3 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Passing Your CDL Road Test

6 September 2016
 Categories: , Articles


After spending a lot of time studying and practicing for your CDL test, you may feel a bit overwhelmed and, quite possibly, extremely nervous on test day, even though you've studied and practiced as much as possible. After all, passing the CDL test could change your financial situation, since you will be able to start working as a truck driver if you do well. Fortunately, there are a few other things you can do to help increase your chance of passing the test and getting the coveted CDL. Here's what they are.

Pre-Inspect for the Pre-Test Inspection

The first thing that you'll need to do is a pre-test inspection. It's part of the testing procedure and shows that you are capable of inspecting a truck to ensure that it is safe to drive before you get behind the wheel. Of course, testing your capability here depends largely on the actual condition of the truck itself. For example, if the air brakes are not functioning properly, you will not be able to pass the air-leak check portion of the pre-test inspection.

Therefore, make sure that the truck you will use for the test is thoroughly checked over by a mechanic before the pre-test inspection. Try to schedule the mechanic's inspection to be the morning of the CDL test or the day before. That way, you won't run the risk of failing the pre-test inspection due to mechanical malfunctioning of the truck. Obviously, you will not be able to conduct the actual driving portion of the road test if you fail the pre-test inspection due to missing an inspection procedure or due to a mechanical failure in the truck.

Wear a Watch with a Second Hand

Speaking of the air-leak check part of the pre-test inspection, it's a good idea to wear a watch for your test. A watch that has a second hand is ideal. Part of the air-leak check involves checking the air gauge to make sure that the air pressure does not drop more than three psi in just one minute. You'll want to use a watch to make sure that you are within the time requirements instead of trying to count the seconds in your head.

Air brakes are extremely important for a semi-truck, especially when it is hauling a trailer that is chock-full of goods. Failing any part of inspection that involves the braking system, which includes the air supply system for the air brakes, could easily result in an automatic failure. Make it obvious to the instructor that you are keeping track of the time on your watch.

Get Hydrated 

Dehydration has been found to cause a decrease in cognitive performance. This means that if you do not give your body enough water, your thinking skills and brain power may be lacking. What's even more alarming is that dehydration can cause you to make the same number of mistakes when driving as someone who drives with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration.

Therefore, you could fail your test if you are not adequately hydrated. Usually, people don't take a drink of water until they feel thirsty. However, the feeling of thirst is your body's way of saying that you are already a bit dehydrated. According to the National Institutes of Health, water needs vary from one person to the next and from one day to the next. One thing you can do is have your physician run a complete blood workup to determine if you are dehydrated and, if so, to what extent so you can get on a regimen to get hydrated, especially before test day.