What must I check during pre trip inspection for my TX CDL test? Texas

Pre Trip Inspection Exam

Applicants for a Texas CDL must successfully complete a written pre trip inspection exam before being allowed to take the road test in the CDL class of vehicle they are being licensed for. This test replaces the previous walk around inspection. No appointment is needed to take the test.

The purpose of a pre trip inspection is to help a CDL driver identify problems with his vehicle that could cause a crash or a breakdown. There are both federal and state laws that require regular vehicle inspections.

The inspection checklist states that a commercial driver needs to examine both the engine compartment and the cab of the vehicle.

When you check the engine compartmen, look for:

  • Leaks/hoses
  • Oil level
  • Coolant level
  • Power steering fluid
  • Engine compartment belts

During the cab check, pay attention to:

  • Clutch/gearshift
  • Oil pressure gauge
  • Temperature gauge
  • Ampmeter/voltmeter
  • Mirrors and windshield
  • Emergency equipment
  • Steering play
  • Wipers/washers
  • Lighting indicators
  • Horn
  • Heater/defroster
  • Parking brake
  • Hydraulic brake
  • Air brakes (if applicable)
  • Safety belts
  • Lights/reflectors

NOTE: If you are planning to drive a school bus, transit bus, or trailer, keep in mind that the pre trip inspection CDL test for these types of vehicles has extra steps.

Detailed instructions for how to perform a pre trip inspection for each vehicle type can be found in the commercial driver manual published by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This manual also includes several CDL practice test questions to help you prepare to earn your TX commercial license. Taking a few CDL practice exams can help you prepare for both the written test and the driving test.

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