Trailer towing licensee

Discussion in 'The Woodshed' started by ScoobyDoo, Nov 6, 2016.

Should there be a test to prove you can safely hook up and tow a trailer before you can get on the s

  1. Skill and safety

  2. Safety only

  3. Skill only

  4. We don't need any tests.

  1. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

    May 21, 2010
    Sutter Creek CA
    Believe it or not, California , as do many other states, already have licensing requirements for certain trailers in place. None of which apply to a pop up camper, or any other trailer under 10,000 lbs GVWR. In 21 years of law enforcement, I have yet to have contact with someone (except commercial license holders) who are properly licensed for the combination of vehicles they are operating other than those who posses a normal driver's license and incidentally pulling a light trailer.

    Any pull trailer or RV travel trailer over 10,000 lbs GVWR or any fifth wheel RV over 15,000 lbs GVWR: non commercial class A license required. Written test, skills and road test. Modified medical certificate required.

    Any fifth wheel RV 10,000-15,000 lbs GVWR: Restricted class C license required (this amounts to a written test and a self certification medical).

    Any stock trailer 10,000-15,000 lbs GVWR operated by a rancher or farmer within 100 miles of farm or ranch: Class C license required. No tests.

    Any vehicle towing more than one trailer: Commercial Class A with doubles endorsement. Note: No vehicle other than a truck over 4,000 lbs may draw more than one trailer.

    The caveat to the farm exemption is that it must be loaded with stock animals and within 100 miles of the ranch. Put an ATV or pleasure riding horse in that trailer and you loose the exemption. Have a horse trailer with RV quarters in it. No exemption. You need a class A. pulling a triple axle toy hauler, your gonna need a class A. Anyone who thinks a goose neck and fifth wheel are the same connection, nope. No exemption, need a class A if over 10,000 lbs GVWR. A goose neck is mechanically a ball hitch so it is at the same level as a pull trailer on the back end.

    So, I don't find anyone complying or even knowing about these existing requirements. implementing a requirement for lesser equipment would be moot, However based upon my experiences, it is needed and would advocate some sort of program like the motorcycle training requirement to fulfill it.

    Happy Campin'
  2. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    No sense doing anything right now. As soon as everyone has self driving cars, they will have self driving campers.
  3. yetavon

    yetavon everything is better around a campfire.

    Mar 11, 2010
    I am one who feels that we don't need the big brother intruding in our lives, but after 30 years in emergency services....Big brother needs to work on educating the idiots not protecting them. The fact that someone that never as much as pulled a little utility trailer can go and buy a 40 foot 20,000lbs 5th wheel and just take off down the road with nothing more than 10 minutes instruction from the dealer... Having to at least take a knowledge test to get an endorsement to register a camper over a weight/length limit.
  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    I voted no because it seems like a solution to a problem that doesn't really need one. Why punish the majority for the actions of a few?
  5. Ryanm

    Ryanm New Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    I voted no. Actually "We don't need any tests," which is not quite accurate. As long as anyone who can fill out the forms can get a regular license, there's not much point in raising the bar for trailers.

    Besides, trailers aren't all that hard to figure out.

    But thank's for the pic of the breakaway chains, Tom Biasi. Awesome!
  6. Keith Hawkins

    Keith Hawkins Active Member

    Mar 8, 2015
    Actually, this is not so much a case of a person who is uneducated in towing. What this actually is, is a person who thinks "if the trailer disconnects from the trailer hitch, I do not want to rely on the chains and damage my vehicle". Connecting the chains in this manner will fool any police, Mounties, State Troopers into thinking the chains are connected as they get passed.

    I have actually seen this in the past and tried to explain the proper procedures on hooking the chains up and that was the answer given.

    Total disregard for anyone's safety.
  7. Doctorphate

    Doctorphate New Member

    Sep 26, 2016
    I voted yes because I've seen way too many idiots towing retarded shit. I saw a Jeep JK towing what was atleast 25000lbs boat the other day, I almost wanted to follow him just to see the look of confusion when he gets pulled over by the OPP/MTO.

    I also think there should be retests required for your drivers test every 10 years or so. The amount of people that turn left and go into the far right lane or turn right and go into the far left lane, or STOP at yield signs, or blow through stop signs, or don't know how to use a roundabout properly, etc is proof that retests are a good idea.

    Testing isn't just a cash grab for the government, it's for our safety. And before I get someone saying "I should be able to decide for myself, blah blah, freedom, murica" let's remember that next time your son or daughter is out there driving on the roads, that some retard is towing a 25,000lbs boat trailer combo with a short wheelbase jeep and will eventually lose control. Testing is important just like how you need a safety course for a gun. Its not for YOUR safety, I don't give a shit if you blow your own face off, I care about whether you blow your child's face off.
  8. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

