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    CDL questions

    I need to get a CDL to drive a dump truck we just purchased and had a few questions.

    Number one I assume for the drive test I use the dump truck, but I also got a trailer and a backhoe. For the driving test do I need to bring the vehicle with the trailer also or can I just bring the vehicle.

    Number two Anyone have any tips?

    I just went and grabbed the commercial driving book from the DOT, I don't plan on taking any classes. Are the any other sources I will need to go through before I take the test. How much does it cost?

    Any help would be appreciated.



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    Re: CDL questions

    its easy no worrys my friend... if you can drive a truck with air brakes then your golden............



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    Re: CDL questions

    Are you just taking the general CDL or other endorsements as well?

    Does your dump truck have air brakes? If so, you'll need that endorsement.
    Will you ever carry hazardous material? If so, you'll need haz mat. Hopefully you don't need it because in the last 5 yrs they have really upped the restrictions and price of getting the haz mat endorsement. FBI background check thanks to 9/11.
    If you pull a trailer quite a bit you might need to get the combination, doubles, triples endorsement, but I don't think you would need it for pulling a trailer.

    There is a tanker endorsement if you ever haul liquid in tanks (baffled or unbaffled).

    Take your time and learn all of it slowly and completely. One other big think you need to pass before you drive and after you pass the tests is the pre-trip inspection. Learn that to a T before you go because that is huge and it don't take too much mess ups to fail that and then you have to come back.

    Good luck.



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    Re: CDL questions

    The hardest part of the whole process is the pretrip inspection. It can be hard or easy depending on who is giving it. If you pull a trailer I think you need a class A and yes you have to have the trailer on to take the test then. Work on backing up and knowing where your wheels are. Also when driving use the clutch and dont use the jake brake. Pay attention to low clearance signs and know how tall you are. When you backup be sure to get out and make sure nothing is behind you. DO NOT drive your truck to the driving test, you have to have someone else do that. In most places you take your written test then have to schedule the driving. Get everything you can so it is over and done with, someday you may want to upgrade to a semi.


    The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have--and that is a moral problem, not an economic one. - Paul Heyne

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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post
    Are you just taking the general CDL or other endorsements as well?

    Does your dump truck have air brakes? If so, you'll need that endorsement.
    Will you ever carry hazardous material? If so, you'll need haz mat. Hopefully you don't need it because in the last 5 yrs they have really upped the restrictions and price of getting the haz mat endorsement. FBI background check thanks to 9/11.
    If you pull a trailer quite a bit you might need to get the combination, doubles, triples endorsement, but I don't think you would need it for pulling a trailer.

    There is a tanker endorsement if you ever haul liquid in tanks (baffled or unbaffled).

    Take your time and learn all of it slowly and completely. One other big think you need to pass before you drive and after you pass the tests is the pre-trip inspection. Learn that to a T before you go because that is huge and it don't take too much mess ups to fail that and then you have to come back.

    Good luck.

    A general Class A "comes with" an air brake endoresment, since it's on the test, at least when I got mine 3 years ago it did.

    The only thing you'll pay for is the renewal fee for your license - 11 bucks or whatever it is.

    If you want to get a haz-mat endorsement, you have to approved by the TSA first, and to do that you have to get your fingerprints taken, which cost 85.00 bucks. The TSA has to make sure you're not a national security threat, and there are no refunds.

    The tests for haz-mat and tank are really easy, and so is the test for doubles/triples.



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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TarHeelHawk View Post
    A general Class A "comes with" an air brake endoresment, since it's on the test, at least when I got mine 3 years ago it did.

    The only thing you'll pay for is the renewal fee for your license - 11 bucks or whatever it is.

    If you want to get a haz-mat endorsement, you have to approved by the TSA first, and to do that you have to get your fingerprints taken, which cost 85.00 bucks. The TSA has to make sure you're not a national security threat, and there are no refunds.

    The tests for haz-mat and tank are really easy, and so is the test for doubles/triples.
    Dont get the haz-mat just to get it.


    The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have--and that is a moral problem, not an economic one. - Paul Heyne

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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcy View Post
    Dont get the haz-mat just to get it.
    Pretty much, yeah. I have to have it, however. Still didn't like paying that much for it.



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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TarHeelHawk View Post
    Pretty much, yeah. I have to have it, however. Still didn't like paying that much for it.
    I did also it was always a pain in the ***. At least now you dont have to retest for 6 years. The lic people never seemed to know the rules on it either. I moved states and had to take it twice in a 3 month span, good think it was the same test.


