Just a bit of an update on my Non-commercial Class B Drivers testing experience. I went to my DMV test appointment yesterday in Chambersburg, which oddly is in a strip mall between D I C K's Sporting goods and Allure Beauty Supply. My appointment was at 0900hrs. As stated numerous times within this thread, it is believed by some that no other Class B or better licensed driver needed to accompany me to the test. However, I mentioned to my niece's husband that I wasn't certain if I needed a licensed driver to accompany me and he volunteered to go with me, he has a CDL license.
So I arrived at the center at 0830, went inside and asked the lady at the front reception desk where I should go. She said park in one of the four parking spaces in the front. I informed her I was in a 43' motorhome. Oh she said, well then just stand in one of the spaces and look for a bald guy to come by... ??? OK. So I stood in the space. after about 20 minutes I see the bald fellow named Mike. He ignored me, standing in the space, so I went over to him, told him I had a 0900 appointment. He looked at me a bit strange and said just pull into the parking space. I informed him that I was here in a 43' motorhome, he looked at me a bit perplexed, then without a word, turned and walked into the building. I waited a bit in my space LOL then decided I'd better go see what was going on, so I went inside. Mike was speaking with the receptionist by this time and I could tell they was a bit of confusion. After a bit Mike turned to walk out the door and noticed me standing by the door, he said oh, I don't do that test, a fellow now working at the counter would be giving me my test and he'd be delayed for a while and the test will take an hour. I said OK, exactly which guy and what is his name and where should I wait. He said the guy is Pete, pointed to a fellow working at the counter and said go ask him where he'd like you to wait. So I waited till Pete was done with his counter customers, went to Pete and asked where he'd like me to park. He told me to park out toward the parking lot exit and he'd be a while, then the lady working next to him asked me if I had a licensed driver with me, I informed her that I did, she said oh, OK. So I moved my coach, and returned to the counter waiting area to wait for Pete. I was within ear-shot of him and he'd not noticed I'd returned. Clearly he hadn't tested anyone for a while and he was refreshing his memory running through the requirements with his co-worker. After about 30 minutes he gathered all his clipboard materiel and his tablet computer and started for the exit. So I approached him in the parking lot. He said OK, lets go. I told him that I was a bit uncertain as to what exactly the test would include, he said don't worry it's not too complicated.
We arrived at my coach, talked for a bit, I introduced him to my CDL licensed driver. He asked for his license, my license, my learners permit, my registration and insurance card. He then asked me if I had air brakes, I told him I did. He then asked me to perform a pre-check, so I explained that I check the tires, by thumping each with a rubber mallet (even though I have an electronic tire pressure monitor) and I proceeded to do that. As I checked the rear duals and tag, he asked me if there is something else I should be checking with regard to the rear tires. I told him I visually inspect all the tires. He said OK, anything else? I said no. He informed me that I should use some sort of tool to check the space between the dual drive axle wheels to make certain that a rock or other object isn't stuck in that space. I said OK. He then asked me if I knew the minimum thread depth allowed on the steer and non-steer tires. I told him I did not and seldom does a Motorhome tire wear out, they age out. He informed me it was 4/32 on the steers and 2/32 on the non-steers. We then went through an exterior light check, windshield and mirror check and proceeded inside the coach. He asked me what I do before I drive, I explained the checking of my gauges, and specifically the air pressure requirements, And then told him I would do a brake test. So he said go ahead and do the brake test. Since we were sitting on a bit of an incline I told him I'd need to chock the wheels, he said good, and checked a box on his testing worksheet. Then he said you don't need to chock the wheels, now just tell him what the testing procedure is. So I ran through the steps. He said OK, let's drive.
So he then tells me he's putting on his seatbelt and asked me the height of my coach. I tell him and he checks off another block. He instructs me to exit the parking lot, make a left and we're going to get on route 81S, so we do that, we begin talking about one thing and another, turns out he and I were stationed at the same time, in the Army, in Germany, he got out and became a truck driver. He asked me about the coach etc. we continue off 81S at the first exit onto Wayne Ave, make a series of turns, a bunch of right turns onto to and around some secondary streets, over a couple railroad crossings, under an overpass and back onto 81N. As we went up the ramp onto 81N he asked me if I knew the underpass height, I did, it was 14' 3". Pete said very good and sticks his hand out for a fist-bump LOL. He says we've driven enough, we can go back to the test center. So we exit 81N onto RT30 and back to the strip mall parking lot. He tells me I did very well and other than driving with one hand on the steering wheel for a time I was good. I laughed and said that was because you gave me the fist bump. So we went inside, he gave me the update card for my license and I'm done at 1050hrs.
All-in-all, a bit of confusion at the test center. Pete was a super nice guy, willing to share his knowledge and reasonable in his approach. The thing about checking the space between the tires is clearly more important in a dump truck than a motorhome, but, point taken. I didn't ask point-blank, but I think if I'd not shown up with another licensed driver, it would have been an issue.
Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread, it was helpful for me and I hope this post will add one more bit of information to the inconsistent testing procedures within Pennsylvania.
PS - Pete said he recommends this 1967 Army training film to many that lack a basic understanding of the air brake system.