    Aug 23, 2016
    I have only been looking at this site for about 21/2 months, have seen at least 2 threads where people have posted there trailer "somehow came unhooked" and did damage. And then others always chime in "it happened to me to". Somebody that had never towed before might get the idea that dropping a trailer is a normal part of towing. Most say they where able to get hooked back up, and continue on their way. To me this is real scary. Sure, if you are depending on luck to do it right, maybe the luck will be better the second time, but if it was equipment failure did you learn how to inspect it? And it is apparently bad form to point out that a moving trailer, unguided by a TV, can be a hazard to anybody. If your trailer comes unhooked, and the only damage is to your stuff, nobody hurt, nobody to sue, you are lucky!
    Yes, but at least the idiot has shown at least once the knew, and the state has something to revoke. There is a chance of punishment.
    Is it better to protect U-Haul's business model, or somebody walking the side of road?
    At the most basic. Also something about stopping distance. Maybe what lights are needed for the size of trailer. What safety equipment do you need to carry.
    IMHO, closer to rocket science than sex. The fumbling around for a newbe to get it figured it out was a lot more fun [:D] Hooking up is simple, and I don't think it would take much of a test to prove you could do it. What I fear is that in a society where I'm more important than anybody else, and this trailer unhooking will not hurt my family means no need to be sure I'm doing it right, or learning to do it right.
    Maybe a driver should know how all that stuff works. But the fact is all that stuff works even if the driver takes no action, or if the action of the driver is totally unsafe. Turning a corner without curbing the tire takes a positive action by the driver.
    Not sure who you are addressing, thousands of people hook up daily, and most of them stay hooked up until stopped. Lack of enforcement is a problem.
    This would do what? Transfer testing duty to the dealer? Would it not be better for the dealer just look at a paper that shows that has no interest in the sale was convinced the buyer knew what he needed to know?
    As a matter of fact, a style of coupler was built in 1940 that if it was set on the ball anyplace other than completely seated, and TV or trailer moved, the coupler would drop onto the ball and latch, or onto the ground. To unhook, you had to use finger pressure to override gravity on the latch while lifting the coupler off the ball.
    As for adding regulations? Is there not a difference between adding a regulation, and proving you know what the regulations are?
    As for enforcement; All my working life I have been subject to random roadside safety inspections. (And for safety on the highway, LEO may go thru my bedroom and closets...) But the fact of this kind of check, and knowledge that if the LEO found I did not have a working turn signal my equipment would be impounded until it was proven to be fixed made better at checking the vehicle before I get out on the street. And on every one of the safety checks, the first thing the inspector asks for is the card that says that at least one time I knew what needed to be done. No, I am no in favor of this level of enforcement but I'm not sure that self education/enforcement is the best way to go.
  9. bryce0lynch

    bryce0lynch Member

    Sep 2, 2016
    Some of our European friends get to have these sorts of supplemental licenses.

    And in return, it's one of the reasons they to tow more weight. The US system allows a great number of people to tow some weight. Some of the other systems let you tow more if you have a special license.
  10. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2014
    Professional drivers do have testing and licensing requirements. Those same professionals still drop trailers, drive without adequate sleep, drive overweight, drive above speed limits, drive drunk, and commit various other crimes and yes, they do occasionally kill other road users.

    Testing and licensing only ensures government interference, not necessarily increased safety.
  11. bryce0lynch

    bryce0lynch Member

    Sep 2, 2016
    I'm not sure that "we cant solve 100% of the problems" is a good reason for not making significant improvements to safety.

    This thread is getting close to politics.
  12. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

    Aug 23, 2016
    Very, very few, when you look at the total number of hookups.
    One of the few grownups that can not decide for himself if he has had enough sleep.
    Once, hauling a small track loader on a 2 lane highway, touched the Jake going down a hill, just to drop some speed, make sure the mini-van towing a Bobcat would get stopped, not run out in front of me. The van pulled out behind me about the time I met the weightwatcher. (State CMV LEO) Watched WW met the van, do a U-turn behind, then pass the van to put the lights on me. Yes he had to check my permit, (120,000 lbs on 7 axles). I asked if he did not think that mini-van was more likely unsafe than I? "Yes, but with the car plates he can be totally wrong, but until he is in a accident, he is doing nothing illegal"
    I'm sure it happens, and hangovers are more common. And the regulations add to the problem. Most jobs, you can get home from work, have a couple of beers, get up in the morn, go to work. A driver, at the end of his 10-14 hr day, wants a couple of beers. Most places, if he wants 1, must buy 6. Ok, at home, you can drink 2 save the rest.The driver? If he saves them, and gets stopped ("random", no reason needed) and the beers are found, not only does the driver loose his job, his record is marked, he can't get another. You throw away 5, or drink 6?
    Yes, but if mile per mile and pound per pound, the CDL holders killed as many as other drivers the countries population would be dropping.
  13. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Mar 3, 2006

    is poor licensing / training the cause of vehicle deaths?

    if so, that would need to be addressed before trailer licensing.
  14. Doctorphate

    Doctorphate New Member

    Sep 26, 2016
    Lack of training or forgotten training, yes. So solution would be retesting of skills every 10 years of driving.
  15. iamgb1

    iamgb1 Member

    Aug 23, 2016
    x2 on this. I've always wondered why towing wasn't covered in driver's ed., seeing as how the license you're being educated for grants you the ability to tow a large variety of trailers, and a great many people do.
  16. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    You should post this reply in the camping for the medically/physically challenged section. Dork
  17. Doctorphate

    Doctorphate New Member

    Sep 26, 2016
    Due to the Jeep towing the 25,000 lbs trailer? yes I agree....
  18. Ryanm

    Ryanm New Member

    Oct 13, 2012
    Towing isn't taught for the same reason manual transmissions aren't taught: it is possible to drive your whole life without using either. Makes you wonder why they're allowed to use the word "education."
  19. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    You are a loser
  20. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

    Feb 20, 2013
    Currently getting a license to drive period is too lax - requiring one to pull a trailer would be the same (recreationally). How many people do you encounter everyday that should not be able to be behind the wheel? I drive a lot and it's usually multiple times a day I think we should have a tougher driver's test.

    I think we start by making the driving test to qualify actual drivers be tougher. Until then it's pointless to think a trailer certification will help.

    What's more scary than being able to pull a popup without a certification is the thought that if you have enough money you can buy a boat that will go 100mph plus, drive it to the lake, and go WOT never even sitting in one.

    That said, almost everybody is going to learn how to hook up a trailer before moving something for the first time. If they don't, you know that person won't be studying to get the certification anyway.

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