Thursday, October 28, 2010

CDL A Licences Versus CDL B

Do you know what delineates a CDL A driver from a CDL B driver? 
It is the source of much confusion, opinion and a lot of misinformation. 
Our local Ops Manager was at our store today - he has been sick and didn't want to be far from home, I guess, in case he needed to leave. 
We're all busy about our duties - though I wasn't driving, stuck at the store with no deliveries but plenty to do there anyway - when he asks me about the difference.  A manager at one of our stores in New Mexico had hired a driver for an International 7600 series, 10 wheel-dual drive axle truck mounted with flatbed. 

He had not checked whether this driver was actually qualified to drive that truck.  This driver has a CDL B license.   Ummmm, I'm sorry, hiring drivers without checking whether they are qualified to drive the vehicle they will be driving?  Especially in the world of trucking?  Are you crazy?!!!  What kind liability would the put the company under in case of any accident.  If an unqualified driver was caught - well - he would definitely not be driving that vehicle from the point of being stopped by the law enforcement officer. 

Back to my store, well, I knew the answer but I told him I needed to check.  Why?  They change stuff with CDL regulations so much, you never know if your information is good or not.  I got on the FMCSA site and found the information in very short order.   The difference is a tractor-trailer rig, basically, versus a single vehicle with no trailer attached - or is it?  No, it isn't that.  A Class A CDL (Commercial Driver's License) is required for combination vehicles. 

Ahhh, it's easier just to copy and paste, the info is readily available:

Classes of License:

The Federal standard requires States to issue a CDL to drivers according to the following license classifications:

Class A -- Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Class B -- 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.

Pretty simple, yes?  Clearly understood, yes?  Then why all the confusion?  I had a manager tell me today at the main warehouse that I was wrong, if a truck has 2 axles on the rear, it also needs a CDL A .  Not right.  Sorry, thanks for playing, please go home now.  The number of axles is irrelevant.  I explained it to the Ops manager - but yes - I also printed out a sheet and gave it to him.  Well why not?  Management SHOULD know the requirements of what amounts to federally licensed drivers that is GREATLY regulated. 
The difference?  The vehicle being towed, if there is such.  Mostly, 10 wheelers aren't towing trailers.  I'm just saying that in general terms, there are plenty of dump trucks out there towing heavy trailers and many other scenarios as well. 
The manager also argued that a DOT officer had told one of our drivers that the setup he had required a CDL-A license.  I simply replied that if it was that trailer out there with tandems on it (two axles), it's probably rated WELL above 10,000 pounds and that's why that officer said that.  It took a while, but this manager finally let up. 
So, after reading that, can you tell me what the difference is?  It's really only about trailers, to get to brass tacks.  If the vehicle is pulling a trailer that has a gross vehicle weight under 10,000 pounds, you only need a CDL B license.  If the vehicle is pulling a trailer that has a gross vehicle weight over 10,000 pounds, need a Class A license.  ANY semi trailer out there is going to be WELL over 10,000 pounds.  If it's a single vehicle rated at over 26,001 pounds, then it's a Class B.  If it's under that, it's not a commercial license - unless it has air brakes. 
You want to talk regulations, just go to the government's site - FMSCA - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - you're going to read a long, long, long, long time if you want to go through ALL of that. 
Good luck with that. 

FaceBook Friends/Discount Tire

So, whoever wants to be Facebook friends - as was talked about in a previous post - that would be cool.  I am not giving out my personal info on here, but I'm sure there's some way to identify who is who through other means so that Facebook friend requests can be sent.

Okay, so, the old Buick has a pretty bad vibration.  I figure tires, what else could it be?  It could be a lot of things, but that car sat for what - 1-1/2 years?  I take it to Discount Tire.  The guy points at both front tires and says they are sun rotted and is probably the issue. Yes, I have driven semis with rotted tires, the tires come apart, actually, they blow up. 

