How to Pass CDL Pre-Trip Inspection

Published by Darron Toy on

[TITLE: HOW TO PASS A CDL PRE-TRIP INSPECTION TEST] Hi there, Rick with Smart Drive Test talk to you today about the pre-trip inspection for the purposes of a road test. The first thing I want to say about
a pre trip for the purposes of a road test: you are not determining if the vehicle
is safe! Let me repeat that: you are not determining
if the vehicle is safe. What you are doing is demonstrating a
competency, and what I am going to explain to you is the fundamentals of the pre trip for the
purposes of a road test. We’ll be right back to talk to you about that. [INTRO & MUSIC] Hi there, Rick, welcome back, talking to you today about a pre trip for the purposes of a road test on a commercial vehicle. This is a class one vehicle and the first thing
that we tell students is the sequence because you cannot have any paperwork
with you for the pre trip inspection for the purposes of a road test. Most
provinces on a class 1 allow 45 minutes for a pre trip, for class 2 and class 3
it’s a half an hour, and for class 4— class E in Ontario and other places—
small buses and ambulances they allow twenty minutes for a pre-trip inspection.
So you need to have it down. The first thing we tell students is sequence: so
underneath the hood here, for example, what you do is you start at the top, at
the back and it’s a zigzag pattern – go across, drop down six to eight inches, come back
across the motor, 6 to eight inches, all the way down the wheel, the inside of the tire,
over the top of the tire, and down and out to be outside of the tire. So that is
the way that you remember: top to bottom, side to side, is your sequence for the
purposes of a road test. For example this section of the truck at the passenger’s
door: you start at the top, there’s no damage to the top of the cab, the mirror is
not cracked or broken, it’s secure on the truck, not cracked or broken, glass is not
chipped cracked or broken. The MVI decal is valid until September 2016 – the end of
the month. The door opens and closes, the light is working, hood is latched, step is
secure – give it a kick with your foot. And we
checked the fuel cap on the last section down there. Nothing hanging down on the
fairing – it’s not broken. So when you do a section of the truck break it down in
the section start the top, work to the bottom. That way you’re not going to forget
anything. When you get finished the section take a breath—pause—just have a
quick look make sure you didn’t forget anything and then move on to the next
section right here. Now the other thing that we tell students to do for the
components of the vehicle because the purpose of the pre trip is to
demonstrate a competency, to demonstrate to the examiner that you know the names of
the major components of the vehicle – you know whether they’re potentially damaged
and what could be wrong with them. For example, glass could be chipped, cracked,
or broken and you know that. What potentially could be wrong with it and
you know that the component is working. So you have lights – the lights are
working. Now it’s a visual inspection or you’re grabbing something giving it a
shake to make sure it’s secure. Now what we tell students is to say: “secure, not
damaged, not leaking.” If you have a brain cramp during your examination and you
forget what something is, just lightly touch, point to the component: “secure, not damage, not leaking.” They’re not going to ding you or give you demerit points
because you don’t remember the name of something, but you did check it. Now the
reason we say “not damaged… secure, not damaged,” secure on the vehicle. It’s not
damaged – a rock didn’t fly up and put a big ding in the side or something smacked into it
and hit it. Not leaking – 75% percent – approximately 75% of the components on
the vehicle are either have fluid or air in them. That’s why we say “secure, not
damaged, not leaking.” Now the purposes of the pre-trip inspection – most of it is a
visual inspection. The air brake pre trip inspection which is required for
commercial vehicles equipped with air brakes is probably the most difficult
and has to be the most specific for students. It has to be spot on, the rest
of it can be kind of a little bit loosey-goosey, but the air brake pre-trip
inspection has to be spot-on! And the difficulty with the pre-trip inspection
is is that its memorization. You have to memorize the air brake pre-trip
inspection. You are looking for a symptom and because you got that symptom the
component in the air brake system is either working or not working. For
example, maximum pressure of the air brake system: “I hear, I see” I hear the air
dryer purge, I see that the needles have stopped climbing between 105 psi and 135 psi in British Columbia – thats the air pressure. In Ontario, it’s between 80 psi and 135 psi. So the needles have stopped climbing between 80 and 135 psi because the system’s full, the needles are no longer going up. Therefore, I know that the governor has put the compressor into
the unload phase. You’re looking for a symptom and because of that symptom a
component of the air brake system is working. That is why it’s difficult for
students more difficult than it is to do the rest of the pre-trip inspection. So
if you’re struggling a little bit with your pre trip inspection for the
purposes of your road test, practice the air brake portion of it. The in-cab,
because that is the most difficult because it straight memorization. The other thing that I tell students
when they do they’re pre-trip inspection: you’re going to do the sequence – top to
bottom – side to side. After you finish the sequence, take a breath, just quick check -make sure you got everything, take a breath. [BREATH] and then carry on to the next piece. That
way you’re less likely to forget stuff because if you get hurried and you get
moving through it you’re going to forget pieces of the pre-trip inspection for
the purposes of road test. Because for the road test the road test you’re gonna be nervous,
the adrenaline’s flowing, so slow yourself dow,n take a moment. In conclusion, the pre-trip inspection for
the purposes of a road test: you are not checking the vehicle to
ensure its safe; you are demonstrating a competency to the examiners and to the
authorities who are testing you to get your license. You’re demonstrating that
you know the names of the major components of the vehicle, you know
whether they’re working, they’re not damaged, and it is a visual inspection. 45 minutes for
a class one, half an hour for class 2— bus more than 25 passengers—and a class 3 vehicle—tandem axle— You have 20 minutes for a class 4. Pre trip inspection: section it up sequence – stick to your sequence so that you know the whole pre-trip inspection. The air brake component is
the most difficult because you have to memorize numbers. You’re looking for a
symptom and because you got that symptom the component is working. The rest of the
outside of the truck is a visual inspection. It’s fairly straight forward as
long as you stick to your sequence. I’m Rick with Smart Drive Test. Thanks for watching. If you like the channel subscribe below, hit
that like button and remember: pick the best answer not necessarily the right
answer! Have a great day, bye now! [CLOSING CREDITS & MUSIC]


