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Old 04-04-2017, 08:43 PM   #1
Grzly03
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Help in Getting to CA Non-Commercial Class A Driving Test

So, I bit the bullet and finished everything required to be legal in CA towing the 3730FL, except the driving test. It is scheduled for April 13 at the San Bernardino facility and 1:00.

Is there anyone with the license indorsement around Menifee who would be wiling to ride over there with me so I don't have to sweat their alleged first question: " how did you get the rig here?" Probably 4-5 hours from leaving my house to returning. I've done this before for the Class B Non-Commercial.

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Old 04-05-2017, 08:31 AM   #2
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I would be seeking out a local trucker in your area.
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Old 04-07-2017, 03:20 PM   #3
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Grzly, How long is your truck, and how long is your 5th wheel? My long bed dually and 41-1/2 foot long Monty could not pass the driving test, because on of the maneuvers was the Alley Dock test, and unless each truck facility has their own test layout, and it is not a standard, then it could not be passed by the Class A CHP driver that escorted me to the facility.I got 4 chances to back in and not break the imaginary line on each side of the Alley dock with "ANY" part of your trailer. There is 13 feet behind my rear wheels, and there was no room to get into position to back straight up into this imaginary alley dock. When the instructor failed me, and walked back to the building, my CHP Class A driver jumped in and failed on his first two attempts, and was trying his third when they came out running and screaming for us to leave. Maybe they won't require this test at the San Bernadino facility, because they are smarter than the folks at the Sacramento facility, and realize it can't be done!! I think the layout at the Sacramento facility is designed for a short bed truck, and a 30 foot travel trailer? Good Luck. If they make you take the test, and you fail, ask one of them to show you if they can do the test and pass. I wish I would have thought of that while i was there.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:03 PM   #4
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Well, I have a short bed F-250 and the Monty is 39' 8". I also have some videos of several guys trying the alley dock at the facility I will be tested at (San Bernardino). So I have 9 days to do a little practicing, and intend to do that. Its all a matter of physics, right?

And, I have arranged for a Class A driver to accompany me to the facility, so dodged that bullet, too.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Old 04-07-2017, 09:11 PM   #5
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I wonder if they would let you bring some cones to setup on the sides of the alley dock, which were just painted lines for me. I could not see them that well. Having cones setup, might help? I don't see how this would be illegal, since a real alley dock has walls on the sides??? Good luck.
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:24 PM   #6
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I took my Class B, non-commercial test at the same facility, and they had cones. I am going there a few days before the test to see the set-up.

Just painted lines would suck!
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Old 04-07-2017, 09:36 PM   #7
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Yeah, it did suck. I would post a picture if I knew how? There was also two lines at the back end, that your rear end of your trailer had to be within without going to far. If I had got that far, I remember he said you could get out once to come back and take a look to see how much farther you had, or if you are familiar with your back up camera, you can use that. I never got the chance!
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Old 04-12-2017, 05:09 PM   #8
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I recently completed this but I am at the West Sacramento location.in Northern California. A couple of things. Be very detailed about the pre check since they are very picky about this and I mean picky- brake pads, rotors belts, hoses and remember beyond everything else the windows and lights have to be clean. Do not assume anything or that they do not see this as the same test as the commercial drivers. That being said they were pretty nice about the whole ordeal.

There system does not seem to factor in that with RV's you almost always have a spotter to help back the rig. They did have cones in addition to lines. But backing a 40 foot fifth wheel with a long bed truck is no fun. The on road portion was not bad but he kept asking me what a blue sign with a T stood for- truck route?

