WV_CDLManual
Commercial Driver’s License
Rules and Regulations Manual
Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 17010
Charleston, WV 25317
General Information Center, Vehicle Titles, License Plates, and Driver’s Licensing
304-926-3499 / 1-800-642-9066 / Hearing-Impaired 1-800-742-6991
www.dmv.wv.gov
Other Important Telephone Numbers
Driver’s Licensing..............................304-926-3801
Driving Records.................................304-926-3802
Driving Under the Influence.........304-926-2506
Commercial Drivers License.........304-926-3801
Compulsory Insurance...................304-926-3802
Point System......................................304-926-2505
Student Attendance........................304-926-2505
Unpaid Out-of-State Tickets.........304-926-2505
Unpaid West Virginia Tickets.........304-926-2505
Before you call, please have your license plate number, driver’s license number and/or your file number
ready so that we can assist you as quickly as possible.
Table of Contents
Third Party Examiners..................................................................................................................................... VI
Commercial Driver’s License Guide.......................................................................................................... VI
Definitions ........................................................................................................................................................... VII
Chapter I - Commercial Driver’s License Information
Who must have a WV Commercial Driver’s License................................................................. XI
Who is exempt?..................................................................................................................................... XI
Who can be denied a commercial driver’s license?................................................................. XII
Commercial Driver’s License Types................................................................................................ XIII
Endorsements....................................................................................................................................... XIII
Restrictions............................................................................................................................................ XIII
Commercial Driver’s License Instruction Permit....................................................................... XIII
Age and Fitness Requirements........................................................................................................ XIV
Driver’s License Advisory Board...................................................................................................... XIV
Applicant Record Check..................................................................................................................... XIV
Notification of License Issuance...................................................................................................... XIV
Carry Your License................................................................................................................................ XV
Drive for Five Program........................................................................................................................ XV
CDL Fee Chart........................................................................................................................................ XV
CDL Fee Chart for Persons Under Age 21................................................................................... XV
Class D License...................................................................................................................................... XV
Chapter II – Licensing Procedures and Requirements
Step-by-Step Procedures to Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.................................. XVI
How To apply.......................................................................................................................................... XVI
First Time Residency Requirements............................................................................................... XVII
Change Current Class of License (Upgrade)............................................................................... XVII
Adding an Endorsement.................................................................................................................... XVII
Renewal of a WV CDL......................................................................................................................... XVIII
Out-of-State Transfers to WV........................................................................................................... XVIII
Knowledge Test.................................................................................................................................... XIX
Skills Test................................................................................................................................................. XIX
Expiration of CDL................................................................................................................................. XIX
Organ Donor Program........................................................................................................................ XX
Driver Responsibilities........................................................................................................................ XX
DMV Must Be Notified of Any Loss of Driving Privileges....................................................... XX
Notification of Previous Employment........................................................................................... XX
Valid CDL Required for Commercial Driving............................................................................... XX
Valid DOT Physical Required for Commercial Drivers............................................................. XX
Chapter III – Traffic Laws
Basic Speed Laws................................................................................................................................. XXI
Speed Limits........................................................................................................................................... XXI
Accidents/Tickets................................................................................................................................. XXI
Compulsory Insurance....................................................................................................................... XXI
Disqualification/Cancellation of a CDL........................................................................................ XXII
LIMITING THE USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES............................. XXXI
§383.5 Definitions........................................................................................................................... XXXI
§390.3(f ) General Applicability................................................................................................... XXXII
49 CFR §390.5 Definitions............................................................................................................ XXXII
PART 391 - QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION
VEHICLE DRIVER INSTRUCTIONS........................................................................ XXXII
49 CFR §391.2 General Exceptions............................................................................................ XXXII
49 CFR §391.15(e) Disqualification of Drivers....................................................................... XXXII
PART 392 - DRIVING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES
XXXIII
§392.80 Prohibition Against Texting........................................................................................ XXXIII
§391.15(e) Disqualification of Drivers..................................................................................... XXXIII
Commercial Drivers Prohibited from Operating with any Alcohol in System............... XXXIV
Implied Consent Law.......................................................................................................................... XXXIV
Point System.......................................................................................................................................... XXXIV
Driving in Other States....................................................................................................................... XXXV
Failure to Comply with In-State Citations.................................................................................... XXXV
Mandatory License Revocation....................................................................................................... XXXV
Child Support Suspensions............................................................................................................... XXXV
Driving While Revoked or Suspended.......................................................................................... XXXVI
Re-examination of Drivers................................................................................................................. XXXVI
Employer Responsibilities................................................................................................................. XXXVI
Your Driving Record............................................................................................................................ XXXVI
The instruction permit you receive will allow you to take the road skills test to obtain the CDL License.
The holder of a CDL Instruction Permit may drive a commercial motor vehicle on a highway ONLY when
accompanied by the holder of a Commercial Driver’s License, valid for the type of vehicle being driven, who
occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction or testing. The applicant is responsible
for contacting the third party examiner to schedule the road skills test. See the list below for the third party
examiner nearest you.
Third Party Examiners
County
Examiner
Home Phone
Work Phone
Cell Phone/Alternate
Berkeley
Janet Nesslerodt
304-229-7625
304-279-5578
Boone
Rexford M. Lorrison
304-295-8509
304-784-2233
Cabell
George R. Colegrove
304-743-6691
Cabell
Gary Lee Lusher
304-429-2397
Cabell
Charles N. Zerkle, Jr.
304-736-9619
Greenbrier
William Allen Deen
304-392-6437
304-647-7600
Greenbrier
Steven V. McCoy
304-653-4503
304-647-7550
304-646-1623
Harrison
Anthony J. Columbo, Jr.
304-842-1544
304-669-0056
Harrison
Edward G. Rollins, Jr.
304-842-8984
304-669-2081
Harrison
Robert E. Twigg
304-842-2777
304-641-6051
Kanawha, Raleigh
Harold Lee Moles
304-345-6362
304-421-3447
Kanawha
Robert (Bob) Richard
304-372-5432
304-373-7220
Lewis
Robert L. Smith
304-269-4452
304-269-8938
Marshall
David J. Redd
304-233-2949
304-238-1185
Mason
Bill Nance, Jr.
304-576-2004
304-638-2509
Mercer
Gary R. Tincher
304-384-3536
304-320-7073
Mineral
Robert D. Pritts
304-768-0037
Raleigh, Nicholas,
and Fayette
James Richard Ford
304-872-2887
Randolph, Upshur
Tim Myers
304-478-4420
Upshur
Danny C. Sears
Wood
Daniel E. Taylor
304-528-5711
304-654-5319
304-289-2256
304-238-4351
304-790-3417
304-618-1559
304-642-4424
304-472-8213
304-863-8806
304-420-4659
304-494-2222
Commercial Driver’s License Guide
There are three types of commercial driver’s licenses: Class A, B, and C. Drivers of light vehicles, passenger cars, and pick up
trucks will be issued operator’s license providing the vehicles does not transport any Hazardous Materials that are required
to be placarded according to the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 C.F.R. part 172, subpart F).
Class A – Combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross
vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the unit being towed is 10,001 pounds or greater.
Class B – Single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more and towing any such unit with a GVWR less than 10,001 pounds.
Class C – Vehicles with a GVWR or a GCWR less than 26,001 pounds and designed to transport 16 or more passengers including
the driver, or vehicles used in the transportation of hazardous materials which requires the vehicle to be placarded under 49 C.F.R.
VI
Definitions (WV State Code, §17E-1-3)
Notwithstanding any other provision, the following definitions apply:
Alcohol means:
(a) Any substance containing any form of alcohol, including, but not limited to: ethanol, methanol, propenyl,
and isopropanol;
(b) Beer, ale, port or stout, and other similar fermented beverages (including sake or similar products) of any
name or description containing one half of one percent or more of alcohol by volume, brewed or produced
from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute for malt;
(c) Distilled spirits or that substance known as ethyl alcohol, ethanol or spirits of wine in any form (including
all dilutions and mixtures thereof from whatever source or by whatever process produced); or
(d) Wine of not less than one half of one percent of alcohol by volume.
Alcohol Concentration means:
(a) The number of grams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of blood;
(b) The number of grams of alcohol per two hundred ten liters of breath; or
(c) The number of grams of alcohol per sixty-seven milliliters of urine.
(d) The number of grams of alcohol per eighty-six milliliters of serum.
At Fault Traffic Accident means for the purposes of waiving the road test, a determination, by the official filing
the accident report, of fault as evidenced by an indication of contributing circumstances in the accident report.
Commercial Driver’s License means a license issued in accordance with the requirements of this article to an
individual which authorizes the individual to drive a class of commercial motor vehicle.
Commercial Driver’s License Information System is the information system established pursuant to the
Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act to serve as a clearinghouse for locating information related to the
licensing and identification of commercial motor vehicle drivers.
Commercial Driver Instruction Permit means a permit issued pursuant to subsection (d), section nine of this
article.
Commercial Motor Vehicle means a motor vehicle designed or used to transport passengers or property:
(a) If the vehicle has a gross combination vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more inclusive of a
towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;
(b) If the vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,001 pounds or more;
(c) If the vehicle is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver; or
(d) If the vehicle is of any size transporting hazardous materials as defined in this section.
Commissioner means the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of this state.
Controlled Substance means any substance classified under the provisions of chapter 60-a of this code
(Uniform Controlled Substances Act) and includes all substances listed on Schedules I through V, inclusive, article
two of said chapter 60-a, as they are revised. The term “controlled substance” also has the meaning such term has
under 21 U.S.C. §802.6 and includes all substances listed on Schedules I through V of 21 C.F.R. §1308 as they may
be amended by the United States Department of Justice.
Conviction means an unvacated adjudication of guilt; a determination that a person has violated or failed to
comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or by an authorized administrative tribunal or proceeding;
an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the persons appearance in court; a plea of guilty
VII
or nolo contendere accepted by the court or the payment of a fine or court cost, or violation of a condition of
release without bail regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.
Division means the Division of Motor Vehicles.
Disqualification means any of the following three actions:
(A) The suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a driver’s license by the state or jurisdiction of issuance.
(B) Any withdrawal of a person’s privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle by a state or other
jurisdiction as the result of a violation of state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control
other than parking or vehicle weight except as to violations committed by a special permittee on the
coal resource transportation system or vehicle defect violations.
(C) A determination by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that a person is not qualified to
operate a commercial motor vehicle under 49 C.F.R. Part §391 (2004).
Drive means to drive, operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle in any place open to the general
public for purposes of vehicular traffic. For the purposes of sections 12, 13, and 14 of this article, “drive” includes
operation or physical control of a motor vehicle anywhere in this state.
Driver means any person who drives, operates or is in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle, in any
place open to the general public for purposes of vehicular traffic, or who is required to hold a commercial driver’s
license.
Driver’s License means a license issued by a state to an individual which authorizes the individual to drive a
motor vehicle of a specific class.
Employee means any operator of a commercial motor vehicle, including full time, regularly employed drivers;
casual, intermittent, or occasional drivers; leased drivers and independent, owner-operator contractors (while in
the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle) who are either directly employed by or under lease to drive
a commercial motor vehicle for an employer.
Employer means any person, including the United States, a state or a political subdivision of a state, who owns
or leases a commercial motor vehicle or assigns a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
Endorsement means an authorization to a person to operate certain types of commercial motor vehicles.
Farm Vehicle includes a motor vehicle or combination vehicle registered to the farm owner or entity operating
the farm and used exclusively in the transportation of agricultural or horticultural products, livestock, poultry
and dairy products from the farm or orchard on which they are raised or produced to markets, processing
plants, packing houses, canneries, railway shipping points and cold storage plants and in the transportation of
agricultural or horticultural supplies and machinery to the farms or orchards to be used on the farms or orchards.
Farmer includes an owner, tenant, lessee, occupant or person in control of the premises used substantially
for agricultural or horticultural pursuits who is at least eighteen years of age with two years’ licensed driving
experience.
Farm Vehicle Driver means the person employed and designated by the “farmer” to drive a “farm vehicle” as
long as driving is not his or her sole or principal function on the farm who is at least eighteen years of age with
two years’ licensed driving experience.
Felony means an offense under state or federal law that is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term
exceeding one year.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded
VIII
weight of a combination (articulated) vehicle. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer, GCWR will be
determined by adding the GVWR of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit and any load thereon.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight
of a single vehicle. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer the GVWR will be determined by the
total weight of the vehicle and any load thereon.
Hazardous Materials means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. §5103 and is
required to be placarded under Subpart F of 49 C.F.R. Part §172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent
or toxin in 42 C.F.R. Part §73.
Imminent Hazard means existence of a condition that presents a substantial likelihood that death, serious
illness, severe personal injury or a substantial endangerment to health, property or the environment may occur
before the reasonably foreseeable completion date of a formal proceeding begun to lessen the risk of that death,
illness, injury or endangerment.
Motor Vehicle means every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric
power obtained from overhead trolley wires but not operated upon rails.
Non-Commercial Motor Vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles not defined by the
term “commercial motor vehicle”.
Out-of-Service Order means a temporary prohibition against driving a commercial motor vehicle as a
result of a determination by a law-enforcement officer, an authorized enforcement officer of a federal, state,
Canadian, Mexican, county or local jurisdiction including any special agent of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration pursuant to 49 C.F.R. §§386.72, 392.5, 395.13, 396.9 or compatible laws or the North American
uniform out-of-service criteria that an imminent hazard exists.
Violation of an out-of-service order means:
(a) The operation of a commercial motor vehicle during the period the driver was placed out-of-service; or
(b) The operation of a commercial motor vehicle by a driver after the vehicle was placed out of service
and before the required repairs are made.
School Bus means a commercial motor vehicle used to transport preprimary, primary, or secondary school
students from home-to-school, from school-to-home, or to and from school sponsored events. School bus does
not include a bus used as a common carrier.
Serious Traffic Violation means conviction for any of the following offenses when operating a commercial motor vehicle:
(a) Excessive speeding involving any single offense for any speed of fifteen miles per hour or more above
the posted limits;
(b) Reckless driving as defined in section three, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code, careless, or
negligent driving, including, but not limited to, the offenses of driving a commercial motor vehicle in
willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property;
(c) Erratic or improper traffic lane changes including, but not limited to, passing a school bus when
prohibited, improper lane changes and other passing violations;
(d) Following the vehicle ahead too closely;
(e) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license;
(f ) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license in the driver’s possession.
However, any person who provides proof to the law-enforcement agency that issued the citation,
by the date the person must appear in court, or pay any fine for such violation, that the person held a
valid commercial driver’s license on the date the citation was issued, shall not be guilty of this offense;
(g) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without the proper class of commercial driver’s license and/
or, endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated or for the passengers or type of cargo
being transported; or
IX
(h) A violation of state or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, other than a parking violation,
arising in connection with a fatal traffic accident.
(i) Any other serious violations determined by the United States Secretary of Transportation.
(j) Vehicle defects are excluded as serious traffic violations, except as violations committed by a special
permittee on the coal resource transportation road system.
State means a state of the United States and the District of Columbia or a province or territory of Canada or a
state of the United Mexican States.
State of Domicile means the state where a person has his or her true, fixed and permanent home and principle
residence and to which he or she has the intention of returning whenever absent in accordance with chapter
seventeen-a, article three, section one-a.
Suspension, Revocation or Cancellation of a driver’s license, or a commercial driver’s license means
the privilege to operate any type of motor vehicle on the roads and highways of this state is withdrawn.
Tank Vehicle means any commercial motor vehicle that is designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials
within a tank that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. These vehicles
include, but are not limited to, cargo tanks and portable tanks, as defined in 49 C.F.R. Part 171 (1998). However,
this definition does not include portable tanks having a rated capacity under one thousand gallons.
Transportation Security Administration means the United States Department of Homeland Security
Transportation Security Administration.
United States means the fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Vehicle Group means a class or type of vehicle with certain operating characteristics.
X
Chapter 1 | COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE INFORMATION
Who must have a West Virginia Commercial Driver’s License?
If you live in West Virginia and want to drive a commercial motor vehicle on the public roads, you must have a
West Virginia Commercial Driver’s License, unless you are expressly exempt.
Who is exempt?
• A nonresident who is at least 21 years old and has a valid commercial driver’s license from another state.
• A nonresident who is at least 21 years old and has a valid commercial learner’s permit from another
state and is accompanied by a holder of a valid commercial driver’s license.
• Farmers – Bonafide farmers or farm vehicle drivers operating a vehicle otherwise covered by
commercial driver’s license requirements may be exempt from the provisions of this article only if
the vehicle used is:
1) driven by a farmer, or farm vehicle driver;
2) used only to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm
supplies to or from a farm;
3) not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier;
4) used within 150 miles of a qualifying farm.
• Farmers who wish to be exempted from commercial driver’s license requirements must apply to the
Division for a certificate of exemption. An Application for Farm Vehicle/Driver Waiver (DMV-CDL-8), may
be obtained at any Division of Motor Vehicles Regional Office, or by calling (304) 926-3801,
1-800-642-9066, or from the dmv website a www.dmv.wv.gov . This form must be certified by a
representative of your local county tax office.
• Military Personnel – Military personnel, within 6 months of their honorable discharge, may apply for a
CDL and request a waiver to the Skills Exam portion. For more information regarding this waiver, please
contact the CDL Office at (304) 926-3801. Active duty military personnel operating vehicles being
used for military purposes are exempt from the provision of this article in accordance with the
provisions of §383.3 (c) C.F.R. (2006).
• Firefighting and Rescue Vehicles - Operators of vehicles authorized to hold an “Authorized Emergency
Vehicle Permit” for the use of red signal lights, are only exempt from commercial driver’s license
requirements while the Authorized Emergency Vehicle Permit is in force. Vehicles in this class include,
but are not limited to, firefighting and rescue equipment:
1) owned and operated by a state, county, or municipal fire department;
2) owned and operated by a state, county, or municipal civil defense organization;
3) owned and operated by a manufacturer engaged in a type of business that requires
firefighting equipment to protect the safety of their plants and employees;
4) owned and operated by a volunteer fire department.
• Operators of off-road construction and mining equipment which, by its design, appearance and
function, is not intended for use on a public road, including, without limitation; motor scrapers,
backhoes, motor graders, compactors, excavators, tractors, trenches, and bulldozers will be exempt from
commercial driver’s license requirements. Provided, that the exemption shall not be construed to
permit the operation of such equipment on any public road except such operation as may be required for a
crossing of such road. Provided, however, that no such equipment may be operated on a public road for a
distance exceeding five hundred feet from the place where such equipment entered upon such a road.
XI
• The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 exempts vehicles used exclusively for personal use as
recreational vehicles and rental trucks used only to transport the driver’s personal and/or household property.
Who can be denied a commercial driver’s license?
• Any person who is a habitual user of alcoholic beverages or is addicted to the use of narcotic drugs;
• Any person whose license is under suspension, revocation, cancellation, or disqualification;
• Any person whom the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles has good cause to believe would be hazardous
to public safety or welfare when operating a motor vehicle;
• Any person who is required to deposit proof of financial responsibility or proof of motor vehicle
insurance, and who has not deposited such proof;
• Any person who is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle in any state, until the
expiration of the disqualification period; or
• Any person who is licensed in another jurisdiction, until the license issued by that jurisdiction has been
surrendered and returned to the issuing jurisdiction for cancellation.
XII
Commercial Drivers License Types
Classifications
Commercial driver’s licenses may be issued, with the following classifications, endorsements and restrictions. The
holder of a valid commercial driver’s license may drive all vehicles in the class for which that license is issued, all lesser
classes of vehicles, and vehicles which require an endorsement, if the proper endorsement appears on the license.
CLASS A - Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more,
provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
CLASS B - Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, any such vehicle
towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
CLASS C - Any single vehicle or combination vehicle with a gross weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds or
any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating not in excess of 10,000 pounds
providing that:
1) the vehicle is designed to transport sixteen (16) or more passengers, including the driver; and
2) the vehicle is used in the transportation of hazardous materials which requires the vehicle to
be placarded under 49 C.F.R., part 172, sub-part F.
Endorsement
F
H
N
P
T
S
X
Restrictions
Motorcycle
Hazardous Materials
Tank
K
*Intrastate driving (CDL)
(in state ONLY)
L
Restricts the driver to vehicles
not equipped with airbrakes
M
Restricts the driver to class B & C
buses only
N
Restricts the driver to buses
26,000 pounds and under
Passengers
Doubles/Triples - Trailers
School Bus
Hazardous Materials and Tank
*This restriction is used when a driver is under age 21 or is required to possess a CDL Intrastate Medical Waiver. Refer to
page XIV for information on the Medical Waiver Program.
The Division of Motor Vehicles is authorized to impose license restrictions to assure the safe operation of
motor vehicles. DMV may issue you a restricted license or may indicate restrictions on the regular license form.
Operating a motor vehicle in violation of restrictions is a serious offense and could result in the suspension or
revocation of your driving privilege.
Commercial Driver’s License Instruction Permit
A commercial driver’s license instruction permit may be issued to any person that holds a valid driver’s or Class
D license, and has passed the vision and/or physical standards and knowledge tests required for issuance of a
commercial driver’s license. A commercial driver’s instruction permit may only be issued to any person that is 18
years of age and has held a driver’s license for a minimum of two years.
The commercial driver’s instruction permit may not be issued for a period to exceed six months. Only one
renewal or reissuance may be granted within a two year period. In the event the applicant has been issued
two CDL instruction permits, before the applicant may obtain an additional CDL instructional permit they must
reapply and re-test on all parts of the knowledge exam.
XIII
The holder of a commercial driver’s instruction permit may drive a commercial motor vehicle on a highway only
when accompanied by a driver, age twenty-one or older and holds of a commercial driver’s license valid for the
type of vehicle driven, who occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction or testing.
Age and Fitness Requirements
You must be at least 18 years old and have at least two years of licensed driving experience to qualify for a commercial
driver’s license or a commercial driver’s instruction permit. Federal Motor Carrier Rules (49 C.F.R., Part 391.41)
require that drivers subject to those rules meet specific physical qualification standards and carry evidence of such
qualification in the form of a medical certificate.
At the time of application for a West Virginia Commercial Driver’s License you must submit a copy of a valid DOT Long
Form Physical or provide proof that you are not subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation guidelines.
Should you later become subject to FMCSR and fail to obtain the proper medical certification, your license may be
subject to cancellation. Also, a false statement on your application will subject your license to cancellation.
NOTE: All drivers are subject to FMCSR requirements (DOT medical) except for city, county, state, or federal employees,
which would require an eye examination on the CDL DLAB II Eye Exam form. You must provide current written verification
of employment from a city, county, state, or federal governments which states the applicant’s position requires a CDL
along with the CDL DLAB II and CDL application.
NOTE: If you cannot be medically certified in accordance with the FMCSR, you may be eligible for a medical waiver.
If you wish to be able to operate a commercial motor vehicle in all 50 states, you must apply and be granted a waiver from
the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Call (304) 347-5935 for further information.
If you cannot meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration physical qualifications, you must submit the following
to determine if you are eligible for a WV Intrastate Medical Waiver: a CDL application, DOT Medical Certificate, a letter
from a physician stating the reason for the disqualification and their opinion as to whether the condition would
interfere with the safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle. Send all documents in with the correct fee (see chart on
page XV. Once received, the Medical Review Team will then review and make a decision. Please call (304) 926-3801 or
1-800-642-9066 for additional information on obtaining a medical waiver.
Driver’s License Advisory Board
The Driver’s License Advisory Board, consisting of four licensed physicians and one optometrist, is appointed by
the Governor to advise the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles on vision standards and medical criteria relevant to the
licensing of drivers.
If the Division of Motor Vehicles determines your mental or physical condition could affect your driving ability, you may
be required to furnish the Driver’s License Advisory Board with a complete medical report. After receiving the medical
report, the board considers the information and advises the Commissioner as to whether you should be licensed as a
driver. The final decision rests with the Commissioner.
Applicant Record Check
Before issuing a commercial driver’s license or instruction permit, the Commissioner must obtain a driving record
through the Commercial Driver’s License Information System, the National Driver Register, the Problem Driver Pointer
System (PDPS), and from each state in which the person has been licensed.
In the event a driver is found to be under license suspension, revocation, disqualification or cancellation at the time of
the record check, DMV will not issue a driver’s license until the driver has been reinstated by that State, CDLIS, PDPS
and NDR.
XIV
Notification of License Issuance
Within ten days after issuing a commercial driver’s license, the Commissioner shall notify the Commercial Driver’s
License Information System of that fact, providing all information required to ensure identification of the licensee.
Carry Your License
Be sure you have your driver’s license with you when you drive. If stopped, you are required to display this
license upon demand to any law enforcement officer, magistrate, or official of the Division of Motor Vehicles.
Violation of this requirement is a misdemeanor; however, you will not be convicted if your license is valid at the
time of arrest and you can produce it in court or in the office of the arresting officer.
Drive for Five Program
DMV will now be making it easier for you to remember the expiration date of your driver’s license or
identification card. Under the Drive for Five Program, all driver’s licenses – including CDL’s – will expire on your
birthday at an age divisible by five. For example, age 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, etc.
Under this program your license will be valid for five years, instead of four. However, before you begin the fiveyear cycle, we may need to phase you into the program. In order to do this, your initial license will be issued for a
period ranging from three to seven years, depending on your age at the time of issuance. For instance, if you are
or will be 34 in the year which your license expires, you will be issued a six-year license that will expire when you
are 40.
Please note that license fees have not increased. The fees may be more or less for this renewal period, depending
on the number of years for which the license will be valid. To help you calculate your renewal period and cost,
please refer to the chart shown on the next page. Your renewal fee and date of expiration will also be printed on
the front of the renewal card.
CDL Fee Chart
To figure out your “calculated age”: subtract your birth year from the current year, for example: If you were born
in 1980, your calculated age would be 25 (2005-1980 = 25). Therefore, your fee would be $43.75 for five years
(to carry you to age 30). If your birthday is on or after December 1, your fee will be calculated using the next
calendar year.
Last Digit of
Calulated age:
License will be
valid for:
The fee will be:
1 or 6
2 or 7
3 or 8
4 or 9
5 or 0
4 years
3 years
7 years
6 years
5 years
$35.00
$26.25
$61.25
$52.50
$43.75
UNDER 21 YEARS FEE CHART
Under 21 Age in
Current Year
The fee will be:
18
19
20
$26.50
$17.50
$8.75
Class D License
A class D license shall be issued to persons at least 18 years old with at least one year of licensed driving
experience, whose primary function or employment is the transportation of persons or property for
compensation or wages, who have paid the required fee. Persons whom operate motor vehicles of less than
8,001 lbs. GVWR (class A registration) are not required to obtain a Class D license. Applicants may obtain a Class
D license at any DMV Regional Office by completing CDL-1 form and paying the appropriate fee.
Operators with a Class D license are required to obtain a DOT Medical Certificate when operating a vehicle of
10,001 pounds GVWR or more.
XV
Chapter II | LICENSING PROCEDURES AND REQUIREMENTS
Step-by-Step Procedures to Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License
Applications and study manuals are available at any Designated Examination Center, DMV Regional Office, or on
the web at www.dmv.wv.gov.
To Apply:
1) Complete DMV Form CDL-1 (Application for Commercial Driver’s License and/or Endorsement).
2) Submit a copy of your current DOT Medical/Physical (long form) Certification or CDL DLAB-II. With a
CDL DLAB II, you must provide written verification of employment with a city, county, state, or federal
government.
3) Application fee: (See chart on page XV). The CDL testing fee for general knowledge, air brakes, and
combination is $30.00. Please note: Commercial Driver’s License Fees are non-refundable.
4) Endorsement fee: $10.00 (if applicable). If endorsements are needed, a $10 fee is required for each
endorsement at the time of the application, plus a $5 duplicate license fee.
Endorsements at $10.00 each
H
TSA Backgound Check
Hazardous Materials
T
Doubles/Triples - Trailers
N
Tank
S
School Bus
P
Passengers
X
Hazardous Materials and Tank
Skills Test Required
Skills Test Required
5) Submit the application, your DOT Medical/Physical (long form) Certification or CDL DLAB II, and required fees to:
DMV CDL Division
PO Box 17010
Charleston, WV 25317
Upon receipt of the application and fees, DMV will mail a test card to the applicant that indicates DMV Regional
Office locations and residency requirements.
Once all tests are successfully completed, a CDL instruction permit may be issued. The permit will be valid for
a period of six months and can be renewed one time only, within two years of issuance. Applicants whom
are ready to take the road skills test must contact a Third Party Examiner (see list on page VI) to schedule an
appointment. Most skills tests are given on weekends and evenings. The cost of the skills test is $90.00, which
must be paid to the Third Party Examiner at the time of the test. The applicant must provide the vehicle in
which the test will be taken, furthermore the vehicle must be representative of the class of license for which
the applicant is testing.
Upon completion of the road skills test, the applicant must submit the test results, current license, CDL
instruction permit, DOT Long Form Physical, and one proof of a WV physical address to a Designated Exam
Center or a DMV Regional Office. At that time, the applicant may be issued a commercial driver’s license.
XVI
First Time Applicant Residency Requirements
An applicant for any license shall be a resident of the State of West Virginia. The Division shall not license or issue
an identification card to an applicant who does not have a West Virginia physical address. Acceptable documents
for proofs of residency are:
• WV utility bills with a WV residence address (not more than 60 days old).
• WV property tax bill or receipt indicating a WV residence address.
• WV mortgage documents or homeowner insurance documents for a WV residence or proof of WV home
ownership with a WV residence address.
• WV W-2 Form not more than 18 months old with the applicant’s name and WV residence address.
• WV weapons permit with a WV residence address.
• Current WV Motor Vehicles registration card with a WV residence address.
• WV voter’s registration card with a WV residence address.
• WV Homestead Tax Exemption with a WV residence address.
• Proof of WV public assistance with a WV residence address.
• Residential rental and/or lease agreement with a WV address.
• These documents must show your current physical address. Post Office Box addresses are not accepted as
proof of WV residency.
• WV DMV affidavit of residency.
Change Current Class of License (Upgrade)
Complete Form CDL-1 (Application for a Commercial License and/or Endorsements).
Indicate in the transaction area that you are applying for a license upgrade. The fee for upgrading your license is
$30.00 if a knowledge test is required, or $5.00 if no knowledge tests are required. If a knowledge test is required,
a CDL test card will be mailed to you. If no testing is required, a letter of approval for the issuance of an
instruction permit will be sent to you. A skills test is required to upgrade from one class to another.
To add air brakes or combination vehicles to a current CDL, you must submit a complete CDL-1 application for
the knowledge examination. A skills test is also required when upgrading from one class to another, and/or to
remove an air brake restriction.
To Add an Endorsement (After you have been issued your CDL)
1) Complete DMV Form CDL-1 (Application for a Commercial Driver’s License and/or endorsements), both
front and back.
2) Pay the required fees as outlined:
Required Fees
Passenger Vehicle (requires skills test)
$10.00
Double/Triple Trailer
$10.00
Hazardous Material (requires fingerprinting and background check prior to testing)
$10.00
School Bus (requires skills testing)
$10.00
Tank Vehicle
$10.00
Duplication Fee
$5.00
Air Brakes/Combination Vehicles (requires skills test)
$30.00
For one endorsement
$15.00
For two endorsements
$25.00
For three endorsements
$35.00
For four endorsements
$45.00
XVII
Renewal of a WV CDL
Once you have received your renewal notice from the DMV, you should visit a DMV Regional Office to start the
renewal process. You must bring the required documents to renew your CDL.
1) Your WV Commercial driver’s license
2) One proof of your WV physical address
3) Valid DOT Long Form medical physical. If you are employed by a city, county, state or federal
government agency you may submit a current letter from such agency (on their letterhead) verifying
your employment and stating you are exempt from the DOT physical requirement, and a CDL is
required to perform your job.
If you did not receive a renewal notice in the mail, you must complete a CDL-1 application at a Regional Office.
There is an additional fee of $5.00 for an expired license.
To retain a HAZMAT endorsement, you must first complete a fingerprint and background check, from the
Transportation Security Administration. You should contact Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Help
Desk at 1-877-429-7746, or visit their website at www.hazprints.com to pay the $89.25 fee to start the fingerprint
and background check process. All fees are non-refundable. After contacting TSA, you must call one of the
locations that provide fingerprinting to schedule an appointment. The locations are listed on their website.
When visiting the fingerprinting offices, you must bring your driver’s license and social security card. Once you
have received your approval letter in the mail from TSA stating you have passed the background check, you can
return to the DMV Regional Office to test for HAZMAT and renew your CDL. Please bring your approval letter
from TSA when you renew. If you do not wish to maintain your HAZMAT endorsement, you can go directly to a
DMV Regional Office to renew your CDL and surrender your HAZMAT endorsement.
A HAZMAT endorsement holder renewing their CDL will receive three attempts to test and pass the HAZMAT
endorsement on a valid non-expired license. If your CDL license is expired, then you must obtain a HAZMAT test
card from the CDL office in Charleston before you can test for HAZMAT.
Out-of-State Transfers to WV
To drive a commercial vehicle in West Virginia, you must apply to transfer your CDL within 30 days of establishing
residence. The DMV will obtain driving information through the Commercial Driver’s License Information System
(CDLIS), the National Driver Register (NDR), Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS), and from each state in which
you have been licensed to drive. In some cases, the required records check may take up to 48 hours to complete.
Until the records check is completed, the applicant CDL will not be transferred. You must surrender your
out-of-state driver’s license in order to be issued a WV CDL.
You must bring the following documents to be issued a WV CDL
1) Certified birth certificate
2) Social Security Card
3) Valid DOT long form physical. If you work for a city, county, state or federal government and your job
requires a CDL, you must submit a letter from your employer stating you are exempt from the DOT
physical requirement.
4) Two proofs of your WV physical address (see page XVII)
5) If your name has changed since birth, you are required to provide certified documents such as a
marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court orders stating name changes.
6) Your out-of-state license or certified driving record.
XVIII
If you have a HAZMAT endorsement on your out-of-state license, you must pass the TSA background check
before you can transfer your hazmat endorsement, you should contact Transportation Security Administration
(TSA) Help Desk at 1-877-429-7746, or visit their website at www.hazprints.com to pay the $89.25 fee to start the
fingerprint and background check process. All fees are non-refundable. After contacting TSA, you must contact
one of the locations that provide fingerprinting to schedule an appointment. The locations are listed on the TSA
website. When visiting the fingerprinting office, you must bring your driver’s license and social security card.
Once you have received your approval letter in the mail from TSA stating you have passed the background check,
you can return to the DMV Regional Office to test for HAZMAT and transfer your out-of-state CDL. Please bring
your letter of approval from TSA with you. If you do not wish to maintain your HAZMAT endorsement, you can go
directly to a DMV Regional Office to transfer your license. WV DMV will not transfer an expired CDL.
Knowledge Test
The knowledge test, written or oral, must be taken and passed, with at least an 80% score. Endorsement tests
can be taken at the same time or at a later time. If you fail any portion of the knowledge test, you must wait
seven days before you may retest. You may test three (3) times on the original fee paid.
No oral tests can be given on hazardous materials testing.
Skills Test
The skills tests are administered by the DMV and certified third party examiners trained by the DMV. The road
skills test will not be given until you have passed all other parts of the examination and have, in your possession,
a commercial driver’s license instruction permit for the type of vehicle for which you are testing. Each section of
the skills test must be passed.
Note: The state does not supply the vehicle or vehicles for the road skills test. A $90 fee must be
paid to the third party examiner at the time of the driving skills test.
The examiner cannot give the skills test unless your vehicle is in safe condition and legally equipped. Your
vehicle must first be checked to make sure it complies with registration, vehicle inspection, and equipment laws.
Expiration of CDL
1) Every commercial driver’s license issued to persons who have attained their 21st birthday expires on
the applicant’s birthday in those years in which the applicant’s age is evenly divisible by five. Except
as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, no commercial driver’s license may be issued for less
than three years nor more than seven years and the commercial driver’s license shall be renewed by
the applicant’s birthday and is valid for a period of five years, expiring in the month in which the
applicant’s birthday occurs and in a year in which the applicant’s age is evenly divisible by five.
2) Every commercial driver’s license issued to persons that have not attained their 21st birthday expires
on the applicant’s birthday in the year in which the applicant attains the age of 21 years old.
3) Commercial driver’s licenses held by any person in the armed forces which expire while that person is on
active duty remains valid for thirty days from the date on which that person reestablishes residence in
West Virginia.
4) Any person applying to renew a commercial driver’s license which has been expired for six months
or more shall follow the procedures for an initial issuance of a commercial driver’s license, including the
testing provisions.
XIX
Organ Donor Program
If you wish to become an organ donor, please indicate this by checking the box on the back of your CDL application.
Driver Responsibilities
The driving privilege carries with it many responsibilities. You, and only you, are responsible for your actions.
There are a number of areas that the license holder must be aware of in order to maintain the privilege to drive
in West Virginia. CDL holders may not have any other type of driver’s license. Any West Virginia CDL holder who
is convicted of a traffic offense (other than parking citations) in another jurisdiction must notify the West Virginia
Division of Motor Vehicles within thirty (30) days of said conviction.
DMV Must Be Notified of Any Loss of Driving Privileges
Any CDL holder whose license is suspended, revoked, canceled, or expired by any jurisdiction, or who otherwise
loses the privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle in any jurisdiction for any period, or who is disqualified
from driving a commercial motor vehicle for any period by any jurisdiction, must notify his or her employer
before the end of the business day following the day the CDL holder receives notice of said act.
Notification of Previous Employment
Persons applying for employment as a commercial motor vehicle driver must provide their prospective employer, at
the time of their application, with the following information for the ten years proceeding the date of application.
1) names and addresses of the applicant’s previous employers for which the applicant was a driver of a
commercial motor vehicle;
2) dates between which the applicant drove for each employer; and
3) applicant’s reason for leaving each employer. Applicants must certify that all information furnished is
true and complete. An employer may require an applicant to provide additional information.
Valid CDL Required for Commercial Driving
No person may drive a commercial motor vehicle under license suspension, revocation, cancellation, or
expiration, or who is under disqualification, or is in violation of an out-of-service order. The Commissioner of the
Division of Motor Vehicles shall disqualify for a period of sixty days, the driving privileges of any person who is
convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle without holding a valid commercial driver’s license and the
applicable endorsements valid for the vehicle he or she is driving. Any person not holding a commercial driver’s
license who is convicted of an offense that requires disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle
shall also be disqualified from eligibility for a commercial driver’s license for the same time periods as prescribed
in federal law or rule, or Chapter §17E-1-7 of the West Virginia Motor Vehicle Code.
Valid DOT Physical Required for Commercial Drivers
A licensee shall maintain a current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Medical Examiners Certificate
( DOT Physical Long Form) on file with the Division. Any certificate more than two years old is not current. A
licensee with a Class D driver’s license who operates a commercial vehicle over 10,000 pounds but less than
26,001 pounds is required to comply with requirements related to submitting and maintaining a current Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration Medical Examiners Certificate.
XX
Chapter III |TRAFFIC LAWS
Basic Speed Laws
When you exceed the speed limit, you endanger the lives of others as well as your own. Observe speed limits
and adjust your speed to driving conditions.
To insure your safety and the safety of others, you should slow down when you are faced with these driving
situations:
• Approaching and crossing an intersection;
• Approaching and going around a curve;
• Approaching the top of a hill;
• Traveling on a narrow road;
• Anywhere traffic, weather, roadway hazards, or other conditions limit visibility or stopping distance.
Speed Limits
Your speed helps determine how much time you have to react to any traffic situation. The higher the speed,
the less time you have to spot hazards, judge the speed of other vehicles, and act to avoid personal mistakes
and those of other drivers. The Interstate speed limit in West Virginia is 70 mph for all vehicles unless otherwise
posted. There are designated speeds set by law for highways and certain areas such as school zones, business,
and residential districts.
Designated speeds, unless otherwise posted are:
Location
Max Speed
Interstate
Open Highway
Business or Residential Area
School Zone (while children are present)
70 mph
55 mph
25 mph
15 mph
Authorized emergency vehicles may exceed the posted speed limits when on duty with emergency signal
equipment operating, as long as other road users are not endangered.
Accidents/Tickets
If you are involved in an accident resulting in death or bodily injury, or apparent property damage of $500 or
more, the investigating officer is required to submit a copy of his or her completed accident report to the Division
of Motor Vehicles. If you are issued a ticket for no insurance, the court is required to send a copy of the ticket
to the Division of Motor Vehicles. If, after reviewing the report or ticket, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles
determines the vehicle was not covered by automobile liability insurance, the law requires suspension of the
drivers and owners’ driving privilege and revocation of the vehicle license plate. The suspension periods for first
offense is 30 days and 90 days on all subsequent offenses. The revocation of the license plate is indefinite, until
proof of current insurance and required reinstatement fees are provided.
Compulsory Insurance
West Virginia law mandates that all motorists driving on the State’s public roads must carry motor vehicle liability
insurance. The minimum amount of coverage, as provided by law, is $20,000 for one death or injury, $40,000 for
two deaths or injuries, and $10,000 for property damage.
XXI
When you obtain or renew your vehicle registration, you must sign a statement under penalty of false swearing,
that you have liability insurance on your vehicle and will maintain this insurance for the full registration year.
Upon cancellation of a vehicle’s insurance, you are required to surrender its registration plate. False statements
concerning insurance coverage will result in a 90 day suspension of your driver’s license and suspension of your
license plates until proof of current insurance is provided and reinstatement fees are paid.
In addition, a Certificate of Insurance or other proof of insurance, which can be obtained from your insurance
company, must always be carried in your vehicle. In the event of a crash, you must present this certificate of
insurance or other proof to the investigating officer. You must also show the certificate of insurance for your
annual vehicle inspection.
If your insurance company cancels your policy, under the provisions of West Virginia Code Chapter §33-6A-1(b)
through (e), the company must notify the Division of Motor Vehicles within ten days of the effective date
of cancellation or termination. DMV must then send notices of pending suspensions to you. Your vehicle
registration plate will be suspended until proof of insurance is provided to DMV and all applicable reinstatement
fees are paid. Also, your driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days on a first offense of no insurance and 90
days thereafter.
Disqualification/Cancellation of a CDL
Disqualification Offenses (WV State Code, §17E-1-13)
(a) A person may not operate a commercial motor vehicle if his or her privilege to operate a commercial motor
vehicle is disqualified under the provisions of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (public
law 106-159 §1748), 49 C.F.R. Part §383, Subpart D (2004) or in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(1) For the purposes of determining first and subsequent violations of the offenses listed in this section,
each conviction for any offense listed in this section resulting from a separate incident includes convictions for
offenses committed in a commercial motor vehicle or a noncommercial motor vehicle.
(2) Any person disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life under the provisions
of this chapter for offenses described in subsection (b) subdivisions (4) and (6) of this section is eligible
for reinstatement of privileges to operate a commercial motor vehicle after ten years and after completion
of the safety and treatment program or other appropriate program prescribed by the division. Any person
whose lifetime disqualification has been amended under the provisions of this subdivision and who is
subsequently convicted of a disqualifying offense described in subsection (b), subdivisions (1) through (8) of
this section is not eligible for reinstatement.
(3) Any disqualification imposed by this section is in addition to any action to suspend, revoke or cancel
the driver’s license or driving privileges if suspension, revocation or cancellation is required under
another provision of this code.
(4) The provisions of this section apply to any person operating a commercial motor vehicle and to any
person holding a commercial driver’s license.
(b) Any person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle for the following offenses and time
periods if convicted of:
(1) Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance;
(A) For a first conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for a period of one year.
XXII
(B) For a first conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one year.
(C) For a first conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded
under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for a period of three years.
(D) For a second conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test
in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection while operating a
commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
(E) For a second conviction or refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test in
a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection while operating a
noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial motor vehicle license holder is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
(2) Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the person’s alcohol concentration of the person’s blood,
breath or urine is four hundredths of one percent or more, by weight;
(A) For a first conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for one year.
(B) For a first conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded
under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for three years.
(C) For a second conviction or refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test in a
separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection while operating a commercial
motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
(3) Refusing to submit to any designated secondary chemical test required by the provisions of this code
or the provisions of 49 C.F.R. §383.72 (2004);
(A) For the first conviction or refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for one year.
(B) For the first conviction or refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(C) For the first conviction or for refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test while
operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials required to be placarded
under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F (2004), a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for a period of three years.
(D) For a second conviction or refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test in a
separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection while operating a commercial
motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
XXIII
(E) For a second conviction or refusal to submit to any designated secondary chemical test in a
separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection while operating a noncommercial
motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle for life.
(4) Leaving the scene of an accident;
(A) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(B) For the first conviction while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s
license holder is disqualified for one year.
(C) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous
materials required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F (2004), a driver is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of three years.
(D) For a second conviction in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection
while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial
motor vehicle for life.
(E) For a second conviction in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection
while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
(5) Using a motor vehicle in the commission of any felony as defined in section three, article one of this
chapter: Provided, That the commission of any felony involving the manufacture, distribution or dispensing
of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a controlled
substance falls under the provisions of subdivision eight of this subsection;
(A) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(B) For the first conviction while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s
license holder is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(C) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous
materials required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F,(2004), a driver is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of three years.
(D) For a second conviction in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection
while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial
motor vehicle for life.
(E) For a second conviction in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection
while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, a commercial motor vehicle license holder is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life.
(6) Operating a commercial motor vehicle when, as a result of prior violations committed operating a
commercial motor vehicle, the driver’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle has been suspended, revoked or
canceled, or the driver’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle has been disqualified.
XXIV
(A) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(B) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous
materials required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F,(2004), a driver is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of three years.
(C) For a second conviction in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection
while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial
motor vehicle for life.
(7) Causing a fatality through the negligent operation of a commercial motor vehicle, including, but not
limited to, the crimes of motor vehicle manslaughter, homicide and negligent homicide as defined in section
five, article three, chapter seventeen-b, and section one, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code;
(A) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(B) For the first conviction while operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous
materials required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F,(2004), a driver is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of three years.
(C) For a second conviction in a separate incident of any combination of offenses in this subsection
while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial
motor vehicle for life.
(8) Using a motor vehicle in the commission of any felony involving the manufacture, distribution or
dispensing of a controlled substance, or possession with intent to manufacture, distribute or dispense a
controlled substance, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life and shall not
be eligible for reinstatement.
(c) Any person is disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle if convicted of;
(1) Speeding excessively involving any speed of fifteen miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this section in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the conviction results
in the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license holder’s privilege to
operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(D) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the
conviction results in the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license
holder’s privilege to operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder shall be
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(2) Reckless driving as defined in section three, article five, chapter seventeen-c of this code, careless, or
XXV
negligent driving including, but not limited to, the offenses of driving a motor vehicle in willful or wanton
disregard for the safety of persons or property;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this section in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the conviction results in
the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license holder’s privilege to
operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(D) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the
conviction results in the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license
holder’s privilege to operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(3) Making improper or erratic traffic lane changes;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this section in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the conviction results in
the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license holder’s privilege to
operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(D) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the
conviction results in the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license
holder’s privilege to operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(4) Following the vehicle ahead too closely;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this section in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the conviction results in
XXVI
the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license holder’s privilege to
operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(D) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the
conviction results in the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license
holder’s privilege to operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified
from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(5) Violating any law relating to traffic control arising in connection with a fatal accident, other than a parking violation;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this section in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the conviction results in
the suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license holder’s privilege to
operate any motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(D) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident within a three-year period while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle, if the
conviction results in the suspension, revocation or cancellation of the commercial driver’s license
holder’s privilege to operate any motor vehicle, a commercial motor vehicle license holder is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(6) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without obtaining a commercial driver’s license;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is
disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one hundred twenty days.
(7) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without a commercial driver’s license in the driver’s possession,
provided that any person who provides proof of possession of a commercial driver’s license to the enforcement
agency that issued the citation, by the court appearance or fine payment deadline shall not be guilty of this offense;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license
holder is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
XXVII
(B) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a commercial
driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one
hundred twenty days.
(8) Driving a commercial motor vehicle without the proper class of commercial driver’s license or the proper
endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated, or for the passengers or type of cargo being
transported;
(A) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection in a separate incident
within a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a commercial driver’s license
holder is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of sixty days.
(B) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of the offenses in this subsection in a
separate incident in a three-year period while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a commercial
driver’s license holder is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of one
hundred twenty days.
(d) Any person convicted of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of any federal, state or local law or
ordinance pertaining to any of the railroad crossing violations described in subdivisions one through six of this
subsection is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for the period of time specified;
(1) Failing to slow down and check that the tracks are clear of an approaching train, if not required to stop in
accordance with the provisions of section three, article twelve, chapter seventeen-c of this code;
(A) For the first conviction, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a
period of sixty days;
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a three-year period,
a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred twenty days; and
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a
three-year period, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(2) Failing to stop before reaching the crossing, if the tracks are not clear, if not required to stop, in accordance
with the provisions of section one, article twelve, chapter seventeen-c of this code;
(A) For the first conviction, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a
period of sixty days;
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a three-year period, a
driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred twenty days; and
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a
three-year period, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(3) Failing to stop before driving onto the crossing, if required to stop in accordance with the provisions of
section three, article twelve, chapter seventeen-c of this code;
(A) For the first conviction, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a
period of sixty days;
XXVIII
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a three-year period, the
driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred twenty days; and
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a
three-year period, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(4) Failing to have sufficient space to drive completely through the crossing without stopping in accordance
with the provisions of section three, article twelve, chapter seventeen-c of this code;
(A) For the first conviction, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a
period of sixty days;
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a three-year period,
a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred twenty days; and
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a
three-year period, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(5) Failing to obey a traffic control device or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing in
accordance with the provisions of section one, article twelve, chapter seventeen-c of this code; or
(A) For the first conviction, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a
period of sixty days;
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a three-year period,
a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred twenty days; and
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a
three-year period, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(6) Failing to negotiate a crossing because of insufficient undercarriage clearance in accordance with the
provisions of section three, article twelve, chapter seventeen-c of this code.
(A) For the first conviction, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a
period of sixty days;
(B) For a second conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a three-year period,
a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred twenty days; and
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction of any combination of offenses in this subsection within a
three-year period, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one year.
(e) Any person who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle
is disqualified for the following periods of time if:
(1) Convicted of violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting nonhazardous materials;
(A) For the first conviction of violating an out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor
vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred eighty days.
(B) For a second conviction in a separate incident within a ten-year period for violating an out of
service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for two years.
XXIX
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction in a separate incident within a ten-year period for violating an
out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for three years.
(2) Convicted of violating a driver or vehicle out-of-service order while transporting hazardous materials
required to be placarded under 49 C.F.R. Part §172, Subpart F (2004), or while operating a vehicle designed to
transport sixteen or more passengers including the driver;
(A) For the first conviction of violating an out of service order while operating a commercial motor
vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for one hundred eighty days.
(B) For a second conviction in a separate incident within a ten-year period for violating an out-ofservice order while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from operating a
commercial motor vehicle for three years.
(C) For a third or subsequent conviction in a separate incident within a ten-year period for violating an
out-of-service order while operating a commercial motor vehicle, a driver is disqualified from
operating a commercial motor vehicle for three years.
(f ) After disqualifying, suspending, revoking or canceling a commercial driver’s license, the division shall update
its records to reflect that action within ten days.
(g) In accordance with the provisions of 49 U.S.C. §313119 (a)(19)(2004), and 49 C.F.R §384.226 (2004), and
notwithstanding the provisions of section twenty-five, article eleven, chapter sixty-one of this code, no record of
conviction, revocation, suspension or disqualification related to any type of motor vehicle traffic control offense,
other than a parking violation, of a commercial driver’s license holder or a person operating a commercial motor
vehicle may be masked, expunged, deferred, or be subject to any diversion program.
(h) Notwithstanding any provision in this code to the contrary, the division may not issue any temporary driving
permit, work-only driving permit or hardship license or permit that authorizes a person to operate a commercial
motor vehicle when his or her privilege to operate any motor vehicle has been revoked, suspended, disqualified
or otherwise canceled for any reason.
(i) In accordance with the provisions of 49 C.F.R. §391.15(b), a driver is disqualified from operating a commercial
motor vehicle for the duration of any suspension, revocation or cancellation of his or her driver’s license or
privilege to operate a motor vehicle by this state or by any other state or jurisdiction until the driver complies
with the terms and conditions for reinstatement set by this state or by another state or jurisdiction.
(j) In accordance with the provisions of 49 C.F.R. 353.52 (2006), the division shall immediately disqualify a
driver’s privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle upon a notice from the Assistant Administrator of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that the driver poses an imminent hazard. Any disqualification
period imposed under the provisions of this subsection shall be served concurrently with any other period of
disqualification if applicable.
(k) In accordance with the provisions of 49 C.F.R. 1572.11(a), the division shall immediately disqualify a driver’s
privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle if the driver fails to surrender his or her driver’s license with a
hazardous material endorsement to the division upon proper notice by the division to the driver that the division
received notice from the Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration of an initial
determination of threat assessment and immediate revocation that the driver does not meet the standards for
security threat assessment provided in 49 C.F.R. 1572.5. The disqualification remains in effect until the driver
either surrenders the driver’s license to the division or provides the division with an affidavit attesting to the fact
that the driver has lost or is otherwise unable to surrender the license.
XXX
LIMITING THE USE OF WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICES
On October 27, 2010, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule that
prohibits texting by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers while operating in interstate commerce and
imposes sanctions, including civil penalties and disqualifications from operating CMV’s in interstate commerce,
for drivers who fail to comply to this rule. Additionally, motor carriers are prohibited from requiring or allowing
their drivers to engage in texting while driving. Violations may include a penalty up to $2,750.
Thye rule also amends the commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations to add a conviction under State or local
traffic alws or ordinances that prohibit texting by CDL drivers while operating CMV including school bus drivers,
to the list of disqualifying CDL offenses. Second convictions for violating State or local law result in 60 day
disqualification; third or subsequent offenses result in 120 day suspension. Similar changes were made to the
driver disqualification regulations 49 CFR Part 391.
§ 383.5 Definitions
Electronic device includes, but is not limited to, a cellular telephone; personal digital assistant; pager;
computer; or any other device used to input, write, send, receive, or read text.
Texting means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.
(1) This action includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant
messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, or engaging in any other form of
electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future communication.
(2) Texting does not include:
(i) Reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number, an extension number, or voicemail
retrieval codes and commands into an electronic device for the purpose of initiating or receiving
a phone call or using voice commands to initiate or receive a telephone call;
(ii) Inputting, selecting, or reading information on a global positioning system or navigation
system; or
(iii) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions (e.g., fleet management systems,
dispatching devices, smart phones, citizens band radios, music players, etc.) for a purpose that is
not otherwise prohibited in this part.
DRIVING FOR THE PURPOSE OF THIS DISQUALIFICATION , MEANS OPERATING A COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE, WITH THE MOTOR RUNNING,
INCLUDING WHILE TEMPORARY STATIONARY BECAUSE OF TRAFFIC, A TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE, OR OTHER MOMENTARY DELAYS. DRIVING
DOES NOT INCLUDE OPERATING A COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE WITH OR WITHOUT THE MOTOR RUNNING WHEN THE DRIVER HAS MOVED
THE VEHICLE TO THE SIDE OF, OR OFF, A HIGHWAY, AS DEFINED IN CFR 390.5, AND HAS HALTED IN A LOCATION WHERE THE VEHICLE CAN
SAFELY REMAIN STATIONARY.
XXXI
§ 390.3 (f) General Applicability
(1) All school bus operations as defined in §390.5 except for the provisions of §§391.15(e) and 392.80;
The operation of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport between 9 and 15
passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, provided the vehicle does not
otherwise meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle except for the texting provisions of
§§ 391.15(e), 390.19, and 390.21(a), and (b)(2).
49 CFR §390.5 Definitions
Electronic device includes, but is not limited to, a cellular telephone; personal digital assistant; pager;
computer; or any other device used to input, write, send, receive, or read text.
Texting means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an electronic device.
(1) This action includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant messaging,
a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, or engaging in any other form of
electronic text retrieval or electronic text entry for present or future communication.
(2) Texting does not include:
(i) Reading, selecting, or entering a telephone number, an extension number, or voicemail
retrieval codes and commands into an electronic device for the purpose of initiating or
receiving a phone call or using voice commands to initiate or receive a telephone call;
(ii) Inputting, selecting, or reading information on a global positioning system or navigation
system; or
(iii) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions (e.g., fleet management systems,
dispatching devices, smart phones, citizens band radios, music players, etc.) for a purpose that is
not otherwise prohibited in part 392.
PART 391
QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLE (LCV) DRIVER INSTRUCTIONS
49 CFR §391.2 General Exceptions
(a) Farm custom operation. The rules in this part, except for §391.15(e), do not apply to a driver who drives a
commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a person engaged in custom-harvesting operations, if
the commercial motor vehicle is used to—
(1) Transport farm machinery, supplies, or both, to or from a farm for custom-harvesting operations on a
farm; or
(2) Transport custom-harvested crops to storage or market.
(b) Apiarian industries. The rules in this part, except for §391.15(e), do not apply to a driver who is operating a
commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a beekeeper engaged in the seasonal transportation
of bees.
(c) Certain farm vehicle drivers. The rules in this part, except for §391.15(e), do not apply to a farm vehicle driver
except a farm vehicle driver who drives an articulated (combination) commercial motor vehicle, as defined in
§390.5. (For limited exemptions for farm vehicle drivers of articulated commercial motor vehicles, see
§391.67.)
XXXII
49 CFR §391.15(e) Disqualification of Drivers
(e) Disqualification for violation of prohibition of texting while driving a commercial motor vehicle—
(1) General rule A driver who is convicted of violating the prohibition of texting in §392.80(a) of this
chapter is disqualified for the period of time specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
(2) Duration Disqualification for violation of prohibition of texting while driving a commercial motor
vehicle—
(i) Second violation A driver is disqualified for 60 days if the driver is convicted of two violations
of §392.80(a) of this chapter in separate incidents during any 3-year period.
(ii) Third or subsequent violation A driver is disqualified for 120 days if the driver is convicted of
three or more violations of §392.80(a) of this chapter in separate incidents during any 3-year period.
PART 392
DRIVING OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES
§392.80 Prohibition Against Texting
(a) Prohibition. No driver shall engage in texting while driving.
(b) Motor carriers. No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to engage in texting while driving.
(c) Definition. For the purpose of this section only, driving means operating a commercial motor vehicle, with
the motor running, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other
momentary delays. Driving does not include operating a commercial motor vehicle with or without the motor
running when the driver moved the vehicle to the side of, or off, a highway, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, and
halted in a location where the vehicle can safely remain stationary.
(d) Exceptions —
(1) School bus operations and vehicles designed or used to transport 9 to 15 passengers, including the
driver, not for direct compensation. The provisions of §390.3(f )(1) and (6) are not applicable to this
section.
(2) Emergency use. Texting while driving is permissible by drivers of a commercial motor vehicle when
necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency services.
75 FR 59118-01
§391.15(e) Disqualification of Drivers
(e) Disqualification for violation of prohibition of texting while driving a commercial motor vehicle—
(1) General rule A driver who is convicted of violating the prohibition of texting in §392.80(a) of this
chapter is disqualified for the period of time specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section.
(2) Duration Disqualification for violation of prohibition of texting while driving a commercial motor
vehicle—
(i) Second violation A driver is disqualified for 60 days if the driver is convicted of two violations
of §392.80(a) of this chapter in separate incidents during any 3-year period.
(ii) Third or subsequent violation A driver is disqualified for 120 days if the driver is convicted of
three or more violations of §392.80(a) of this chapter in separate incidents during any 3-year period.
75 FR 59118-01
XXXIII
Commercial Drivers Prohibited from Operating with Any Alcohol in System
A) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive, operate, or be in physical control of a
commercial motor vehicle while having any measurable alcohol in their system.
B) A person who drives, operates, or is in physical control of a motor vehicle while having any measurable alcohol
in his or her system, or who refuses to take a preliminary breath test to determine their alcohol content must be
placed out-of-service for 24 hours.
Implied Consent Law
Any person who accepts the privilege of driving in West Virginia shall be deemed to have given his/her consent
to take the designated test to determine the alcohol content in his/her body. If they refuse to take a chemical
test, their privilege of operating a motor vehicle will be suspended for a period of at least one year, and up to
life. Many people mistakenly assume the Implied Consent Law means they will be fined, or go to jail if they
are stopped and have alcohol on their breath. On the contrary, the law was designed to protect the driver
who has not been drinking since the blood alcohol test will provide a medically accepted measure of alcohol
concentration. The Implied Consent Law protects the public from drivers who are intoxicated but, when arrested,
refuse to be tested for alcohol.
Point System
The Division of Motor Vehicles has a point system
to identify and control problem drivers. DMV
maintains a continuing record of your driving
conduct from the date of your first conviction for
a moving violation.
Your record will show the date and nature of the
violation, court codes, and points assessed. Points
are assessed for traffic violations depending
on the seriousness of the violation. Repeated
convictions may lead to suspension of your
driving privilege.
Upon reaching twelve or more points, your
driving privileges will be suspended.
You may have three points deducted from
your record upon completion of an eight hour
defensive driving course conducted at various
locations throughout the state. For schedule and
location information, please contact the Division
of Motor Vehicles at 1-800-642-9066 or
1-304-926-3499.
Points will be maintained as part of your driving
record for a minimum of two years from the
conviction date. However, any conviction will
remain on your record for a period of ten years.
On the right you’ll find a list of the more common
violations and their point totals.
XXXIV
OFFENSES
Fleeing from an Officer
Speeding in a School Zone
Reckless/Careless Driving
Hit and Run or Leaving the Scene
Speeding 15mph Over the Speed Limit
Speeding 10mph - 14mph Over the Speed Limit
Passing Violation
Failure to Yield Violation
Failure to Obey Traffic Light
Failure to Obey Stop Sign
Hazardous Driving
Driving Left of Center
Driving Too Fast for Conditions
Failure to Maintain Control of Vehicle
Careless Driving
Driving the Wrong Way on a One Way Street
Littering
Improper Lane Violation
Failure to Observe a Safety Zone
Failure to Follow a Police Officer’s Instructions
Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road
Speeding 5mph - 9mph Over the Speed Limit
Following Too Closely
More than 3 Passengers in the Front Seat
Improper Turning
Improper Backing
Improper Signal or No Signal
POINT
VALUES
8
6
6
6
5
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
Driving in Other States
West Virginia is a member of the Driver License Compact. Traffic violations you receive in other states will
become part of your West Virginia driving record and, if warranted, points will be assessed. If you are convicted
in other states and the offense is grounds for suspension or revocation, your West Virginia driver’s license may be
suspended or revoked. Other states may also restrict, suspend, or revoke your privilege to driver a motor vehicle
in those states.
West Virginia is also a member of the Non-Resident Violator Compact. This allows drivers to accept traffic
citations for certain violations and continue on their way, regardless of whether the driver resides in that
jurisdiction. Each member state agrees to suspend the driver’s license of its own citizens who fail to comply with
the terms of the traffic violation committed in another state.
Failure to Comply with In-State Citations
State law requires municipal, magistrate, and circuit courts to notify the Division when you fail to pay, fail to
appear, or fail to comply with any type of court order/decision, even if it is not a traffic ticket. Also, federal law
requires the Division to record the suspension action as a conviction.
The Division will suspend your driver’s license until you present proof of compliance with the court action and all
penalty fees are paid. Traffic tickets and other types of citations should be handled promptly to avoid possible
driver’s license suspension. If your penalty fee is being paid by a third party, such as a leasing company, it is your
responsibility to ensure that the payment is made in a timely manner to avoid suspension of your driver’s license.
Mandatory License Revocation
Convictions for certain violations of the motor vehicle laws are serious and require the immediate revocation of
your driver’s license. DMV must revoke a driver’s license when it receives a final notice of conviction for a period
of at least one year for any of the following:
• Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
• A felony involving the use of a motor vehicle;
• Perjury or false affidavits to the Division of Motor Vehicles;
• Leaving the scene of an accident in which you are involved that results in death or personal injury;
• Three convictions of reckless driving in 24 months;
• Racing on streets or highways (drag racing) six months;
• Failure to satisfy a civil judgment against you as a result of your involvement in an automobile accident
(no time period);
• Conviction in another jurisdiction for driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or
other drugs – applicable time period.
• A DUI conviction against a person under the age of 18 will be in effect until age 18 or the applicable
statutory period or revocation, whichever is longer.
Child Support Suspensions
Circuit courts may order driver’s license suspension for any person who accumulates child support payment in
arrears of six (6) months or more. DMV may issue a restricted driver’s license if ordered by a circuit court so that
persons under child support payment suspension may drive to and from work. DMV may impose suspension or
revocation against any person that violates the terms of a restricted license. Child support related suspensions
remain in effect until DMV receives a court order restoring the license, or certification by the Child Support
Enforcement Division that the licensee is complying with the original court order or a modified order.
XXXV
Driving While Revoked or Suspended
The mandatory penalty for the first conviction of driving while under revocation or suspension is a minimum
$100 fine.
Even more serious, is the penalty for DUI related driving while revoked or suspended. Upon conviction, the
penalty is a minimum jail sentence of six months. The revocation period is extended by six months.
Reexamination of Drivers
You may be required to submit to a re-examination if the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles has good cause to
believe you are incompetent or otherwise not qualified to be licensed. After you have taken the reexamination,
your license may be retained, suspended, revoked, or you may be issued a restricted license. Refusal to submit to
a reexamination is grounds for suspension or revocation of your license.
Employer Responsibilities
No employer may knowingly allow, permit, or authorize a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle during
any period:
1) in which the driver is under license suspension, revocation, or cancellation in any jurisdiction, has
lost the privilege to drive a commercial motor vehicle in any jurisdiction, has been disqualified from
driving a commercial motor vehicle; or
2) in which the driver has more than one driver’s license at one time, for the ten day period beginning
on the date the driver is issued a license.
Your Driving Record
Any person may request a copy of their own driving record at any DMV Regional office. You must complete the
request for driving record from (DMV-101-PS-1) and provide your West Virginia Driver’s License or West Virginia
State Issued Identification Card for proof of identification.
All other requests must be sent to the address provided below. You may not obtain information about others
without their signed written consent (DMV-101-PS-2). Each request form submitted must also include a copy of
the requestor’s West Virginia Driver’s License or West Virginia State Issued Identification Card. If you do not meet
these requirements your reason will be reviewed. If your request is accepted you will receive a driving record
that excludes all personal information.
To obtain an employee’s driving record, employers must complete the DMV-101-PS-1 and DMV-101-PS-2 and
submit them with the appropriate fee(s) to the address provided below.
West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Section/Driving Records
PO BOX 17020
Charleston, West Virginia 25317
Driving record request and written consent forms are available on the Division of Motor Vehicles website at
www.dmv.wv.gov. You may also call 1-800-642-9066 or 1-304-926-3499 to have these forms mailed to you.
XXXVI
Table Of Contents
Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 1-1
Driving Safely ...................................................................................................................... 2-1
Transporting Cargo Safely ..................................................................................... 3-1
Transporting Passengers Safely ...................................................................... 4-1
Air Brakes ............................................................................................................................... 5-1
Combination Vehicles ................................................................................................. 6-1
Doubles and Triples ...................................................................................................... 7-1
Tank Vehicles ..................................................................................................................... 8-1
Hazardous Materials .................................................................................................... 9-1
School Bus .......................................................................................................................... 10-1
Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection ................................................................................. 11-1
Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test .................................................................... 12-1
On-Road Driving ............................................................................................................ 13-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 1
Do You Need a CDL?
INTRODUCTION
No
This Section Covers
•
•
•
Commercial Driver License Tests
Driver Disqualifications
Other Safety Rules
Yes
Is the
vehicle a
combination
vehicle
towing a unit
over 10,000
pounds
GVWR?
There is a federal requirement that each state have
minimum standards for the licensing of commercial
drivers.
This manual provides driver license testing
information for drivers who wish to have a
commercial driver license (CDL). This manual does
NOT provide information on all the federal and
state requirements needed before you can drive a
commercial motor vehicle (CMV). You may have to
contact your state driver licensing authority for
additional information.
Does the
single
vehicle have
a GVWR
over 26,000
pounds?
Is the
vehicle
designed to
carry 16 or
more people
(including
the driver)?
No
Yes
You
need a
Class B
CDL.
Yes
You
need a
Class C
CDL.
No
Does the
vehicle
require
No
hazardous
material
placards or
transport a
select agent
or toxin?
(Your state may have additional definitions of
CMVs.)
Section 1 - Introduction
You
need a
Class A
CDL.
No
Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight
rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds
if the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is
26,001 pounds or more.
A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more
passengers (including the driver).
Any size vehicle that is used in the transportation
of any material that requires hazardous materials
placards or any quantity of a material listed as a
select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73. Federal
regulations through the Department of Homeland
Security require a background check and
fingerprinting for the Hazardous Materials
endorsement. Contact your local department of
driver licensing for more information.
Figure 1.1 helps you determine if you need a CDL.
Yes
No
You must have a CDL to operate:
To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills
tests. This manual will help you pass the tests.
This manual is not a substitute for a truck driver
training class or program. Formal training is the
most reliable way to learn the many special skills
required for safely driving a large commercial
vehicle and becoming a professional driver in the
trucking industry.
Does the vehicle or
combination of vehicles
have a manufacturer’s
weight rating (GVWR)
over 26,000 pounds?
Yes
You
need a
Class C
CDL.
No
You DO NOT
need a CDL.
NOTE:
A bus may be Class A, B, or C depending on whether
the GVWR is over 26,001 pounds or is a combination
vehicle.
Figure 1.1
Page 1-1
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
1.1 – Commercial Driver License Tests
1.1.1 – Knowledge Tests
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests,
depending on what class of license and what
endorsements you need. The CDL knowledge
tests include:
2
X
X
X
3
X
X
X
4
5*
X
6
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
9
Basic Vehicle Control. You will be tested on your
skill to control the vehicle. You will be asked to
move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn it
within a defined area. These areas may be marked
with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something
similar. The examiner will tell you how each control
test is to be done.
X
X
8
10
X
X
7
Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection. You will be tested to
see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to
drive. You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection
of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what
you would inspect and why.
Section 1 - Introduction
X
School Bus
X
Passenger
X
Tank Vehicles
X
Double / Triple
1
ENDORSEMENT
Hazardous
Materials
Class C
LICENSE
TYPE
Class B
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can
take the CDL skills tests. There are three types of
general skills that will be tested: pre-trip inspection,
basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You
must take these tests in the type of vehicle for
which you wish to be licensed.
What Sections Should You Study?
Class A
1.1.2 – Skills Tests
Figure 1.2 details which sections of this manual
you should study for each particular class of
license and for each endorsement.
Sections to Study
The general knowledge test, taken by all
applicants.
The passenger transport test, taken by all bus
driver applicants.
The air brakes test, which you must take if your
vehicle has air brakes, including air over hydraulic
brakes.
The combination vehicles test, which is required if
you want to drive combination vehicles.
The hazardous materials test, required if you want
to haul hazardous materials or waste in amounts
that require placarding or any quantity of a material
listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73. In
order to obtain this endorsement you are also
required to pass a Transportation Security
Administration (TSA) background check.
The tanker test, required if you want to haul a liquid
or liquid gas in a permanently mounted cargo tank
rated at 119 gallons or more or a portable tank
rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
The doubles/triples test, required if you want to pull
double or triple trailers.
The School Bust test, required if you want to drive
a school bus.
On-road Test. You will be tested on your skill to
safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic
situations. The situations may include left and right
turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up
and down grades, single or multi-lane roads,
streets, or highways. The examiner will tell you
where to drive.
X
X
11
X
X
X
X
X
X
12
X
X
X
X
X
X
13
X
X
X
X
X
X
*Study section 5 if you plan to operate vehicles
equipped with air brakes.
Figure 1.2
Page 1-2
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
1.2 – Driver Disqualifications
1.2.4 – Violation of Out-of-Service Orders
1.2.1 – General
You will lose your CDL:
You may not drive a commercial motor vehicle if
you are disqualified for any reason.
1.2.2 – Alcohol, Leaving the Scene of an
Accident, and Commission of a Felony
It is illegal to operate a CMV if your blood alcohol
concentration (BAC) is .04% or more. If you
operate a CMV, you shall be deemed to have
given your consent to alcohol testing.
You will lose your CDL for at least one year for a
first offense for:
Driving a CMV if your blood alcohol concentration
is .04% or higher.
Driving a CMV under the influence of alcohol.
Refusing to undergo blood alcohol testing.
Driving a CMV while under the influence of a
controlled substance.
Leaving the scene of an accident involving a CMV.
Committing a felony involving the use of a CMV.
You will lose your CDL for at least three years if
the offense occurs while you are operating a CMV
that is placarded for hazardous materials.
You will lose your CDL for life for a second offense.
You will lose your CDL for life if you use a CMV to
commit a felony involving controlled substances.
You will be put out-of-service for 24 hours if you
have any detectable amount of alcohol under
.04%.
1.2.3 – Serious Traffic Violations
Serious traffic violations are excessive speeding
(15 mph or more above the posted limit), reckless
driving, improper or erratic lane changes, following
a vehicle too closely, and traffic offenses
committed in a CMV in connection with fatal traffic
accidents.
You will lose your CDL:
For at least 60 days if you have committed two
serious traffic violations within a three-year period
involving a CMV.
For at least 120 days for three serious traffic
violations within a three-year period involving a
CMV.
Section 1 - Introduction
For at least 90 days if you have committed your
first violation of an out-of-service violation order.
For at least one year if you have committed two
out-of-service violation orders in a ten-year period.
For at least three years if you have committed
three or more out-of-service violation orders in a
ten-year period.
1.2.5 – Railroad-highway Grade Crossing
Violations
You will lose your CDL:
For at least 60 days for your first violation.
For at least 120 days for your second violation
within any three-year period.
For at least one year for your third violation within
any three-year period.
These violations include violation of a federal, state
or local law or regulation pertaining to one of the
following six offenses at a railroad-highway grade
crossing:
For drivers who are not required to always stop,
failing to stop before reaching the crossing if the
tracks are not clear.
For drivers who are not required to always stop,
failing to slow down and check that the tracks are
clear of an approaching train.
For drivers who are always required to stop, failing
to stop before driving onto the crossing.
For all drivers failing to have sufficient space to
drive completely through the crossing without
stopping.
For all drivers failing to obey a traffic control device
or the directions of an enforcement official at the
crossing.
For all drivers failing to negotiate a crossing
because of insufficient undercarriage clearance.
1.2.6 – Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Background Check and Disqualifications
If you require a hazardous materials endorsement
you will be required to submit your fingerprints and
be subject to a background check.
You will be denied or you will lose your hazardous
materials endorsement if you:
Are not a lawful permanent resident of the United
States.
Renounce your United States citizenship.
Are wanted or under indictment for certain felonies.
Page 1-3
2005 Model Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Have a conviction in military or civilian court for
certain felonies.
Have been adjudicated as a mental defective or
committed to a mental institution.
Are considered to pose a security threat as
determined by the Transportation Security
Administration.
The background check procedures vary from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Your licensing agency
will provide you with all the information you need to
complete the required TSA background check
procedures.
1.2.7 – Traffic Violations in Your Personal
Vehicle
The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act
(MCSIA) of 1999 requires a CDL holder to be
disqualified from operating a commercial motor
vehicle if the CDL holder has been convicted of
certain types of moving violations in their personal
vehicle.
If your license to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to serious
speeding violations you will lose your CDL for
periods ranging from 60 to 120 days.
If your license to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended due to alcohol
violations, you will lose your CDL for 1 year. If you
are convicted of a second alcohol conviction in
your personal vehicle you will lose your CDL for
life.
If your license to operate your personal vehicle is
revoked, cancelled, or suspended you may not
obtain a “hardship” license to operate a CMV.
parking). This is true no matter what type of vehicle
you were driving.
You must notify your employer if your license is
suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if you are
disqualified from driving.
You must give your employer information on all
driving jobs you have held for the past 10 years.
You must do this when you apply for a commercial
driving job.
No one can drive a commercial motor vehicle
without a CDL. A court may fine you up to $5,000
or put you in jail for breaking this rule.
If you have a hazardous materials endorsement
you must notify and surrender your hazardous
materials endorsement to the state that issued
your CDL within 24 hours of any conviction or
indictment in any jurisdiction, civilian or military, for,
or found not guilty by reason of insanity of a
disqualifying crime listed in 49 CFR 1572.103; who
is adjudicated as a mental defective or committed
to a mental institution as specified in 49 CFR
1572.109; or who renounces his or her U. S.
citizenship;
Your employer may not let you drive a commercial
motor vehicle if you have more than one license or
if you’re CDL is suspended or revoked. A court
may fine the employer up to $5,000 or put him/her
in jail for breaking this rule.
All states are connected to one computerized
system to share information about CDL drivers.
The states will check on drivers' accident records
to be sure that drivers do not have more than one
CDL.
Your state may have additional rules that you must
also obey.
1.3 – Other CDL Rules
There are other federal and state rules that affect
drivers operating CMVs in all states. Among them
are:
You cannot have more than one license. If you
break this rule, a court may fine you up to $5,000
or put you in jail and keep your home state license
and return any others.
You must notify your employer within 30 days of
conviction for any traffic violations (except parking).
This is true no matter what type of vehicle you
were driving.
You must notify your motor vehicle licensing
agency within 30 days if you are convicted in any
other jurisdiction of any traffic violation (except
Section 1 - Introduction
Page 1-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 2
DRIVING SAFELY
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Vehicle Inspection
Basic Control of Your Vehicle
Shifting Gears
Seeing
Communicating
Space Management
Controlling Your Speed
Seeing Hazards
Distracted Driving
Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
Night Driving
Driving in Fog
Winter Driving
Hot Weather Driving
Railroad-highway Crossings
Mountain Driving
Driving Emergencies
Antilock Braking Systems
Skid Control and Recovery
Accident Procedures
Fires
Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Driving
Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
Hazardous Materials Rules
This section contains knowledge and safe driving
information that all commercial drivers should
know. You must pass a test on this information to
get a CDL. This section does not have specific
information on air brakes, combination vehicles,
doubles, or passenger vehicles. When preparing
for the Pre-trip Inspection Test, you must review
the material in Section 11 in addition to the
information in this section. This section does have
basic information on hazardous materials (HazMat)
that all drivers should know. If you need a HazMat
endorsement, you should study Section 9.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.1 – Vehicle Inspection
2.1.1 – Why Inspect
Safety is the most important reason you inspect
your vehicle, safety for yourself and for other road
users.
A vehicle defect found during an inspection could
save you problems later. You could have a
breakdown on the road that will cost time and
dollars, or even worse, a crash caused by the
defect.
Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect
their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also
may inspect your vehicles. If they judge the vehicle
to be unsafe, they will put it "out of service" until it
is fixed.
2.1.2 – Types of Vehicle Inspection
Pre-trip Inspection. A pre-trip inspection will help
you find problems that could cause a crash or
breakdown.
During a Trip. For safety you should:
Watch gauges for signs of trouble.
Use your senses to check for problems (look,
listen, smell, feel).
Check critical items when you stop:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Tires, wheels and rims.
Brakes.
Lights and reflectors.
Brake and electrical connections to trailer.
Trailer coupling devices.
Cargo securement devices.
After-trip Inspection and Report. You should do
an after-trip inspection at the end of the trip, day, or
tour of duty on each vehicle you operated. It may
include filling out a vehicle condition report listing
any problems you find. The inspection report helps
a motor carrier know when the vehicle needs
repairs.
Page 2-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.1.3 – What to Look For
Tire Problems
Too much or too little air pressure.
Bad wear. You need at least 4/32-inch tread depth
in every major groove on front tires. You need 2/32
inch on other tires. No fabric should show through
the tread or sidewall.
Cuts or other damage.
Tread separation.
Dual tires that come in contact with each other or
parts of the vehicle.
Mismatched sizes.
Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
Cut or cracked valve stems.
Regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the
front wheels of a bus. These are prohibited.
Spring hangers that allow movement of axle from
proper position. See Figure 2.2.
Cracked or broken spring hangers.
Missing or broken leaves in any leaf spring. If onefourth or more are missing, it will put the vehicle
"out of service", but any defect could be
dangerous. See Figure 2.3.
Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves that
have shifted so they might hit a tire or other part.
Leaking shock absorbers.
Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or
other axle positioning parts that are cracked,
damaged, or missing.
Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or
leaking. See Figure 2.4.
Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame
members.
Wheel and Rim Problems
Damaged rims.
Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are
loose--check tightness. After a tire has been
changed, stop a short while later and re-check
tightness of nuts.
Missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs means
danger.
Mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings are
dangerous.
Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are
not safe.
Bad Brake Drums or Shoes
Cracked drums.
Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on
them.
Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.
Steering System Defects
Figure 2.1
Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering
column, steering gear box, or tie rods.
If power steering equipped, check hoses, pumps,
and fluid level; check for leaks.
Steering wheel play of more than 10 degrees
(approximately 2 inches movement at the rim of a
20-inch steering wheel) can make it hard to steer.
Figure 2.1 illustrates a typical steering system.
Suspension System Defects. The suspension
system holds up the vehicle and its load. It keeps
the axles in place. Therefore, broken suspension
parts can be extremely dangerous. Look for:
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 2.4
Exhaust System Defects. A broken exhaust
system can let poison fumes into the cab or
sleeper berth. Look for:
Figure 2.2
Loose, broken, or missing exhaust pipes, mufflers,
tailpipes, or vertical stacks.
Loose, broken, or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts.
Exhaust system parts rubbing against fuel system
parts, tires, or other moving parts of vehicle.
Exhaust system parts that are leaking.
Emergency Equipment. Vehicles must be
equipped with emergency equipment. Look for:
Fire extinguisher(s).
Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with circuit
breakers).
Warning devices for parked vehicles (for example,
three reflective warning triangles).
Cargo (Trucks). You must make sure the truck is
not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and
secured before each trip. If the cargo contains
hazardous materials, you must inspect for proper
papers and placarding.
2.1.4 – CDL Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Test
Figure 2.3
Section 2 – Driving Safely
In order to obtain a CDL you will be required to
pass a pre-trip vehicle inspection test. You will be
tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is
safe to drive. You will be asked to do a pre-trip
inspection of your vehicle and explain to the
examiner what you would inspect and why. The
following seven-step inspection method should be
useful.
Page 2-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.1.5 – Seven-step Inspection Method
Method of Inspection. You should do a pre-trip
inspection the same way each time so you will
learn all the steps and be less likely to forget
something.
Approaching the Vehicle. Notice general
condition. Look for damage or vehicle leaning to
one side. Look under the vehicle for fresh oil,
coolant, grease, or fuel leaks. Check the area
around the vehicle for hazards to vehicle
movement (people, other vehicles, objects, lowhanging wires, limbs, etc.).
Vehicle Inspection Guide
Step 1: Vehicle Overview
Review Last Vehicle Inspection Report. Drivers
may have to make a vehicle inspection report in
writing each day. The motor carrier must repair any
items in the report that affect safety and certify on
the report that repairs were made or were
unnecessary. You must sign the report only if
defects were noted and certified to be repaired or
not needed to be repaired.
Step 2: Check Engine Compartment
Check That the Parking Brakes Are On and/or
Wheels Chocked. You may have to raise the
hood, tilt the cab (secure loose things so they don't
fall and break something), or open the engine
compartment door. Check the following:
Engine oil level.
Coolant level in radiator; condition of hoses.
Power steering fluid level; hose condition (if so
equipped).
Windshield washer fluid level.
Battery fluid level, connections, and tie downs
(battery may be located elsewhere).
Automatic transmission fluid level (may require
engine to be running).
Check belts for tightness and excessive wear
(alternator, water pump, air compressor)--learn
how much "give" the belts should have when
adjusted right, and check each one.
Leaks in the engine compartment (fuel, coolant, oil,
power steering fluid, hydraulic fluid, battery fluid).
Cracked, worn electrical wiring insulation.
Lower and secure
compartment door.
hood,
cab,
or
engine
Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside the Cab
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Get In and Start Engine
Make sure parking brake is on.
Put gearshift in neutral (or "park" if automatic).
Start engine; listen for unusual noises.
If equipped, check the Anti-lock Braking System
(ABS) indicator lights. Light on dash should come
on and then turn off. If it stays on the ABS is not
working properly. For trailers only, if the yellow
light on the left rear of the trailer stays on, the ABS
is not working properly.
Look at the Gauges
Oil pressure. Should come up to normal within
seconds after engine is started. See Figure 2.5
Air pressure. Pressure should build from 50 to 90
psi within 3 minutes. Build air pressure to governor
cut-out (usually around 120 – 140 psi. Know your
vehicles requirements.
Ammeter and/or voltmeter. Should be in normal
range(s).
Coolant temperature. Should begin gradual rise to
normal operating range.
Engine oil temperature. Should begin gradual rise
to normal operating range.
Warning lights and buzzers. Oil, coolant, charging
circuit warning, and antilock brake system lights
should go out right away.
Check Condition of Controls. Check all of the
following for looseness, sticking, damage, or
improper setting:
Steering wheel.
Clutch.
Accelerator ("gas pedal").
Brake controls.
¾
¾
¾
¾
Foot brake.
Trailer brake (if vehicle has one).
Parking brake.
Retarder controls (if vehicle has them).
Transmission controls.
Interaxle differential lock (if vehicle has one).
Horn(s).
Windshield wiper/washer.
Lights.
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Headlights.
Dimmer switch.
Turn signal.
Four-way flashers.
Parking, clearance, identification, marker
switch(es).
Page 2-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection
Go to front of vehicle and check that low beams
are on and both of the four-way flashers are
working.
Push dimmer switch and check that high beams
work.
Turn off headlights and four-way emergency
flashers.
Turn on parking, clearance, side-marker, and
identification lights.
Turn on right turn signal, and start walk-around
inspection.
General
Walkaround and inspect.
Clean all lights, reflectors, and glass as you go
along.
Left Front Side
Figure 2.5
Check Mirrors and Windshield. Inspect mirrors
and windshield for cracks, dirt, illegal stickers, or
other obstructions to seeing clearly. Clean and
adjust as necessary.
Driver's door glass should be clean.
Door latches or locks should work properly.
Left front wheel.
¾
¾
Check Emergency Equipment
Check for safety equipment:
¾
¾
¾
Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has
circuit breakers).
Three red reflective triangles.
Properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
Check for optional items such as:
¾
¾
Chains (where winter conditions require).
Tire changing equipment.
List of emergency phone numbers.
Accident reporting kit (packet).
Step 4: Turn Off Engine and Check Lights
Make sure the parking brake is set, turn off the
engine, and take the key with you. Turn on
headlights (low beams) and four-way emergency
flashers, and get out of the vehicle.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
¾
¾
Condition of wheel and rim--missing, bent,
broken studs, clamps, lugs, or any signs of
misalignment.
Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve
stem and cap OK, no serious cuts, bulges,
or tread wear.
Use wrench to test rust-streaked lug nuts,
indicating looseness.
Hub oil level OK, no leaks.
Left front suspension.
¾
¾
Condition of spring, spring hangers,
shackles, u-bolts.
Shock absorber condition.
Left front brake.
¾
¾
Condition of brake drum or disc.
Condition of hoses.
Front
Condition of front axle.
Condition of steering system.
¾
¾
No loose, worn, bent, damaged or missing
parts.
Must grab steering mechanism to test for
looseness.
Page 2-5
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Condition of windshield.
¾ Check for damage and clean if dirty.
¾ Check windshield wiper arms for proper
spring tension.
¾ Check wiper blades for damage, "stiff"
rubber, and securement.
¾
Lights and reflectors.
¾
¾
¾
¾
Parking, clearance, and identification lights
clean, operating, and proper color (amber
at front).
Reflectors clean and proper color (amber
at front).
Right front turn signal light clean,
operating, and proper color (amber or
white on signals facing forward).
Right Side
Right front: check all items as done on left front.
Primary and secondary safety cab locks engaged
(if cab-over-engine design).
Right fuel tank(s).
¾
¾
¾
¾
Securely mounted, not damaged, or
leaking.
Fuel crossover line secure.
Tank(s) contain enough fuel.
Cap(s) on and secure.
Condition of visible parts.
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Rear of engine--not leaking.
Transmission--not leaking.
Exhaust system--secure, not leaking, not
touching wires, fuel, or air lines.
Frame and cross members--no bends or
cracks.
Air lines and electrical wiring--secured
against snagging, rubbing, wearing.
Spare tire carrier or rack not damaged (if
so equipped).
Spare tire and/or wheel securely mounted
in rack.
Spare tire and wheel adequate (proper
size, properly inflated).
Cargo securement (trucks).
¾
¾
¾
Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied,
chained, etc.
Header board adequate, secure (if
required).
Side boards, stakes strong enough, free of
damage, properly set in place (if so
equipped).
Section 2 – Driving Safely
¾
Canvas or tarp (if required) properly
secured to prevent tearing, billowing, or
blocking of mirrors.
If oversize, all required signs (flags, lamps,
and reflectors) safely and properly
mounted and all required permits in
driver's possession.
Curbside cargo compartment doors in
good condition, securely closed,
latched/locked and required security seals
in place.
Right Rear
Condition of wheels and rims--no missing, bent, or
broken spacers, studs, clamps, or lugs.
Condition of tires--properly inflated, valve stems
and caps OK, no serious cuts, bulges, tread wear,
tires not rubbing each other, and nothing stuck
between them.
Tires same type, e.g., not mixed radial and bias
types.
Tires evenly matched (same sizes).
Wheel bearing/seals not leaking.
Suspension.
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Condition of spring(s), spring hangers,
shackles, and u-bolts.
Axle secure.
Powered axle(s) not leaking lube (gear oil).
Condition of torque rod arms, bushings.
Condition of shock absorber(s).
If retractable axle equipped, check
condition of lift mechanism. If air powered,
check for leaks.
Condition of air ride components.
Brakes.
¾
¾
¾
Brake adjustment.
Condition of brake drum(s) or discs.
Condition of hoses--look for any wear due
to rubbing.
Lights and reflectors.
¾
¾
Side-marker lights clean, operating, and
proper color (red at rear, others amber).
Side-marker reflectors clean and proper
color (red at rear, others amber).
Page 2-6
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Rear
Step 6: Check Signal Lights
Lights and reflectors.
Get In and Turn Off Lights
¾
¾
¾
¾
Rear clearance and identification lights
clean, operating, and proper color (red at
rear).
Reflectors clean and proper color (red at
rear).
Taillights clean, operating, and proper
color (red at rear).
Right rear turn signal operating, and
proper color (red, yellow, or amber at rear).
License plate(s) present, clean, and secured.
Splash guards present, not damaged, properly
fastened, not dragging on ground, or rubbing tires.
Cargo secure (trucks).
Cargo properly blocked, braced, tied, chained, etc.
Tailboards up and properly secured.
End gates free of damage, properly secured in
stake sockets.
Canvas or tarp (if required) properly secured to
prevent tearing, billowing, or blocking of either the
rearview mirrors or rear lights.
If over-length, or over-width, make sure all signs
and/or additional lights/flags are safely and
properly mounted and all required permits are in
driver's possession.
Rear doors securely closed, latched/locked.
Left Side
Check all items as done on right side, plus:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Battery(ies) (if not mounted in engine
compartment).
Battery box(es) securely mounted to
vehicle.
Box has secure cover.
Battery(ies) secured against movement.
Battery(ies) not broken or leaking.
Fluid in battery(ies) at proper level (except
maintenance-free type).
Cell caps present and securely tightened
(except maintenance-free type).
Vents in cell caps free of foreign material
(except maintenance-free type).
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Turn off all lights.
Turn on stop lights (apply trailer hand brake or
have a helper put on the brake pedal).
Turn on left turn signal lights.
Get Out and Check Lights
Left front turn signal light clean, operating and
proper color (amber or white on signals facing the
front).
Left rear turn signal light and both stop lights clean,
operating, and proper color (red, yellow, or amber).
Get In Vehicle
Turn off lights not needed for driving.
Check for all required papers, trip manifests,
permits, etc.
Secure all loose articles in cab (they might interfere
with operation of the controls or hit you in a crash).
Start the engine.
Step 7: Start the Engine and Check
Test for Hydraulic Leaks. If the vehicle has
hydraulic brakes, pump the brake pedal three
times. Then apply firm pressure to the pedal and
hold for five seconds. The pedal should not move.
If it does, there may be a leak or other problem.
Get it fixed before driving. If the vehicle has air
brakes, do the checks described in Sections 5 and
6 of this manual.
Brake System
Test Parking Brake(s)
Set parking brake (power unit only).
Release trailer parking brake (if applicable).
Place vehicle into a low gear.
Gently pull forward against parking brake to make
sure the parking brake holds.
Repeat the same steps for the trailer with trailer
parking brake set and power unit parking brakes
released (if applicable).
If it doesn't hold vehicle, it is faulty; get it fixed.
Page 2-7
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Test Service Brake Stopping Action
Go about five miles per hour.
Push brake pedal firmly
"Pulling" to one side or the other can mean brake
trouble.
Any unusual brake pedal "feel" or delayed stopping
action can mean trouble.
If you find anything unsafe during the pre-trip
inspection, get it fixed. Federal and state laws
forbid operating an unsafe vehicle.
2.1.6 – Inspection During a Trip
Check Vehicle Operation Regularly
You should check:
Instruments.
Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).
Temperature gauges.
Pressure gauges.
Ammeter/voltmeter.
Mirrors.
Tires.
Cargo, cargo covers.
Lights.
Etc.
If you see, hear, smell, or feel anything that might
mean trouble, check it out.
Safety Inspection. Drivers of trucks and truck
tractors when transporting cargo must inspect the
securement of the cargo within the first 50 miles of
a trip and every 150 miles or every three hours
(whichever comes first) after.
2.1.7 – After-trip Inspection and Report
You may have to make a written report each day
on the condition of the vehicle(s) you drove. Report
anything affecting safety or possibly leading to
mechanical breakdown.
Subsection 2.1
Test Your Knowledge
The vehicle inspection report tells the motor carrier
about problems that may need fixing. Keep a copy
of your report in the vehicle for one day. That way,
the next driver can learn about any problems you
have found.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
What is the most important reason for
doing a vehicle inspection?
What things should you check during a
trip?
Name some key steering system parts.
Name some suspension system defects.
What three kinds of emergency equipment
must you have?
What is the minimum tread depth for front
tires? For other tires?
Name some things you should check on
the front of your vehicle during the
walkaround inspection.
What should wheel bearing seals be
checked for?
How many red reflective triangles should
you carry?
How do you test hydraulic brakes for
leaks?
Why put the starter switch key in your
pocket during the pre-trip inspection?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 2.1.
2.2 – Basic Control of Your Vehicle
To drive a vehicle safely, you must be able to
control its speed and direction. Safe operation of a
commercial vehicle requires skill in:
Accelerating.
Steering.
Stopping.
Backing safely.
Fasten your seatbelt when on the road. Apply the
parking brake when you leave your vehicle.
2.2.1 – Accelerating
Don't roll back when you start. You may hit
someone behind you. If you have a manual
transmission vehicle, partly engage the clutch
before you take your right foot off the brake. Put on
the parking brake whenever necessary to keep
from rolling back. Release the parking brake only
when you have applied enough engine power to
keep from rolling back. On a tractor-trailer
equipped with a trailer brake hand valve, the hand
valve can be applied to keep from rolling back.
Speed up smoothly and gradually so the vehicle
does not jerk. Rough acceleration can cause
Page 2-8
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
mechanical damage. When pulling a trailer, rough
acceleration can damage the coupling.
Speed up very gradually when traction is poor, as
in rain or snow. If you use too much power, the
drive wheels may spin. You could lose control. If
the drive wheels begin to spin, take your foot off
the accelerator.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside
mirrors on both sides frequently. Get out of the
vehicle and check your path if you are unsure.
Back Slowly. Always back as slowly as possible.
Use the lowest reverse gear. That way you can
more easily correct any steering errors. You also
can stop quickly if necessary.
2.2.3 – Stopping
Back and Turn Toward the Driver's Side. Back
to the driver's side so you can see better. Backing
toward the right side is very dangerous because
you can't see as well. If you back and turn toward
the driver's side, you can watch the rear of your
vehicle by looking out the side window. Use driverside backing--even if it means going around the
block to put your vehicle in this position. The
added safety is worth it.
Push the brake pedal down gradually. The amount
of brake pressure you need to stop the vehicle will
depend on the speed of the vehicle and how
quickly you need to stop. Control the pressure so
the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, push the clutch in
when the engine is close to idle.
Use a Helper. Use a helper when you can. There
are blind spots you can't see. That's why a helper
is important. The helper should stand near the
back of your vehicle where you can see the helper.
Before you begin backing, work out a set of hand
signals that you both understand. Agree on a
signal for "stop."
2.2.4 – Backing Safely
2.3 – Shifting Gears
2.2.2 – Steering
Hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands.
Your hands should be on opposite sides of the
wheel. If you hit a curb or a pothole (chuckhole),
the wheel could pull away from your hands unless
you have a firm hold.
Because you cannot see everything behind your
vehicle, backing is always dangerous. Avoid
backing whenever you can. When you park, try to
park so you will be able to pull forward when you
leave. When you have to back, here are a few
simple safety rules:
Start in the proper position.
Look at your path.
Use mirrors on both sides.
Back slowly.
Back and turn toward the driver's side whenever
possible.
Use a helper whenever possible.
These rules are discussed in turn below.
Start in the Proper Position. Put the vehicle in
the best position to allow you to back safely. This
position will depend on the type of backing to be
done.
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel
before you begin. Get out and walk around the
vehicle. Check your clearance to the sides and
overhead, in and near the path your vehicle will
take.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Correct shifting of gears is important. If you can't
get your vehicle into the right gear while driving,
you will have less control.
2.3.1 – Manual Transmissions
Basic Method for Shifting Up. Most heavy
vehicles with manual transmissions require double
clutching to change gears. This is the basic
method:
Release accelerator, push in clutch and shift to
neutral at the same time.
Release clutch.
Let engine and gears slow down to the rpm
required for the next gear (this takes practice).
Push in clutch and shift to the higher gear at the
same time.
Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
time.
Shifting gears using double clutching requires
practice. If you remain too long in neutral, you may
have difficulty putting the vehicle into the next
gear. If so, don't try to force it. Return to neutral,
release clutch, increase engine speed to match
road speed, and try again.
Page 2-9
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Knowing When to Shift Up. There are two ways
of knowing when to shift:
Use Engine Speed (rpm). Study the driver's
manual for your vehicle and learn the operating
rpm range. Watch your tachometer, and shift up
when your engine reaches the top of the range.
(Some newer vehicles use "progressive" shifting:
the rpm at which you shift becomes higher as you
move up in the gears. Find out what's right for the
vehicle you will operate.)
Use Road Speed (mph). Learn what speeds each
gear is good for. Then, by using the speedometer,
you'll know when to shift up.
With either method, you may learn to use engine
sounds to know when to shift.
Basic Procedures for Shifting Down
Release accelerator, push in clutch, and shift to
neutral at the same time.
Release clutch.
Press accelerator, increase engine and gear speed
to the rpm required in the lower gear.
Push in clutch and shift to lower gear at the same
time.
Release clutch and press accelerator at the same
time.
Downshifting, like upshifting, requires knowing
when to shift. Use either the tachometer or the
speedometer and downshift at the right rpm or
road speed.
Special conditions where you should downshift
are:
Before Starting Down a Hill. Slow down and shift
down to a speed that you can control without using
the brakes hard. Otherwise the brakes can
overheat and lose their braking power.
Downshift before starting down the hill. Make sure
you are in a low enough gear, usually lower than
the gear required to climb the same hill.
Before Entering a Curve. Slow down to a safe
speed, and downshift to the right gear before
entering the curve. This lets you use some power
through the curve to help the vehicle be more
stable while turning. It also allows you to speed up
as soon as you are out of the curve.
2.3.2 – Multi-speed Rear Axles and
Auxiliary Transmissions
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Multi-speed rear axles and auxiliary transmissions
are used on many vehicles to provide extra gears.
You usually control them by a selector knob or
switch on the gearshift lever of the main
transmission. There are many different shift
patterns. Learn the right way to shift gears in the
vehicle you will drive.
2.3.3 – Automatic Transmissions
Some vehicles have automatic transmissions. You
can select a low range to get greater engine
braking when going down grades. The lower
ranges prevent the transmission from shifting up
beyond the selected gear (unless the governor rpm
is exceeded). It is very important to use this
braking effect when going down grades.
