Holding a commercial driver’s license is a significant responsibility. That’s why Pennsylvania makes acquiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) a challenge. The onus is on you to prove that you are not only capable of driving a larger vehicle well but that you understand its equipment.
Pennsylvania State Troopers arrested a local CDL examiner in April 2019 from a nearby community college for falsifying PennDOT examination reports and failing to both properly train and test his students. Troopers found some of his students hadn’t enrolled at the community college and that he simply accepted cash payments for a passing grade. All 140 of those students had to retake their CDL exams but only 70 passed.
Putting unqualified drivers on the road put countless drivers in danger. The CDL examination process is demanding for this reason. The state of Pennsylvania's CDL exam has three parts:
- Vehicle inspection: Requires you to prove to the examiner that your vehicle is safe for the road. This means showing that there are no leaks, how to check fluid levels and reading the gauges on the dashboard and more.
- Basic skills test: Has you demonstrate that you can safely park your vehicle in a few ways including backing in, backing in at a 90-degree angle and parallel parking.
- On-road test: requires you to demonstrate that you can perform basic driving maneuvers like turning, stopping and following traffic signs.
Do it the right way
If you put in the time, you can obtain your CDL. There is a lot to know but there are dozens of CDL driving schools located throughout Pennsylvania. These classes provide more formal training that can help you become a safe CDL driver.