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Step 3: Start Engine and Inspect Inside Cab

Get in and start engine:

  • Make sure parking brake is on.
  • Put gearshift in neutral (or Park if automatic).
  • Start engine; listen for unusual noises

Look at gauges:

  • Oil pressure - Should come up to normal within seconds after engine is started.
  • Ammeter and/or voltmeter - Should be in normal range(s).
  • Coolant temperature - Should begin gradual rise to normal operating range.
  • Engine oil temperature - Should begin gradual rise to normal operating range.
  • Warning lights and buzzers - Oil, coolant, charging circuit warning lights should go out right away

Check condition of controls:

  • Steering wheel
  • Clutch
  • Accelerator (gas pedal)
  • Brake controls:
    • Foot brake
    • Trailer brake (if equipped)
    • Parking brake
    • Retarder controls (if equipped)
  • Transmission controls
  • Interaxle differential lock (if equipped)
  • Horn(s)
  • Windshield wiper/washer
  • Lights:
    • Headlights
    • Dimmer switch
    • Turn signal
    • Four-way flashers
    • Clearance, identification, marker light switch(es)

Check mirrors and windshield:

  • Inspect mirrors and windshield for cracks, dirt, illegal stickers or other obstructions to vision. Clean and adjust as necessary.

Check emergency equipment:

  • Check for safety equipment:
    • Spare electrical fuses (unless vehicle has circuit breakers)
    • Three red reflective triangles
    • Properly charged and rated fire extinguisher
  • Check for optional items:
    • Tire chains (where conditions require them)
    • Tire-changing equipment
  • List of emergency phone numbers
  • Accident-reporting kit (packet)
It is very important to memorize the three required emergency equipment items that every commercial vehicle must have. You will most likely get a question on this on the written exam and will need to know it for the pre-trip exam as well. This must be memorized!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

After starting the engine, how long should it take for oil pressure to read within normal levels?
  • In about 2 to 3 minutes
  • It can take 5 minutes or longer
  • Within seconds
  • In about 1 to 2 minutes

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Oil pressure – Should come up to normal within seconds after engine is started.

Next
Which of the following gauges will show normal levels within seconds of starting the engine?
  • Engine oil pressure
  • Coolant temperature
  • All of these should read normally within seconds of starting the engine
  • Engine oil temperature

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Look at gauges:

  • Oil pressure - Should come up to normal within seconds after engine is started.
  • Ammeter and/or voltmeter - Should be in normal range(s).
  • Coolant temperature - Should begin gradual rise to normal operating range.
  • Engine oil temperature - Should begin gradual rise to normal operating range.
  • Warning lights and buzzers - Oil, coolant, charging circuit warning lights should go out right away.
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