The Definitive Truck Driving Tanker Test Study Guide

Tanker Truck

Why Should I Get My Tanker Endorsement?

You are working toward your commercial driver’s license, or perhaps you're looking for a way to make your commercial driver’s license more competitive in the workplace. A tanker endorsement may be just what you need.

Endorsements allow you to perform specific trucking functions that most drivers cannot do. As a result, earning an endorsement may increase your earning potential and let you apply for jobs that are unavailable to other drivers.

Getting your tanker endorsement is especially helpful if you have your hazardous materials endorsement. Quite a few employers need truck drivers who are authorized to drive tank vehicles and transport hazardous materials, making the most of your study time.

Across the United States, the average salary for a tractor-trailer truck driver is $39,520 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Job openings for this field are expected to increase 5% between 2014 and 2024 (BLS, 2016). The more skills and experience you have, the more you may be able to drive your income up past the national average.

If you're considering learning how to drive a tank vehicle, learn more about this endorsement and then try out our practice test.

Are you ready to earn your CDL?

Are you looking for a job?

How Should I Study for My Tanker Test Endorsement?

Many of the core skills you need for driving a tanker are the same skills that you get as a general truck driver. However, studying your state's CDL manual shows you what is different about tank vehicles and how you must adjust your driving when you're behind the wheel of one of these vehicles.

The FMCSA defines a tank vehicle as any vehicle that transports liquid or gas in a tank or multiple tanks. To be considered a tank vehicle, a vehicle must have an individual capacity of 119 gallons or more, plus an aggregate rated capacity of 1000 gallons or more. This can help you narrow down your studying efforts and focus on the exact skills you need.

Each state has their own specific tasks and testing requirements for the tanker test for endorsements in that state. In Wisconsin, for example, you must study sections 2, 5, 6, 8, and 9 to fully prepare for the tanker endorsement exam (Wisconsin DMV, 2016).

In North Dakota, the tanker endorsement study information is laid out in the following areas:
• Tank vehicle inspection
• Safe driving rules
• Tank driving techniques
• Types of tank vehicles
• Navigating curves, stopping safely, and handling skids
• Surge

Requirements for Tanker Endorsement

After you have studied extensively for your endorsement exam, you can follow the individual licensing process of your state to add the endorsement to your commercial driver’s license. You do need to pay a fee to take an endorsement exam. In Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan, the test fee is $5.00. This is not an endorsement that requires a skills exam, so you simply need to pass the written exam to become certified. In a handful of states, tests are administered by third-party testing centers, not licensing agencies.

This procedure is extremely simple. You may add a tanker endorsement to your license while applying for your Class A license, or you may add it at a later date. In either case, your endorsement renewal occurs at the same time that you renew your commercial driver’s license.

Adding an endorsement to your license is an excellent way to invest in your career and give yourself a bit more flexibility in the loads you take on, your schedule, and the companies you work for.

Proper studying is the key is to successfully passing this test. Of course, it is good to read your CDL manual and absorb the information in the tank endorsement section, but you shouldn't stop there. Take practice tests, like the one we provide on this website, to make sure that you know the material forward and backward. It may be framed in different ways in a testing environment, and you can get familiar with the statistics and numbers used in driver testing.

Check out our study materials or check out your state page to find out what your state's requirements are.