CDL Driver Control Skills Test

Commercial Driver’s License Control Skills Test

While testing for your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), your basic control skills could be tested using one or more of the following exercises off-road or somewhere on the street during the road test:

  • Straight line backing.
  • Offset back/right
  • Offset back/left
  • Parallel park (driver side).
  • Parallel park (conventional).
  • Alley dock.

CDL Control Skills Test Scoring

Encroachments

The examiner will score the number of times you touch or cross over an exercise boundary line or cone with any portion of your vehicle. Each encroachment will count as an error.

Pull-ups

When a driver stops and pulls forward to clear an encroachment or to get a better position, it is scored as a “pull-up”. Stopping without changing direction does not count as a pull-up. You will not be penalized for initial pull-ups. However, an excessive number of pull-ups, will count as errors.

Outside Vehicle Observations (Looks)

You may be permitted to safely stop and exit the vehicle to check the external position of the vehicle (look). When doing so, you must place the vehicle in neutral and set the parking brake(s). Then, when exiting the vehicle, you must do so safely by facing the vehicle and maintaining three points of contact with the vehicle at all times (when exiting a bus, maintain a firm grasp on the handrail at all times). If you do not safely secure the vehicle or safely exit the vehicle it may result in an automatic failure of the basic control skills test.

The maximum number of times that you may look to check the position of your vehicle is two (2) except for the Straight Line Backing exercise, which allows one look. Each time you open the door, move from a seated position where in physical control of the vehicle or on a bus walk to the back of a bus to get a better view, it is scored s a “look”.

Final Position

It is important that you finish each exercise exactly as the examiner has instructed you. If you do not maneuver the vehicle into its final position as described by the examiner, you will be penalized and could fail the basic skills test.

CDL Driving Exercises

Straight Line Backing

You may be asked to back your vehicle in a straight line between two rows of cones without touching or crossing over the exercise boundaries.
CDL Test straight line backing

Offset Back/Right

You may be asked to back into a space that is to the right rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight forward the outer boundary. From that position, you must back the vehicle into the opposite lane until the front of your vehicle has passed the first set of cones without striking boundary lines or cones.CDL test offset back right

Offset Back/Left

You may be asked to back into a space that is to the left rear of your vehicle. You will drive straight forward the outer boundary. From that position, you must back the vehicle into the opposite lane until the front of your vehicle has passed the first set of cones without striking boundary lines or cones.CDL Test offset back left

Parallel Park (Driver Side)

You may be asked to park in a parallel parking space that is on your left. You are to drive past the entrance to the parallel parking space with your vehicle parallel to the parking area; and back into the space without crossing front, side or rear boundaries marked by cones. You are required to get your entire vehicle completely into the space.

Parallel Park (Conventional)

You may be asked to park in a parallel parking space that is on your right. You are to drive past the entrance to the parallel parking space with your vehicle parallel to the parking area; and back into the space without crossing front, side or rear boundaries marked by cones. You are required to get your entire vehicle completely into the space.

Alley Dock

You may be asked to sight-side back your vehicle into an alley. You will drive past the alley and position your vehicle parallel to the outer boundary. From that position, back into the alley bringing the rear of your vehicle within three feet of the rear of the alley without touching boundary lines or cones. Your vehicle must be straight within the alley/lane when completed.
CDL test Alley Dock parking