Case in point:  JB Hunt.  I was doing that local job for them here in Phoenix.  They had just started a new contract so all of us drivers were new to the company.  They gave us OLD tractors.  I mean, they were 8 or 10 years old.  The tractor I ended up with had severely dry-rotted tires.  I pointed it out to several individuals that could do anything about it within the company - nothing.  I informed them that driving that truck on the freeway, fully loaded at 40 tons in 115 degree heat?  They are going to come apart.

They didn't want to listen.  I'm driving down the Superstition 60 at 65 MPH - the speed limit.  One of those tires literally exploded. took out the quarter panel.  It didn't cause any steering problems, but the cars around me were sliding SIDEWAYS on the freeway.  The explosion sounded like a bomb going off, these people were not expecting that and it caught them by surprise.  Fortunately, no crashes.  This occured 3 times before - yes - they replaced the tires on the truck.  It cost them far more money to not put on new tires than it did to hold out.

However, Discount Tire quoted me $185 for 2 tires.  My gosh!!! What is THAT all about?  The cheapest tire they had was $65. That means $55 for taxes, fees and whatever else.  Unbelievable.  No thanks.  I asked if they had any used tires, no.  Okay, well sorry to waste your time, I am not spending that much more money on this car. 

Tomorrow I will call every Discount Tire within 15 miles and see if any of them have a couple of good, used versions.  I have gotten some very nice used tires from Discount in the past. 

So, whatever.  Tomorrow is Friday. I was not able to leave work early today (I am 2 hours over my allotted amount per week) so, maybe tomorrow.  But, tomorrow is month end, I think.  Month end as in business days left in the month, not actually the 31st.  They are pretty rigid about the hours, only if it is completely unavoidable will I ever get any "OT", which it really isn't because it still wouldn't go over 40 hours. 

So, that's it.  I have nothing more.  Computer is on hold - til' I decide that I can really unload the much money and be comfortable with it.  Or, of course, this computer shuts down permanently.  This machine actually turns itself off now without warning.  I mean, I will be doing something on the internet and kabaam, it's done.  It turns itself back on, but, it isn't a good sign and yes, that's a new one on me. 



Thursday October 28, 2010


The Beggar Bashers. That's what I'm calling them. They are people who go on certain Craigslist boards and just REAM - ANYONE - that goes on there asking for help, even if it's only asking for food. I decided to take a stand against these "people" and got reamed for doing so. Lol. But now, the beggar bashers branding is taking hold and others are catching onto it. If people want to ask for help, let them! If no-one helps them, oh well!

Just thought I'd throw that in there. I occasionally help people with food - not money - but haven't really been doing it in the last several months as my electric bills soared and water usage also went through the roof.

I had thoughts of doing something for Thanksgiving, undecided on that one. Some years I have cooked a couple of turkeys and all the fixings and given it out to the poor people who are living in my own community - there are PLENTY of poor folks around there. I'm as of yet undecided about tripping down to dad's place for Thanksgiving or going down there for Christmas. Caleb is the key factor here- I would rather he go with, he doesn't get to see his grandpa much, he's growing up and soon, he simply won't have time for it. Get out of high school and go into college, plus working? Free time will be very limited.

I've pretty much given in to the fact that I won't even be seeing him that much, let alone anyone else. He's growing up, he's a good kid, his life seems to be taking a good course, that's all I can ask, the rest I have to pray and ask God for.

Umm, well I got off track there, now didn't I? I tend to do that, lol. Anyway, get closer to Thanksgiving and I will be forced to make a decision.

Which also poses another "problem". I have been hearing that Black Friday might just net some crazy deals on computer components. That's quite a ways off, though, like almost a month. I'm not sure I want to wait that long, number one and number two, even if I do, will they have what I want on sale?

That kind of threw my plans into chaos as I started wondering if I was going to miss some incredible deals.

Whatever the case, the work day approaches and I must be offa here.



Well I get a day off. Whether I go back out tomorrow remains to be seen. Right now? I/d be happy for a couple of days off, even if it means ...