2.3.4 – Retarders
Some vehicles have "retarders." Retarders help
slow a vehicle, reducing the need for using your
brakes. They reduce brake wear and give you
another way to slow down. There are four basic
types of retarders (exhaust, engine, hydraulic, and
electric). All retarders can be turned on or off by
the driver. On some vehicles the retarding power
can be adjusted. When turned "on," retarders apply
their braking power (to the drive wheels only)
whenever you let up on the accelerator pedal all
the way.
Because these devices can be noisy, be sure you
know where their use is permitted.
Caution. When your drive wheels have poor
traction, the retarder may cause them to skid.
Therefore, you should turn the retarder off
whenever the road is wet, icy, or snow covered.
Subsections 2.2 and 2.3
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Why should you back toward the driver's
side?
If stopped on a hill, how can you start
moving without rolling back?
When backing, why is it important to use a
helper?
What's the most important hand signal that
you and the helper should agree on?
What are the two special conditions where
you should downshift?
Page 2-10
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
6.
7.
8.
When should you downshift automatic
transmissions?
Retarders keep you from skidding when
the road is slippery. True or False?
What are the two ways to know when to
shift?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.2 and 2.3.
Look for Traffic. Look for vehicles coming onto
the highway, into your lane, or turning. Watch for
brake lights from slowing vehicles. By seeing these
things far enough ahead, you can change your
speed, or change lanes if necessary to avoid a
problem. If a traffic light has been green for a long
time it will probably change before you get there.
Start slowing down and be ready to stop.
2.4.2 – Seeing to the Sides and Rear
2.4 – Seeing
To be a safe driver you need to know what's going
on all around your vehicle. Not looking properly is a
major cause of accidents.
2.4.1 – Seeing Ahead
All drivers look ahead; but many don't look far
enough ahead.
Importance of Looking Far Enough Ahead.
Because stopping or changing lanes can take a lot
of distance, knowing what the traffic is doing on all
sides of you is very important. You need to look
well ahead to make sure you have room to make
these moves safely.
How Far Ahead to Look. Most good drivers look
at least 12 to 15 seconds ahead. That means
looking ahead the distance you will travel in 12 to
15 seconds. At lower speeds, that's about one
block. At highway speeds it's about a quarter of a
mile. If you're not looking that far ahead, you may
have to stop too quickly or make quick lane
changes. Looking 12 to 15 seconds ahead doesn't
mean not paying attention to things that are closer.
Good drivers shift their attention back and forth,
near and far. Figure 2.6 illustrates how far to look
ahead.
It's important to know what's going on behind and
to the sides. Check your mirrors regularly. Check
more often in special situations.
Mirror Adjustment. Mirror adjustment should be
checked prior to the start of any trip and can only
be checked accurately when the trailer(s) are
straight. You should check and adjust each mirror
to show some part of the vehicle. This will give you
a reference point for judging the position of the
other images.
Regular Checks. You need to make regular
checks of your mirrors to be aware of traffic and to
check your vehicle.
Traffic. Check your mirrors for vehicles on either
side and in back of you. In an emergency, you may
need to know whether you can make a quick lane
change. Use your mirrors to spot overtaking
vehicles. There are "blind spots" that your mirrors
cannot show you. Check your mirrors regularly to
know where other vehicles are around you, and to
see if they move into your blind spots.
Check Your Vehicle. Use the mirrors to keep an
eye on your tires. It's one way to spot a tire fire. If
you're carrying open cargo, you can use the
mirrors to check it. Look for loose straps, ropes, or
chains. Watch for a flapping or ballooning tarp.
Special Situations. Special situations require
more than regular mirror checks. These are lane
changes, turns, merges, and tight maneuvers.
Lane Changes. You need to check your mirrors to
make sure no one is alongside you or about to
pass you. Check your mirrors:
Figure 2.6
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Before you change lanes to make sure there is
enough room.
After you have signaled, to check that no one has
moved into your blind spot.
Right after you start the lane change, to doublecheck that your path is clear.
After you complete the lane change.
Page 2-11
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Turns. In turns, check your mirrors to make sure
the rear of your vehicle will not hit anything.
Merges. When merging, use your mirrors to make
sure the gap in traffic is large enough for you to
enter safely.
Tight Maneuvers. Any time you are driving in
close quarters, check your mirrors often. Make
sure you have enough clearance.
How to Use Mirrors. Use mirrors correctly by
checking them quickly and understanding what you
see.
When you use your mirrors while driving on the
road, check quickly. Look back and forth between
the mirrors and the road ahead. Don't focus on the
mirrors for too long. Otherwise, you will travel quite
a distance without knowing what's happening
ahead.
Many large vehicles have curved (convex,
"fisheye," "spot," "bugeye") mirrors that show a
wider area than flat mirrors. This is often helpful.
But everything appears smaller in a convex mirror
than it would if you were looking at it directly.
Things also seem farther away than they really are.
It's important to realize this and to allow for it.
Figure 2.7 shows the field of vision using a convex
mirror.
Figure 2.7
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.5 – Communicating
2.5.1 – Signal Your Intentions
Other drivers can't know what you are going to do
until you tell them.
Signaling what you intend to do is important for
safety. Here are some general rules for signaling.
Turns. There are three good rules for using turn
signals:
Signal early. Signal well before you turn. It is the
best way to keep others from trying to pass you.
Signal continuously. You need both hands on the
wheel to turn safely. Don't cancel the signal until
you have completed the turn.
Cancel your signal. Don't forget to turn off your turn
signal after you've turned (if you don't have selfcanceling signals).
Lane Changes. Put your turn signal on before
changing lanes. Change lanes slowly and
smoothly. That way a driver you didn't see may
have a chance to honk his/her horn, or avoid your
vehicle.
Slowing Down. Warn drivers behind you when
you see you'll need to slow down. A few light taps
on the brake pedal -- enough to flash the brake
lights -- should warn following drivers. Use the
four-way emergency flashers for times when you
are driving very slowly or are stopped. Warn other
drivers in any of the following situations:
Trouble Ahead. The size of your vehicle may make
it hard for drivers behind you to see hazards
ahead. If you see a hazard that will require slowing
down, warn the drivers behind by flashing your
brake lights.
Tight Turns. Most car drivers don't know how
slowly you have to go to make a tight turn in a
large vehicle. Give drivers behind you warning by
braking early and slowing gradually.
Stopping on the Road. Truck and bus drivers
sometimes stop in the roadway to unload cargo or
passengers, or to stop at a railroad crossing. Warn
following drivers by flashing your brake lights.
Don't stop suddenly.
Driving Slowly. Drivers often do not realize how
fast they are catching up to a slow vehicle until
they are very close. If you must drive slowly, alert
following drivers by turning on your emergency
flashers if it is legal. (Laws regarding the use of
flashers differ from one state to another. Check the
laws of the states where you will drive.)
Page 2-12
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Don't Direct Traffic. Some drivers try to help out
others by signaling when it is safe to pass. You
should not do this. You could cause an accident.
You could be blamed and it could cost you many
thousands of dollars.
2.5.2 – Communicating Your Presence
Other drivers may not notice your vehicle even
when it's in plain sight. To help prevent accidents,
let them know you're there.
When Passing. Whenever you are about to pass
a vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist, assume they
don't see you. They could suddenly move in front
of you. When it is legal, tap the horn lightly or, at
night, flash your lights from low to high beam and
back. And, drive carefully enough to avoid a crash
even if they don't see or hear you.
When It's Hard to See. At dawn, dusk, in rain, or
snow, you need to make yourself easier to see. If
you are having trouble seeing other vehicles, other
drivers will have trouble seeing you. Turn on your
lights. Use the headlights, not just the identification
or clearance lights. Use the low beams; high
beams can bother people in the daytime as well as
at night.
Figure 2.8
When Parked at the Side of the Road. When you
pull off the road and stop, be sure to turn on the
four-way emergency flashers. This is important at
night. Don't trust the taillights to give warning.
Drivers have crashed into the rear of a parked
vehicle because they thought it was moving
normally.
If you must stop on a road or the shoulder of any
road, you must put out your emergency warning
devices within ten minutes. Place your warning
devices at the following locations:
If you must stop on or by a one-way or divided
highway, place warning devices 10 feet, 100 feet,
and 200 feet toward the approaching traffic. See
Figure 2.8.
If you stop on a two-lane road carrying traffic in
both directions or on an undivided highway, place
warning devices within 10 feet of the front or rear
corners to mark the location of the vehicle and 100
feet behind and ahead of the vehicle, on the
shoulder or in the lane you stopped in. See Figure
2.9.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Figure 2.9
Back beyond any hill, curve, or other obstruction
that prevents other drivers from seeing the vehicle
within 500 feet. If line of sight view is obstructed
due to hill or curve, move the rear-most triangle to
a point back down the road so warning is provided.
See Figure 2.10.
Page 2-13
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Reaction Distance. The distance traveled from
the time your brain tells your foot to move from the
accelerator until your foot is actually pushing the
brake pedal. The average driver has a reaction
time of 3/4 second. This accounts for an additional
60 feet traveled at 55 mph.
Braking Distance. The distance it takes to stop
once the brakes are put on. At 55 mph on dry
pavement with good brakes, it can take a heavy
vehicle about 390 feet to stop. It takes about 4 1/2
seconds.
Total Stopping Distance. At 55 mph, it will take
about six seconds to stop and your vehicle will
travel about 450 feet.
Figure 2.10
The Effect of Speed on Stopping Distance.
Whenever you double your speed, it takes about
four times as much distance to stop and your
vehicle will have four times the destructive power if
it crashes. High speeds increase stopping
distances greatly. By slowing down a little, you can
gain a lot in reduced braking distance. See Figure
2.11
Stopping Distance Chart
When putting out the triangles, hold them between
yourself and the oncoming traffic for your own
safety. (So other drivers can see you.)
Miles
Per
Hour
Driver
Reaction
Distance
Vehicle
Braking
Distance
Total
Stopping
Distance
Use Your Horn When Needed. Your horn can let
others know you're there. It can help to avoid a
crash. Use your horn when needed. However, it
can startle others and could be dangerous when
used unnecessarily.
How Far
The Rig
Will
Travel in
One
Second
15 mph
22 ft.
17 ft.
29 ft.
46 ft.
30 mph
44 ft.
33 ft.
115 ft.
148 ft.
45 mph
66 ft.
50 ft.
260 ft.
310 ft.
50 mph
73 ft.
55 ft.
320 ft.
375 ft.
55 mph
81 ft.
61 ft.
390 ft.
451 ft.
2.6 – Controlling Speed
Driving too fast is a major cause of fatal crashes.
You must adjust your speed depending on driving
conditions. These include traction, curves, visibility,
traffic and hills.
2.6.1 – Stopping Distance
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance +
Braking Distance =Total Stopping Distance
Perception Distance. This is the distance your
vehicle travels from the time your eyes see a
hazard until your brain recognizes it. The
perception time for an alert driver is about 3/4
second. At 55 mph, you travel 60 feet in 3/4
second or about 81 feet per second.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Figure 2.11
The Effect of Vehicle Weight on Stopping
Distance. The heavier the vehicle, the more work
the brakes must do to stop it, and the more heat
they absorb. But the brakes, tires, springs, and
shock absorbers on heavy vehicles are designed
to work best when the vehicle is fully loaded.
Empty trucks require greater stopping distances
because an empty vehicle has less traction.
Page 2-14
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.6.2 – Matching Speed to the Road
Surface
You can't steer or brake a vehicle unless you have
traction. Traction is friction between the tires and
the road. There are some road conditions that
reduce traction and call for lower speeds.
Slippery Surfaces. It will take longer to stop, and
it will be harder to turn without skidding, when the
road is slippery. Wet roads can double stopping
distance. You must drive slower to be able to stop
in the same distance as on a dry road. Reduce
speed by about one-third (e.g., slow from 55 to
about 35 mph) on a wet road. On packed snow,
reduce speed by a half, or more. If the surface is
icy, reduce speed to a crawl and stop driving as
soon as you can safely do so.
Identifying Slippery Surfaces. Sometimes it's
hard to know if the road is slippery. Here are some
signs of slippery roads:
Shaded Areas. Shady parts of the road will remain
icy and slippery long after open areas have melted.
Bridges. When the temperature drops, bridges will
freeze before the road will. Be especially careful
when the temperature is close to 32 degrees
Fahrenheit.
Melting Ice. Slight melting will make ice wet. Wet
ice is much more slippery than ice that is not wet.
Black Ice. Black ice is a thin layer that is clear
enough that you can see the road underneath it. It
makes the road look wet. Any time the temperature
is below freezing and the road looks wet, watch out
for black ice.
Vehicle Icing. An easy way to check for ice is to
open the window and feel the front of the mirror,
mirror support, or antenna. If there's ice on these,
the road surface is probably starting to ice up.
Just After Rain Begins. Right after it starts to
rain, the water mixes with oil left on the road by
vehicles. This makes the road very slippery. If the
rain continues, it will wash the oil away.
Hydroplaning. In some weather, water or slush
collects on the road. When this happens, your
vehicle can hydroplane. It's like water skiing--the
tires lose their contact with the road and have little
or no traction. You may not be able to steer or
brake. You can regain control by releasing the
accelerator and pushing in the clutch. This will slow
your vehicle and let the wheels turn freely. If the
vehicle is hydroplaning, do not use the brakes to
slow down. If the drive wheels start to skid, push in
the clutch to let them turn freely.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
It does not take a lot of water to cause
hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can occur at speeds
as low as 30 mph if there is a lot of water.
Hydroplaning is more likely if tire pressure is low,
or the tread is worn. (The grooves in a tire carry
away the water; if they aren't deep, they don't work
well.)
Road surfaces where water can collect can create
conditions that cause a vehicle to hydroplane.
Watch for clear reflections, tire splashes, and
raindrops on the road. These are indications of
standing water.
2.6.3 – Speed and Curves
Drivers must adjust their speed for curves in the
road. If you take a curve too fast, two things can
happen. The tires can lose their traction and
continue straight ahead, so you skid off the road.
Or, the tires may keep their traction and the vehicle
rolls over. Tests have shown that trucks with a high
center of gravity can roll over at the posted speed
limit for a curve.
Slow to a safe speed before you enter a curve.
Braking in a curve is dangerous because it is
easier to lock the wheels and cause a skid. Slow
down as needed. Don't ever exceed the posted
speed limit for the curve. Be in a gear that will let
you accelerate slightly in the curve. This will help
you keep control.
2.6.4 – Speed and Distance Ahead
You should always be able to stop within the
distance you can see ahead. Fog, rain, or other
conditions may require that you slow down to be
able to stop in the distance you can see. At night,
you can't see as far with low beams as you can
with high beams. When you must use low beams,
slow down.
2.6.5 – Speed and Traffic Flow
When you're driving in heavy traffic, the safest
speed is the speed of other vehicles. Vehicles
going the same direction at the same speed are
not likely to run into one another. In many states,
speed limits are lower for trucks and buses than for
cars. It can vary as much as 15 mph. Use extra
caution when you change lanes or pass on these
roadways. Drive at the speed of the traffic, if you
can without going at an illegal or unsafe speed.
Keep a safe following distance.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
The main reason drivers exceed speed limits is to
save time. But, anyone trying to drive faster than
the speed of traffic will not be able to save much
time. The risks involved are not worth it. If you go
faster than the speed of other traffic, you'll have to
keep passing other vehicles. This increases the
chance of a crash, and it is more tiring. Fatigue
increases the chance of a crash. Going with the
flow of traffic is safer and easier.
2.6.6 – Speed on Downgrades
Your vehicle's speed will increase on downgrades
because of gravity. Your most important objective
is to select and maintain a speed that is not too
fast for the:
Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
Length of the grade.
Steepness of the grade.
Road conditions.
Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign
indicating "Maximum Safe Speed," never exceed
the speed shown. Also, look for and heed warning
signs indicating the length and steepness of the
grade. You must use the braking effect of the
engine as the principal way of controlling your
speed on downgrades. The braking effect of the
engine is greatest when it is near the governed
rpms and the transmission is in the lower gears.
Save your brakes so you will be able to slow or
stop as required by road and traffic conditions.
Shift your transmission to a low gear before
starting down the grade and use the proper
braking techniques. Please read carefully the
section on going down long, steep downgrades
safely in "Mountain Driving."
Subsections 2.4, 2.5, and 2.6
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
How far ahead does the manual say you
should look?
What are two main things to look for
ahead?
What's your most important way to see the
sides and rear of your vehicle?
What does "communicating" mean in safe
driving?
Where should your reflectors be placed
when stopped on a divided highway?
What three things add up to total stopping
distance?
If you go twice as fast, will your stopping
distance increase by two or four times?
Empty trucks have the best braking. True
or False?
What is hydroplaning?
What is "black ice”?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.4, 2.5, and
2.6.
2.7 – Managing Space
To be a safe driver, you need space all around
your vehicle. When things go wrong, space gives
you time to think and to take action.
To have space available when something goes
wrong, you need to manage space. While this is
true for all drivers, it is very important for large
vehicles. They take up more space and they
require more space for stopping and turning.
2.6.7 – Roadway Work Zones
2.7.1 – Space Ahead
Speeding traffic is the number one cause of injury
and death in roadway work zones. Observe the
posted speed limits at all times when approaching
and driving through a work zone. Watch your
speedometer, and don’t allow your speed to creep
up as you drive through long sections of road
construction. Decrease your speed for adverse
weather or road conditions. Decrease your speed
even further when a worker is close to the
roadway.
Of all the space around your vehicle, it is the area
ahead of the vehicle--the space you're driving into -that is most important.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
The Need for Space Ahead. You need space
ahead in case you must suddenly stop. According
to accident reports, the vehicle that trucks and
buses most often run into is the one in front of
them. The most frequent cause is following too
closely. Remember, if the vehicle ahead of you is
smaller than yours, it can probably stop faster than
you can. You may crash if you are following too
closely.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
How Much Space? How much space should you
keep in front of you? One good rule says you need
at least one second for each 10 feet of vehicle
length at speeds below 40 mph. At greater speeds,
you must add 1 second for safety. For example, if
you are driving a 40-foot vehicle, you should leave
4 seconds between you and the vehicle ahead. In
a 60-foot rig, you'll need 6 seconds. Over 40 mph,
you'd need 5 seconds for a 40-foot vehicle and 7
seconds for a 60-foot vehicle. See Figure 2.12.
how far back you should be. Remember to add 1
second for speeds above 40 mph. Also remember
that when the road is slippery, you need much
more space to stop.
To know how much space you have, wait until the
vehicle ahead passes a shadow on the road, a
pavement marking, or some other clear landmark.
Then count off the seconds like this: "one
thousand- and-one, one thousand-and-two" and so
on, until you reach the same spot. Compare your
count with the rule of one second for every ten feet
of length.
Stay to the Right. Heavy vehicles are often
tailgated when they can't keep up with the speed of
traffic. This often happens when you're going
uphill. If a heavy load is slowing you down, stay in
the right lane if you can. Going uphill, you should
not pass another slow vehicle unless you can get
around quickly and safely.
2.7.2 – Space Behind
You can't stop others from following you too
closely. But there are things you can do to make it
safer.
Dealing with Tailgaters Safely. In a large vehicle,
it's often hard to see whether a vehicle is close
behind you. You may be tailgated:
When you are traveling slowly. Drivers trapped
behind slow vehicles often follow closely.
In bad weather. Many car drivers follow large
vehicles closely during bad weather, especially
when it is hard to see the road ahead.
If you find yourself being tailgated, here are some
things you can do to reduce the chances of a
crash.
Avoid quick changes. If you have to slow down or
turn, signal early, and reduce speed very gradually.
Increase your following distance. Opening up room
in front of you will help you to avoid having to make
sudden speed or direction changes. It also makes
it easier for the tailgater to get around you.
Don't speed up. It's safer to be tailgated at a low
speed than a high speed.
Avoid tricks. Don't turn on your taillights or flash
your brake lights. Follow the suggestions above.
2.7.3 – Space to the Sides
Figure 2.12
If you are driving a 40-foot truck and only counted
up to 2 seconds, you're too close. Drop back a little
and count again until you have 4 seconds of
following distance (or 5 seconds, if you're going
over 40 mph). After a little practice, you will know
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Commercial vehicles are often wide and take up
most of a lane. Safe drivers will manage what little
space they have. You can do this by keeping your
vehicle centered in your lane, and avoid driving
alongside others.
Staying Centered in a Lane. You need to keep
your vehicle centered in the lane to keep safe
clearance on either side. If your vehicle is wide,
you have little room to spare.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Traveling Next to Others. There are two dangers
in traveling alongside other vehicles:
across roads can cause the ends of some vehicles
to drag. Cross such depressions carefully.
Another driver may change lanes suddenly and
turn into you.
You may be trapped when you need to change
lanes.
Railroad tracks can also cause problems,
particularly when pulling trailers with a low
underneath clearance. Don’t take a chance on
getting hung up halfway across.
Find an open spot where you aren't near other
traffic. When traffic is heavy, it may be hard to find
an open spot. If you must travel near other
vehicles, try to keep as much space as possible
between you and them. Also, drop back or pull
forward so that you are sure the other driver can
see you.
Strong Winds. Strong winds make it difficult to
stay in your lane. The problem is usually worse for
lighter vehicles. This problem can be especially
bad coming out of tunnels. Don't drive alongside
others if you can avoid it.
2.7.4 – Space Overhead
Hitting overhead objects is a danger. Make sure
you always have overhead clearance.
Don't assume that the heights posted at bridges
and overpasses are correct. Re-paving or packed
snow may have reduced the clearances since the
heights were posted.
The weight of a cargo van changes its height. An
empty van is higher than a loaded one. That you
got under a bridge when you were loaded does not
mean that you can do it when you are empty.
If you doubt you have safe space to pass under an
object, go slowly. If you aren't sure you can make
it, take another route. Warnings are often posted
on low bridges or underpasses, but sometimes
they are not.
Some roads can cause a vehicle to tilt. There can
be a problem clearing objects along the edge of
the road, such as signs, trees, or bridge supports.
Where this is a problem, drive a little closer to the
center of the road.
Before you back into an area, get out and check
for overhanging objects such as trees, branches,
or electric wires. It's easy to miss seeing them
while you are backing. (Also check for other
hazards at the same time.)
2.7.5 – Space Below
Many drivers forget about the space under their
vehicles. That space can be very small when a
vehicle is heavily loaded. This is often a problem
on dirt roads and in unpaved yards. Don't take a
chance on getting hung up. Drainage channels
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.7.6 – Space for Turns
The space around a truck or bus is important in
turns. Because of wide turning and offtracking,
large vehicles can hit other vehicles or objects
during turns.
Right Turns. Here are some rules to help prevent
right-turn crashes:
Turn slowly to give yourself and others more time
to avoid problems.
If you are driving a truck or bus that cannot make
the right turn without swinging into another lane,
turn wide as you complete the turn. Keep the rear
of your vehicle close to the curb. This will stop
other drivers from passing you on the right.
Don't turn wide to the left as you start the turn. A
following driver may think you are turning left and
try to pass you on the right. You may crash into the
other vehicle as you complete your turn.
If you must cross into the oncoming lane to make a
turn, watch out for vehicles coming toward you.
Give them room to go by or to stop. However, don't
back up for them, because you might hit someone
behind you. See Figure 2.13.
Figure 2.13
Left Turns. On a left turn, make sure you have
reached the center of the intersection before you
start the left turn. If you turn too soon, the left side
Page 2-18
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
of your vehicle may hit another vehicle because of
offtracking.
If there are two turning lanes, always take the right
turn lane. Don't start in the inside lane because
you may have to swing right to make the turn.
Drivers on your left can be more readily seen. See
Figure 2.14.
Seeing Hazards Lets You Be Prepared. You will
have more time to act if you see hazards before
they become emergencies. In the example above,
you might make a lane change or slow down to
prevent a crash if the car suddenly cuts in front of
you. Seeing this hazard gives you time to check
your mirrors and signal a lane change. Being
prepared reduces the danger. A driver who did not
see the hazard until the slow car pulled back on
the highway in front of him would have to do
something very suddenly. Sudden braking or a
quick lane change is much more likely to lead to a
crash.
Learning to See Hazards. There are often clues
that will help you see hazards. The more you drive,
the better you can learn to see hazards. This
section will talk about hazards that you should be
aware of.
2.8.2 – Hazardous Roads
Figure 2.14
2.7.7 – Space Needed to Cross or Enter
Traffic
Be aware of the size and weight of your vehicle
when you cross or enter traffic. Here are some
important things to keep in mind.
Because of slow acceleration and the space large
vehicles require, you may need a much larger gap
to enter traffic than you would in a car.
Acceleration varies with the load. Allow more room
if your vehicle is heavily loaded.
Before you start across a road, make sure you can
get all the way across before traffic reaches you.
2.8 – Seeing Hazards
2.8.1 – Importance of Seeing Hazards
What Is a Hazard? A hazard is any road condition
or other road user (driver, bicyclist, pedestrian) that
is a possible danger. For example, a car in front of
you is headed toward the freeway exit, but his
brake lights come on and he begins braking hard.
This could mean that the driver is uncertain about
taking the off ramp. He might suddenly return to
the highway. This car is a hazard. If the driver of
the car cuts in front of you, it is no longer just a
hazard; it is an emergency.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Slow down and be very careful if you see any of
the following road hazards.
Work Zones. When people are working on the
road, it is a hazard. There may be narrower lanes,
sharp turns, or uneven surfaces. Other drivers are
often distracted and drive unsafely. Workers and
construction vehicles may get in the way. Drive
slowly and carefully near work zones. Use your
four-way flashers or brake lights to warn drivers
behind you.
Drop Off. Sometimes the pavement drops off
sharply near the edge of the road. Driving too near
the edge can tilt your vehicle toward the side of the
road. This can cause the top of your vehicle to hit
roadside objects (signs, tree limbs). Also, it can be
hard to steer as you cross the drop off, going off
the road, or coming back on.
Foreign Objects. Things that have fallen on the
road can be hazards. They can be a danger to
your tires and wheel rims. They can damage
electrical and brake lines. They can be caught
between dual tires and cause severe damage.
Some obstacles that appear to be harmless can be
very dangerous. For example, cardboard boxes
may be empty, but they may also contain some
solid or heavy material capable of causing
damage. The same is true of paper and cloth
sacks. It is important to remain alert for objects of
all sorts, so you can see them early enough to
avoid them without making sudden, unsafe moves.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Off Ramps/On Ramps. Freeway and turnpike
exits can be particularly dangerous for commercial
vehicles. Off ramps and on ramps often have
speed limit signs posted. Remember, these speeds
may be safe for automobiles, but may not be safe
for larger vehicles or heavily loaded vehicles. Exits
that go downhill and turn at the same time can be
especially dangerous. The downgrade makes it
difficult to reduce speed. Braking and turning at the
same time can be a dangerous practice. Make
sure you are going slowly enough before you get
on the curved part of an off ramp or on ramp.
2.8.3 – Drivers Who Are Hazards
In order to protect yourself and others, you must
know when other drivers may do something
hazardous. Some clues to this type of hazard are
discussed below.
Blocked Vision. People who can't see others are
a very dangerous hazard. Be alert for drivers
whose vision is blocked. Vans, loaded station
wagons, and cars with the rear window blocked are
examples. Rental trucks should be watched
carefully. Their drivers are often not used to the
limited vision they have to the sides and rear of the
truck. In winter, vehicles with frosted, ice-covered,
or snow-covered windows are hazards.
Vehicles may be partly hidden by blind
intersections or alleys. If you only can see the rear
or front end of a vehicle but not the driver, then he
or she can't see you. Be alert because he/she may
back out or enter into your lane. Always be
prepared to stop.
Delivery Trucks Can Present a Hazard.
Packages or vehicle doors often block the driver’s
vision. Drivers of step vans, postal vehicles, and
local delivery vehicles often are in a hurry and may
suddenly step out of their vehicle or drive their
vehicle into the traffic lane.
Parked Vehicles Can Be Hazards, especially
when people start to get out of them. Or, they may
suddenly start up and drive into your way. Watch
for movement inside the vehicle or movement of
the vehicle itself that shows people are inside.
Watch for brake lights or backup lights, exhaust,
and other clues that a driver is about to move.
Be careful of a stopped bus. Passengers may
cross in front of or behind the bus, and they often
can't see you.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Pedestrians and Bicyclists Can Also Be
Hazards. Walkers, joggers, and bicyclists may be
on the road with their back to the traffic, so they
can't see you. Sometimes they wear portable
stereos with headsets, so they can't hear you
either. This can be dangerous. On rainy days,
pedestrians may not see you because of hats or
umbrellas. They may be hurrying to get out of the
rain and may not pay attention to the traffic.
Distractions. People who are distracted are
hazards. Watch for where they are looking. If they
are looking elsewhere, they can't see you. But be
alert even when they are looking at you. They may
believe that they have the right of way.
Children. Children tend to act quickly without
checking traffic. Children playing with one another
may not look for traffic and are a serious hazard.
Talkers. Drivers or pedestrians talking to one
another may not be paying close attention to the
traffic.
Workers. People working on or near the roadway
are a hazard clue. The work creates a distraction
for other drivers and the workers themselves may
not see you.
Ice Cream Trucks. Someone selling ice cream is
a hazard clue. Children may be nearby and may
not see you.
Disabled Vehicles. Drivers changing a tire or
fixing an engine often do not pay attention to the
danger that roadway traffic is to them. They are
often careless. Jacked up wheels or raised hoods
are hazard clues.
Accidents. Accidents are particularly hazardous.
People involved in the accident may not look for
traffic. Passing drivers tend to look at the accident.
People often run across the road without looking.
Vehicles may slow or stop suddenly.
Shoppers. People in and around shopping areas
are often not watching traffic because they are
looking for stores or looking into store windows.
Confused Drivers. Confused drivers often change
direction suddenly or stop without warning.
Confusion is common near freeway or turnpike
interchanges and major intersections. Tourists
unfamiliar with the area can be very hazardous.
Clues to tourists include car-top luggage and outof-state license plates. Unexpected actions
(stopping in the middle of a block, changing lanes
Page 2-20
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
for no apparent reason, backup lights suddenly
going on) are clues to confusion. Hesitation is
another clue, including driving very slowly, using
brakes often, or stopping in the middle of an
intersection. You may also see drivers who are
looking at street signs, maps, and house numbers.
These drivers may not be paying attention to you.
Slow Drivers. Motorists who fail to maintain
normal speed are hazards. Seeing slow moving
vehicles early can prevent a crash. Some vehicles,
by their nature, are slow and seeing them is a
hazard
clue
(mopeds,
farm
machinery,
construction machinery, tractors, etc.). Some of
these will have the "slow moving vehicle" symbol to
warn you. This is a red triangle with an orange
center. Watch for it.
Drivers Signaling a Turn May Be a Hazard.
Drivers signaling a turn may slow more than
expected or stop. If they are making a tight turn
into an alley or driveway, they may go very slowly.
If pedestrians or other vehicles block them, they
may have to stop on the roadway. Vehicles turning
left may have to stop for oncoming vehicles.
Drivers in a Hurry. Drivers may feel your
commercial vehicle is preventing them from getting
where they want to go on time. Such drivers may
pass you without a safe gap in the oncoming
traffic, cutting too close in front of you. Drivers
entering the road may pull in front of you in order to
avoid being stuck behind you, causing you to
brake. Be aware of this and watch for drivers who
are in a hurry.
make a turn, even though the turn signals aren't
on. Drivers making over-the-shoulder checks may
be going to change lanes. These clues are most
easily seen in motorcyclists and bicyclists. Watch
other road users and try to tell whether they might
do something hazardous.
Conflicts. You are in conflict when you have to
change speed and/or direction to avoid hitting
someone. Conflicts occur at intersections where
vehicles meet, at merges (such as turnpike on
ramps) and where there are needed lane changes
(such as the end of a lane, forcing a move to
another lane of traffic). Other situations include
slow moving or stalled traffic in a traffic lane, and
accident scenes. Watch for other drivers who are
in conflict because they are a hazard to you. When
they react to this conflict, they may do something
that will put them in conflict with you.
2.8.4 – Always Have a Plan
You should always be looking for hazards.
Continue to learn to see hazards on the road.
However, don't forget why you are looking for the
hazards--they may turn into emergencies. You look
for the hazards in order to have time to plan a way
out of any emergency. When you see a hazard,
think about the emergencies that could develop
and figure out what you would do. Always be
prepared to take action based on your plans. In
this way, you will be a prepared, defensive driver
who will improve your own safety as well as the
safety of all road users.
Impaired Drivers. Drivers who are sleepy, have
had too much to drink, are on drugs, or who are ill
are hazards. Some clues to these drivers are:
Weaving across the road or drifting from one side
to another.
Leaving the road (dropping right wheels onto the
shoulder, or bumping across a curb in a turn).
Stopping at the wrong time (stopping at a green
light, or waiting for too long at a stop).
Open window in cold weather.
Speeding up or slowing down suddenly, driving too
fast or too slow.
Be alert for drunk drivers and sleepy drivers late at
night.
Driver Body Movement as a Clue. Drivers look in
the direction they are going to turn. You may
sometimes get a clue from a driver's head and
body movements that a driver may be going to
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Subsections 2.7 and 2.8
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
How do you find out how many seconds of
following distance space you have?
If you are driving a 30-foot vehicle at 55
mph, how many seconds of following
distance should you allow?
You should decrease your following
distance if somebody is following you too
closely. True or False?
If you swing wide to the left before turning
right, another driver may try to pass you on
the right. True or False?
What is a hazard?
Why make emergency plans when you see
a hazard?
Page 2-21
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.7 and 2.8
2.9 – Distracted Driving
Whenever you are driving a vehicle and your
attention is not on the road, you’re putting yourself,
your passengers, other vehicles, and pedestrians
in danger. Distracted driving can result when you
perform any activity that may shift your full
attention from the driving task. Taking your eyes off
the road or hands off the steering wheel presents
obvious driving risks. Mental activities that take
your mind away from driving are just as dangerous.
Your eyes can gaze at objects in the driving scene
but fail to see them because your attention is
distracted elsewhere.
Activities that can distract your attention include:
talking to passengers; adjusting the radio, CD
player or climate controls; eating, drinking or
smoking; reading maps or other literature; picking
up something that fell; reading billboards and other
road advertisements; watching other people and
vehicles including aggressive drivers; talking on a
cell phone or CB radio; using telematic devices
(such as navigation systems, pagers, etc.);
daydreaming or being occupied with other mental
distractions.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.9.1 – Don’t Drive Distracted
If drivers react a half-second slower because of
distractions, crashes double. Some tips to follow so
you won’t become distracted:
Review and be totally familiar with all safety and
usage features on any in-vehicle electronics,
including your wireless or cell phone, before you
drive.
Pre-program radio stations.
Pre-load you favorite CDs or cassette tapes.
Clear the vehicle of any unnecessary objects.
Review maps and plan your route before you begin
driving.
Adjust all mirrors for best all-round visibility before
you start your trip.
Don’t attempt to read or write while you drive.
Avoid smoking, eating and drinking while you drive.
Don’t engage in complex or emotionally intense
conversations with other occupants.
2.9.2 – Use In-vehicle Communication
Equipment Cautiously
When possible, pull off the road in a safe, legal
place when making/receiving a call on
communication equipment.
If possible, turn the cell phone off until your
destination is reached.
Position the cell phone within easy reach.
Pre-program cell phones with commonly called
numbers.
If you have to place a call, find a safe place to pull
off the road. Do not place a call while driving.
Some jurisdictions require that only hands-free
devices can be used while driving. Even these
devices are unsafe to use when you are moving
down the road.
If you must use your cell phone, keep
conversations short. Develop ways to get free of
long-winded friends and associates while on the
road. Never use the cell phone for social visiting.
Hang up in tricky traffic situations.
Do not use the equipment when approaching
locations with heavy traffic, road construction,
heavy pedestrian traffic, or severe weather
conditions.
Do not attempt to type or read messages on your
satellite system while driving.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.9.3 – Watch Out for Other Distracted
Drivers
You need to be able to recognize other drivers who
are engaged in any form of driving distraction. Not
recognizing other distracted drivers can prevent
you from perceiving or reacting correctly in time to
prevent a crash. Watch for:
Vehicles that may drift over the lane divider lines or
within their own lane.
Vehicles traveling at inconsistent speeds.
Drivers who are preoccupied with maps, food,
cigarettes, cell phones, or other objects.
Drivers who appear to be involved in conversations
with their passengers.
Give a distracted driver plenty of room and
maintain your safe following distance.
Be very careful when passing a driver who seems
to be distracted. The other driver may not be aware
of your presence, and they may drift in front of you.
2.10 – Aggressive Drivers/Road Rage
2.10.1 – What Is It?
Aggressive driving and road rage is not a new
problem. However, in today’s world, where heavy
and slow-moving traffic and tight schedules are the
norm, more and more drivers are taking out their
anger and frustration in their vehicles.
Crowded roads leave little room for error, leading
to suspicion and hostility among drivers and
encouraging them to take personally the mistakes
of other drivers.
Aggressive driving is the act of operating a motor
vehicle in a selfish, bold, or pushy manner, without
regard for the rights or safety of others.
Road rage is operating a motor vehicle with the
intent of doing harm to others or physically
assaulting a driver or their vehicle.
Give the drive your full attention. Don’t allow
yourself to become distracted by talking on your
cell phone, eating, etc.
Be realistic about your travel time. Expect delays
because of traffic, construction, or bad weather
and make allowances.
If you’re going to be later than you expected – deal
with it. Take a deep breath and accept the delay.
Give other drivers the benefit of the doubt. Try to
imagine why he or she is driving that way.
Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do with
you.
Slow down and keep your following distance
reasonable.
Don’t drive slowly in the left lane of traffic.
Avoid gestures. Keep you hands on the wheel.
Avoid making any gestures that might anger
another driver, even seemingly harmless
expressions of irritation like shaking your head.
Be a cautious and courteous driver. If another
driver seems eager to get in front of you, say, “Be
my guest.” This response will soon become a habit
and you won’t be as offended by other drivers’
actions.
2.10.3 – What You Should Do When
Confronted by an Aggressive Driver
First and foremost, make every attempt to get out
of their way.
Put your pride in the back seat. Do not challenge
them by speeding up or attempting to hold-yourown in your travel lane.
Avoid eye contact.
Ignore gestures and refuse to react to them.
Report aggressive drivers to the appropriate
authorities by providing a vehicle description,
license number, location and, if possible, direction
of travel.
If you have a cell phone, and can do it safely, call
the police.
If an aggressive driver is involved in a crash farther
down the road, stop a safe distance from the crash
scene, wait for the police to arrive, and report the
driving behavior that you witnessed.
2.10.2 – Don’t Be an Aggressive Driver
How you feel before you even start your vehicle
has a lot to do with how stress will affect you while
driving.
Reduce your stress before and while you drive.
Listen to “easy listening” music.
Subsections 2.9 and 2.10
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
What are some tips to follow so you won’t
become a distracted driver?
How
do
you
use
in-vehicle
communications equipment cautiously?
How do you recognize a distracted driver?
Page 2-23
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
4.
5.
6.
What is the difference between aggressive
driving and road rage?
What should you do when confronted with
an aggressive driver?
What are some things you can do to
reduce your stress before and while you
drive?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.9 and 2.10.
2.11 – Driving at Night
2.11.1 – It's More Dangerous
You are at greater risk when you drive at night.
Drivers can't see hazards as quickly as in daylight,
so they have less time to respond. Drivers caught
by surprise are less able to avoid a crash.
The problems of night driving involve the driver, the
roadway, and the vehicle.
2.11.2 – Driver Factors
Vision. People can't see as sharply at night or in
dim light. Also, their eyes need time to adjust to
seeing in dim light. Most people have noticed this
when walking into a dark movie theater.
Glare. Drivers can be blinded for a short time by
bright light. It takes time to recover from this
blindness. Older drivers are especially bothered by
glare. Most people have been temporarily blinded
by camera flash units or by the high beams of an
oncoming vehicle. It can take several seconds to
recover from glare. Even two seconds of glare
blindness can be dangerous. A vehicle going 55
mph will travel more than half the distance of a
football field during that time. Don't look directly at
bright lights when driving. Look at the right side of
the road. Watch the sidelines when someone
coming toward you has very bright lights on.
Fatigue and Lack of Alertness. Fatigue (being
tired) and lack of alertness are bigger problems at
night. The body's need for sleep is beyond a
person's control. Most people are less alert at
night, especially after midnight. This is particularly
true if you have been driving for a long time.
Drivers may not see hazards as soon, or react as
quickly, so the chance of a crash is greater. If you
are sleepy, the only safe cure is to get off the road
and get some sleep. If you don't, you risk your life
and the lives of others.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.11.3 – Roadway Factors
Poor Lighting. In the daytime there is usually
enough light to see well. This is not true at night.
Some areas may have bright street lights, but
many areas will have poor lighting. On most roads
you will probably have to depend entirely on your
headlights.
Less light means you will not be able to see
hazards as well as in daytime. Road users who do
not have lights are hard to see. There are many
accidents at night involving pedestrians, joggers,
bicyclists, and animals.
Even when there are lights, the road scene can be
confusing. Traffic signals and hazards can be hard
to see against a background of signs, shop
windows, and other lights.
Drive slower when lighting is poor or confusing.
Drive slowly enough to be sure you can stop in the
distance you can see ahead.
Drunk Drivers. Drunk drivers and drivers under
the influence of drugs are a hazard to themselves
and to you. Be especially alert around the closing
times for bars and taverns. Watch for drivers who
have trouble staying in their lane or maintaining
speed, who stop without reason, or show other
signs of being under the influence of alcohol or
drugs.
2.11.4 – Vehicle Factors
Headlights. At night your headlights will usually be
the main source of light for you to see by and for
others to see you. You can't see nearly as much
with your headlights as you see in the daytime.
With low beams you can see ahead about 250 feet
and with high beams about 350-500 feet. You must
adjust your speed to keep your stopping distance
within your sight distance. This means going slowly
enough to be able to stop within the range of your
headlights. Otherwise, by the time you see a
hazard, you will not have time to stop.
Night driving can be more dangerous if you have
problems with your headlights. Dirty headlights
may give only half the light they should. This cuts
down your ability to see, and makes it harder for
others to see you. Make sure your lights are clean
and working. Headlights can be out of adjustment.
If they don't point in the right direction, they won't
give you a good view and they can blind other
drivers. Have a qualified person make sure they
are adjusted properly.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Other Lights. In order for you to be seen easily,
the following must be clean and working properly:
Reflectors.
Marker lights.
Clearance lights.
Taillights.
Identification lights.
Turn Signals and Brake Lights. At night your turn
signals and brake lights are even more important
for telling other drivers what you intend to do. Make
sure you have clean, working turn signals and stop
lights.
Windshield and Mirrors. It is more important at
night than in the daytime to have a clean
windshield and clean mirrors. Bright lights at night
can cause dirt on your windshield or mirrors to
create a glare of its own, blocking your view. Most
people have experienced driving toward the sun
just as it has risen or is about to set, and found that
they can barely see through a windshield that
seemed to look OK in the middle of the day. Clean
your windshield on the inside and outside for safe
driving at night.
2.11.5 – Night Driving Procedures
Pre-trip Procedures. Make sure you are rested
and alert. If you are drowsy, sleep before you
drive! Even a nap can save your life or the lives of
others. If you wear eyeglasses, make sure they are
clean and unscratched. Don't wear sunglasses at
night. Do a complete pre-trip inspection of your
vehicle. Pay attention to checking all lights and
reflectors, and cleaning those you can reach.
Avoid Blinding Others. Glare from your
headlights can cause problems for drivers coming
toward you. They can also bother drivers going in
the same direction you are, when your lights shine
in their rearview mirrors. Dim your lights before
they cause glare for other drivers. Dim your lights
within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle and when
following another vehicle within 500 feet.
Avoid Glare from Oncoming Vehicles. Do not
look directly at lights of oncoming vehicles. Look
slightly to the right at a right lane or edge marking,
if available. If other drivers don't put their low
beams on, don't try to "get back at them" by putting
your own high beams on. This increases glare for
oncoming drivers and increases the chance of a
crash.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Use High Beams When You Can. Some drivers
make the mistake of always using low beams. This
seriously cuts down on their ability to see ahead.
Use high beams when it is safe and legal to do so.
Use them when you are not within 500 feet of an
approaching vehicle. Also, don't let the inside of
your cab get too bright. This makes it harder to see
outside. Keep the interior light off, and adjust your
instrument lights as low as you can to still be able
to read the gauges.
If You Get Sleepy, Stop at the Nearest Safe
Place. People often don't realize how close they
are to falling asleep even when their eyelids are
falling shut. If you can safely do so, look at yourself
in a mirror. If you look sleepy, or you just feel
sleepy, stop driving! You are in a very dangerous
condition. The only safe cure is to sleep.
2.12 – Driving in Fog
Fog can occur at any time. Fog on highways can
be extremely dangerous. Fog is often unexpected,
and visibility can deteriorate rapidly. You should
watch for foggy conditions and be ready to reduce
your speed. Do not assume that the fog will thin
out after you enter it.
The best advice for driving in fog is don’t. It is
preferable that you pull off the road into a rest area
or truck stop until visibility is better. If you must
drive, be sure to consider the following:
Obey all fog-related warning signs.
Slow down before you enter fog.
Use low-beam headlights and fog lights for best
visibility even in daytime, and be alert for other
drivers who may have forgotten to turn on their
lights.
Turn on your 4-way flashers. This will give vehicles
approaching you from behind a quicker opportunity
to notice your vehicle.
Watch for vehicles on the side of the roadway.
Seeing taillights or headlights in front of you may
not be a true indication of where the road is ahead
of you. The vehicle may not be on the road at all.
Use roadside highway reflectors as guides to
determine how the road may curve ahead of you.
Listen for traffic you cannot see.
Avoid passing other vehicles.
Don’t stop along the side of the road, unless
absolutely necessary.
2.13 – Driving in Winter
2.13.1 – Vehicle Checks
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Make sure your vehicle is ready before driving in
winter weather. You should make a regular pre-trip
inspection, paying extra attention to the following
items.
Windows and Mirrors. Remove any ice, snow,
etc., from the windshield, windows, and mirrors
before starting. Use a windshield scraper, snow
brush, and windshield defroster as necessary.
Coolant Level and Antifreeze Amount. Make
sure the cooling system is full and there is enough
antifreeze in the system to protect against freezing.
This can be checked with a special coolant tester.
Hand Holds, Steps, and Deck Plates. Remove all
ice and snow from hand holds, steps, and deck
plates. This will reduce the danger of slipping.
Defrosting and Heating Equipment. Make sure
the defrosters work. They are needed for safe
driving. Make sure the heater is working, and that
you know how to operate it. If you use other
heaters and expect to need them (e.g., mirror
heaters, battery box heaters, fuel tank heaters),
check their operation.
Wipers and Washers. Make sure the windshield
wiper blades are in good condition. Make sure the
wiper blades press against the window hard
enough to wipe the windshield clean, otherwise
they may not sweep off snow properly. Make sure
the windshield washer works and there is washing
fluid in the washer reservoir.
Radiator Shutters and Winterfront. Remove ice
from the radiator shutters. Make sure the
winterfront is not closed too tightly. If the shutters
freeze shut or the winterfront is closed too much,
the engine may overheat and stop.
Exhaust System. Exhaust system leaks are
especially dangerous when cab ventilation may be
poor (windows rolled up, etc.). Loose connections
could permit poisonous carbon monoxide to leak
into your vehicle. Carbon monoxide gas will cause
you to be sleepy. In large enough amounts it can
kill you. Check the exhaust system for loose parts
and for sounds and signs of leaks.
2.13.2 – Driving
Use windshield washer antifreeze to prevent
freezing of the washer liquid. If you can't see well
enough while driving (for example, if your wipers
fail), stop safely and fix the problem.
Slippery Surfaces. Drive slowly and smoothly on
slippery roads. If it is very slippery, you shouldn't
drive at all. Stop at the first safe place.
Tires. Make sure you have enough tread on your
tires. The drive tires must provide traction to push
the rig over wet pavement and through snow. The
steering tires must have traction to steer the
vehicle. Enough tread is especially important in
winter conditions. You must have at least 4/32 inch
tread depth in every major groove on front tires
and at least 2/32 inch on other tires. More would
be better. Use a gauge to determine if you have
enough tread for safe driving.
Check for Ice. Check for ice on the road,
especially bridges and overpasses. A lack of spray
from other vehicles indicates ice has formed on the
road. Also, check your mirrors and wiper blades for
ice. If they have ice, the road most likely will be icy
as well.
Tire Chains. You may find yourself in conditions
where you can't drive without chains, even to get to
a place of safety. Carry the right number of chains
and extra cross-links. Make sure they will fit your
drive tires. Check the chains for broken hooks,
worn or broken cross-links, and bent or broken
side chains. Learn how to put the chains on before
you need to do it in snow and ice.
Lights and Reflectors. Make sure the lights and
reflectors are clean. Lights and reflectors are
especially important during bad weather. Check
from time to time during bad weather to make sure
they are clean and working properly.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Start Gently and Slowly. When first starting, get
the feel of the road. Don't hurry.
Adjust Turning and Braking to Conditions.
Make turns as gently as possible. Don't brake any
harder than necessary, and don't use the engine
brake or speed retarder. (They can cause the
driving wheels to skid on slippery surfaces.)
Adjust Speed to Conditions. Don't pass slower
vehicles unless necessary. Go slowly and watch
far enough ahead to keep a steady speed. Avoid
having to slow down and speed up. Take curves at
slower speeds and don't brake while in curves. Be
aware that as the temperature rises to the point
where ice begins to melt, the road becomes even
more slippery. Slow down more.
Adjust Space to Conditions. Don't drive
alongside other vehicles. Keep a longer following
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
distance. When you see a traffic jam ahead, slow
down or stop to wait for it to clear. Try hard to
anticipate stops early and slow down gradually.
Watch for snowplows, as well as salt and sand
trucks, and give them plenty of room.
Wet Brakes. When driving in heavy rain or deep
standing water, your brakes will get wet. Water in
the brakes can cause the brakes to be weak, to
apply unevenly, or to grab. This can cause lack of
braking power, wheel lockups, pulling to one side
or the other, and jackknife if you pull a trailer.
Avoid driving through deep puddles or flowing
water if possible. If not, you should:
Slow down and place transmission in a low gear.
Gently put on the brakes. This presses linings
against brake drums or discs and keeps mud, silt,
sand, and water from getting in.
Increase engine rpm and cross the water while
keeping light pressure on the brakes.
When out of the water, maintain light pressure on
the brakes for a short distance to heat them up and
dry them out.
