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Old 01-30-2024, 03:03 PM   #1
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Class "A" bus

So I learned what a class "A" passenger bus is today. No it is not like what a class "A" rv is.

I learned a class "A" passenger bus, under Florida FLHSMV, a class "a" bus is a combination unit, a separate power unit with a detachable trailer behind it that is setup for transporting passengers.

Back in the day these were commonly found in large amusement attraction such as Disney,

Are these things still even in exist today?

Well I found out, the hard way, If you have a Class "A" cdl with the "P" passenger endorsement, you still can't drive one of these busses in Florida?

Nuts I say!

Does anyone know where one of these busses might still be in active use?

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Old 01-30-2024, 03:44 PM   #2
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It's probably one of those buses you have to capture as they get rid of them in the amusement parks, and they'll probably be so worn down you'll need to do full axle replacements on them, not to mention the rubber walls used to connect the bodies are probably not purchasable if in bad shape, and they likely will be from time.

Also the Join in the middle that connects the back half may need some rework as well if you found one. They are probably so run down they don't even try to resell them and just scrap them.
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Old 01-30-2024, 03:52 PM   #3
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Never heard of that. Where is it exactly cited in the FLHSMV handbook? AFAIK class a buses were always referred to those built on van chassis and typically have a driver's door. Class B was similar to a, but usually bigger and typically without the driver's door. C was a conventional school bus with a hood. D was a fe/re transit style bus.

I remember when I was a kid seeing something similar to what you describe in a book, but the unit pictured was an autocar built cabover semi pulling a metro bus styled trailer. Not sure if these were used at highway speeds or just 20-30 mph. Not really sure what class it would fall under. Probably articulated motorcoach, but I'm not sure.
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:02 PM   #4
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The official name for that bus type are "Articulated" Buses.

You can net one in Europe for roughly 7 grand used.

Most of them are in Germany and Netherlands. Not many in the States, which is likely why we don't see them often.

Boris Johnson banned them in 2011 in England so you won't see any new ones there.
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:06 PM   #5
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All that may be true but that's not why I am interested in knowing where one might be.

You see, Florida recently (2022) changed the CDL restriction codes.

Before 2022 there was no special endorsement to drive this type of bus other than the standard "A" & "P" endorsement.

Well now they created the "M" restriction which did not exist before.

The FLHSMV argument is that since there are no longer any class "a" passenger busses registered in Florida someone created this restriction that now allows for some confusion.

I have been a CDL driver since early 1990, all the endorsements with no restrictions.

Today, If I got a job driving that bus in Florida I could not do it with my current (full) CDL.

I argued that

a) you cannot restrict something that does not exist. there was never a special license in order to drive that type of bus.

In fact, with my class "A&P" I COULD drive that bus on Florida roads.

So I put them up to the wall and told them I have a bus in Texas that I am restoring and will be registering it in Florida, just to see what they would say or do.

I was told that I can register it but I could not drive it with my Florida CDL license on Florida roads. Someone with an out of state license (A&P endorsements) could drive it since it was not a restriction in their home state.

This makes no sense at all!

I then asked, what if say an employer, tours or farm equipment company stationed those type of units here for commercial work, can I drive it? Was told no, I could not!

b) I also argued if this was the new way of doing things in Florida then I should be grandfathered in since I already had the right to drive this type of vehicle combination. Waiting for an answer on that point.

c) I also asked and argued on how will they respond if I did have a bus configuration like that and I showed up for an cdl endorsement for that type of unit what endorsement would they give me? They had no answer.

If they have NO endorsement allowing then how could they create an restriction on your drivers license?

So basically, Florida is slowly turning into a dark communist state!

Does anyone else know if their state has such a CDL license restricton?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf restriction_memo_021422.pdf (1,017.2 KB, 2 views)
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:15 PM   #6
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BTW, school busses and greyhound style busses are considered as a class "B" endorsement (with a P of course)
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:28 PM   #7
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Request for Action- CVSA.org

This issue looks like was picked up by the CVSA.org folks.

