used when stopping at a railway crossing.
• Stop not less than five metres (about 16
feet) or more than 15 metres (about 49
feet) from the nearest track.
• Put a manual transmission in neutral or
park. For an automatic transmission,
engage the parking brake and keep firm
pressure on the brake pedal.
• Open the front door and the driver’s
window. Look both ways and listen for
an approaching train. If you see or hear
a warning signal or train whistle and do
not see a train coming, do not cross the
tracks until you know it is safe to do so.
If bright sunlight, fog, snow or smoke
makes it hard to see, walk to the track
to see if you can cross it safely.
58 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
• Remember, as the driver of the school
bus, you must never leave the bus
without turning off the engine, setting
the brakes, putting the transmission
in its lowest gear (manual) or park
(automatic) position and taking
the key out.
• When you are sure that it is safe to
proceed, select an appropriate low gear.
• Release the park brake.
• Check left and right.
• Close the door.
• Cross the tracks.
• If the transmission is manual, do not shift
gears until you are clear of the last track.
Discipline and problem
solving
• You are not only responsible for the
safety of your passengers, but also
for dealing with their behaviour while
they are in the bus. Many discipline
problems are also safety problems
and should be handled quickly and
efficiently. Remember, regardless of
any problems that you may have with a
student, you cannot unload the student
at any place other than the student’s
normal destination. Only the school
administration may remove or prohibit a
student from riding a school bus.
Safe driving guidelines
• The maximum speed limit for a loaded
or unloaded school bus, under ideal
conditions, is 90 km/h or the posted
speed limit, whichever is lower.
• Do not try to make up lost time by
travelling faster than is reasonable for
road conditions or the law allows.
CHAPTER FIVE
• When following another vehicle, always
allow enough of a space cushion. Use
the four-second following rule and
increase this distance when the road or
weather conditions are poor or when it
is difficult to see.
• Make sure all students are seated and
remain seated while the bus is moving.
Everyone must enter or leave the bus
by the front door. The rear door, by law,
should not be used unless there is an
emergency. You and your passengers
should know about the emergency
exits, emergency equipment and
evacuation procedures.
• All doors must be closed when the bus
is moving.
• When moving away from the curb,
use caution, as you do not have the
right-of-way.
• When crossing a highway, do not
proceed until the traffic is clear in
both directions.
• Never refuel a bus with passengers
aboard.
• Establish a good relationship with your
passengers. Your job will be easier
and more enjoyable.
• At the beginning of the school year it is
a good idea to hold an evacuation drill
with everyone who rides the bus. This
way, the passengers will know what to
do in case of a real emergency. Hold the
drill in a safe traffic-free area on, or next
to the school property. Work with the
school administration to set up the drill.
• There are three standard methods to
evacuate the bus, although other ways
can be used in extreme situations. The
three methods are: the front exit, the
rear exit and the front and rear exit at
the same time. In a real situation, you
OPERATING CLASS 2 VEHICLES
59
will need to assess the situation and
choose the most appropriate method
to exit.
• A person driving a school bus
(a) shall activate the strobe lamp during
adverse atmospheric and visibility
conditions, including fog, blizzard and
smoke, and (b) may activate the strobe
lamp where increased visibility
is desirable.
60 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
6
Operating
Class 3 Vehicles
Examples of Class 3 motor vehicles are trucks designed for transporting goods or carrying loads.
Loading and
unloading dump
vehicles
Loading
Follow your company’s policy for loading
a vehicle on site. Some companies prefer
drivers to remain inside the vehicle while
others require them to stand outside the
vehicle while it is being loaded.
When leaving the vehicle, use the
three-point contact procedure. This means
that two hands and one foot or two feet
and one hand remain on the vehicle at all
times. Never jump from the vehicle. When
outside the vehicle, wear the appropriate
protective equipment.
You must not move a loaded vehicle
until the following has occurred:
• The material is evenly distributed
in the box.
• The load is secured so it will not blow
or fall off and damage other vehicles
or cause personal injury. You must
comply with the Traffic Safety Act when
securing loads. If a municipality has a
law that states that the load must be
tarped, you must ensure that it is done.
While covering the load, watch for
debris that may have been caught
in the tarp.
• The vehicle’s tailgate, tailboards, doors,
tarpaulins, spare tire and any other
equipment that needs to be fastened
is secured.
• There are no loose materials, debris or
rocks in the tailgate, sides of the box,
hitches or coupling devices. Clean or
sweep off loose material with a brush
or broom.
62 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
• The vehicle is loaded so the total
dimensions and total weight on each
axle are within the limits according to
the laws in the jurisdiction where the
vehicle is being operated.
Before unloading
• Move slowly if you must back into a
position to unload. Before backing in an
unfamiliar area, get out, look around the
area and walk the route that you
will follow.
• You should back the vehicle to the
driver’s side (left) for better visibility.
Use the mirrors continually to check
your position.
• If the vehicle is equipped with a backing
alarm, make sure it is working. Some
regulations require a backing alarm
when vehicles are around workers on
foot. These alarms must be automatic
and cannot have a shutoff switch as
specified in Occupational Health and
Safety Code 2009.
For more information regarding this
code visit this web site; http://www.
employment.alberta.ca/documents/WHS/
WHS-LEG_ohsc_2009.pdf
• Whenever possible, have someone
guide the vehicle when you are
unloading. Make sure that you and the
guide use and understand the same
hand signals. The guide should always
be outside and to the rear of the vehicle
so that he or she is able to see the path
the vehicle is taking and be seen by the
driver. The driver should always be able
to see the guide. Stop if you cannot
see the guide.
CHAPTER SIX
• Remember, even with a guide, you are
still responsible for all movements
of the vehicle.
• Check for overhead wires and
obstructions.