Make a test stop when safe to do so. Check
behind to make sure no one is following, then
apply the brakes to be sure they work well. If not,
dry them out further as described above.
(CAUTION: Do not apply too much brake pressure
and accelerator at the same time, or you can
overheat brake drums and linings.)
2.14 – Driving in Very Hot Weather
2.14.1 – Vehicle Checks
Do a normal pre-trip inspection, but pay special
attention to the following items.
Tires. Check the tire mounting and air pressure.
Inspect the tires every two hours or every 100
miles when driving in very hot weather. Air
pressure increases with temperature. Do not let air
out or the pressure will be too low when the tires
cool off. If a tire is too hot to touch, remain stopped
until the tire cools off. Otherwise the tire may blow
out or catch fire.
Engine Oil. The engine oil helps keep the engine
cool, as well as lubricating it. Make sure there is
enough engine oil. If you have an oil temperature
gauge, make sure the temperature is within the
proper range while you are driving.
Engine Coolant. Before starting out, make sure
the engine cooling system has enough water and
Section 2 – Driving Safely
antifreeze according to the engine manufacturer's
directions. (Antifreeze helps the engine under hot
conditions as well as cold conditions.) When
driving, check the water temperature or coolant
temperature gauge from time to time. Make sure
that it remains in the normal range. If the gauge
goes above the highest safe temperature, there
may be something wrong that could lead to engine
failure and possibly fire. Stop driving as soon as
safely possible and try to find out what is wrong.
Some vehicles have sight glasses, see-through
coolant overflow containers, or coolant recovery
containers. These permit you to check the coolant
level while the engine is hot. If the container is not
part of the pressurized system, the cap can be
safely removed and coolant added even when the
engine is at operating temperature.
Never remove the radiator cap or any part of the
pressurized system until the system has cooled.
Steam and boiling water can spray under pressure
and cause severe burns. If you can touch the
radiator cap with your bare hand, it is probably cool
enough to open.
If coolant has to be added to a system without a
recovery tank or overflow tank, follow these steps:
Shut engine off.
Wait until engine has cooled.
Protect hands (use gloves or a thick cloth).
Turn radiator cap slowly to the first stop, which
releases the pressure seal.
Step back while pressure is released from cooling
system.
When all pressure has been released, press down
on the cap and turn it further to remove it.
Visually check level of coolant and add more
coolant if necessary.
Replace cap and turn all the way to the closed
position.
Engine Belts. Learn how to check v-belt tightness
on your vehicle by pressing on the belts. Loose
belts will not turn the water pump and/or fan
properly. This will result in overheating. Also, check
belts for cracking or other signs of wear.
Hoses. Make sure coolant hoses are in good
condition. A broken hose while driving can lead to
engine failure and even fire.
2.14.2 – Driving
Watch for Bleeding Tar. Tar in the road pavement
frequently rises to the surface in very hot weather.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Spots where tar "bleeds" to the surface are very
slippery.
Go Slowly Enough to Prevent Overheating.
High speeds create more heat for tires and the
engine. In desert conditions the heat may build up
to the point where it is dangerous. The heat will
increase chances of tire failure or even fire, and
engine failure.
Subsections 2.11, 2.12, 2.13, and 2.14
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
You should use low beams whenever you
can. True or False?
What should you do before you drive if you
are drowsy?
What effects can wet brakes cause? How
can you avoid these problems?
You should let air out of hot tires so the
pressure goes back to normal. True or
False?
You can safely remove the radiator cap as
long as the engine isn't overheated. True
or False?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer all of them, re-read subsections 2.11, 2.12,
2.13, and 2.14.
2.15.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does
not have any type of traffic control device. The
decision to stop or proceed rests entirely in your
hands. Passive crossings require you to recognize
the crossing, search for any train using the tracks
and decide if there is sufficient clear space to cross
safely. Passive crossings have yellow circular
advance warning signs, pavement markings and
crossbucks to assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a
traffic control device installed at the crossing to
regulate traffic at the crossing. These active
devices include flashing red lights, with or without
bells and flashing red lights with bells and gates.
2.15.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train
is coming. See Figure 2.15.
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They
consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a nopassing marking on two-lane roads. See Figure
2.16.
2.15 – Railroad-highway Crossings
Railroad-highway grade crossings are a special
kind of intersection where the roadway crosses
train tracks. These crossings are always
dangerous. Every such crossing must be
approached with the expectation that a train is
coming.
Figure 2.15
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-28
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highwayrail grade crossings, the crossbuck sign has
flashing red lights and bells. When the lights begin
to flash, stop! A train is approaching. You are
required to yield the right-of-way to the train. If
there is more than one track, make sure all tracks
are clear before crossing. See Figure 2.18.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. See Figure 2.18.
Figure 2.16
There is also a no passing zone sign on two-lane
roads. There may be a white stop line painted on
the pavement before the railroad tracks. The front
of the school bus must remain behind this line
while stopped at the crossing.
Crossbuck Signs. This sign marks the grade
crossing. It requires you to yield the right-of-way to
the train. If there is no white line painted on the
pavement, you must stop the bus before the
crossbuck sign. When the road crosses over more
than one set of tracks, a sign below the crossbuck
indicates the number of tracks. See Figure 2.17.
Figure 2.18
2.15.3 – Driving Procedures
Never Race a Train to a Crossing. Never attempt
to race a train to a crossing. It is extremely difficult
to judge the speed of an approaching train.
Reduce Speed. Speed must be reduced in
accordance with your ability to see approaching
trains in any direction, and speed must be held to a
point which will permit you to stop short of the
tracks in case a stop is necessary.
Don't Expect to Hear a Train. Because of noise
inside your vehicle, you cannot expect to hear the
train horn until the train is dangerously close to the
crossing.
Figure 2.17
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Don't Rely on Signals. You should not rely solely
upon the presence of warning signals, gates, or
flagmen to warn of the approach of trains. Be
especially alert at crossings that do not have gates
or flashing red light signals.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Double Tracks Require a Double Check.
Remember that a train on one track may hide a
train on the other track. Look both ways before
crossing. After one train has cleared a crossing, be
sure no other trains are near before starting across
the tracks.
Yard Areas and Grade Crossings in Cities and
Towns. Yard areas and grade crossings in cities
and towns are just as dangerous as rural grade
crossings. Approach them with as much caution.
2.15.4 – Stopping Safely at Railroadhighway Crossings
A full stop is required at grade crossings whenever:
The nature of the cargo makes a stop mandatory
under state or federal regulations.
Such a stop is otherwise required by law.
When stopping be sure to:
Check for traffic behind you while stopping
gradually. Use a pullout lane, if available.
Turn on your four-way emergency flashers.
2.15.5 – Crossing the Tracks
Railroad crossings with steep approaches can
cause your unit to hang up on the tracks.
Never permit traffic conditions to trap you in a
position where you have to stop on the tracks. Be
sure you can get all the way across the tracks
before you start across. It takes a typical tractortrailer unit at least 14 seconds to clear a single
track and more than 15 seconds to clear a double
track.
Do not shift gears while crossing railroad tracks.
2.15.6 – Special Situations
Be Aware! These trailers can get stuck on raised
crossings:
Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
2.16 – Mountain Driving
In mountain driving, gravity plays a major role. On
any upgrade, gravity slows you down. The steeper
the grade, the longer the grade, and/or the heavier
the load--the more you will have to use lower gears
to climb hills or mountains. In coming down long,
steep downgrades, gravity causes the speed of
your vehicle to increase. You must select an
appropriate safe speed, then use a low gear, and
proper braking techniques. You should plan ahead
and obtain information about any long, steep
grades along your planned route of travel. If
possible, talk to other drivers who are familiar with
the grades to find out what speeds are safe.
You must go slowly enough so your brakes can
hold you back without getting too hot. If the brakes
become too hot, they may start to "fade." This
means you have to apply them harder and harder
to get the same stopping power. If you continue to
use the brakes hard, they can keep fading until you
cannot slow down or stop at all.
2.16.1 – Select a "Safe" Speed
Your most important consideration is to select a
speed that is not too fast for the:
Total weight of the vehicle and cargo.
Length of the grade.
Steepness of the grade.
Road conditions.
Weather.
If a speed limit is posted, or there is a sign
indicating "Maximum Safe Speed," never exceed
the speed shown. Also, look for and heed warning
signs indicating the length and steepness of the
grade.
You must use the braking effect of the engine as
the principal way of controlling your speed. The
braking effect of the engine is greatest when it is
near the governed rpms and the transmission is in
the lower gears. Save your brakes so you will be
able to slow or stop as required by road and traffic
conditions.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get
out of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
Section 2 – Driving Safely
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.16.2 – Select the Right Gear Before
Starting Down the Grade
Shift the transmission to a low gear before starting
down the grade. Do not try to downshift after your
speed has already built up. You will not be able to
shift into a lower gear. You may not even be able
to get back into any gear and all engine braking
effect will be lost. Forcing an automatic
transmission into a lower gear at high speed could
damage the transmission and also lead to loss of
all engine braking effect.
With older trucks, a rule for choosing gears is to
use the same gear going down a hill that you
would need to climb the hill. However, new trucks
have low friction parts and streamlined shapes for
fuel economy. They may also have more powerful
engines. This means they can go up hills in higher
gears and have less friction and air drag to hold
them back going down hills. For that reason,
drivers of modern trucks may have to use lower
gears going down a hill than would be required to
go up the hill. You should know what is right for
your vehicle.
When your speed has been reduced to
approximately five mph below your "safe" speed,
release the brakes. (This brake application should
last for about three seconds.)
When your speed has increased to your "safe"
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your "safe" speed is 40 mph, you
would not apply the brakes until your speed
reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard
enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph
and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often
as necessary until you have reached the end of the
downgrade.
Escape ramps have been built on many steep
mountain downgrades. Escape ramps are made to
stop runaway vehicles safely without injuring
drivers and passengers. Escape ramps use a long
bed of loose, soft material to slow a runaway
vehicle, sometimes in combination with an
upgrade.
Know escape ramp locations on your route. Signs
show drivers where ramp are located. Escape
ramps save lives, equipment and cargo.
2.16.3 – Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub
against the brake drum or disks to slow the vehicle.
Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to
take a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or fail
from excessive heat caused by using them too
much and not relying on the engine braking effect.
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To
safely control a vehicle, every brake must do its
share of the work. Brakes out of adjustment will
stop doing their share before those that are in
adjustment. The other brakes can then overheat
and fade, and there will not be enough braking
available to control the vehicle. Brakes can get out
of adjustment quickly, especially when they are
used a lot; also, brake linings wear faster when
they are hot. Therefore, brake adjustment must be
checked frequently.
2.16.4 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/or
steep downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in
the proper low gear, the following are the proper
braking techniques:
Subsections 2.15 and 2.16
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What factors determine your selection of a
"safe" speed when going down a long,
steep downgrade?
Why should you be in the proper gear
before starting down a hill?
Describe the proper braking technique
when going down a long, steep
downgrade.
What type of vehicles can get stuck on a
railroad-highway crossing?
How long does it take for a typical tractortrailer unit to clear a double track?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.15 and
2.16.
Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
slowdown.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-31
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.17 – Driving Emergencies
Traffic emergencies occur when two vehicles are
about to collide. Vehicle emergencies occur when
tires, brakes, or other critical parts fail. Following
the safety practices in this manual can help
prevent emergencies. But if an emergency does
happen, your chances of avoiding a crash depend
upon how well you take action. Actions you can
take are discussed below.
2.17.1 – Steering to Avoid a Crash
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do in an
emergency. When you don't have enough room to
stop, you may have to steer away from what's
ahead. Remember, you can almost always turn to
miss an obstacle more quickly than you can stop.
(However, top-heavy vehicles and tractors with
multiple trailers may flip over.)
Keep Both Hands on the Steering Wheel. In
order to turn quickly, you must have a firm grip on
the steering wheel with both hands. The best way
to have both hands on the wheel, if there is an
emergency, is to keep them there all the time.
How to Turn Quickly and Safely. A quick turn
can be made safely, if it's done the right way. Here
are some points that safe drivers use:
Do not apply the brake while you are turning. It's
very easy to lock your wheels while turning. If that
happens, you may skid out of control.
Do not turn any more than needed to clear
whatever is in your way. The more sharply you
turn, the greater the chances of a skid or rollover.
Be prepared to "countersteer," that is, to turn the
wheel back in the other direction, once you've
passed whatever was in your path. Unless you are
prepared to countersteer, you won't be able to do it
quickly enough. You should think of emergency
steering and countersteering as two parts of one
driving action.
Where to Steer. If an oncoming driver has drifted
into your lane, a move to your right is best. If that
driver realizes what has happened, the natural
response will be to return to his or her own lane.
If something is blocking your path, the best
direction to steer will depend on the situation.
If you have been using your mirrors, you'll know
which lane is empty and can be safely used.
If the shoulder is clear, going right may be best. No
one is likely to be driving on the shoulder but
Section 2 – Driving Safely
someone may be passing you on the left. You will
know if you have been using your mirrors.
If you are blocked on both sides, a move to the
right may be best. At least you won't force anyone
into an opposing traffic lane and a possible headon collision.
Leaving the Road. In some emergencies, you
may have to drive off the road. It may be less risky
than facing a collision with another vehicle.
Most shoulders are strong enough to support the
weight of a large vehicle and, therefore, offer an
available escape route. Here are some guidelines,
if you do leave the road.
Avoid Braking. If possible, avoid using the brakes
until your speed has dropped to about 20 mph.
Then brake very gently to avoid skidding on a
loose surface.
Keep One Set of Wheels on the Pavement, if
Possible. This helps to maintain control.
Stay on the Shoulder. If the shoulder is clear,
stay on it until your vehicle has come to a stop.
Signal and check your mirrors before pulling back
onto the road.
Returning to the Road. If you are forced to return
to the road before you can stop, use the following
procedure:
Hold the wheel tightly and turn sharply enough to
get right back on the road safely. Don't try to edge
gradually back on the road. If you do, your tires
might grab unexpectedly and you could lose
control.
When both front tires are on the paved surface,
countersteer immediately. The two turns should be
made as a single "steer-countersteer" move.
2.17.2 – How to Stop Quickly and Safely
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there's enough distance to stop, and
you use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your
vehicle in a straight line and allow you to turn if it
becomes necessary. You can use the "controlled
braking" method or the "stab braking" method.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking the
wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
Page 2-32
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking
Apply your brakes all the way.
Release brakes when wheels lock up.
As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the
brakes fully again. (It can take up to one second
for the wheels to start rolling after you release the
brakes. If you re-apply the brakes before the
wheels start rolling, the vehicle won't straighten
out.)
Don't Jam on the Brakes. Emergency braking
does not mean pushing down on the brake pedal
as hard as you can. That will only keep the wheels
locked up and cause a skid. If the wheels are
skidding, you cannot control the vehicle.
2.17.3 – Brake Failure
Brakes kept in good condition rarely fail. Most
hydraulic brake failures occur for one of two
reasons: (Air brakes are discussed in Section 5.)
Loss of hydraulic pressure.
Brake fade on long hills.
Loss of Hydraulic Pressure. When the system
won't build up pressure, the brake pedal will feel
spongy or go to the floor. Here are some things
you can do.
Downshift. Putting the vehicle into a lower gear
will help to slow the vehicle.
Pump the Brakes. Sometimes pumping the brake
pedal will generate enough hydraulic pressure to
stop the vehicle.
Use the Parking Brake. The parking or
emergency brake is separate from the hydraulic
brake system. Therefore, it can be used to slow the
vehicle. However, be sure to press the release
button or pull the release lever at the same time
you use the emergency brake so you can adjust
the brake pressure and keep the wheels from
locking up.
Find an Escape Route. While slowing the vehicle,
look for an escape route--an open field, side street,
or escape ramp. Turning uphill is a good way to
slow and stop the vehicle. Make sure the vehicle
does not start rolling backward after you stop. Put
Section 2 – Driving Safely
it in low gear, apply the parking brake, and, if
necessary, roll back into some obstacle that will
stop the vehicle.
Brake Failure on Downgrades. Going slow
enough and braking properly will almost always
prevent brake failure on long downgrades. Once
the brakes have failed, however, you are going to
have to look outside your vehicle for something to
stop it.
Your best hope is an escape ramp. If there is one,
there'll be signs telling you about it. Use it. Ramps
are usually located a few miles from the top of the
downgrade. Every year, hundreds of drivers avoid
injury to themselves or damage to their vehicles by
using escape ramps. Some escape ramps use soft
gravel that resists the motion of the vehicle and
brings it to a stop. Others turn uphill, using the hill
to stop the vehicle and soft gravel to hold it in
place.
Any driver who loses brakes going downhill should
use an escape ramp if it's available. If you don't
use it, your chances of having a serious crash may
be much greater.
If no escape ramp is available, take the least
hazardous escape route you can--such as an open
field or a side road that flattens out or turns uphill.
Make the move as soon as you know your brakes
don't work. The longer you wait, the faster the
vehicle will go, and the harder it will be to stop.
2.17.4 – Tire Failure
Recognize Tire Failure. Quickly knowing you
have a tire failure will let you have more time to
react. Having just a few extra seconds to
remember what it is you're supposed to do can
help you. The major signs of tire failure are:
Sound. The loud "bang" of a blowout is an easily
recognized sign. Because it can take a few
seconds for your vehicle to react, you might think it
was some other vehicle. But any time you hear a
tire blow, you'd be safest to assume it is yours.
Vibration. If the vehicle thumps or vibrates heavily,
it may be a sign that one of the tires has gone flat.
With a rear tire, that may be the only sign you get.
Feel. If the steering feels "heavy," it is probably a
sign that one of the front tires has failed.
Sometimes, failure of a rear tire will cause the
vehicle to slide back and forth or "fishtail."
However, dual rear tires usually prevent this.
Page 2-33
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Respond to Tire Failure. When a tire fails, your
vehicle is in danger. You must immediately:
Hold the Steering Wheel Firmly. If a front tire fails,
it can twist the steering wheel out of your hand.
The only way to prevent this is to keep a firm grip
on the steering wheel with both hands at all times.
Stay Off the Brake. It's natural to want to brake in
an emergency. However, braking when a tire has
failed could cause loss of control. Unless you're
about to run into something, stay off the brake until
the vehicle has slowed down. Then brake very
gently, pull off the road, and stop.
Check the Tires. After you've come to a stop, get
out and check all the tires. Do this even if the
vehicle seems to be handling all right. If one of
your dual tires goes, the only way you may know it
is by getting out and looking at it.
2.18 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
ABS is a computerized system that keeps your
wheels from locking up during hard brake
applications.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
2.18.1 – How Antilock Braking Systems
Work
Sensors detect potential wheel lock up. An
electronic control unit (ECU) will then decrease
brake pressure to avoid wheel lockup.
Brake pressure is adjusted to provide
maximum braking without danger of lockup.
the
ABS works far faster than the driver can respond to
potential wheel lockup. At all other times the brake
system will operate normally.
2.18.2 – Vehicles Required to Have
Antilock Braking Systems
The Department of Transportation requires that
ABS be on:
Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after
March 1, 1997.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Other air brake vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers,
and converter dollies) built on or after March 1,
1998.
Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a gross
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or more built on
or after March 1, 1999.
Many commercial vehicles built before these dates
have been voluntarily equipped with ABS.
2.18.3 – How to Know If Your Vehicle Is
Equipped with ABS
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS
malfunction lamps on the instrument panel.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner.
Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998,
are required to have a lamp on the left side.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the
malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb
check, and then goes out quickly. On older
systems, the lamp could stay on until you are
driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost
ABS control.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it
was required by the Department of Transportation,
it may be difficult to tell if the unit is equipped with
ABS. Look under the vehicle for the ECU and
wheel speed sensor wires coming from the back of
the brakes.
2.18.4 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain
control. You may or may not be able to stop faster
with ABS, but you should be able to steer around
an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused
by over braking.
2.18.5 – ABS on the Tractor Only or Only
on the Trailer
Page 2-34
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or
even on only one axle, still gives you more control
over the vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be able
to maintain steering control, and there is less
chance of jackknifing. But keep your eye on the
trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely do
so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you regain control.
2.18.6 – Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the bus, tractor, the trailer, or both.
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to
stay in control.
There is only one exception to this procedure. If
you drive a straight truck or combination with
working ABS on all axles, in an emergency stop,
you can fully apply the brakes.
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–ABS
should prevent brake-induced skids or jackknifes,
but not those caused by spinning the drive wheels
or going too fast in a turn.
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not
always shorten stopping distance.
ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
power–ABS is an “add-on” to your normal brakes,
not a replacement for them.
ABS won’t change the way you normally brake.
Under normal brake conditions, your vehicle will
stop as it always stopped. ABS only comes into
play when a wheel would normally have locked up
because of over braking.
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
Remember:
The best vehicle safety feature is
still a safe driver.
Remember:
Drive so you never need to use
your ABS.
Remember:
If you need it, ABS could help to
prevent a serious crash.
2.19 – Skid Control and Recovery
A skid happens whenever the tires lose their grip
on the road. This is caused in one of four ways:
2.18.7 – Braking If ABS Is Not Working
Over-braking. Braking too hard and locking up the
wheels. Skids also can occur when using the
speed retarder when the road is slippery.
Without ABS you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Over-steering. Turning the wheels more sharply
than the vehicle can turn.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something isn’t working.
Over-acceleration. Supplying too much power to
the drive wheels, causing them to spin.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the
malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb
check and then goes out quickly. On older
systems, the lamp could stay on until you are
driving over five mph.
Driving Too Fast. Most serious skids result from
driving too fast for road conditions. Drivers who
adjust their driving to conditions don't overaccelerate and don't have to over-brake or oversteer from too much speed.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost
ABS control on one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
2.18.8 – Safety Reminders
Section 2 – Driving Safely
2.19.1 – Drive-wheel Skids
By far the most common skid is one in which the
rear wheels lose traction through excessive
braking or acceleration. Skids caused by
acceleration usually happen on ice or snow.
Taking your foot off the accelerator can easily stop
them. (If it is very slippery, push the clutch in.
Otherwise, the engine can keep the wheels from
rolling freely and regaining traction.)
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Rear wheel braking skids occur when the rear
drive wheels lock. Because locked wheels have
less traction than rolling wheels, the rear wheels
usually slide sideways in an attempt to "catch up"
with the front wheels. In a bus or straight truck, the
vehicle will slide sideways in a "spin out." With
vehicles towing trailers, a drive-wheel skid can let
the trailer push the towing vehicle sideways,
causing a sudden jackknife. See Figure 2.19.
2.19.2 – Correcting a Drive-wheel Braking
Skid
Do the following to correct a drive-wheel braking
skid.
Stop Braking. This will let the rear wheels roll
again, and keep the rear wheels from sliding.
Countersteer. As a vehicle turns back on course,
it has a tendency to keep on turning. Unless you
turn the steering wheel quickly the other way, you
may find yourself skidding in the opposite direction.
Learning to stay off the brake, turn the steering
wheel quickly, push in the clutch, and countersteer
in a skid takes a lot of practice. The best place to
get this practice is on a large driving range or "skid
pad."
2.19.3 – Front-wheel Skids
Driving too fast for conditions causes most frontwheel skids. Other causes include lack of tread on
the front tires and cargo loaded so not enough
weight is on the front axle. In a front-wheel skid,
the front end tends to go in a straight line
regardless of how much you turn the steering
wheel. On a very slippery surface, you may not be
able to steer around a curve or turn.
When a front-wheel skid occurs, the only way to
stop the skid is to let the vehicle slow down. Stop
turning and/or braking so hard. Slow down as
quickly as possible without skidding.
Subsections 2.17, 2.18, and 2.19
Test Your Knowledge
Figure 2.19
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Stopping is not always the safest thing to do
in an emergency. True or False?
What are some advantages of going right
instead of left around an obstacle?
What is an "escape ramp?"
If a tire blows out, you should put the brakes
on hard to stop quickly. True or False?
How do you know if your vehicle has antilock
brakes?
What is the proper braking technique when
driving a vehicle with antilock brakes?
How do antilock brakes help you?
These questions may be on the test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.17, 2.18,
and 2.19.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-36
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.20 – Accident Procedures
When you're in an accident and not seriously hurt,
you need to act to prevent further damage or
injury. The basic steps to be taken at any accident
are to:
Protect the area.
Notify authorities.
Care for the injured.
2.20.1 – Protect the Area
2.21.1 – Causes of Fire
The following are some causes of vehicle fires:
After Accidents. Spilled fuel, improper use of flares.
Tires. Under-inflated tires and duals that touch.
Electrical System. Short circuits due to damaged
insulation, loose connections.
Fuel. Driver smoking, improper fueling, loose fuel
connections.
Cargo. Flammable cargo, improperly sealed or
loaded cargo, poor ventilation.
The first thing to do at an accident scene is to keep
another accident from happening in the same spot.
To protect the accident area:
2.21.2 – Fire Prevention
If your vehicle is involved in the accident, try to get
it to the side of the road. This will help prevent
another accident and allow traffic to move.
If you're stopping to help, park away from the
accident. The area immediately around the
accident will be needed for emergency vehicles.
Put on your flashers.
Set out reflective triangles to warn other traffic.
Make sure other drivers can see them in time to
avoid the accident.
Pre-trip Inspection. Make a complete inspection of
the electrical, fuel, and exhaust systems, tires, and
cargo. Be sure to check that the fire extinguisher is
charged.
En Route Inspection. Check the tires, wheels, and
truck body for signs of heat whenever you stop
during a trip.
Follow Safe Procedures. Follow correct safety
procedures for fueling the vehicle, using brakes,
handling flares, and other activities that can cause
a fire.
Monitoring. Check the instruments and gauges
often for signs of overheating and use the mirrors
to look for signs of smoke from tires or the vehicle.
Caution. Use normal caution in handling anything
flammable.
2.20.2 – Notify Authorities
If you have a cell phone or CB, call for assistance
before you get out of your vehicle. If not, wait until
after the accident scene has been properly
protected, then phone or send someone to phone
the police. Try to determine where you are so you
can give the exact location.
2.20.3 – Care for the Injured
If a qualified person is at the accident and helping
the injured, stay out of the way unless asked to
assist. Otherwise, do the best you can to help any
injured parties. Here are some simple steps to
follow in giving assistance:
Don't move a severely injured person unless the
danger of fire or passing traffic makes it necessary.
Stop heavy bleeding by applying direct pressure to
the wound.
Keep the injured person warm.
2.21 – Fires
Truck fires can cause damage and injury. Learn
the causes of fires and how to prevent them. Know
what to do to extinguish fires.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Pay attention to the following:
2.21.3 – Fire Fighting
Knowing how to fight fires is important. Drivers who
didn’t know what to do have made fires worse.
Know how the fire extinguisher works. Study the
instructions printed on the extinguisher before you
need it. Here are some procedures to follow in
case of fire.
Pull Off the Road. The first step is to get the
vehicle off the road and stop. In doing so:
Park in an open area, away from buildings, trees,
brush, other vehicles, or anything that might catch
fire.
Don't pull into a service station!
Notify emergency services of your problem and
your location.
Keep the Fire from Spreading. Before trying to
put out the fire, make sure that it doesn't spread
any further.
Page 2-37
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
With an engine fire, turn off the engine as soon as
you can. Don't open the hood if you can avoid it.
Shoot foam through louvers, radiator, or from the
vehicle’s underside.
For a cargo fire in a van or box trailer, keep the
doors shut, especially if your cargo contains
hazardous materials. Opening the van doors will
supply the fire with oxygen and can cause it to
burn very fast.
Class of Fire/Type of Extinguisher
Class of Fire
B or C
A, B, C, or D
D
B or C
D
B or C
B or C
A
A
A or B
B, On Some A
Extinguish the Fire. Here are some rules to follow
in putting out a fire:
When using the extinguisher, stay as far away from
the fire as possible.
Aim at the source or base of the fire, not up in the
flames.
Fire Extinguisher Type
Regular Dry Chemical
Multi Purpose Dry Chemical
Purple K Dry Chemical
KCL Dry Chemical
Dry
Powder
Special
Compound
Carbon Dioxide (Dry)
Halogenated Agent (Gas)
Water
Water With Anti-Freeze
Water, Loaded Steam Style
Foam
Figure 2.21
Use the Right Fire Extinguisher
Figures 2.20 and 2.21 detail the type of fire
extinguisher to use by class of fire.
The B:C type fire extinguisher is designed to work
on electrical fires and burning liquids.
The A:B:C type is designed to work on burning
wood, paper, and cloth as well.
Water can be used on wood, paper, or cloth, but
don't use water on an electrical fire (can cause
shock) or a gasoline fire (it will spread the flames).
A burning tire must be cooled. Lots of water may
be required.
If you're not sure what to use, especially on a
hazardous materials fire, wait for firefighters.
Position yourself upwind. Let the wind carry the
extinguisher to the fire.
Continue until whatever was burning has been
cooled. Absence of smoke or flame does not mean
the fire cannot restart.
Class
A
B
C
D
Subsections 2.20 and 2.21
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What are some things to do at an accident
scene to prevent another accident?
Name two causes of tire fires.
What kinds of fires is a B:C extinguisher
not good for?
When using your extinguisher, should you
get as close as possible to the fire?
Name some causes of vehicle fires.
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.20 and 2.21.
Class/Type of Fires
Type
Wood, Paper, Ordinary Combustibles
Extinguish by Cooling and Quenching
Using Water or Dry Chemicals
Gasoline, Oil, Grease, Other Greasy
Liquids
Extinguish by Smothering, Cooling or
Heat Shielding using carbon Dioxide or
Dry Chemicals
Electrical Equipment Fires
Extinguish with Nonconducting Agents
such as Carbon Dioxide or Dry
Chemicals. DO NOT USE WATER.
Fires in Combustible Metals
Extinguish by Using Specialized
Extinguishing Powders
Figure 2.20
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-38
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
2.22 – Alcohol, Other Drugs, and
Driving
2.22.1 – Alcohol and Driving
Effects
Drinks
Body Weight in Pounds
140
160
180
200
220
240
0
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
.00
1
.04
.03
.03
.02
.02
.02
.02
.02
2
.08
.06
.05
.05
.04
.04
.03
.03
3
.11
.09
.08
.07
.06
.06
.05
.05
4
.15
.12
.11
.09
.08
.08
.07
.06
All of the following drinks contain the same amount
of alcohol:
5
.19
.16
.13
.12
.11
.09
.09
.08
6
.23
.19
.16
.14
.13
.11
.10
.09
7
.26
.22
.19
.16
.15
.13
.12
.11
8
.30
.25
.21
.19
.17
.15
.14
.13
9
.34
.28
.24
.21
.19
.17
.15
.14
10
.38
.31
.27
.23
.21
.19
.17
.16
A 12-ounce glass of 5% beer.
A 5-ounce glass of 12% wine.
A 1 1/2-ounce shot of 80 proof liquor.
What
Determines
Blood
Alcohol
Concentration? BAC is determined by the amount
of alcohol you drink (more alcohol means higher
BAC), how fast you drink (faster drinking means
higher BAC), and your weight (a small person
doesn't have to drink as much to reach the same
BAC).
Alcohol and the Brain. Alcohol affects more and
more of the brain as BAC builds up. The first part
of the brain affected controls judgment and selfcontrol. One of the bad things about this is it can
keep drinkers from knowing they are getting drunk.
And, of course, good judgment and self-control are
absolutely necessary for safe driving.
Driving Skills Significantly Affected Legally Intoxicated
Criminal Penalties
Criminal Penalties
120
How Alcohol Works. Alcohol goes directly into
the blood stream and is carried to the brain. After
passing through the brain, a small percentage is
removed in urine, perspiration, and by breathing,
while the rest is carried to the liver. The liver can
only process one-third an ounce of alcohol per
hour, which is considerably less than the alcohol in
a standard drink. This is a fixed rate, so only time,
not black coffee or a cold shower, will sober you
up. If you have drinks faster than your body can
get rid of them, you will have more alcohol in your
body, and your driving will be more affected. The
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) commonly
measures the amount of alcohol in your body. See
Figure 2.22.
Only Safe
Impairment
Driving Limit Begins
100
Drinking alcohol and then driving is very dangerous
and a serious problem. People who drink alcohol
are involved in traffic accidents resulting in over
20,000 deaths every year. Alcohol impairs muscle
coordination, reaction time, depth perception, and
night vision. It also affects the parts of the brain
that control judgment and inhibition. For some
people, one drink is all it takes to show signs of
impairment.
What Is a Drink? It is the alcohol in drinks
that affects human performance. It doesn't
make any difference whether that alcohol
comes from "a couple of beers,” or from
two glasses of wine, or two shots of hard
liquor. Approximate Blood Alcohol
Content
Subtract .01% for each 40 minutes of drinking. One
drink is 1.25 oz. of 80 proof liquor, 12 oz. of beer,
or 5 oz. of table wine.
Figure 2.22
As BAC continues to build up, muscle control,
vision, and coordination are affected more and
more. Effects on driving may include:
Straddling lanes.
Quick, jerky starts.
Not signaling, failure to use lights.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-39
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Running stop signs and red lights.
Improper passing.
Running over the curb.
Weaving.
See Figure 2.23.
2.22.2 – Other Drugs
These effects mean increased chances of a crash
and chances of losing your driver's license.
Accident statistics show that the chance of a crash
is much greater for drivers who have been drinking
than for drivers who have not.
Effects Of Increasing
Blood Alcohol Content
Blood Alcohol Content is the amount of alcohol in
your blood recorded in milligrams of alcohol per 100
milliliters of blood. Your BAC depends on the amount
of blood (which increases with weight) and the
amount of alcohol you consume over time (how fast
you drink). The faster you drink, the higher your
BAC, as the liver can only handle about one drink
per hour—the rest builds up in your blood.
BAC
.02
Effects on Body
Mellow feeling, slight
body warmth.
.05
Noticeable relaxation.
.08
Definite impairment in
coordination &
judgment .
Effects on Driving
Condition
Less inhibited.
Less alert, less selffocused,
coordination
impairment begins.
Drunk driving limit,
impaired
coordination &
judgment.
Noisy, possible
embarrassing
Reduction in
.10*
behavior, mood
reaction time.
swings.
Impaired balance &
.15
movement, clearly
Unable to drive.
drunk.
Many lose
.30
consciousness.
Most lose
.40
consciousness, some
die.
Breathing stops,
.50
many die.
BAC of .10 means that 1/10 of 1 % (or 1/1000) of
your total blood content is alcohol.
Figure 2.23
How Alcohol Affects Driving. All drivers are
affected by drinking alcohol. Alcohol affects
judgment, vision, coordination, and reaction time. It
causes serious driving errors, such as:
Increased reaction time to hazards.
Driving too fast or too slow.
Driving in the wrong lane.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Besides alcohol, other legal and illegal drugs are
being used more often. Laws prohibit possession
or use of many drugs while on duty. They prohibit
being under the influence of any "controlled
substance," amphetamines (including "pep pills,"
“uppers,” and "bennies"), narcotics, or any other
substance, which can make the driver unsafe. This
could include a variety of prescription and over-thecounter drugs (cold medicines), which may make
the driver drowsy or otherwise affect safe driving
ability. However, possession and use of a drug
given to a driver by a doctor is permitted if the
doctor informs the driver that it will not affect safe
driving ability.
Pay attention to warning labels for legitimate drugs
and medicines, and to doctor's orders regarding
possible effects. Stay away from illegal drugs.
Don't use any drug that hides fatigue--the only cure
for fatigue is rest. Alcohol can make the effects of
other drugs much worse. The safest rule is don't
mix drugs with driving at all.
Use of drugs can lead to traffic accidents resulting
in death, injury, and property damage.
Furthermore, it can lead to arrest, fines, and jail
sentences. It can also mean the end of a person's
driving career.
2.23 – Staying Alert and Fit to Drive
Driving a vehicle for long hours is tiring. Even the
best of drivers will become less alert. However,
there are things that good drivers do to help stay
alert and safe.
2.23.1 – Be Ready to Drive
Get Enough Sleep. Sleep is not like money. You
can’t save it up ahead of time and you can’t borrow
it. But, just as with money, you can go into debt
with it. If you don’t sleep enough, you “owe” more
sleep to yourself. This debt can only be paid off by
sleeping. You can’t overcome it with willpower, and
it won’t go away by itself. The average person
needs seven or eight hours of sleep every 24
hours. Leaving on a long trip when you're already
tired is dangerous. If you have a long trip
scheduled, make sure that you get enough sleep
before you go.
Page 2-40
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Schedule Trips Safely. Try to arrange your
schedule so you are not in “sleep debt” before a
long trip. Your body gets used to sleeping during
certain hours. If you are driving during those hours,
you will be less alert. If possible, try to schedule
trips for the hours you are normally awake. Many
heavy motor vehicle accidents occur between
midnight and 6 a.m. Tired drivers can easily fall
asleep at these times, especially if they don't
regularly drive at those hours. Trying to push on
and finish a long trip at these times can be very
dangerous.
Exercise Regularly. Resistance to fatigue and
improved sleep are among the benefits of regular
exercise. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily
life. Instead of sitting and watching TV in your
sleeper, walk or jog a few laps around the parking
lot. A little bit of daily exercise will give you energy
throughout the day.
Eat Healthy. It is often hard for drivers to find
healthy food. But with a little extra effort, you can
eat healthy, even on the road. Try to find
restaurants with healthy, balanced meals. If you
must eat at fast-food restaurants, pick low-fat
items. Another simple way to reduce your caloric
intake is to eliminate fattening snacks. Instead, try
fruit or vegetables.
Avoid Medication. Many medicines can make you
sleepy. Those that do have a label warning against
operating vehicles or machinery. The most
common medicine of this type is an ordinary cold
pill. If you have to drive with a cold, you are better
off suffering from the cold than from the effects of
the medicine.
Visit Your Doctor. Regular checkups literally can
be lifesavers. Illnesses such as diabetes, heart
disease, and skin and colon cancer can be
detected easily and treated if found in time.
You should consult your physician or a local sleep
disorder center if you suffer from frequent daytime
sleepiness, have difficulty sleeping at night, take
frequent naps, fall asleep at strange times, snore
loudly, gasp and choke in your sleep, and/or wake
up feeling as though you have not had enough
sleep.
2.23.2 – While You Are Driving
Keep Cool. A hot, poorly ventilated vehicle can
make you sleepy. Keep the window or vent
cracked open or use the air conditioner, if you
have one.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Take Breaks. Short breaks can keep you alert. But
the time to take them is before you feel really
drowsy or tired. Stop often. Walk around and
inspect your vehicle. It may help to do some
physical exercises.
Be sure to take a mid-afternoon break and plan to
sleep between midnight and 6 a.m.
Recognize the Danger Signals of Drowsy
Driving. Sleep is not voluntary. If you’re drowsy,
you can fall asleep and never even know it. If you
are drowsy, you are likely to have “micro sleeps”–
brief naps that last around four or five seconds. At
55 miles an hour, that’s more than 100 yards, and
plenty of time for a crash. Even if you are not
aware of being drowsy, if you have a sleep debt
you are still at risk. Here are a few ways to tell if
you’re about to fall asleep. If you experience any of
these danger signs, take them as a warning that
you could fall asleep without meaning to.
Your eyes close or go out of focus by themselves.
You have trouble keeping your head up.
You can’t stop yawning.
You have wandering, disconnected thoughts.
You don’t remember driving the last few miles.
You drift between lanes, tailgate, or miss traffic
signs.
You keep jerking the truck back into the lane.
You have drifted off the road and narrowly missed
crashing.
If you have even one of these symptoms, you may
be in danger of falling asleep. Pull off the road in a
safe place and take a nap.
2.23.3 – When You Do Become Sleepy
When you are sleepy, trying to "push on" is far
more dangerous than most drivers think. It is a
major cause of fatal accidents. Here are some
important rules to follow.
Stop to Sleep. When your body needs sleep,
sleep is the only thing that will work. If you have to
make a stop anyway, make it whenever you feel
the first signs of sleepiness, even if it is earlier than
you planned. By getting up a little earlier the next
day, you can keep on schedule without the danger
of driving while you are not alert.
Take a Nap. If you can't stop for the night, at least
pull off at a safe place, such as a rest area or truck
stop, and take a nap. A nap as short as a half-hour
will do more to overcome fatigue than a half-hour
coffee stop.
Page 2-41
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Avoid Drugs. There are no drugs that can
overcome being tired. While they may keep you
awake for a while, they won't make you alert. And
eventually, you'll be even more tired than if you
hadn't taken them at all. Sleep is the only thing that
can overcome fatigue.
Do Not. Do not rely on coffee or another source of
caffeine to keep you awake. Do not count on the
radio, an open window, or other tricks to keep you
awake.
2.23.4 – Illness
Once in a while, you may become so ill that you
cannot operate a motor vehicle safely. If this
happens to you, you must not drive. However, in
case of an emergency, you may drive to the
nearest place where you can safely stop.
Class
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
2.24 – Hazardous Materials Rules For
All Commercial Drivers
9
All drivers should know something about
hazardous materials. You must be able to
recognize hazardous cargo, and you must know
whether or not you can haul it without having a
hazardous materials endorsement on your CDL
license.
None
2.24.1 – What Are Hazardous Materials?
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk
to
health,
safety,
and
property
during
transportation. See Figure 2.24.
2.24.2 – Why Are There Rules?
You must follow the many rules about transporting
hazardous materials. The intent of the rules is to:
Contain the product.
Communicate the risk.
Ensure safe drivers and equipment.
To Contain the Product. Many hazardous
products can injure or kill on contact. To protect
drivers and others from contact, the rules tell
shippers how to package safely. Similar rules tell
drivers how to load, transport, and unload bulk
tanks. These are containment rules.
None
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Gases
Helium
Gasoline
Fuel,
Flammable
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Corrosives
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
MaterialCharcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 2.24
To Communicate the Risk. The shipper uses a
shipping paper and diamond shaped hazard labels
to warn dockworkers and drivers of the risk.
After an accident or hazardous material spill or
leak, you may be injured and unable to
communicate the hazards of the materials you are
transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or
reduce the amount of damage or injury at the
scene if they know what hazardous materials are
being carried. Your life, and the lives of others,
may depend on quickly locating the hazardous
materials shipping papers. For that reason, you
must tab shipping papers related to hazardous
materials or keep them on top of other shipping
papers. You must also keep shipping papers:
In a pouch on the driver's door, or
In clear view within reach while driving, or
On the driver's seat when out of the vehicle.
2.24.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards are used to warn others of hazardous
materials. Placards are signs put on the outside of
a vehicle that identify the hazard class of the
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Page 2-42
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
cargo. A placarded vehicle must have at least four
identical placards. They are put on the front, rear,
and both sides. Placards must be readable from all
four directions. They are at least 10 3/4 inches
square, turned upright on a point, in a diamond
shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk packaging
display the identification number of their contents
on placards or orange panels.
Identification Numbers are a four digit code used
by first responders to identify hazardous materials.
An identification number may be used to identify
more than one chemical on shipping papers. The
identification number will be preceded by the
letters “NA” or “UN”. The US DOT Emergency
Response Guidebook (ERG) identifies the
chemicals all identification numbers are assigned
to.
Not all vehicles carrying hazardous materials need
to have placards. The rules about placards are
given in Section 9 of this manual. You can drive a
vehicle that carries hazardous materials if it does
not require placards. If it requires placards, you
cannot drive it unless your driver license has the
hazardous materials endorsement. See Figure
2.25.
The rules require all drivers of placarded vehicles
to learn how to safely load and transport
hazardous products. They must have a commercial
driver license with the hazardous materials
endorsement. To get the required endorsement,
you must pass a written test on material found in
Section 9 of this manual. A tank endorsement is
required for certain vehicles that transport liquids
or gases. The liquid or gas does not have to be a
hazardous material. A tank endorsement is only
required if your vehicle needs a Class A or B CDL
and your vehicle has a permanently mounted
cargo tank of any capacity; or your vehicle is
carrying a portable tank with a capacity of 1,000
gallons or more.
Drivers who need the hazardous materials
endorsement must learn the placard rules. If you
do not know if your vehicle needs placards, ask
your employer. Never drive a vehicle needing
placards unless you have the hazardous materials
endorsement. To do so is a crime. When stopped,
you will be cited and you will not be allowed to
drive your truck further. It will cost you time and
money. A failure to placard when needed may risk
your life and others if you have an accident.
Emergency help will not know of your hazardous
cargo.
Section 2 – Driving Safely
Figure 2.25
Hazardous materials drivers must also know which
products they can load together, and which they
cannot. These rules are also in Section 9. Before
loading a truck with more than one type of product,
you must know if it is safe to load them together. If
you do not know, ask your employer.
Subsections 2.22, 2.23, and 2.24
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Common medicines for colds can make
you sleepy. True or False?
What should you do if you become sleepy
while driving?
Coffee and a little fresh air will help a
drinker sober up. True or False?
What is a hazardous materials placard?
Why are placards used?
What is “sleep debt”?
What are the danger signals of drowsy
driving?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read subsections 2.22, 2.23,
and 2.24.
Page 2-43
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 3
TRANSPORTING CARGO
SAFELY
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Inspecting Cargo
Cargo Weight and Balance
Securing Cargo
Cargo Needing Special Attention
This section tells you about hauling cargo safely.
You must understand basic cargo safety rules to
get a CDL.
If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it, it can
be a danger to others and yourself. Loose cargo
that falls off a vehicle can cause traffic problems
and others could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo
could hurt or kill you during a quick stop or crash.
Your vehicle could be damaged by an overload.
Steering could be affected by how a vehicle is
loaded, making it more difficult to control the
vehicle.
Whether or not you load and secure the cargo
yourself, you are responsible for:
Inspecting your cargo.
Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced
weight.
Knowing your cargo is properly secured and does
not obscure your view ahead or to the sides.
Knowing your cargo does not restrict your access
to emergency equipment.
If you intend to carry hazardous material that
requires placards on your vehicle, you will also
need to have a hazardous materials endorsement.
Section 9 of this manual has the information you
need to pass the hazardous materials test.
3.1 – Inspecting Cargo
As part of your pre-trip inspection, make sure the
truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced
and secured properly.
After Starting. Inspect the cargo and its securing
devices again within the first 50 miles after
beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed.
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Re-check. Re-check the cargo and securing
devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep
the load secure. You need to inspect again:
After you have driven for 3 hours or 150 miles.
After every break you take during driving.
Federal, state, and local regulations for commercial
vehicle weight, securing cargo, covering loads, and
where you can drive large vehicles vary from place
to place. Know the rules where you will be driving.
3.2 – Weight and Balance
You are responsible for not being overloaded. The
following are some definitions of weight you should
know.
3.2.1 – Definitions You Should Know
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The total weight of
a single vehicle plus its load.
Gross Combination Weight (GCW). The total
weight of a powered unit, plus trailer(s), plus the
cargo.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). The
maximum GVW specified by the manufacturer for a
single vehicle plus its load.
Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR).
The maximum GCW specified by the manufacturer
for a specific combination of vehicles plus its load.
Axle Weight. The weight transmitted to the ground
by one axle or one set of axles.
Tire Load. The maximum safe weight a tire can
carry at a specified pressure. This rating is stated
on the side of each tire.
Suspension Systems. Suspension systems have
a manufacturer's weight capacity rating.
Coupling Device Capacity. Coupling devices are
rated for the maximum weight they can pull and/or
carry.
3.2.2 – Legal Weight Limits
You must keep weights within legal limits. States
have maximums for GVWs, GCWs, and axle
weights. Often, maximum axle weights are set by a
bridge formula. A bridge formula permits less
maximum axle weight for axles that are closer
together. This is to prevent overloading bridges
and roadways.
Page 3-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Overloading can have bad effects on steering,
braking, and speed control. Overloaded trucks
have to go very slowly on upgrades. Worse, they
may gain too much speed on downgrades.
Stopping distance increases. Brakes can fail when
forced to work too hard.
During bad weather or in mountains, it may not be
safe to operate at legal maximum weights. Take
this into account before driving.
3.2.3 – Don't Be Top-heavy
The height of the vehicle's center of gravity is very
important for safe handling. A high center of gravity
(cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means
you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous
in curves, or if you have to swerve to avoid a
hazard. It is very important to distribute the cargo
so it is as low as possible. Put the heaviest parts of
the cargo under the lightest parts.
3.2.4 – Balance the Weight
Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling
unsafe. Too much weight on the steering axle can
cause hard steering. It can damage the steering
axle and tires. Under-loaded front axles (caused by
shifting weight too far to the rear) can make the
steering axle weight too light to steer safely. Too
little weight on the driving axles can cause poor
traction. The drive wheels may spin easily. During
bad weather, the truck may not be able to keep
going. Weight that is loaded so there is a high
center of gravity causes greater chance of rollover.
On flat bed vehicles, there is also a greater chance
that the load will shift to the side or fall off. See
Figure 3.1.
3.3 – Securing Cargo
3.3.1 – Blocking and Bracing
Blocking is used in the front, back, and/or sides of
a piece of cargo to keep it from sliding. Blocking is
shaped to fit snugly against cargo. It is secured to
the cargo deck to prevent cargo movement.
Bracing is also used to prevent movement of
cargo. Bracing goes from the upper part of the
cargo to the floor and/or walls of the cargo
compartment.
Figure 3.1
3.3.2 – Cargo Tiedown
On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo
must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling
off. In closed vans, tiedowns can also be important
to prevent cargo shifting that may affect the
handling of the vehicle. Tiedowns must be of the
proper type and proper strength. Federal
regulations require the aggregate working load limit
of any securement system used to secure an
article or group of articles against movement must
be at least one-half times the weight of the article
or group of articles. Proper tiedown equipment
must be used, including ropes, straps, chains, and
tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching
components). Tiedowns must be attached to the
vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts, rails, rings). See
figure 3.2.
Figure 3.2
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
Page 3-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Cargo should have at least one tiedown for each
ten feet of cargo. Make sure you have enough
tiedowns to meet this need. No matter how small
the cargo, it should have at least two tiedowns.
There are special requirements for securing
various heavy pieces of metal. Find out what they
are if you are to carry such loads.
3.4.2 – Hanging Meat
Hanging meat (suspended beef, pork, lamb) in a
refrigerated truck can be a very unstable load with
a high center of gravity. Particular caution is
needed on sharp curves such as off ramps and on
ramps. Go slowly.
3.4.3 – Livestock
3.3.3 – Header Boards
Front-end header boards ("headache racks")
protect you from your cargo in case of a crash or
emergency stop. Make sure the front-end structure
is in good condition. The front-end structure should
block the forward movement of any cargo you
carry.