    The gap in our economy is between what we have and what we think we ought to have--and that is a moral problem, not an economic one. - Paul Heyne

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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by kingcy View Post
    The hardest part of the whole process is the pretrip inspection. It can be hard or easy depending on who is giving it. If you pull a trailer I think you need a class A and yes you have to have the trailer on to take the test then. Work on backing up and knowing where your wheels are. Also when driving use the clutch and dont use the jake brake. Pay attention to low clearance signs and know how tall you are. When you backup be sure to get out and make sure nothing is behind you. DO NOT drive your truck to the driving test, you have to have someone else do that. In most places you take your written test then have to schedule the driving. Get everything you can so it is over and done with, someday you may want to upgrade to a semi.
    It seemed to me from the book there really wasn't different licenses between different vehicles. I was curious if I needed to know how to drive a semi when I took the test cause it seemed I would already be licensed for it.

    The dump truck is automatic with hydraulic brakes. I do know how to use air breaks though as well as a manual ( my dad taught me how to drive a stick in our old dump truck)

    As for Haz Mat I will probably do that too because I would have a use for it.



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    Re: CDL questions

    The inspection is the hardest part. Also, your truck needs to pass the inspection, or they won't let you drive it. Good luck.



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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonesrule91 View Post

    Take your time and learn all of it slowly and completely. One other big think you need to pass before you drive and after you pass the tests is the pre-trip inspection. Learn that to a T before you go because that is huge and it don't take too much mess ups to fail that and then you have to come back.

    Good luck.
    I'd have to agree. I just got my Class B with air brakes endorsement a couple of months ago, and the tests are a breeze compared to the pre-trip. It's really not that hard, you just need to be thorough and cover everything.

    You'll do fine.


    If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right!!

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    Re: CDL questions

    I pretty much agree with what other people are saying. Pre-trip inspection is tough. You have to know every part and what to look for. When I got my class B about 7 years ago, they gave me a little card that list every part you needed to show them. You just had to go down the list. My guy that I did the test with said that he had mechanics that would easily fail the pre-trip because they wouldn't tell him what to look for.

    Also, depending on where you live. I got my CDL out in Adel. A lot less traffic and you can usually get a driving time with out a problem.

    One last thing. Do not speed on the test. I was going from a 35 mph zone to a 45 and got over 35 before the 45 sign. Have gotten a lot of different feedback over if I was actually speeding of not, but the one guy that said I was is the only guy that really had a vote. I failed the driving test because of it (automatic if you speed). Went back the next day a drove like a grandma and got a perfect score.



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    Re: CDL questions

    Having never driven anything with air brakes, what is the difference in driving technique between air and hydraulic brakes? I understand the compressible/incompressible fluid issue - do you just need to start braking way earlier so air pressure can come up?



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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by besserheimerphat View Post
    Having never driven anything with air brakes, what is the difference in driving technique between air and hydraulic brakes? I understand the compressible/incompressible fluid issue - do you just need to start braking way earlier so air pressure can come up?
    The air pressure in the air brakes keeps the brakes "open" - if there's pressure, then the wheels spin, if not, the brakes are active - just the opposite of how your car's brakes work. The idea is that if there is a failure in the system, it "fails safe" instead of becoming a runaway.



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    Re: CDL questions

    Quote Originally Posted by milrtym View Post
    I pretty much agree with what other people are saying. Pre-trip inspection is tough. You have to know every part and what to look for. When I got my class B about 7 years ago, they gave me a little card that list every part you needed to show them. You just had to go down the list. My guy that I did the test with said that he had mechanics that would easily fail the pre-trip because they wouldn't tell him what to look for.

    Also, depending on where you live. I got my CDL out in Adel. A lot less traffic and you can usually get a driving time with out a problem.

    One last thing. Do not speed on the test. I was going from a 35 mph zone to a 45 and got over 35 before the 45 sign. Have gotten a lot of different feedback over if I was actually speeding of not, but the one guy that said I was is the only guy that really had a vote. I failed the driving test because of it (automatic if you speed). Went back the next day a drove like a grandma and got a perfect score.
    I failed the Class B test twice, once for the inspection and once for breaking 25 on Dakota right south of Lincoln Way. I tried to keep it 5 under my next time out.



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