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Pre-Trip Inspection CDL Practice Test

CDL Test Practice Exams & CDL Training Materials

Taking the CDL test will be much easier after going through our practice CDL tests here online. This is the pre-trip inspection portion of the CDL written practice exam. These questions are very similar to the ones you'll find on the actual CDL written test you'll be taking to get your CDL license. Follow along with the test questions below and read through the explanations that follow each CDL test question to get some better insights into the CDL exam and the trucking industry itself.

1. During the pre-trip inspection, you must show that:

A. the vehicle is safe to drive.
B. the vehicle is newer than 4 years old.
C. you are competant and have no alcohol in your system.


Answer

A. the vehicle is safe to drive.

Simple as that. You always inspect your tractor trailer before driving it. And don't think that because your truck seemed fine when you parked it the night before that it will be fine to drive the next day. What if you have a part on the truck that was just about to break and you were lucky enough to get parked before it did. That inspection before you leave the next morning will catch it. And although it's rare, somebody could have come along during the night and did something to your truck while you were sleeping. Never assume everything is ok. Safety in truck driving begins with the assumption that things are not ok unless you make sure they are.

2. During the pre-trip inspection you will:

A. sit in a truck and drive around talking about your expertise.
B. take a computerized test about truck driving.
C. walk around the vehicle and point to or touch each item and explain to the examiner what you are checking and why.


Answer

C. walk around the vehicle and point to or touch each item and explain to the examiner what you are checking and why.

To get your CDL, the CDL examiner wants to know that you've been trained in such a way that you can apply your knowledge and skills in a real-life scenario. All the knowledge and skills in the world are no good if you can't apply them to the job. So you will walk around the tractor trailer and either touch or point to every part, name every part, and describe what you're looking for so that they know you haven't just memorized words out of the CDL manual - you really do know where these parts are on a tractor trailer and you know what to look for on them.

3. When checking the hoses you should:

A. look for puddles on the ground.
B. look for dripping fluids on the underside of the engine and transmission.
C. inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
D. All of the above.


Answer

D. All of the above.

Leaks in hoses and seals are usually pretty easy to detect, and it pays to find them early. A hose or a seal can leak slowly for some time before finally bursting open and pouring all of the fluids out onto the ground, leaving you stranded wherever you're at. You can't make money with your truck being towed and sitting in a shop for two days. Detect leaks early and you'll prevent a lot of trouble, lost time and money, and possibly risk for yourself.

4. When checking the oil level you will show the examiner:

A. that the oil level is within safe operating range.
B. the type of oil being used in the engine
C. where the power steering fluid dipstick is located.


Answer

A. that the oil level is within safe operating range.

It's easy to find the dipstick, even on a truck you are unfamiliar with, and the proper oil level will be clearly marked on it. The engine must be off to check the oil properly. If the engine has been running and you've just shut it off, wait about 10 minutes or so before checking the oil. You must give the oil time to drain out of the engine and into the oil pan to get a proper reading.

5. You should never check the reservoir sight glass of the coolant level.

A. True
B. False


Answer

B. False

What you should never do is take the radiator cap off when the engine is hot. Even the overflow reservoir can have pressure built up in it and scalding hot anti-freeze could wind up shooting all over you. Believe me, it happens. Either use the site glass to check the level of the coolant or wait until the engine has cooled completely if for some reason you do need to take off the radiator cap.

6. When checking the power steering fluid at the pre-trip inspection the level must be above the refill mark to be acceptable

A. True
B. False


Answer

A. True

Again, the engine must be off before checking the power steering fluid, but it need not be cooled off. The fluid can be checked with the engine still hot.

7. Check the following belts for snugness, cracks, or frays:

A. power steering belt and water pump belt, alternator belt and air compressor belt.
B. air compressor belt and seat belt.
C. power steering belt and driver's belt.
D. none of the above.