Livestock can move around in a trailer, causing
unsafe handling. With less than a full load, use
false bulkheads to keep livestock bunched
together. Even when bunched, special care is
necessary because livestock can lean on curves.
This shifts the center of gravity and makes rollover
more likely.
3.3.4 – Covering Cargo
3.4.4 – Oversized Loads
There are two basic reasons for covering cargo:
Spill protection is a safety requirement in many
states. Be familiar with the laws in the states you
drive in.
Over-length, over-width, and/or overweight loads
require special transit permits. Driving is usually
limited to certain times. Special equipment may be
necessary such as "wide load" signs, flashing
lights, flags, etc. Such loads may require a police
escort or pilot vehicles bearing warning signs
and/or flashing lights. These special loads require
special driving care.
You should look at your cargo covers in the mirrors
from time to time while driving. A flapping cover
can tear loose, uncovering the cargo, and possibly
block your view or someone else's.
Section 3
Test Your Knowledge
To protect people from spilled cargo.
To protect the cargo from weather.
3.3.5 – Sealed and Containerized Loads
1.
Containerized loads generally are used when
freight is carried part way by rail or ship. Delivery
by truck occurs at the beginning and/or end of the
journey. Some containers have their own tiedown
devices or locks that attach directly to a special
frame. Others have to be loaded onto flat bed
trailers. They must be properly secured just like
any other cargo.
2.
You cannot inspect sealed loads, but you should
check that you don't exceed gross weight and axle
weight limits.
3.4 – Cargo Needing Special Attention
3.4.1 – Dry Bulk
Dry bulk tanks require special care because they
have a high center of gravity, and the load can
shift. Be extremely cautious (slow and careful)
going around curves and making sharp turns.
Section 3 - Transporting Cargo Safely
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
What four things related to cargo are
drivers responsible for?
How often must you stop while on the road
to check your cargo?
How is Gross Combination Weight Rating
different from Gross Combination Weight?
Name two situations where legal maximum
weights may not be safe.
What can happen if you don't have enough
weight on the front axle?
What is the minimum number of tiedowns
for any flat bed load?
What is the minimum number of tiedowns
for a 20-foot load?
Name the two basic reasons for covering
cargo on an open bed.
What must you check before transporting a
sealed load?
These questions may be on your test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read Section 3.
Page 3-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 4
TRANSPORTING
PASSENGERS SAFELY
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
Vehicle Inspection
Loading
On the Road
After-trip Vehicle Inspection
Prohibited Practices
Use of Brake-door Interlocks
Bus drivers must have a commercial driver license
if they drive a vehicle designed to seat more than
16 or more persons, including the driver.
Bus drivers must have a passenger endorsement
on their commercial driver license. To get the
endorsement you must pass a knowledge test on
Sections 2 and 4 of this manual. (If your bus has
air brakes, you must also pass a knowledge test on
Section 5.) You must also pass the skills tests
required for the class of vehicle you drive.
4.1 – Vehicle Inspection
Before driving your bus, you must be sure it is
safe. You must review the inspection report made
by the previous driver. Only if defects reported
earlier have been certified as repaired or not
needed to be repaired, should you sign the
previous driver's report. This is your certification
that the defects reported earlier have been fixed.
4.1.1 – Vehicle Systems
Make sure these things are in good working order
before driving:
Service brakes, including air hose couplings (if
your bus has a trailer or semitrailer).
Parking brake.
Steering mechanism.
Lights and reflectors.
Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or
regrooved tires).
Horn.
Windshield wiper or wipers.
Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
Coupling devices (if present).
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Wheels and rims.
Emergency equipment.
4.1.2 – Access Doors and Panels
As you check the outside of the bus, close any
open emergency exits. Also, close any open
access panels (for baggage, restroom service,
engine, etc.) before driving.
4.1.3 – Bus Interior
People sometimes damage unattended buses.
Always check the interior of the bus before driving
to ensure rider safety. Aisles and stairwells should
always be clear. The following parts of your bus
must be in safe working condition:
Each handhold and railing.
Floor covering.
Signaling devices, including the restroom
emergency buzzer, if the bus has a restroom.
Emergency exit handles.
The seats must be safe for riders. All seats must
be securely fastened to the bus.
Never drive with an open emergency exit door or
window. The "Emergency Exit" sign on an
emergency door must be clearly visible. If there is
a red emergency door light, it must work. Turn it on
at night or any other time you use your outside
lights.
4.1.4 – Roof Hatches
You may lock some emergency roof hatches in a
partly open position for fresh air. Do not leave them
open as a regular practice. Keep in mind the bus's
higher clearance while driving with them open.
Make sure your bus has the fire extinguisher and
emergency reflectors required by law. The bus
must also have spare electrical fuses, unless
equipped with circuit breakers.
4.1.5 – Use Your Seatbelt!
The driver's seat should have a seat belt. Always
use it for safety.
4.2 – Loading and Trip Start
Do not allow riders to leave carry-on baggage in a
doorway or aisle. There should be nothing in the
aisle that might trip other riders. Secure baggage
and freight in ways that avoid damage and:
Page 4-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Allow the driver to move freely and easily.
Allow riders to exit by any window or door in an
emergency.
Protect riders from injury if carry-ons fall or shift.
4.2.1 – Hazardous Materials
Watch for cargo or baggage containing hazardous
materials. Most hazardous materials cannot be
carried on a bus.
The Federal Hazardous Materials Table shows
which materials are hazardous. They pose a risk to
health, safety, and property during transportation.
The rules require shippers to mark containers of
hazardous material with the material's name,
identification number, and hazard label. There are
nine different four-inch, diamond-shaped hazard
labels. See Figure 4.1. Watch for the diamondshaped labels. Do not transport any hazardous
material unless you are sure the rules allow it.
Class
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
None
None
Hazard Class Definitions
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Gases
Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
Flammable
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Corrosives
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
MaterialCharcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 4.1
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
4.2.2 – Forbidden Hazardous Materials
Buses may carry small-arms ammunition labeled
ORM-D, emergency hospital supplies, and drugs.
You can carry small amounts of some other
hazardous materials if the shipper cannot send
them any other way. Buses must never carry:
Division 2.3 poison gas, liquid Class 6 poison, tear
gas, irritating material.
More than 100 pounds of solid Class 6 poisons.
Explosives in the space occupied by people,
except small arms ammunition.
Labeled radioactive materials in the space
occupied by people.
More than 500 pounds total of allowed hazardous
materials, and no more than 100 pounds of any
one class.
Riders sometimes board a bus with an unlabeled
hazardous material. Do not allow riders to carry on
common hazards such as car batteries or gasoline.
4.2.3 – Standee Line
No rider may stand forward of the rear of the
driver's seat. Buses designed to allow standing
must have a two-inch line on the floor or some
other means of showing riders where they cannot
stand. This is called the standee line. All standing
riders must stay behind it.
4.2.4 – At Your Destination
When arriving at the destination or intermediate
stops announce:
The location.
Reason for stopping.
Next departure time.
Bus number.
Remind riders to take carry-ons with them if they
get off the bus. If the aisle is on a lower level than
the seats, remind riders of the step-down. It is best
to tell them before coming to a complete stop.
Charter bus drivers should not allow riders on the
bus until departure time. This will help prevent theft
or vandalism of the bus.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
4.3 – On the Road
4.3.1 – Passenger Supervision
Many charter and intercity carriers have passenger
comfort and safety rules. Mention rules about
smoking, drinking, or use of radio and tape players
at the start of the trip. Explaining the rules at the
start will help to avoid trouble later on.
While driving, scan the interior of your bus as well
as the road ahead, to the sides, and to the rear.
You may have to remind riders about rules, or to
keep arms and heads inside the bus.
4.3.2 – At Stops
Riders can stumble when getting on or off, and
when the bus starts or stops. Caution riders to
watch their step when leaving the bus. Wait for
them to sit down or brace themselves before
starting. Starting and stopping should be as
smooth as possible to avoid rider injury.
Occasionally, you may have a drunk or disruptive
rider. You must ensure this rider's safety as well as
that of others. Don't discharge such riders where it
would be unsafe for them. It may be safer at the
next scheduled stop or a well-lighted area where
there are other people. Many carriers have
guidelines for handling disruptive riders.
4.3.3 – Common Accidents
The Most Common Bus Accidents. Bus
accidents often happen at intersections. Use
caution, even if a signal or stop sign controls other
traffic. School and mass transit buses sometimes
scrape off mirrors or hit passing vehicles when
pulling out from a bus stop. Remember the
clearance your bus needs, and watch for poles and
tree limbs at stops. Know the size of the gap your
bus needs to accelerate and merge with traffic.
Wait for the gap to open before leaving the stop.
Never assume other drivers will brake to give you
room when you signal or start to pull out.
4.3.4 – Speed on Curves
Crashes on curves that kill people and destroy
buses result from excessive speed, often when
rain or snow has made the road slippery. Every
banked curve has a safe "design speed." In good
weather, the posted speed is safe for cars but it
may be too high for many buses. With good
traction, the bus may roll over; with poor traction, it
might slide off the curve. Reduce speed for curves!
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
If your bus leans toward the outside on a banked
curve, you are driving too fast.
4.3.5 – Railroad-highway Crossings Stops
Stop at RR Crossings:
Stop your bus between 15 and 50 feet before
railroad crossings.
Listen and look in both directions for trains. You
should open your forward door if it improves your
ability to see or hear an approaching train.
Before crossing after a train has passed, make
sure there isn't another train coming in the other
direction on other tracks.
If your bus has a manual transmission, never
change gears while crossing the tracks.
You do not have to stop, but must slow down and
carefully check for other vehicles:
¾
¾
¾
¾
At streetcar crossings.
Where a policeman or flagman is directing
traffic.
If a traffic signal is green.
At crossings marked as "exempt" or
"abandoned."
4.3.6 – Drawbridges
Stop at Drawbridges. Stop at drawbridges that do
not have a signal light or traffic control attendant.
Stop at least 50 feet before the draw of the bridge.
Look to make sure the draw is completely closed
before crossing. You do not need to stop, but must
slow down and make sure it's safe, when:
There is a traffic light showing green.
The bridge has an attendant or traffic officer who
controls traffic whenever the bridge opens.
4.4 – After-trip Vehicle Inspection
Inspect your bus at the end of each shift. If you
work for an interstate carrier, you must complete a
written inspection report for each bus driven. The
report must specify each bus and list any defect
that would affect safety or result in a breakdown. If
there are no defects, the report should say so.
Riders sometimes damage safety-related parts
such as handholds, seats, emergency exits, and
windows. If you report this damage at the end of a
shift, mechanics can make repairs before the bus
goes out again. Mass transit drivers should also
make sure passenger signaling devices and brakedoor interlocks work properly.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
4.5 – Prohibited Practices
Avoid fueling your bus with riders on board unless
absolutely necessary. Never refuel in a closed
building with riders on board.
Don't talk with riders, or engage in any other
distracting activity, while driving.
Do not tow or push a disabled bus with riders
aboard the vehicle, unless getting off would be
unsafe. Only tow or push the bus to the nearest
safe spot to discharge passengers. Follow your
employer's guidelines on towing or pushing
disabled buses.
4.6 – Use of Brake-door Interlocks
Urban mass transit coaches may have a brake and
accelerator interlock system. The interlock applies
the brakes and holds the throttle in idle position
when the rear door is open. The interlock releases
when you close the rear door. Do not use this
safety feature in place of the parking brake.
Section 4
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
Name some things to check in the interior
of a bus during a pre-trip inspection.
What are some hazardous materials you
can transport by bus?
What are some hazardous materials you
can’t transport by bus?
What is a standee line?
Does it matter where you make a
disruptive passenger get off the bus?
How far from a railroad crossing should
you stop?
When must you stop before crossing a
drawbridge?
Describe from memory the “prohibited
practices” listed in the manual.
The rear door of a transit bus has to be
open to put on the parking brake. True or
False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 4.
Section 4 - Transporting Passengers Safely
Page 4-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 5
AIR BRAKES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Air Brake System Parts
Dual Air Brake Systems
Inspecting Air Brakes
Using Air Brakes
5.1.2 – Air Compressor Governor
The governor controls when the air compressor will
pump air into the air storage tanks. When air tank
pressure rises to the "cut-out" level (around 125
pounds per-square-inch or "psi"), the governor
stops the compressor from pumping air. When the
tank pressure falls to the "cut-in" pressure (around
100 psi), the governor allows the compressor to
start pumping again.
5.1.3 – Air Storage Tanks
This section tells you about air brakes. If you want
to drive a truck or bus with air brakes, or pull a
trailer with air brakes, you need to read this
section. If you want to pull a trailer with air brakes,
you also need to read Section 6, Combination
Vehicles. An air brake endorsement is only
required if your vehicle needs a CDL.
Air storage tanks are used to hold compressed air.
The number and size of air tanks varies among
vehicles. The tanks will hold enough air to allow
the brakes to be used several times, even if the
compressor stops working.
Air brakes use compressed air to make the brakes
work. Air brakes are a good and safe way of
stopping large and heavy vehicles, but the brakes
must be well maintained and used properly.
Compressed air usually has some water and some
compressor oil in it, which is bad for the air brake
system. For example, the water can freeze in cold
weather and cause brake failure. The water and oil
tend to collect in the bottom of the air tank. Be sure
that you drain the air tanks completely. Each air
tank is equipped with a drain valve in the bottom.
There are two types:
Air brakes are really three different braking
systems:
service brake, parking brake, and
emergency brake.
The service brake system applies and releases the
brakes when you use the brake pedal during
normal driving.
The parking brake system applies and releases the
parking brakes when you use the parking brake
control.
The emergency brake system uses parts of the
service and parking brake systems to stop the
vehicle in a brake system failure.
The parts of these systems are discussed in
greater detail below.
5.1.4 – Air Tank Drains
Manually operated by turning a quarter turn or by
pulling a cable. You must drain the tanks yourself
at the end of each day of driving. See Figure 5.1.
Automatic--the water and oil are automatically
expelled. These tanks may be equipped for
manual draining as well.
Automatic air tanks are available with electric
heating devices. These help prevent freezing of
the automatic drain in cold weather.
5.1 – The Parts of an Air Brake System
There are many parts to an air brake system. You
should know about the parts discussed here.
5.1.1 – Air Compressor
The air compressor pumps air into the air storage
tanks (reservoirs). The air compressor is
connected to the engine through gears or a v-belt.
The compressor may be air cooled or may be
cooled by the engine cooling system. It may have
its own oil supply or be lubricated by engine oil. If
the compressor has its own oil supply, check the
oil level before driving.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Figure 5.1
Page 5-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
5.1.5 – Alcohol Evaporator
Some air brake systems have an alcohol
evaporator to put alcohol into the air system. This
helps to reduce the risk of ice in air brake valves
and other parts during cold weather. Ice inside the
system can make the brakes stop working.
Check the alcohol container and fill up as
necessary, every day during cold weather. Daily air
tank drainage is still needed to get rid of water and
oil. (Unless the system has automatic drain
valves.)
pushes the rod out, moving the slack adjuster, thus
twisting the brake camshaft. This turns the s-cam
(so called because it is shaped like the letter "S").
The s-cam forces the brake shoes away from one
another and presses them against the inside of the
brake drum. When you release the brake pedal,
the s-cam rotates back and a spring pulls the brake
shoes away from the drum, letting the wheels roll
freely again. See Figure 5.2.
5.1.6 – Safety Valve
A safety relief valve is installed in the first tank the
air compressor pumps air to. The safety valve
protects the tank and the rest of the system from
too much pressure. The valve is usually set to
open at 150 psi. If the safety valve releases air,
something is wrong. Have the fault fixed by a
mechanic.
5.1.7 – The Brake Pedal
You put on the brakes by pushing down the brake
pedal. (It is also called the foot valve or treadle
valve.) Pushing the pedal down harder applies
more air pressure. Letting up on the brake pedal
reduces the air pressure and releases the brakes.
Releasing the brakes lets some compressed air go
out of the system, so the air pressure in the tanks
is reduced. It must be made up by the air
compressor. Pressing and releasing the pedal
unnecessarily can let air out faster than the
compressor can replace it. If the pressure gets too
low, the brakes won't work.
5.1.8 – Foundation Brakes
Foundation brakes are used at each wheel. The
most common type is the s-cam drum brake. The
parts of the brake are discussed below.
Brake Drums, Shoes, and Linings. Brake drums
are located on each end of the vehicle's axles. The
wheels are bolted to the drums. The braking
mechanism is inside the drum. To stop, the brake
shoes and linings are pushed against the inside of
the drum. This causes friction, which slows the
vehicle (and creates heat). The heat a drum can
take without damage depends on how hard and
how long the brakes are used. Too much heat can
make the brakes stop working.
S-cam Brakes. When you push the brake pedal,
air is let into each brake chamber. Air pressure
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Figure 5.2
Wedge Brakes. In this type of brake, the brake
chamber push rod pushes a wedge directly
between the ends of two brake shoes. This shoves
them apart and against the inside of the brake
drum. Wedge brakes may have a single brake
chamber, or two brake chambers, pushing wedges
in at both ends of the brake shoes. Wedge type
brakes may be self-adjusting or may require
manual adjustment.
Disc Brakes. In air-operated disc brakes, air
pressure acts on a brake chamber and slack
adjuster, like s-cam brakes. But instead of the scam, a "power screw" is used. The pressure of the
brake chamber on the slack adjuster turns the
power screw. The power screw clamps the disc or
rotor between the brake lining pads of a caliper,
similar to a large c-clamp.
Wedge brakes and disc brakes are less common
than s-cam brakes.
5.1.9 – Supply Pressure Gauges
All vehicles with air brakes have a pressure gauge
connected to the air tank. If the vehicle has a dual
air brake system, there will be a gauge for each
half of the system. (Or a single gauge with two
Page 5-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
needles.) Dual systems will be discussed later.
These gauges tell you how much pressure is in the
air tanks.
5.1.10 – Application Pressure Gauge
This gauge shows how much air pressure you are
applying to the brakes. (This gauge is not on all
vehicles.) Increasing application pressure to hold
the same speed means the brakes are fading. You
should slow down and use a lower gear. The need
for increased pressure can also be caused by
brakes out of adjustment, air leaks, or mechanical
problems.
5.1.11 – Low Air Pressure Warning
A low air pressure warning signal is required on
vehicles with air brakes. A warning signal you can
see must come on before the air pressure in the
tanks falls below 60 psi. (Or one half the
compressor governor cutout pressure on older
vehicles.) The warning is usually a red light. A
buzzer may also come on.
Another type of warning is the "wig wag." This
device drops a mechanical arm into your view
when the pressure in the system drops below 60
psi. An automatic wig wag will rise out of your view
when the pressure in the system goes above 60
psi. The manual reset type must be placed in the
"out of view" position manually. It will not stay in
place until the pressure in the system is above 60
psi.
On large buses it is common for the low pressure
warning devices to signal at 80-85 psi.
5.1.12 – Stop Light Switch
Drivers behind you must be warned when you put
your brakes on. The air brake system does this
with an electric switch that works by air pressure.
The switch turns on the brake lights when you put
on the air brakes.
5.1.13 – Front Brake Limiting Valve
Some older vehicles (made before 1975) have a
front brake limiting valve and a control in the cab.
The control is usually marked "normal" and
"slippery." When you put the control in the
"slippery" position, the limiting valve cuts the
"normal" air pressure to the front brakes by half.
Limiting valves were used to reduce the chance of
the front wheels skidding on slippery surfaces.
However, they actually reduce the stopping power
of the vehicle. Front wheel braking is good under
Section 5 – Air Brakes
all conditions. Tests have shown front wheel skids
from braking are not likely even on ice. Make sure
the control is in the "normal" position to have
normal stopping power.
Many vehicles have automatic front wheel limiting
valves. They reduce the air to the front brakes
except when the brakes are put on very hard (60
psi or more application pressure). These valves
cannot be controlled by the driver.
5.1.14 – Spring Brakes
All trucks, truck tractors, and buses must be
equipped with emergency brakes and parking
brakes. They must be held on by mechanical force
(because air pressure can eventually leak away).
Spring brakes are usually used to meet these
needs. When driving, powerful springs are held
back by air pressure. If the air pressure is
removed, the springs put on the brakes. A parking
brake control in the cab allows the driver to let the
air out of the spring brakes. This lets the springs
put the brakes on. A leak in the air brake system,
which causes all the air to be lost, will also cause
the springs to put on the brakes.
Tractor and straight truck spring brakes will come
fully on when air pressure drops to a range of 20 to
45 psi (typically 20 to 30 psi). Do not wait for the
brakes to come on automatically. When the low air
pressure warning light and buzzer first come on,
bring the vehicle to a safe stop right away, while
you can still control the brakes.
The braking power of spring brakes depends on
the brakes being in adjustment. If the brakes are
not adjusted properly, neither the regular brakes
nor the emergency/parking brakes will work right.
5.1.15 – Parking Brake Controls
In newer vehicles with air brakes, you put on the
parking brakes using a diamond-shaped, yellow,
push-pull control knob. You pull the knob out to put
the parking brakes (spring brakes) on, and push it
in to release them. On older vehicles, the parking
brakes may be controlled by a lever. Use the
parking brakes whenever you park.
Caution. Never push the brake pedal down when
the spring brakes are on. If you do, the brakes
could be damaged by the combined forces of the
springs and the air pressure. Many brake systems
are designed so this will not happen. But not all
systems are set up that way, and those that are
may not always work. It is much better to develop
Page 5-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
the habit of not pushing the brake pedal down
when the spring brakes are on.
Modulating Control Valves. In some vehicles a
control handle on the dash board may be used to
apply the spring brakes gradually. This is called a
modulating valve. It is spring-loaded so you have a
feel for the braking action. The more you move the
control lever, the harder the spring brakes come
on. They work this way so you can control the
spring brakes if the service brakes fail. When
parking a vehicle with a modulating control valve,
move the lever as far as it will go and hold it in
place with the locking device.
Dual Parking Control Valves. When main air
pressure is lost, the spring brakes come on. Some
vehicles, such as buses, have a separate air tank
which can be used to release the spring brakes.
This is so you can move the vehicle in an
emergency. One of the valves is a push-pull type
and is used to put on the spring brakes for parking.
The other valve is spring loaded in the "out"
position. When you push the control in, air from the
separate air tank releases the spring brakes so you
can move. When you release the button, the spring
brakes come on again. There is only enough air in
the separate tank to do this a few times. Therefore,
plan carefully when moving. Otherwise, you may
be stopped in a dangerous location when the
separate air supply runs out. See Figure 5.3.
5.1.16 – Antilock Braking Systems (ABS)
Truck tractors with air brakes built on or after
March 1, 1997, and other air brakes vehicles,
(trucks, buses, trailers, and converter dollies) built
on or after March 1, 1998, are required to be
equipped with antilock brakes. Many commercial
vehicles built before these dates have been
voluntarily equipped with ABS. Check the
certification label for the date of manufacture to
determine if your vehicle is equipped with ABS.
ABS is a computerized system that keeps your
wheels from locking up during hard brake
applications.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something isn’t working.
Tractors, trucks, and buses will have yellow ABS
malfunction lamps on the instrument panel.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner.
Dollies manufactured on or after March 1, 1998 are
required to have a lamp on the left side.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Figure 5.3
On newer vehicles, the malfunction lamp comes on
at start-up for a bulb check, and then goes out
quickly. On older systems, the lamp could stay on
until you are driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost
ABS control at one or more wheels.
In the case of towed units manufactured before it
was required by the Department of Transportation,
it may be difficult to tell if the unit is equipped with
ABS. Look under the vehicle for the electronic
control unit (ECU) and wheel speed sensor wires
coming from the back of the brakes.
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
Page 5-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 5.4
Subsection 5.1
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Why must air tanks be drained?
What is a supply pressure gauge used for?
All vehicles with air brakes must have a
low air pressure warning signal. True or
False?
What are spring brakes?
Front wheel brakes are good under all
conditions. True or False?
How do you know if your vehicle is
equipped with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 5.1.
5.2 – Dual Air Brake
Most heavy-duty vehicles use dual air brake
systems for safety. A dual air brake system has
two separate air brake systems, which use a single
set of brake controls. Each system has its own air
tanks, hoses, lines, etc. One system typically
operates the regular brakes on the rear axle or
axles. The other system operates the regular
Section 5 – Air Brakes
brakes on the front axle (and possibly one rear
axle). Both systems supply air to the trailer (if there
is one). The first system is called the "primary"
system. The other is called the "secondary"
system. See Figure 5.4.
Before driving a vehicle with a dual air system,
allow time for the air compressor to build up a
minimum of 100 psi pressure in both the primary
and secondary systems. Watch the primary and
secondary air pressure gauges (or needles, if the
system has two needles in one gauge). Pay
attention to the low air pressure warning light and
buzzer. The warning light and buzzer should shut
off when air pressure in both systems rises to a
value set by the manufacturer. This value must be
greater than 60 psi.
The warning light and buzzer should come on
before the air pressure drops below 60 psi in either
system. If this happens while driving, you should
stop right away and safely park the vehicle. If one
air system is very low on pressure, either the front
or the rear brakes will not be operating fully. This
means it will take you longer to stop. Bring the
vehicle to a safe stop, and have the air brakes
system fixed.
Page 5-5
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
5.3 – Inspecting Air Brake Systems
You should use the basic seven-step inspection
procedure described in Section 2 to inspect your
vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a
vehicle with air brakes than one without them.
These things are discussed below, in the order
they fit into the seven-step method.
5.3.1 – During Step 2 Engine Compartment
Checks
Check Air Compressor Drive Belt (if compressor is
belt-driven). If the air compressor is belt-driven,
check the condition and tightness of the belt. It
should be in good condition.
5.3.2 – During Step 5 Walkaround
Inspection
Check Slack Adjusters on S-cam Brakes. Park on
level ground and chock the wheels to prevent the
vehicle from moving. Release the parking brakes
so you can move the slack adjusters. Use gloves
and pull hard on each slack adjuster that you can
reach. If a slack adjuster moves more than about
one inch where the push rod attaches to it, it
probably needs adjustment. Adjust it or have it
adjusted. Vehicles with too much brake slack can
be very hard to stop. Out-of-adjustment brakes are
the most common problem found in roadside
inspections. Be safe. Check the slack adjusters.
All vehicles built since 1994 have automatic slack
adjustors. Even though automatic slack adjustors
adjust themselves during full brake applications,
they must be checked.
Automatic adjusters should not have to be
manually adjusted except when performing
maintenance on the brakes and during installation
of the slack adjusters. In a vehicle equipped with
automatic adjusters, when the pushrod stroke
exceeds the legal brake adjustment limit, it is an
indication that a mechanical problem exists in the
adjuster itself, a problem with the related
foundation brake components, or that the adjuster
was improperly installed.
the vehicle to a repair facility as soon as possible
to have the problem corrected.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster
should only be used as a temporary measure to
correct the adjustment in an emergency situation
as it is likely the brake will soon be back out of
adjustment since this procedure usually does not
fix the underlying adjustment problem.
(Note: Automatic slack adjusters are made by
different manufacturers and do not all operate the
same.
Therefore, the specific manufacturer’s
Service Manual should be consulted prior to
troubleshooting a brake adjustment problem.)
Check Brake Drums (or Discs), Linings, and
Hoses. Brake drums (or discs) must not have
cracks longer than one half the width of the friction
area. Linings (friction material) must not be loose
or soaked with oil or grease. They must not be
dangerously thin. Mechanical parts must be in
place, not broken or missing. Check the air hoses
connected to the brake chambers to make sure
they aren't cut or worn due to rubbing.
5.3.3 – Step 7 Final Air Brake Check
Do the following checks instead of the hydraulic
brake check shown in Section 2, Step 7: Check
Brake System.
Test Low Pressure Warning Signal. Shut the
engine off when you have enough air pressure so
that the low pressure warning signal is not on. Turn
the electrical power on and step on and off the
brake pedal to reduce air tank pressure. The low
air pressure warning signal must come on before
the pressure drops to less than 60 psi in the air
tank (or tank with the lowest air pressure, in dual
air systems). See Figure 5.5.
If the warning signal doesn't work, you could lose
air pressure and you would not know it. This could
cause sudden emergency braking in a singlecircuit air system. In dual systems the stopping
distance will be increased. Only limited braking can
be done before the spring brakes come on.
The manual adjustment of an automatic adjuster to
bring a brake pushrod stroke within legal limits is
generally masking a mechanical problem and is
not fixing it. Further, routine adjustment of most
automatic adjusters will likely result in premature
wear of the adjuster itself. It is recommended that
when brakes equipped with automatic adjusters
are found to be out of adjustment, the driver take
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Page 5-6
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
an emergency stop. Don't drive until you get the
problem fixed.
Test Air Leakage Rate. With a fully-charged air
system (typically 125 psi), turn off the engine,
release the parking brake, and time the air
pressure drop. The loss rate should be less than
two psi in one minute for single vehicles and less
than three psi in one minute for combination
vehicles. Then apply 90 psi or more with the brake
pedal. After the initial pressure drop, if the air
pressure falls more than three psi in one minute for
single vehicles (more than four psi for combination
vehicles), the air loss rate is too much. Check for
air leaks and fix before driving the vehicle.
Otherwise, you could lose your brakes while
driving.
Check Air Compressor Governor Cut-in and
Cut-out Pressures. Pumping by the air
compressor should start at about 100 psi and stop
at about 125 psi. (Check manufacturer's
specifications.) Run the engine at a fast idle. The
air governor should cut-out the air compressor at
about the manufacturer's specified pressure. The
air pressure shown by your gauge(s) will stop
rising. With the engine idling, step on and off the
brake to reduce the air tank pressure. The
compressor should cut-in at about the
manufacturer's specified cut-in pressure. The
pressure should begin to rise.
Figure 5.5
Check That Spring Brakes Come On
Automatically.
Continue to fan off the air
pressure by stepping on and off the brake pedal to
reduce tank pressure. The tractor protection valve
and parking brake valve should close (pop out) on
a tractor-trailer combination vehicle and the
parking brake valve should close (pop out) on
other combination and single vehicle types when
the air pressure falls to the manufacturer’s
specification (20 – 40 psi). This will cause the
spring brakes to come on.
Check Rate of Air Pressure Buildup. When the
engine is at operating rpms, the pressure should
build from 85 to 100 psi within 45 seconds in dual
air systems. (If the vehicle has larger than
minimum air tanks, the buildup time can be longer
and still be safe. Check the manufacturer's
specifications.) In single air systems (pre-1975),
typical requirements are pressure buildup from 50
to 90 psi within 3 minutes with the engine at an idle
speed of 600-900 rpms.
If the air governor does not work as described
above, it may need to be fixed. A governor that
does not work properly may not keep enough air
pressure for safe driving.
Test Parking Brake. Stop the vehicle, put the
parking brake on, and gently pull against it in a low
gear to test that the parking brake will hold.
Test Service Brakes. Wait for normal air
pressure, release the parking brake, move the
vehicle forward slowly (about five mph), and apply
the brakes firmly using the brake pedal. Note any
vehicle "pulling" to one side, unusual feel, or
delayed stopping action.
This test may show you problems, which you
otherwise wouldn't know about until you needed
the brakes on the road.
If air pressure does not build up fast enough, your
pressure may drop too low during driving, requiring
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Page 5-7
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you gain control.
Subsections 5.2 and 5.3
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
What is a dual air brake system?
What are the slack adjusters?
How can you check slack adjusters?
How can you test the low pressure warning
signal?
How can you check that the spring brakes
come on automatically?
What are the maximum leakage rates?
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In
other words:
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to
stay in control.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 5.2 and 5.3.
There is only one exception to this procedure, if
you always drive a straight truck or combination
with working ABS on all axles, in an emergency
stop, you can fully apply the brakes.
5.4 – Using Air Brakes
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
5.4.1 – Normal Stops
Push the brake pedal down. Control the pressure
so the vehicle comes to a smooth, safe stop. If you
have a manual transmission, don't push the clutch
in until the engine rpm is down close to idle. When
stopped, select a starting gear.
5.4.2 – Braking with Antilock Brakes
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid, jackknife, or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
You may or may not be able to stop faster with
ABS, but you should be able to steer around an
obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused by
over braking.
Having ABS on only the tractor, only the trailer, or
even on only one axle, still gives you more control
over the vehicle during braking. Brake normally.
When only the tractor has ABS, you should be able
to maintain steering control, and there is less
chance of jackknifing. But, keep your eye on the
trailer and let up on the brakes (if you can safely do
so) if it begins to swing out.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
5.4.3 – Emergency Stops
If somebody suddenly pulls out in front of you, your
natural response is to hit the brakes. This is a good
response if there's enough distance to stop, and
you use the brakes correctly.
You should brake in a way that will keep your
vehicle in a straight line and allow you to turn if it
becomes necessary. You can use the "controlled
braking" method or the "stab braking" method.
Controlled Braking. With this method, you apply
the brakes as hard as you can without locking the
wheels. Keep steering wheel movements very
small while doing this. If you need to make a larger
steering adjustment or if the wheels lock, release
the brakes. Re-apply the brakes as soon as you
can.
Stab Braking
Apply your brakes all the way.
Release brakes when wheels lock up.
As soon as the wheels start rolling, apply the
brakes fully again. (It can take up to one second
for the wheels to start rolling after you release the
brakes. If you re-apply the brakes before the
wheels start rolling, the vehicle won't straighten
out.)
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
5.4.4 – Stopping Distance
Stopping distance was described in Section 2
under "Speed and Stopping Distance." With air
brakes there is an added delay--the time required
for the brakes to work after the brake pedal is
pushed. With hydraulic brakes (used on cars and
light/medium trucks), the brakes work instantly.
However, with air brakes, it takes a little time (one
half second or more) for the air to flow through the
lines to the brakes. Thus, the total stopping
distance for vehicles with air brake systems is
made up of four different factors.
Perception Distance + Reaction Distance + Brake
Lag Distance + Effective Braking Distance = Total
Stopping Distance
The air brake lag distance at 55 mph on dry
pavement adds about 32 feet. So at 55 mph for an
average driver under good traction and brake
conditions, the total stopping distance is over 450
feet. See Figure 5.6.
Stopping Distance Chart
Miles Per
Hour
How Far
The Rig
Will
Travel in
One
Second
Driver
Reaction
Distance
15 mph
22 ft.
17 ft.
29 ft.
46 ft.
30 mph
44 ft.
33 ft.
115 ft.
148 ft.
45 mph
66 ft.
50 ft.
260 ft.
310 ft.
50 mph
73 ft.
55 ft.
320 ft.
375 ft.
55 mph
81 ft.
61 ft.
390 ft.
451 ft.
Figure 5.6
Vehicle
Braking
Distance
Total
Stopping
Distance
5.4.5 – Brake Fading or Failure
Brakes are designed so brake shoes or pads rub
against the brake drum or disks to slow the vehicle.
Braking creates heat, but brakes are designed to
take a lot of heat. However, brakes can fade or fail
from excessive heat caused by using them too
much and not relying on the engine braking effect.
Excessive use of the service brakes results in
overheating and leads to brake fade. Brake fade
results from excessive heat causing chemical
changes in the brake lining, which reduce friction,
and also causing expansion of the brake drums.
As the overheated drums expand, the brake shoes
and linings have to move farther to contact the
drums, and the force of this contact is reduced.
Continued overuse may increase brake fade until
the vehicle cannot be slowed down or stopped.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Brake fade is also affected by adjustment. To
safely control a vehicle, every brake must do its
share of the work. Brakes out of adjustment will
stop doing their share before those that are in
adjustment. The other brakes can then overheat
and fade, and there will not be enough braking
available to control the vehicle(s). Brakes can get
out of adjustment quickly, especially when they are
hot. Therefore, check brake adjustment often.
5.4.6 – Proper Braking Technique
Remember. The use of brakes on a long and/or
steep downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. Once the vehicle is in
the proper low gear, the following is the proper
braking technique:
Apply the brakes just hard enough to feel a definite
slowdown.
When your speed has been reduced to
approximately five mph below your "safe" speed,
release the brakes. (This application should last for
about three seconds.)
When your speed has increased to your "safe"
speed, repeat steps 1 and 2.
For example, if your "safe" speed is 40 mph, you
would not apply the brakes until your speed
reaches 40 mph. You now apply the brakes hard
enough to gradually reduce your speed to 35 mph
and then release the brakes. Repeat this as often
as necessary until you have reached the end of the
downgrade.
5.4.7 – Low Air Pressure
If the low air pressure warning comes on, stop and
safely park your vehicle as soon as possible. There
might be an air leak in the system. Controlled
braking is possible only while enough air remains
in the air tanks. The spring brakes will come on
when the air pressure drops into the range of 20 to
45 psi. A heavily loaded vehicle will take a long
distance to stop because the spring brakes do not
work on all axles. Lightly loaded vehicles or
vehicles on slippery roads may skid out of control
when the spring brakes come on. It is much safer
to stop while there is enough air in the tanks to use
the foot brakes.
5.4.8 – Parking Brakes
Any time you park, use the parking brakes, except
as noted below. Pull the parking brake control
knob out to apply the parking brakes, push it in to
release. The control will be a yellow, diamondshaped knob labeled "parking brakes" on newer
Page 5-9
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
vehicles. On older vehicles, it may be a round blue
knob or some other shape (including a lever that
swings from side to side or up and down).
Don't use the parking brakes if the brakes are very
hot (from just having come down a steep grade), or
if the brakes are very wet in freezing temperatures.
If they are used while they are very hot, they can
be damaged by the heat. If they are used in
freezing temperatures when the brakes are very
wet, they can freeze so the vehicle cannot move.
Use wheel chocks on a level surface to hold the
vehicle. Let hot brakes cool before using the
parking brakes. If the brakes are wet, use the
brakes lightly while driving in a low gear to heat
and dry them.
If your vehicle does not have automatic air tank
drains, drain your air tanks at the end of each
working day to remove moisture and oil.
Otherwise, the brakes could fail.
Never leave your vehicle unattended
without applying the parking brakes or
chocking the wheels. Your vehicle might
roll away and cause injury and damage.
Subsection 5.4
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Why should you be in the proper gear before
starting down a hill?
What factors can cause brakes to fade or
fail?
The use of brakes on a long, steep
downgrade is only a supplement to the
braking effect of the engine. True or False?
If you are away from your vehicle only a short
time, you do not need to use the parking
brake. True or False?
How often should you drain air tanks?
How do you brake when you drive a tractortrailer combination with ABS?
You still have normal brake functions if your
ABS is not working. True or False?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 5.4.
Section 5 – Air Brakes
Page 5-10
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 6
COMBINATION VEHICLES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
Driving Combinations
Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
Antilock Brake Systems
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Combinations
This section provides information needed to pass
the tests for combination vehicles (tractor-trailer,
doubles, triples, straight truck with trailer). The
information is only to give you the minimum
knowledge
needed
for
driving
common
combination vehicles. You should also study
Section 7 if you need to pass the test for doubles
and triples.
6.1 – Driving Combination Vehicles
Safely
Combination vehicles are usually heavier, longer,
and require more driving skill than single
commercial vehicles. This means that drivers of
combination vehicles need more knowledge and
skill than drivers of single vehicles. In this section,
we talk about some important safety factors that
apply specifically to combination vehicles.
6.1.1 – Rollover Risks
More than half of truck driver deaths in crashes are
the result of truck rollovers. When more cargo is
piled up in a truck, the "center of gravity" moves
higher up from the road. The truck becomes easier
to turn over. Fully loaded rigs are ten times more
likely to roll over in a crash than empty rigs.
The following two things will help you prevent
rollover--keep the cargo as close to the ground as
possible, and drive slowly around turns. Keeping
cargo low is even more important in combination
vehicles than in straight trucks. Also, keep the load
centered on your rig. If the load is to one side so it
makes a trailer lean, a rollover is more likely. Make
sure your cargo is centered and spread out as
much as possible. (Cargo distribution is covered in
Section 3 of this manual.)
Rollovers happen when you turn too fast. Drive
slowly around corners, on ramps, and off ramps.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Avoid quick lane changes, especially when fully
loaded.
6.1.2 – Steer Gently
Trucks with trailers have a dangerous "crack-thewhip" effect. When you make a quick lane change,
the crack-the-whip effect can turn the trailer over.
There are many accidents where only the trailer
has overturned.
"Rearward amplification" causes the crack-thewhip effect. Figure 6.1 shows eight types of
combination
vehicles
and
the
rearward
amplification each has in a quick lane change.
Rigs with the least crack-the-whip effect are shown
at the top and those with the most, at the bottom.
Rearward amplification of 2.0 in the chart means
that the rear trailer is twice as likely to turn over as
the tractor. You can see that triples have a
rearward amplification of 3.5. This means you can
roll the last trailer of triples 3.5 times as easily as a
five-axle tractor.
Steer gently and smoothly when you are pulling
trailers. If you make a sudden movement with your
steering wheel, your trailer could tip over. Follow
far enough behind other vehicles (at least 1
second for each 10 feet of your vehicle length, plus
another second if going over 40 mph). Look far
enough down the road to avoid being surprised
and having to make a sudden lane change. At
night, drive slowly enough to see obstacles with
your headlights before it is too late to change lanes
or stop gently. Slow down to a safe speed before
going into a turn.
6.1.3 – Brake Early
Control your speed whether fully loaded or empty.
Large combination vehicles take longer to stop
when they are empty than when they are fully
loaded. When lightly loaded, the very stiff
suspension springs and strong brakes give poor
traction and make it very easy to lock up the
wheels. Your trailer can swing out and strike other
vehicles. Your tractor can jackknife very quickly.
You also must be very careful about driving
"bobtail" tractors (tractors without semitrailers).
Tests have shown that bobtails can be very hard to
stop smoothly. It takes them longer to stop than a
tractor-semitrailer loaded to maximum gross
weight.
In any combination rig, allow lots of following
distance and look far ahead, so you can brake
early. Don't be caught by surprise and have to
make a "panic" stop.
Page 6-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 6.1
6.1.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
6.1.5 – Prevent Trailer Skids
Railroad-highway crossings can also cause
problems, particularly when pulling trailers with low
underneath clearance.
When the wheels of a trailer lock up, the trailer will
tend to swing around. This is more likely to happen
when the trailer is empty or lightly loaded. This
type of jackknife is often called a "trailer jackknife."
See Figure 6.2.
These trailers can get stuck on raised crossings:
Low slung units (lowboy, car carrier, moving van,
possum-belly livestock trailer).
Single-axle tractor pulling a long trailer with its
landing gear set to accommodate a tandem-axle
tractor.
If for any reason you get stuck on the tracks, get
out of the vehicle and away from the tracks. Check
signposts or signal housing at the crossing for
emergency notification information. Call 911 or
other emergency number. Give the location of the
crossing using all identifiable landmarks, especially
the DOT number, if posted.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
The procedure for stopping a trailer skid is:
Recognize the Skid. The earliest and best way to
recognize that the trailer has started to skid is by
seeing it in your mirrors. Any time you apply the
brakes hard, check the mirrors to make sure the
trailer is staying where it should be. Once the
trailer swings out of your lane, it's very difficult to
prevent a jackknife.
* (From R.D. Ervin, R.L. Nisconger, C.C.
MacAdam, and P.S. Fancher, “Influence of size
and weigh variables on the stability and control
properties of heavy trucks, “University of Michigan
Transportation Research Institute, 1983).
Page 6-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
complete your turn without entering another traffic
lane, turn wide as you complete the turn. This is
better than swinging wide to the left before starting
the turn because it will keep other drivers from
passing you on the right. See Figure 6.4.
Figure 6.3
Figure 6.2
Stop Using the Brake. Release the brakes to get
traction back. Do not use the trailer hand brake (if
you have one) to "straighten out the rig." This is the
wrong thing to do since the brakes on the trailer
wheels caused the skid in the first place. Once the
trailer wheels grip the road again, the trailer will
start to follow the tractor and straighten out.
6.1.6 – Turn Wide
When a vehicle goes around a corner, the rear
wheels follow a different path than the front
wheels. This is called offtracking or "cheating."
Figure 6.3 shows how offtracking causes the path
followed by a tractor to be wider than the rig itself.
Longer vehicles will offtrack more. The rear wheels
of the powered unit (truck or tractor) will offtrack
some, and the rear wheels of the trailer will offtrack
even more. If there is more than one trailer, the
rear wheels of the last trailer will offtrack the most.
Steer the front end wide enough around a corner
so the rear end does not run over the curb,
pedestrians, etc. However, keep the rear of your
vehicle close to the curb. This will stop other
drivers from passing you on the right. If you cannot
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Figure 6.4
6.1.7 – Backing with a Trailer.
Backing with a Trailer. When backing a car,
straight truck, or bus, you turn the top of the
steering wheel in the direction you want to go.
When backing a trailer, you turn the steering wheel
in the opposite direction. Once the trailer starts to
turn, you must turn the wheel the other way to
follow the trailer.
Whenever you back up with a trailer, try to position
your vehicle so you can back in a straight line. If
you must back on a curved path, back to the
driver's side so you can see. See Figure 6.5.
Page 6-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Subsection 6.1
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
What two things are important to prevent
rollover?
When you turn suddenly while pulling
doubles, which trailer is most likely to turn
over?
Why should you not use the trailer hand
brake to straighten out a jackknifing trailer?
What is offtracking?
When you back a trailer, you should
position your vehicle so you can back in a
curved path to the driver’s side. True or
False?
What type of trailers can get stuck on
railroad-highway crossings?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.1.
6.2 – Combination Vehicle Air Brakes
Figure 6.5
Look at Your Path. Look at your line of travel
before you begin. Get out and walk around the
vehicle. Check your clearance to the sides and
overhead, in and near the path your vehicle.
Use Mirrors on Both Sides. Check the outside
mirrors on both sides frequently. Get out of the
vehicle and re-inspect your path if you are unsure.
Back Slowly. This will let you make corrections
before you get too far off course.
Correct Drift Immediately. As soon as you see
the trailer getting off the proper path, correct it by
turning the top of the steering wheel in the
direction of the drift.
Pull Forward. When backing a trailer, make pullups to re-position your vehicle as needed.
You should study Section 5: Air Brakes before
reading this. In combination vehicles the braking
system has parts to control the trailer brakes, in
addition to the parts described in Section 5. These
parts are described below.
6.2.1 – Trailer Hand Valve
The trailer hand valve (also called the trolley valve
or Johnson bar) works the trailer brakes. The trailer
hand valve should be used only to test the trailer
brakes. Do not use it in driving because of the
danger of making the trailer skid. The foot brake
sends air to all of the brakes on the vehicle
(including the trailer(s)). There is much less danger
of causing a skid or jackknife when using just the
foot brake.
Never use the hand valve for parking because all
the air might leak out unlocking the brakes (in
trailers that don't have spring brakes). Always use
the parking brakes when parking. If the trailer does
not have spring brakes, use wheel chocks to keep
the trailer from moving.
6.2.2 – Tractor Protection Valve
The tractor protection valve keeps air in the tractor
or truck brake system should the trailer break away
or develop a bad leak. The tractor protection valve
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
is controlled by the "trailer air supply" control valve
in the cab. The control valve allows you to open
and shut the tractor protection valve. The tractor
protection valve will close automatically if air
pressure is low (in the range of 20 to 45 psi). When
the tractor protection valve closes, it stops any air
from going out of the tractor. It also lets the air out
of the trailer emergency line. This causes the trailer
emergency brakes to come on, with possible loss
of control. (Emergency brakes are covered later.)
6.2.3 – Trailer Air Supply Control
The trailer air supply control on newer vehicles is a
red eight-sided knob, which you use to control the
tractor protection valve. You push it in to supply the
trailer with air, and pull it out to shut the air off and
put on the trailer emergency brakes. The valve will
pop out (thus closing the tractor protection valve)
when the air pressure drops into the range of 20 to
45 psi. Tractor protection valve controls or
"emergency" valves on older vehicles may not
operate automatically. There may be a lever rather
than a knob. The "normal" position is used for
pulling a trailer. The "emergency" position is used
to shut the air off and put on the trailer emergency
brakes.
6.2.4 – Trailer Air Lines
Every combination vehicle has two air lines, the
service line and the emergency line. They run
between each vehicle (tractor to trailer, trailer to
dolly, dolly to second trailer, etc.)
Service Air Line. The service line (also called the
control line or signal line) carries air, which is
controlled by the foot brake or the trailer hand
brake. Depending on how hard you press the foot
brake or hand valve, the pressure in the service
line will similarly change. The service line is
connected to relay valves. These valves allow the
trailer brakes to be applied more quickly than
would otherwise be possible.
Emergency Air Line. The emergency line (also
called the supply line) has two purposes. First, it
supplies air to the trailer air tanks. Second, the
emergency line controls the emergency brakes on
combination vehicles. Loss of air pressure in the
emergency line causes the trailer emergency
brakes to come on. The pressure loss could be
caused by a trailer breaking loose, thus tearing
apart the emergency air hose. Or it could be
caused by a hose, metal tubing, or other part
breaking, letting the air out. When the emergency
line loses pressure, it also causes the tractor
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
protection valve to close (the air supply knob will
pop out).
Emergency lines are often coded with the color red
(red hose, red couplers, or other parts) to keep
from getting them mixed up with the blue service
line.
6.2.5 – Hose Couplers (Glad Hands)
Glad hands are coupling devices used to connect
the service and emergency air lines from the truck
or tractor to the trailer. The couplers have a rubber
seal, which prevents air from escaping. Clean the
couplers and rubber seals before a connection is
made. When connecting the glad hands, press the
two seals together with the couplers at a 90 degree
angle to each other. A turn of the glad hand
attached to the hose will join and lock the couplers.
When coupling, make sure to couple the proper
glad hands together. To help avoid mistakes,
colors are sometimes used. Blue is used for the
service lines and red for the emergency (supply)
lines. Sometimes, metal tags are attached to the
lines with the words "service" and "emergency"
stamped on them. See Figure 6.6
If you do cross the air lines, supply air will be sent
to the service line instead of going to charge the
trailer air tanks. Air will not be available to release
the trailer spring brakes (parking brakes). If the
spring brakes don't release when you push the
trailer air supply control, check the air line
connections.
Older trailers do not have spring brakes. If the air
supply in the trailer air tank has leaked away there
will be no emergency brakes, and the trailer
wheels will turn freely. If you crossed the air lines,
you could drive away but you wouldn't have trailer
brakes. This would be very dangerous. Always test
the trailer brakes before driving with the hand valve
or by pulling the air supply (tractor protection valve)
control. Pull gently against them in a low gear to
make sure the brakes work.
