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Author Topic: CDL or not  (Read 7636 times)
John316
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« on: October 22, 2008, 01:59:13 PM »

Does anybody have any input on when to get a CDL. Obviously our bus is titled as an RV, which, of course doesn't need a CDL. However in the CDL book it gives some guidelines when one needs a CDL. When pulling our trailer, which is rated for 14k, is a CDL needed? I have heard that other states will usually honor your home state's guidelines. What about getting a CDL, and not keeping a log book? Do the ten hour driving limits still apply, since we usually drive more in a day? Would one need a Class A since a we're pulling a trailer or is a Class B okay?

I'm sure that there is multiple schools of thought, so bring it on!!!       

God bless,

John
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Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2008, 02:01:05 PM »

I think that generally, if it's not commercial, no CDL is required. There may be some states with tighter regs.
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WEC4104
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« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2008, 02:23:42 PM »

This topic has been covered in detail several times in the past, so doing a search on it will get you a wealth of answers and discussion on this topic.

Cutting to the chase, I do not believe the registration as an RV automatically exempts you from the CDL. My interpretation is that an RV of sufficient weight that is being used for commercial purposes (aka: paid driver, or transporting passengers for hire, or business transportation) would require a CDL.
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« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2008, 02:31:21 PM »

You have to get a copy of your jurisdiction's regulations.

Sometimes it is a duck, sometimes it is a water fowl, sometimes it is a bird, sometimes it doesn't apply because they only refer to mammals...

You need to look very carefully at every word. Some places the weight, registered or gross, or length, or seating, or purpose of use, will trump the exemptions of RV registration. Air brake endorsement of some sort may also apply. The weight of the trailer, registered or gross, may trump other exemptions.

I have found the RV clubs too vague and lacking in details in their cross country or cross border guides on these matters.

happy coaching!
buswarrior
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John316
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« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2008, 02:33:30 PM »

WEC4104, I started searching and I didn't see any threads about bus trailer combos and CDL's.

BusWarrior we will look at the regs again.

God bless,

John
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HB of CJ
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« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2008, 02:38:47 PM »

May also differ by state.  Up here in Oregon, if it's a motorhome, it isn't a commercial vehicle.  No special licenses required.  Doesn't matter how heavy the trailer is or how long you drive.  No log book needed.

I for one would NOT get a CDL.  Other opinions will vary.  For me it's a Constitutional issue, I'm traveling inside my private property/primary residence----should'nt even need ANY license. HB of CJ  Smiley Smiley Smiley
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John316
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« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2008, 02:41:04 PM »

HB of CJ, I agree with you 100%. I really would like not to get one!!!

God bless,

John
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PADoug
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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2008, 03:11:57 PM »

Okay, finally something I can weigh in on here.

I used to work for one of the Non commercial trucking companies in Virginia. I almost had to get my CDL, but bypassed it. The reason was not the vehicle, but the nature of the DRIVING. Since SOME of my work involved transporting or use of company vehicles or vehicles for the use of earning money, ie a commercial application, a CDL applies. Some of our employees were stopped, but since the transport was only "occasional", I'm sure the troopers did not ticket since the cases would probably be dropped in traffic court.

Now my insurance agent had a slightly different take on this: She pointed out that when my travel to and from work excedes 50 miles, or if I were primarily in sales and thus use my car for work: ie "Commercial" purposes, Commercial insurance would apply. The subject came up as I occasionally drive from Western PA to the East Coast to work, usually 2-3 times/month during the school year. That little bit of driving adds up to an additional 15,000 or so/year miles which raised the Red Flag.

Fortunately, it is only $5.00/yr more since it is pro-rated at an additional 10,000 miles/year. (This is State Farm in Pennsylvania). I promised her I would cut down the rest of my driving, which gas prices certainly did! However, if you are in any way earning income: ie traveling to craft-shows/flea markets etc to earn your primary income (sales), from what I understand, you may be in a grey area, and depending on the cop (if you get pulled over), have to spend a little time in traffic court.

Of course, I'm no lawyer, but I do get stuck watching episodes of Law and Order with my Dad!  Roll Eyes

Doug
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WEC4104
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« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2008, 03:32:45 PM »

My understanding is that your home state (New Jersey) sets the specific CDL requirements that would apply to you, and then you are "free to move about the country" based on adhering to your home state regs.

