One of the most nerve racking parts of obtaining a commercial drivers license is the road test. This isn’t your 5 minute parallel park and come back deal. Commercial road tests usually take between 45 minutes to an hour. Here’s what you can expect on test day here in New York.
In order to receive a license for the proper class vehicle, you must show up at the road test area in the type and size of vehicle you intend to be licensed to drive. For example, if you intend to drive a full sized school bus, don’t bring a smaller van to the road test, or you will be restricted to driving that class vehicle. Same goes for Air Brakes. Even if you took the air brake written test, if you show up in a vehicle without air brakes, you will have a restriction put on your license. You also have to have a driver with you that is licensed for the vehicle you bring.
The test begins with a pretrip inspection. You don’t have to dive in and check all your fluids, but your pretrip inspection should include checking your emergency equipment, (Make sure you have 3 triangles before you go!) checking for leaks, all lights, gauges, checking tires for tread and giving them a good kick etc. Talk everything out as you go, and answer any questions the examiner has. It’s good to know the height and weight of the vehicle you bring to the test site.
There is no set “route” for the road test. Every examiner is different and will direct you as you go along. Make sure you do a 50 foot brake test before pulling away. At some point during the CDL road test you can expect to make both left and right turns, merge onto and exit the highway, parallel park, and possibly cross railroad tracks. Pay attention to the height of any underpasses, as you may be asked about them. Unmarked underpasses are at least 14 feet tall. Before you back up during the road test you will also have to get out of the vehicle (make sure to secure and take the key!)and check out the area you are backing into before you back up.
The road test will end back where it started, and the examiner will tell you immediately whether you passed or not. Good Luck!