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Author Topic: CDL or not  (Read 7665 times)
vaunter
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« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2008, 03:01:27 PM »

every state has different rules for what is and what is not considered commersial
i personaly went to the dmv office for the state i live in and had them hand me the rules and had them mark with a hilighter
clearly states for me that i can drive my greyhound converted to camper with out a cdl because its private
if i was to get something larger that had a bigger gvw i can get a document to carry with me that waves the cdl aslong as i pass the driving  cdl test and do not need to take the written test
basicly what u need to do if in doubt is go to your local dmv and make sure they give you on their letterhead the rules you need to argue with any backwoods cop that wants to argue that you do need a cdl
basicly every rule has a rule to over ride that rule and so on and its a good idea to have their rules to fight them incase the ineviatable cop stop

i personally do not want a cdl due to other things like logs and you give up the right to refusing searches and so on
oh and leagle limit for being drunk is lower with a cdl ,,,,even tho we all know ,,,dont drink and drive Wink
just my 2 cents
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RJ
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« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2008, 04:05:21 PM »

I think everyone here will agree that a private motorhome up to 40 feet, be it a stick 'n staple or a bus conversion, can be driven without a CDL anywhere in the country when you're hauling your own family.  Californication, naturally, requires you to get a non-commercial CDL if you're going to be driving a 45-foot rig.

The gray area is when there might be some form of compensation for the use of the vehicle.

Let's take "bus conversion" out of the picture for a moment, and just concentrate on a 40-foot Class A diesel pusher, be it a Monaco, Fleetwood, Winnebago, Newell, etc.  Doesn't matter, just picture the generic description.  Now let's ask ourselves if the following folk need a CDL:

~~ The gospel group that travels from church to church presenting concerts on Sunday morning, then accepts a "love offering" from the congregation?

~~ How about the folk who work the county fair circuit selling stainless steel cookware, towing a cargo trailer behind the Class A?  (Or kettlecorn, in Ace's case!)

~~ The farrier who provides his services at the various horse tracks around the country?

~~ The motivational speaker who presents training seminars for corporations from coast to coast?

~~ The fellow who moves these rigs between locations for a large RV dealership organization?

Pretty good examples of the gray area, right?  Enough to create additional fodder for this thread, that's for sure.

But take a look closely at how the CDL regs are written.  They basically say that if YOU, as the driver, are being compensated (i.e. paid) for operating a vehicle that falls under the definitions of a commercial vehicle, then YOU have to have a CDL with the proper endorsements for the type of commercial vehicle you're driving.  That's pretty cut 'n dried, state to state.

Two things here are what cause all the gray area and confusion: the definition of compensation and the definition of a commercial vehicle. 

One area that a jurisdiction might look at to determine if the vehicle you're driving is being used commercially is your tax records.  If you own the coach, and you are writing off all the expenses related to your coach, then a CDL may apply to you.

I will be the first to agree with many that this is a horse that's been beaten to death over and over again on these boards.  I'll also agree that we don't need more government snoopervision into our private affairs, there's enough as it is already.

However, as a long-time industry veteran, I would encourage folk to go by their local DMV office and pick up a copy of the CDL handbook and study it thoroughly, so that they have a better understanding of what's involved while operating these 12 - 28 ton beasts.  Getting together with a professional driver trainer can also be helpful - several hours spent with one can be well worth the investment.  I'm not saying you have to take the exams, just encouraging you to study.

I certainly don't have the answers, I wish it was a whole lot less muddied myself.

Oh, and for those who ask, yes, I still have my CA CDL Class B, with P & M endorsements, and I keep it current along with my medical card, even though I no longer work in the bus industry professionally.

FWIW & HTH . . .

 Wink


PS:  Somebody mentioned DUI levels - with a CDL, when you're behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, the BAC for DUI is 0.04  - half of what it is for a passenger car (0.08).  And here in CA, if you're behind the wheel of a commercial rig, and your BAC comes up with a 0.01 - 0.03, the CHP will make you park the rig right now for 24 hours.  No excuses, it's parked, period.

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RJ Long
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« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2008, 04:25:19 PM »

I hold cdl class a with air brakes, trailer & passenger endorsement. trailer does not mean cdl it means trailer endorsement with the appropraite weight class..... look @ your manual.


The manuals will vary from state to state. I think Illinois info is especially clear  (bold highlights by me):

1 Operators Required to Obtain a CDL

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA) requires an
operator of a commercial motor vehicle to obtain a commercial driver's
license (CDL). By federal rule, a commercial motor vehicle is defined as:
✗ Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating
(GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, providing the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
(GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.

Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, or any such
vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 lbs.

✗ Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more
persons, including the driver.
✗ Any vehicle, regardless of size, required by federal regulations to be
placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
If the vehicle you intend to operate meets one of the above definitions and
does not fall into one of the exempt categories outlined below, you are
required to obtain a CDL
. CDL Study Guides are available at all Driver
Services facilities, or www.cyberdriveillinois.com.

Operators Exempt from Obtaining a CDL
If the vehicle you intend to operate meets one of the following definitions,
you are not required to obtain a CDL.

Recreational Vehicle
When using a Recreational Vehicle primarily for personal use, you do not
need to obtain a CDL.


Firefighting Equipment Operator
Because most firefighting organizations have extensive initial training and
retraining requirements for their equipment operators, Illinois waives the
CDL requirements for operators of firefighting equipment owned or
operated by or for a governmental agency.

Military Vehicle
Operators of military vehicles for military purposes are exempt from
obtaining a CDL.

Farm Equipment Operator
This exemption is intended to cover legitimate farm-to-market operations
by farmers, not commercial grain haulers. CDLs are not required to operate
vehicles that are:
✗ controlled or operated by a farmer, a member of the farmer's family or
an employee
✗ used to transport farm products, equipment or supplies to or from a
farm
✗ used within 150 air miles of the farm, including nurseries and
aquacultures
✗ not used in the operations of a common or contract carrier
✗ used in nursery or agricultural operations
The farmer, his or her spouse and their children, parents on both sides,
brothers and sisters on both sides and their spouses operating a trucktractor
semitrailer and meeting the above criteria also are exempt from the
CDL Program. These drivers must be age 21 or over, and the vehicle must
have farm plates. These drivers are still required to take the appropriate
CDL written, skills and road tests to be licensed.

Emergency Snow Removal Vehicles
An employee of a township or road district with a population of less than
3,000 operating a vehicle to remove snow or ice from roadways within the
township or district does not have to have a CDL when an employee is
needed to operate the vehicle because the employee who ordinarily
operates the vehicle is unable to do so or is in need of additional
assistance due to a snow emergency.


It defines the weight classes, and says if you aren't meeting an exempt criteria, you need a CDL.... period.  It speaks specifically to the topic of RV needing to be primarily for personal use, which I think any rational person would interpret to mean not for compensation.  I didn't see a circus exclusion.  Also, the farm exclusions are pretty restrictive, as I suspected in my previous post.

Here's my reference source.    http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_x14210.pdf  
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 04:26:51 PM by WEC4104 » Logged

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luvrbus
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« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2008, 04:52:11 PM »

You guys need to go to Oklahoma and read what classifies as a commercial vehicle it can be from a VW bug up just about all pickups are classified as commercial but require no CDL to operate.I dropped the GVW on my truck and trailer to 26,000# in Texas to stay away from the CDL B they are required above 26,000# private or commercial trucks but not RVs.Here in Arizona by law you don't qualify for the $.08 gal off at the fuel pumps if your are over 26,000# and 2 axles I never heard of anyone being fined but with the tax revenue down it will happen sooner or later  good luck
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2008, 04:54:41 PM »

Quote
RULES OF
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY
DIVISION OF DRIVER LICENSE ISSUANCE
CHAPTER 1340-1-13
CLASSIFIED AND COMMERCIAL DRIVERS LICENSES
AND TEMPORARY DRIVER LICENSES

1340-1-13
(9) Commercial Motor Vehicle means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in
commerce to transport passengers or property
if the motor vehicle:
  • (a) has a gross vehicle weight rating (G.V.W.R.) or gross combination weight rating
    (G.C.W.R.) in excess of twenty-six thousand (26,000) pounds;
  • (b) is designed to transport more than fifteen (15) passengers, including the driver;
  • (c) is of any size and used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the
    purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act, 49 U.S.C. App. 1801 et seq.,
    and which must be placarded, under the Hazardous Materials Regulations 49 C.F.R. §
    172.500 et seq. (1993); or
  • (d) is used as a school bus.


The operative phrase being "used in commerce to transport passengers or property".  If it is not for commerce, the other conditions don't come in to play.  Likewise, due to the "IF", vehicles used in commerce that don't meet the requirements following it are not defined as "Commercial Vehicles."


