The driving skills portion of your CDL training will test your ability to handle the operation of a commercial motor vehicle.
Your skills test will include the pre-trip inspection, road test, and backing tests. You must pass all 3 exams to get your CDL.
The specific types of backing tests will vary by state, so check with your state DMV or licensing bureau.
The skills test is what you've been waiting and working for, and your chance to show that you've learned enough to be trusted with the operation of an 80,000 vehicle.
Article - CDL Testing Day From A Trainers Perspective
Just like when I took my CDL exam, we were required to be up early and meet up with other students and the CDL examiners at 6:30am. And just like on my CDL exam day, my student was up before 5am. He woke up and couldn't get back to sleep due to the nervousness, so he simply began going over all of his pre-trip inspection study guides.
FMCSA - Commercial Drivers License Standards: Required Skills
Describes general skills required by the FMCSA in order to pass the driving skills portion of the CDL test.
As part of the exam, you will be expected & required to show that you can properly inspect your vehicle to determine its road-worthiness.
Forum - Daniel B.: Pre-Trip Inspection - My Way! A must see!
This is my Pre-Trip Inspection , done my way! This Pre-Trip is done on my truck and trailer. It is a complete Pre-Trip Inspection and features everything you'll need to know.
The road test part of the exam will put you behind the wheel on public roads, in an actual driving situation. Normally, you will have had practice in this exact scenario so it won't be totally new to you.
Forum - Road test and backing test
Don't worry if your shifting isn't perfect. They don't expect it to be. Just do what they taught you in school the best you can and you should be fine.
Article - CDL Test Day - What It Was Like Taking (and passing!) the CDL Test
The yard skills test was the one I was scared of. All it took was a few inches too far forward, a turn that was a little too tight, a bad 45 degree back, and I fail. I kept telling myself; "There is nothing to be nervous about. Just do what you've been doing and you'll be fine. Even if I fail, I can just retest. This is not a big deal."
Every state will have different requirements regarding the backing test, and your school will have you prepared for that specific state's rules, but it will generally contain some combination of straight backing, offset backing, alley dock, and parallel parking.
Article - Learning How To Back Up A Big Truck
There seems to be this misconception among both students and instructors that mistakes are a bad thing. I couldn't disagree more! While practicing, you should always strive to perform your backing maneuvers perfectly. I'm not saying you should run over cones just for the sake of running them over. But if you do hit a cone, go out of a boundary, or simply botch a maneuver... who cares?
Forum - Took my backing tests for the third time...
After having failed my second test, one of the directors set me and a couple other students who had failed multiple times with an instructor for a special class last Thursday. This instructor, we'll call him R, is the best instructor that this school has.
Generally, depending on the state, you'll be allowed a certain number of errors for each section of the CDL skills test.
If you fail any part of the CDL skills test, you will have to re-take the entire exam. Most states will have a minimum waiting period, and limit the re-takes you are allowed within a certain time frame.
Article - Passing The CDL Road Test: What Are CDL Examiners Looking For?
The scariest part may be not knowing exactly what the CDL Examiner is looking for in the first place. How good do you have to be? What will he be watching for? What's an automatic failure? Here is some advice to help you see things from the standpoint of the CDL Examiner.
FMCSA - Passing knowledge and skills tests.
A driver applicant who does not obey traffic laws, causes an accident during the test, or commits any other offense listed as a reason for automatic failure in the standards contained in the driver and examiner manuals must automatically fail the test.
Example - CDL A Skills Test Score Sheet
An example of Oregon's CDL Skills Test score sheet.
Forum - DMV Skills test failure
All you can do is pick yourself back up again and give it another crack in April. Just one more month... hang in there! The time waiting is a drop in the bucket compared to the amount of time you can have driving that big rig.
Forum - Failed my CDL skills test today
I still have difficulty backing, but I am getting better the more I do it. I know not passing is discouraging, but put this behind you because tomorrow is a new day. Enjoy Christmas with family and friends then get back to business.