Some vehicles have "dead end" or dummy
couplers to which the hoses may be attached
when they are not in use. This will prevent water
and dirt from getting into the coupler and the air
lines. Use the dummy couplers when the air lines
are not connected to a trailer. If there are no
dummy couplers, the glad hands can sometimes
be locked together (depending on the couplings). It
is very important to keep the air supply clean.
Page 6-5
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
valves are in the open position except the ones at
the back of the last trailer, which must be closed.
6.2.8 – Trailer Service, Parking and
Emergency Brakes
Newer trailers have spring brakes just like trucks
and truck tractors. However, converter dollies and
trailers built before 1975 are not required to have
spring brakes. Those that do not have spring
brakes have emergency brakes, which work from
the air stored in the trailer air tank. The emergency
brakes come on whenever air pressure in the
emergency line is lost. These trailers have no
parking brake. The emergency brakes come on
whenever the air supply knob is pulled out or the
trailer is disconnected. A major leak in the
emergency line will cause the tractor protection
valve to close and the trailer emergency brakes to
come on. But the brakes will hold only as long as
there is air pressure in the trailer air tank.
Eventually, the air will leak away and then there
will be no brakes. Therefore, it is very important for
safety that you use wheel chocks when you park
trailers without spring brakes.
Figure 6.6
6.2.6 – Trailer Air Tanks
Each trailer and converter dolly has one or more
air tanks. They are filled by the emergency (supply)
line from the tractor. They provide the air pressure
used to operate trailer brakes. Air pressure is sent
from the air tanks to the brakes by relay valves.
The pressure in the service line tells how much
pressure the relay valves should send to the trailer
brakes. The pressure in the service line is
controlled by the brake pedal (and the trailer hand
brake).
It is important that you don't let water and oil build
up in the air tanks. If you do, the brakes may not
work correctly. Each tank has a drain valve on it
and you should drain each tank every day. If your
tanks have automatic drains, they will keep most
moisture out. But you should still open the drains to
make sure.
You may not notice a major leak in the service line
until you try to put the brakes on. Then, the air loss
from the leak will lower the air tank pressure
quickly. If it goes low enough, the trailer
emergency brakes will come on.
Subsection 6.2
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Why should you not use the trailer hand
valve while driving?
Describe what the trailer air supply control
does.
Describe what the service line is for.
What is the emergency air line for?
Why should you use chocks when parking
a trailer without spring brakes?
Where are shut-off valves?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 6.2.
6.2.7 – Shut-off Valves
Shut-off valves (also called cut-out cocks) are used
in the service and supply air lines at the back of
trailers used to tow other trailers. These valves
permit closing the air lines off when another trailer
is not being towed. You must check that all shut-off
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-6
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
6.3 – Antilock Brake Systems
6.3.1 – Trailers Required to Have ABS
All trailers and converter dollies built on or after
March 1, 1998, are required to have ABS.
However, many trailers and converter dollies built
before this date have been voluntarily equipped
with ABS.
Trailers will have yellow ABS malfunction lamps on
the left side, either on the front or rear corner. See
Figure 6.7. Dollies manufactured on or after March
1, 1998, are required to have a lamp on the left
side.
In the case of vehicles manufactured before the
required date, it may be difficult to tell if the unit is
equipped with ABS. Look under the vehicle for the
ECU and wheel speed sensor wires coming from
the back of the brakes.
ABS does not necessarily shorten your stopping
distance, but it does help you keep the vehicle
under control during hard braking.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up. The computer
senses impending lockup, reduces the braking
pressure to a safe level, and you maintain control.
Having ABS on only the trailer, or even on only
one axle, still gives you more control over the
vehicle during braking.
When only the trailer has ABS, the trailer is less
likely to swing out, but if you lose steering control
or start a tractor jackknife, let up on the brakes (if
you can safely do so) until you gain control.
When you drive a tractor-trailer combination with
ABS, you should brake as you always have. In
other words:
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the tractor, the trailer, or both.
As you slow down, monitor your tractor and trailer
and back off the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to
stay in control.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
6.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is
basic to safe operation of combination vehicles.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. General coupling and uncoupling steps
are listed below. There are differences between
different rigs, so learn the details of coupling and
uncoupling the truck(s) you will operate.
6.4.1 – Coupling Tractor-Semitrailers
Figure 6.7
6.3.2 – Braking with ABS
ABS is an addition to your normal brakes. It does
not decrease or increase your normal braking
capability. ABS only activates when wheels are
about to lock up.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Step 1. Inspect Fifth Wheel
Check for damaged/missing parts.
Check to see that mounting to tractor is secure, no
cracks in frame, etc.
Be sure that the fifth wheel plate is greased as
required. Failure to keep the fifth wheel plate
lubricated could cause steering problems because
of friction between the tractor and trailer.
Page 6-7
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Check if fifth wheel is in proper position for
coupling.
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Wheel tilted down toward rear of tractor.
Jaws open.
Safety unlocking handle in the automatic
lock position.
If you have a sliding fifth wheel, make sure
it is locked.
Make sure the trailer kingpin is not bent or
broken.
Step 2. Inspect Area and Chock Wheels
Make sure area around the vehicle is clear.
Be sure trailer wheels are chocked or spring
brakes are on.
Check that cargo (if any) is secured against
movement due to tractor being coupled to the
trailer.
Step 3. Position Tractor
Put the tractor directly in front of the trailer. (Never
back under the trailer at an angle because you
might push the trailer sideways and break the
landing gear.)
Check position, using outside mirrors, by looking
down both sides of the trailer.
Step 4. Back Slowly
Back until fifth wheel just touches the trailer.
Don't hit the trailer.
Step 5. Secure Tractor
Make sure air lines are safely supported where
they won't be crushed or caught while tractor is
backing under the trailer.
Step 8. Supply Air to Trailer
From cab, push in "air supply" knob or move
tractor protection valve control from the
"emergency" to the "normal" position to supply air
to the trailer brake system.
Wait until the air pressure is normal.
Check brake system for crossed air lines.
¾
¾
¾
Shut engine off so you can hear the
brakes.
Apply and release trailer brakes and listen
for sound of trailer brakes being applied
and released. You should hear the brakes
move when applied and air escape when
the brakes are released.
Check air brake system pressure gauge
for signs of major air loss.
When you are sure trailer brakes are working, start
engine.
Make sure air pressure is up to normal.
Step 9. Lock Trailer Brakes
Pull out the "air supply" knob or move the tractor
protection valve control from "normal" to
"emergency."
Step 10. Back Under Trailer
Put on the parking brake.
Put transmission in neutral.
Use lowest reverse gear.
Back tractor slowly under trailer to avoid hitting the
kingpin too hard.
Stop when the kingpin is locked into the fifth wheel.
Step 6. Check Trailer Height
Step 11. Check Connection for Security
The trailer should be low enough that it is raised
slightly by the tractor when the tractor is backed
under it. Raise or lower the trailer as needed. (If
the trailer is too low, the tractor may strike and
damage the trailer nose; if the trailer is too high, it
may not couple correctly.)
Check that the kingpin and fifth wheel are aligned.
Raise trailer landing gear slightly off ground.
Pull tractor gently forward while the trailer brakes
are still locked to check that the trailer is locked
onto the tractor.
Step 7. Connect Air Lines to Trailer
Check glad hand seals and connect tractor
emergency air line to trailer emergency glad hand.
Check glad hand seals and connect tractor service
air line to trailer service glad hand.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Step 12. Secure Vehicle
Put transmission in neutral.
Put parking brakes on.
Shut off engine and take key with you so someone
else won't move truck while you are under it.
Step 13. Inspect Coupling
Use a flashlight, if necessary.
Page 6-8
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Make sure there is no space between upper and
lower fifth wheel. If there is space, something is
wrong (kingpin may be on top of the closed fifth
wheel jaws, and trailer would come loose very
easily).
Go under trailer and look into the back of the fifth
wheel. Make sure the fifth wheel jaws have closed
around the shank of the kingpin.
Check that the locking lever is in the "lock"
position.
Check that the safety latch is in position over
locking lever. (On some fifth wheels the catch must
be put in place by hand.)
If the coupling isn't right, don't drive the coupled
unit; get it fixed.
Step 14. Connect the Electrical Cord and Check
Air Lines
Plug the electrical cord into the trailer and fasten
the safety catch.
Check both air lines and electrical line for signs of
damage.
Make sure air and electrical lines will not hit any
moving parts of vehicle.
Step 15. Raise Front Trailer Supports (Landing
Gear)
Use low gear range (if so equipped) to begin
raising the landing gear. Once free of weight,
switch to the high gear range.
Raise the landing gear all the way up. (Never drive
with landing gear only part way up as it may catch
on railroad tracks or other things.)
After raising landing gear, secure the crank handle
safely.
When full weight of trailer is resting on tractor:
¾
¾
Check for enough clearance between rear
of tractor frame and landing gear. (When
tractor turns sharply, it must not hit landing
gear.)
Check that there is enough clearance
between the top of the tractor tires and the
nose of the trailer.
Step 16. Remove Trailer Wheel Chocks
Remove and store wheel chocks in a safe place.
6.4.2 – Uncoupling Tractor-Semitrailers
The following steps will help you to uncouple
safely.
Step 1. Position Rig
Make sure surface of parking area can support
weight of trailer.
Have tractor lined up with the trailer. (Pulling out at
an angle can damage landing gear.)
Step 2. Ease Pressure on Locking Jaws
Shut off trailer air supply to lock trailer brakes.
Ease pressure on fifth wheel locking jaws by
backing up gently. (This will help you release the
fifth wheel locking lever.)
Put parking brakes on while tractor is pushing
against the kingpin. (This will hold rig with pressure
off the locking jaws.)
Step 3. Chock Trailer Wheels
Chock the trailer wheels if the trailer doesn't have
spring brakes or if you're not sure. (The air could
leak out of the trailer air tank, releasing its
emergency brakes. Without chocks, the trailer
could move.)
Step 4. Lower the Landing Gear
If trailer is empty, lower the landing gear until it
makes firm contact with the ground.
If trailer is loaded, after the landing gear makes
firm contact with the ground, turn crank in low gear
a few extra turns. This will lift some weight off the
tractor. (Do not lift trailer off the fifth wheel.) This
will:
¾
¾
Make it easier to unlatch fifth wheel.
Make it easier to couple next time.
Step 5. Disconnect Air Lines and Electrical
Cable
Disconnect air lines from trailer. Connect air line
glad hands to dummy couplers at back of cab or
couple them together.
Hang electrical cable with plug down to prevent
moisture from entering it.
Make sure lines are supported so they won't be
damaged while driving the tractor.
Step 6. Unlock Fifth Wheel
Raise the release handle lock.
Pull the release handle to "open" position.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Page 6-9
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Keep legs and feet clear of the rear tractor wheels
to avoid serious injury in case the vehicle moves.
Step 7. Pull Tractor Partially Clear of Trailer
Pull tractor forward until fifth wheel comes out from
under the trailer.
Stop with tractor frame under trailer (prevents
trailer from falling to ground if landing gear should
collapse or sink).
Step 8. Secure Tractor
6.5.1 – Additional Things to Check During a
Walkaround Inspection
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2.
Coupling System Areas
Check fifth wheel (lower).
Apply parking brake.
Place transmission in neutral.
¾
¾
¾
¾
Step 9. Inspect Trailer Supports
¾
Make sure ground is supporting trailer.
Make sure landing gear is not damaged.
¾
Securely mounted to frame.
No missing or damaged parts.
Enough grease.
No visible space between upper and lower
fifth wheel.
Locking jaws around the shank, not the
head of kingpin. See Figure 6.8.
Release arm properly seated and safety
latch/lock engaged.
Step 10. Pull Tractor Clear of Trailer
Release parking brakes.
Check the area and drive tractor forward until it
clears.
Subsections 6.3 and 6.4
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
What might happen if the trailer is too high
when you try to couple?
After coupling, how much space should be
between the upper and lower fifth wheel?
You should look into the back of the fifth
wheel to see if it is locked onto the kingpin.
True or False?
To drive you need to raise the landing gear
only until it just lifts off the pavement. True
or False?
How do you know if your trailer is equipped
with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 6.3 and 6.4.
6.5 – Inspecting a Combination Vehicle
Use the seven-step inspection procedure
described in Section 2 to inspect your combination
vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a
combination vehicle than on a single vehicle. (For
example, tires, wheels, lights, reflectors, etc.)
However, there are also some new things to check.
These are discussed below.
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
Figure 6.8
Check fifth wheel (upper).
¾
¾
Glide plate securely mounted to trailer
frame.
Kingpin not damaged.
Air and electric lines to trailer.
¾ Electrical cord firmly plugged in and
secured.
¾ Air lines properly connected to glad hands,
no air leaks, properly secured with enough
slack for turns.
¾ All lines free from damage.
Sliding fifth wheel.
¾
Slide not damaged or parts missing.
Page 6-10
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
¾
¾
¾
¾
Properly greased.
All locking pins present and locked in
place.
If air powered--no air leaks.
Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward
that tractor frame will hit landing gear, or
the cab hit the trailer, during turns.
Landing Gear
Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
Crank handle in place and secured.
If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
6.5.2 – Combination Vehicle Brake Check
Do these checks in addition to Section 5.3:
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
The following section explains how to check air
brakes on combination vehicles. Check the brakes
on a double or triple trailer as you would any
combination vehicle.
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers. Use the
tractor parking brake and/or chock the wheels to
hold the vehicle. Wait for air pressure to reach
normal, then push in the red "trailer air supply"
knob. This will supply air to the emergency (supply)
lines. Use the trailer handbrake to provide air to the
service line. Go to the rear of the rig. Open the
emergency line shut-off valve at the rear of the last
trailer. You should hear air escaping, showing the
entire system is charged. Close the emergency line
valve. Open the service line valve to check that
service pressure goes through all the trailers (this
test assumes that the trailer handbrake or the
service brake pedal is on), and then close the
valve. If you do NOT hear air escaping from both
lines, check that the shut-off valves on the trailer(s)
and dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST
have air all the way to the back for all the brakes to
work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer
air brake system. (That is, build up normal air
pressure and push the "air supply" knob in.) Shut
the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal
several times to reduce the air pressure in the
tanks. The trailer air supply control (also called the
tractor protection valve control) should pop out (or
go from "normal" to "emergency" position) when
the air pressure falls into the pressure range
specified by the manufacturer. (Usually within the
range of 20 to 45 psi.)
Section 6 - Combination Vehicles
If the tractor protection valve doesn't work right, an
air hose or trailer brake leak could drain all the air
from the tractor. This would cause the emergency
brakes to come on, with possible loss of control.
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the
trailer air brake system and check that the trailer
rolls freely. Then stop and pull out the trailer air
supply control (also called tractor protection valve
control or trailer emergency valve), or place it in
the "emergency" position. Pull gently on the trailer
with the tractor to check that the trailer emergency
brakes are on.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal air
pressure, release the parking brakes, move the
vehicle forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes
with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you
the trailer brakes are connected and working. (The
trailer brakes should be tested with the hand valve
but controlled in normal operation with the foot
pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at all
wheels.)
Subsection 6.5
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Which shut-off valves should be open and
which closed?
How can you test that air flows to all
trailers?
How can you test the tractor protection
valve?
How can you test the trailer emergency
brakes?
How can you test the trailer service
brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer all of them, re-read subsection 6.5.
Page 6-11
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 7
DOUBLES AND TRIPLES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Coupling and Uncoupling
Inspecting Doubles and Triples
Checking Air Brakes
This section has information you need to pass the
CDL knowledge test for driving safely with double
and triple trailers. It tells about how important it is
to be very careful when driving with more than one
trailer, how to couple and uncouple correctly, and
about inspecting doubles and triples carefully. (You
should also study Sections 2, 5, and 6.)
7.1 – Pulling Double/Triple Trailers
Take special care when pulling two and three
trailers. There are more things that can go wrong,
and doubles/triples are less stable than other
commercial vehicles. Some areas of concern are
discussed below.
7.1.1 – Prevent Trailer from Rolling Over
To prevent trailers from rolling over, you must steer
gently and go slowly around corners, on ramps, off
ramps, and curves. A safe speed on a curve for a
straight truck or a single trailer combination vehicle
may be too fast for a set of doubles or triples.
7.1.2 – Beware of the Crack-the-whip Effect
Doubles and triples are more likely to turn over
than other combination vehicles because of the
"crack-the-whip" effect. You must steer gently
when pulling trailers. The last trailer in a
combination is most likely to turn over. If you don't
understand the crack-the-whip effect, study
subsection 6.1.2 of this manual.
7.1.3 – Inspect Completely
There are more critical parts to check when you
have two or three trailers. Check them all. Follow
the procedures described later in this section.
7.1.4 – Look Far Ahead
Doubles and triples must be driven very smoothly
to avoid rollover or jackknife. Therefore, look far
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
ahead so you can slow down or change lanes
gradually when necessary.
7.1.5 – Manage Space
Doubles and triples take up more space than other
commercial vehicles. They are not only longer, but
also need more space because they can't be
turned or stopped suddenly. Allow more following
distance. Make sure you have large enough gaps
before entering or crossing traffic. Be certain you
are clear at the sides before changing lanes.
7.1.6 – Adverse Conditions
Be more careful in adverse conditions. In bad
weather, slippery conditions, and mountain driving,
you must be especially careful if you drive double
and triple bottoms. You will have greater length
and more dead axles to pull with your drive axles
than other drivers. There is more chance for skids
and loss of traction.
7.1.7 – Parking the Vehicle
Make sure you do not get in a spot you cannot pull
straight through. You need to be aware of how
parking lots are arranged in order to avoid a long
and difficult escape.
7.1.8 – Antilock Braking Systems on
Converter Dollies
Converter dollies built on or after March 1, 1998,
are required to have antilock brakes. These dollies
will have a yellow lamp on the left side of the dolly.
7.2 – Coupling and Uncoupling
Knowing how to couple and uncouple correctly is
basic to safe operation of doubles and triples.
Wrong coupling and uncoupling can be very
dangerous. Coupling and uncoupling steps for
doubles and triples are listed below.
7.2.1 – Coupling Twin Trailers
Secure Second (Rear) Trailer
If the second trailer doesn't have spring brakes,
drive the tractor close to the trailer, connect the
emergency line, charge the trailer air tank, and
disconnect the emergency line. This will set the
trailer emergency brakes (if the slack adjusters are
correctly adjusted). Chock the wheels if you have
any doubt about the brakes.
Page 7-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
For the safest handling on the road, the more
heavily loaded semitrailer should be in first position
behind the tractor. The lighter trailer should be in
the rear.
A converter gear on a dolly is a coupling device of
one or two axles and a fifth wheel by which a
semitrailer can be coupled to the rear of a tractortrailer combination forming a double bottom rig.
See Figure 7.1.
Figure 7.1
Position Converter Dolly in Front of Second
(Rear) Trailer
Release dolly brakes by opening the air tank
petcock. (Or, if the dolly has spring brakes, use the
dolly parking brake control.)
If the distance is not too great, wheel the dolly into
position by hand so it is in line with the kingpin.
Or, use the tractor and first semitrailer to pick up
the converter dolly:
Position combination as close as possible to
converter dolly.
Move dolly to rear of first semitrailer and couple it
to the trailer.
Lock pintle hook.
Secure dolly support in raised position.
Pull dolly into position as close as possible to nose
of the second semitrailer.
Lower dolly support.
Unhook dolly from first trailer.
Wheel dolly into position in front of second trailer in
line with the kingpin.
Connect Converter Dolly to Front Trailer
Back first semitrailer into position in front of dolly
tongue.
Hook dolly to front trailer.
Lock pintle hook.
Secure converter gear support in raised position.
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Connect Converter Dolly to Rear Trailer
Make sure trailer brakes are locked and/or wheels
chocked.
Make sure trailer height is correct. (It must be
slightly lower than the center of the fifth wheel, so
trailer is raised slightly when dolly is pushed
under.)
Back converter dolly under rear trailer.
Raise landing gear slightly off ground to prevent
damage if trailer moves.
Test coupling by pulling against pin of the second
semitrailer.
Make visual check of coupling. (No space between
upper and lower fifth wheel. Locking jaws closed
on kingpin.)
Connect safety chains, air hoses, and light cords.
Close converter dolly air tank petcock and shut-off
valves at rear of second trailer (service and
emergency shut-offs).
Open shut-off valves at rear of first trailer (and on
dolly if so equipped).
Raise landing gear completely.
Charge trailer brakes (push "air supply" knob in),
and check for air at rear of second trailer by
opening the emergency line shut-off. If air pressure
isn't there, something is wrong and the brakes
won't work.
7.2.2 – Uncoupling Twin Trailers
Uncouple Rear Trailer
Park rig in a straight line on firm level ground.
Apply parking brakes so rig won't move.
Chock wheels of second trailer if it doesn't have
spring brakes.
Lower landing gear of second semitrailer enough
to remove some weight from dolly.
Close air shut-offs at rear of first semitrailer (and
on dolly if so equipped).
Disconnect all dolly air and electric lines and
secure them.
Release dolly brakes.
Release converter dolly fifth wheel latch.
Slowly pull tractor, first semitrailer, and dolly
forward to pull dolly out from under rear semitrailer.
Uncouple Converter Dolly
Lower dolly landing gear.
Disconnect safety chains.
Apply converter gear spring brakes or chock
wheels.
Release pintle hook on first semi-trailer.
Slowly pull clear of dolly.
Page 7-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Never unlock the pintle hook with the dolly still
under the rear trailer. The dolly tow bar may fly up,
possibly causing injury, and making it very difficult
to re-couple.
7.2.3 – Coupling and Uncoupling Triple
Trailers
Couple Tractor/First Semitrailer to
Second/Third Trailers
Couple tractor to first trailer. Use the method
already described for coupling tractor-semitrailers.
Move converter dolly into position and couple first
trailer to second trailer using the method for
coupling doubles. Triples rig is now complete.
Uncouple Triple-trailer Rig
Uncouple third trailer by pulling the dolly out, then
unhitching the dolly using the method for
uncoupling doubles.
Uncouple remainder of rig as you would any
double-bottom rig using the method already
described.
7.2.4 – Coupling and Uncoupling Other
Combinations
The methods described so far apply to the more
common tractor-trailer combinations. However,
there are other ways of coupling and uncoupling
the many types of truck-trailer and tractor-trailer
combinations that are in use. There are too many
to cover in this manual. You will need to learn the
correct way to couple and uncouple the vehicle(s)
you will drive according to the manufacturer and/or
owner specifications.
7.3 – Inspecting Doubles and Triples
Use the seven-step inspection procedure
described in Section 2 to inspect your combination
vehicle. There are more things to inspect on a
combination vehicle than on a single vehicle. Many
of these items are simply more of what you would
find on a single vehicle. (For example, tires,
wheels, lights, reflectors, etc.) However, there are
also some new things to check. These are
discussed below.
7.3.1 – Additional Checks
Do these checks in addition to those already listed
in Section 2, Step 5: Do Walkaround Inspection.
Coupling System Areas
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Check fifth wheel (lower).
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Securely mounted to frame.
No missing or damaged parts.
Enough grease.
No visible space between upper and lower
fifth wheel.
Locking jaws around the shank, not the
head of kingpin.
Release arm properly seated and safety
latch/lock engaged.
Check fifth wheel (upper).
¾
¾
Glide plate securely mounted to trailer
frame.
Kingpin not damaged.
Air and electric lines to trailer.
¾
¾
¾
Electrical cord firmly plugged in and
secured.
Air lines properly connected to glad hands,
no air leaks, properly secured with enough
slack for turns.
All lines free from damage.
Sliding fifth wheel.
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Slide not damaged or parts missing.
Properly greased.
All locking pins present and locked in
place.
If air powered, no air leaks.
Check that fifth wheel is not so far forward
that the tractor frame will hit landing gear,
or cab will hit the trailer, during turns.
Landing Gear
Fully raised, no missing parts, not bent or
otherwise damaged.
Crank handle in place and secured.
If power operated, no air or hydraulic leaks.
Double and Triple Trailers
Shut-off valves (at rear of trailers, in service and
emergency lines).
¾
¾
¾
Rear of front trailers: OPEN.
Rear of last trailer: CLOSED.
Converter dolly air tank drain valve:
CLOSED.
Be sure air lines are supported and glad hands are
properly connected.
Page 7-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
If spare tire is carried on converter gear (dolly),
make sure it's secured.
Be sure pintle-eye of dolly is in place in pintle hook
of trailer(s).
Make sure pintle hook is latched.
Safety chains should be secured to trailer(s).
Be sure light cords are firmly in sockets on trailers.
7.3.2 – Additional Things to Check During a
Walkaround Inspection
Do these checks in addition to subsection 5.3,
Inspecting Air Brake Systems.
7.4 – Doubles/Triples Air Brake Check
Check the brakes on a double or triple trailer as
you would any combination vehicle. Subsection
6.5.2 explains how to check air brakes on
combination vehicles. You must also make the
following checks on your double or triple trailers
7.4.1 – Additional Air Brake Checks
Check That Air Flows to All Trailers (Double
and Triple Trailers). Use the tractor parking brake
and/or chock the wheels to hold the vehicle. Wait
for air pressure to reach normal, then push in the
red "trailer air supply" knob. This will supply air to
the emergency (supply) lines. Use the trailer
handbrake to provide air to the service line. Go to
the rear of the rig. Open the emergency line shutoff valve at the rear of the last trailer. You should
hear air escaping, showing the entire system is
charged. Close the emergency line valve. Open
the service line valve to check that service
pressure goes through all the trailers (this test
assumes that the trailer handbrake or the service
brake pedal is on), and then close the valve. If you
do NOT hear air escaping from both lines, check
that the shut-off valves on the trailer(s) and
dolly(ies) are in the OPEN position. You MUST
have air all the way to the back for all the brakes to
work.
Test Tractor Protection Valve. Charge the trailer
air brake system. (That is, build up normal air
pressure and push the "air supply" knob in.) Shut
the engine off. Step on and off the brake pedal
several times to reduce the air pressure in the
tanks. The trailer air supply control (also called the
tractor protection valve control) should pop out (or
go from "normal" to "emergency" position) when
the air pressure falls into the pressure range
specified by the manufacturer. (Usually within the
range of 20 to 45 psi.)
air from the tractor. This would cause the
emergency brakes to come on, with possible loss
of control.
Test Trailer Emergency Brakes. Charge the
trailer air brake system and check that the trailer
rolls freely. Then stop and pull out the trailer air
supply control (also called tractor protection valve
control or trailer emergency valve) or place it in the
"emergency" position. Pull gently on the trailer with
the tractor to check that the trailer emergency
brakes are on.
Test Trailer Service Brakes. Check for normal air
pressure, release the parking brakes, move the
vehicle forward slowly, and apply trailer brakes
with the hand control (trolley valve), if so equipped.
You should feel the brakes come on. This tells you
the trailer brakes are connected and working. (The
trailer brakes should be tested with the hand valve,
but controlled in normal operation with the foot
pedal, which applies air to the service brakes at all
wheels.)
Section 7
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
What is a converter dolly?
Do converter dollies have spring brakes?
What three methods can you use to secure
a second trailer before coupling?
How do you check to make sure trailer
height is correct before coupling?
What do you check when making a visual
check of coupling?
Why should you pull a dolly out from under
a trailer before you disconnect it from the
trailer in front?
What should you check for when
inspecting the converter dolly? The pintle
hook?
Should the shut-off valves on the rear of
the last trailer be open or closed? On the
first trailer in a set of doubles? On the
middle trailer of a set of triples?
How can you test that air flows to all
trailers?
How do you know if your converter dolly is
equipped with antilock brakes?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 7.
If the tractor protection valve doesn't work properly,
an air hose or trailer brake leak could drain all the
Section 7 - Doubles and Triples
Page 7-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 8
TANK VEHICLES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Driving Tank Vehicles
Safe Driving Rules
This section has information needed to pass the
CDL knowledge test for driving a tank vehicle. (You
should also study Sections 2, 5, 6, and 9). A tank
endorsement is required for certain vehicles that
transport liquids or gases. The liquid or gas does
not have to be a hazardous material. A tank
endorsement is required if your vehicle needs a
Class A or B CDL and you want to haul a liquid or
liquid gas in a permanently mounted cargo tank
rated at 119 gallons or more or a portable tank
rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
A tank
endorsement is also required for Class C vehicles
when the vehicle is used to transport hazardous
materials in liquid or gas form.
Before loading, unloading, or driving a tanker,
inspect the vehicle. This makes sure that the
vehicle is safe to carry the liquid or gas and is safe
to drive.
Check manhole covers and vents. Make sure the
covers have gaskets and they close correctly.
Keep the vents clear so they work correctly.
8.1.2 – Check Special Purpose Equipment
If your vehicle has any of the following equipment,
make sure it works:
Vapor recovery kits.
Grounding and bonding cables.
Emergency shut-off systems.
Built in fire extinguisher.
Never drive a tank vehicle with open valves or
manhole covers.
8.1.3 – Special Equipment
Check the emergency equipment required for your
vehicle. Find out what equipment you're required to
carry and make sure you have it (and it works).
8.2 – Driving Tank Vehicles
Hauling liquids in tanks requires special skills
because of the high center of gravity and liquid
movement. See Figure 8.1.
8.1 – Inspecting Tank Vehicles
Tank vehicles have special items that you need to
check. Tank vehicles come in many types and
sizes. You need to check the vehicle's operator
manual to make sure you know how to inspect
your tank vehicle.
Figure 8.1
8.1.1 – Leaks
On all tank vehicles, the most important item to
check for is leaks. Check under and around the
vehicle for signs of any leaking. Don't carry liquids
or gases in a leaking tank. To do so is a crime. You
will be cited and prevented from driving further.
You may also be liable for the clean up of any spill.
In general, check the following:
Check the tank's body or shell for dents or leaks.
Check the intake, discharge, and cut-off valves.
Make sure the valves are in the correct position
before loading, unloading, or moving the vehicle.
Check pipes, connections, and hoses for leaks,
especially around joints.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
8.2.1 – High Center of Gravity
High center of gravity means that much of the
load's weight is carried high up off the road. This
makes the vehicle top-heavy and easy to roll over.
Liquid tankers are especially easy to roll over.
Tests have shown that tankers can turn over at the
speed limits posted for curves. Take highway
curves and on ramp/off ramp curves well below the
posted speeds.
8.2.2 – Danger of Surge
Liquid surge results from movement of the liquid in
partially filled tanks. This movement can have bad
effects on handling. For example, when coming to
Page 8-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
a stop, the liquid will surge back and forth. When
the wave hits the end of the tank, it tends to push
the truck in the direction the wave is moving. If the
truck is on a slippery surface such as ice, the wave
can shove a stopped truck out into an intersection.
The driver of a liquid tanker must be very familiar
with the handling of the vehicle.
8.3 – Safe Driving Rules
8.2.3 – Bulkheads
Because of the high center of gravity and the surge
of the liquid, you must start, slow down, and stop
very smoothly. Also, make smooth turns and lane
changes.
Some liquid tanks are divided into several smaller
tanks by bulkheads. When loading and unloading
the smaller tanks, the driver must pay attention to
weight distribution. Don't put too much weight on
the front or rear of the vehicle.
8.2.4 – Baffled Tanks
Baffled liquid tanks have bulkheads in them with
holes that let the liquid flow through. The baffles
help to control the forward and backward liquid
surge. Side-to-side surge can still occur. This can
cause a roll over.
8.2.5 – Un-baffled Tanks
Un-baffled liquid tankers (sometimes called
"smooth bore" tanks) have nothing inside to slow
down the flow of the liquid. Therefore, forward-andback surge is very strong. Un-baffled tanks are
usually those that transport food products (milk, for
example). (Sanitation regulations forbid the use of
baffles because of the difficulty in cleaning the
inside of the tank.) Be extremely cautious (slow
and careful) in driving smooth bore tanks,
especially when starting and stopping.
8.2.6 – Outage
Never load a cargo tank totally full. Liquids expand
as they warm and you must leave room for the
expanding liquid. This is called "outage." Since
different liquids expand by different amounts, they
require different amounts of outage. You must
know the outage requirement when hauling liquids
in bulk.
8.2.7 – How Much to Load?
A full tank of dense liquid (such as some acids)
may exceed legal weight limits. For that reason,
you may often only partially fill tanks with heavy
liquids. The amount of liquid to load into a tank
depends on:
The amount the liquid will expand in transit.
The weight of the liquid.
Legal weight limits.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
In order to drive tank vehicles safely, you must
remember to follow all the safe driving rules. A few
of these rules are:
8.3.1 – Drive Smoothly
8.3.2 – Controlling Surge
Keep a steady pressure on the brakes. Do not
release too soon when coming to a stop.
Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your
following distance.
If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash,
use controlled or stab braking. If you do not
remember how to stop using these methods,
review subsection 2.17.2. Also, remember that if
you steer quickly while braking, your vehicle may
roll over.
8.3.3 – Curves
Slow down before curves, then accelerate slightly
through the curve. The posted speed for a curve
may be too fast for a tank vehicle.
8.3.4 – Stopping Distance
Keep in mind how much space you need to stop
your vehicle. Remember that wet roads double the
normal stopping distance. Empty tank vehicles
may take longer to stop than full ones.
8.3.5 – Skids
Don't over steer, over accelerate, or over brake. If
you do, your vehicle may skid. On tank trailers, if
your drive wheels or trailer wheels begin to skid,
your vehicle may jackknife. When any vehicle
starts to skid, you must take action to restore
traction to the wheels.
Page 8-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 8
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
How are bulkheads different than baffles?
Should a tank vehicle take curves, on
ramps, or off ramps at the posted speed
limits?
How are smooth bore tankers different to
drive than those with baffles?
What three things determine how much
liquid you can load?
What is outage?
How can you help control surge?
What two reasons make special care
necessary when driving tank vehicles?
These questions may be on the test. If you can't
answer them all, re-read Section 8.
Section 8 - Tank Vehicles
Page 8-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 9
HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The Intent of the Regulations
Bulk Tank Loading, Unloading, and
Marking
Driver Responsibilities
Driving and Parking Rules
Communications Rules
Emergencies
Loading and Unloading
Hazardous materials are products that pose a risk
to
health,
safety,
and
property
during
transportation. The term often is shortened to
HAZMAT, which you may see on road signs, or to
HM in government regulations. Hazardous
materials include explosives, various types of gas,
solids, flammable and combustible liquid, and other
materials. Because of the risks involved and the
potential consequences these risks impose, all
levels of government regulate the handling of
hazardous materials.
The Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) is
found in parts 171-180 of title 49 of the Code of
Federal Regulations. The common reference for
these regulations is 49 CFR 171-180.
The Hazardous Materials Table in these
regulations contains a list of these items. However,
this list is not all-inclusive. Whether or not a
material is considered hazardous is based on its
characteristics and the shipper's decision on
whether or not the material meets a definition of a
hazardous material in the regulations.
The regulations require vehicles transporting
certain types or quantities of hazardous materials
to display diamond-shaped, square on point,
warning signs called placards.
This section is designed to assist you in
understanding your role and responsibilities in
hauling hazardous materials. Due to the constantly
changing nature of government regulations, it is
impossible to guarantee absolute accuracy of the
materials in this section. An up-to-date copy of the
complete regulations is essential for you to have.
Included in these regulations is a complete
glossary of terms.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
You must have a commercial driver license (CDL)
with a hazardous materials endorsement before
you drive any size vehicle that is used in the
transportation of any material that requires
hazardous material placarding or any quantity of a
material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR
93. You must pass a written test about the
regulations and requirements to get this
endorsement.
Everything you need to know to pass the written
test is in this section. However, this is only a
beginning. Most drivers need to know much more
on the job. You can learn more by reading and
understanding the federal and state rules
applicable to hazardous materials, as well as,
attending hazardous materials training courses.
Your employer, colleges and universities, and
various associations usually offer these courses.
You can get copies of the Federal Regulations (49
CFR) through your local Government Printing
Office bookstore and various industry publishers.
Union or company offices often have copies of the
rules for driver use. Find out where you can get
your own copy to use on the job.
The regulations require training and testing for all
drivers involved in transporting hazardous
materials. Your employer or a designated
representative is required to provide this training
and testing. Hazardous materials employers are
required to keep a record of that training on each
employee as long as that employee is working with
hazardous materials, and for 90 days thereafter.
The regulations require that hazardous materials
employees be trained and tested at least once
every three years.
By March 24, 2006, all drivers must be trained in
the security risks of hazardous materials
transportation. This training must include how to
recognize and respond to possible security threats.
The regulations also require that drivers have
special training before driving a vehicle
transporting certain flammable gas materials or
highway route controlled quantities of radioactive
materials. In addition, drivers transporting cargo
tanks and portable tanks must receive specialized
training. Each driver’s employer or his or her
designated representative must provide such
training.
Some locations require permits to transport certain
explosives or bulk hazardous wastes. States and
counties also may require drivers to follow special
hazardous
materials
routes.
The
federal
government may require permits or exemptions for
Page 9-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
special hazardous materials cargo such as rocket
fuel. Find out about permits, exemptions, and
special routes for the places you drive.
9.2 – Hazardous Materials
Transportation—Who Does What
9.1 – The Intent of the Regulations
9.2.1 – The Shipper
9.1.1 – Contain the Material
Transporting hazardous materials can be risky.
The regulations are intended to protect you, those
around you, and the environment. They tell
shippers how to package the materials safely and
drivers how to load, transport, and unload the
material. These are called "containment rules."
9.1.2 – Communicate the Risk
To communicate the risk, shippers must warn
drivers and others about the material's hazards.
The regulations require shippers to put hazard
warning labels on packages, provide proper
shipping papers, emergency response information,
and placards. These steps communicate the
hazard to the shipper, the carrier, and the driver.
9.1.3 – Assure Safe Drivers and Equipment
In order to get a hazardous materials endorsement
on a CDL, you must pass a written test about
transporting hazardous materials. To pass the test,
you must know how to:
Identify what are hazardous materials.
Safely load shipments.
Properly placard your vehicle in accordance with
the rules.
Safely transport shipments.
Learn the rules and follow them. Following the
rules reduces the risk of injury from hazardous
materials. Taking shortcuts by breaking rules is
unsafe. Rule breakers can be fined and put in jail.
Inspect your vehicle before and during each trip.
Law enforcement officers may stop and inspect
your vehicle. When stopped, they may check your
shipping papers, vehicle placards, and the
hazardous materials endorsement on your driver
license, and your knowledge of hazardous
materials.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Sends products from one place to another by truck,
rail, vessel, or airplane.
Uses the hazardous materials regulations to
determine the product’s:
Proper shipping name.
Hazard class.
Identification number.
Packing group.
Correct packaging.
Correct label and markings.
Correct placards.
Must package, mark, and label the materials;
prepare shipping papers; provide emergency
response information; and supply placards.
Certify on the shipping paper that the shipment has
been prepared according to the rules (unless you
are pulling cargo tanks supplied by you or your
employer).
9.2.2 – The Carrier
Takes the shipment from the shipper to its
destination.
Prior to transportation, checks that the shipper
correctly described, marked, labeled, and
otherwise prepared the shipment for transportation.
Refuses improper shipments.
Reports accidents and incidents involving
hazardous materials to the proper government
agency.
9.2.3 – The Driver
Makes sure the shipper has identified, marked, and
labeled the hazardous materials properly.
Refuses leaking packages and shipments.
Placards vehicle when loading, if required.
Safely transports the shipment without delay.
Follows all special rules about transporting
hazardous materials.
Keeps hazardous materials shipping papers and
emergency response information in the proper
place.
Page 9-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
9.3 – Communication Rules
of lading, and manifests are all shipping papers.
Figure 9.6 shows an example shipping paper.
9.3.1 – Definitions
After an accident or hazardous materials spill or
leak, you may be injured and unable to
communicate the hazards of the materials you are
transporting. Firefighters and police can prevent or
reduce the amount of damage or injury at the
scene if they know what hazardous materials are
being carried. Your life, and the lives of others,
may depend on quickly locating the hazardous
materials shipping papers. For that reason the
rules require:
Some words and phrases have special meanings
when talking about hazardous materials. Some of
these may differ from meanings you are used to.
The words and phrases in this section may be on
your test. The meanings of other important words
are in the glossary at the end of Section 9.
A material's hazard class reflects the risks
associated with it. There are nine different hazard
classes. The types of materials included in these
nine classes are in Figure 9.1.
Hazardous Materials Table
2
Division
Class
1
4
Mass Explosives
Projection Hazards
Mass Fire Hazards
Very Insensitive
Extreme Insensitive
Dynamite
Flares
Display Fireworks
Ammunition
Blasting Agents
Explosive Devices
2.1
2.2
Flammable Gases
Non-Flammable
Gases
Poisonous/Toxic
Gases
Flammable Liquids
Propane
Helium
Flammable Gases
Spontaneously
Combustible
Spontaneously
Combustible When
Wet
Ammonium Picrate,
Wetted
White Phosphorus
Sodium
5.1
5.2
Oxidizers
Organic Peroxides
Ammonium Nitrate
Methyl Ethyl Ketone
Peroxide
6.1
Poison (Toxic
Material)
Infectious
Substances
Radioactive
Corrosives
Miscellaneous
Hazardous Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated MaterialDomestic)
Combustible Liquids
Potassium Cyanide
4.1
4.2
4.3
5
6
Examples
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
2.3
3
Name of Class or
Division
6.2
7
8
-
9
-
e
-
Figure 9.1
Fluorine, Compressed
Gasoline
Shippers to describe hazardous materials correctly
and include an emergency response telephone
number on shipping papers.
Carriers and drivers to put tabs on hazardous
materials shipping papers, or keep them on top of
other shipping papers and keep the required
emergency response information with the shipping
papers.
Drivers to keep hazardous materials shipping
papers:
¾
¾
¾
In a pouch on the driver's door, or
In clear view within immediate reach while
the seat belt is fastened while driving, or
On the driver's seat when out of the
vehicle.
9.3.2 – Package Labels
Shippers put diamond-shaped hazard warning
labels on most hazardous materials packages.
These labels inform others of the hazard. If the
diamond label won't fit on the package, shippers
may put the label on a tag securely attached to the
package. For example, compressed gas cylinders
that will not hold a label will have tags or decals.
Labels look like the examples in Figure 9.2.
Anthrax Virus
Uranium
Battery Fluid
Polychlorinated
Biphenyls (PCB)
Food Flavorings,
Medicines
Fuel Oil
A shipping paper describes the hazardous
materials being transported. Shipping orders, bills
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-3
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Identification numbers are a four-digit code used
by first responders to identify hazardous materials.
An identification number may be used to identify
more than one chemical. The letters “NA or “UN”
will precede the identification number. The United
States Department of Transportation’s Emergency
Response Guidebook (ERG) identifies the
chemicals all identification numbers are assigned
to.
There are three main lists used by shippers,
carriers, and drivers when trying to identify
hazardous materials. Before transporting a
material, look for its name on three lists. Some
materials are on all lists, others on only one.
Always check the following lists:
Examples of HAZMAT Labels. Figure 9.2
9.3.3 – Lists of Regulated Products
Placards. Placards are used to warn others of
hazardous materials. Placards are signs put on the
outside of a vehicle and on bulk packages, which
identify the hazard class of the cargo. A placarded
vehicle must have at least four identical placards.
They are put on the front, rear, and both sides of
the vehicle. See Figure 9.3. Placards must be
readable from all four directions. They are at least
10 3/4 inches square, square-on-point, in a
diamond shape. Cargo tanks and other bulk
packaging display the identification number of their
contents on placards or orange panels or white
square-on-point displays that are the same size as
placards.
Section 172.101, the Hazardous Materials Table.
Appendix A to Section 172.101, the List of
Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities.
Appendix B to Section 172.101, the List of Marine
Pollutants.
The Hazardous Materials Table. Figure 9.4
shows part of the Hazardous Materials Table.
Column 1 tells which shipping mode(s) the entry
affects and other information concerning the
shipping description. The next five columns show
each material's shipping name, hazard class or
division, identification number, packaging group,
and required labels.
Six different symbols may appear in Column 1 of
the table.
(+)
(A)
(W)
(D)
(I)
Examples of HAZMAT Placards. Figure 9.3
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Shows the proper shipping name, hazard
class, and packing group to use, even if
the material doesn't meet the hazard class
definition.
Means the hazardous material described
in Column 2 is subject to the HMR only
when offered or intended for transport by
air unless it is a hazardous substance or
hazardous waste.
Means the hazardous material described
in Column 2 is subject to the HMR only
when offered or intended for transportation
by water unless it is a hazardous
substance, hazardous waste, or marine
pollutant.
Means the proper shipping name is
appropriate for describing materials for
domestic transportation, but may not be
proper for international transportation.
Identifies a proper shipping name that is
used to describe materials in international
Page 9-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
49 CFR 172.101 Hazardous Materials Table
Packaging (173. ***)
Hazardous Materials
Description & Proper
Shipping Names
Hazard
Class or
Division
Identification
Numbers
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
(5)
(6)
A
Acetaldehyde ammonia
9
UN1841
III
9
Symbols
PG
Figure 9.4
Label
Codes
Special
Provisions
(172.1010
Exceptions
Non
Bulk
Bulk
(7)
(8A)
(8B)
(8C)
IB8, IP6
155
204
240
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172
List of Hazardous Substances and Reportable Quantities
Hazardous
Substances
Phenyl mercaptan
@
Phenylmercuric
acetate
N-Phenylthiourea
Phorate
Phosgene
Phosphine
Phosphoric acid
Phosphoric acid,
diethyl
4-nitrophenyl ester
Reportable Quantity (RQ)
Pounds (Kilograms)
Synonyms
Benzinethiol,
Thiophenol
Mercury, (acetato-0)
phenyl
100 (45.4)
100 (45.4)
Thiourea, phenyl
100 (45.4)
Phosphorodithioic acid,
O,O-diethyl S(ethylthio), methylester
Carbonyl chloride
Hydrogen Phosphide
10 (4.54)
10 (4.54) *
100 (45.4)
5000 (2270)
Diethyl-p nitrophenyl
phosphate
100 (45.4)
Phosphoric acid,
1 (.454)
Lead phosphate
lead salt
* Spills of 10 pounds or more must be reported.
Figure 9.5
(G)
transportation. A different shipping name
may be used when only domestic
transportation is involved.
Means this hazardous material described
in Column 2 is a generic shipping name. A
generic
shipping
name
must
be
accompanied by a technical name on the
shipping paper. A technical name is a
specific chemical that makes the product
hazardous.
Column 2 lists the proper shipping names and
descriptions of regulated materials. Entries are in
alphabetical order so you can more quickly find the
right entry. The table shows proper shipping
names in regular type. The shipping paper must
show proper shipping names. Names shown in
italics are not proper shipping names.
Column 3 shows a material's hazard class or
division, or the entry "Forbidden." Never transport
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
a "Forbidden" material. You placard shipments
based on the quantity and hazard class. You can
decide which placards to use if you know these
three things:
Material's hazard class.
Amount being shipped.
Amount of all hazardous materials of all classes on
your vehicle.
Column 4 lists the identification number for each
proper shipping name. Identification numbers are
preceded by the letters "UN" or "NA." The letters
"NA" are associated with proper shipping names
that are only used within the United States and to
and from Canada. The identification number must
appear on the shipping paper as part of the
shipping description and also appear on the
package. It also must appear on cargo tanks and
other bulk packaging. Police and firefighters use
this number to quickly identify the hazardous
materials.
Page 9-5
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Column 5 shows the packing group (in Roman
numeral) assigned to a material.
capacity of 119 gallons or more without a placard
or label as specified by the HMR.
Column 6 shows the hazard warning label(s)
shippers must put on packages of hazardous
materials. Some products require use of more than
one label due to a dual hazard being present. No
label is needed where the table shows the word
NONE.
Any bulk packages of a Marine Pollutant must
display the Marine Pollutant marking (white triangle
with a fish and an “X” through the fish). This
marking (it is not a placard) must also be displayed
on the outside of the vehicle. In addition, a notation
must be made on the shipping papers near the
description of the material: “Marine Pollutant”.
Column 7 lists the additional (special) provisions
that apply to this material. When there is an entry
in this column, you must refer to the federal
regulations for specific information. The numbers
1-6 in this column mean the hazardous material is
a poison inhalation hazard (PIH). PIH materials
have special requirements for shipping papers,
marking, and placards.
Column 8 is a three-part column showing the
section numbers covering the packaging
requirements for each hazardous material.
Note: Columns 9 and 10 do not apply to
transportation by highway.
Appendix A to 49 CFR 172.101 - The List of
Hazardous
Substances
and
Reportable
Quantities. The DOT and the EPA want to know
about spills of hazardous substances. They are
named in the List of Hazardous Substances and
Reportable Quantities. See Figure 9.5. Column 3
of the list shows each product's reportable quantity
(RQ). When these materials are being transported
in a reportable quantity or greater in one package,
the shipper displays the letters RQ on the shipping
paper and package. The letters RQ may appear
before or after the basic description. You or your
employer must report any spill of these materials,
which occurs in a reportable quantity.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD appear on the
shipping paper or package, the rules require
display of the POISON INHALATION HAZARD or
POISON GAS placards, as appropriate. These
placards must be used in addition to other
placards, which may be required by the product's
hazard class. Always display the hazard class
placard and the POISON INHALATION HAZARD
placard, even for small amounts.
Shipping Paper
TO:
Quantity
1
cylinder
ABC
Corporation
88
Valley
Street
Anywhere,
VA
RQ
HM
(“RQ”
means that
this is a
reportable
quantity.)
DEF
Corporation
55
Mountain
FROM:
Street
Nowhere,
CO
Description
Phosgene,
2.3,
UN1076
Poison,
Inhalation
Hazard,
Zone A
Page
1 of 1
Weight
25 lbs
(Phosgene is the
proper
shipping
name from Column
2 of the Hazardous
Materials
Table.)
(2.3 is the Hazard
Class from Column
3 of the Hazardous
Materials
Table.)
(Un1076
is
the
Identification
Number
from
Column 4 of the
Hazardous materials
Table.)
This is to certify that the above named materials are
properly classified, described, packaged marked and
labeled, and are in proper condition for transportation
according to the applicable regulations of the United
States Department of Transportation.