• Do not raise the box to dump unless the
vehicle is on level ground.
During unloading
• Other vehicles and people must not
be within the dumping radius of the
raised box.
• Before dumping into a hopper, get
out and look to make sure the hopper
is empty.
• To avoid a tip-over, learn to recognize
hazardous areas and situations. These
include soft or uneven surfaces or
poorly compacted fill.
• The tailgate chain and the angle of the
truck bed will regulate how fast the
material flows from the box.
• Check your operator’s manual for
detailed instructions for unloading.
• Release the tailgate. Be aware that a
load that is concentrated at the rear of a
raised box with the tailgate closed can
tip the vehicle over backwards.
• Do not get into the raised box if the load
is stuck. Lower the box first.
• If you lose sight of your guide, stop until
visual contact is regained.
• Once the unloading has been
completed, lower the box and ensure
that the tailgate is latched.
OPERATING CLASS 3 VEHICLES
63
Mixer truck operators
Mixer trucks in the Class 3 vehicle
category require the same basic
procedures about pre-trip inspections
noted in the previous section, except for
the specific characteristics of that vehicle.
Although loading and unloading the
product would be different, similar safety
precautions are needed, as well as the
assessment of the conditions at each job
site. The vehicle driver is responsible for
the truck at all times.
Concrete mixers are top heavy and
unstable when loaded. Due to the rotating
action of the mixer drum and the unique
characteristics of concrete, special care is
needed when carrying low slump concrete
on turns, corners and ramps.
• When parking uphill, without a curb,
single unit vehicles should always have
their front wheels turned to the right.
NOTE: Where there is a curb, allow the
vehicle to roll to the point where the front
wheels are making contact with the curb
before setting the park brake. This helps to
prevent the vehicle from jumping the curb
in the event the vehicle starts to move.
Parking on a hill
The law requires that the wheels of a
parked vehicle be no more than 50
centimetres from the curb. When parked,
a vehicle with a manual transmission
must be left in low gear or reverse. For an
automatic transmission put the vehicle in
park and have the park brake engaged.
The following information applies to
vehicles parked on the right-hand side of
the road. For vehicles parked on the lefthand side of the road (one way), turn the
front wheels in the opposite direction.
• When parking downhill, with or without
a curb, the front wheels should always
be turned to the right.
• When parking uphill, with a curb, the
front wheels should always be turned
to the left.
64 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
7
Operating
Class 4 Vehicles
Emergency
Medical
Services
Examples of Class 4 motor vehicles are ambulances, taxis, buses with a seating capacity of less
than 24 passengers, and vehicles being used for hire.
Emergency vehicles
Legal aspects of emergency
vehicle operation
• The Traffic Safety Act, states that a
siren on an emergency vehicle shall be
operated only when the vehicle is being
used in response to an emergency, an
emergency call or an alarm.
• When operating an emergency vehicle,
the law states:
·· (1) Where, considering the
circumstances, it is reasonable and
safe to do so, a person driving an
emergency vehicle may while the
vehicle’s siren is operating do one or
more of the following:
·· (a) drive the vehicle in excess of the
speed limit;
·· (b) proceed past a traffic control
signal indicating stop or a stop sign
without stopping;
·· (c) contravene any provision that is
prescribed by the Act, this or other
regulations or a municipal bylaw
governing the use of the highways.
·· (2) An emergency vehicle, while its
siren is operating, has the right of
way over all other vehicles.
• Use of the red flashing lights alone,
does not exempt the driver from the
Traffic Safety Act.
• The Traffic Safety Act authorizes
emergency medical operators to
disregard some traffic laws under limited
circumstances. Failure to meet the
requirements of these circumstances
means that the driver may be subject to
Civil and Criminal penalties in the event
of a collision.
66 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
• Even during the most serious emergency,
an emergency medical operator must
consider the safety of others.
• When parking an emergency vehicle,
the law states:
·· Where, considering the
circumstances, it is reasonable and
safe, an emergency vehicle may,
while its flashing lights are operating,
be parked contrary to any provision
that is prescribed by the Act, this
or other regulations or a municipal
bylaw governing the parking of
motor vehicles.
Defensive driving
factors
Headlights
Always use headlights along with the
emergency overhead lights.
Lights and sirens
Sirens are required by law when an
ambulance is operating during an
emergency. Using the red flashing
overhead lights alone is not sufficient. Do
not let the emergency sirens and lights
give you a false sense of security. These
warning devices are for the benefit of the
public. Most drivers will clear the path if
they know the ambulance is there. Do not
assume that other drivers have seen your
vehicle or that they will move out of the
way. The responsibility for safe driving rests
on you, the emergency vehicle driver.
CHAPTER SEVEN
Other factors
As an emergency medical operator, it
is important to identify those situations
that could result in a collision. Driving
movements that can contribute to
collisions are:
• reversing
• poor road position
• turning
• changing lanes
• lack of awareness of the unit size that
can lead to side swipes on the blind
right side
• driving too fast for conditions
If you approach an intersection with
cross traffic, slow down and if practical,
stop briefly. Make eye contact with the
other drivers at the intersection and
proceed when you have been seen by
them. Be even more careful at pedestrian
crossings. Many pedestrians, including
school children, may not be aware that an
ambulance is coming toward them.
If you are driving on a four-lane highway
with the lights and siren activated, stay in
the left lane if possible.
When reaching the scene of a collision,
park the vehicle so it protects the injured
person(s) and the attendant. Keep the
flashing lights activated and turn on the
headlights so that the vehicle is clearly
visible to other drivers.
