Commercial truck driving can make for a great career. All you have to do is get the necessary training for the job and pass the CDL exam. Easy, right? No. Not quite.
Passing the CDL exam is easier said than done. You may not need a college degree to become a qualified trucker, but that does not undermine the level of skill required for the job. Don’t worry too much, though. There are several things that can help decrease your chances of failure. Here’s what you can do to ace your CDL exam in the first try:
This is a given. The CDL exam involves several written tests that you need to pass before proceeding to the next level. These tests aren’t very hard, but they do require some amount of studying. You will have to enroll in a CDL training school and go through all the study material they provide. You can also work with your classmates to improve your knowledge of commercial truck driving. This will increase your chances of success during the written tests.
Practice for the Road Skills Test
The skills test is usually a lot harder than written tests. You will have to practice for each aspect of the test at your training school. Enrolling in a good CDL training school will give you the opportunity to practice for each part several times before you have to give your CDL exam. Getting hands-on training will also allow you to keep your cool during the actual test. A lot of people tend to lose their nerve during the skills test. After all, managing to drive a massive truck is not that easy. However, getting an appropriate amount of practice can help you feel more confident about your skills. Another reason that you might fail the test is bad backing skills. Make sure you practice every backing maneuver as much as you can before taking the road tests.
Remember What Can Get You Disqualified
A lot of people attempting a CDL exam tend to get disqualified due to some common mistakes. These include:
- Forgetting to wear their seatbelt
- Taking dangerous actions such as stopping on a railroad track
- Driving on a curb
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Braking hard at stop signs and red lights
These actions can result in an automatic disqualification. They are easy to avoid, of course, but most students may still end up making these mistakes because they are too nervous during the test.
Try Visualization Exercises
Managing your stress is very important for passing the CDL exam. You can try some visualization exercises to reduce your stress before getting on the road. These involve:
- Sitting quietly in the sleeper berth of the truck and breathing slowly through your nose
- Closing your eyes and imagining that you are at the beach or any other place that you prefer
- Imagining the sounds, smells, and sights from that place
A typical visualization exercise lasts for 15 minutes. You will find yourself to be a lot more relaxed after you try this.
To Sum It Up
Passing the CDL exam has a lot to do with how confident you feel on the road and the amount of effort you put in to prepare for the exam. If you are interested in commercial truck driving, then we suggest you join the CDL Center. It is one of the best CDL training schools out there and can help you ace your CDL exam!