If you’re considering taking the CDL- A test to become a truck driver it may seem a little intimidating. But if you study the right materials in an organized way and choose a good school, passing with a high grade is not only possible, it’s likely. Here is a list of tips to put you on the road to passing your CDL A test.
Study the CDL Manual
Reading and comprehending the CDL manual is the first step to passing your CDL-A test. The manual covers subjects including:
- Driving Safety
- Transporting Cargo
- Air Brakes
- Combination Vehicles
- Doubles & Triples
- And more
Read a general online version of the CDL manual at CDL Career Now and find your State CDL manual on our website. After you’ve read the manuals you’ll probably find it helpful to take these CDL practice tests.
Study the Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist
Most states require the student to pass a pre-trip inspection test. The pre-trip inspection test covers material including:
- Engine Compartment
- Driver Door Fuel Area
- Coupling Area
- Light Check
- In-Cab Inspection and Brake Tests
We have a very popular CDL pre-trip inspection checklist right on this website. It includes information on all the parts you need to know and what to check for. You’ll also find printable checklists and a great video on the engine compartment inspection. We also created a pre-trip inspection practice test so you can check your understanding of some of the material before ever taking the test.
By searching YouTube you’ll find many helpful videos covering a variety of topics from offset backing maneuvers to understanding air brakes. There are also quite a few very good ones on the pre-trip inspection. We recommend watching multiple videos on each topic so you get a more well rounded understanding of each. It’s really easy to find the videos, simply search for “cdl training” in the YouTube search bar.
Here’s a good CDL Program Overview video from one of our partner schools, TMC Transportation.
Choose A Good School
We work with many of the most respected truck driving schools in the U.S. When choosing a school it’s good to consider things like how experienced the instructors are, how long the training takes, and whether or not they offer job placement to students after they complete the program. Many of the top schools can place you in an entry level trucking job upon graduation.
Find a CDL training school near you.
This may seem like a lot to take in, but once you start studying and get a little yard-driving experience during training, we think you’ll find that passing your test will be a lot less difficult than you think. Plus, it’s worth it! Truck driving is a career that pays well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2022 truck drivers earned an average of $53,090, with the top 10 percent averaging $75,220. The BLS also states that employment is expected to steadily increase 4 percent by 2031, which is about as fast as the national average.
Reference & More Study Materials: