All drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV) must have the knowledge and skills necessary to safely operate a CMV. As a commercial learner permit (CLP) holder applying for your CDL, you will be required to successfully complete the following three parts of the skills exam:
- Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection
- Basic Vehicle Control
- On-Road Driving
Each exam is designed to test both your knowledge and ability on how to safely operate a CMV, and you cannot advance to the next exam without passing the previous one.
Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection – One of the most important reasons you should inspect your vehicle on a daily basis, besides being required to do so by state and federal law, is for the safety of yourself and others on the road. A vehicle defect found during an inspection could save you problems later. You could have a breakdown on the road that will cost time and dollars, or even worse, a crash caused by the defect. During the Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection exam, you will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to explain to the driver license examiner what you would inspect and why.
The following videos have been developed to provide you with a better understanding of what you are expected to know for this exam. Additionally, once you become a CDL holder, the information contained in these videos will continue to help you in your career as a commercial driver, where you will be required to complete a daily Driver Vehicle Inspection Report, as required by 49 C.F.R. §396.11.
Basic Vehicle Control – For the Basic Vehicle Control exam, you will be tested on your skill to control your vehicle. You will be asked to move your vehicle within a defined area including backing in a straight line, off-set backing, and parallel parking.
On-Road Driving – For the On-Road Driving exam, you will be tested on your skill to safely operate your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations. These situations include left and right turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up and down grades, and single and/or multi-lane roads, streets, or highways.
For more information on CDL skills testing, download the CDL driver handbook.