We've broken our Montana CDL practice tests into 16 categories which will cover the entire CDL permit exam, all of the CDL endorsement exams, and your job duties as a driver.
Driving Rules And Regulations will cover the basics like who needs a CDL, CDL classifications, CDL reqiurements and disqualifications, and why special CDL endorsements are sometimes required.
Transporting Cargo will cover the different terms related to truck and cargo weights, driver responsibilities regarding overweight trucks, the safe loading of cargo, and cargo securement.
Safe Driving will cover the basics of a pre-trip inspection, basic control and backing, speed and lane control, managing space around your vehicle, and driving in poor weather conditions.
Transporting Passengers is required for the passenger endorsement and will cover the basics of a pre-trip inspection for a bus, loading and securing passenger cargo, and school bus safety.
The School Bus Endorsement is required in some states for driving a school bus. This section covers loading and unloading passengers safely, bus inspection, and regulations for passenger transport.
Air Brakes will cover the various parts of an air brake system, air brake inspection, proper braking techniques, the differences between air brakes and hydraulic brakes, and stopping distance.
Combination Vehicles is a requirement for driving a tractor trailer and will cover combination vehicle air brakes, coupling and uncoupling trailers, and combination vehicle air brake inspection.
Doubles And Triples is an endorsement needed to pull double trailers or triple trailers and will cover coupling and uncoupling of doubles and triples, inspection, and air brake tests.
Tankers is a required endorsement to pull tanker trailers or large totes of liquid and will cover the pre-trip inspection of tankers, tanker loading, and safe driving for tankers.
Hazardous Materials is an endorsement required to pull hazardous cargo and covers labels and placards, loading and unloading hazardous materials, parking and routing, and emergency response.
Pre-Trip Inspection will cover the inspection of the outside of the truck, the air brake system, inspection of the trailer, engine start and check, and driver responsibilities.
Driving Exam will cover the reqiurements for passing the CDL driving exam, the CDL driving exam scoring system, upgrades and downgrades, and the basics of the driving exam itself.
Logbook Rules is not a requirement for the CDL permit or endorsements but it's critical for doing your job. This is a very thorough section which covers all of the rules governing the logbook.
Weight Distribution is not a requirement for the permit or endorsements but is critical for doing your job. It will cover cargo loading, weight distribution, fuel calculations, and center of gravity.
Flatbed Cargo Securement is not required unless you're pulling a flatbed. This section covers tiedown components, securing devices, working load limits, and requirements for different types of freight.
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To get a CDL Learner’s Permit, which you need to have in order to enter attend a trucking school and to undergo CDL testing, you will need to independently study for and pass permit testing (in addition to meeting all eligibility and fitness requirements). To study, you will utilize the Montana Commercial Driver License Manual, and Montana CDL practice tests that you can find online or in books. The CDL Manual will cover everything you need to know for testing, but it’s necessary to learn which parts will be emphasized the most and that you need to memorize in order to pass. You might need to use other sources to aid in your understanding of the manual’s contents.
The exam will only be a written test, not a driving test, as you need to obtain the learner’s permit before you can operate a commercial vehicle and be tested on driving skills. In trucking school, the permit will allow you to complete all of the in-vehicle instruction needed to go through the full CDL test. There may be a minor cost to obtain your Commercial Learner’s Permit, not including other costs incurred leading up to obtaining it.
In the state of Montana, you must be at least 21 years of age to be eligible to drive commercially intrastate (across state lines) or to transport hazardous materials. You must be at least 18 to obtain a CDL of any kind.
You must also meet driving record eligibility requirements. Disqualification is possible for the same things as for an active CDL-holder. These include alcohol use, drug use, and serious traffic violations that occurred while you were operating any type of vehicle and in any capacity.
You must also meet medical and physical requirements, and have already been examined by an FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) certified medical examiner and obtained a Medical Examiner’s Card. Costs for the exam vary, but it will usually be less than $150 and greater than $35.
After you have obtained your medical card, to begin the process of getting your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), you must visit a Montana Department of Justice Driver Services Bureau Driver License Station.
It is highly encouraged that you schedule an appointment online or by calling ahead to reserve a place in line before you arrive.
You will need to bring the following to the Driver License Station:
Proof of Montana residency
Proof of Legal Presence in the United States--acceptable documents include:
A valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card; original or certified copy of birth certificate bearing an official seal; a Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State; Certification of Naturalization; or Certificate of U.S. Citizenship.
Proof of legal presence for non-U.S. citizens can include: a valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card issued by the USCIS or INS; Temporary I-551 stamp in valid, unexpired Foreign passport or passport card; Employment Authorization Card; Refugee Travel Document with I-94; Foreign passport with an I-94 Arrival/Departure form
This list of accepted documents is not exhaustive; all acceptable documentation is listed in detail in the Montana CDL Manual.
In addition to your medical examination, the Driver Service Station will also perform its own health screening questionnaire, and will administer a vision and hearing test, similar to the process for getting a regular driver’s license. You must have 20/40 visual acuity. Conditions that can affect your eligibility include mental health, blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory disease, and medications. See the CDL Manual for further details on potentially disqualifying conditions.
You won’t know exactly what is on the Montana learner’s permit test until you are taking it, so it’s necessary to thoroughly study the CDL Manual.
Common topics that are likely to be on the permit tests include, but are not limited to the following, specifically as they relate to commercial vehicles:
After you have completed the entire CLP process, you must wait 14 days to be eligible to undergo full CDL testing. An education program in the interim is necessary to be able to learn and practice the skills needed for that testing, as well as in-depth training on governmental regulations and being successful in a career and lifestyle in trucking.
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