Having successfully passed the required CDL Knowledge Tests, the driver can now address the practical aspects of the CDL. These are the General Skills Tests and they are assessed in three sections, CDL Pre-Trip Inspection, Basic Vehicle Control and On-Road Driving. Each test is designed to focus on safety while checking the development of the basic skills needed to become a professional driver.
Indiana CDL Pre-Trip Inspection
The first and most important part of the CDL skills test is the Indiana CDL pre-trip inspection. A pre-trip must be performed each time the driver prepares for a trip as it’s critically to not only that driver’s safety, but the safety of others. During the pre-trip test, a CDL examiner typically will follow the applicant around the vehicle as he or she points out each item on the pre-trip inspection.
The Indiana pre trip inspection test will be carried out to determine is the driver is able to tell if the commercial vehicle is safe to drive prior to each trip. This typically takes place with the CDL examiner asking the applicant to perform a complete pre-trip inspection, explaining each item as they do so.
The Indiana pre-trip inspection is one of the most important portions of the CDL skills test and the driver cannot move on until he passes. For this reason, many drivers take advantage of CDL pre-trip inspection videos and checklists to help them remember all items they must review.
Watch & Learn: Indiana CDL Pre-Trip Inspection Video
Indiana CDL Basic Vehicle Control Test
This test will assess the applicant’s ability to perform basic maneuvers with the vehicle, such as forward, reverse and turns in defined areas. The Indiana CDL examiner will make clear the manner in which each aspect of the control test is to be fulfilled.
While the area set out for the test may be indicated with cones or similar markers, it is they are usually placed in a manner to simulate the distances and features of real-life scenarios. As the last test before the applicant is asked to demonstrate their skills on the public roads, it is imperative that their understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the vehicle are as complete as possible.
Road Driving Test
Being the final piece of the puzzle, the On-Road Driving Test is the applicant’s opportunity to demonstrate their skill to drive safely and efficiently on public roads. The test could include lane changes, left and right turns, general intersection behavior, varying gradients and a variety of road situations. This is not a test to “show off” the applicant’s ability, but rather the chance to display the skills and behavior of a professional driver that will be required to work in the industry. The examiner will direct the applicant on where to drive and on what maneuvers they are required to perform.
Due to the need for specially designed testing areas, the Skills Tests can only be carried out at properly equipped sites. In Indiana, these sites are Third Party Sites and, in most cases, Skills Tests are typically by appointment only. To locate the test site the website below provides contact details and addresses.
The cost for these the Skills Tests is usually approximately $100 if the driver provides their own vehicle or approximately $150 should they need to rent a vehicle at the site.