More info here => https://www.cvsa.org/search-issues/entry/63496/

It also looks like they started to take some action on this...
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Old 01-30-2024, 04:36 PM   #8
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Class A Passenger Vehicles are treated as a restriction rather than an endorsement.
Not only is this approach inconsistent with other FMCSA regulations, it is almost impossible to remove as there is only one ELDT provider in the nation that has a vehicle to provide such training.

I wonder who/where is that ONE ELDT provider is located at?

If anyone knows off or finds any info, in their state, on what are the endorsement requirements for a class A passenger vehicle are please let me know!
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Old 01-31-2024, 07:42 AM   #9
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I don't know, but interesting take none the less. Honestly I'd probably just risk driving it with your CDL, and if a cop ever pulled you over, I highly doubt he's gonna question your CDL. He's not going to understand the class requirements fully, he's just going to see CDL and probably let you go about your way honestly. Unless that is you did something wrong then he'd ticket you for your wrong and let you go about your way, not citing you for improper license. The cops are too stupid to know most of the time honestly.
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Old 02-07-2024, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post

I learned a class "A" passenger bus, under Florida FLHSMV, a class "a" bus is a combination unit, a separate power unit with a detachable trailer behind it that is setup for transporting passengers.


Are these things still even in exist today?

Does anyone know where one of these busses might still be in active use?
I have seen just such a unit being used in Zion national park.
Although the ones there have a powered unit with a driver some seats and a non powered (trailer) unit that is full of seats. The ones there use a ball hitch., however it looked like it had a 3 or 4 inch ball. Both the tow bus and trailer looked like they were same length
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Old 02-08-2024, 08:13 AM   #11
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I don't have answers but want to applaud you trying to impose common sense to the government! haha
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Old 02-08-2024, 04:14 PM   #12
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Just curious, if you don't have one and they don't exist, what does it matter weather your CDL is legal to drive it?
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Old 02-08-2024, 04:52 PM   #13
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Just curious, if you don't have one and they don't exist, what does it matter weather your CDL is legal to drive it?
If I was only thinking of myself, then yes it does not matter.

After looking into this a bit more there are several issues at hand here.

So let me start by saying, it is already illegal to drive a class "A" vehicle with passengers in the trailer. That much is clear.

Their is NO CDL classification in existence for a class A passenger vehicle, no definition exists under FMCSA or state laws, that I can find.

So what type of drivers license in existence today allows you to drive such a unit?

FMSCA has no answer, Florida has no answer....can you find a state that has an answer? I can't.

So basically with a Class "A" license which allows you to drive a combination unit over 26k lbs., you can drive a power unit pulling a trailer. Remember, no passengers allowed in a trailer!

With a passenger "P" endorsement you can drive units made to carry 15+ passengers.

In a vehicle that was specifically designed as a power unit with a trailer designed for passengers, there is no endorsement and currently only one service provider that does CDL required training for such a unit.

Now that one unit still in existence has been potentially identified, how do you get a license to drive it today? In Florida, as in many other states, you can't!

Since it was already illegal to have passengers in a trailer, creating this new restriction on your CDL can and will create confusion and depending on the LEO involved and the depth of their knowledge, you may get your unit towed and could possibly get arrested.

This is what FLHSMV states"
Quote:
Class A Requirements – To operate trucks or truck combinations weighing 26,001 lbs or more, and towing a vehicle/unit over 10,000 lbs, a Class A license is required.

So follow me on this, your driving your bus that is still not re-titled as an RV or motorhome, still says bus. Your pulling a trailer with your motorcycle, golf cart or whatever...

First, you are over 10,000 lbs, bus is designed to carry passengers and you have a trailer. Technically speaking, you could be viewed as in violation of this new restriction. This is not a Florida restriction, this is a national FMCSA/DOT restriction.


So you have a class "A" but the restriction is in direct conflict of the wording on the restriction, "No CLASS A PASSENGER VEHICLES".

One problem lies in the lack of a legal definition of a Class "A" passenger vehicle.

Then there is the scenario that many employers clearly state that the want drivers with NO RESTRICTIONS on their CDL. well guess what, I got one now!

