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Transporting Cargo Safely Free CDL Practice Tests
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Prepare For The Transporting Cargo Safely Portion Of Your CDL Written Exams

Transporting Cargo Safely Questions

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The driver is responsible for all of the following except for:
  • Inspecting your cargo
  • Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight
  • Labeling each pallet correctly
  • Knowing your cargo is properly secured
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From The CDL Manual

Whether or not you load and secure the cargo yourself, you are responsible for:

  • Inspecting your cargo.
  • Recognizing overloads and poorly balanced weight.
  • Knowing your cargo is properly secured.
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Improperly loaded or secured cargo:
  • Is a relatively minor concern
  • Could hurt or kill the driver or others
  • Is the shippers responsibility
  • Requires special paperwork
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From The CDL Manual

You must understand basic cargo safety rules to get a CDL. If you load cargo wrong or do not secure it, it can be a danger to others and to yourself. Loose cargo that falls off a vehicle can cause traffic problems and others could be hurt or killed. Loose cargo could hurt or kill you during a quick stop or crash. Your vehicle could be damaged by overload. Steering could be affected by how a vehicle is loaded, making it more difficult to control the vehicle.

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Cargo and securement devices should be checked within how many miles after starting a trip?
  • 25
  • 150
  • 50
  • 3
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From The CDL Manual

After Starting:

Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within the first 50 miles after beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed.

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A good inspection habit is for the driver to re-inspect the cargo:
  • If you hear strange noises
  • When it stops raining
  • At the end of the trip
  • After 150 miles or 3 hours
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From The CDL Manual

As part of your pre-trip inspection, make sure the truck is not overloaded and that the cargo is balanced and secured properly. Inspect the cargo and its securing devices again within 25 miles after beginning a trip. Make any adjustments needed. Check the cargo and securing devices as often as necessary during a trip to keep the load secure. A good habit is to inspect again:

After you have driven for 3 hours or 150 miles.

After every break you take during driving.

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Gross combination weight (GCW) is:
  • The total weight of a single vehicle plus its load
  • The maximum safe weight a tire can carry at a specified pressure.
  • The maximum specified by the manufacturer for a specific combination of vehicles plus its load
  • The total weight of a powered unit plus trailer(s) plus the cargo
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From The CDL Manual

Gross combination weight (GCW) –

Total weight of a powered unit plus trailer(s) plus the cargo.

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Weight transmitted to the ground by one axle or one set of axles called:
  • Coupling device capacity
  • Gross vehicle weight
  • Axle weight
  • Tire load
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From The CDL Manual

Axle weight –

Weight transmitted to the ground by one axle or one set of axles.

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Making sure that the cargo is not overweight is the responsibility of:
  • The driver
  • The D.O.T.
  • The lumper
  • The shipper
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From The CDL Manual

Weight and Balance

You are responsible for not being overloaded.

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Overloading can have all of the following effects except:
  • Brake failure
  • These are all things that can be caused by overloading
  • Increase in stopping distance
  • Unwanted gain in speed on downgrades
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From The CDL Manual

Overloading can have bad effects on steering, braking and speed control. Overloaded trucks must go very slow on upgrades. Worse, they may gain too much speed on downgrades. Stopping distance increases. Brakes can fail when forced to work too hard.

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Cargo with a high center of gravity:
  • Won't affect the truck at all
  • Should be loaded towards the back
  • Increases the chance of the truck tipping over
  • Is ideal in stormy conditions
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From The CDL Manual

Do Not Be Top-Heavy —

The height of the vehicle’s center of gravity is very important for safe handling. A high center of gravity (cargo piled up high or heavy cargo on top) means you are more likely to tip over. It is most dangerous in curves or if you have to swerve to avoid a hazard. It is very important to distribute the cargo so it is as low as possible. Put the heaviest parts of the cargo under the lightest parts.

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Putting too much weight towards the rear may cause all of these except:
  • Prevent the truck from moving in bad weather
  • Rollover
  • Cause poor traction
  • Make the steering axle too light to steer safely
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From The CDL Manual

Balance the Weight —

Poor weight balance can make vehicle handling unsafe. Too much weight on the steering axle can cause hard steering and damage the steering axle and tires. Underloaded front axles (caused by shifting weight too far to the rear) can make the steering axle weight too light to steer safely. Too little weight on the driving axles can cause poor traction. The drive wheels may spin easily. During bad weather, the truck may not be able to keep going.

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When hauling livestock, to prevent them from moving around too much and causing a dangerous situation you would use:
  • Barbed wire
  • 3/8-inch chains
  • 3-ft ropes
  • False bulkheads
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From The CDL Manual

Livestock

Livestock can move around in a trailer, causing unsafe handling. With less than a full load, use false bulkheads to keep livestock bunched together. Even when bunched, special care is necessary because livestock can lean on curves. This shifts the center of gravity and makes rollover more likely.

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Special permits will be required for loads that are:
  • Overweight
  • Over-width
  • These will all require special permits
  • Over-length
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From The CDL Manual

Over-length, over-width and/or overweight loads

Will require special transit permits. Driving is usually limited to certain times. Special equipment may be necessary, such as “wide load” signs, flashing lights, flags, etc. Such loads may require a police escort or pilot vehicles bearing warning signs and/or flashing lights. These special loads require special driving care. Load them together. If you do not know, ask your employer.

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The maximum safe weight that a tire can carry is:
  • 20,000 lbs
  • Stated on the side of each tire
  • Dependant on the cargo
  • Not a concern
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From The CDL Manual

Tire load –

Maximum safe weight a tire can carry at a specified pressure. This rating is stated on the side of each tire.

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Securing cargo on a flatbed trailer is typically done using:
  • Tie-ups
  • Tie-downs
  • Lumpers
  • Plastic wrap
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From The CDL Manual

3.3.2 – Cargo Tie-down

On flatbed trailers or trailers without sides, cargo must be secured to keep it from shifting or falling off. In closed vans, tie-downs can also be important to prevent cargo shifting that may affect the handling of the vehicle. Tie-downs must be of the proper type and proper strength. Federal regulations require the aggregate working load limit of any securement system used to secure an article or group of articles against movement must be at least one-half times the weight of the article or group of articles.

Proper tie-down equipment must be used, including ropes, straps, chains and tensioning devices (winches, ratchets, clinching components). Tie-downs must be attached to the vehicle correctly (hooks, bolts, rails, rings).

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What is the minimum number of tie-downs to be used on flatbed cargo?
  • 4
  • 2
  • 3
  • 1
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From The CDL Manual

Cargo should have at least one tie-down for each 10 feet of cargo. Make sure you have enough tie-downs to meet this need. No matter how small the cargo, it should have at least two tie-downs.

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