Is Parallel Parking Absolutely Mandatory For Texas CDL Skills Test?

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TailDragger's Comment
member avatar

Looks like a great forum.

I have passed all my written tests and I'm ready to take my skills test. I will be using a friends dump truck and a trailer. He and another friend took their class A in this rig a few years ago. Neither of them had to parallel park on the test. As far as I can tell, it appears to be absolutely mandatory unless maybe if you get enough points on the rest of the test, maybe they don't do it.

The Texas CDL manual is not clearly worded regarding this. I have driven the rig and feel quite comfortable with it and with all the things necessary, except I have yet to parallel park it.

Thanks for your comments, Larry

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.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

Larry, it is mandatory. When I tested in Texas a little more than three years ago both the straight backing and parallel maneuvers were done first, then we proceeded out on to the driving portion of the test. I do not know if that is standard protocol for all Texas testing locations or not. You can lose a good many points on the parallel maneuver and still pass the driving test. If you bump the curb with a tire though, it is an automatic fail.

Just curious Larry, what type of job are you planning on getting with that nice shiny new license you are going for? Are you aware that most jobs available to a new (inexperienced) class A driver are going to require a training certificate indicating 160 hours of training from a truck driving school?

Phox's Comment
member avatar

As someone who just got their CDL less than a month ago in Texas I can say, yes it is mandatory.

Also i you hit a curb for any reason at any time during the drive test it's an auto fail.

Sometimes they make you simulate a breakdown and railroad crossing (with a train coming) too. I was lucky to not be put with those testers so I just had the basic driving and straight line backing and parallel.

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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
TailDragger's Comment
member avatar

Thanks very much for the replies guys! From what you are saying, it sounds as if I can pass the test even if I am not successful with the parallel parking. I will be practicing parallel parking this afternoon, and my test is next Tuesday. I feel comfortable with everything else, so it sounds like I can pull it off. That said, if for no other reason than my pride, I really want to successfully and completely parallel park on the test.

I am not looking for an over the road job. I am about to retire and I will sometimes be helping a friend of mine do dirt work and small construction site prep. Between he, I and a third friend we have various pieces of equipment from small dozers to back hoes. I just want to be legal for moving this stuff around. I have some other things going that would make it good to have a car hauler. Nothing too big, but enough to haul a couple of one ton crew cabs.

In my early years, I drove a five ton tractor with a large radar trailing behind while in the Army and worked as a mechanic in a big truck shop for a while after I got out of the Army and moved stuff around the yard and road tested. I'm certainly not an experienced OTR driver, but I am not a rank beginner either.

Thanks again for the quick, friendly and useful responses.

I will be hanging out here and will report my test results.

Larry

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

TailDragger's Comment
member avatar

I tried to pay the forum the courtesy of filling out my profile.

I selected "Driver in Training" but the system insists on showing me as "Company Driver in Training." I tried to change it several times, but it goes back to "Company..."

I am enjoying the forum. Thanks to those who make it possible. Larry

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Best of luck to ya! Just don't bump that curb!

TailDragger's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School!

I will try to report back next Tuesday after the test.

Larry

Barry Y. ( Watchd0g)'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks very much for the replies guys! From what you are saying, it sounds as if I can pass the test even if I am not successful with the parallel parking. I will be practicing parallel parking this afternoon, and my test is next Tuesday. I feel comfortable with everything else, so it sounds like I can pull it off. That said, if for no other reason than my pride, I really want to successfully and completely parallel park on the test.

I am not looking for an over the road job. I am about to retire and I will sometimes be helping a friend of mine do dirt work and small construction site prep. Between he, I and a third friend we have various pieces of equipment from small dozers to back hoes. I just want to be legal for moving this stuff around. I have some other things going that would make it good to have a car hauler. Nothing too big, but enough to haul a couple of one ton crew cabs.

In my early years, I drove a five ton tractor with a large radar trailing behind while in the Army and worked as a mechanic in a big truck shop for a while after I got out of the Army and moved stuff around the yard and road tested. I'm certainly not an experienced OTR driver, but I am not a rank beginner either.

Thanks again for the quick, friendly and useful responses.

I will be hanging out here and will report my test results.

Larry

I am not sure about Texas, but I believe they have standardized the tests in all 50 states. In Pa, you do 3 tests. Pre-trip inspection including air brakes, Skills Tests (straight line backing and parallel), and then the drive test. In Pa it is in that order, and you can not move on to the next test until you pass the current.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Leslie A.'s Comment
member avatar

It is mandatory, but if you don't do it perfect, is alright as long as you don't hit anything. I didn't parallel park perfect but did everything else great, and because in texas it is a points system based test, they won't flunk you automatically for one mistake. best of lucks

TailDragger's Comment
member avatar

I was getting worried that I wouldn't have the truck ready for the Tuesday test. The speedometer was erratic and I'm sure they would not like doing a driving test without a readable speedometer. I found a bare wire on the output shaft sensor, taped it up and the speedometer is now working perfect. I will be getting lots of parallel parking experience this weekend and be studying the pre trip details further.

I'll check in Tuesday evening with the results. Larry

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