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CDL Practice Test: Weight & Balance

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CDL Practice Test: Weight & Balance

Weight & Balance Questions

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Good Luck!

You're loaded heavy with 1/2 tank of fuel onboard. Using the following numbers, where should you move the 5th wheel to get it setup properly?

steer axle: 12,300 pounds
drive axles: 33,100 pounds
Weight transfer: 500 pounds per hole
  • Move the 5th wheel back 1 hole
  • Move the 5th wheel forward 2 holes
  • Move the 5th wheel forward 1 hole
  • Move the 5th wheel back 2 holes
This is a question from page 118 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

The best way to make sure the 5th wheel is set properly is to scale the truck with a minimum of 1/2 tank of fuel and a very heavy load. Under those circumstances, you will want the 5th wheel positioned so that the steer tires are as close to 12,000 pounds as possible without going over, and the trailer tandems as close to 34,000 as possible without going over.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

If you move the 5th wheel toward the rear of the tractor, you will increase the weight on the drive axles and decrease the weight on the steer axle. If we move it back 1 hole and it transfers 500 pounds per hole, then we wind up moving 500 pounds from the steer axle to the drive axles:

steer axle: 11,800 pounds
drive axles: 33,600 pounds
Next
If unsure of the exact location of the center of gravity of your cargo, where would you rather have the center of gravity located if you couldn't get it centered?
  • About 5-10 feet in front of the trailer tandems
  • About 15 feet behind the tractor drive axles
  • A little closer to the front than to the rear
  • Directly centered above the trailer tandems
This is a question from page 114 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

If unsure of the exact location of the center of gravity of your cargo, you'd rather have the load a little closer to the front than to the rear. You can slide the trailer tandems forward as far as you would like to compensate for too much weight on the nose of the trailer, but the kingpin to trailer tandem length limitations will prevent you from going too far back with your trailer tandems.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

A lot of times you'll be loading mixed cargo which will make it quite difficult to determine the exact center of gravity of the load. So when you're making your best guess, try to make sure it's a little forward of the center point between the drive axles and trailer tandems. That will give you the best chance of being able to adjust the trailer tandems so that the load will be legal.
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Next
Sliding your 5th wheel will redistribute the weight mainly between which two sets of axles?
  • Steer axle and drive axles
  • Steer axle and trailer tandems
  • Trailer tandems and rear axles
  • Drive axles and trailer tandems
This is a question from page 110 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

Sliding your 5th wheel will redistribute the weight mainly between your steer axle and your drive axles

TruckingTruth's Advice:

Sliding the 5th wheel will generally have little or no effect on the weight of your trailer tandems
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Next
In the following picture, what are axles 2 and 3 commonly referred to as?
  • "drives" or "trailer drives"
  • "tandems" or "front trailer tandems"
  • "duals" or "tractor set"
  • "drives" or "drive axles"
This is a question from page 110 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

#2 and #3 together are your tractor drive tandem axles (commonly referred to as "drives" or "drive axles")

TruckingTruth's Advice:

You'll normally hear drivers refer to these two axles as your "drives". They'll say, "The other day I scaled out and my 'drives' were over by 800 pounds".
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Next
You receive a scale ticket and your drive axles are 35,400 and your trailer tandems are 31,100. Based upon the two most common tandem slider rail hole spacings, what is the minimum number of holes you would have to slide the tandems to get the weight legal, and in which direction?
  • 6 inch spacing - slide tandems back 5 holes
    4 inch spacing - slide tandems back 7 holes
  • 6 inch spacing - slide tandems forward 5 holes
    4 inch spacing - slide tandems forward 7 holes
  • 6 inch spacing - slide tandems back 4 holes
    4 inch spacing - slide tandems back 6 holes
  • 6 inch spacing - slide tandems forward 4 holes
    4 inch spacing - slide tandems forward 6 holes
This is a question from page 113 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

The two main hole spacings you'll find are 4 inches and 6 inches. You can estimate that you will move 250 pounds per hole for 4 inch spacing, and 400 pounds per hole for 6 inch spacing.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

With 35,400 pounds on the drive axles you must move a minimum of 1,400 pounds off the drive axles. To shift weight off the drive axles and onto the trailer tandems, you slide the trailer tandems forward toward the front of the truck.

With 6 inch spacing you're moving 400 pounds per hole so you need to move 4 holes to shift a minimum of 1,400 pounds (400 x 4 = 1,600).

With 4 inch spacing you're moving 250 pounds per hole so you need to move 6 holes to shift a minimum of 1,400 pounds (250 x 6 = 1,500).
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In Oregon, the maximum weight on the steer axle is listed as 600 pounds per inch of tire tread width up to 20,000 pounds. Your steer tires have a load rating of 6,150 pounds each and are 10 inches wide. What is the maximum legal weight your steer axle can carry in Oregon?
  • 15,500 pounds
  • 12,000 pounds
  • 12,300 pounds
  • 20,000 pounds
This is a question from page 112 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

Kentucky has a limit of 700 pounds per inch of tread width. So if you have a 10 inch wide tire tread, you are allowed a maximum of 7,000 pounds per tire (700 pounds per inch x 10 inches wide) or 14,000 pounds total for the steer axle.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

You must find the most restrictive law to determine your maximum legal weight.

The maximum Oregon allows is 20,000 pounds on the steer axle

The load rating on your tires is 6,150, which would put your maximum legal weight at 12,300 pounds regardless of the fact that there are less restrictive laws.

The maximum Oregon allows by weight is 600 pounds per inch. You have 10 inch tires so that would be a maximum of 6000 pounds per tire, or 12,000 pounds on the steer axle, which is the most restrictive of the various laws. Therefore, 12,000 pounds is your legal limit in this truck in Oregon.

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Next
Where in the trailer could you place cargo so that the weight applied to the trailer tandems is greater than the weight of the cargo itself?
  • In the overhang portion of the trailer behind the center point of the trailer tandems
  • Slightly in front of the halfway point between the tractor drives and trailer tandems
  • Directly above the drive axles
  • Directly above the front axle of the trailer tandems
This is a question from page 114 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

Because the trailer pivots up and down at the kingpin above the drive axles, the floor of the trailer acts as a lever pushing down against the trailer tandems when freight is loaded into the overhang portion of the trailer. The further back you load the freight into the overhang portion of the trailer, the more leverage it creates. The net effect of this leverage is that you're putting more weight on the trailer tandems than the cargo itself weighs, and you will actually take a little bit of weight off the drive axles at the same time.
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What is low-speed offtracking?
  • When a combination vehicle makes a low-speed turn the wheels of the rearmost trailer axle follow a path several feet inside the path of the tractor steering axle.
  • When taking off from a dead stop, the initial torque of the engine on the drivetrain will cause a slight offtracking of the tractor which could be a hazard to other traffic
  • When a trailer's tandem axles are slightly out of alignment, the rear of the trailer will track off to one side or another instead of directly behind the tractor
  • When making a high speed turn, the momentum carried by the trailer will cause it to swing wide and possibly outside the lane of travel
This is a question from page 111 - click here to look up the answer

Quote From Page 0 Of The Illinois CDL Manual:

When a combination vehicle makes a low-speed turn - for example a 90-degree turn at an intersection - the wheels of the rearmost trailer axle follow a path several feet inside the path of the tractor steering axle. This is called low-speed offtracking.
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