CDL Practice Tests

Pre-Trip Inspection Test Questions

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Question #1 of 38

Pre-trip Inspection Test Question Image

If you inspected the engine compartment, vehicle front, vehicle side, tractor/truck rear, and trailer front, which of the following would you inspect next?

Inspect the vehicle lights.

Inspect the trailer side.

Inspect the trailer rear axle.

Inspect the trailer rear.

Inspect inside the vehicle.

Inspect the coupling device.

The Complete CDL Pre-Trip Inspection Guide

Performing a pre-trip inspection before you drive a commercial vehicle is required by the DOT. Understanding how to complete a comprehensive CDL pre-trip inspection is necessary to receive a commercial driver's license. We’ve created a complete guide to help you understand how to complete a CDL pre-trip inspection. Keep reading to learn more!

Steps for a CDL Pre-Trip Inspection

For you to safely operate your vehicle on the open road, you are legally required to complete a pre-trip once every 24 hours, every time you pick up a new trailer, or after every 10-hour break you take. Here are the steps that you need to know to complete a pre-trip inspection:

Approaching the Vehicle

As you approach the vehicle check to ensure the vehicle is not leaning to one side, ensure that there are no puddles of fluid underneath and that there is no visible damage or unsecured cargo.

Check the Engine Compartment

The first step when you begin your pre-trip inspection is checking under the hood. You should look for any unusual items, such as any loose wiring or disconnected hoses. You’ll have to go over every piece of equipment that’s underneath of the hood, from drive belts, the windshield washer fluid, coolant levels, and hoses ensuring that everything is functioning properly and you see no leaks.

The Left Side of Your Vehicle

Observe the left side of your vehicle and check for any cracks or bends in any part of the exterior. You should double-check to make sure that coupling is secure, and that your landing gear is raised. Inspect the tires, the fuel cap, and that all chains are secured. Check and clean reflective tape and glass as you go along.

Back of Vehicle

At the back of the trailer, check to make sure the reflective tape and reflectors are secure and properly mounted. Make sure that trailer latches are not broken, bent, or cracked and that lights are clean and can be easily illuminated. You’ll also need to check the DOT bumper, your marker lights, and that your turn signals work. Repeat what you did on the left side for the right side of the vehicle.

Inside the Vehicle

Before you’re ready to finish your pre-trip inspection, you need to check the air brakes by completing the brake pump-down tests. Look around the cab to make sure that you have your emergency equipment easily accessible, such as your three red reflective triangles, spare electrical fuses, and a fire extinguisher. Take a look at your dashboard to find the oil pressure gauge, the water temperature gauge, and that the air pressure gauges are all properly functioning.

Air Brake Tests

The purpose of the air brake tests for a pre-trip inspection is to make sure that your air brakes aren’t losing pressure or leaking any air. There are several different air brake tests to perform while doing the in-cab inspection.

Understanding the Importance of a Pre-Trip Inspection

We hope that you find this basic pre-trip inspection guide and practice test helpful, and you have a better understanding of how to complete a CDL pre-trip inspection for your Class A CDL test. If you are interested in testing your knowledge on how to complete a thorough pre-trip inspection to pass your CDL test, take our practice tests.


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