Difference between a CDL and Non-CDL Box Truck besides the GVWR?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Zan1995, May 26, 2022.

Do you think Non-CDL drivers should be exempted from having to have an Air Brakes endorsement?

  1. Yes, I don't find it necessary for Non-CDL trucks (<26,001 lbs.)

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  2. No, they shouldn't and I don't care if the truck doesn't require a CDL.

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  3. I don't know much about Air Brakes or would like to see the results.

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  1. Zan1995

    Zan1995 Bobtail Member

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    From my understanding, a Non-CDL truck can weigh up to 26,000 pounds. That means if it's exactly at 26,000, that's the maximum weight of a vehicle that you can drive without a CDL (anything beyond that will require a Class A or Class B). Strangely, I just found out that Non-CDL drivers do not need an Air Brakes endorsement, which is weird (in my opinion, they should require it regardless if the truck isn't over 26,001 pounds because a vehicle with Air Brakes takes longer to stop than a vehicle without Air Brakes).

    But in terms of controls and turns, are both trucks are pretty much the same? No differences?
     
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  3. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    I would love to see an example of a vehicle with a GVWR of exactly 26,000. In my 64 years, I have never seen one. I am not an expert on truck classes, but I don't think there are any tractor-trailer rigs using class 5 or below trucks. So in essence we are discussing class 6 through 8 trucks. Maybe @ZVar can help me explain this better, but even with a class 6 truck GVWR 19,501 - 26000 you need to also take into account the total weight of the vehicle. Also on that air brake thing. Again maybe @ZVar can help, but that is a restriction removal NOT an endorsement. I don't see Air Brakes listed anywhere in 383.93. Based on what I have read if a person is driving a CDL-required vehicle and that vehicle has air bakes you MUST not have an air brake restriction. Remember what defines a CDL. Anything over 26,001, more than 16 passengers, or anything with placarded hazmat. I have seen some of the last two CDL-required vehicles that did not have air brakes. These vehicles can be legally driven with that air brake restriction. It's confusing I know.
     
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  4. Zan1995

    Zan1995 Bobtail Member

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    Never mind, ignore it.
     
  5. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    You NEVER go by what's on the door. You go by what the maker put on the tag inside the door.
     
  6. Accidental Trucker

    Accidental Trucker Road Train Member

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    We just put a 25,999 gvwr box truck in service this week, with air brakes. Non-cdl, so he’s driving an air brake truck without taking an air brake test. I just went through basic air brake safety with the driver, leak test, valve test, brake slack measurements, auto slacks, etc. He’s good to go.

    Not sure what the question is, however.
     
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  7. Animosus

    Animosus Medium Load Member

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    Do they though? I'd like to compare hydraulic brakes to air brakes on a 26k rig and see what one you'd rather have.
     
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  8. God prefers Diesels

    God prefers Diesels Road Train Member

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    If that were ever the case, they would adjust the design of the brakes to make it equal to hydraulic. Bigger diaphragms, longer slacks, etc. Many ways to easily change the mechanical advantage. But it's not the case. A semi truck can lock up the brakes just as easily as something with hydraulic.
     
  9. flipz34

    flipz34 Light Load Member

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    I wonder if the OP is only looking at stopping distances and not taking into account the weight difference? 80000 pounds of air braked semi is never going to stop as quick as a Honda Accord from the same speed in the same conditions
     
  10. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

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    This hydraulic brake v air brake thing has always made me smile a bit. As a vehicle get larger it gets heavier and the breaking area is always going to get larger. At some point, the braking action required will be greater than the ability of a human to force the braking action. Take something like a 747. The pilots don't have the physical strength to move the control surfaces. This is why they use hydraulics powered by pumps to provide that power. You could use a hydraulic pump on a commercial vehicle I guess, but using compressed air is better. I would make some changes to part 383 if it were up to me to decide. Actually, if it were up to me I would add a 4th requirement for a CDL being ANY vehicle that uses air brakes and add the air brake questions to the general knowledge test every CDL holder must pass. But, that's me.
     
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