DEF
Corporation
Smith
October 15,
2003
Special Instructions: 24 hour
John Smith 1-800-555-5555
Shipper:
Per:
Date:
Carrier:
Per:
Date:
Safety
First
Emergency Contact,
Figure 9.6
Appendix B to 49 CFR 172.101 - Marine
Pollutants
9.3.4 – The Shipping Paper
Appendix B is a listing of chemicals that are toxic
to marine life. For highway transportation, this list
is only used for chemicals in a container with a
The shipping paper shown in Figure 9.6 describes
a shipment. A shipping paper for hazardous
materials must include:
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-6
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Page numbers if the shipping paper has more than
one page. The first page must tell the total number
of pages. For example, "Page 1 of 4".
A proper shipping description for each hazardous
material.
A shipper's certification, signed by the shipper,
saying they prepared the shipment according to
the rules.
9.3.5 – The Item Description
If a shipping paper describes both hazardous and
non-hazardous products, the hazardous materials
will be either:
Described first.
Highlighted in a contrasting color.
Identified by an "X" placed before the shipping
name in a column captioned "HM". The letters
"RQ" may be used instead of "X" if a reportable
quantity is present in one package.
must include information on the shipping name of
the hazardous materials, risks to health, fire,
explosion, and initial methods of handling spills,
fires, and leaks of the materials.
Such information can be on the shipping paper or
some other document that includes the basic
description and technical name of the hazardous
material. Or, it may be in a guidance book such as
the Emergency Response Guidebook (ERG).
Motor carriers may assist shippers by keeping an
ERG on each vehicle carrying hazardous
materials. The driver must provide the emergency
response information to any federal, state, or local
authority responding to a hazardous materials
incident or investigating one.
Total quantity must appear before or after the basic
description. The packaging type and the unit of
measurement may be abbreviated. For example:
10 ctns. Paint, 3, UN1263, PG II, 500 lbs.
The basic description of hazardous materials
includes the proper shipping name, hazard class or
division, the identification number, and the packing
group, if any, in that order. The packing group is
displayed in Roman numerals and may be
preceded by "PG".
The shipper of hazardous wastes must put the
word WASTE before the proper shipping name of
the material on the shipping paper (hazardous
waste manifest). For example:
Shipping name, hazard class, and identification
number must not be abbreviated unless specifically
authorized in the hazardous materials regulations.
The description must also show:
A non-hazardous material may not be described by
using a hazard class or an identification number.
The total quantity and unit of measure.
The letters RQ, if a reportable quantity.
If the letters RQ appear, the name of the
hazardous substance.
For all materials with the letter “G” (Generic) in
Column 1, the technical name of the hazardous
material.
Shipping papers also must list an emergency
response telephone number. The emergency
response telephone number is the responsibility of
the shipper. It can be used by emergency
responders to obtain information about any
hazardous materials involved in a spill or fire.
Some hazardous materials do not need a
telephone number. You should check the
regulations for a listing.
Shippers also must provide emergency response
information to the motor carrier for each hazardous
material being shipped. The emergency response
information must be able to be used away from the
motor vehicle and must provide information on how
to safely handle incidents involving the material. It
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Waste Acetone, 3, UN1090, PG II.
9.3.6 – Shipper's Certification
When the shipper packages hazardous materials,
he/she certifies that the package has been
prepared according to the rules. The signed
shipper's certification appears on the original
shipping paper. The only exceptions are when a
shipper is a private carrier transporting their own
product and when the package is provided by the
carrier (for example, a cargo tank). Unless a
package is clearly unsafe or does not comply with
the HMR, you may accept the shipper's
certification concerning proper packaging. Some
carriers have additional rules about transporting
hazardous materials. Follow your employer's rules
when accepting shipments.
9.3.7 – Package Markings and Labels
Shippers print required markings directly on the
package, an attached label, or tag. An important
package marking is the name of the hazardous
materials. It is the same name as the one on the
shipping paper. The requirements for marking vary
by package size and material being transported.
Page 9-7
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
When required, the shipper will put the following on
the package:
The name and address of shipper or consignee.
The hazardous material's shipping name and
identification number.
The labels required.
It is a good idea to compare the shipping paper to
the markings and labels. Always make sure that
the shipper shows the correct basic description on
the shipping paper and verifies that the proper
labels are shown on the packages. If you are not
familiar with the material, ask the shipper to
contact your office.
If rules require it, the shipper will put RQ, MARINE
POLLUTANT,
BIOHAZARD,
HOT,
or
INHALATION-HAZARD on the package. Packages
with liquid containers inside will also have package
orientation markings with the arrows pointing in the
correct upright direction. The labels used always
reflect the hazard class of the product. If a package
needs more than one label, the labels will be close
together, near the proper shipping name.
9.3.8 – Recognizing Hazardous Materials
Learn to recognize shipments of hazardous
materials. To find out if the shipment includes
hazardous materials, look at the shipping paper.
Does it have:
An entry with a proper shipping name, hazard
class, and identification number?
A highlighted entry, or one with an X or RQ in the
hazardous materials column?
Other clues suggesting hazardous materials:
What business is the shipper in? Paint dealer?
Chemical supply? Scientific supply house? Pest
control or agricultural supplier? Explosives,
munitions, or fireworks dealer?
Are there tanks with diamond labels or placards on
the premises?
What type of package is being shipped? Cylinders
and drums are often used for hazardous materials
shipments.
Is a hazard class label, proper shipping name, or
identification number on the package?
Are there any handling precautions?
9.3.9 – Hazardous Waste Manifest
When transporting hazardous wastes, you must
sign by hand and carry a Uniform Hazardous
Waste Manifest. The name and EPA registration
number of the shippers, carriers, and destination
must appear on the manifest. Shippers must
prepare, date, and sign by hand the manifest.
Treat the manifest as a shipping paper when
transporting the waste. Only give the waste
shipment to another registered carrier or
disposal/treatment
facility.
Each
carrier
transporting the shipment must sign by hand the
manifest. After you deliver the shipment, keep your
copy of the manifest. Each copy must have all
needed signatures and dates, including those of
the person to whom you delivered the waste.
9.3.10 – Placarding
Attach the appropriate placards to the vehicle
before you drive it. You are only allowed to move
an improperly placarded vehicle during an
emergency, in order to protect life or property.
Placards must appear on both sides and both ends
of the vehicle. Each placard must be:
Easily seen from the direction it faces.
Placed so the words or numbers are level and read
from left to right.
At least three inches away from any other
markings.
Kept clear of attachments or devices such as
ladders, doors, and tarpaulins.
Kept clean and undamaged so that the color,
format, and message are easily seen.
Be affixed to a background of contrasting color.
The use of “Drive Safely” and other slogans is
prohibited.
The front placard may be on the front of the tractor
or the front of the trailer.
To decide which placards to use, you need to
know:
The hazard class of the materials.
The amount of hazardous materials shipped.
The total weight of all classes of hazardous
materials in your vehicle.
9.3.11 – Placard Tables
There are two placard tables, Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1 materials must be placarded whenever any
amount is transported. See Figure 9.7.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-8
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Except for bulk packagings, the hazard classes in
Table 2 need placards only if the total amount
transported is 1,001 pounds or more including the
package. Add the amounts from all shipping
papers for all the Table 2 products you have on
board. See Figure 9.8.
Placard Table 1
Any Amount
IF YOUR VEHICLE
CONTAINS ANY
PLACARD AS…
AMOUNT OF……
1.1 Mass Explosives
Explosives 1.1
1.2 Project Hazards
Explosives 1.2
1.3 Mass Fire Hazards Explosives 1.3
2.3 Poisonous/Toxic
Poison Gas
Gases
4.3 Spontaneously
Combustible When
Dangerous When Wet
Wet
5.2 (Organic Peroxide,
Type B, liquid or solid,
Organic Peroxide
Temperature
controlled)
6.1 (Inhalation hazard
Poison
zone A & B only)
7 (Radioactive Yellow
Radioactive
III label only)
Figure 9.7
You may use DANGEROUS placards instead of
separate placards for each Table 2 hazard class
when:
You have 1,001 pounds or more of two or more
Table 2 hazard classes, requiring different
placards, and
You have not loaded 2,205 pounds or more of any
Table 2 hazard class material at any one place.
(You must use the specific placard for this
material.)
The dangerous placard is an option, not a
requirement. You can always placard for the
materials.
If the words INHALATION HAZARD are on the
shipping paper or package, you must display
POISON GAS or POISON INHALATION placards
in addition to any other placards needed by the
product's hazard class. The 1,000 pound exception
does not apply to these materials.
Materials with a secondary hazard of dangerous
when wet must display the DANGEROUS WHEN
WET placard in addition to any other placards
needed by the product’s hazard class. The 1,000-
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
pound exception to placarding does not apply to
these materials.
Placard Table 2
1,001 Pounds Or More
Category of Material
(Hazard class or division
number and additional
Placard Name
description, as
appropriate)
1.4 Very Insensitive
1.5 Extreme Insensitive
1.6
2.1 Flammable Gases
2.2 Non- Flammable Gases
3 Flammable Liquids
Combustible Liquid
4.1 Flammable Gases
4.2 Spontaneously
Combustible
5.1 Oxidizers
Explosives 1.4
Explosives 1.5
Explosives 1.6
Flammable Gas
Non-Flammable Gas.
Flammable
Combustible*
Flammable Solid
Spontaneously
Combustible
Oxidizer
5.2 (other than organic
peroxide, Type B, liquid or
solid, Temperature
Controlled)
Organic Peroxide
6.1 (other than inhalation
hazard zone A or B)
Poison
6.2 Infectious Substances
(None)
8 Corrosives
Corrosive
9 Miscellaneous Hazardous
Class 9**
Materials
ORM-D
(None)
* FLAMMABLE may be used in place of a
COMBUSTIBLE on a cargo tank or portable tank.
** Class 9 Placard is not required for domestic
transportation.
Figure 9.8
Placards used to identify the primary or subsidiary
hazard class of a material must have the hazard
class or division number displayed in the lower
corner of the placard. Permanently affixed
subsidiary hazard placards without the hazard
class number may be used as long as they stay
within color specifications. Non-permanently
affixed subsidiary hazard placards without the
hazard class number may be used until October 1,
2005.
Placards may be displayed for hazardous materials
even if not required so long as the placard
identifies the hazard of the material being
transported.
A bulk packaging is a single container with a
capacity of 119 gallons or more. A bulk package,
Page 9-9
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
and a vehicle transporting a bulk package, must be
placarded, even if it only has the residue of a
hazardous material. Certain bulk packages only
have to be placarded on the two opposite sides or
may display labels. All other bulk packages must
be placarded on all four sides.
Subsections 9.1, 9.2, and 9.3
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Shippers package in order to (fill in the
blank) the material.
Driver placard their vehicle to (fill in the
blank) the risk.
What three things do you need to know to
decide which placards (if any) you need?
A hazardous materials identification
number must appear on the (fill in the
blank) and on the (fill in the blank). The
identification number must also appear on
cargo tanks and other bulk packaging.
Where must you keep shipping papers
describing hazardous materials?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.1, 9.2 and
9.3.
9.4 – Loading and Unloading
Do all you can to protect containers of hazardous
materials. Don't use any tools, which might
damage containers or other packaging during
loading. Don't use hooks.
9.4.1 – General Loading Requirements
Before loading or unloading, set the parking brake.
Make sure the vehicle will not move.
Many products become more hazardous when
exposed to heat. Load hazardous materials away
from heat sources.
Watch for signs of leaking or damaged containers:
LEAKS SPELL TROUBLE! Do not transport
leaking packages. Depending on the material, you,
your truck, and others could be in danger. It is
illegal to move a vehicle with leaking hazardous
materials.
Containers of Class 1 (explosives), Class 3
(flammable liquids), Class 4 (flammable solids),
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Class 5 (oxidizers), Class 8 (corrosives), Class 2
(gases), Division 6.1 (poisons), and Class 7
(radioactive) must be braced to prevent movement
of the packages during transportation.
No Smoking. When loading or unloading
hazardous materials, keep fire away. Don't let
people smoke nearby. Never smoke around:
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
Class 5 (Oxidizers)
Secure Against Movement. Brace containers so
they will not fall, slide, or bounce around during
transportation. Be very careful when loading
containers that have valves or other fittings. All
hazardous materials packages must be secured
during transportation.
After loading, do not open any package during
your trip. Never transfer hazardous materials from
one package to another while in transit. You may
empty a cargo tank, but do not empty any other
package while it is on the vehicle.
Cargo Heater Rules. There are special cargo
heater rules for loading:
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 2.1 (Flammable Gas )
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids)
The rules usually forbid use of cargo heaters,
including automatic cargo heater/air conditioner
units. Unless you have read all the related rules,
don't load the above products in a cargo space that
has a heater.
Use Closed Cargo Space. You cannot have
overhang or tailgate loads of:
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
Class 5 (Oxidizers)
You must load these hazardous materials into a
closed cargo space unless all packages are:
Fire and water resistant.
Covered with a fire and water resistant tarp.
Precautions for Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives) Materials. Turn your engine
off before loading or unloading any explosives.
Then check the cargo space. You must:
Page 9-10
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Disable cargo heaters. Disconnect heater power
sources and drain heater fuel tanks.
Make sure there are no sharp points that might
damage cargo. Look for bolts, screws, nails,
broken side panels, and broken floorboards.
Use a floor lining with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
(Class A or B Explosives). The floors must be tight
and the liner must be either non-metallic material
or non-ferrous metal.
the containers. Load them onto an even floor
surface. Stack carboys only if the lower tiers can
bear the weight of the upper tiers safely.
Use extra care to protect explosives. Never use
hooks or other metal tools. Never drop, throw, or
roll packages. Protect explosive packages from
other cargo that might cause damage.
Never load corrosive liquids next to or above:
Do not transfer a Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class A
or B Explosive) from one vehicle to another on a
public roadway except in an emergency. If safety
requires an emergency transfer, set out red
warning reflectors, flags, or electric lanterns. You
must warn others on the road.
Never transport damaged packages of explosives.
Do not take a package that shows any dampness
or oily stain.
Do not transport Division 1.1 or 1.2 (Class A
Explosives) in triples or in vehicle combinations if:
There is a marked or placarded cargo tank in the
combination.
The other vehicle in the combination contains:
Do not load nitric acid above any other product.
Load charged storage batteries so their liquid won't
spill. Keep them right side up. Make sure other
cargo won't fall against or short circuit them.
Division 1.4 (Explosives C).
Division 4.1 (Flammable Solids).
Division 4.3 (Dangerous When Wet).
Class 5 (Oxidizers).
Division 2.3, Zone B (Poisonous Gases).
Never load corrosive liquids with:
Division 1.1 or 1.2 (Explosives A).
Division 1.2 or 1.3 (Explosives B).
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents).
Division 2.3, Zone A (Poisonous Gases).
Division
4.2
(Spontaneously
Combustible
Materials).
Division 6.1, PGI, Zone A (Poison Liquids).
Class 2 (Compressed Gases) Including
Cryogenic Liquids. If your vehicle doesn't have
racks to hold cylinders, the cargo space floor must
be flat. The cylinders must be:
Division 1.1 A (Initiating Explosives).
Packages of Class 7 (Radioactive)
materials labeled "Yellow III."
Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division
6.1 (Poisonous) materials.
Hazardous materials in a portable tank, on
a DOT Spec 106A or 110A tank.
Held upright.
In racks attached to the vehicle or in boxes that will
keep them from turning over.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5
(Oxidizers) Materials. Class 4 materials are solids
that react (including fire and explosion) to water,
heat, and air or even react spontaneously.
Division 2.3 (Poisonous Gas) or Division 6.1
(Poisonous) Materials. Never transport these
materials in containers with interconnections.
Never load a package labeled POISON or
POISON INHALATION HAZARD in the driver's cab
or sleeper or with food material for human or
animal consumption. There are special rules for
loading and unloading Class 2 materials in cargo
tanks. You must have special training to do this.
¾
¾
¾
¾
Class 4 and 5 materials must be completely
enclosed in a vehicle or covered securely. Class 4
and 5 materials, which become unstable and
dangerous when wet, must be kept dry while in
transit and during loading and unloading. Materials
that are subject to spontaneous combustion or
heating must be in vehicles with sufficient
ventilation.
Class 8 (Corrosive) Materials. If loading by hand,
load breakable containers of corrosive liquid one
by one. Keep them right side up. Do not drop or roll
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Cylinders may be loaded in a horizontal position
(lying down) if it is designed so the relief valve is in
the vapor space.
Class 7 (Radioactive) Materials. Some packages
of Class 7 (Radioactive) materials bear a number
called the "transport index." The shipper labels
these packages Radioactive II or Radioactive III,
and prints the package's transport index on the
label. Radiation surrounds each package, passing
through all nearby packages. To deal with this
Page 9-11
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
problem, the number of packages you can load
together is controlled. Their closeness to people,
animals, and unexposed film is also controlled. The
transport index tells the degree of control needed
during transportation. The total transport index of
all packages in a single vehicle must not exceed
50.Table A to this section shows rules for each
transport index. It shows how close you can load
Class 7 (Radioactive) materials to people, animals,
or film. For example, you can't leave a package
with a transport index of 1.1 within two feet of
people or cargo space walls.
Do Not Load Table
Do Not Load
Division 6.1 or 2.3
(POISON or poison
inhalation hazard
labeled material).
Division 2.3
(Poisonous) gas Zone
A or Division 6.1
(Poison) liquids, PGI,
Zone A.
Charged storage
batteries.
Class 1 (Detonating
primers).
Division 6.1
(Cyanides or cyanide
mixtures).
Nitric acid (Class B).
In The Same Vehicle With
Animal or human food unless the
poison package is over packed in
an approved way. Foodstuffs are
anything you swallow. However,
mouthwash, toothpaste, and skin
creams are not foodstuff.
Division 5.1 (Oxidizers), Class 3
(Flammable Liquids), Class 8
(Corrosive Liquids), Division 5.2
(Organic Peroxides),
Division 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 (Class A or
B) Explosives,
Division 1.5 (Blasting Agents),
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gases),
Class 4 (Flammable Solids).
Division 1.1 (Class A Explosives).
Any other explosives unless in
authorized containers or
packages.
Acids, corrosive materials, or other
acidic materials which could
release hydrocyanic acid .
For Example:
Cyanides, Inorganic, n.o.s.
Silver Cyanide
Sodium Cyanide.
Other materials unless the nitric
acid is not loaded above any other
material.
Figure 9.9
Mixed loads. The rules require some products to
be loaded separately. You cannot load them
together in the same cargo space. Figure 9.9 lists
some examples. The regulations (the Segregation
and Separation Chart) name other materials you
must keep apart.
1.
Subsection 9.4
Test Your Knowledge
Around which hazard classes must you
never smoke?
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2.
3.
4.
5.
Which three hazard classes should not be
loaded into a trailer that has a heater/air
conditioner unit?
Should the floor liner required for Division
1.1 or 1.2 materials (Explosives A) be
stainless steel?
At the shipper’s dock you’re given a paper
for 100 cartons of battery acid. You
already have 100 pounds of dry Silver
Cyanide on board. What precautions do
you have to take?
Name a hazard class that uses transport
indexes to determine the amount that can
be loaded in a single vehicle.
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 9.4.
9.5 – Bulk Packaging Marking, Loading
and Unloading
The glossary at the end of this section gives the
meaning of the word bulk. Cargo tanks are bulk
packaging permanently attached to a vehicle.
Cargo tanks remain on the vehicle when you load
and unload them. Portable tanks are bulk
packaging, which are not permanently attached to
a vehicle. The product is loaded or unloaded while
the portable tanks are off the vehicle. Portable
tanks are then put on a vehicle for transportation.
There are many types of cargo tanks in use. The
most common cargo tanks are MC306 for liquids
and MC331 for gases.
9.5.1 – Markings
You must display the identification number of the
hazardous materials in portable tanks and cargo
tanks and other bulk packaging (such as dump
trucks). Identification numbers are in column 4 of
the Hazardous Materials Table. The rules require
black 100 mm (3.9 inch) numbers on orange
panels, placards, or a white, diamond-shaped
background if no placards are required.
Specification cargo tanks must show re-test date
markings.
Portable tanks must also show the lessee or
owner's name. They must also display the shipping
name of the contents on two opposing sides. The
letters of the shipping name must be at least two
inches tall on portable tanks with capacities of
more than 1,000 gallons and one-inch tall on
portable tanks with capacities of less than 1,000
gallons. The identification number must appear on
each side and each end of a portable tank or other
bulk packaging that hold 1,000 gallons or more
Page 9-12
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
and on two opposing sides, if the portable tank
holds less than 1,000 gallons. The identification
numbers must still be visible when the portable
tank is on the motor vehicle. If they are not visible,
you must display the identification number on both
sides and ends of the motor vehicle.
Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) are bulk
packages, but are not required to have the owner’s
name or shipping name.
9.5.2 – Tank Loading
The person in charge of loading and unloading a
cargo tank must be sure a qualified person is
always watching. This person watching the loading
or unloading must:
Be alert.
Have a clear view of the cargo tank.
Be within 25 feet of the tank.
Know of the hazards of the materials involved.
Know the procedures to follow in an emergency.
Be authorized to move the cargo tank and able to
do so.
trailers and semi-trailers to prevent motion when
uncoupled from the power unit.
Subsection 9.5
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
What are cargo tanks?
How is a portable tank different from a
cargo tank?
Your engine runs a pump used during
delivery of compressed gas. Should you
turn off the engine before or after
unhooking hoses after delivery?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsection 9.5.
9.6 – Hazardous Materials -- Driving
and Parking Rules
There are special attendance rules for cargo tanks
transporting propane and anhydrous ammonia.
9.6.1 – Parking with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3
(Class A or B) Explosives
Close all manholes and valves before moving a
tank of hazardous materials, no matter how small
the amount in the tank or how short the distance.
Manholes and valves must be closed to prevent
leaks. It is illegal to move a cargo tank with open
valves or covers unless it is empty according to 49
CFR 173.29.
Never park with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class A or
B) explosives within five feet of the traveled part of
the road. Except for short periods of time needed
for vehicle operation necessities (e.g., fueling), do
not park within 300 feet of:
9.5.3 – Flammable Liquids
Turn off your engine before loading or unloading
any flammable liquids. Only run the engine if
needed to operate a pump. Ground a cargo tank
correctly before filling it through an open filling
hole. Ground the tank before opening the filling
hole, and maintain the ground until after closing
the filling hole.
9.5.4 – Compressed Gas
Keep liquid discharge valves on a compressed gas
tank closed except when loading and unloading.
Unless your engine runs a pump for product
transfer, turn it off when loading or unloading. If
you use the engine, turn it off after product
transfer, before you unhook the hose. Unhook all
loading/unloading connections before coupling,
uncoupling, or moving a cargo tank. Always chock
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
A bridge, tunnel, or building.
A place where people gather.
An open fire.
If you must park to do your job, do so only briefly.
Don't park on private property unless the owner is
aware of the danger. Someone must always watch
the parked vehicle. You may let someone else
watch it for you only if your vehicle is:
On the shipper's property.
On the carrier's property.
On the consignee's property.
You are allowed to leave your vehicle unattended
in a safe haven. A safe haven is an approved
place for parking unattended vehicles loaded with
explosives. Designation of authorized safe havens
is usually made by local authorities.
Page 9-13
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
9.6.2 – Parking a Placarded Vehicle Not
Transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class
A or B) Explosives
You may park a placarded vehicle (not laden with
explosives) within five feet of the traveled part of
the road only if your work requires it. Do so only
briefly. Someone must always watch the vehicle
when parked on a public roadway or shoulder. Do
not uncouple a trailer and leave it with hazardous
materials on a public street. Do not park within 300
feet of an open fire.
9.6.3 – Attending Parked Vehicles
The person attending a placarded vehicle must:
Be in the vehicle, awake, and not in the sleeper
berth, or within 100 feet of the vehicle and have it
within clear view.
Be aware of the hazards of the materials being
transported.
Know what to do in emergencies.
Be able to move the vehicle, if needed.
9.6.4 – No Flares!
You might break down and have to use stopped
vehicle signals. Use reflective triangles or red
electric lights. Never use burning signals, such as
flares or fuses, around a:
Tank used for Class 3 (Flammable Liquids) or
Division 2.1 (Flammable Gas) whether loaded or
empty.
Vehicle loaded with Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class
A or B) Explosives.
9.6.5 – Route Restrictions
Some states and counties require permits to
transport hazardous materials or wastes. They
may limit the routes you can use. Local rules about
routes and permits change often. It is your job as
driver to find out if you need permits or must use
special routes. Make sure you have all needed
papers before starting.
Take other routes, even if inconvenient, unless
there is no other way. Never drive a placarded
vehicle near open fires unless you can safely pass
without stopping.
If transporting Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class A or
B) explosives, you must have a written route plan
and follow that plan. Carriers prepare the route
plan in advance and give the driver a copy. You
may plan the route yourself if you pick up the
explosives at a location other than your employer's
terminal. Write out the plan in advance. Keep a
copy of it with you while transporting the
explosives. Deliver shipments of explosives only to
authorized persons or leave them in locked rooms
designed for explosives storage.
A carrier must choose the safest route to transport
placarded radioactive materials. After choosing the
route, the carrier must tell the driver about the
radioactive materials, and show the route plan.
9.6.6 – No Smoking
Do not smoke within 25 feet of a placarded cargo
tank used for Class 3 (flammable liquids) or
Division 2.1 (gases). Also, do not smoke or carry a
lighted cigarette, cigar, or pipe within 25 feet of any
vehicle, which contains:
Class 1 (Explosives)
Class 3 Flammable Liquids)
Class 4 (Flammable Solids)
Class 5 (Oxidizers)
9.6.7 – Refuel with Engine Off
Turn off your engine before fueling a motor vehicle
containing hazardous materials. Someone must
always be at the nozzle, controlling fuel flow.
9.6.8 – 10 B:C Fire Extinguisher
The power unit of placarded vehicles must have a
fire extinguisher with a UL rating of 10 B:C or
more.
9.6.9 – Check Tires
If you work for a carrier, ask your dispatcher about
route restrictions or permits. If you are an
independent trucker and are planning a new route,
check with state agencies where you plan to travel.
Some localities prohibit transportation of
hazardous materials through tunnels, over bridges,
or other roadways. Check before you start.
Make sure your tires are properly inflated. Check
placarded vehicles with dual tires at the start of
each trip and when you park. You must check the
tires each time you stop. The only acceptable way
to check tire pressure is to use a tire pressure
gauge.
Whenever placarded, avoid heavily populated
areas, crowds, tunnels, narrow streets, and alleys.
Do not drive with a tire that is leaking or flat except
to the nearest safe place to fix it. Remove any
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-14
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
overheated tire. Place it a safe distance from your
vehicle. Don't drive until you correct the cause of
the overheating. Remember to follow the rules
about parking and attending placarded vehicles.
They apply even when checking, repairing, or
replacing tires.
controlling leaks in dome cover plate fittings on the
cargo tank.
9.6.10 – Where to Keep Shipping Papers
and Emergency Response Information
Is placarded.
Carries any amount of chlorine.
Has cargo tanks, whether loaded or empty used for
hazardous materials.
Do not accept a hazardous materials shipment
without a properly prepared shipping paper. A
shipping paper for hazardous materials must
always be easily recognized. Other people must be
able to find it quickly after an accident.
Clearly distinguish hazardous materials shipping
papers from others by tabbing them or keeping
them on top of the stack of papers.
When you are behind the wheel, keep shipping
papers within your reach (with your seat belt on),
or in a pouch on the driver's door. They must be
easily seen by someone entering the cab.
When not behind the wheel, leave shipping papers
in the driver's door pouch or on the driver's seat.
Emergency response information must be kept in
the same location as the shipping paper.
Papers for Division 1.1, 1.2 or, 1.3 (Class A or B)
Explosives.
A carrier must give each driver transporting
Division 1.1, 1.2, or 1.3 (Class A or B) explosives a
copy of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
(FMCSR), Part 397. The carrier must also give
written instructions on what to do if delayed or in
an accident. The written instructions must include:
The names and telephone numbers of people to
contact (including carrier agents or shippers).
The nature of the explosives transported.
The precautions to take in emergencies such as
fires, accidents, or leaks.
Drivers must sign a receipt for these documents.
You must be familiar with, and have in your
possession while driving, the:
Shipping papers.
Written emergency instructions.
Written route plan.
A copy of FMCSR, Part 397.
9.6.11 – Equipment for Chlorine
A driver transporting chlorine in cargo tanks must
have an approved gas mask in the vehicle. The
driver must also have an emergency kit for
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
9.6.12 – Stop Before Railroad Crossings
Stop before a railroad crossing if your vehicle:
You must stop 15 to 50 feet before the nearest rail.
Proceed only when you are sure no train is
coming. Don't shift gears while crossing the tracks.
9.7 – Hazardous Materials Emergencies
9.7.1 – Emergency Response Guidebook
(ERG)
The Department of Transportation has a
guidebook for firefighters, police, and industry
workers on how to protect themselves and the
public from hazardous materials. The guide is
indexed by proper shipping name and hazardous
materials identification number. Emergency
personnel look for these things on the shipping
paper. That is why it is vital that the proper
shipping name, identification number, label, and
placards are correct.
9.7.2 – Accidents/Incidents
As a professional driver, your job at the scene of
an accident is to:
Keep people away from the scene.
Limit the spread of material, only if you can safely
do so.
Communicate the danger of the hazardous
materials to emergency response personnel.
Provide emergency responders with the shipping
papers and emergency response information.
Follow this checklist:
Check to see that your driving partner is OK.
Keep shipping papers with you.
Keep people far away and upwind.
Warn others of the danger.
Send for help.
Follow your employer's instructions.
Page 9-15
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
9.7.3 – Fires
You might have to control minor truck fires on the
road. However, unless you have the training and
equipment to do so safely, don't fight hazardous
materials fires. Dealing with hazardous materials
fires requires special training and protective gear.
When you discover a fire, send for help. You may
use the fire extinguisher to keep minor truck fires
from spreading to cargo before firefighters arrive.
Feel trailer doors to see if they are hot before
opening them. If hot, you may have a cargo fire
and should not open the doors. Opening doors lets
air in and may make the fire flare up. Without air,
many fires only smolder until firemen arrive, doing
less damage. If your cargo is already on fire, it is
not safe to fight the fire. Keep the shipping papers
with you to give to emergency personnel as soon
as they arrive. Warn other people of the danger
and keep them away.
If you discover a cargo leak, identify the hazardous
materials leaking by using shipping papers, labels,
or package location. Do not touch any leaking
material--many people injure themselves by
touching hazardous materials. Do not try to identify
the material or find the source of a leak by smell.
Toxic gases can destroy your sense of smell and
can injure or kill you even if they don't smell. Never
eat, drink, or smoke around a leak or spill.
If hazardous materials are spilling from your
vehicle, do not move it any more than safety
requires. You may move off the road and away
from places where people gather, if doing so
serves safety. Only move your vehicle if you can
do so without danger to yourself or others.
Never continue driving with hazardous materials
leaking from your vehicle in order to find a phone
booth, truck stop, help, or similar reason.
Remember, the carrier pays for the cleanup of
contaminated parking lots, roadways, and drainage
ditches. The costs are enormous, so don't leave a
lengthy trail of contamination. If hazardous
materials are spilling from your vehicle:
Park it.
Secure the area.
Stay there.
Send someone else for help.
When sending someone for help, give that person:
A description of the emergency.
Your exact location and direction of travel.
Your name, the carrier's name, and the name of
the community or city where your terminal is
located.
The proper shipping name, hazard class, and
identification number of the hazardous materials, if
you know them.
This is a lot for someone to remember. It is a good
idea to write it all down for the person you send for
help. The emergency response team must know
these things to find you and to handle the
emergency. They may have to travel miles to get to
you. This information will help them to bring the
right equipment the first time, without having to go
back for it.
Never move your vehicle, if doing so will cause
contamination or damage the vehicle. Keep
downwind and away from roadside rests, truck
stops, cafes, and businesses. Never try to repack
leaking containers. Unless you have the training
and equipment to repair leaks safely, don't try it.
Call your dispatcher or supervisor for instructions
and, if needed, emergency personnel.
9.7.4 – Responses to Specific Hazards
Class 1 (Explosives). If your vehicle has a
breakdown or accident while carrying explosives,
warn others of the danger. Keep bystanders away.
Do not allow smoking or open fire near the vehicle.
If there is a fire, warn everyone of the danger of
explosion.
Remove all explosives before separating vehicles
involved in a collision. Place the explosives at least
200 feet from the vehicles and occupied buildings.
Stay a safe distance away.
Class 2 (Compressed Gases). If compressed gas
is leaking from your vehicle, warn others of the
danger. Only permit those involved in removing the
hazard or wreckage to get close. You must notify
the shipper if compressed gas is involved in any
accident.
Unless you are fueling machinery used in road
construction or maintenance, do not transfer a
flammable compressed gas from one tank to
another on any public roadway.
Class 3 (Flammable Liquids). If you are
transporting a flammable liquid and have an
accident or your vehicle breaks down, prevent
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-16
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
bystanders from gathering. Warn people of the
danger. Keep them from smoking.
Never transport a leaking cargo tank farther than
needed to reach a safe place. Get off the roadway
if you can do so safely. Don't transfer flammable
liquid from one vehicle to another on a public
roadway except in an emergency.
Class 4 (Flammable Solids) and Class 5
(Oxidizing Materials). If a flammable solid or
oxidizing material spills, warn others of the fire
hazard. Do not open smoldering packages of
flammable solids. Remove them from the vehicle if
you can safely do so. Also, remove unbroken
packages if it will decrease the fire hazard.
Class 6 (Poisonous Materials and Infectious
Substances). It is your job to protect yourself,
other people, and property from harm. Remember
that many products classed as poison are also
flammable. If you think a Division 2.3 (Poison
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poison Materials) might be
flammable, take the added precautions needed for
flammable liquids or gases. Do not allow smoking,
open flame, or welding. Warn others of the hazards
of fire, of inhaling vapors, or coming in contact with
the poison.
A vehicle involved in a leak of Division 2.3 (Poison
Gases) or Division 6.1 (Poisons) must be checked
for stray poison before being used again.
If a Division 6.2 (Infectious Substances) package is
damaged in handling or transportation, you should
immediately contact your supervisor. Packages
that appear to be damaged or show signs of
leakage should not be accepted.
Class 7 (Radioactive Materials). If radioactive
material is involved in a leak or broken package,
tell your dispatcher or supervisor as soon as
possible. If there is a spill, or if an internal
container might be damaged, do not touch or
inhale the material. Do not use the vehicle until it is
cleaned and checked with a survey meter.
Class 8 (Corrosive Materials). If corrosives spill
or leak during transportation, be careful to avoid
further damage or injury when handling the
containers. Parts of the vehicle exposed to a
corrosive liquid must be thoroughly washed with
water. After unloading, wash out the interior as
soon as possible before reloading.
everything possible to prevent injury to yourself
and to others.
9.7.5 – Required Notification
The National Response Center helps coordinate
emergency response to chemical hazards. It is a
resource to the police and firefighters. It maintains
a 24-hour toll-free line. You or your employer must
phone when any of the following occur as a direct
result of a hazardous materials incident:
A person is killed.
An injured person requires hospitalization.
Estimated property damage exceeds $50,000.
The general public is evacuated for more than one
hour.
One or more major transportation arteries or
facilities are closed for one hour or more.
Fire, breakage, spillage, or suspected radioactive
contamination occurs.
Fire,
breakage,
spillage
or
suspected
contamination occur involving shipment of etiologic
agents (bacteria or toxins).
A situation exists of such a nature (e.g., continuing
danger to life exists at the scene of an incident)
that, in the judgment of the carrier, should be
reported.
National Response Center
(800) 424-8802
Persons telephoning the National
Center should be ready to give:
Response
Their name.
Name and address of the carrier they work for.
Phone number where they can be reached.
Date, time, and location of incident.
The extent of injuries, if any.
Classification, name, and quantity of hazardous
materials involved, if such information is available.
Type of incident and nature of hazardous materials
involvement and whether a continuing danger to
life exists at the scene.
If a reportable quantity of hazardous substance
was involved, the caller should give the name of
the shipper and the quantity of the hazardous
substance discharged.
Be prepared to give your employer the required
information as well. Carriers must make detailed
written reports within 30 days of an incident.
If continuing to transport a leaking tank would be
unsafe, get off the road. If safe to do so, contain
any liquid leaking from the vehicle. Keep
bystanders away from the liquid and its fumes. Do
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-17
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
CHEMTREC
(800) 424-9300
The Chemical Transportation Emergency Center
(CHEMTREC) in Washington also has a 24-hour
toll-free line. CHEMTREC was created to provide
emergency personnel with technical information
about the physical properties of hazardous
materials. The National Response Center and
CHEMTREC are in close communication. If you
call either one, they will tell the other about the
problem when appropriate.
TOTAL
INDEX
MINIMUM DISTANCE IN FEET TO
NEAREST UNDEVELOPED FILM
None
0.1
1.0
1.1
5.0
5.1
10.0
10.1
20.0
20.1
30.0
30.1
40.0
40.1
50.0
to
to
to
to
to
to
to
1
2
3
4
5
TO PEOPLE OR CARGO
COMPARTMENT
PARTITIONS
TRANSPORT
Radioactive Separation
Table A
Class
0-2
Hrs.
2-4
Hrs.
4-8
Hrs.
8-12
Hrs.
Over 12
Hrs.
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
5
1
3
4
6
8
11
2
4
6
9
11
15
3
5
8
12
16
22
4
7
10
15
20
29
5
8
11
17
22
33
6
9
12
19
24
36
6
7
8
9
None
None
Subsections 9.6 and 9.7
Test Your Knowledge
Figure 9.10
Do not leave radioactive yellow - II or yellow - III
labeled packages near people, animals, or film
longer than shown in Figure 9.10
Classes of Hazardous Materials
Hazardous materials are categorized into nine
major hazard classes and additional categories for
consumer commodities and combustible liquids.
The classes of hazardous materials are listed in
Figure 9.12.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Hazard Class Definitions
Table B
Class Name
Example
Ammunition,
Explosives
Dynamite,
Fireworks
Propane, Oxygen,
Gases
Helium
Gasoline Fuel,
Flammable
Acetone
Flammable
Matches, Fuses
Solids
Ammonium
Oxidizers
Nitrate, Hydrogen
Peroxide
Pesticides,
Poisons
Arsenic
Uranium,
Radioactive
Plutonium
Hydrochloric Acid,
Corrosives
Battery Acid
Miscellaneous
Formaldehyde,
Hazardous
Asbestos
Materials
ORM-D (Other
Regulated
Hair Spray or
MaterialCharcoal
Domestic)
Combustible
Fuel Oils, Lighter
Liquids
Fluid
Figure 9.11
If your placarded trailer has dual tires, how
often should you check the tires?
What is a safe haven?
How close to the traveled part of the
roadway can you park with Division 1.2 or
1.3 materials (Explosive B)?
How close can you park to a bridge,
tunnel, or building with the same load?
What type of fire extinguisher must
placarded vehicles carry?
You’re hauling 100 pounds of Division 4.3
(dangerous when wet) materials. Do you
need to stop before a railroad-highway
crossing?
At a rest area you discover your hazardous
materials shipments slowly leaking from
the vehicle. There is no phone around.
What should you do?
Page 9-18
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
8.
What is the Emergency Response Guide
(ERG)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read subsections 9.6 and 9.7.
9.8 – Hazardous Materials Glossary
This glossary presents definitions of certain terms
used in this section. A complete glossary of terms
can be found in the federal Hazardous Materials
Rules (49 CFR 171.8). You should have an up-todate copy of these rules for your reference.
(Note: You will not be tested on this glossary.)
Sec. 171.8 Definitions and abbreviations.
Bulk packaging – Packaging, other than a vessel,
or a barge, including a transport vehicle or freight
container, in which hazardous materials are loaded
with no intermediate form of containment and
which has:
1.
2.
3.
A maximum capacity greater than 450 L (119
gallons) as a receptacle for a liquid;
A maximum net mass greater than 400 kg
(882 pounds) or a maximum capacity greater
than 450 L (119 gallons) as a receptacle for a
solid; or
A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1000
pounds) as a receptacle for a gas as defined
in Sec. 173.115.
Cargo tank - A bulk packaging which:
1.
2.
3.
Is a tank intended primarily for the carriage of
liquids or gases and includes appurtenances,
reinforcements, fittings, and closures (for
"tank", see 49 CFR 178.345-1(c), 178.337-1,
or 178.338-1, as applicable);
Is permanently attached to or forms a part of
a motor vehicle, or is not permanently
attached to a motor vehicle but which, by
reason of its size, construction, or attachment
to a motor vehicle is loaded or unloaded
without being removed from the motor
vehicle; and
Is not fabricated under a specification for
cylinders, portable tanks, tank cars, or
multi-unit tank car tanks.
Carrier – A person engaged in the transportation
of passengers or property by:
1.
Land or water as a common, contract, or
private carrier, or
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
2.
Civil aircraft.
Consignee – The business or person to whom a
shipment is delivered.
Division – A subdivision of a hazard class.
EPA – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FMCSR – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Regulations.
Freight container – a reusable container having a
volume of 64 cubic feet or more, designed and
constructed to permit being lifted with its contents
intact and intended primarily for containment of
packages (in unit form) during transportation.
Fuel tank – A tank, other than a cargo tank, used
to transport flammable or combustible liquid or
compressed gas for the purpose of supplying fuel
for propulsion of the transport vehicle to which it is
attached, or for the operation of other equipment
on the transport vehicle.
Gross weight or gross mass – The weight of the
packaging plus the weight of its contents.
Hazard class – The category of hazard assigned
to a hazardous material under the definitional
criteria of Part 173 and the provisions of the Sec.
172.101 Table. A material may meet the defining
criteria for more than one hazard class but is
assigned to only one hazard class.
Hazardous materials – A substance or material
which has been determined by the Secretary of
Transportation to be capable of posing an
unreasonable risk to health, safety, and property
when transported in commerce, and which has
been so designated. The term includes hazardous
substances, hazardous wastes, marine pollutants,
elevated temperature materials and materials
designated as hazardous in the hazardous
materials table of §172.101, and materials that
meet the defining criteria for hazard classes and
divisions in §173, subchapter c of this chapter.
Hazardous substance - A material, including its
mixtures and solutions, that:
1.
2.
Is listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101;
Is in a quantity, in one package, which equals
or exceeds the reportable quantity (RQ)
listed in Appendix A to Sec. 172.101; and
3.
When in a mixture or solution (i) For radionuclides, conforms to paragraph
7 of Appendix A to Sec. 172.101.
Page 9-19
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
(ii) For other than radionuclides, is in a
concentration by weight which equals or
exceeds the concentration corresponding
to the RQ of the material, as shown in
Figure 9.12.
Hazardous Substance Concentrations
Concentration by Weight
RQ Pounds
(Kilograms
Percent
PPM
5,000
(2,270)
1,000 (45)
100 (45.4)
10 (4.54)
1 (0.454)
10
100,000
2
.2
.02
.002
Figure 9.12
20,000
2,000
200
20
This definition does not apply to petroleum
products that are lubricants or fuels (see 40 CFR
300.6).
Hazardous waste – For the purposes of this
chapter, means any material that is subject to the
Hazardous Waste Manifest Requirements of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specified in
40 CFR Part 262.
Intermediate bulk container (IBC) – A rigid or
flexible portable packaging, other than a cylinder or
portable tank, which is designed for mechanical
handling. Standards for IBCs manufactured in the
United States are set forth in subparts N and O
§178.
3.
(119 gallons) or less as a receptacle for a
solid; or
A water capacity greater than 454 kg (1,000
pounds) or less as a receptacle for a gas as
defined in Sec. 173.115.
N.O.S. - Not otherwise specified.
Outage or ullage – The amount by which a
packaging falls short of being liquid full, usually
expressed in percent by volume.
Portable tank – Bulk packaging (except a cylinder
having a water capacity of 1,000 pounds or less)
designed primarily to be loaded onto, or on, or
temporarily attached to a transport vehicle or ship
and equipped with skids, mountings, or
accessories to facilitate handling of the tank by
mechanical means. It does not include a cargo
tank, tank car, multi-unit tank car tank, or trailer
carrying 3AX, 3AAX, or 3T cylinders.
Proper shipping name – The name of the
hazardous materials shown in Roman print (not
italics) in Sec. 172.101.
P.s.i. or psi – Pounds per square inch.
P.s.i.a. or psia – Pounds per square inch
absolute.
Reportable quantity (RQ) - The quantity specified
in Column 2 of the Appendix to Sec. 172.101 for
any material identified in Column 1 of the
Appendix.
Limited quantity – The maximum amount of a
hazardous material for which there may be specific
labeling or packaging exception.
RSPA – The Research and Special Programs
Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation,
Washington, DC 20590.
Marking – The descriptive name, identification
number,
instructions,
cautions,
weight,
specification, or UN marks or combinations thereof,
required by this subchapter on outer packaging of
hazardous materials.
Shipper's certification – A statement on a
shipping paper, signed by the shipper, saying
he/she prepared the shipment properly according
to law. For example:
Mixture – A material composed of more than one
chemical compound or element.
Name of contents – The proper shipping name as
specified in Sec. 172.101.
Non-bulk packaging - A packaging, which has:
1.
2.
A maximum capacity of 450 L (119 gallons)
as a receptacle for a liquid;
A maximum net mass less than 400 kg (882
pounds) and a maximum capacity of 450 L
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
"This is to certify that the above named
materials are properly classified, described, packaged,
marked and labeled, and are in proper condition for
transportation according to the applicable regulations or
the Department of Transportation." or
"I hereby declare that the contents of this
consignment are fully and accurately described above by
the proper shipping name and are classified, packaged,
marked and labeled/placarded, and are in all respects in
proper condition for transport by * according to
applicable international and national government
regulations."
* words may be inserted here to indicate mode
of transportation (rail, aircraft, motor vehicle, vessel)
Page 9-20
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Shipping paper – A shipping order, bill of lading,
manifest, or other shipping document serving a
similar purpose and containing the information
required by Sec. 172.202, 172.203, and 172.204.
Technical name – A recognized chemical name or
microbiological name currently used in scientific
and technical handbooks, journals, and texts.
Transport vehicle – A cargo-carrying vehicle such
as an automobile, van, tractor, truck, semi-trailer,
tank car, or rail car used for the transportation of
cargo by any mode. Each cargo-carrying body
(trailer, rail car, etc.) is a separate transport
vehicle.
UN standard packaging – A specification
packaging conforming to the standards in the UN
recommendations.
UN – United Nations.
Section 9 - Hazardous Material
Page 9-21
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 10
SCHOOL BUSES
This Section Covers
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
Loading and Unloading
Emergency Exit and Evacuation
Railroad-highway Grade Crossings
Student Management
Antilock Braking Systems
Special Safety Considerations
Because state and local laws and regulations
regulate so much of school transportation and
school bus operations, many of the procedures in
this section may differ from state to state. You
should be thoroughly familiar with the laws and
regulations in your state and local school district.
10.1 – Danger Zones and Use of Mirrors
10.1.1 – Danger Zones
The danger zone is the area on all sides of the bus
where children are in the most danger of being hit,
either by another vehicle or their own bus. The
danger zones may extend as much as 30 feet from
the front bumper with the first 10 feet being the
most dangerous, 10 feet from the left and right
sides of the bus and 10 feet behind the rear
bumper of the school bus. In addition, the area to
the left of the bus is always considered dangerous
because of passing cars. Figure 10.1 illustrates
these danger zones.
10.1.2 – Correct Mirror Adjustment
Proper adjustment and use of all mirrors is vital to
the safe operation of the school bus in order to
observe the danger zone around the bus and look
for students, traffic, and other objects in this area.
You should always check each mirror before
operating the school bus to obtain maximum
viewing area. If necessary, have the mirrors
adjusted.
Figure 10.1
10.1.3 – Outside Left and Right Side Flat
Mirrors
These mirrors are mounted at the left and right
front corners of the bus at the side or front of the
windshield. They are used to monitor traffic, check
clearances and students on the sides and to the
rear of the bus. There is a blind spot immediately
below and in front of each mirror and directly in
back of the rear bumper. The blind spot behind the
bus extends 5o to 150 feet and could extend up to
400 feet depending on the length and width of the
bus.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so
you can see:
200 feet or 4 bus lengths behind the bus.
Along the sides of the bus.
The rear tires touching the ground.
Figure 10.2 shows how both the outside left and
right side flat mirrors should be adjusted.
Section 10 – School Buses
Page 10-1
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 10.3
Figure 10.2
10.1.4 – Outside Left and Right Side
Convex Mirrors
The convex mirrors are located below the outside
flat mirrors. They are used to monitor the left and
right sides at a wide angle. They provide a view of
traffic, clearances, and students at the side of the
bus. These mirrors present a view of people and
objects that does not accurately reflect their size
and distance from the bus.
You should position these mirrors to see:
The entire side of the bus up to the mirror mounts.
Front of the rear tires touching the ground.
At least one traffic lane on either side of the bus.
Figure 10.3 shows how both the outside left and
right side convex mirrors should be adjusted.
10.1.5 – Outside Left and Right Side
Crossover Mirrors
right side of the bus, including the service door and
front wheel area. The mirror presents a view of
people and objects that does not accurately reflect
their size and distance from the bus. The driver
must ensure that these mirrors are properly
adjusted.
Ensure that the mirrors are properly adjusted so
you can see:
The entire area in front of the bus from the front
bumper at ground level to a point where direct
vision is possible. Direct vision and mirror view
vision should overlap.
The right and left front tires touching the ground.
The area from the front of the bus to the service
door.
These mirrors, along with the convex and flat
mirrors, should be viewed in a logical sequence to
ensure that a child or object is not in any of the
danger zones.
Figure 10.4 illustrates how the left and right side
crossover mirrors should be adjusted.
These mirrors are mounted on both left and right
front corners of the bus. They are used to see the
front bumper “danger zone” area directly in front of
the bus that is not visible by direct vision, and to
view the “danger zone” area to the left side and
Section 10 – School Buses
Page 10-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
the state laws and regulations governing
loading/unloading operations in your state.
10.2.1 – Approaching the Stop
Each school district establishes official routes and
official school bus stops. All stops should be
approved by the school district prior to making the
stop. You should never change the location of a
bus stop without written approval from the
appropriate school district official.
Figure 10.4
10.1.6 – Overhead Inside Rearview Mirror
This mirror is mounted directly above the
windshield on the driver’s side area of the bus.
This mirror is used to monitor passenger activity
inside the bus. It may provide limited visibility
directly in back of the bus if the bus is equipped
with a glass-bottomed rear emergency door. There
is a blind spot area directly behind the driver’s seat
as well as a large blind spot area that begins at the
rear bumper and could extend up to 400 feet or
more behind the bus. You must use the exterior
side mirrors to monitor traffic that approaches and
enters this area.
