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David-and-Cheryl

Texas Class A or B License Upgrade FAQs

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5 hours ago, David-and-Cheryl said:

Also, you asked about the Chapter 6 Combinations written test. I don't think you will need to take that. Exempt licenses don't have endorsements for combinations, etc. like CDLs do, and to date nobody testing for a Class A has reported that they were required to take the Combinations test. As far as I know, the only additional written test you have to take (which you probably already did) is the air brakes test, which now seems to be required for all Class A & B exempt applicants.

Our recent Class B test did not include anything on air brakes.  It was all about the Chapter 14 Special requirements.  This was in Marble Falls.  In the skills test the examiner did want to see that the air brakes came up to full pressure.  But I bet that was more about his hide than a test.  

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6 hours ago, David-and-Cheryl said:

 I would first find out if they'll let you take a Class A driving test in just your motorhome, not towing anything at all. Drivers of larger motorhomes who tow vehicles four-down have to do this all the time, because you can't back up with the toad hitched. If they ask, just tell them that you'll be towing a large pickup truck, but you're not bringing it because it can't be backed up. 

Based on what you are posting, I have already done everything that would be required for a Class A other than the air brakes test.  As you suggest I will go in to the office in Kilgore to see what they think I need.  We will be staying at Fernbrook RV Park that is about 2 miles from that office for a couple of weeks. And we have friends with trucks and trailers locally that they may allow us to borrow. I will let everyone know what I find out.

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I was required to take the chapter 6 test for the class A, and was shown  the memo dated 5/20/18 that informed the offices of the new directive.  I studied 3 hours, learned some new things, and got 20 out of 20 correct.  And I have nowhere near a photographic memory.

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On 1/11/2019 at 8:42 AM, Pdepperschmidt said:

Over almost 2 years of investigation I have yet to find a story of someone in an RV being pulled over and ticketed for length in Texas.

Go wander over to the HDT forum. I personally know of 4 that have been stopped and ticketed. One of them was ticketed by one of my co-workers....for 68 feet. 

Edited by Big5er

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7 hours ago, Big5er said:

Go wander over to the HDT forum. I personally know of 4 that have been stopped and ticketed. One of them was ticketed by one of my co-workers....for 68 feet. 

I was wondering about that too. It seems like it would be relatively easy for a law enforcement officer to visually identify a rig that was 10 feet over the limit. Of course then if you don't have the proper class of license, you'd have two violations. 

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12 hours ago, Pdepperschmidt said:

Our recent Class B test did not include anything on air brakes.  It was all about the Chapter 14 Special requirements.  This was in Marble Falls.  In the skills test the examiner did want to see that the air brakes came up to full pressure.  But I bet that was more about his hide than a test.  

I think you're the first Class B applicant to report since the air brakes test requirement went into effect last May. I wonder if the new requirement for the air brakes test applies only to Class A applicants? Not sure why that would be, since most exempt Class As are pickups (without air brakes) towing large trailers, while most Class Bs are motorhomes, many of which have air brakes. 

More likely, you just got lucky with an office that forgot about the new requirement. I'd be sure to study the air brakes section of the driver's manual before going for your Class A test, although it sounds like you're familiar with those topics anyway.

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1 hour ago, David-and-Cheryl said:

I was wondering about that too. It seems like it would be relatively easy for a law enforcement officer to visually identify a rig that was 10 feet over the limit. Of course then if you don't have the proper class of license, you'd have two violations. 

Yes, they could.  Then the word would get out that they enforce these types of violations and the RV's start to avoid those states and areas taking their money with them.  My guess is that is why you rarely hear of them being enforced.  Not all states have the same restrictions.  

They had the same issue with aircraft in a lot of states.  Some money hungry states would try to charge sales/property tax for the aircraft when it was in a local shop for repairs.  The easy answer is, don't go there.  Many states backed off when they realized it was putting people out of business.  

Edited by Pdepperschmidt
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1 minute ago, Pdepperschmidt said:

Then the word would get out that they enforce these types of violations and the RV's start to avoid those states and areas taking their money with them.

