Commercial Driver Education in Idaho
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Although the state does not require you to dedicate a set number of training hours of studying to obtain a CDL, it does require you to pass various written and skills exams. In order to pass, you must buckle down and study the Commercial Driver's License Manual as well as the Idaho Driver's Manual.
You can download these, or you can pick up copies of both manuals at your county driver's license office.
The material within the CDL manual is extensive (165 pages), and you should count on spending anywhere from eight to 12 hours studying to properly prepare for the written exams.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires you to have knowledge of the following:
- Safe operations regulations
- Commercial motor vehicle safety control systems
- Safety vehicle control, which includes:
- Control systems
- Basic control
- Visual search
- Speed management
- Space management
- Night operation
- Extreme driving conditions
- Hazard perceptions
- Emergency maneuvers
- Skid control and recovery
- Relationship of cargo to vehicle control
- Vehicle inspections
- Hazardous materials knowledge
- Air brake knowledge
- Coupling and uncoupling
- Vehicle inspection for combination vehicles
The FMCSA also requires you to know the following skills for the driving portion of the test:
- Basic vehicle control skills
- Safe driving skills
- Air brake skills
- Pre-trip inspection skills
The State of Idaho does not require you to obtain any sort of formal training prior to taking your skills test. Ask whether the third-party testing center that will administer your test offers any sort of additional CDL driver education programs.
Some testing centers rent vehicles. Your county driver's license office can also provide you with a list of third-party skills testers.
On test day, you will most likely spend two to three hours on the three-part skills test. And since you will be taking the test in the same class of vehicle that you will drive on the job, it is in your best interest to get in some behind-the-wheel time prior to the big day.
Accomplish this by obtaining a CDL instruction permit. Valid for 180 days, the permit gives you the opportunity to practice driving the type of vehicle you will operate as long as a driver properly licensed to operate such a vehicle occupies the seat beside you.
Other Topics in This Section
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- Training for Trucking: Enroll in CDL Driver Education
- Trucker Testing: Commercial Drivers License Exams
- How to Choose a Commercial Driver Education Program
- What is Commercial Driver Education?
- Commercial Driver Education: Are You Ready to Drive a Big Rig?
- How to Prepare for a CDL Permit Exam
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