Operating a taxi
As the driver of a taxi, your first and most
important concern is safety. You will
encounter numerous challenges in the
driving task, and will need to be aware
OPERATING CLASS 4 VEHICLES
67
of other road users and their driving. To
handle this effectively, be patient and drive
proactively. To help you focus on your
driving, ensure that nothing in the vehicle,
including the passengers, prevents you
from doing your job. It is your responsibility
to provide safe transportation to all your
customers. However, you may refuse to
transport customers if:
• your vehicle is already carrying the
maximum allowed number of passengers
• a passenger is offensive or dangerous
to you or others.
Good professional habits go hand in
hand with good passenger relations. To
passengers, reliable and expert service
means getting them to where they are
going safely and comfortably, by the most
direct route.
Taxi or limousine permits
Municipalities have different requirements
for issuing a taxi permit. Check with
your municipality about the requirements
needed to obtain a taxi or limousine permit.
NOTE: Always check municipal laws
regarding taxi operation.
Seat belts
According to Alberta law, all drivers and
passengers are required to use seat belts
where the assemblies are provided.
However, the driver of a taxicab is exempt
from wearing a seat belt while carrying a
passenger for compensation or hire.
Reserved lanes
Reserved lane signs are placed over or
beside lanes to indicate that these lanes
are for use by specific vehicles only. The
symbol on the sign shows the type of
vehicles that are permitted to use the
lane. The symbols that may be seen are
the silhouettes of a bus, taxi, and bicycle.
Reserved lanes that are designated for
part time operation will show the hours of
the day and the days of the week when
that lane is reserved. If a lane is designated
for full time use, the sign will not show the
times and days. There will be a final sign at
the end of the reserved lane to show that
the reserved lane ends. The white diamond
on a black background indicates that the
vehicles in the reserved lane travel in the
same direction as the traffic.
68 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Other uses for a
Class 4 licence
Definition of “For hire”
A Class 4 licence is required for a driver who
is operating a vehicle under the condition
for hire, as defined below from the Operator
Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation.
For hire with respect to a vehicle,
means that the vehicle owner or operator,
or the operator’s employer, is being paid
for the service that the vehicle is being
used to provide, but for the purposes
of sections 23 (Class 3 licence) and 25
(Class 5 licence), a motor vehicle is not
for hire when the operator drives a private
passenger vehicle for the transportation of
passengers on an incidental or occasional
basis and receives compensation in
respect of the transportation of those
passengers only in one or more of the
following forms:
1 as payment for the kilometres travelled
at a rate not exceeding the limit of taxexempt allowance paid by employers
to employees as prescribed in section
7306 of the Income Tax Regulations of
Canada (CRC chapter 945);
2 as straight reimbursement for out-ofpocket expenses directly related to
the transportation, including, without
limitation, gas, parking, gate passes
and tolls;
3 in a case where the operator is party to
an agreement to provide transportation
to only the operator’s family members,
members of the operator’s household
or persons for whom the operator is a
legal guardian, as compensation only to
provide transportation to those persons.
CHAPTER SEVEN
OPERATING CLASS 4 VEHICLES
69
NOTES
70 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
8
Transporting
Persons with
Disabilities
As a driver of persons with disabilities,
you need to be aware of the unique
needs of your passengers, who may
range from young children to senior
citizens. As their needs may be related
to cognitive, developmental, sensory or
physical disabilities, you will want to be
familiar with ways you can provide the
best customer service for the different
disabilities. For example, frail seniors and
those with reduced mobility may have
health conditions that affect their balance
and lead to unsteadiness or falls.
It is also important to be sensitive to
your client’s personal space. Drivers
should recognize that some people
may feel uncertain if they are in a new
environment.
It is important to communicate with
your passengers by responding to each
person’s needs. As disabilities can
affect an individual in different ways at
different times, never assume you know
an individual’s needs without first asking.
Above all, be patient, courteous and
understanding of your client’s needs.
General rules for
communicating
• Take time to discover each person’s
preferred method of communicating.
Whenever possible, communicate
directly with the person with the
disability before addressing an
attendant.
• When meeting a client for the first time,
it is important to review the process
that will be followed to transport the
individual. This way the client will
be reassured and understand
what is happening.
• When talking for any significant time to
those using wheelchairs or mobility aids,
place yourself in front of them, at their
eye level.
• Offer to people who can walk
assistance when it looks like it is
needed, but wait until your offer is
accepted before you help.
• When assisting people who are visually
impaired, it is important you identify
yourself. Offer to help by saying
something like, “You can take my arm”
or “May I help/guide you”. If your help is
accepted, let the person being guided
take hold of your arm.
• When assisting passengers who are
hearing impaired, gesture with your
hand or touch their arm lightly to get
their attention.
General rules for
driving
• Make sure passengers are properly
secured in the vehicle (both seated and
wheelchair passengers).
• Drive smoothly, avoiding sudden
stops, starts and swerves that may
cause passengers to shift or lose their
balance. Ease around corners.
• Maintain a comfortable temperature and
air circulation inside the vehicle.
• Keep the noise level in the vehicle,
including music or radio, to a level
comfortable for your clients.
72 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
General rules for
assisting a person
with a wheelchair
• Ensure that the passenger’s feet do not
slip from the wheelchair foot rests.
• Push the wheelchair at a normal walking
speed. Watch at least three metres (10
feet) in front of you and along the sides
of the wheelchair.
• Watch for small cracks or bumps in your
path and for other people and objects.
Keep your pace slow. Gently tilt the
wheelchair over large bumps or cracks.
• Judge distances by the front of the foot
pedals rather than the front of the seat.
• Watch for loose handle grips or
armrests that are not locked into place.
• Be careful not to bang the wheelchair or
handle it roughly.
• Apply the wheelchair brakes when the
wheelchair is stopped.
