I'm Confused, Need An Answer

Topic 22970 | Page 1

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Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

OK, I already have a CDL with a Passenger and School Bus endorsement.

What do I have to do to make it a class A so I can drive a truck?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Phishtech, it depends on the vehicle you want to drive. I'm assuming your current CDL is a Class B?

If you want to drive a vehicle with air brakes, you have to take the air brakes endorsement test.

If you want to drive a combination vehicle (one that bends at the 5th wheel or hitch) you'll have to take the combination vehicle endorsement.

There are a whole series of other endorsements you can get also. Read through this to learn more:

CDL Endorsements - The Complete Guide

You'll also have to pass a pre-trip inspection test done on an actual truck in front of a CDL examiner. Then you'll have to pass a road test. The road test will have to be in a vehicle that has everything you want on your license. In other words, if you want to drive a Class A combination vehicle with air brakes and a standard transmission then the truck you take the test in must meet all of those criteria.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

Thanks, Brett.

BTW, if anyone is wondering, that's not the real me in my avatar picture.

Kevin L.'s Comment
member avatar

If you are driving a modern school bus many of them are equipped with air brakes. You may already be able to drive that with a class b dsl. However like Brett said if you want to upgrade to class a to drive a class a bus such as the ones big cities use that bend in the middle. Many states consider them class a. Every state I know of requires to take the road and skills test in a vehicle that is the type you wish to be licensed for. If you looking to drive tractor trailer you would need to do the pretrial skills and road tests in a tractor trailer. In my state anyhow I had my class a prior to getting school bus and passenger endorsements and was still required to retest kin a school bus and if it did not bend in the middle They put a restriction against driving a class a bus on my cdl It may sound confusing but it is different in each state.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

Yes, all the school busses I drive have air brakes.

Schneider wants to hire me and I was a little confused about how to make my B class license into an A class. Brett put me on the right path.

The biggest problem I'm having is getting into a Texas DPS office. The Houston area is BOOMING BIG TIME and so many people are gravitating to this area because of the abundance of jobs. I tried 3 times this week to get in, once I showed up an hour before they open only to find about a hundred people already waiting to get in the door. The DPS super centers are even worse.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey Phishtech, you should try taking a day trip to a small town in Texas, and go to the DMV office there. I live north of Houston in Nacogdoches. It's a 130 miles north on 59. You could leave early, enjoy an outing, and you won't have any long lines to wait in. I've never waited more than thirty minutes. You don't need to come to my town, you can pick one that maybe holds an interest to you. Make a day of it, and enjoy yourself at a nice restaurant or anything else that might make for an enjoyable visit.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

That's a great idea!!

My dad was born in Nacogdoches way back in 1900. I've spent many a day on Sam Rayburn catching White Perch and bass. He's gone now and I really miss those days.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Phishtech, I had a guy go through my permit class a week or so ago. He was a 20 year city bus driver (with air brakes), so by taking the Combination Vehicle test, all 20 questions, he got his CDL-A permit and stepped over to the CDL school.

You should have no problem.

And no, that's not me in my avatar either.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

Phishtech's Comment
member avatar

Phishtech, I had a guy go through my permit class a week or so ago. He was a 20 year city bus driver (with air brakes), so by taking the Combination Vehicle test, all 20 questions, he got his CDL-A permit and stepped over to the CDL school.

You should have no problem.

And no, that's not me in my avatar either.

I kinda figured you weren't that handsome.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Combination Vehicle:

A vehicle with two separate parts - the power unit (tractor) and the trailer. Tractor-trailers are considered combination vehicles.

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