That would only impact the RV that is operating over length. We tiny trailer people just smile and wave as we go past!   😁

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35 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

That would only impact the RV that is operating over length. We tiny trailer people just smile and wave as we go past!   😁

People with long trailers are typically hauling something expensive to shows, events, races, etc.  It's about money.  If the race people can't bring their equipment without hassle, that race/ car show/ event may not last long.  Even the small rigs will get the picture that RV's are targets in that state.  It does not have to be true.  Rumors and myths are much more powerful than the truth.

There is a rig here that is about the same length as mine.  He is carrying a car worth more than his very expensive coach.  We discussed the licenses and he had never heard of them.  He has been hauling these types of things around Texas for the last 10 years.  

Edited by Pdepperschmidt
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My 2018 F350 has a GVWR of 14000 lbs. My 5er has a GVWR of 20000 lbs and has a dry weight of 16000 lbs. Looking at the chart it appears I don't need the Class A license. Am I correct? I've been going on the assumption I need the Class A.

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2 hours ago, txtinman said:

My 2018 F350 has a GVWR of 14000 lbs. My 5er has a GVWR of 20000 lbs and has a dry weight of 16000 lbs. Looking at the chart it appears I don't need the Class A license. Am I correct? I've been going on the assumption I need the Class A.

What chart did you look at?  The total GVWR of your truck and trailer is 34000 lbs, which is 8000 lbs over the limit of 26000 lbs.  That, coupled with the fact that your trailer exceeds 10000 lbs means that you would need the Class A license in Texas.

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9 minutes ago, chirakawa said:

What chart did you look at?  The total GVWR of your truck and trailer is 34000 lbs, which is 8000 lbs over the limit of 26000 lbs.  That, coupled with the fact that your trailer exceeds 10000 lbs means that you would need the Class A license in Texas.

Well I feel pretty stupid. It seems I added 14000 and 20000 and came up with 24000. I hope there's no math questions on the exam.🙄

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4 hours ago, Pdepperschmidt said:

People with long trailers are typically hauling something expensive to shows, events, races, etc.  It's about money.  If the race people can't bring their equipment without hassle, that race/ car show/ event may not last long.  Even the small rigs will get the picture that RV's are targets in that state.  It does not have to be true.  Rumors and myths are much more powerful than the truth.

There is a rig here that is about the same length as mine.  He is carrying a car worth more than his very expensive coach.  We discussed the licenses and he had never heard of them.  He has been hauling these types of things around Texas for the last 10 years.  

I do not know where you get the impression that people with long trailers are hauling " something expensive to shows, events, races, etc". but that is not really correct, plus if they are hauling something expensive to a race then they may need a DOT number, a CDL and several other things. You claimed to have done over 2 years of research looking for an RV being ticketed for over length, yet you never asked in the HDT forum. There are a few there that have been ticketed for over length and a whole lot of over length RV's there that haul nothing other than their home, certainly not anything "expensive to shows, events, races, etc".  I stop racers disguised as RV'ers all day long. I haven't seen them or real RV'ers avoiding my area so it appears that both your opinion about what long RV's haul and them avoiding certain areas may not be as accurate as you want to believe. I do know some over length RV'ers that avoid my area but as Kirk pointed out, there are tons of RV's that are not concerned since they aren't over length. Your analogy is like saying speed enforcement will make people avoid an area. I think it simply makes them drive the speed limit in that area....or the speeders are just willing to take their chances since the odds of being stopped are very very slim.  
As far as RV's being stopped and ticketed for the wrong class of license there has to be a reason for an officer to stop them. It has nothing to do with the cost of the drivers car or his "very expensive coach". As long as they aren't driving like some sort of fool and/or aren't visibly violating the law or crashing their RV, they will not get stopped and therefore will never be cited for the DL issue. Being over length, on the other hand, is a visible violation but if you ask the average police officer he is too busy running from call to call to take notice of the length of a vehicle. Now your specialized DOT units and the Highway Patrol are totally different, but their numbers are much smaller than regular patrolmen. 

