View Full Version : CDL class A road test

Dirt Digger2
12-10-2007, 04:10 PM
well I finally scheduled a test for Jan. 3 to get my road test done. I have had my permit now for a year and a half...anyone out there have tips or pointers to passing the road test?...i know the pre-trip is the worst part so i have been going into the shop on sundays and doing that

and if anyone has ever taken their test in Reading PA that is where i am taking it...whats the course like?

12-10-2007, 04:38 PM
My buddy took the test a couple months back. Told me to make sure you take the keys out of the truck when you get out of the cab. I wouldn't have even thought about that.

Looking Good Lawn Service
12-10-2007, 04:44 PM
above all, remember "exactly how to do the AIRBRAKE TEST!!!" they can be forgiving on everything else, but not that! I took mine in 03, I had to come back to redo the test because of the airbrake test. I passed everything else, and you know I failed because I stated the wrong PSI drop when you press the service brake, I will never forget it, I was off by only "1" PSI, the instructor said that one psi could of caused someones life on the road? who would of known...anyways, above all Good luck, ps. if you drive for a living, find a good union job, owner operators are not doing well, just my life experience with my father, he has driven for over 2o years.

Dirt Digger2
12-10-2007, 05:05 PM
so the airbrake test...you make sure your park brakes on truck and trailer work, then you turn the truck off and sit for a minute and its 3psi per minute, and with the brake pedal depressed it is 4psi per minute...then you run it down till the buzzer comes on, then keep running it down until the buttons pop...this is mainly the only part i am worried about...we never do full brake checks everyday...like most people, so this is what i am a little concerned with

no i wont be driving for a living...maybe a year or two after college just to see the country but i doubt it...i need it for transporting equipment for work, and the extra freedom of being able to buy any type of truck or trailer in the future and not have to worry about whether i can legally haul it

12-10-2007, 07:01 PM
Make sure you look in your mirrors alot especially the passenger mirror I had quite a few points taken off for not looking in my passenger mirror enough and pay attentions to the signs because he will prolly ask you what the sign said that you just passed other than that it aint to bad the pretrip is the worst part

12-10-2007, 07:34 PM
Like the others have said, make sure you get the pre-trip and 4 pt. air brake down pat. The driving part is easy, but the rodeo course can be a little tricky, especially the part where you parallel park on an angle and have to stop within a certain marked off area... I forget what he called it.

Also, make sure your passenger seat is firmly secured and won't flip forward when the large fellow riding with you goes to sit down doesn't damn near fall out of the truck! It can make for a dicey test... take my word for it!:laugh:

12-10-2007, 07:35 PM
I had a buddy that failed b/c he shifted gears going over RR tracks. Cant shift when making a turn either, until you are straightened out. At least in NY, so I am told. Never taken the test, have my CDL A permit for 5 years now. Only use it for driving for a local farm, hauling feed.

Dirt Digger2
12-10-2007, 07:49 PM
yup...don't shift over tracks or when in the middle of an intersection, which sucks especially when your the first truck at the light...you go through the intersection in 2nd gear...i always shift through intersections so i am going to have to make sure to not do it

12-10-2007, 07:58 PM
When you do your airbrake test, it is with the truck shut off, however, make sure to turn the ignition on, or the buzzer won't work, at least on my truck. I caught it, but it was too late! Also, on the road test, pay attention to the bridge weight limit signs, as there will probably be one on the course, and you will be asked. Good luck!

12-10-2007, 08:01 PM
Wow, there is quite a difference in the pre trip between the lower 48 and our Provincial system.

12-10-2007, 08:14 PM
Im taking mine in Greenville sometime in the 2nd or 3rd week in January. Im going through a truck driving school and everything mentioned they talked about and also stressed the air brake test the most. Im not woried about that as much as the general pre trip because im not the most mechanically inclined person and forget the names of some of the parts at times, but they gave us a video on it that they made to watch and it goes over everything step by step.

RockSet N' Grade
12-10-2007, 08:33 PM
All good stuff posted above......alot to remember, but all pertinent. Here's one more to add: how often are you to check your mirrors? My instructor and I were in total sync (he was looking when I was and blocked my view) I had to ask him politely to sit back in his seat and not block my view. My instructor talked to me to try and distract me when it came to RR tracks and the bridge height came right after the RR tracks.......watch for bridge height, they will ask you the posted clearance right after you pass it.....Most important, relax, take your time, be verbal about everything you see in pre-trip.......don't rush it.

12-10-2007, 09:09 PM
the air brake is a must also here in va they wanted you to pay alot of attention to the height of the underpass and bridge weight limit
and ask what they where after we passed them and put your seat belt on before ya start he engine

12-10-2007, 09:22 PM
I've had my permit for about a month now- but I'm getting an air brake restriction cause I'm only driving a 550 with a 12,000lb trailer.... sucks that I even have to go thru all this just to tow my trailer with that truck. I desperately need to schedule my road test BUT I really know NO driver well enough to ask to go with me.

I'm kinda nervous about the pre-trip too. And I will need to brake some bad habits like leaving the key in, opening the door before I turn off the engine, and shifting in turns.

Dirt Digger2
12-10-2007, 09:35 PM
with a 550 you will need to leave the key in to do the turn signal check...i dont know how thats supposed to work unless he just lets you slide with the 4ways

have any of you been asked to check the slack adjusters in the brakes?

12-10-2007, 09:50 PM
I'm just gonna be super slow and super anal about the whole pre-trip. I don't care how long it takes me! hehehe.

12-10-2007, 10:02 PM
PA wants the pre trip done in 30 minutes.

RockSet N' Grade
12-10-2007, 11:29 PM
slack-adjusters: my instructor asked me how to test/adjust them during the pre-trip test. So, the answer is yes.

12-10-2007, 11:41 PM
slack-adjusters: my instructor asked me how to test/adjust them during the pre-trip test. So, the answer is yes.
slack adjusters...
me too! "the butcher" WA-DOT cop camps at my road and always has you do this anyway, get used to it...

Pre-trip is the common killer. I tutored a neighbor last summer in that for a couple hours (he passed :cool2:)

My fault was in not getting out and walking behind the rig BEFORE backing, tho we had just driven through the empty parking lot and stopped...

Do watch those mirrors, you don't want to get back and be missing your trailer !!:hammerhead:, or have a fire hydrant stuck between your trailer tires!:dizzy:

12-11-2007, 01:23 AM
Someone already caught it but read the bridge weights and the overhead clearance signs. They will drive you past it and ask questions. Also here maybe because of all the mountains but I was asked to simulate a hill climb and hill decend for both my B and A test.

RockSet N' Grade
12-11-2007, 01:26 AM
During my pre-trip I noticed one of the windshield wipers was "faulty" at best and I told the instructor that I would not drive the truck until it was fixed. The instructor tried to entice me to do the test with the wiper broken, but I said no way. We fixed the wiper (he had one in his coat) and he said that if I had driven with the faulty wiper, he would have failed me. Oh man, hope you don't get an instructor with a 'tude like mine had.......I bet he failed more folks than he passed, but that may be a good thing. Just know your stuff inside and out.........

RockSet N' Grade
12-11-2007, 01:29 AM
Hill climb/descent thing here too......I think that is standard also. How many gears less going down the hill than up the hill? Lots of questions.......