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Commercial Drivers License. A.

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Commercial Drivers License

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Commercial Drivers License


Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001or more pounds provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle(s)being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds. (Holders of a Class A license may also, withany appropriate endorsements, operate all vehicles within Class B and C.)Examples include but are not limited to




Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. (Holders of a Class B license may also, with any appropriate endorsements, operate all vehicles within Class C.)

Examples include but are not limited to:



Any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. This group applies only to vehicles which are placarded for hazardous materials or are designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the operator. A holder of a Class A, B or C license may drive all vehicles which may be driven by a holder of a Class E or Class F license.

Examples include but are not limited to:


You Must Have a CDL If

  • A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of

    more than 26,000 pounds.

  • A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross

    combination weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds.

  • A vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons

    (including the driver).

  • Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards

How Do I Get A CDL ?


  • General Knowledge—All Applicants

  • Air Brakes—If your vehicle has them

  • Combination—If you want to drive Combinations

  • Hazardous Materials—If you need it

  • Tanker—If you haul liquids in Bulk (1000 gal or more)

  • Doubles/Triples—If you pull double or triple trailers


  • Pre trip

  • Basic Vehicle Control

  • On-Road

Responsibilities of the CDL Driver

  • Vehicle Inspections

  • Vehicle Control

  • Communicating

  • Speed and Distance

  • Inclement Weather

  • Emergencies

Types of Inspections

  • Pre-Trip

  • During –Trip

  • Post-Trip


Helps to find problems that could cause a crash or breakdown.


  • Watch gauges

  • Look, Listen, Smell, Feel

  • Check Critical Items When You Stop

    • Tires, Wheels, and Rims

    • Brakes

    • Lights

    • Cargo Securement

    • Couplings


This helps locate any problems or repair needs.



  • Air pressure

  • Wear (4/32 inch on front; 2/32 Inch on others)

  • Damage

  • Mismatches Sizes

  • Damaged Valve Stems

  • Any Other Issues

Wheels and Rims

  • Damaged Rims

  • Rust on lugs or nuts

  • Missing clamps, spacers, or lugs

  • Mismatched, bent, cracked

  • Welds

    Brake Drums and Shoes

  • Cracked drums.

  • Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on them.

  • Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken

SteeringSystem Defects

  • 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--hoses, pumps, and fluid level; check for leaks.

  • Steering wheel play of more than 10 degrees (approximately two inches movement at therim of a 20-inch steering wheel) can make it hard to steer

Steering Wheel

Steering Arms

Steering Wheel Shaft

Tie Rod


Drag Link

Steering Gear Box

Pitman Arm

Steering Ring Knuckle


  • Cracked or Broken Hangers

  • Missing or Broken leaves

  • Shifted Leaves

  • Cracked, Damaged, or Missing parts

  • Any Loose, Broken, or Missing Frame Members

Hydraulic Shock


Leaf Spring






Spring Shackle

Torque Rod

Main Spring



  • 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

  • Fire Extinguisher

  • Spare Fuses

  • Warning Devices ( 3 Reflective Triangles)

Key Locations of Inspections

Refer to

Page 2-6


Page 2-15


Controlling Your Vehicle

  • Accelerating

  • Steering

  • Shifting Gears

  • Braking

Backing Your Vehicle

  • Look at Your Path

  • Back Slowly

  • Back and Turn Towards Driver’s Side

  • Use a Helper


  • Always look Ahead—12 to 15 sec.

  • Watch for Traffic

  • Watch Road Conditions

  • Check Mirrors Frequently

  • Always Signal when changing lanes, merging, and Turning

Speed and Stopping

Perception Distance

+ Reaction Distance

+ Braking Distance

= Total Stopping Distance

  • Perception @ 55MPH ¾ sec=60FT

  • Reaction @ 55MPH ¾ sec=60FT

  • Braking @ 55MPH 4 1/2 sec=170FT

  • Total Stopping = 6 seconds and 290 Feet

Managing Space

  • Ahead—Following Distance (1sec/10ft of vehicle Length under 40 mph)

  • Behind—Stay right

  • Sides—Stay centered in your lane

  • Overhead—Don’t assume bridge heights are right

  • Below—Railroad Tracks, Dirt Roads, etc.

  • Turns—Figures 2-11 and 2-12 pg. 2-30

  • Crossing Traffic


  • Work Zones

  • Drop Offs

  • Foreign Objects

  • Offramps/Onramps

  • Distractions

  • Children

  • Accidents

  • Slow or Fast Drivers



If an Accident Occurs:

  • Protect the area

  • Notify Authorities

  • Care for the injured



  • Inspecting

  • Recognize overloads and unbalanced loads

  • Knowing it is secure


  • Pre Trip

  • Every 3 Hours or 150 miles

  • After Every Break


  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)

  • Gross Combination Weight (GCW)

  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR)

  • Axle Weight

  • Tire Load

  • Suspension System

  • Coupling Device Capacity

    Pg. 3-2




  • Blocking and Bracing

  • Tiedowns

  • Header Boards

  • Covering Cargo

  • Sealed and Containerized Loads

    Special Needs

  • Dry Bulk Tanks

  • Hanging Meat

  • Livestock

  • OW/OD

Specific Sections

  • Section 5 – Air Brakes

  • Section 6 – Combinations

  • Section 8 –Tank Vehicles

  • Section 10 – Pre Trip Inspection Test

  • Section 11 – Basic Vehicle Control Test

  • Section 12 – On The Road Driving Test

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