While requirements vary by state—and often by the trucking company you wish to work for—the federal government only requires truckers to pass the commercial driver license (CDL) written and driving tests.
Required Testing for a Trucking License in Kansas City
The tests each truck driver will have to take depends on the type of vehicle, class of license, and specific endorsements he will need. Common CDL knowledge tests include:
- The general knowledge test. This test must be taken by all applicants.
- Passenger transport. This test must be taken by bus drivers.
- Air brakes test. Mandatory test for drivers whose vehicles have air brakes installed.
- Combination vehicles test. This is required if you could potentially drive combination vehicles.
- Hazardous materials test. This test examines how to haul hazardous material or waste in amounts that require placarding.
- The tanker test. This test is mandatory for drivers hauling liquids in bulk.
- Doubles and triples test. If your company hauls double or triple trailers, you must pass this maneuverability test.
- Longer-combination-vehicle (LCV) test. LCV truckers must be trained in driver wellness, qualifications, hours of service, and whistleblower protection, as well as pass required testing.
Once you pass the required knowledge tests specific to your vehicle, you must pass a CDL road skills tests. These tests are far more extensive than road tests for passenger vehicles. Truckers must be tested on all aspects of commercial driving, including pre-trip inspections, basic vehicle control, and other necessary maneuvers of daily street and highway driving. All of these tests must be taken in the type of vehicle for which you wish to be licensed.
Drivers should be aware that operating a commercial vehicle without a valid license is a felony, and places the public at considerable risk of an accident. If someone you know is considering getting his or her trucking license, please share this information on Facebook to prepare them for what lies ahead.