What It Takes to Get Your CDL

by Pride Transport | Jan 19, 2024

Starting a career as a truck driver can give you the opportunity to travel and see the country while also bringing in a decent income. This career path has lots of opportunities for advancement, and it’s one that’s in dire need of new drivers—America is short approximately 80,000 drivers as of 2023. 

 

You can become a driver as soon as you’re 18 as long as you meet certain requirements set by the state and federal government. For someone just graduating, this career could open some amazing doors—just as it could for those getting started later in life. However, you will need a commercial license before you can work in this field.

 

After getting an education, obtaining your commercial driver’s license is the final step you’ll have to take before you can look for a job. Whether you’re in school to train now or you’re considering starting a career in the future, the following is what you need to know about the road test portion of your CDL test. 


What It Takes to Pass the CDL in Utah

To be able to take the CDL test, you will first need to complete an authorized course at a local Utah driving school. Once you do, you can move forward with your application.

 

There are several steps you have to complete to get your CDL. The first step is passing a written knowledge test. Then, you’ll need to take your road test. 

 

Before you can take a test for your CDL in Utah, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Get a Department of Transportation Medical Certificate (DOT card)
  3. Hold a Class D driver’s license for at least one year
  4. Complete the Utah self-certification form

 

You will also need to:

  • Pass your vision test (with or without glasses/contact lenses)
  • Pass the written knowledge test
  • Pass your road test

 

The written tests cost $52, and the driving skills test is $78. Before you can take the driving skills test, you will need to complete the requirements for Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT). 


What the Test Covers

It’s easier to prepare to take a test if you have an idea of what to expect. The driving skills (road) test is designed to put pressure on you and make sure you’re ready to handle a large truck. 

 

There are three parts to the driving skills test

  1. The pre-trip test. The pre-trip test determines if you know how to inspect and prep your vehicle before a trip. 
  2. The basic skills test. This test goes over your driving skills and will take a look at how you control your vehicle. This is done in relation to other objects and includes straight-line backing, slight parallel or conventional parallel parking/alley docking, and backing up to the left or right. To pass this section, you can have no more than 12 error points.
  3. The road test. This test takes place on the road and will expose you to real traffic. To pass, you can have no more than 30 error points.

 

During your road test, you’ll need to show basic control skills and how you operate a commercial vehicle in real-world circumstances.

You’ll take this test on a state-approved route near the testing facility. This route exposes you to several conditions you’ll see when you’re driving in day-to-day life, such as:

  • Intersections 
  • City driving
  • Rural roads
  • Opportunities to merge/move over
  • Turns

 

The administrator of the test will ride with you and score your skills as you go.

back end of pride transport trucks

Testing Tips and Best Practices

There are plenty of things you can do to make your CDL road test simpler and to ensure you have the best chance of success. 


Get Plenty of Practice

A top tip to help you pass your CDL exam is to go to CDL school and work with teachers and mentors who can help you learn how to drive your rig the right way. 

 

You need extensive training and knowledge to ensure you don’t make mistakes that could put yourself or others at risk—going to a top CDL school can help. 


Maintain a Good Demeanor

No one is keen on giving a CDL license to someone who shows signs of road rage. After all, you’ll be driving a vehicle that is 80,000 pounds or more—and this rig is a danger to others if it’s driven in a hazardous manner. 

 

Even if you’re frustrated, get cut off in traffic, or are nervous, make sure you do your best to keep your composure. 


Don’t Panic Over Small Mistakes

Don’t panic if you make a small mistake. Exams are designed to put you through challenges to not only make sure you can drive safely but also to see how you react. Try not to worry about small mistakes—getting too anxious could lead to you freezing, and that’s something that could lead to failing your exam. 

 

Smaller mistakes include things like being in the wrong gear or making a turn that is slightly wide (so long as no one else was put at risk). 


Avoid Automatic Failures

One key item to keep in mind is that there are some errors that will result in automatic failure. Avoiding those, you can make minor mistakes without risking failing the test. 

 

Common causes of automatic failure include:

  • Getting into a wreck
  • Running a red light
  • Rolling backward before continuing from a full stop
  • Not checking your mirrors before changing lanes

 

Why do these result in automatic failures? In the real world, these errors can result in catastrophic consequences.


It’s Time to Drive With Pride

At Pride Transport, we’re excited to welcome you into the trucking industry. We know that it can be a challenge to complete your education and pass the CDL test, but when you do so, you’ll be more educated and prepared for the job ahead of you.


And if you’ve recently passed your test? Congratulations! You’re on your way to a fulfilling career, and we may have the perfect job open for you. Check our latest job opening here when you pass your CDL test.

pride transport truck in parking lot

Share this article