The Guide for Studying for the CDL Combination Vehicles Test

Why Should I Get My Combination Vehicles Endorsement?

The trucking industry is constantly changing. Trucking companies add new types of tractors and trailers, get new customers with different needs, and rearrange hauls to make the most of their drivers’ miles. The more different trucks and vehicles you can drive, the easier it may be for you to adjust as the industry changes, get the amount of miles you want, and find employment with different companies.

A CDL combination vehicle endorsement is an excellent choice for those who want to really expand the amount of vehicles they can drive. Combination vehicles are vehicles with a tractor and multiple trailers, often trailers of different sizes and layouts. Successfully driving these trucks regionally, locally, or nationally requires specialized knowledge and driving experience. You may earn a higher salary or have a stronger job outlook if you can take on more complex hauls. In United States, the average salary for a tractor-trailer truck driver is $39,520 per year and job openings are expected to increase 5% by 2024 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).

If you think a combination vehicles endorsement could help you take your truck driving career to the next level, try out our practice test and find out how much you know about these vehicles.

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How Should I Study for My Combination Vehicles Endorsement?

If you want to add the CDL combination vehicle endorsement to your license, you need to be ready for the specific written and skills tests administered in your state. Make use of your state’s CDL manual, since it often includes practice questions for each endorsement. Some guides even use questions directly from the test.

By studying each section of the combination vehicles endorsement guide, you can prepare for whichever questions come your way during the test. The DMV of the District of Columbia covers the following topics in this part of their CDL manual:
• Different combination vehicles
• Rollover risks
• Gentle steering
• Early braking
• Skids
• Railroad crossings
• Turning
• Backing
• Air brakes on combination vehicles
• ABS
• Coupling and uncoupling
• Inspecting combination vehicles

Requirements for Combination Vehicles Endorsement

To add this endorsement to your commercial driver’s license, you must learn about the licensing process of your state and follow it exactly. In most states, you'll need to pass a written test and a skills test to get this endorsement. The written test is administered prior to the driving test. The skills test involves taking a combination vehicle on the road and successfully navigating it through various situations.

It costs money to add any endorsement to your driver’s license, and specific amounts are determined by each state. In North Dakota, you must pay $3.00 to add an endorsement (North Dakota DOT, 2016). In Nevada, the fee is $18.25 (Nevada DMV, 2016).

What makes this endorsement tougher than other options is the fact that it requires a skills test, which involves additional studying and preparation. However, as long as you spend plenty of time driving combination vehicles and getting feedback from an instructor, you should feel fairly confident about your road test.

To get ready for the written test, study by reading and by taking practice tests. The more comfortable you are answering practice test questions, the easier it should be to answer them during your real test.

Take the first step in adding this endorsement to your license by checking out the practice test on this website.