This is the most common big rig set-up as used by our driving schools: a 4×2 box truck with a tall sleeper cab, towing a close-coupled tandem axle trailer. If you want to go all the way, I mean getting a CE driver’s license, then you’ll have to pass the test in some type of combination vehicle. The letter C is for rigid chassis only, the E is for trailers and semi-trailers.
Furthermore, a medical test is mandatory for a C or CE license. Every five years, as a matter of fact, otherwise you can’t renew your license. When you want to become a professional truck driver, you also need to pass the Code 95 test, the basic qualification for the practical side of the trucking business; to be renewed every five years through 35 hours of in-service training.
Driving schools often opt for the top model of one of the Euro truck makers, like Van Thiel’s Volvo FH-series, with an engine displacement ranging from 10 to 13 liter. Some other examples are the DAF XF, Mercedes-Benz Actros and MAN TGX.
Now suppose you don’t want to go all the way, in that case a C1 driver’s license will do. Good for any rigid chassis with a GVWR from 3,500 to 7,500 kg (7,716 to 16,535 lbs). Said license is also referred to as the motorhome driver’s license. The Iveco Daily double cab box truck above -7,000 kg GVWR- is an example of a driving school vehicle that will get you there (photo courtesy of Kemp Rijopleidingen).
CC Global: 2016 DAF XF Towing a 2005 Chéreau Semi-Trailer – Extra Long Big Rig For Driving Lessons
I used to work as a student driver in the Netherlands, where I didn’t chauffeur a car with someone important in the back, but more so driving all kinds of cars, from small grocery getters (Citroen C1, VW Up etc) to large delivery vans (MB Sprinters etc.) all over the country.
The more memorable trips where those with not every day vehicles, like light box trucks. Since I only have a ‘B’ license, which allows me to drive only vehicles up to 3,500kg (7,716 lbs), or better now as just average passenger cars, it felt odd to drive vehicles that felt more like full on freight trucks than the lighter cars they actually were, especially that one time I got to drive a Nissan Cabstar with an aerial work platform installation mounted on it.
Ive got a NZclass 5 it covers from 58 tonnes combination down to a passenger car but not passenger service vehicles like taxis or buses I dont want arguementative frieght and Im not legal on amotorcycle anymore or tow truck,
The letter system here in short:
A – motorcycles
B – cars and commercial vehicles up to 3,500 kg GVWR
C – above 3,500 kg GVWR
C1 – 3,500 to 7,500 kg GVWR
D – (taxi)buses and coaches
E is for (semi-)trailers, towed by the category as mentioned above, so like BE and CE.
Here in the states cheap daycab tractors like an international or freightliner coupled to a 53′ box is typical for training schools. Some large carriers have their own schools with nicer equipment but none near me. In the state I live in the regular drivers lic gets you to 26000 gvw. After that you need a CDL. Lots of companies buy bigger box trucks to stay under the CDL
I’ve see a lot of US driving schools using short single axle semi trailers like the ones in parcel carrying triples, presumably these are cheaper. My son’s frined just got his CDL so I could ask what he trained on. Interestingly he wants to drive gasoline tankers, and in Oregon those are usually truck trailer combinations rather than semi trailers.
I’m pretty sure the 26k is a federal law. Anything under that is fair game unless it has more than 15 seats.