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Old 10-04-2019, 02:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2019
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Air Brakes and CDL - Colorado

I am curious as to what the legal status is on having air brakes on a bus registered in Colorado with a GVWhatever of less that 26,001 lbs? I know in some states it's legal to drive a vehicle with air brakes without a CDL as long as you fall under the gross weight thingy.

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Old 10-04-2019, 05:05 AM   #2
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Federal guideline is under 26k you're fine on a non-commercial license. Things that make under 26k require commercial license is passenger capacity over 15 (quite possible) or combination which trailer is over 10k (possible bit less likely). Once commercial license is required, air brake is an additional endorsement for air brake equipped vehicles. If none of the other factors are there then air brakes alone shouldn't require commercial license at the federal level. That being said, states may have their own non-commercial endorsements. For example, I learned last year that some RV owners in Texas are expected to get a non-commercial combination endorsement for a large fifth wheel RV because of its weight. A state specific endorsement requirement, while perhaps similar to a CDL requirement, does not in itself represent a CDL requirement.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:16 AM   #3
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texas air brakes

I have a class B non cdl with air brakes in texas because my bus is over 26k

the DMV people thought I would need a CDL until I showed them the page in their own manual that says otherwise.
The air brake test takes about 3 minutes, no driving required.
my bus thread,
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:21 AM   #4
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In Oregon, you don't need a CDL or air brake endorsement as long as it has been re-titled as an RV. Not everywhere is as easygoing
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Old 10-05-2019, 11:52 AM   #5
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You must have a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) to operate
Any commercial motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more
Any commercial vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
Any vehicle transporting hazardous material and is required to be placarded in accordance with 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F
What do I Need to Obtain a CDL?
Valid driver license from Colorado or another state or a commercial permit
Current DOT medical card - find a FMCSA Certified Medical Examiner in your area
Your Social Security number
Commercial drive skills test completion form dated within 60 days (if turning your commercial instruction permit into a CDL)
If you want to add a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL, you will need to successfully pass the HAZMAT written exam and provide a current TSA background check every time you purchase a CDL
Applicable fee
Classes of Commercial Licenses
Class A - combination vehicles - consists of any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds
Class B - straight trucks and light combinations - consists of any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any such vehicle towing a vehicle which does not have a GVWR in excess of 10,000 pounds
Class C - single vehicles less than 26,001 GVWR - consists of any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that do not meet the definition of a Class A or B commercial vehicle, but that transports 16 or more passengers (including the driver) OR is placarded for transportation of hazardous materials

Which vehicles are exempt from requiring a CDL?
Recreational vehicles such as a motorhome
Military vehicles driven by military personnel
Firefighting equipment
Emergency snow plows used during emergency snow removal operations
Farm vehicles when controlled and operated by a farmer within 150 miles of the person’s farm
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:03 PM   #6
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No mention of brakes anywhere in there, so looks like OP is good to go in Colo. In Ga. a standard Class"C" license allows operation of "All Recreation Vehicles", regardless of weight or brake system.
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air, brakes, cdl, colorado

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