Quote
55-1-104. “Farm tractor,” “motor home,” “truck” and “truck tractor” defined. —
  • (1) “Farm tractor” means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily as a farm implement, for drawing plows,
    mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry;
  • (2) “Motor home” means every motor vehicle which is designed, constructed (either originally by the manufacturer or
    rebuilt by another) and equipped as a dwelling place, living abode or sleeping place;
  • (3) “Truck” means every motor vehicle designed, used, or maintained primarily for the transportation of property;
    and
  • (4) “Truck tractor” means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so
    constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load so drawn.
    [Acts 1951, ch. 70, § 3 (Williams, § 5538.103); 1974, ch. 525, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), § 59-104.]



Likewise in the U.S. Code:

U.S. Code
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+49USC31301


Quote
Title 49

  Subtitle VI -- Motor Vehicle and Driver Programs

     Part B -- Commercial

   Chapter 313 -- Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators

Sec. 31301

        (2) "commerce" means trade, traffic, and transportation
            (A) in the jurisdiction of the United States between a place
        in a State and a place outside that State (including a place
        outside the United States); or
            (B) in the United States that affects trade, traffic, and
        transportation described in subclause (A) of this clause.

        (3) "commercial driver's license'' means a license issued by a
    State to an individual authorizing the individual to operate a class
    of commercial motor vehicles.

        (4) "commercial motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle used in
            commerce to transport passengers or property that--
            (A) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle
                weight of at least 26,001 pounds, whichever is greater, or a
                lesser gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight the
                Secretary of Transportation prescribes by regulation, but not
                less than a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds;
            (B) is designed to transport at least 16 passengers
                including the driver; or
            (C) is used to transport material found by the Secretary to
                be hazardous under section 5103 of this title, except that a
                vehicle shall not be included as a commercial motor vehicle
                under this subclause if--
                (i) the vehicle does not satisfy the weight requirements
                    of subclause (A) of this clause;
                (ii) the vehicle is transporting material listed as
                     hazardous under section 306(a) of the Comprehensive
                     Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of
                     1980 (42 U.S.C. 9656(a)) and is not otherwise regulated by
                     the Secretary or is transporting a consumer commodity or
                     limited quantity of hazardous material as defined in section
                     171.8 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and
                (iii) the Secretary does not deny the application of
                      this exception to the vehicle (individually or as part of a
                      class of motor vehicles) in the interest of safety.



And FMCSA:

http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.asp?section=390.5

Quote
§390.5 Definitions.
Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle—

(1) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or

(2) Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or

(3) Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

(4) Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C



http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/fmcsr/fmcsrruletext.asp?section=658.5

Quote
§658.5 Definitions.
Commercial Motor Vehicle. For purposes of this regulation, a motor vehicle designed or regularly used to carry freight, merchandise, or more than ten passengers, whether loaded or empty, including buses, but not including vehicles used for vanpools, or recreational vehicles operating under their own power.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2008, 07:33:24 AM by HighTechRedneck » Logged
John316
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« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2008, 05:06:41 PM »

Awesome documentation!!! I can tell that you all have done a lot of work looking up regs. Thanks. They really have helped. I also agree with RJ. Working or riding with a pro driver is huge. Getting the CDL book and studying it is also very helpful. I know it has helped my driving style greatly.

Thanks again,

God bless,

John
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makemineatwostroke
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« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2008, 05:40:55 PM »

John316; this has nothing to do with CDL's but you should read some of the laws in different states pertaining to RV's in some states a RV can not be over 96 inches wide and some states require RV's to stop at weigh stations some require any towed vehicle to stop check it out at www.woodalls.com/output.cfm?ID=1195129  have a great day (pay attention to the state that has 43ft 6 inch length and the states about the propane)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2008, 05:47:44 PM by makemineatwostroke » Logged
niles500
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« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2008, 05:42:53 PM »

FLORIDA STATUTE


322.53  License required; exemptions.--

(1)  Except as provided in subsection (2), every person who drives a commercial motor vehicle in this state is required to possess a valid commercial driver's license issued in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

(2)  The following persons are exempt from the requirement to obtain a commercial driver's license:

(a)  Drivers of authorized emergency vehicles.

(b)  Military personnel driving vehicles operated for military purposes.

(c)  Farmers transporting farm supplies or farm machinery within 150 miles of their farm, or transporting agricultural products to or from the first place of storage or processing or directly to or from market, within 150 miles of their farm.

(d)  Drivers of recreational vehicles, as defined in s. 320.01.