Edited by Big5er

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I'm going nuts with this license issue for Texas.  So, if my tow vehicle has a GVWR of 11,500 and a fifth wheel with a GVWR of 11,500, no class A license is required?  My logic is that to qualify for a Class A, your total GVWR must be OVER 26,000 AND have a towed vehicle over 9,999.  My total GVWR is 23,000, so I don't meet the first requirement. 

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2 hours ago, GhTh said:

I'm going nuts with this license issue for Texas.  So, if my tow vehicle has a GVWR of 11,500 and a fifth wheel with a GVWR of 11,500, no class A license is required?  My logic is that to qualify for a Class A, your total GVWR must be OVER 26,000 AND have a towed vehicle over 9,999.  My total GVWR is 23,000, so I don't meet the first requirement. 

You are correct. You can drive the rig you described with just a normal Class C license. It would fall into the third line of the chart in the original post: tow vehicle <= 26k, towed vehicle (trailer) > 10k, and combined <= 26k.

David

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9 hours ago, Big5er said:

Here is a flow chart that may help. It says "CDL" but the weight listed is the same for the class of drivers license needed for an RV. 

The chart in the original post is probably easier to parse, since it does not include the CDL-specific limitations. Also, it's directly from the Texas regulations, although at a glance it looks like Oklahoma's is similar.

Here's the chart again for reference. Find the GVWR of your tow vehicle or motorhome in the first column, the GVWR of your trailer or toad in the second column, and the combined GVWR in the third column. The last column shows the license class you need.

Texas%20Driver%20License%20Class%20Requi

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Hi there, just wanted to take the time and say many thanks for this thread. I have used this information to hopefully obtain my class A license for our 29.5k truck/5er combo. 

I went to the Veterans Memorial megacenter this past Wednesday morning. I arrived about 10 minutes before opening time and got my ticket to wait. After 3 hours of saying was able to approach a window and then do my best at explaining what I wanted and then tell them what was required. Using this forum I already had the necessary paperwork and knew which tests were required. Scanned my prints, took a new photo, tested my eyes and paid my money. I was then sent to a computer to take the 2 tests on section 6 and 14. Missed one question in total and spent 10 minutes tops to take both tests. I now have a driving skills test scheduled for that same location in 2 weeks. 

 

I am extremely stressed over this skills test as I am no full timer just a weekend warrior and most definitely not a professional driver. I’m considering changing my driving test to a different location. I’m wondering if anyone has experience at this veterans memorial location. 

 

Thanks again for for all of this super helpful information. 

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2 hours ago, ShaunB said:

I am extremely stressed over this skills test as I am no full timer just a weekend warrior and most definitely not a professional driver. I’m considering changing my driving test to a different location. I’m wondering if anyone has experience at this veterans memorial location. 

Shaun, I'm glad you found the post and thread helpful.

I can't shed any light on the testing at that location. But really, don't stress over the driving skills test. The maneuvers are basically like the regular Class C test, except that you're taking it in your rig. Drive carefully and don't hit anything, and you should be fine. :) Good luck.

David

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3 hours ago, TexasPSDX said:

Needing to get Class B license to drive my motorhome.  I know I take Sec. 14 test, but do I also have to take Sec. 6 Towables for my Class B license?

I don't know for sure with the Class B.

As of last spring, all Class A applicants are required to take the Texas CDL Combinations Test, which covers the material found in Section 6 of the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicles Drivers Handbook. It would make sense that this would not be required for Class B applicants, since most Class B vehicles are so classified because of the weight of the powered vehicle (the motorhome itself), and not because they're towing anything. But "make sense" and "Texas DPS" don't always belong in the same sentence. ;) I'd suggest being prepared for the Combinations Test just in case. It's not that much more work to study for it.

Please let us know whether you do or do not have to take the Combinations Test so I can update the information for others. Thanks and good luck.

David

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