You can find more detailed information
regarding transporting persons with
disabilities by contacting:
Strategic Policy Branch
Edmonton 780–427–7944
For toll free service from anywhere in
Alberta, call 310-0000.
CHAPTER EIGHT
TRANSPORTING PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
73
NOTES
74 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
9
Transporting
Dangerous
Goods
The laws on dangerous goods state that
no one shall handle, offer for transport or
transport dangerous goods unless they are
trained or they work in direct contact with
someone who is trained.
Class 1: Training
Requirements
EXPLOSIVES
1.1 A substance or article that
explodes as a mass.
1.2 A substance or article with a fragment
projection hazard, but not a mass
explosion hazard.
1.3 A substance or article that has a fire
hazard along with either a minor blast
hazard or a minor projection hazard or
both, but not a mass explosion hazard.
1.4 A substance or article that presents
no significant hazard, with explosion
effects that are largely confined to the
package and no projection or
fragments of appreciable size or range
are to be expected.
1.5 A very insensitive substance that has
a mass explosion hazard like those
substances in 1.1.
1.6 An extremely insensitive substance
that can have a mass explosion hazard
like those substances in 1.1.
Carriers are responsible to make sure
their employees have the proper training
to work safely with dangerous goods.
This usually means a formal in-house
training program to earn a Dangerous
Goods Training Certificate. This certificate
shows that the employee has successfully
completed the training. Carriers can
provide their own training or may hire
someone to do the training for them.
However, in all cases, the employer must
be satisfied with the training, and sign
the certificate of training indicating that
the driver has successfully completed the
dangerous goods course.
A driver of dangerous goods is required
by law to produce a certificate of training, if
asked to by a dangerous goods inspector.
What is a
dangerous good?
There are nine hazard classes of
dangerous goods. Within some classes
there are divisions.
1
Class 2: 2
2
GASES
2.1 A flammable compressed gas.
2.2 A non-flammable, non-toxic
compressed gas.
2.3 A toxic compressed gas.
76 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Class 3:
Class 5:
5.1
3
FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS
3 A liquid with a closed-cup flash point
of less than 60.5 degrees Celsius.
Class 4: 4
4
4
FLAMMABLE SOLIDS, SUBSTANCES
LIABLE TO SPONTANEOUS
COMBUSTION, AND SUBSTANCES
THAT EMIT FLAMMABLE GASES ON
CONTACT WITH WATER
4.1 A solid that:
·· ignites easily while it is being
transported,
·· burns vigorously and persistently, or
·· contributes to fire through friction or
from heat kept during manufacturing
or processing.
4.2 A substance that might spontaneously
combust when exposed to air, or
might spontaneously heat up to the
point where it ignites in contact
with air.
4.3 A substance that might emit
flammable gas(es) or create enough
heat to ignite gas(es) if it comes in
contact with water or water vapour.
CHAPTER NINE
OXIDIZING SUBSTANCES AND
ORGANIC PEROXIDES
5.1 A substance that contributes to the
combustion of other material by
yielding oxygen or other oxidizing
substances, whether or not the
substance itself is combustible.
5.2 An organic compound that has the
bivalent “0-0” structure that is a strong
oxidizing agent and may be liable to
explosive decomposition or is sensitive
to heat, shock or friction.
Class 6: 6
TOXIC SUBSTANCES AND
INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES
6.1 A solid or liquid that is toxic when:
·· its vapours are inhaled,
·· it comes in contact with skin
·· it is ingested.
6.2 Infectious organisms or organisms
believed to be infectious to humans
and animals.
TRANSPORTING DANGEROUS GOODS
77
Class 7:
7
RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS
Radioactive materials are not named,
only described by activity
or package requirements.
Class 8:
8
CORROSIVE MATERIALS
Corrosive materials will corrode metal,
human skin and internal tissue.
Class 9:
9
MISCELLANEOUS PRODUCTS
OR SUBSTANCES
9.1 Miscellaneous dangerous goods.
9.2 An environmentally hazardous
substance.
9.3 A dangerous waste.
Dangerous
occurrences
A driver who is in charge of, in
management of, or in control of dangerous
goods when a dangerous incident
occurs such as a leak or a collision, or an
unintentional release or near release, must
immediately notify:
• the local police
• Alberta Government, Co-ordination
and Information Centre (CIC) at
1-800-272-9600
• the owner of the vehicle
• the employer
• the person or company who owns the
consignment of dangerous goods.
Documents
Every driver who transports dangerous
goods, must have with them a copy of the
shipping document, waste manifest or any
other of the document(s) required by law.
The document(s) must be within reach or
in a pocket mounted on the driver’s door
when the driver is in the cab of the truck.
When not in the cab, the document(s)
must either be on the driver’s seat or in the
pocket on the driver’s door.
When a parked trailer carrying
dangerous goods is not attached to
the tractor, the person in charge of the
parking area must keep one copy of the
documents. If there is no one in charge of
the parking area, a copy of the documents
in a waterproof container should be
attached to the trailer, in a place easily
seen and accessible.
78 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
When a driver is making more than
one delivery of dangerous goods and
transporting them by a tank truck, tank
trailer or individual gas cylinders, the
change in quantity of dangerous goods
must be shown on the shipping document.
This must be done after each delivery.
For complete information regarding the
transportation of dangerous goods,
please call:
Safety marks
For toll free service from anywhere in
Alberta, call 1-800-272-9600, 24 hour
service.
Dangerous Goods,
Vehicle and Rail Safety Branch
Edmonton 780–422–9600
Safety marks, when needed, will be
supplied by the consignor. A driver who
transports dangerous goods has the
responsibility to make sure the vehicle has
all the proper safety marks, placards, or
orange panels on it before it is loaded. The
safety marks must be placed on each side
and each end of a trailer or transport unit.
