Passing this endorsement test will allow you to drive a commercial vehicle and pull any kind of trailer. The types of vehicles in the combination vehicle classification include: tractor-trailer, doubles, triples and straight trucks with trailers.
These “combination vehicles” are usually, heavier, longer and require more driving skill than single commercial vehicles. That means you need more knowledge and skill than drivers of single vehicles. To help ensure you have the necessary knowledge to drive combination vehicles this endorsement test has been created.
This test is one of several endorsement tests that can be included in the Commercial Drivers License testing process. The endorsement tests you are required to take depend on the license classification you are obtaining – Class A, B or C – as well as the type of vehicle you will be driving. This endorsement exam is, of course, for those planning on driving combination vehicles.
Let’s take a closer look at the test so that you know what to expect when you visit your local DMV.
Combination Vehicles Endorsement Test Overview
This endorsement test features 20 multiple choice questions and you will need to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly in order to pass and earn your combination vehicles endorsement. That means you need to get at least 16 of the 20 questions right.
Please visit your local DMV website before going to take the test to determine:
- If you are eligible to take the CDL – typically you must at least 18 or 21 if you want to drive interstate (across country, from state to state) and you must have a valid driver’s license
- What proof of identification materials you need to bring with you to the DMV
- The fees involved in taking the test
You may also want to make an appointment at the DMV to avoid extended wait times.
What’s on the Test?
On this endorsement test, you should expect to see questions covering a variety of subjects ranging from rollover risks to steering to braking to railroad-highway crossings to skidding to turning to backing and more. In general, the questions on this test deal with how to safely drive a combination vehicle.
For example, when backing a trailer you should know to first look at your path, check clearance, check the outside mirrors on both sides frequently, back slowly, correct drift immediately and make pull-ups whenever necessary to reposition your vehicle.
Here are some examples of the types of questions that you will find on this endorsement exam:
- When uncoupling a loaded trailer you should lower the landing gear until what point?
- What are glad hands used to connect?
- When is a trailer must likely to jackknife?
- What exactly does a trailer air supply control do?
- What conditions make trucks more likely to roll over?
Remember, each question is multiple choice with four possible answers and you will need to carefully consider each and then select the correct one.
How to Prepare for the Test
First, you will want to get extremely familiar with your state’s commercial drivers license manual. This book contains the content that is used to create the questions that are on the endorsement test.
This means you should read the guide multiple times and focus in on the subjects we listed earlier that will be on the test, such as rollover risks, steering, skidding, turning and more.
You should pay particular attention to the sections on air brakes and anti-lock braking systems in your CDL handbook as these subjects typically draw a number of questions on the endorsement exam. Pay particular attention to trailer hand valve, trailer protection valve, trailer air supply control, trailer air lines and how to hook them up properly and more.
Realizing that it can be hard to properly assess your knowledge level simply by reading your state CDL handbook we have created a series of practice exams that allow you to accurately determine your understanding so that you know what areas you need to work on and what areas you have down cold.
Taking these types of practice tests are a great way to both assess and further your combination vehicles knowledge. You can begin taking our practice test here.
These tests are modeled after the real test and will show you want to expect on the real endorsement exam.
Test Taking Tips – Improve Your Chances to Pass
In addition to studying your CDL handbook and taking practice tests there are other things you can do to increase your chances of passing your endorsement exam on the first attempt.
One big thing that many aspiring commercial vehicle drivers fail to do is prepare physically for the exam.
That means getting a good night’s sleep the night before the test and being sure to eat a good meal before going to the DMV. A good night’s sleep will ensure that you are at your peak mentally and a good meal will help ensure that you have the energy to think clearly and accurately as you got through the test. It can also be distracting taking a test with a growling stomach!
When taking the test itself if your state allows you to skip forward do so whenever you run into a question that you are not sure of the answer to. This will give your subconscious mind time to work on the problem and if you answer enough of the other test questions correctly you might not need to even answer that difficult question!
Also remember, that this isn’t a timed test. You can proceed at your own pace.
Passing this endorsement test will allow you to fulfill your dream of being able to drive combination vehicles – so whatever you do don’t take it lightly. Put in the study time and be sure to test your knowledge with practice tests like the ones we offer here.
On a more practical level, earning your combination vehicles endorsement can lead to higher paying commercial driving opportunities. So be sure to take your time on the test, weight the answer possibilities and carefully select the best one.