The nation of Tigray · December 24, 2016 at 12:05 pm

thank you I got some points

Brett Duffy · January 21, 2017 at 2:16 am

would this be the same as the United States

glober8 · February 28, 2017 at 4:01 am

Very good explaining sir thank you so much. You put me at ease. You have a way of explaining things. 👍🏻

tygerrstile2 · March 20, 2017 at 1:50 pm

you helped me pass my air brakes and general knowledge permit test in pa. i love how u explain things in detail, giving us a thorough n comprehensive technical overview. It's what I needed because I'm a true lover of knowledge and love to know how things work. Thank u so much. I watch all of your videos. #ClassA #permitgang #Womendrivers

Johnny Jones · April 14, 2017 at 10:24 am

Great video Rick, thanks for sharing.

Mike Hernandez · May 12, 2017 at 4:27 am

Hi Dr. August
I don't know if you remember me Mike Hernandez. I just wanted to let you know , that I passed all of my CA CDL test. I passed air brakes, pre-trip, in cab pre-trip, and my skills test. I happy to say I have obtained all of my endorsements. I also got my passengers endorsement too.
Thank you for all your help.
Mike Hernandez

Pelucas Arroyo · July 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm

great explanation help a lot thanks

Becka 💞Rodriguez · July 23, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Hello just wanted to say thank you for your video it is very helpful I have a road test August 7 this year and I am very nervous 😩 but thanks to your videos I thank i will be just fine .

sound wavez · October 4, 2017 at 3:59 pm

👍 Thanks coach !!!

Lawrence Cherry · October 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Hi quick question… Is a 100 foot backing an automatic fail if you can't do it?

Lawrence Cherry · October 27, 2017 at 9:17 am

Hi I have a question, I went to Academy bus training program starting on a CDL permit, I passed the all requirements and then went to take my CDL road test and passed that as well… Then the day I was supposed to get my Job and finalized out at my depot they called my back to training and said to train on a different bus, then the manager road with me I honestly did nothing wrong and then dropped me from getting my career.. What do you think about this… You can tell reply here or my Email address @ [email protected]

Sharon Browner · October 31, 2017 at 7:48 pm

If at the start of the final range maneuver of the class A CDL driving test, there are no points accumulated, can you pass the range part of the test if you get the tractor and trailer in side of the box but you're on the boundary line and honk the horn? Is it 10 points or failure?