Placards and panels may be moved to
the front of the lead vehicle so the safety
marks are visible. The safety marks must
stay on the vehicle or large container
until no hazard exists. This means the
dangerous goods have been unloaded
and the container or vehicle cleaned and
purged of all residues of dangerous goods.
If the dangerous goods placards and
panels are lost, damaged, or defaced
during the trip, the carrier must replace
them.
NOTE: Every vehicle used to carry
Class 1 material, Explosives, must carry
a document signed by the owner or the
person leasing the vehicle, indicating the
name of the driver(s) authorized by them
to operate or accompany the vehicle.
CHAPTER NINE
TRANSPORTING DANGEROUS GOODS
79
NOTES
80 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
10
Responsible
Driving Tips for
Commercial
Drivers
Distracted driving
law for commercial
drivers
Types of emergency vehicles
that are exempt
The distracted driving law will apply to all
vehicles as defined in the Traffic Safety
Act. It will include vehicles like cars,
motorcycles, motor homes, truck tractors,
farm vehicles and bicycles.
Under the Traffic Safety Act, an emergency
vehicle includes, police service vehicles,
fire response units, ambulances and gas
disconnection units responding to a call.
Drivers of emergency vehicles will be
able to use hand-held communication
devices or other electronic devices only
when acting within the scope of their
employment.
Cellular phones and other
distractions
Activities that are allowed for
commercial drivers
Do not use a cellular phone or other
electronic devices while driving. Using a
cellular phone to make or receive a call,
or to receive or send a text message is
a distraction that can take your attention
away from the demanding task of
driving. This applies to hands-free cellular
telephones as well. If you want to make
or receive a call, or receive or send a text
message, stop in a safe and legal place.
Do not do activities that allow you to
be distracted while driving. While all forms
of distracted driving can be hazardous,
the Traffic Safety Act includes fines for
certain distractions. These include using a
hand-held cell phone; texting or emailing,
using electronic devices, such as laptop
computers, video games, cameras, video
entertainment displays and programming
portable audio players; entering information
on GPS units; reading printed materials in
the vehicle; writing; printing or sketching;
and personal grooming.
These activities are not specifically
restricted under the law:
• using two-way radios or hand-held
radios, such as those commonly
referred to as CB (Citizen’s Band)
radios, when escorting oversized
vehicles, to contact one’s employer, or
when participating in search, rescue and
emergency management situations.
Types of vehicles
Display screens that are permitted:
• a GPS navigation system – as long as
the system is affixed to the vehicle and
programmed before you begin driving
or the system is voice activated. You
cannot hold the unit or manually enter
information while driving.
• a gauge, instrument, device or
system that provides information
about the vehicle’s systems or
the vehicle’s location
• a dispatch system for
transporting passengers
• a logistical transportation tracking
system that tracks vehicle location,
driver status or the delivery of goods
for commercial purposes
82 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Dispatch computers like
those used in taxicabs or
delivery trucks
Tour bus drivers
Drivers who use dispatch systems for
the transport of passengers or logistical
transportation tracking devices for
commercial purposes can still have mobile
data computers installed and activated in
their vehicles. All drivers should keep their
focus on the road and as such, drivers
should not type information into these
devices while driving.
‘CB radios’ or ‘Mike Phones’
are exempt for commercial
purposes and search and
rescue services
This legislation is not intended to interfere
with well-established commercial
operations or search and rescue efforts.
Where this type of communication is
required to communicate with the driver’s
employer or when participating in some
type of emergency management situation
the use of what are commonly referred to
as hand- held CB radios or ‘Mike phones’
are allowed.
This law is not about taking away tools
for traffic safety. The use of hand-held
radios to communicate extreme weather
conditions or a hazard on the roadway,
such as a collision, could fall under the
“emergency” scenario category. Alberta
Transportation recognizes that commercial
drivers are professionals and anticipates
that they will make good safety decisions
when choosing to use public radio
systems. As with all laws, enforcement
officers ultimately have the responsibility to
evaluate specific situations to determine if
citizens are complying with the law.
CHAPTER TEN
Tour bus drivers must be in compliance
with the law and must not drive distracted.
There are hands-free units, available to
ensure compliance with the law, as well as
innovative technology solutions to provide
information to passengers.
Fatigue
Driving while exhausted can make you
a road hazard. Drowsy driving is as
dangerous as impaired driving because it
slows a driver’s reaction time, decreases
awareness and can impair judgment like
alcohol or drugs.
Lack of sleep is one of the most
common causes of drowsy driving. Other
contributing factors include driving alone,
driving long distances without rest breaks
and driving through the night, or at times
when the driver normally sleeps. Taking
medication that increases sleepiness or
drinking alcohol also contributes to driver
fatigue.
People most at risk for falling asleep at
the wheel are shift workers, commercial
drivers, people with untreated sleep
disorders, teenagers and young adults.
Fatigue-related crashes are common in
young drivers because they tend to stay
up late, sleep less than they should and
drive more often at night.
Warning signs of
driver fatigue
• Yawning
• Inability to keep eyes focused
and head up
RESPONSIBLE DRIVING TIPS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
83
• Having wandering, disconnected thoughts
• Driving the past few kilometres without
remembering them
• Drifting between lanes, tailgating or
missing traffic signs
• Noticing a vehicle in the rear view mirror
that seemed to appear out of nowhere
Most fatigue-related collisions happen
between 1 - 4 p.m. and early in the
morning between 2 - 6 a.m. Typically,
fatigue-related collisions occur at higher
speeds and can result in drivers running off
the road or vehicles colliding head-on with
other vehicles or stationary objects.
How to reduce driver fatigue
Turning up the radio, opening a window,
drinking coffee, chewing gum or eating will
help reduce driver fatigue for short periods
of time but the following actions will help
prevent driver fatigue:
• Become aware of your own biological
clock and avoid driving during your
body’s down time.
