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CDL Tanker Endorsement

Drivers of dry vans, reefers, flatbeds and box trucks are required to hold a tanker endorsement if they are hauling a load with aggregate bulk packages of 119 gallons, totaling 1,000 gallons or more. If a driver is found to be driving without the proper tanker endorsement, they can face a civil penalty of up to $5,000 per instance, as well as a possible 90-day license suspension.

At the federal level, the government has set a minimum standard that all states must follow, however, additional requirements are also required at the state’s discretion. Your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles regulates the process for getting your CDL and your tankers endorsement. For more information on getting your tanker endorsement, visit your Department of Motor Vehicles and request the Tanker Endorsement Knowledge Test.

How to Pass the Tanker Endorsement Test

Some quick tips for passing the tanker endorsement test include:

  • Take advantage of practice exams. There are practice exams all over the internet and the majority of them are free! Most guides will provide you with a practice written exam and the correct answers. Review any questions that you miss before you take the actual knowledge exam.
  • Understand the information required. You will need to understand the principles of transporting liquids of varying densities; how to handle different cargo loads and tank capacity; as well as the differences in tank vehicle type and construction.
  • Recognize safety emergencies. You must know what safety hazards are associated with the cargo, what to do in an emergency, and how to operate the emergency systems on the tank vehicle. You also need to be aware of the potential danger to other motorists on the road.

Sample Questions from the Tanker Endorsement Test

1. How to bulkheads differ from baffles?
Baffled liquid tanks have bulkheads in them with holes that let the liquid flow through. This means there will be less front to back surge than there is for tanks without baffles.

2. When driving at the posted speed limit, how should a tank vehicle take curves, on ramps and off ramps?
Take highway curves and on ramp/off ramp curves well below the posted speeds.

3. What is the difference between smooth bore tankers and those with baffles?
Smooth bore tanks have nothing inside to slow down the flow of the liquid, making forward-and-bank surge very strong.

4. What three items determine how much liquid you can load?

  • The amount the liquid will expand in transit
  • The weight of the liquid
  • Legal weight limits

5. Explain what outage is.
Liquids expand as they warm, the room left for the expanding liquid is called “outage.” Since liquids expand at varying amounts, they require different amounts of outage.

6. In what ways can surge be controlled?

  • Keep a steady pressure on the brakes. Do not release the brakes too soon when coming to a stop.
  • Brake far in advance of a stop and increase your following distance.
  • If you must make a quick stop to avoid a crash, use controlled or stab braking.

7. Name two reasons special care is necessary when driving tank vehicles.

  • High center of gravity
  • Danger of surge

Try the online CDL License Tanker Endorsement Practice Test on CDL Career Now.

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