Rich Richardson · November 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Would love to see a sheet to have and print out to practice with. Must practice over and over. TX is no joke in failing you.

mewael gherecristos · November 8, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Please we need 2017 pre-trip inspection and how to demo

Johnny Jones · December 11, 2017 at 12:39 pm

I always enjoy watching your videos while still learning. Your very professional compared to other YouTube truckers, Thanks so much for sharing your experience. 😊

Estifanos Amare · December 12, 2017 at 12:24 am

thanks esy wey

Ahmed A Muhammed · December 28, 2017 at 7:54 pm

I paid 1200 for my class 1 pre trip and i havent get good way to know like you did

Nino Cano · January 1, 2018 at 1:20 am

In FL is it the same as far as not having to name all components on the engine??

ICEY RIVERS · January 14, 2018 at 1:50 am

ok im im ready now. been kinda nervous about my pre trip inspection. but this advice just made it easy

Korloo Livestreams · January 26, 2018 at 2:46 am

The best way to calm your nerves and to pass is to PRACTICE. actually watch this video, this is the best guy to come to. Watch these videos, go practice the techniques as much as you can, then go take the test.

Joseph Ball · January 30, 2018 at 5:30 pm


Joseph Ball · January 30, 2018 at 5:32 pm

And is it 45 minutes for the Columbus Ohio pre-trip exam?

Josh Ramirez · February 1, 2018 at 12:25 am

Hey rick…i have a question for you…altho i stay in the US…do yu think that these automated truck will effect oilfeild drivers as much as otr or local drivers

Ku`i · April 9, 2018 at 9:54 am

Mahalo 4 the great vid!

Michelle Chapman · April 26, 2018 at 12:29 am

Do you have a video for a motor coach??

Michelle Chapman · April 26, 2018 at 12:33 am

Inspection exams vary from state to state! I'm struggling with the PSI numbers… please HELP

Brandon Fields · May 4, 2018 at 9:15 pm

is there a video for the proper way to drive ( in my case ) a class 3 10 speed 5 ton. been practicing my pre trip and driving . just wondering if there's certain things I need to be doing during my road test. example: hands placed 9-3 or not shifting during a curve. having trouble finding anything. thanks! love the videos. watched this one 15 times already!

Imma Ware · May 24, 2018 at 11:45 am

This already helped me in first 30 seconds! My focus was trying to determine if it was safe to drive 😔 not simply demonstrate competency

COWTown Tx. · June 6, 2018 at 6:39 am

People will dislike anything on youtube. Maybe its other vid makers, who knows. Gotta luv humans. Ha! Keep up tha good wrk!

gabbi randhawa · June 7, 2018 at 11:42 am

Its great knowledge for me

EpicThe112 · June 14, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Good tips there Rick and I'm not sure if this is applicable to a spotter truck which is typically used to a yard or warehouse truck🚚🚛 trailer switching duties since I was looking at an Amazon local job that requires one. Watched your car basic class D license road test tips

JIHADIST HUNTER Death2Jihadist!! · June 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm

I’ve been driving a class A tractor trailer for over 15 years. I drove tanker, Doubles, and pulled every size of trailers. Very great information for beginners and refreshing on pre-trip.

ricardo alvarado · July 5, 2018 at 3:53 am

I’m so nervous about this 😓 I need to pass I need to start working ASAP

Linell Arps · September 16, 2018 at 10:13 pm

man I have a road test coming up this Wednesday I'm nervous as hell.hope some of these videos help me.

Soldier f · October 1, 2018 at 3:12 pm

My man, very helpful info…thanks

George Costanza · October 5, 2018 at 3:47 am

what are you supposed to do if you find an issue like dented bumper bent steps or maybe a slight oil leak

javi sanchez · October 20, 2018 at 8:33 pm

Got my CDL yesterday thanks to this guy!!!!! Thank you sooooo much !

Horachia Pike · November 2, 2018 at 2:12 pm

am going for my Dz on the 13th of november…need more information

sule man · November 2, 2018 at 5:52 pm

Thank you sir, great tips.

kev will · November 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

I don't get it why do they make people do this when they can just grab a paper and go down the checklist to me it's about the skills can you drive or not DMV should not do pre trip testing if they do they should allow you to use a piece of paper because that's what's possible when your on the road but if you can't drive then you cant drive

D k · November 9, 2018 at 2:20 am

Just failed my pre trip exam because I was too good. I took 1 hr to do it. I over explained everything so I wouldn't miss anything.
Dont go overboard people. Thankfully I passed my road test. Rough shifts and poor right turn was the problem
Nerves were the main issue.
Funny that I failed cause I talked too much.
Some people said I should've challenged it but I'll retest the pretrip next week and pass.
Tester said I pretripped like a mechanic. I need to pretrip like a driver.