In NJ their regs state:

Are there any exemptions to being required to have New Jersey CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes


The fact that #4 limits the motor home exemption to non business purposes tells me that a vehicle titled as an RV can still be required to have a CDL.

As I understand your previous posts, your vehicle is used extensively for out of state transportation of a band, and they do that for compensation.  What you tell the DMV when you registered it, and what you told your insurance company, is between you and them.  HOWEVER, should you have an accident or be stopped, the responsibility eventually rests with you.

I can understand HB of CJ not wanting to get a CDL for his vehicle used privately. Sounds like his truely is a non-commercial use however.   (Although I couldn't find any references to buses in the Constitution. Jefferson must have missed that one. Wink)

Doug:  It is common practice for insurance companies to set different rates based on whether the driver is using their vehicle for "business use". However their determination of what constitutes "commercial" is entirely different than the Vehicle Code requirements for a CDL.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 03:42:59 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2008, 03:53:19 PM »

that little rule number 4 is vague. the way it is often looked at is "did you participate in any activity that benefited you in any way" IE did you receive something. if you haul the trailer with your race car and you won a trophy then you received something, if you played a gig and they gave you beer and food you received something. all these things can put you in the commercial class. I know that sounds stupid to be commercial because you won a trophy but it happened to me before as I had a trooper who wanted to prove he knew more about the regulations than anyone. odds are they wont write you for something like that but again it is at the discretion of the police.
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2008, 04:32:32 PM »

I think its a good idea to understand all the requirements of a CDL to operate our buses.

But I would not get one, unless forced by legislation too!

CDL's in my home state require higher points and penalties for any infraction.

Why bring more government or regulation upon yourself................

Just my opinion.

Cliff
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2008, 04:41:01 PM »

   Here's what it says on the South Carolina website. So Far I don't know what              actual weight of my Eagle is.( play dumb if stopped ) Yea I guess soon I need to get a non-commercial cdl for this state.


    Class D
A Class D driverís license allows you to drive non-commercial passenger vehicles, such as cars and trucks, which do not exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.

Class E
A Class E driverís license allows you to operate non-commercial, single unit vehicles that exceeds 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class E vehicles include trucks and motor homes.  



Class F
A Class F driverís license allows you to drive non-commercial, combination vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class F vehicles include trucks and motor homes with a towed trailer or vehicle.

ED
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Ed Brenner
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2008, 05:00:04 PM »

http://changingears.com/rv-sec-state-rv-license.shtml

Bottom line:
no

but know your states requirements so you can explain it to officer friendly, when he isn't...
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Nusa
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 05:00:24 PM »

Everyone's correct in pointing at the regulations of whatever state you're registered in. However, there are some generalizations that can be made:

1) Many of the DOT regulations, including inspections and logbooks, are generally tied to commercial vehicles and/or driving for hire. But being exempt from the regs doesn't excuse you from driving your vehicle in an unsafe condition or driving when fatigued. It just means a lot of paperwork doesn't apply.

2) Commercially licensed large vehicles generally require a CDL license to drive. The definition of large will vary by state, but busses aren't borderline cases. You'll also need a current DOT inspection on the vehicle.

3) Even with an RV license, if you're being directly paid to transport cargo and passengers on a regular basis, it's likely you need a CDL. In the case of passengers, you some states will require a passenger endorsement. Indirect compensation is less clear, but if it smells like a business you may still need a CDL.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 05:04:33 PM by Nusa » Logged
John316
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 06:00:32 PM »

WEC4104, I think that you might have confused me with another (maybe iminaccess, I know he's from NJ). We are from the Midwest. I am very impressed how much you remember though. I sure couldn't say what one particular member has said in the last while (okay maybe BK, but he sets himself apart LOL). Thanks for the research that you did!!! It was very helpful.  You are really good with documenting things. Keep up the good work!!!

Ed Brenner, I was going to weigh this last trip, but I never had a chance when it was convenient. It still is pretty obvious that we are over 26,000 Roll Eyes, Oh well. I wonder if the Private coach signs do any good. There certainly are officials that mistake it for a bus. When we crossed back from Canada this last time, the guard said that he thought that we were a commercial bus. If we were then we were going to be in trouble!

Getting the CDL would just be for the Letter of the Law. I already do a lot of the pre-trip that the book talks about (certainly more than some CDL holders do!).

Kd5kfl, great website, very helpful.

Thanks for the all the input!!! It is very appreciated!!!

God bless,

John
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