• Stop if you become sleepy while
on the road.
• Get plenty of sleep the night
before a long trip.
• Avoid working all day and then driving
all night. Stay overnight rather than
driving straight through.
• Schedule a break every two hours or
every 160 km. Stretch or take a walk to
get some fresh air.
• Take a mid-afternoon break.
Have a 20-40 minute nap.
• Travel with an awake and alert passenger.
Having someone to chat with will keep
the driver awake and the passenger
can also let the driver know if he/she is
showing any signs of fatigue.
Railway Crossing
Crossing railway tracks can be especially
hazardous for drivers of large vehicles
because of the following:
• Longer vehicles need to travel further
and will need more time to clear a
crossing.
• Heavier vehicles take more time and
need more room to stop before a
crossing.
• Larger vehicles are more likely to derail
a train if there is a collision.
Suggested approach
to stopping
• Slow down, shift to a lower gear if you
have a manual transmission, and test
your brakes.
• Check for traffic behind you and then
stop gradually.
• Stop no closer than five metres (about
16 feet) and no further than 15 metres
(about 49 feet) from the nearest rail.
• To better hear a train, roll down the
window and reduce any noise inside the
vehicle.
• While stopped, look carefully in each
direction for approaching trains. Look
around obstructions such as mirrors
and windshield pillars.
• When waiting, put on your park brakes
so that you will not move onto the track.
84 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Resume travel
• Before resuming travel, make sure
there is enough room on the other side
of the track for the whole unit to clear,
including the vehicle’s overhang. Be
aware that a train will be a metre wider
than the rails on both sides.
• Use a gear that will let you cross the
track without shifting.
• Check the crossing signals one more
time before proceeding.
• If the crossing lights begin to flash
after starting, keep going. It is safer to
continue than to back up.
• If there is more than one track, there may
be more than one train. Do not assume
the train you see is the only one.
Other considerations
Vehicle stalled or
stuck on the tracks
If your vehicle stalls or gets stuck
on a crossing, get out of the vehicle
immediately. If a train is coming, move
away from the track toward the oncoming
train. This will reduce the chances of being
struck by flying debris if the train hits the
vehicle. Contact the railway company if its
emergency number is posted or call 911.
Viewing the tracks
at a crossing
Do not attempt to cross the tracks unless
you can see far enough in both directions
to be sure that no train is approaching.
Be especially careful at crossings without
gates, flashing lights or bells. Even if there
are active warning signals, and they do not
CHAPTER TEN
indicate that a train is approaching, you
should still look and listen to be sure it is
safe to proceed.
Be cautious when approaching an
uncontrolled rural railway crossing at night.
A train may be crossing in front of you.
The presence of a train may appear like a
black, dark object against the background
of a dark road.
Vehicle size and clearance
Know the length of your vehicle, the
amount of overhang and the amount of
space that is available on the other side of
the railway crossing. When approaching
a crossing and a STOP sign is facing you
on the opposite side of the tracks, pay
attention to the amount of room there is
between the tracks and the sign. Be sure
there is enough space to completely clear
the railway tracks on the other side. If
there is insufficient space and your vehicle
would over hang the railway tracks you
must visually and audibly ensure there is
no oncoming train. Then proceed to the
stop sign and stop. When safe, proceed,
ensuring that your vehicle does not block
the railway crossing for more that 20
seconds
Railway crossings
at rural roads
Pay extra attention when you cross railway
tracks in rural areas because of the following:
• Approach grades may be steeper.
• Snow banks may be higher.
• Brush and trees may be more common.
• There tend to be fewer automated
warning systems.
• The grade crossing may be rough
or uneven.
RESPONSIBLE DRIVING TIPS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
85
Know the law
Controlled crossings
3
If a police officer or a properly identified
railway flag person is at the crossing, obey
his or her direction as to whether or not to
proceed at the crossing. Also, be aware
that municipalities may have a bylaw, in
addition to provincial regulations, that
govern your action of whether or not to
stop. This bylaw may apply at any or all
railway crossings within their jurisdiction.
Fire and fire
extinguishers
A controlled crossing is one with a flag
person, stop sign, crossing gate or an
electric or mechanical signalling device. All
vehicles are required to stop at controlled
railway crossings if signalled to do so.
Uncontrolled crossings
Some vehicles are required by law to stop
at all uncontrolled railway crossings. These
vehicles are:
• school buses
• vehicles carrying explosives as a cargo
or part of their cargo
• vehicles designated for carrying
flammable liquids or gas, whether the
vehicle is loaded or empty.
A fire can start from several causes.
Here are some tips to prevent fires.
• Never start a vehicle with a fuel leak.
Repair the leak and use an approved
absorbent material to soak up the
fuel spill.
• Shut off the engine when refueling.
• Touch the fuel hose nozzle against the
filler pipe of the vehicle tank before
filling to ground it. This prevents sparks
caused by static electricity.
• Do not smoke near the fueling areas.
• Check your tire pressure often. Soft tires
build heat and can cause a fire.
• Ensure that all your vehicle’s brakes
are fully released when the vehicle is
moving. Dragging brakes generate heat
that can ignite grease in the hubs when
the vehicle stops.
86 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
If you are carrying passengers on a
bus and discover a fire, or danger of fire,
stop immediately in a safe location. Get
your passengers off the bus and to a safe
spot at least 35 metres (115 feet) from
the vehicle. Portable fire extinguishers are
carried in the driver’s compartment in most
commercial vehicles.
Fire extinguisher operation
Do not try to put out a fire that is
beyond your capability or that of the fire
extinguisher.