Answer

A. power steering belt and water pump belt, alternator belt and air compressor belt.

Basically, you will be checking all of the belts on the front of the engine. Not all engines are built the same, and not all components will have belts. Often times, components are designed to be gear-driven, not belt driven. Gear-driven components will not have belts, but check all belts that are present on the front of the motor.

8. To check the clutch/gearshift you should:

A. depress clutch.
B. place gearshift lever in neutral (or park for automatic transmissions).
C. start engine, then release clutch slowly.
D. all of the above.


Answer

D. all of the above.

Not only should you follow all of these procedures, but you should also check the clutch for free play. The engine will not start with the transmission in gear and the clutch must be depressed. There are sensors that are meant to check for this.

9. You must check to make sure that the oil pressure gauge is working.

A. True
B. False


Answer

A. True

When you start the motor, the oil pressure gauge should rise and show oil pressure within a few seconds. If about 10 seconds or more go by and the gauge does not read any oil pressure, then something is wrong and the engine should be shut down right away.

10. When checking the oil pressure gauge you should make sure that:

A. the gauge shows decreasing oil pressure.
B. shows increasing or normal oil pressure or that the warning light goes off.
C. shows that there is enough gas for your trip.


Answer

B. shows increasing or normal oil pressure or that the warning light goes off.

When you start the motor, the oil pressure gauge should rise and show oil pressure within a few seconds. If about 10 seconds or more go by and the gauge does not read any oil pressure, then something is wrong and the engine should be shut down right away.

11. The temperature gauge is unimportant at a pre-trip inspection.

A. True
B. False


Answer

B. False

Although the engine may not be warm enough yet to show a reading on the temperature gauge, you must let your CDL examiner know that you are aware of checking it for proper function.

12. During a pre-trip inspection the mirrors and windshield should be checked for:

A. proper alignment
B. stickers
C. cleanliness, obstructions, and damage.


Answer

C. cleanliness, obstructions, and damage.

Make sure the windshield and mirrors are not only clean and free of damage or obstructions, but make sure your mirrors are aimed properly before you begin driving. You do not want to start rolling and then realize you have to stop and adjust your mirrors.

13. Some emergency equipment that should always be carried is:

A. unimportant during the pre-trip inspection.
B. spare electrical fuses, three reflective triangles, a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
C. spare electrical fuses, a walkie talkie, a fire extinguisher.


Answer

B. spare electrical fuses, three reflective triangles, a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.

Not only is this important to know for your written CDL test and the pre-trip inspection portion of your CDL test, but when you're out on the road, also. Although spare fuses are not a requirement, a fire extinguisher and triangles are. The DOT loves to check for these things during an inspection because they are quick and easy to check for and an easy ticket to write if they're looking to write one.

14. To check for steering play in a non-power steering vehicle you should turn the steering wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed:

A. 30 degrees
B. 20 degrees
C. 10 degrees


Answer

C. 10 degrees

You will likely never come across a non-power steering vehicle in modern trucks, but you should know this answer for your CDL test and you should also understand the general principle that your steering system should not have excess play in it.

15. Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, damaged, and operate occasionally.

A. True
B. False


Answer

B. False

Of course they should operate properly and have no damage to them. Be aware that on your CDL test they will try to trick you with improper wording sometimes. Take your time on the test and read every question and every answer choice carefully.

CDL Practice Tests

More CDL Training Resources From TruckingTruth

High Road Practice Questions

We've taken the questions from the High Road Training Program and put them in their own section of the site. The quizzes also contain quotes from the CDL manual and advice from TruckingTruth.

CDL Practice Test Android App

We've also converted the quizzes from the High Road Training Program into an Android app. Now you can practice taking the quizzes when you're on the go! The quizzes also contain quotes from the CDL manual and advice from TruckingTruth.

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Passing your CDL exam involves taking written exams, oral exams, and of course driving and backing tests. We have a series of articles that will help you understand what you're being tested for and how to give yourself the best chance of passing.

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