(e)  Drivers who operate straight trucks, as defined in s. 316.003, that are exclusively transporting their own tangible personal property which is not for sale.

(f)  An employee of a publicly owned transit system who is limited to moving vehicles for maintenance or parking purposes exclusively within the restricted-access confines of a transit system's property.

(3)  Notwithstanding subsection (2), all drivers of for-hire commercial motor vehicles are required to possess a valid commercial driver's license issued in accordance with the requirements of this chapter.

*********************************************


322.54  Classification

(a)  Any person who drives a motor vehicle combination having a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more must possess a valid Class A driver's license, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. Any person who possesses a valid Class A driver's license may, subject to the appropriate restrictions and endorsements, drive any class of motor vehicle within this state.

(b)  Any person, except a person who possesses a valid Class A driver's license, who drives a motor vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more must possess a valid Class B driver's license. Any person, except a person who possesses a valid Class A driver's license, who drives such vehicle towing a vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less must possess a valid Class B driver's license. Any person who possesses a valid Class B driver's license may, subject to the appropriate restrictions and endorsements, drive any class of motor vehicle, other than the type of motor vehicle for which a Class A driver's license is required, within this state.

(c)    Any person, except a person who possesses a valid Class A or a valid Class B driver's license, who drives a motor vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds and who is required to obtain an endorsement pursuant to paragraph (1)(b), paragraph (1)(c), or paragraph (1)(e) of s. 322.57, must possess a valid Class C driver's license. Any person who possesses a valid Class C driver's license may, subject to the appropriate restrictions and endorsements, drive any class of motor vehicle, other than the type of motor vehicle for which a Class A or a Class B driver's license is required, within this state.


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« Reply #53 on: October 28, 2008, 08:19:42 AM »

Then we have New York (YO how're doin?) that has any vehicle over 19,500gvw as a class B.  Bottom line, check with your state and what license you have.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2008, 12:50:28 PM »

FWIW, I just now got my license renewed and my new license says on the back:

"Any non-commercial vehicle with a GVWR less than 26,001 lbs. or any RV

I guess I'm ok with my bus being a RV! Wink

Ace
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« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2008, 01:41:54 PM »

FWIW, I just now got my license renewed and my new license says on the back:

"Any non-commercial vehicle with a GVWR less than 26,001 lbs. or any RV

I guess I'm ok with my bus being a RV! Wink

Ace

Florida is also among the silly states.

In their license bureau handbook it shows a picture of an RV ( 2-axles ) Class A
and it says that is an RV or Motorhome. The next picture is of a Bus/Conversion with ( 3-axles ) It is NOT an RV or Motorhome it is a "Private Coach" which except for the 3-axles is treated as a Class A ( RV/Motorhome ). Same Class just different term used for title purposes. The weight does'nt seem to be a factor according to the title issuance if you meet the RV/Motorhome or Private Coach designation.

That would in essence say that no matter how much it weighs as long as the RV/Motorhome/Private Coach is properly tagged and titled the 26,000 lbs rating does not apply to the drivers license needed to drive it. Except if it is used commercially in any way for revenue or income. Then the whole issue blows up again because all the rules change depending on point of view.

That is pretty much normal for most states and areas that most of us would be going in our buses/RV's and such.

I would worry more that eventually all licensed drivers will need current medical cards just to be legal to drive anything. In some places it is in effect but that depends on local or state laws.

I heard that truck drivers were going to probably be screened tighter for medical reasons if they pass new laws for CDL's, Where does it stop???...

Thank your lucky stars that we can operate what we have and continue to fall into those "GREY" areas legally.
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« Reply #56 on: October 29, 2008, 05:04:45 PM »

I've always assumed that if I'm legal in the state I'm registered, I can drive in any other state legally. Does anyone know if this is a correct assumption or not? Thanks, Will
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« Reply #57 on: October 29, 2008, 05:08:51 PM »

I've always assumed that if I'm legal in the state I'm registered, I can drive in any other state legally. Does anyone know if this is a correct assumption or not? Thanks, Will

That is my understanding also, but that probably does not mean I am correct.  Jack
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« Reply #58 on: October 29, 2008, 05:31:23 PM »

[/shadow]should b wis & mich only sate not in intertare compact
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« Reply #59 on: October 29, 2008, 08:07:17 PM »

I came across the following site which lists a state-by-state breakdown of licensing reciprocity, as it applies to motorhomes. Also provides a summary of types of licenses needed for different weight classes and towing.

 http://www.ywip.com/rv07.pdf
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