Remember, depending on the type
and size of the extinguisher, you will have
only eight to ten seconds of chemical
discharge.
Although there are different kinds and
makes of fire extinguishers, they are all
used in the same basic way.
• Remove it from its bracket.
• Approach the fire from upwind
if possible.
• Hold the extinguisher in an
upright position.
Remember the word PASS.
The word PASS means:
Once the fire is out, do the following:
P
Pull the pin and point
the nozzle away from
you.
A
Aim low and direct
the extinguisher at
the base of the fire.
S
S
Squeeze the handle
slowly and evenly.
Continue to squeeze
until the fire is out
and/or the fire extinguisher is empty.
Sweep the extinguisher from side-toside. Start at one side
of the fire and slowly
work to the other
side. Do not start in
the middle of the fire.
• Replace the safety pin and return
the fire extinguisher to its storage
compartment.
• Note on the post-trip inspection that the
extinguisher has been used and have
the extinguisher recharged immediately
or replaced.
CHAPTER TEN
RESPONSIBLE DRIVING TIPS FOR COMMERCIAL DRIVERS
87
NOTES
88 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
11
Fueling and
Fuel Efficiency
Fueling a vehicle
Gasoline and diesel
• Do not add fuel into the tank when the
engine is running.
• Never overfill the fuel tank.
• In the event of a major or minor fuel
spill, notify the attendant to get it
cleaned up immediately using an
approved absorbent material.
• Do not add fuel close to electrical
sparks or open flame.
• DO NOT SMOKE, and be sure no one
around is smoking.
• Do not use a cell phone while fueling.
Propane
• Only people with the proper certification
or training can refuel a propane vehicle
or container.
• Ensure there is nothing that could ignite
within three metres (10 feet) of the
dispenser or container being filled.
• Wear proper protective gloves and
clothing, such as long sleeve shirts.
• Engine and electrical accessories must
be switched off.
• DO NOT SMOKE, and be sure no one
around is smoking.
• Do not use a cell phone while fueling.
• Properly attach the filling hose to the
vehicle’s fuel tank.
• Open the fixed-liquid level gauge
(bleeder valve).
• When the fuel level reaches the
maximum permitted in the tank, liquid
propane in the form of a mist will be
discharged from the liquid level gauge.
Fueling should now end.
• The fixed level gauge must be shut off
and the fill-line disconnected.
• The magnetic float gauge attached to
the tank should indicate that the tank is
now filled to capacity. The total capacity
of the tank is approximately 80 percent.
Do not fuel a vehicle when the engine
is running or a radio transmitter is on.
Vehicles such as a bus, school bus or taxi
should not be fueled when passengers are
on board. Be sure there is sufficient fuel for
the trip before picking up your passengers.
Fuel efficiency:
A growing priority
The following information has been
provided by Natural Resources Canada
in conjunction with the Government
of Alberta to introduce energyefficient practices that can reduce fuel
consumption and emissions. FleetSmart
is a component of this program. For more
information on this subject visit this web
site: http://www.transportation.alberta.
ca/4531.htm
As fuel prices fluctuate, independent
drivers and major transport companies
are struggling to accurately budget for fuel
costs and are actively searching for ways
to keep those costs under control.
90 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
Of course, money isn’t the only
consideration. The environment is a key
factor, too. Nearly 30% of all greenhouse
gas emissions in Canada are produced
by the road transportation sector, a
significant portion of them from heavyduty vehicles. Fortunately, there are many
practical decisions you can make as a
driver to be more fuel-efficient - from
vehicle specifications to behind-the-wheel
techniques and behaviours.
Making smart choices
Your driving habits can reduce the amount
of fuel you burn. Here are some tips you
can take:
Preparation and planning
• Plan your route carefully: flat routes are
more fuel efficient than mountainous
routes; highway driving is more fuel
efficient than “inner city” driving.
• Carefully consider your vehicle
specification options and always
maximize your payload: instead of
60% capacity, try to achieve 80
or 90% capacity.
• Read the owner’s manual for your
vehicle and follow the manufacturer’s
driving recommendations.
Fuel and your engine
• Using the proper grade and type of
fuel can improve fuel economy by as
much as 3%.
• A direct drive transmission instead of an
overdrive transmission may reduce fuel
consumption by up to 2%.
CHAPTER ELEVEN
Vehicle choice and
accessories
• Optimize tractor aerodynamics:
reducing aerodynamic drag by 10%
can increase fuel efficiency by 5%.
Consider using doubles or triples instead
of single trailers where authorized.
• Use rib design tires in all positions: it’s
more fuel efficient than using lug tires on
the drive and steering axle.
• Consider using low rolling resistance
tires. When looking at the specifications
of a new truck, remember that super
single tires provide low rolling resistance
as well as lower height and less weight.
• Choose lighter truck specifications
where appropriate. Less vehicle
weight means better fuel economy
and can also offer more freight
capacity increasing income per
kilometer traveled.
• Use accessories such as oil pan
heaters and block heaters (to help with
cold starting and hasten lubrication),
fuel heaters (to prevent fuel gelling),
thermostatically controlled engine
fans, winter fronts, battery blankets
and in-cab auxiliary heaters to improve
productivity and fuel efficiency.
Dealing with the weather
Weather conditions affect fuel efficiency.
Driving on snow-covered roads can
increase fuel consumption by 15 to 20%,
and fuel economy can be significantly
affected by heavy winds. Here are a few
ways to minimize the effects of weather:
• Avoid bad weather where possible by
changing trip times or routes.
• Adjust speed to suit the conditions,
FUELING AND FUEL EFFICIENCY
91
e.g., reduce speed when there’s a
strong head wind.
• Slow down and maintain safe following
conditions in order to better anticipate
other vehicles in front of you.
