Are You Skilled Enough?


Surgery is a scary thing and the individual in need of operating wants to know that the doctor performing his operation is skilled and experienced in what he or she is doing. When considering a professional career in the trucking industry, the same rule of thumb applies. No trucking company wants to hire a driver who in not skilled or qualified to get behind the wheel. Vehicles that require a Commercial driving license are large and could cause bodily harm, if the driver is not properly trained. Any vehicle regardless of size has the potential to cause injury; however when it comes to driving a vehicle weighing in over 20,000 pounds, a special list of skills are needed in order for safety on the road to occur.

The Skills Tests

Driving is a skill that must be taught and the same is true when it comes to driving large trucks and trailers. In order to insure the highest of safety while on the road, one must pass the following three skills tests:

1.      Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection – this test is to help determine if you the driver are aware of whether or not the vehicle you plan on operating is safe to drive. Your inspector will walk alongside your vehicle with you watching and listening to you perform your inspection; you will need to explain to the inspector what you are expecting and the reason behind it.

2.      Basic Vehicle Control – this test will test the basic driving skills of the individual seeking licensure. He or she will be asked to perform basic driving skills such as moving forward, backwards and turning in a pre-determined area. This area will most likely be outlined with cones, barriers or chalked driving lanes as to give a visual of real obstacles.

3.      On Road Driving – this test allows for real time situations in which one will be examined on how well he or she handles real traffic situations, turns and stops.

Congratulation! With the accomplishment of each test, you are one step closer to attaining your CDL licensure and paving your way to a new career!

written by Nicole Green

Start a Career As a Professional Truck Driver


When considering a future career in the trucking industry, one must first know what steps are needed to gain licensure. Just like any other career, there are requirements and a list of skills that one must master, if he or she desires to do his or her job to the best of his or her ability. Each state has a list of federal requirements and standards that those wishing to attain a Commercial driving license must adhere to. The first stop on the road to licensure would be passing a knowledge test.

The First Stop To Licensure: The Knowledge Test

Knowledge tests and how many tests an individual will take depends on which particular licensure he or she is wising to gain. There are more than one type of vehicle that requires a CDL license in order to operate but not every vehicle requires the same license so more than one knowledge test may be required. Below you will find a list of possible knowledge tests that are required for CDL licensing.

  • General Knowledge Test – this test is taken by all applicants seeking his or her CDL license.
  • Passenger Transport Test – this test will need to be taken by those who wish to drive a bus.
  • Air Brakes Test – the air brake test is for every applicant who will be driving a vehicle with air brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles Test – this test is for those applicants who will be working with equipment configurations with which separate power units are involved along with a trailer.
  • Hazardous Materials Test – those applicants that will be working with transporting hazardous materials and waste will need to take this test.
  • Tanker Test – the tanker test is for those truck drivers that will be hauling liquids in bulk.
  • Double/Triple Test – this test is required if the applicant will be pulling double or triple trailers.

Once the required knowledge test has been accomplished, then the individual seeking licensure is able to move forward with his or her career by participating in the second leg of his career journey – the skills aspect of licensing.


written by Nicole Green

CSA Impacts on Drivers Explored in New ATRI Research

Interested in know how the Compliance, Safety and Accountability is progressing. We found this report available with three year’s of research.

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), the trucking industry’s not-for-profit research organization, today released Compliance, Safety Accountability: Assessing the New Safety Measurement System and Its Implications – 2013 Update.  This is the first in a new series of ATRI white papers covering a multitude of research topics critical to the trucking industry.

This white paper expands on ATRI’s previous CSA impacts research among commercial drivers and enforcement personnel.  Approximately 7,800 driver responses were analyzed over a three-year period examining perceptions, attitudes and knowledge of CSA.  In addition, ATRI partnered with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance to obtain a baseline level of enforcement personnel knowledge of CSA.

On average, drivers responded to the CSA knowledge test with 42.4 percent accuracy, suggesting that after three years of implementation drivers do not have a clear understanding of CSA.  However, on a more positive note carrier-provided CSA training has increased steadily since 2011.  Furthermore, driver job security concerns due to CSA have decreased by almost 10 percent over the three-year period.

Among enforcement personnel, respondents performed with 66.5 percent accuracy on the CSA knowledge test. 

ATRI is expanding on this study’s findings by investigating driver CSA training content and frequency and the relationship these variables have to CSA knowledge.  In addition, the enforcement personnel results provide a platform for further evaluation of enforcement personnel CSA knowledge and the potential impacts this may have on enforcement activities. 

A copy of this report is available from ATRI by clicking here.

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.

SOURCE American Transportation Research Institute