Now what if as a bus enthusiast, like all of us here, purchases a bus, restores it to it's original beauty and glory, you can't drive it because their is no "Endorsement" to allow you to legally drive it


Caddilackid still drives a bus with ALL the passenger seats in it but only for personaal use, not for commercial use.

So now he hooks up a trailer, is over 10,000 lbs. get the picture?

Then he get's pulled over and an A-hole LEO tows his bus, gives him a couple of tickets and takes him off to jail..... all because the FMCSA muddied up the laws!

This is a lousy example of how government tries to take control of something and only creates more problems.

So your initial thought, if you don't have one and they don't exist, what does it matter weather your CDL is legal to drive it, is right on target but one of the other problems with scenario's like this, if no one notices and no one complains then soon we will all be corralled into a pen, told to shut up and blindly comply.

WHY?

So let me finish by saying that if these "trailer busses" no longer exist and hauling passengers is already illegal within a towed trailer, why create this restriction???

Fortunately this issue and these same concerns are already being addressed by the trucking associations. What will the outcome be???

PIC: Zion Nat'l Park Class "A" passenger bus ??
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-th...-59557520.html

WIKI Trailer bus info -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trailer_bus

I don't know but I refuse to just sit down, shut up and blindly comply!
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Old 02-08-2024, 05:17 PM   #14
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California recognizes "Trailer bus"

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/handbo...%20endorsement.

With a Commercial Class A License:
Any legal combination of vehicles, including vehicles under Class B and Class C. any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. any trailer bus, with endorsement OR more than 1 vehicle, with endorsement.


Does your state recognize "Trailer bus"?
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Old 02-08-2024, 07:21 PM   #15
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Okay, according to the federal register, a class "A" license holder CAN drive a class "A" passenger vehicle.

The caveat I found so far is the the ELDT places new rules restricting this but it clearly states on the website that the ELDT is NOT retroactive and applies to the Commercial license permits on or after Feb. 07, 2022.

So if you were licensed before this date, you should be grandfathered in!

I am working with the help desk manager, commercial vehicle and driver services (FLHSMV) here in Florida and have dumped this onto his lap. I am curious to see what the response will be.

https://tpr.fmcsa.dot.gov/Drivers/Applicability

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-49/section-383.91

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Old 02-09-2024, 01:49 PM   #16
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Group B of your picture there has the bus in question.

Also a License is legally not required under the constitution. There have been court cases which have proven this and if you know the name of the court cases you can cite them to an officer and they have to let you go. The court case ruled that the constitution has been interpreted as Free interstate travel as being able to use any means of transportation used of the day. This can include anything with such a broad statement which is the point of the constitution Free travel laws. Trucks, buses, cars, motorcycles, are all used for interstate travel and are to be unrestricted in that travel unless suspected of a criminal offense.

A license is a restriction if you do not have one and therefore nullified. The kicker here is you have to know and understand these laws well enough to defend your position.

Also telling an illegal alien who are now allowed to wear a police badge this will never understand what you are explaining to them and they will try to foot stomp you for resisting arrest.

I'll ask these questions for you to ponder:
What is the point of a license?
Safety, and to show that someone has learned how to drive. This is still not a good enough excuse to restrict someone from interstate travel. Remember Free travel is a constitutional right, it doesn't state if they have a license, only using the means of the day which can also be nearly any vehicle.

You may not know this but illegal aliens aren't required to have drivers licenses either. They are never cited for not having a license. They only cite Natural Born Americans because we don't know our rights!

One could argue it's common sense to have a license so we all go along with it, but if we run into a situation that isn't covered such as EWO1 here is pointing out, the screw it. I'm not going to wait on the government to figure out the common sense laws as that is also a restriction in and of itself. So go about your business and travel freely.

Am I against a licensing system? Of course not. I knew a buddy who got rear ended by an illegal alien who had no business being behind the wheel of a car and hurt my friends back in a bad way. There are numerous reasons for having a license, and I agree with most of them, and I believe a licensing system does make the road safer, however, if the code doesn't have it's **** in order, then oh well. Go about your business and drive that vehicle if it's required.
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