• Do not park your tractor-trailer on an
icy grade - getting stuck wastes fuel
and time.
NOTE: Choosing to drive a flat, multi-lane
highway improves your fuel efficiency by:
• 4 to 11% compared to a flat two-lane
highway;
• as much as 18% compared to a
mountainous highway; and
• 25 to 35% compared to taking a
suburban route.
Caring for your vehicle
Preventative maintenance plays a
huge role in maintaining the health and
efficiency of your vehicle. When your truck
is serviced properly, you can run more
efficiently and avoid unexpected downtime.
Small problems should be fixed before
they become bigger - and more expensive.
In addition to regularly scheduled
maintenance, you should also:
• Ensure your tires are inflated according
to the manufacturer’s recommendations
- 1% of fuel is wasted for each
10 pounds per square inch of
under inflation.
• Before you hit the road, make sure
you’ve done a pre-trip inspection - not
only is it the law but it can also help you
avoid unwelcome breakdowns during
your travels.
• Perform a post-trip inspection to spot
problems that could delay you next time.
• Ensure all fluid levels are correct. Under-
filling and over-filling can both damage
your vehicle.
• Monitor your restriction indicator for
signs of the air filter becoming plugged
or contaminated.
• Continually monitor your vehicle’s
condition during your trip: check
gauges, tires and cargo every
three hours.
Smart driving practices
Fuel efficiency starts when you turn your
engine on. Proper warm-up helps lubricate
components and seals reducing wear and
leakage. Starting your truck properly can
save money on fuel. Keep the following
in mind:
• When starting your vehicle make sure
you use zero throttle and are in a gear
that does not need any throttle.
• Do not pump the throttle of a fuelinjected engine: the amount of fuel
required for starting is pre-measured.
Similarly, do not pump the throttle when
cranking with older mechanical engines:
it wastes fuel and can damage
cylinder walls.
• Use ether sparingly when having
difficulty starting your engine: excessive
use can harm the engine.
• When warming up the engine do
not increase the engine speed. Five
minutes of idling for a warm-up is
generally adequate, and cool down is
provided when pulling-in for parking.
• Ensure oil and air pressure are in their
normal operating ranges during start up.
• Warm your vehicle up after the initial idle
time by driving easily; do not try to get
too much speed out of the engine by
pushing the throttle down hard.
92 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
• Back off the accelerator when going
over the top of a hill and let gravity and
momentum do the work.
• Use cruise control where appropriate.
• Reduce your average speed driving fast eats up fuel no matter
what you drive.
• Change gears smoothly - shifting
professionally will result in about 30%
improvement in operating costs.
• Always use the clutch, failure to do so
can wear the gear teeth down in the
transmission.
• Practice progressive gear shifting at
approximately 1600 rpm. Shifting before
you reach the maximum governed rpm
reduces equipment wear, decreases
noise levels and saves fuel.
• Run the engine in the highest gear
range to keep it in a low rev range.
• Use your retarder properly and turn it off
when you do not need it - let the terrain
work for you.
Idling
Idling a truck engine burns up to four
litres of fuel per hour at 900 rpm. Turn
off your engine when you stop for any
length of time - you will save fuel, reduce
maintenance requirements, prolong engine
life and prevent unnecessary emissions.
If a 10-truck fleet were to cut idling by
an hour a day for 260 days, it would
save approximately 10,400 litres of fuel
($11,440 at $1.10 per litre). A 100-truck
fleet would save $114,400 and a 500-truck
fleet $572,000.
CHAPTER ELEVEN
Taking advantage of
technology
New engine designs offer great benefits,
delivering more horsepower and torque
in lower rpm ranges. You can downshift
at about 1200 rpm and up-shift at about
1600 rpm - rather than 2000 rpm.
You shift less, save money, and
generate fewer emissions.
Keeping up with road
conditions
Smart, fuel-efficient driving is also safe
driving. Different road and traffic conditions
present different challenges. As a driver,
it’s important for you to keep the following
in mind:
• Light: Adjust your driving based on
visibility. Wear sunglasses in bright
conditions and reduce speed in poor
light conditions.
• Posture: Keep your seat adjusted to the
correct position for comfort, alertness,
visibility and access to controls.
• Traffic: Try to travel at the same speed
as other traffic, staying within the speed
limit. Be considerate and give way to
other drivers.
Street smart
Managing your road speed with smart
driving techniques allows you to keep your
speed more constant and increase fuel
efficiency. Generally, for every 10 km/h
over 90km/h you use 10% more fuel.
FUELING AND FUEL EFFICIENCY
93
Driving defensively
Smart driving is both an attitude and a skill.
A sharp mind and shrewd decision making
can go a long way toward protecting
your safety and the safety of others - not
to mention increasing fuel efficiency.
Defensive driving allows you to anticipate
hazards and maintain a constant speed.
When you drive defensively, you conserve
your momentum - which means you do
not have to continually build up lost speed.
Power not used is fuel not burned. Here
are some helpful tactics:
• Do not let frustration push you
into making unsafe passes
or other maneuvers.
• Look ahead and anticipate stops.
It’s more efficient to coast to a stop
than to brake.
• Maintain a safe following distance
of four seconds.
• Be aware of your blind spots and
check them regularly.
• Be aware of your own physical and
mental condition including the effects of
alcohol and drugs, age, attitude, illness,
fatigue, emotion and diet.
Safe stopping
Keep a safe following distance so you can
always brake safely and efficiently. Driving
at 70km/h requires a stopping distance of
about 300 feet (90 meters).
94 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
NOTES
CHAPTER ELEVEN
FUELING AND FUEL EFFICIENCY
95
NOTES
96 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
April 2013
www.saferoads.com
97 A Commercial Driver’s Guide to Operation, Safety and Licensing
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