What the CDL Driving Test Includes

To earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL), you will need to take two tests. One is a written exam and when you pass this, you will obtain your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The second is known as the skills test and includes three parts: a pre-trip inspection, assessments of basic vehicle control, and on-the-road driving. This CDL driving test evaluates your response to several traffic situations, as well as your overall driving skills.

How the CDL Driving Test Works

During the CDL road test, the evaluator will have you drive through a test route. They will score you based on your response to specific traffic situations. While you are driving, the evaluator will give you directions that you will need to follow. They will make sure to give you enough time to take any action. If the test route does not have a certain situation, you may be asked to explain what you would do if you encountered it. In addition to specific maneuvers, the evaluator will score your overall driving behavior. You must wear your seat belt throughout the test route, obey all traffic laws, and complete the test without an accident or moving violation.

CDL Driving Test Criteria

Some of the criteria the evaluator will score include:


When the evaluator asks you to make a turn, you will need to do so safely. Some of the factors for safe turning include checking all directions, slowing down or stopping smoothly without unsafe coasting, and using your turn signal. You will need to keep both hands on the wheel during the turn, check your mirrors to make sure you do not hit anything inside of the turn, and finish in the correct lane. After turning, the evaluator will expect you to ensure the turn signal is off, get up to the speed of traffic, and move into the right-most lane when possible, if you are not already there.


At intersections, you will need to thoroughly check traffic in all directions. If it is necessary to stop, you must do so smoothly, without coasting, and with a safe distance between your truck and any vehicles in front of you. As you pass through the intersection, you will need to continue to check the traffic around you and will need to accelerate smoothly and change gears as necessary.


As you enter an expressway or rural highway, you will need to check traffic, use proper signaling, and merge smoothly. On the expressway, you will be expected to maintain proper speed and lane spacing. When exiting, decelerate smoothly, check traffic, and use your turn signal.

Railroad Crossings

Before reaching a railroad crossing, you should decelerate, brake smoothly, and switch gears as necessary. Depending on the type of vehicle, you may be required to stop completely and activate your four-way flashers. You should look and listen for trains while also checking traffic in all directions. While in the crossing, do not stop, change lanes, pass another vehicle, or change gears.

Prepare for Your CDL Test

The above examples are only some of the situations you may encounter during your CDL skills test. At Phoenix Truck Driving School, our skilled instructors will help you understand the various aspects of safe driving. You will get hands-on experience and we can help you get on the road and earning in as little as four weeks.

For more information on how we can prepare you for the CDL driving test, contact us today.

Staying Healthy as an OTR Driver

Becoming an over-the-road (OTR) truck driver involves spending three to four weeks at a time on the road. This can be a great fit for individuals who are looking for more freedom and higher pay. Trucking is as much a lifestyle as it is a career. As you enter the trucking industry, it’s helpful to think about how you can stay healthy as an OTR driver. Although this lifestyle does have some unique considerations, it is possible to maintain and improve your health while on the road.

Some tips for making healthier choices as a long-haul truck driver:

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is essential for health and can even help you stay more focused and alert. Keep water in your truck and try to sip on it throughout the day instead of drinking only when you are thirsty. It’s also helpful to have water instead of less healthy drinks like coffee or soda.

Plan Healthy Meals and Snacks

Plan ahead and bring healthy meals and snacks with you to eat during your haul. You can pre-make meals before you leave so you can quickly and easily heat them up. More and more truck stops and restaurants on the road have healthy options if you prefer to purchase your meals. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and practice portion control.

Find Time for Exercise

There are many ways that you can exercise while on the road. One of the easiest is keeping a pair of running shoes in your truck and going for a quick jog during a break. Some truck stops even have gyms or you can get a membership with a gym chain that has locations across the country. Even 15 minutes of exercise can be incredibly beneficial.

Get Enough Sleep

Many people don’t pay enough attention to getting enough sleep. As an OTR driver, this can be more complicated, but some adjustments to your routine can help you get more and better sleep. Consider using earplugs to block out noise and use a good pillow and mattress in your sleeper berth. Comfortable sleeping conditions make it easier to fall asleep and get the most out of your time off.

Manage Stress

Health includes more than just your physical wellbeing and it’s important to remember to take care of your mental health as well. Connecting with friends and family back home, finding hobbies you can take on the road, and remembering to relax can all be helpful for this.

Implement Small Changes First

Keep in mind that even small lifestyle changes can have a big impact. Even if you only start with a few of these tips, it can be helpful. You might prefer to begin with easier adjustments and move forward from there.

Get Started on the Road to a Trucking Career

If you are interested in becoming an OTR driver, contact us to learn how we can help you earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL).