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ilbegone 08-18-2014 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ayatollahgondola (Post 25195)
Yes. Class A, with endorsements ..

...Plus, without the commercial class A, I would be out of class to tow the mobile billboard

I have a CDL Class A as well, I've had it since 1978.

I'm not a "truck driver" in the full sense of the term, there are some trucks I may have to drive in the course of my employment, but that is incidental to the occupation. I used to like doing it, but I'd just as soon have the apprentice drive anymore.

And, actually, its all a pain in the ass now. The DMV is all wrapped up in weight instead of whether a person can safely drive the vehicle or combination thereof. I knew a guy who branched out into teaching and qualifying drivers for the DMV test. He had a trailer which was long but didn't have the weight requirement, so he bought a trailer which had a higher unladen weight, but was shorter. Which doesn't make sense to me, because both trailers are unloaded and the longer one requires wider turns and is a little more difficult to make safe lane changes with heavy traffic. I suppose it's better than what it was, 40 some years ago I heard stories about people getting a "chauffeur's license" with a pickup truck and a horse trailer - in the days of the narrow power band, brownie box and pyrometer no less.

Besides, the DMV burdens class A license holders with unequal treatment under the law, and everyone who sees my license - for whatever reason - thinks I'm some sort of 60k, long haul, professional truck driver - an occupation it's difficult to make a living in anymore.

And, it's not just the driving. Everything has changed, there's loads of chickenshit corporate crap you only heard about from people in other occupations in the past. It would be really nice if I could just find someone to pay me to stay away.

Enough grousing,,,

Is that pickup / little trailer combination you have really heavy enough to require a CDL?

Ayatollahgondola 08-18-2014 08:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ilbegone (Post 25200)
Is that pickup / little trailer combination you have really heavy enough to require a CDL?



Quote:

commercial vehicle is a motor vehicle or combination used for hire to transport passengers or property or which:

Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more
Is designed, used, or maintained for carrying more than 10 passengers, including the driver
Tows a vehicle or trailer, which has a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more
Transports hazardous materials, which requires placards
Tows any combination of two trailers or vehicle and trailer
The Billboard trailer has a GVWR of over 10,000 lbs, although its' unladen weight is only about 4,000. It's the rating that matters to them, not the actual weight.
The first is arguable because there is no compensation involved in many instances, however if they challenge me I'd have to provide proof I wasn't compensated. And argue all you like about innocent until proven guilty; this is an infraction and a licensing issue, not a criminal charge, so the judge/commissioners etc would base their decisions on my co-operation and willingness to provide evidence. (welcome to the quasi constitutional state)
And lastly, I am compensated sometimes; not lately though :(

The last one is something I could live without, if I had to, but it does provide flexibility and convenience. I can tow two billboards, or one billboard and one other trailer, and the other trailer hasn't been disclosed yet, as it is in the design and hopeful funding stage (sorry, classified :) ). And we have an RV trailer, and a boat trailer that can be hooked in combination to go for fishing trips. Otherwise, you have to make two trips each way.

Ayatollahgondola 08-18-2014 09:19 AM

Quote:

And, actually, its all a pain in the ass now. The DMV is all wrapped up in weight instead of whether a person can safely drive the vehicle or combination thereof. I knew a guy who branched out into teaching and qualifying drivers for the DMV test. He had a trailer which was long but didn't have the weight requirement, so he bought a trailer which had a higher unladen weight, but was shorter. Which doesn't make sense to me, because both trailers are unloaded and the longer one requires wider turns and is a little more difficult to make safe lane changes with heavy traffic. I suppose it's better than what it was, 40 some years ago I heard stories about people getting a "chauffeur's license" with a pickup truck and a horse trailer - in the days of the narrow power band, brownie box and pyrometer no less.
There is a length limit to trailers you can tow with a class C non-commercial license. It's pretty complicated to understand, because one section of the code deals with licensing class, and the other with definitions of motor carriers, ie "A commercial carrier is a vehicle weighing over x, but less than x, and is over 45 feet when coupled together". Once again, you can claim exemptions because the two portions of the code seem to be at odds, but if you get cited, you'll have to go in each time with your proof, and sit through countless idiots trying to plead stupidity, ignorance, pauperdom, or denial before they get to your case, and still with no certainty that the commissioner won't just uphold it simply because they have also sat through the previously mentioned other cases, and are just tired of people trying to escape the system's grasp.