Good luck.
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Old 04-12-2017, 06:13 PM   #9
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Steve,

How long is your truck and trailer? Plus you said they had cones? Congrats, I missed about 4 on the pre-check, you are right, they expect you to think of everything. Make sure you have those triangle safety signs, and plenty of fire extinguishers in the Rv and the truck. I forget exactly what he dinged me on with the pre-check, probably because i was so mad my rig could not pass the alley dock test.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:57 PM   #10
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Steve: Tell us you passed and there is hope.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:06 PM   #11
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Yes Carl I did pass, after two tries. I did get the sense that they were sympathetic to RV owners who have to go through this. In retrospect it was probably worthwhile since it forced me to think about things that I had taken for granted over the years.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:15 PM   #12
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Vipermanden, I have a 2016 3790RD so the rig is 40 feet long and I have a long bed Ram 3500 so I figure the overall length is just over 50 feet. The pre check was all about brake pads, clean windshields, leaf springs (cracks, damage and attachment points) detail, detail, detail. The manual provided some clues but not as much detail. What I do not know is how much California and Nevada enforce this.
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:23 AM   #13
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DMV Non-Commercial Class A CDL

I have my driving test Tuesday at the San Bernardino office, and I am going to the facility today to check it out. Found abandoned warehouse parking lot last weekend and practiced backing 3730FL into 15' wide simulated alley dock, after watching some instructional videos online. Did it about 10 times, and feel pretty confident. Did it from a 90 degree position, one truck length from front of simulated dock. No fun, but doable.

Can't find width of testing facility dock layout.

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Old 04-14-2017, 12:39 PM   #14
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Can someone tell me what this endorsement is all about. I have a 2013 3100rl and took a written non commercial class A test, passed it and got the endorsement on my license. No driving test. It sounds brutal but is it only for rigs over a certain length?
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:49 PM   #15
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In CA, to tow a 5th wheel with a GVWR (not actual weight) between 10 and 15K you need the "41 restriction" endorsement (the written test).
Over 15K you need the non-commercial class A license which includes the driving/parking test.

I am pretty sure your 3100 has a GVWR of less than 15K and you are good to go.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:15 PM   #16
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Good to know... there goes my thoughts of upgrading to a larger unit... I am surprised how few people even know about the endorsement requirement. Even when I called highway patrol, the person I spoke with had to confer with several others in the office to find someone that knew about it. I'd be curious to know how many tickets are given out for driving without the proper license
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:30 PM   #17
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OTR10, My son is a CHP in California, and he was the one that told me "after" I bought the longest and heaviest Montana at the time last year. He said I'm pretty sure you will need to get a Non-commercial Class A license because it has a GVWR over 15k and is longer than 40 feet. I am at 17k and 41-1/2 feet with the Legacy addition to the standard 3820FK which is 40' 9 " I told him he was crazy, but as I went to the DMV and investigated, low and behold my son was right! So I called the dealer in Reno and chewed them out since they knew I was from California by one mile in North Shore Lake Tahoe, and then I called another dealer in Roseville, CA and played like I was going to buy one from them, and they said there are no restrictions? I said are you sure, and he said he was positive, so I gave him my e-mail address to send me the details, and he never did. These salesmen just want to make the sale, and let the poor buyer deal with these issues. My son said he and his fellow CHP officers would "never" pull over a 5th wheel, unless they were doing something real stupid like 10+ mph over the speed limit, etc. So since I usually head out thru Nevada to go on my trips, I will just be a criminal in 1 state out of 50, ridiculous!!
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:40 PM   #18
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DMV Non-Commercial Class A CDL

I searched everywhere online and cannot find the width of the dock backing lane on the driving test. Does anyone know. I've been practicing with 15'.

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Old 04-14-2017, 03:49 PM   #19
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I thought I remembered 11 feet, but the Class A truck driving CHP officer that went with me said he remembered pacing off 13 feet, and 38 feet long. So no part of your trailer can pass the imaginary line. Maybe you will get a friendlier test person than I did. The guy I had came out in a rice patty hat, you know the real pointed straw hats, and looks like he has never driven more than a Prius in his life, and the CHP officer with me said "Your'e screwed" He says he knows this test guy, and he goes by the book. Hope you get a guy that has some compassion for us RV people, that are probably in the lowest criminal percentage in the country? :-)
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:51 PM   #20
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It is a sad state of affairs in California- particularly with the huge tax increase recently passed on fuel and registration which will likely add an additional $500/year to my costs. One other thing, I was told is that Nevada has a similar law but a lower weight limit- something like 10,000. This may or may not be correct. I hope your son is correct about enforcement.
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