Heavy Vehicle Combination (Class 1)
A Class 1 licence authorizes its holder to drive a combination of vehicles, i.e.:
- a double-axle road tractor with a net weight of 4,500 kg or more hauling one or more trailers or semi-trailers;
- a road tractor with three axles or more hauling one or more trailers or semi-trailers;
- a truck covered by Class 3 hauling a trailer or semi-trailer whose net weight is 4,500 kg or more and which is only used to transport equipment, tools or furnishings as part of its permanent equipment;
- a truck covered by Class 3 hauling any trailer or semi-trailer other than those described above, with a net weight of 2,000 kg or more.
Class 1 also authorizes the holder to operate all other types of road vehicles, except for motorcycles.
Note: A road tractor is a motor vehicle that does not have cargo space and that is permanently equipped with a fifth wheel.
Conditions to obtain a Class 1 licence
You must meet the following criteria:
- Basic requirements
- Have fewer than 4 demerit points entered on your driving record;
- Not have had your driver's licence suspended or revoked during the two previous years as the result of accumulating demerit points or a Criminal Code offence;
- Pass the SAAQ's vision test;
- Submit a satisfactory medical report;
- Pass the knowledge test (consult the costs for obtaining a licence for various classes of driver's licence);
- Pass the 2 road tests.
- Experience required
- Have 36 months cumulative experience as a holder of a Class 5 probationary licence or Class 5 driver's licence (passenger vehicle)
- Have 24 months cumulative experience if you have successfully completed one of the following training programs:
- the truck driving training program which leads to the Diploma of Vocational Studies issued by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport;
- a 300-hour driving course on the public roadway for heavy vehicles covered by Class 1. This program must include at least 40 hours of driving given by a heavy vehicle driving school AND a professional internship for the number of hours needed to complete the required 300 hours. Applicants must have either of these programs recognized by the SAAQ, which will request certain documents, such as the learner's daily logs as well as those of the accompanying rider in the case of the 300-hour program.
Medical assessment and vision test
Go to an SAAQ service centre to:
- undergo a vision test;
- obtain the medical assessment form that you are required to have your physician fill out. You must send the completed form to the SAAQ.
Length of the learning period
You must have held a Class 1 learner's licence for 3 months OR for 1 month if you meet one of the following requirements:
- be registered in the truck driving training program which leads to the Diploma of Vocational Studies issued by the Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport and have successfully completed all mandatory sections of the program required to drive on the road without an accompanying rider;
- be aged 25 or over;
- have 60 months cumulative experience as a holder of a Class 5 licence;
- hold a Class 2 or 3 driver's licence.
Summary description of the road tests
Important: After December 1, 2008, tests for licence Classes 1, 2 and 3 take into account the Regulation respecting the hours of driving and rest of heavy vehicle drivers in effect since June 15, 2007.
- The pre-trip inspection test (page in French only. Consult the costs for obtaining a licence for various classes of driver's licence)
This test assesses your ability to inspect a heavy vehicle before getting on the road. This pre-trip inspection covers the mechanical components (page in French only) that all drivers of a semi-truck or a tractor-trailer must check before first setting out.
- The heavy vehicle road test (consult the costs for obtaining a licence for various classes of driver's licence)
This test assesses your ability to perform common on and off-highway manoeuvres when driving a combination of vehicles, as well as observance of traffic rules, including those which specifically concern drivers of that type of vehicle.
Obtaining the F and M endorsements
All new drivers who wish to drive a heavy vehicle equipped with an air brake system (F endorsement) or a manual (standard) transmission (M endorsement) must pass the tests that are specific to each endorsement.
For the F endorsement, you must:
- pass a specific knowledge test for this endorsement;
- report to the road test with a vehicle equipped with air brakes;
- pass the road test.
For the M endorsement, you must:
- report to the road test with a heavy vehicle equipped with a manual transmission;
- pass the road test.
For proper preparation to obtain the F or M endorsement, we recommend that you study:
If you fail the test(s)
You only retake the test you failed.
- At least 7 days must have elapsed from the date of failure before you are allowed another try.
- You must make another appointment with the SAAQ and report to the test with a heavy vehicle corresponding to the licence class and endorsements sought.
- If you are only retaking the heavy vehicle road test, you must conduct a pre-trip inspection before reporting to the test with the vehicle.
Obtaining the T endorsement
The T endorsement allows you to drive a road train of more than 25 metres that requires a special road train operating permit issued by the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec. To obtain this endorsement, you must:
- have held a Class 1 licence for at least 5 years;
- pass the knowledge test for this endorsement.
Legislative amendments have recently been tabled that would render mandatory a two-day training course at one of the transportation training centres (Charlesbourg or Saint-Jérôme) for anyone wishing to obtain the T endorsement. This training course would replace the knowledge test, which would be abolished. The date these amendments would come into effect remains to be determined.
For more information, please call us.