Quote:

I suppose it's better than what it was, 40 some years ago I heard stories about people getting a "chauffeur's license" with a pickup truck and a horse trailer - in the days of the narrow power band, brownie box and pyrometer no less.
Back then, it was easier with less classes to choose from. All you had to do get the all encompassing chauffer's license was to bring the minimum vehicle to take the test. A 1 ton pick-up truck with two small trailers in combination would do it. Now there are so many that it's confusing even to me. Class A, class B commercial; Class A, class B commercial without Air brake endorsement. Class A, B, C, non commercial, with air, without air etc. So many endorsements too. P for passengers, T for triples, Haz Mat, and more. Gawd...A guy7 can get cited for driving out of class for picking up a load that he didn't know contained a couple crates of bottled gasses or chemical substances he wasn't made aware of on the BOL

ilbegone 08-20-2014 08:32 AM

Quote:

but if you get cited, you'll have to go in each time with your proof, and sit through countless idiots trying to plead stupidity, ignorance, pauperdom, or denial before they get to your case, and still with no certainty that the commissioner won't just uphold it simply because they have also sat through the previously mentioned other cases, and are just tired of people trying to escape the system's grasp.
What the real issue concerning "infraction" traffic tickets is that the court system is financed by those fines and associated "fees". Only something like 3% of those receiving tickets fight their cases, if everyone fought traffic tickets the court system would collapse.

There is no appeal, except for procedural issues, and the judge, who is is also the prosecutor and jury, has a vested interest in finding the defendant guilty - it's ultimately how his system is financed. He's probably not going to hear cases in a roped off section of the park downtown on a reduced salary.

And the bit about having to wait all day is by design to punish the unwashed rabble, which is unprepared and unrepresented, and to convenience and reward fellow attorneys, the cases with representation are first to be heard. It's a racket with one hand washing the other.

Furthermore, to win, the defendant's case must be really good or the officer forfeits his case by not showing up. There is also prehearing negotiation with the officer to reduce the infraction to a non point offense while paying the full fine, but it seems many jurisdictions are now disallowing that option. I'll hire an inevitably over priced attorney and hope the officer doesn't show, try for the non point option is available if he does, and if I do get the full conviction and whole fine (as well as being fleeced by the traffic attorney) I take comfort in the fact that I have cost both the issuing agency and the court in terms of time and money for the following reasons:

Part of unequal protection under the law is that non commercial drivers get 1 point per conviction, whereas a CDL license holder is slammed 1.5 points for non commercial driving convictions. 2 tickets and a CDL holder is virtually unemployable - unless he's an owner operator and can afford the insurance hike. Plus there is a defacto ticket quota. If an officer doesn't consistently write so many tickets per month, he won't be promoted, might not get raises, and may even lose his job. Plus, the fine is often a fraction of the monetary penalty. If you look at it, there's lots of other stuff tacked onto the fine.

Besides, I'm not a "real" truck driver, I don't want to be, nor do I want the liability for all those endorsements, and I may never drive another truck ever again. But, I have to have a CDL license to get the job and I have to eat all that DMV BS just because I need the frickin license. They couldn't pay me enough to haul genuinely hazardous material, and there is more than enough grief available for an inconsequential, minor mishap with material no more hazardous than an otherwise normal, everyday urban environment but is classified as "hazardous" by unelected bureaucrats operating more from ideology rather than factual consideration.

Another thing that gets me is that the money machine in Sacramento has classified everything with a cab and a bed as a commercial vehicle. So, the owner of a tiny family mini pickup is slammed for higher fees than if the vehicle is a family car, but no one in that legislative three ring circus in Sacramento has yet made the equally preposterous argument that a CDL is required to drive the vehicle. However, I have no doubt that some day one of those elected village idiots will do so and the reasoning will probably have something to do with "climate change".


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