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The CDL Test consists of three parts:
  1. Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
  2. Basic Vehicle Control Skills
  3. On-Road Driving

Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection
You will be required to perform a pre-trip inspection in the vehicle you will be using for the test.

You must show that the vehicle is safe to drive. You will have to walk around the vehicle and point to or touch each item and explain to the examiner what you are checking and why.

The pre-trip will include an engine start, an in-cab inspection, and an inspection of the coupling system (if any).

You will also have to inspect any special features of your vehicle (e.g. school bus).

The Pre-Trip Inspection Test is a time-limited test. The maximum time allowed is thirty minutes.

The Pre-Trip Inspection portion of the CDL exam is very detailed so study your state's Commercial Driver License Manual, practice on your vehicle or a similar one, and consider other study aids such as a training video. Click HERE for CDL Test Video information.

Basic Vehicle Control Skills
Your basic control skills will be tested using three of the following maneuvers:

  • Straight line backing
  • Offset backing (left or right)
  • Parallel Park
  • Alley dock

The Basic Vehicle Control Skills Test is also a time-limited test. Your examiner will tell you the maximum time allowed to complete this portion of the CDL test. 

Study your state's Manual to see exactly what will be required and practice, practice, practice. The CDL Test Videos offered HERE may be very helpful for this portion of the CDL test.   


On-Road Driving
If you pass the Basic Vehicle Control Skills portion of the CDL test, you will drive over a test route that has a variety of traffic situations. At all times during the test, you must drive in a safe and responsible manner. 

The examiner will be scoring you of specific driving maneuvers as well as on your general driving behavior.

The examiner will give you directions to follow and you will have plenty of time to do what the examiner has asked. You will not be asked to drive in an unsafe manner.

Again, study the State Manual and practice. The CDL Test Videos (click HERE) also cover this portion of the test.  

For information on the Ohio CDL test, including a list of locations go to http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/dl-cdl-classes.aspx          

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