Preparing for a Commercial Driving License Test (CDL)
Sometimes it is all too easy to become totally confused by the number of acronyms in use and what they mean. In this case CDL does not stand for Civil Defense Liabilities, but does on fact refer to a Commercial Driving License, particularly in the United States.
A commercial driving license is necessary anywhere in the USA in order to operate any road vehicle which has a gross weight in excess of 11,793Kg (26.001Lb), designed for any commercial transportation purpose.
The transport of hazardous materials is permitted by commercial users provided that a warning notice is suitably placed on the commercial vehicle, and can easily be read, also included in the CDL regulations is that it allows for the transportation of up to sixteen passengers including the vehicle driver. The vehicle weight rating is often referred to as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) under the terms of the CDL.
Being in possession of a CDL opens up many opportunities for potential drivers and owners of large trucks, but passing the relevant commercial driving tests can sometimes prove to be a bit of a headache. Firstly the test itself can be pretty rigorous comprising a written test and a three part driving skill test. Then secondly, certainly within the USA, understanding the requirements of each individual state can be quite hazardous.
For sure, to assist with the CDL test there are a variety of Federal guide lines available, but they do not sufficiently cover the differing procedures and training rules applied by individual states. In many states there are no guide lines available relating to training programs for the CDL test, with such training procedures, when they exist, commonly being handed down to third part companies to handle rather than them being issued by the licensing bodies of the state government.
So it is entirely understandable as to why there is much confusion surrounding the whole business of CDL's and attempts being made to make any form of preparation for the CDL test. The onus is left entirely with the applicant who can opt for private tuition at a driving school, or simply sit back and read the CDL driving manuals which become available.
You can read on for a while if you are interested in learning as to what is involved in preparing for a CDL test.
How to Prepare for a CDL Driving Exam.
The very first thing of which any potential applicant for a CDL should be aware is, that a provisional commercial driving license is required (CDIP) or a commercial drivers instruction permit to give the exact name. It is not legal to practice driving a commercial truck on a normal vehicle driving license
It is also wise and sensible to check that you are indeed eligible to obtain a CDL prior to embarking on any intensive course of driving education. For example the following requirements must be satisfied before any application can be made.
- For driving interstate you must be 18 years or older, for driving from state to state the requirement stipulates that the age of 21 years as being the minimum.
- Obviously you must obtain a valid drivers license.
The next step is to pass the commercial driver instruction permit test for your CDIP to be issued. This is a written test much the same as the written test passed for your normal vehicle driving license, with the exception that the multiple choice questions are considerably biased to commercial driving.
In preparation for this stage it is highly recommended that you spend time with the CDL manual relevant to your state and study it to ascertain the topics relating to the CDIP written test.
There are many subjects about which you will require detailed knowledge for the CDIP written paper including, basic control of the truck, inspection of the truck, anticipating road hazards, and driving at night. Much attention is paid to braking and skid control along with many warnings about driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.