Renewed

Renewed. Finding time to get through the material to rewrite my commercial driver’s licence proved challenging over the past few weeks. And, with our border crossing coming up this Friday, the time to renew the licence was quickly running out.

The Ontario government changed a lot of the rules for renewing a commercial driver’s licence. Renewal is no longer automatic. You must write and pass the knowledge tests at each renewal. In my case that included the Class D knowledge test, Road Signs and the Z (Air Brake) Knowledge Test.

The thresholds for the multiple choice questions on the knowledge tests? You must get 27 correct out of 30 for the Class D, 16 correct out of 20 for the Road Signs and 16 correct out of 20 for the Z (Air Brake).

My scores?

30/30, 19/20 and 20/20.

Yes, I did miss an answer. I missed one of the road sign tests. It was this sign:

The technical explanation for the above sign:

The Maximum Tonnes Sign (differentiated by truck type) must be used on bridges where the different maximum gross weight applies to single and combination vehicles. A structural assessment of the bridge is required prior to passing a by-law authorizing the weight restrictions.

I missed the wording in one of the answers, confusing “structure” with “bridge”.

Fortunately the renewal is now in effect for five years. I do not have to worry about learning all of this truck stuff again for a little while.

Almost two thirds of the content for the Class D knowledge test had no relevance to the operation of a motorhome. I’m going to petition the Ministry of Transportation to consider a Class D restricted licence for people operating motorhomes and to eliminate the content that is specific to commercial truckers.

There is a precedent in our province: the Class A restricted licence.

Before 2008, RVers, horse trailer haulers and anyone else with a trailer over 4,600 kg or 10,000 lbs, were required to get a full Class A licence.

Ontario Licence offices would insist that the applicable road tests be conducted in Tractor Trailer rigs. Impractical and impossible for most of those drivers. And much of the content in the knowledge tests had little or no relevance to people hauling trailers for non-commercial reasons.

The Class A Restricted licence allows you to pull a trailer over 4,600 kg with the following restrictions:

  • You may not drive full size tractor-trailers
  • You may not drive a motor vehicle pulling double trailers
  • You may not drive a motor vehicle pulling a trailer with air-brakes unless you have a Z (Air Brake) endorsement
  • You may not give driver instruction to another person on a vehicle requiring full Class A privileges

All Class A requirements are still applicable such as medicals and the knowledge tests to get and keep up a Restricted Class A license.

The only reason we can operate our coach with a Class D commercial licence as opposed to a Class A restricted licence is that we tow a vehicle that is below 4,600 kg.

If we lived in another province, like British Columbia, we could operate our coach on a regular general licence with an air brake endorsement. The rules for licensing differ from province to province and state to state.

The final tally to keep my commercial driver’s licence going was about $250 for the medical, vision and knowledge tests.

I am now renewed.

Until next time.

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