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Pre-Trip Inspection Free CDL Practice Tests
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Prepare For The Pre-Trip Inspection Portion Of Your CDL Written Exams

Pre-Trip Inspection Questions

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The windshield should be clean and:
  • Have few cracks or holes
  • Fairly unobstructed
  • Heavily tinted
  • Free of obstructions or damage
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From The CDL Manual

Mirrors and Windshield:

Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from the inside.

Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers, no obstructions or damage to the glass.

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Emergency equipment should be include spare fuses, a fire extinguisher, and:
  • A smoke detector
  • 3 reflective triangles, three fuses, or 6 liquid burning flares
  • 2 flashlights and a reflective vest
  • 3 reflective triangles, six fuses, or 3 liquid burning flares
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From The CDL Manual

Emergency Equipment:

  • Check for spare electrical fuses, unless circuit breaker equipped vehicle.
  • Check for three red reflective triangles, six fuses or three liquid burning flares.
  • Check for a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
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A vehicle that is not equipped with electrical fuses:
  • Requires a special permit to operate
  • Cannot be driven at night
  • Must not be driven
  • Must be specifically pointed out to the examiner
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From The CDL Manual

Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.

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On vehicles with power steering, steering wheel play should not exceed:
  • 10 degrees (10 inches on 20-inch wheel)
  • 10 degrees (2 inches on 20-inch wheel)
  • 3 inches
  • 6 inches
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From The CDL Manual

Steering Play:

Non-power steering: Check for excessive play by turning steering wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or about 2 inches on a 20-inch wheel).

Power steering: With the engine running, check for excessive play by turning the steering wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or about 2 inches on a 20-inch wheel) before front left wheel barely moves.

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Dash indicator lights will be visible when testing:
  • High-beam headlights
  • Four-way flashers
  • Turn signals
  • These things should all activate corresponding dash lights
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From The CDL Manual

Test that dash indicators work when corresponding lights are turned on:

  • Left turn signal.
  • Right turn signal.
  • Four-way emergency flashers.
  • High-beam headlight.
  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
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In addition to dash indicator lights, which external lights and reflectors should be checked?
  • It is up to your instructor to decide
  • Reflector tape, running lights, decorative lights, headlights
  • All external reflectors and lights should be verified to be clean and functional
  • Taillights, brake lights, turn signals, running lights
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From The CDL Manual

Check that all external lights and reflective equipment are clean and functional. Light and reflector checks include:

  • Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere).
  • Headlights (high and low beams).
  • Taillights.
  • Backing lights.
  • Turn signals.
  • Four-way flashers.
  • Brake lights.
  • Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors (elsewhere).
  • Reflector tape condition.
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To check parking brake functionality, you will:
  • Set parking brake, and pull forward aggresively
  • Set parking brake, and pull forward gently
  • Engage parking brake at normal operating speed
  • Pull forward at 10 mph, then engage parking brake
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From The CDL Manual

Parking Brake Check:

Pulling Unit: With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes released on combination vehicles), check that the parking brake will hold vehicle by gently trying to pull forward with parking brake on.

Trailer (if applicable): With the parking brake released and the trailer parking brake engaged (combination vehicles only), check that the trailer parking brake will hold vehicle by gently trying to pull forward with the trailer parking brake on.

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To test hydraulic brakes, if equipped, pump the pedal 3 times and hold it. The pedal should not move:
  • For 5 seconds
  • It should move
  • For 10 seconds
  • For as long as you hold it
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From The CDL Manual

Hydraulic Brake Check (if equipped):

  • Pump the brake pedal three times and then hold it down for five seconds. The brake pedal should not move (de press) during the five seconds.
  • If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve (back-up) system, with the key off, depress the brake pedal and listen for the sound of the reserve system electric motor.
  • Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
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Not covering all areas of the air brake check during your exam:
  • Will require permission of the instructor
  • Will normally not be noticed
  • Will result in automatic failure
  • Is acceptable when there are time constraints
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From The CDL Manual

Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles Only):

Failure to perform all areas of the air brake check will result in an automatic failure of the Pre-Trip inspection test. Air brake safety devices vary. However, this procedure is designed to see that any safety device operates correctly as air pressure drops from normal to a low air condition. For safety purposes, in areas where an incline is present, you will use wheel chocks during the air brake check.

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When checking for air system leaks in a combination vehicle, with brake applied air loss should not be:
  • More than 3 lbs in one minute
  • More than 2 lbs in one minute
  • Something you can hear happening
  • More than 4 lbs in one minute
Click here to look up the answer

From The CDL Manual

System Leak Check:

Shut off the engine, chock your wheels, (if necessary), release the tractor protection valve and parking brake (push in), fully apply the foot brake and hold it for one minute.

Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure drops more than 3 pounds in one minute (single vehicle) or 4 pounds in one minute (combination vehicle). After checking the brake with brake applied, release the foot brake and watch the gauges with brake unapplied for one minute.

Check to see if the air pressure drops more than 2 pounds in one minute (single vehicle) or 3 pounds in one minute (combination vehicle).

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