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What Should I Expect from a Truck Driving Test?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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A truck driving test is required in most countries for anyone who wants to work as a truck driver, and the test usually is organized and managed by a central government agency or related company. The purpose of the test is to apply a consistent standard of testing to ensure a specific level of driving skill and knowledge before allowing anyone to drive a commercial truck on public roads. The basic qualification criteria for requesting a truck driving test include meeting or exceeding the age requirement, a vision test and the ability to pay the test fee.

There are two parts to the truck driving test you will take: written and practical. The written portion of the test is often available as a computerized test but is most commonly offered as a paper-based multiple choice test. The questions on this portion of the truck driving test are focused on road signs, safety laws and truck maintenance requirements. Take the time to find out what the pass mark is for this aspect of the test and study the material in advance.

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The practical aspect of the truck driving test is a combination of four types of maneuvers: steering, braking, judging speed and parking. Unlike when you take a standard car driving test, the examiner does not go into the truck with you. Instead, he or she is on the ground, providing instructions via a shortwave radio. From this position, the examiner is better able to see all of the maneuvers that you complete. In addition, the truck driving test is not completed on city streets but in a specially designed testing site — usually a large, paved area with different sections for the four aspects of the test.

Steering skills are tested on an obstacle course, typically comprised of pylons, parked cars and marked pavement or signs to indicate other items. The examiner will direct you to a starting point and indicate when the test has begun. You must navigate a path to a finish line through the obstacles within a specific time frame. Any items that are hit or touched will reduce your score, as will any excess time required.

Braking skills are tested by directing you to a lane with traffic signals. You are instructed to reach a specific speed and respond to a traffic signal to stop. This test usually is repeated two or three times, and points are deducted for stopping too soon or too late. This same area also is used to measure speed skills, such as the time and distance required to reach a specific speed, and gear-changing skills.

Parking skills are the final part of the truck driving test, and they include reversing a truck into a parking spot, parking at a loading dock and forward parking. The ability to accurately and safely maneuver a large truck is essential. Points are deducted each time you miss the target. The sum total of all of the points is calculated at the end of the test. Each examination center has a specific minimum number of points that you must score, and if you do not pass the test, you will not receive a truck driving license.

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