You should position the mirror to see:
The top of the rear window in the top of the mirror.
All of the students, including the heads of the
students right behind you.
10.2 – Loading and Unloading
More students are killed while getting on or off a
school bus each year than are killed as
passengers inside of a school bus. As a result,
knowing what to do before, during, and after
loading or unloading students is critical. This
section will give you specific procedures to help
you avoid unsafe conditions which could result in
injuries and fatalities during and after loading and
unloading students.
You must use extreme caution when approaching
a school bus stop. You are in a very demanding
situation when entering these areas. It is critical
that you understand and follow all state and local
laws and regulations regarding approaching a
school bus stop. This would involve the proper use
of mirrors, alternating flashing lights, and when
equipped, the moveable stop signal arm and
crossing control arm.
When approaching the stop, you should:
Approach cautiously at a slow rate of speed.
Look for pedestrians, traffic, or other objects
before, during, and after coming to a stop.
Continuously check all mirrors.
If the school bus is so equipped, activate
alternating flashing amber warning lights at least
200 feet or approximately 5-10 seconds before the
school bus stop or in accordance with state law.
Turn on right turn signal indicator about 100-300
feet or approximately 3-5 seconds before pulling
over.
Continuously check mirrors to monitor the danger
zones for students, traffic, and other objects.
Move as far as possible to the right on the traveled
portion of the roadway.
Bring school bus to a full stop with the front
bumper at least 10 feet away from students at the
designated stop. This forces the students to walk
to the bus so you have a better view of their
movements.
Place transmission in Park, or if there is no Park
shift point, in Neutral and set the parking brake at
each stop.
Open service door, if possible, enough to activate
alternating red lights when traffic is a safe distance
from the school bus.
Make a final check to see that all traffic has
stopped before completely opening the door and
signaling students to approach.
The information in this section is intended to
provide a broad overview, but is not a definitive set
of actions. It is imperative that you learn and obey
Section 10 – School Buses
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
10.2.2 – Loading Procedures
Perform a safe stop as described in subsection
10.2.1.
Students should wait in a designated location for
the school bus, facing the bus as it approaches.
Students should board the bus only when signaled
by the driver.
Monitor all mirrors continuously.
Count the number of students at the bus stop and
be sure all board the bus. If possible, know names
of students at each stop. If there is a student
missing, ask the other students where the student
is.
Have the students board the school bus slowly, in
single file, and use the handrail. The dome light
should be on while loading in the dark.
Wait until students are seated and facing forward
before moving the bus.
Check all mirrors. Make certain no one is running
to catch the bus.
If you cannot account for a student outside, secure
the bus, take the key, and check around and
underneath the bus.
When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Closing the door.
Engaging the transmission.
Releasing the parking brake.
Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
Turning on left turn signal.
Checking all mirrors again.
Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
When it is safe, move the bus to enter traffic flow
and continue the route.
The loading procedure is essentially the same
wherever you load students, but there are slight
differences. When students are loading at the
school campus, you should:
Turn off the ignition switch.
Remove key if leaving driver’s compartment.
Position yourself to supervise loading as required
or recommended by your state or local regulations.
10.2.3 – Unloading Procedures on the
Route
Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas
as described in subsection 10.2.1.
Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
Check all mirrors.
Count the number of students while unloading to
confirm the location of all students before pulling
away from the stop.
Section 10 – School Buses
Tell students to exit the bus and walk at least 10
feet away from the side of the bus to a position
where the driver can plainly see all students.
Check all mirrors again. Make sure no students are
around or returning to the bus.
If you cannot account for a student outside the
bus, secure the bus, and check around and
underneath the bus.
When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Closing the door.
Engaging transmission.
Releasing parking brake.
Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
Turning on left turn signal.
Checking all mirrors again.
Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
When it is safe, move the bus, enter the traffic flow
and continue the route.
Note. If you have missed a student’s unloading
stop, do not back up. Be sure to follow local
procedures.
Additional Procedures for Students That Must
Cross the Roadway. You should understand what
students should do when exiting a school bus and
crossing the street in front of the bus. In addition,
the school bus driver should understand that
students might not always do what they are
supposed to do. If a student or students must cross
the roadway, they should follow these procedures:
Walk approximately 10 feet away from the side of
the school bus to a position where you can see
them.
Walk to a location at least 10 feet in front of the
right corner of the bumper, but still remaining away
from the front of the school bus.
Stop at the right edge of the roadway. You should
be able to see the student’s feet.
When students reach the edge of the roadway,
they should:
Stop and look in all directions, making sure the
roadway is clear and is safe.
Check to see if the red flashing lights on the bus
are still flashing.
Wait for your signal before crossing the roadway.
Upon your signal, the students should:
Cross far enough in front of the school bus to be in
your view.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Stop at the left edge of the school bus, stop, and
look again for your signal to continue to cross the
roadway.
Look for traffic in both directions, making sure
roadway is clear.
Proceed across the roadway, continuing to look in
all directions.
Note: The school bus driver should enforce any
state or local regulations or recommendations
concerning student actions outside the school bus.
10.2.4 – Unloading Procedures at School
¾
¾
¾
¾
Turning off alternating flashing red lights.
Turning on left turn signal.
Checking all mirrors again.
Allowing congested traffic to disperse.
When it is safe, pull away from the unloading area.
10.2.5 – Special Dangers of Loading and
Unloading
Dropped or Forgotten Objects. Always focus on
students as they approach the bus and watch for
any who disappear from sight.
State and local laws and regulations regarding
unloading students at schools, particularly in
situations where such activities take place in the
school parking lot or other location that is off the
traveled roadway, are often different than
unloading along the school bus route. It is
important that the school bus driver understands
and obeys state and local laws and regulations.
The following procedures are meant to be general
guidelines.
Students may drop an object near the bus during
loading and unloading. Stopping to pick up the
object, or returning to pick up the object may cause
the student to disappear from the driver’s sight at a
very dangerous moment.
When unloading at the school you should follow
these procedures:
Handrail Hang-ups. Students have been injured
or killed when clothing, accessories, or even parts
of their body get caught in the handrail or door as
they exited the bus. You should closely observe all
students exiting the bus to confirm that they are in
a safe location prior to moving the bus.
Perform a safe stop at designated unloading areas
as described in subsection 10.2.1.
Secure the bus by:
¾
¾
Turning off the ignition switch.
Removing
key
if
leaving
compartment.
driver’s
Have the students remain seated until told to exit.
Position yourself to supervise unloading as
required or recommended by your state or local
regulations.
Have students exit in orderly fashion.
Observe students as they step from bus to see that
all move promptly away from the unloading area.
Walk through the bus and check for
hiding/sleeping students and items left by students.
Check all mirrors. Make certain no students are
returning to the bus.
If you cannot account for a student outside the bus
and the bus is secure, check around and
underneath the bus.
When all students are accounted for, prepare to
leave by:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Closing the door.
Fastening safety belt.
Starting engine.
Engaging the transmission.
Releasing the parking brake.
Section 10 – School Buses
Students should be told to leave any dropped
object and move to a point of safety out of the
danger zones and attempt to get the driver’s
attention to retrieve the object.
10.2.6 – Post-trip Inspection
When your route or school activity trip is finished,
you should conduct a post-trip inspection of the
bus.
You should walk through the bus and around the
bus looking for the following:
Articles left on the bus.
Sleeping students.
Open windows and doors.
Mechanical/operational problems with the bus, with
special attention to items that are unique to school
buses – mirror systems, flashing warning lamps
and stop signal arms.
Damage or vandalism.
Any problems or special situations should be
reported immediately to your supervisor or school
authorities.
10.3 – Emergency Exit and Evacuation
An emergency situation can happen to anyone,
anytime, anywhere. It could be a crash, a stalled
Page 10-5
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
school bus on a railroad-highway crossing or in a
high-speed intersection, an electrical fire in the
engine compartment, a medical emergency to a
student on the school bus, etc. Knowing what to do
in an emergency–before, during and after an
evacuation–can mean the difference between life
and death.
10.3.1 – Planning for Emergencies
Determine Need to Evacuate Bus. The first and
most important consideration is for you to
recognize the hazard. If time permits, school bus
drivers should contact their dispatcher to explain
the situation before making a decision to evacuate
the school bus.
As a general rule, student safety and control is
best maintained by keeping students on the bus
during an emergency and/or impending crisis
situation, if so doing does not expose them to
unnecessary risk or injury. Remember, the
decision to evacuate the bus must be a timely one.
A decision to evacuate should
consideration of the following conditions:
include
Is there a fire or danger of fire?
Is there a smell of raw or leaking fuel?
Is there a chance the bus could be hit by other
vehicles?
Is the bus in the path of a sighted tornado or rising
waters?
Are there downed power lines?
Would removing students expose them to
speeding traffic, severe weather, or a dangerous
environment such as downed power lines?
Would moving students complicate injuries such as
neck and back injuries and fractures?
Is there a hazardous spill involved? Sometimes, it
may be safer to remain on the bus and not come in
contact with the material.
Mandatory Evacuations. The driver must
evacuate the bus when:
each emergency exit. Teach them how to assist
the other students off the bus. Assign another
student assistant to lead the students to a “safe
place” after evacuation. However, you must
recognize that there may not be older, responsible
students on the bus at the time of the emergency.
Therefore, emergency evacuation procedures must
be explained to all students. This includes knowing
how to operate the various emergency exits and
the importance of listening to and following all
instructions given by you.
Some tips to determine a safe place:
A safe place will be at least 100 feet off the road in
the direction of oncoming traffic. This will keep the
students from being hit by debris if another vehicle
collides with the bus.
Lead students upwind of the bus if fire is present.
Lead students as far away from railroad tracks as
possible and in the direction of any oncoming train.
Lead students upwind of the bus at least 300 feet if
there is a risk from spilled hazardous materials.
If the bus is in the direct path of a sighted tornado
and evacuation is ordered, escort students to a
nearby ditch or culvert if shelter in a building is not
readily available, and direct them to lie face down,
hands covering their head. They should be far
enough away so the bus cannot topple on them.
Avoid areas that are subject to flash floods.
General Procedures. Determine if evacuation is in
the best interest of safety.
Determine the best type of evacuation:
The bus is on fire or there is a threat of a fire.
The bus is stalled on or adjacent to a railroadhighway crossing.
The position of the bus may change and increase
the danger.
There is an imminent danger of collision.
There is a need to quickly evacuate because of a
hazardous materials spill.
10.3.2 – Evacuation Procedures
Be Prepared and Plan Ahead. When possible,
assign two responsible, older student assistants to
Section 10 – School Buses
Page 10-6
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
¾
¾
Front, rear or side door evacuation, or
some combination of doors.
Roof or window evacuation.
Secure the bus by:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Placing transmission in Park, or if there is
no shift point, in Neutral.
Setting parking brakes.
Shutting off the engine.
Removing ignition key.
Activating hazard-warning lights.
If time allows, notify dispatch office of evacuation
location, conditions, and type of assistance
needed.
Dangle radio microphone or telephone out of
driver’s window for later use, if operable.
If no radio, or radio is inoperable, dispatch a
passing motorist or area resident to call for help.
As a last resort, dispatch two older, responsible
students to go for help.
Order the evacuation.
Evacuate students from the bus.
¾
¾
Active Crossings. This type of crossing has a
traffic control device installed at the crossing to
regulate traffic at the crossing. These active
devices include flashing red lights, with or without
bells and flashing red lights with bells and gates.
10.4.2 – Warning Signs and Devices
Advance Warning Signs. The round, black-onyellow warning sign is placed ahead of a public
railroad-highway crossing. The advance warning
sign tells you to slow down, look and listen for the
train, and be prepared to stop at the tracks if a train
is coming. See Figure 10.5.
Do not move a student you believe may
have suffered a neck or spinal injury
unless his or her life is in immediate
danger.
Special procedures must be used to move
neck spinal injury victims to prevent further
injury.
Direct a student assistant to lead students to the
nearest safe place.
Walk through the bus to ensure no students remain
on the bus. Retrieve emergency equipment.
Join waiting students. Account for all students and
check for their safety.
Protect the scene. Set out emergency warning
devices as necessary and appropriate.
Prepare information for emergency responders.
10.4 – Railroad-highway Crossings
10.4.1 – Types of Crossings
Passive Crossings. This type of crossing does
not have any type of traffic control device. You
must stop at these crossings and follow proper
procedures. However, the decision to proceed
rests entirely in your hands. Passive crossings
require you to recognize the crossing, search for
any train using the tracks and decide if there is
sufficient clear space to cross safely. Passive
crossings have yellow circular advance warning
signs, pavement markings and crossbucks to
assist you in recognizing a crossing.
Section 10 – School Buses
Figure 10.5
Pavement Markings. Pavement markings mean
the same as the advance warning sign. They
consist of an “X” with the letters “”RR” and a nopassing marking on two-lane roads.
There is also a no passing zone sign on two-lane
roads. There may be a white stop line painted on
the pavement before the railroad tracks. The front
of the school bus must remain behind this line
while stopped at the crossing. See Figure 10.6.
Page 10-7
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 10.6
Crossbuck Signs. This sign marks the crossing. It
requires you to yield the right-of-way to the train. If
there is no white line painted on the pavement, you
must stop the bus before the crossbuck sign.
When the road crosses over more than one set of
tracks, a sign below the crossbuck indicates the
number of tracks. See Figure 10.7.
Figure 10.7
Flashing Red Light Signals. At many highwayrail grade crossings, the crossbuck sign has
flashing red lights and bells. When the lights begin
to flash, stop! A train is approaching. You are
required to yield the right-of-way to the train. If
there is more than one track, make sure all tracks
are clear before crossing. See Figure 10.8.
Gates. Many railroad-highway crossings have
gates with flashing red lights and bells. Stop when
the lights begin to flash and before the gate lowers
across the road lane. Remain stopped until the
gates go up and the lights have stopped flashing.
Proceed when it is safe. If the gate stays down
after the train passes, do not drive around the
gate. Instead, call your dispatcher. See Figure
10.8.
10.4.3 – Recommended Procedures
Each state has laws and regulations governing
how school buses must operate at railroadhighway crossings. It is important for you to
understand and obey these state laws and
regulations. In general, school buses must stop at
all crossings, and ensure it is safe before
proceeding across the tracks. The specific
procedures required in each state vary.
Section 10 – School Buses
Figure 10.8
A school bus is one of the safest vehicles on the
highway. However, a school bus does not have the
slightest edge when involved in a crash with a
train. Because of a train’s size and weight it cannot
stop quickly. An emergency escape route does not
exist for a train. You can prevent school bus/train
crashes by following these recommended
procedures.
Approaching the Crossing:
Page 10-8
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Slow down, including shifting to a lower
gear in a manual transmission bus, and
test your brakes.
Activate hazard lights approximately 200
feet before the crossing. Make sure your
intentions are known.
Scan your surroundings and check for
traffic behind you.
Stay to the right of the roadway if possible.
Choose an escape route in the event of a
brake failure or problems behind you.
At the Crossing:
¾
¾
¾
¾
Stop no closer than 15 feet and no farther
than 50 feet from the nearest rail, where
you have the best view of the tracks.
Place the transmission in Park, or if there
is no Park shift point, in Neutral and press
down on the service brake or set the
parking brakes.
Turn off all radios and noisy equipment,
and silence the passengers.
Open the service door and driver’s
window. Look and listen for an
approaching train.
Crossing the Track:
¾
¾
¾
¾
Check the crossing signals again before
proceeding.
At a multiple-track crossing, stop only
before the first set of tracks. When you are
sure no train is approaching on any track,
proceed across all of the tracks until you
have completely cleared them.
Cross the tracks in a low gear. Do not
change gears while crossing.
If the gate comes down after you have
started across, drive through it even if it
means you will break the gate.
10.4.4 – Special Situations
Bus Stalls or Trapped on Tracks. If your bus
stalls or is trapped on the tracks, get everyone out
and off the tracks immediately. Move everyone far
from the bus at an angle, which is both away from
the tracks and toward the train.
Police Officer at the Crossing. If a police officer
is at the crossing, obey directions. If there is no
police officer, and you believe the signal is
malfunctioning, call your dispatcher to report the
situation and ask for instructions on how to
proceed.
Section 10 – School Buses
Obstructed View of Tracks. Plan your route so it
provides maximum sight distance at highway-rail
grade crossings. Do not attempt to cross the tracks
unless you can see far enough down the track to
know for certain that no trains are approaching.
Passive crossings are those that do not have any
type of traffic control device. Be especially careful
at “passive” crossings. Even if there are active
railroad signals that indicate the tracks are clear,
you must look and listen to be sure it is safe to
proceed.
Containment or Storage Areas. If it won’t fit,
don’t commit! Know the length of your bus and the
size of the containment area at highway-rail
crossings on the school bus route, as well as any
crossing you encounter in the course of a school
activity trip. When approaching a crossing with a
signal or stop sign on the opposite side, pay
attention to the amount of room there. Be certain
the bus has enough containment or storage area
to completely clear the railroad tracks on the other
side if there is a need to stop. As a general rule,
add 15 feet to the length of the school bus to
determine an acceptable amount of containment or
storage area.
10.5 – Student Management
10.5.1 – Don’t Deal with On-bus Problems
When Loading and Unloading
In order to get students to and from school safely
and on time, you need to be able to concentrate on
the driving task.
Loading and unloading requires all your
concentration. Don’t take your eyes off what is
happening outside the bus.
If there is a behavior problem on the bus, wait until
the students unloading are safely off the bus and
have moved away. If necessary, pull the bus over
to handle the problem.
10.5.2 – Handling Serious Problems
Tips on handling serious problems:
Follow your school’s procedures for discipline or
refusal of rights to ride the bus.
Stop the bus. Park in a safe location off the road,
perhaps a parking lot or a driveway.
Secure the bus. Take the ignition key with you if
you leave your seat.
Stand up and speak respectfully to the offender or
offenders. Speak in a courteous manner with a firm
voice. Remind the offender of the expected
Page 10-9
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
behavior. Do not show anger, but do show that you
mean business.
If a change of seating is needed, request that the
student move to a seat near you.
Never put a student off the bus except at school or
at his or her designated school bus stop. If you feel
that the offense is serious enough that you cannot
safely drive the bus, call for a school administrator
or the police to come and remove the student.
Always follow your state or local procedures for
requesting assistance.
10.6 – Antilock Braking Systems
10.6.1 – Vehicles Required to Have
Antilock Braking Systems
The Department of Transportation requires that
antilock braking systems be on:
Air brakes vehicles, (trucks, buses, trailers and
converter dollies) built on or after March 1, 1998.
Hydraulically braked trucks and buses with a gross
vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lbs or more built on
or after March 1, 1999.
Many buses built before these dates have been
voluntarily equipped with ABS.
Your school bus will have a yellow ABS
malfunction lamp on the instrument panel if it is
equipped with ABS.
10.6.2 – How ABS Helps You
When you brake hard on slippery surfaces in a
vehicle without ABS, your wheels may lock up.
When your steering wheels lock up, you lose
steering control. When your other wheels lock up,
you may skid or even spin the vehicle.
ABS helps you avoid wheel lock up and maintain
control. You may or may not be able to stop faster
with ABS, but you should be able to steer around
an obstacle while braking, and avoid skids caused
by over braking.
10.6.3 – Braking with ABS
When you drive a vehicle with ABS, you should
brake as you always have. In other words:
Use only the braking force necessary to stop safely
and stay in control.
Brake the same way, regardless of whether you
have ABS on the bus. However, in emergency
braking, do not pump the brakes on a bus with
ABS.
Section 10 – School Buses
As you slow down, monitor your bus and back off
the brakes (if it is safe to do so) to stay in control.
10.6.4 – Braking if ABS is Not Working
Without ABS, you still have normal brake functions.
Drive and brake as you always have.
Vehicles with ABS have yellow malfunction lamps
to tell you if something is not working. The yellow
ABS malfunction lamp is on the bus’s instrument
panel.
As a system check on newer vehicles, the
malfunction lamp comes on at start-up for a bulb
check and then goes out quickly. On older
systems, the lamp could stay on until you are
driving over five mph.
If the lamp stays on after the bulb check, or goes
on once you are under way, you may have lost
ABS control at one or more wheels.
Remember, if your ABS malfunctions, you still
have regular brakes. Drive normally, but get the
system serviced soon.
10.6.5 – Safety Reminders
ABS won’t allow you to drive faster, follow more
closely, or drive less carefully.
ABS won’t prevent power or turning skids–ABS
should prevent brake-induced skids but not those
caused by spinning the drive wheels or going too
fast in a turn.
ABS won’t necessarily shorten stopping distance.
ABS will help maintain vehicle control, but not
always shorten stopping distance.
ABS won’t increase or decrease ultimate stopping
power–ABS is an “add-on” to your normal brakes,
not a replacement for them.
ABS won’t change the way you normally brake.
Under normal brake conditions, your vehicle will
stop as it always stopped. ABS only comes into
play when a wheel would normally have locked up
because of over braking.
ABS won’t compensate for bad brakes or poor
brake maintenance.
Remember: The best vehicle safety feature is still a
safe driver.
Remember: Drive so you never need to use your
ABS.
Remember: If you need it, ABS could help to
prevent a serious crash.
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10.7 – Special Safety Considerations
¾
¾
10.7.1 – Strobe Lights
Some school buses are equipped with roofmounted, white strobe lights. If your bus is so
equipped, the overhead strobe light should be
used when you have limited visibility. This means
that you cannot easily see around you – in front,
behind, or beside the school bus. Your visibility
could be only slightly limited or it could be so bad
that you can see nothing at all. In all instances,
understand and obey your state or local
regulations concerning the use of these lights.
10.7.2 – Driving in High Winds
Strong winds affect the handling of the school bus!
The side of a school bus acts like a sail on a
sailboat. Strong winds can push the school bus
sideways. They can even move the school bus off
the road or, in extreme conditions, tip it over.
If you are caught in strong winds:
Keep a strong grip on the steering wheel. Try to
anticipate gusts.
You should slow down to lessen the effect of the
wind, or pull off the roadway and wait.
Contact your dispatcher to get more information on
how to proceed.
10.7.3 – Backing
Backing a school bus is strongly discouraged. You
should back your bus only when you have no other
safe way to move the vehicle. You should never
back a school bus when students are outside of
the bus. Backing is dangerous and increases your
risk of a collision. If you have no choice and you
must back your bus, follow these procedures:
Post a lookout. The purpose of the lookout is to
warn you about obstacles, approaching persons,
and other vehicles. The lookout should not give
directions on how to back the bus.
Signal for quiet on the bus.
Constantly check all mirrors and rear windows.
Back slowly and smoothly.
If no lookout is available:
¾
Set the parking brake.
Turn off the motor and take the keys with
you.
Walk to the rear of the bus to determine
whether the way is clear.
If you must back-up at a student pick-up point, be
sure to pick up students before backing and watch
for late comers at all times.
Be sure that all students are in the bus before
backing.
If you must back-up at a student drop-off point, be
sure to unload students after backing.
10.7.4 – Tail Swing
A school bus can have up to a three-foot tail swing.
You need to check your mirrors before and during
any turning movements to monitor the tail swing.
Section 10
Test Your Knowledge
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Define the danger zone. How far does the
danger zone extend around the bus?
What should you be able to see if the
outside flat mirrors are adjusted properly?
The outside convex mirrors? The
crossover mirrors?
You are loading students along the route.
When should you activate your alternating
flashing amber warning lights?
You are unloading students along your
route. Where should students walk to after
exiting the bus?
After unloading at school, why should you
walk through the bus?
What position should students be in front
of the bus before they cross the roadway?
Under what conditions must you evacuate
the bus?
How far from the nearest rail should you
stop at a highway-rail crossing?
What is a passive highway-rail crossing?
Why should you be extra cautious at this
type of crossing?
How should you use your brakes if your
vehicle is equipped with antilock brakes
(ABS)?
These questions may be on your test. If you can’t
answer them all, re-read Section 10.
Section 10 – School Buses
Page 10-11
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 11
Pre-trip Vehicle
Inspection Test
This Section Covers
•
•
Internal Inspection
External Inspection
During the pre-trip inspection, you must show that
the vehicle is safe to drive. You may have to walk
around the vehicle and point to or touch each item
and explain to the examiner what you are checking
and why. You will NOT have to crawl under the
hood or under the vehicle.
11.1
All Vehicles
Study the following vehicle parts for the type of
vehicle you will be using during the CDL skills
tests. You should be able to identify each part and
tell the examiner what you are looking for or
inspecting.
11.1.1 Engine Compartment (Engine Off)
Leaks/Hoses
Look for puddles on the ground.
Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine and
transmission.
Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
Oil Level
Indicate where dipstick is located.
See that oil level is within safe operating range.
Level must be above refill mark.
Coolant Level
Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
(If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and
check for visible coolant level.
Power Steering Fluid
Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is
located.
Check for adequate power steering fluid level.
Level must be above refill mark.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Engine Compartment Belts
Check the following belts for snugness (up to 3/4
inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays:
¾
¾
¾
¾
Power steering belt.
Water pump belt.
Alternator belt.
Air compressor belt.
Note: If any of the components listed above are
not belt driven, you must:
Tell the examiner which component(s) are not belt
driven.
Make sure component(s) are operating properly,
are not damaged or leaking, and are mounted
securely.
Safe Start
Depress clutch.
Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for
automatic transmissions).
Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
Oil Pressure Gauge
Make sure oil pressure gauge is working.
Check that pressure gauge shows increasing or
normal oil pressure or that the warning light goes
off.
If equipped, oil temperature gauge should begin a
gradual rise to the normal operating range.
Temperature Gauge
Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
Temperature should begin to climb to the normal
operating range or temperature light should be off.
Air Gauge
Make sure the air gauge is working properly.
Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly 120140 psi.
Ammeter/Voltmeter
Check that gauges show alternator and/or
generator is charging or that warning light is off.
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Mirrors and Windshield
Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from
the inside.
Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers,
no obstructions, or damage to the glass.
Emergency Equipment
Check for spare electrical fuses.
Check for three red reflective triangles.
Check for a properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical
fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.
Steering Play
Non-power steering: Check for excessive play by
turning steering wheel back and forth. Play should
not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a
20-inch wheel).
Power steering: With the engine running, check for
excessive play by turning the steering wheel back
and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or
about two inches on a 20-inch wheel) before front
left wheel barely moves.
Wipers/Washers
Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not
damaged, and operate smoothly.
If equipped, windshield washers must operate
correctly.
the parking brake will hold vehicle by gently
trying to pull forward with parking brake on.
With the parking brake released and the trailer
parking brake engaged (combination vehicles
only), check that the trailer parking brake will hold
vehicle by gently trying to pull forward with the
trailer parking brake on.
Hydraulic Brake Check
Pump the brake pedal three times, then hold it
down for five seconds. The brake pedal should not
move (depress) during the five seconds.
If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve (backup) system, with the key off, depress the brake
pedal and listen for the sound of the reserve
system electric motor.
Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles
Only)
Failure to perform an air brake check will result in
an automatic failure of the vehicle inspection test.
Air brake safety devices vary. However, this
procedure is designed to see that any safety
device operates correctly as air pressure drops
from normal to a low air condition. For safety
purposes, in areas where an incline is present, you
will use wheel chocks during the air brake check.
The proper procedures for inspecting the air brake
system are as follows:
¾
Lighting Indicators
Test that dash indicators work when corresponding
lights are turned on:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Left turn signal.
Right turn signal.
Four-way emergency flashers.
High beam headlight.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
Horn
Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Heater/Defroster
Test that the heater and defroster work.
¾
¾
Shut off the engine, chock your wheels, if
necessary, release the tractor protection
valve and parking brake (push in), fully
apply the foot brake and hold it for one
minute. Check the air gauge to see if the
air pressure drops more than three pounds
in one minute (single vehicle) or four
pounds in one minute (combination
vehicle).
Begin fanning off the air pressure by
rapidly applying and releasing the foot
brake. Low air warning devices (buzzer,
light, flag) should activate before air
pressure drops below 60 psi.
Continue to fan off the air pressure. At
approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer
combination vehicle, the tractor protection
valve and parking brake valve should close
(pop out). On other combination vehicle
types and single vehicle types, the parking
brake valve should close (pop out).
Parking Brake Check
•
With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes
released on combination vehicles), check that
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-2
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Safety Belt
Check that the safety belt is securely mounted,
adjusts, and latches properly.
Lights/Reflectors
Check that all external lights and reflective
equipment are clean and functional. Light and
reflector checks include:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Clearance lights (red on rear, amber
elsewhere).
Headlights (high and low beams).
Taillights.
Backing lights.
Turn signals.
Four-way flashers.
Brake lights.
Red reflectors (on rear) and amber
reflectors (elsewhere).
Note: Checks of brake, turn signal and four-way
flasher functions must be done separately.
11.2 – External Inspection (School
Bus/Truck/Tractor)
11.2.1– Steering
Steering Box/Hoses
Check that the steering box is securely mounted
and not leaking. Look for any missing nuts, bolts,
and cotter keys.
Check for power steering fluid leaks or damage to
power steering hoses.
Steering Linkage
See that connecting links, arms, and rods from the
steering box to the wheel are not worn or cracked.
Check that joints and sockets are not worn or loose
and that there are no missing nuts, bolts, or cotter
keys.
Air ride suspension should be checked for damage
and leaks.
Mounts
Look for cracked or broken spring hangers,
missing or damaged bushings, and broken, loose,
or missing bolts, u-bolts or other axle mounting
parts. (The mounts should be checked at each
point where they are secured to the vehicle frame
and axle[s]).
Shock Absorbers
See that shock absorbers are secure and that
there are no leaks.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same
suspension components inspection on every axle
(power unit and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.3 – Brakes
Slack Adjustors and Pushrods
Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
For manual slack adjustors, the brake pushrod
should not move more than one inch (with the
brakes released) when pulled by hand.
Brake Chambers
See that brake chambers are not leaking, cracked,
or dented and are mounted securely.
Brake Hoses/Lines
Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines,
and couplings.
Drum Brake
Check for cracks, dents, or holes. Also check for
loose or missing bolts.
Check for contaminates such debris or oil/grease.
Brake linings (where visible) should not be worn
dangerously thin.
11.2.2 – Suspension
Brake Linings
Springs/Air/Torque
On some brake drums, there are openings where
the brake linings can be seen from outside the
drum. For this type of drum, check that a visible
amount of brake lining is showing.
Look for missing, shifted, cracked, or broken leaf
springs.
Look for broken or distorted coil springs.
If vehicle is equipped with torsion bars, torque
arms, or other types of suspension components,
check that they are not damaged and are mounted
securely.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Note: Be prepared to perform the same brake
components inspection on every axle (power unit
and trailer, if equipped).
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11.2.4 – Wheels
Rims
Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot
have welding repairs.
Tires
The following items must be inspected on every
tire:
¾
¾
¾
Tread depth: Check for minimum tread
depth (4/32 on steering axle tires, 2/32 on
all other tires).
Tire condition: Check that tread is evenly
worn and look for cuts or other damage to
tread or sidewalls. Also, make sure that
valve caps and stems are not missing,
broken, or damaged.
Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation by
using a tire gauge, or inflation by striking
tires with a mallet or other similar device.
Note: You will not get credit if you simply kick the
tires to check for proper inflation.
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are
not leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level
is adequate.
Lug Nuts
Check that all lug nuts are present, free of cracks
and distortions, and show no signs of looseness
such as rust trails or shiny threads.
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
Check that door(s) are not damaged and that they
open and close properly from the outside.
Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no loose
fittings.
Fuel Tank
Check that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight, and
that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
Battery/Box
Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
Battery box and cover or door must be secure.
Drive Shaft
See that drive shaft is not bent or cracked.
Couplings should be secure and free of foreign
objects.
Exhaust System
Check system for damage and signs of leaks such
as rust or carbon soot.
System should be connected tightly and mounted
securely.
Frame
Make sure all bolt holes are not cracked or
distorted.
Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the longitudinal frame members, cross
members, box, and floor.
Spacers
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
If equipped, check that spacers are not bent,
damaged, or rusted through.
Splash Guards
Spacers should be evenly centered, with the dual
wheels and tires evenly separated.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same wheel
inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if
equipped).
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
If equipped, check that splash guards or mud flaps
are not damaged and are mounted securely.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
Check that doors and hinges are not damaged and
that they open, close, and latch properly from the
outside, if equipped.
Ties, straps, chains, and binders must also be
secure.
If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
Air/Electric Lines
Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and
electrical lines are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn
(steel braid should not show through).
Make sure air and electrical lines are not tangled,
pinched, or dragging against tractor parts.
Catwalk
Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Mounting Bolts
Look for loose or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts. Both the fifth wheel and the
slide mounting must be solidly attached.
On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect all coupling components
and mounting brackets for missing or broken parts.
Hitch Release Lever
Check to see that the hitch release lever is in place
and is secure.
Locking Jaws
Look into fifth wheel gap and check that locking
jaws are fully closed around the kingpin.
On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect the locking mechanism
for missing or broken parts and make sure it is
locked securely. If present, safety cables or chains
must be secure and free of kinks and excessive
slack.
th
5 Wheel Skid Plate
Check for proper lubrication and that 5th wheel skid
plate is securely mounted to the platform and that
all bolts and pins are secure and not missing.
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
Check for cracks or breaks in the platform structure
which supports the fifth wheel skid plate.
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
If equipped, make sure the release arm is in the
engaged position and the safety latch is in place.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Kingpin/Apron/Gap
Check that the kingpin is not bent.
Make sure the visible part of the apron is not bent,
cracked, or broken.
Check that the trailer is laying flat on the fifth wheel
skid plate (no gap).
Locking Pins (Fifth Wheel)
If equipped, look for loose or missing pins in the
slide mechanism of the sliding fifth wheel. If air
powered, check for leaks.
Make sure locking pins are fully engaged.
Check that the fifth wheel is positioned properly so
that the tractor frame will clear the landing gear
during turns.
Sliding Pintle
Check that the sliding pintle is secured with no
loose or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is in
place.
Tongue or Draw-bar
Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not bent or
twisted and checks for broken welds and stress
cracks.
Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not worn
excessively.
Tongue Storage Area
Check that the storage area is solid and secured to
the tongue.
Check that cargo in the storage area i.e. chains,
binders, etc. are secure.
11.3 – School Bus Only
Emergency Equipment
In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses (if
equipped), three red reflective triangles, and a
properly charged and rated fire extinguisher,
school bus drivers must also inspect the following
emergency equipment:
¾
¾
Emergency Kit
Body Fluid Cleanup Kit
Lighting Indicators
In addition to checking the lighting indicators listed
in Section 10.2 of this manual, school bus drivers
must also check the following lighting indicators
(internal panel lights):
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
¾
¾
¾
Alternately flashing amber lights indicator,
if equipped.
Alternately flashing red lights indicator.
Strobe light indicator, if equipped.
Lights/Reflectors
In addition to checking the lights and reflective
devices listed in Section 10.2 of this manual,
school bus drivers must also check the following
(external) lights and reflectors:
¾ Strobe light, if equipped.
¾ Stop arm light, if equipped.
¾ Alternately flashing amber lights, if
equipped.
¾ Alternately flashing red lights.
Student Mirrors
Seating
Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
11.4 – Trailer
11.4.1 – Trailer Front
Air/Electrical Connections
Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in
good condition.
Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of
damage or air leaks.
Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated
and locked in place.
In addition to checking the external mirrors, school
bus drivers must also check the internal and
external mirrors used for observing students:
¾ Check for proper adjustment.
¾ Checks that all internal and external
mirrors and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with
no loose fittings.
¾ Checks that visibility is not impaired due to
dirty mirrors.
Header Board
Stop Arm
11.4.2 – Side of Trailer
If equipped, check the stop arm to see that it is
mounted securely to the frame of the vehicle. Also,
check for loose fittings and damage.
Passenger Entry/Lift
If equipped, check the header board to see that it
is secure, free of damage, and strong enough to
contain cargo.
If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be
mounted and fastened securely.
On enclosed trailers, check the front area for signs
of damage such as cracks, bulges, or holes.
Landing Gear
Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no
missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the
support frame is not damaged.
If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.
Check that the entry door is not damaged,
operates smoothly, and closes securely from the
inside.
Hand rails are secure and the step light is working,
if equipped.
The entry steps must be clear with the treads not
loose or worn excessively.
If equipped with a handicap lift, look for leaking,
damaged, or missing parts and explain how lift
should be checked for correct operation. Lift must
be fully retracted and latched securely.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
Emergency Exit
Frame
Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely
from the inside.
Check that any emergency exit warning devices
are working.
Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the frame, cross members, box, and
floor.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
If equipped, check that doors are not damaged.
Check that doors open, close, and latch properly
from the outside.
Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are
secure.
If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked
in place and release arm is secured.
11.4.3 – Remainder of Trailer
Remainder of Trailer
Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures regarding the
following components:
¾
¾
¾
¾
¾
Wheels.
Suspension system.
Brakes.
Doors/ties/lift.
Splash guards.
Make sure that the passenger exit mirrors and all
external mirrors and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no loose
fittings.
11.5.3 – External Inspection of Coach/
Transit Bus
Level/Air Leaks
See that the vehicle is sitting level (front and rear),
and if air-equipped, check for audible air leaks from
the suspension system.
Fuel Tank(s)
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
See that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks from
tank(s) or lines.
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
Baggage Compartments
Passenger Entry/Lift
Check that entry doors operate smoothly and close
securely from the inside.
Check that hand rails are secure and, if equipped,
that the step light(s) are working.
Check that the entry steps are clear, with the
treads not loose or worn excessively.
If equipped with a handicap lift, look for any
leaking, damaged or missing part, and explain how
it should be checked for correct operation.
Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Check that baggage and all other exterior
compartment doors are not damaged, operate
properly, and latch securely.
Battery/Box
Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
Check that battery box and cover or door is not
damaged and is secure.
Emergency Exits
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/ Transit Bus
Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely
from the inside.
Check that any emergency exit warning devices
are working.
Remainder of Vehicle
Passenger Seating
Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures regarding the
wheels.
Remember, the pre-trip vehicle inspection must be
passed before you can proceed to the basic
vehicle control skills test.
Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
11.6 – Taking the CDL Pre-trip
Inspection Test
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the four versions of a
pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the four tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
Doors/Mirrors
Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged and
operate smoothly from the outside. Hinges should
be secure with seals intact.
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
11.6.1 – Class A Pre-trip Inspection Test
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
All of the tests include an engine start, an in-cabinspection, and an inspection of the coupling
system. Then, your test may require an inspection
of the entire vehicle or only a portion of the vehicle
which your CDL Examiner will explain to you.
11.6.2 – Class B and C Pre-trip Inspection
Test
If you are applying for a Class B CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the three versions of a
pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the three tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start and an incab inspection. Then, your test may require an
inspection of the entire vehicle or only a portion of
the vehicle which your CDL Examiner will explain
to you. You will also have to inspect any special
features of your vehicle (e.g, school or transit bus).
Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-8
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Section 11 - Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
Page 11-9
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 12
Basic Vehicle Control
Skills Test
This Section Covers
•
•
Skills Test Exercises
Skills Test Scoring
Your basic control skills could be tested using one
or more of the following exercises off-road or
somewhere on the street during the road test:
Straight line backing.
Offset back/right
Offset back/left
Parallel park (driver side).
Parallel park (conventional).
Alley dock.
12.2
EXERCISES
12.2.1 – Straight Line Backing
You may be asked to back your vehicle in a
straight line between two rows of cones without
touching or crossing over the exercise boundaries.
(See Figure 12.1.)
12.2.2 – Offset Back/Right
You may be asked to back into a space that is to
the right rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight
forward and back your vehicle into that space
without striking the side or rear boundaries marked
by cones. You must place your vehicle completely
into the space. (See Figure 12.2)
12.2.3 – Offset Back/Left
These exercises are shown in Figures 12-1
through 12-6.
You may be asked to back into a space that is to
the left rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight
forward and back your vehicle into that space
without striking the side or rear boundaries marked
by cones. You must place your vehicle completely
into the space. (See Figure 12.3)
12.1
12.2.4 – Parallel Park (Driver Side)
SCORING
Crossing Boundaries (encroachments)
Pull-ups
Vehicle Exits
Final Position
Encroachments – The examiner will score the
number of times you touch or cross over an
exercise boundary line with any portion of your
vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an error.
Pull-ups – You will not be penalized for initial pullups. However, an excessive number of pull-ups,
will count as errors.
Vehicle Exits – You may be permitted to safely
stop and exit the vehicle to check the external
position of the vehicle. When doing so, you must
place the vehicle in neutral and set the parking
brake(s). Then, when exiting the vehicle, you must
do so safely by facing the vehicle and maintaining
three points of contact with the vehicle at all times.
If you do not safely secure the vehicle or safely exit
the vehicle it may result in an automatic failure of
the basic control skills test.
Final Position – It is important that you finish each
exercise exactly as the examiner has instructed
you. If you do not maneuver the vehicle into its
final position as described by the examiner, you
will be penalized and could fail the basic skills test.
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking
space that is on your left. You are to drive past the
parking space and back into it bringing the rear of
your vehicle as close as possible to the rear of the
space without crossing side or rear boundaries
marked by cones. You are required to get your
vehicle completely into the space. (See Figure
12.4)
12.2.5 – Parallel Park (Conventional)
You may be asked to park in a parallel parking
space that is on your right. You are to drive past
the parking space and back into it bringing the rear
of your vehicle as close as possible to the rear of
the space without crossing side or rear boundaries
marked by cones. You are required to get your
vehicle completely into the space. (See Figure
12.5)
12.2.6 – Alley Dock
You may be asked to sight-side back your vehicle
into an alley, bringing the rear of your vehicle as
close as possible to the rear of the alley without
going beyond the exercise boundary marked by a
line or row of cones. You are required to get your
vehicle completely into the space with your entire
vehicle straight with the alley. (See Figure 12.6.)
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 12.1: Straight Line
Backing
Figure 12.2: Offset
Back/Right
Figure 12.3: Offset
Back/Left
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 12.4: Parallel Park
(Driver Side)
Figure 12.5: Parallel Park
(Conventional)
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Figure 12.6: Alley Dock
Section 12 - Basic Control Skills
Page 12-4
2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Section 13
On-road Driving
This Section Covers
•
How You Will Be Tested
You will drive over a test route that has a variety of
traffic situations. At all times during the test, you
must drive in a safe and responsible manner.
During the driving test, the examiner will be scoring
you on specific driving maneuvers as well as on
your general driving behavior. You will follow the
directions of the examiner. Directions will be given
to you so you will have plenty of time to do what
the examiner has asked. You will not be asked to
drive in an unsafe manner.
If your test route does not have certain traffic
situations, you may be asked to simulate a traffic
situation. You will do this by telling the examiner
what you are or would be doing if you were in that
traffic situation.
Check traffic in all directions.
Keep both hands on the steering wheel during the
turn.
Do not change gears during the turn.
Keep checking your mirror to make sure the
vehicle does not hit anything on the inside of the
turn.
Vehicle should not move into oncoming traffic.
Vehicle should finish turn in correct lane.
After turn:
Make sure turn signal is off.
Get up to speed of traffic, use turn signal, and
move into right-most lane when safe to do so (if not
already there).
Check mirrors and traffic.
13.1.2 – Intersections
As you approach an intersection:
13.1.1 – Turns
Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
Decelerate gently.
Brake smoothly and, if necessary, change gears.
If necessary, come to a complete stop (no
coasting) behind any stop signs, signals,
sidewalks, or stop lines maintaining a safe gap
behind any vehicle in front of you.
Your vehicle must not roll forward or backward.
You have been asked to make a turn:
When driving through an intersection:
Check traffic in all directions.
Use turn signals and safely get into the lane
needed for the turn.
Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
Decelerate and yield to any pedestrians and traffic
in the intersection.
Do not change lanes or shift gears while
proceeding through the intersection.
Keep your hands on the wheel.
13.1 – How You Will Be Tested
As you approach the turn:
Use turn signals to warn others of your turn.
Slow down smoothly, change gears as needed to
keep power, but do not coast unsafely. Unsafe
coasting occurs when your vehicle is out of gear
(clutch depressed or gearshift in neutral) for more
than the length of your vehicle.
If you must stop before making the turn:
Come to a smooth stop without skidding.
Come to a complete stop behind the stop line,
crosswalk, or stop sign.
If stopping behind another vehicle, stop where you
can see the rear tires on the vehicle ahead of you
(safe gap).
Do not let your vehicle roll.
Keep the front wheels aimed straight ahead.
When ready to turn:
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Once through the intersection:
Continue checking mirrors and traffic.
Accelerate smoothly and change
necessary.
gears
as
13.1.3 – Urban/Rural Straight
During this part of the test, you are expected to
make regular traffic checks and maintain a safe
following distance. Your vehicle should be
centered in the proper lane (right-most lane) and
you should keep up with the flow of traffic but not
exceed the posted speed limit.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
13.1.4 –Lane Changes
During multiple lane portions of the test, you will be
asked to change lanes to the left, and then back to
the right. You should make the necessary traffic
checks first, then use proper signals and smoothly
change lanes when it is safe to do so.
13.1.5 – Expressway
Before entering the expressway:
Check traffic.
Use proper signals.
Merge smoothly into the proper lane of traffic.
Once on the expressway:
Maintain proper lane positioning, vehicle spacing,
and vehicle speed.
Continue to check traffic thoroughly in all
directions.
When exiting the expressway:
Make necessary traffic checks.
Use proper signals.
Decelerate smoothly in the exit lane.
Once on the exit ramp, you must continue to
decelerate within the lane markings and maintain
adequate spacing between your vehicle and other
vehicles.
13.1.6 – Stop/Start
For this maneuver, you will be asked to pull your
vehicle over to the side of the road and stop as if
you were going to get out and check something on
your vehicle. You must check traffic thoroughly in
all directions and move to the right-most lane or
shoulder of road.
As you prepare for the stop:
Check traffic.
Activate your right turn signal.
Decelerate smoothly, brake evenly, change gears
as necessary.
Bring your vehicle to a full stop without coasting.
Once stopped:
Vehicle must be parallel to the curb or shoulder of
the road and safely out of the traffic flow.
Vehicle should not be blocking driveways, fire
hydrants, intersections, signs, etc.
Cancel your turn signal.
Activate your four-way emergency flashers.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Apply the parking brake.
Move the gear shift to neutral or park.
Remove your feet from the brake and clutch
pedals.
When instructed to resume:
Check traffic and your mirrors thoroughly in all
directions.
Turn off your four-way flashers.
Activate the left turn signal.
When traffic permits, you should release the
parking brake and pull straight ahead.
Do not turn the wheel before your vehicle moves.
Check traffic from all directions, especially to the
left.
Steer and accelerate smoothly into the proper lane
when safe to do so.
Once your vehicle is back into the flow of traffic,
cancel your left turn signal.
13.1.7 – Curve
When approaching a curve:
Check traffic thoroughly in all directions.
Before entering the curve, reduce speed so further
braking or shifting is not required in the curve.
Keep vehicle in the lane.
Continue checking traffic in all directions.
13.1.8 – Railroad Crossing
Before reaching the crossing, all commercial
drivers should:
Decelerate, brake smoothly, and shift gears as
necessary.
Look and listen for the presence of trains.
Check traffic in all directions.
Do not stop, change gears, pass another vehicle,
or change lanes while any part of your vehicle is in
the crossing.
If you are driving a bus, a school bus, or a vehicle
displaying placards, you should be prepared to
observe the following procedures at every railroad
crossing (unless the crossing is exempt):
As the vehicle approaches a railroad crossing,
activate the four-way flashers.
Stop the vehicle within 50 feet but not less than 15
feet from the nearest rail.
Listen and look in both directions along the track
for an approaching train and for signals indicating
the approach of a train. If operating a bus, you may
also be required to open the window and door prior
to crossing tracks.
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2005 Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Keep hands on the steering wheel as the vehicle
crosses the tracks.
Do not stop, change gears, or change lanes while
any part of your vehicle is proceeding across the
tracks.
Four-way flashers should be deactivated after the
vehicle crosses the tracks.
Continue to check mirrors and traffic.
Not all driving road test routes will have a railroad
crossing. You may be asked to explain and
demonstrate the proper railroad crossing
procedures to the examiner at a simulated location.
13.1.9 – Bridge/Overpass/Sign
After driving under an overpass, you may be asked
to tell the examiner what the posted clearance or
height was. After going over a bridge, you may be
asked to tell the examiner what the posted weight
limit was. If your test route does not have a bridge
or overpass, you may be asked about another
traffic sign. When asked, be prepared to identify
and explain to the examiner any traffic sign which
may appear on the route.
13.1.10 – Student Discharge (School Bus)
If you are applying for a School Bus endorsement,
you will be required to demonstrate loading and
unloading students. Please refer to section 10 of
this manual for procedures on loading and
unloading school students.
During the driving test you must:
Wear your safety belt.
Obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
Complete the test without an accident or moving
violation.
You will be scored on your overall performance in
the following general driving behavior categories:
13.1.11 – Clutch Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
Select gear that does not rev or lug engine.
Do not shift in turns and intersections.
13.1.13 – Brake Usage
Do not ride or pump brake.
Do not brake harshly. Brake smoothly using steady
pressure.
13.1.14 – Lane Usage
Do not put vehicle over curbs, sidewalks, or lane
markings.
Stop behind stop lines, crosswalks, or stop signs.
Complete a turn in the proper lane on a multiple
lane road (vehicle should finish a left turn in the
lane directly to the right of the center line).
Finish a right turn in the right-most (curb) lane.
Move to or remain in right-most lane unless lane is
blocked.
13.1.15 – Steering
Do not over or under steer the vehicle.
Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times
unless shifting. Once you have completed shift,
return both hands to the steering wheel.
13.1.16 – Regular Traffic Checks
Check traffic regularly.
Check mirrors regularly.
Check mirrors and traffic before, while in and after
an intersection.
Scan and check traffic in high volume areas and
areas where pedestrians are expected to be
present.
13.1.17 – Use of Turn Signals
Use turn signals properly.
Activate turn signals when required.
Activate turn signals at appropriate times.
Cancel turn signals upon completion of a turn or
lane change.
Always use clutch to shift.
Double-clutch if vehicle is equipped with nonsynchronized transmission.
Do not rev or lug the engine.
Do not ride clutch to control speed, coast with the
clutch depressed, or "pop" the clutch.
13.1.12 – Gear Usage (for Manual
Transmission)
Do not grind or clash gears.
Section 13 – On-road Driving
Page 13-3
THE PRIDE’S
BACK INSIDE!
From now on, only the best will drive.
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