De Wolfie · November 9, 2018 at 5:22 am

45 minutes is a lot once you get the experience in. The one I make takes at most 20, I don't even think during training it ever took more than 45 at all. Here's how I was thought:
You take two laps around your truck, starting from the driver seat going toward the back. You only need to say what you are doing. Like "I am cheeking the tightness of the wheelnuts" Thinking out-loud almost.

1. lap
First you empty all your air by pumping the breaks. Turn the iginiton and listen for the buzzer.
Make sure to turn on the headlights and either one of the indicators. Put the reverse gear in. Pop the hood
With a hammer and a rag you make your first rount trip, gazing up and down as you walk, cheeking for damages and if all the lights are on. Beat the tyres with the hammer to feel if they have the correct "bounce". Wipe off lights if they are dirty with the rag. If you have a trailer you have to climb up in it and cheek the load. Open the hood and cheek the engine and all it's fluids.

2. lap
When you get back to the driver seat, put the truck in neutral and turn on the engine. Brace the hammer against the seat and break pedal. Put the indicator on the other direction, and turn on the high-beam.
Take another lap, cheeking the lights and this time blow the tanks, to make sure there doesn't come any water from them. Otherwise the airdryer have the to be replaced. Also listen for any airleaks as you walk around the truck. Cheek the tyres and the treads, also make sure the wheel nuts are tight. You can often tell if they are if there aren't any stream of oil from them.
If you have a trailer, you have to crawl under and check the lock and also feel on the handle.
When you get back to the driver seat you cheek the air needle, it should by this time be about full and you should hear the air dryer purging.

Start your inside cheek by testing all important knobs, top to bottom, left to right.
Pust the safty valve for the breaks. Release the parking brake and roll forward slowly(put it in gear if you have to). Do a brake cheek. Slowly release the brake and let the truck roll in first gear as you turn the wheel fully in either direction.
Stop the truck. Put the parking brake on and tell them you are done. Then you take the questions.

amy parr · January 18, 2019 at 3:13 pm

Hi! Is there a video for class c pre trip test for hotshot driver in a dually or truck? Thanks!

Liger0Jager · January 25, 2019 at 6:26 am

You helped me get my standard license, lets see if you help me get my CDL license!
I already have my learners permit, I am heading to school in March and will let you know the results!

Anthony Headrick · March 6, 2019 at 11:08 pm

What's that

Shahid Mahmood · March 10, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Nice thanks for sharing

Abigail B · March 21, 2019 at 3:21 am

Hello, for a class F road test what do you need to do when approaching railroad tracks?

Johnathon Lewis · April 4, 2019 at 1:14 pm

Does this same process apply to class AR A Restricted road test pickup truck and heavy trailer

Beautiful Queen · May 14, 2019 at 9:46 am

Thank you your info help me relax and know what I need to do

John & Cindy Hanifan · June 23, 2019 at 5:52 am

I work for a global delivery company and each day I'm given a different tractor to drive. How long should you spend or at least a minimum of how should it take to properly do a safety pre-trip on a tractor? I'm butting heads w/ a supervisor cause he saying it shouldn't take more than 7 mins for a driver to fully do a proper safety pre-trip on a tractor. I feel that if a driver was to actually perform a proper pre-trip, then it should be taking that driver at least 10-15 mins to do it correctly and not 7 mins which feels so ridiculously rushed. If there was an unfortunate accident due to negligence for preforming an improper pre-trip, can the driver be held liable? Would a lawyer or D.A. possibly institute legal proceedings against (prosecute) that driver if it was known that only 7 mins was spent doing a pre-trip? Have you heard of any past incidents where there was a judgement against a driver for negligence due to an improper pre-trip that could of been avoided?

Mohammed Ahmad · July 3, 2019 at 1:58 am

Loud , clear and informative .

Dispatch Romark · July 22, 2019 at 8:43 pm

Hi, How long should be Pre Trip inspection for reefers ?

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