Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class Tips from Bay & Bay

What truck drivers in Minnesota and across U.S can expect on CDL exam

Maybe the biggest rite of passage for employees of Bay & Bay Transportation is the completion of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) class after spending time working with only a Commercial Driver’s Instruction Permit (CDIP). Of course, it’s a long, challenging road to claim those three little initials that allow you to drive a rig; if it wasn’t, everyone would have a CDL! Bay & Bay Transportation, along with the help of dmv.org, has compiled a list of tips to help you on your way to CDL certification. So sit up straight and pay attention because class is now in session!

After obtaining your CDIP, the next step is to study your specific state’s CDL manual. Every question on the test will be taken from information provided in the manual. None of the questions are meant to deceive you, only to test the knowledge you have gained.

Questions on the CDL exam will be more extensive than the questions you were asked on your operator’s driver’s license test. Besides typical topics like operating the truck safely, the exam will also include questions specific to the trucking industry. For example, you will be quizzed on the importance of staying alert and able to drive, skid control and recovery, and communicating with other drivers, including both commuters and other truck drivers.

To be successful when taking your CDL exam, we recommend taking a practice permit test. These tests can be offered by your state DMV or by an outside company. Either type of venue will replicate the exam so that you’ve got an idea of what to expect when it comes time for the real examination.

Theory of driving a rig, however, will only get you so far. Once you’ve obtained your CDIP, be sure to log some miles. When it comes to the driving exam, there are some automatic failures, including but not limited to:

  • Running a red light
  • Getting in an accident
  • Running over a curb
  • Forgetting your turn signal or to check your mirrors
  • Rolling backwards before taking off from a stop

Of course, there are common mistakes that won’t automatically fail you but you'll want to avoid. They includes things like:

  • Turning too wide
  • Grinding gears
  • Missing the right RPM range to shift

Another important aspect of the driving test is to retain your composure throughout the entire drive. Though it’s normal to be nervous, it’s essential to make sure that you are still in control of the situation. Driving trucks is a high pressure job, like driving in unknown places, stuck in backed-up traffic, and traveling through extreme conditions. That’s why it is so important to log miles once you’ve obtained your CDIP.

Once you’ve passed your CDL class, check out the truck driving jobs we offer at Bay & Bay Transportation. We are hiring truck drivers in Minnesota and across the United States with all levels of experience.