Commercial Driver Education in Oklahoma
In order to be licensed as a commercial driver, you will be required to pass a knowledge and a skills test. This is broken down into two parts―a written section and an actual on-road examination. Fortunately for those who want to see the exact standards for the commercial driver license (CDL) test, Oklahoma has placed the entire Oklahoma Commercial Driver's Manual online.
Studying the manual is an excellent way to prepare yourself for all tests involved in obtaining your CDL. Also consider taking some written practice tests ahead of time to help prepare.
The written section is given first and includes multiple tests, depending on the type of commercial vehicle you plan to drive.
In our Applying for a New CDL section, we highlighted the various endorsements you could have on your CDL.
There are separate knowledge tests given for these endorsements, including:
- General Knowledge: taken by all applicants.
- Passenger Transport: required if you plan to drive a passenger bus.
- Air Brakes: required if your vehicle has air brakes you will be required to take this test.
- Combination Vehicles: taken if you plan to drive Combination Vehicles.
- Hazardous Material: required of those drivers who will transport Hazardous Materials.
- Tanker Test: must be administered to those drivers who wish to haul liquid in bulk form.
- Doubles/Triples: required if you wish to drive Doubles or Triples.
There is also a "fail fee" for tests administered by the State of Oklahoma. Each time you take a test and fail, you will be charged $4. However, this fee will not be collected until you pass the test. Once you pass, the "fail fees" will be added to your final fee total, as determined by your examiner.
You will be required to provide the vehicle for this test. If you have attended a truck driver school or have undergone training through your company or prospective company, they will, in most cases, provide the appropriate vehicle for your road test. Ask your instructor or supervisor for details on this.
The first part of the on-Road Test will be a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle's air brake system. You will be asked to inspect the air brake components and explain to the Examiner what you are looking at and why.
Make sure that everything is secured and no tools, rocks or other items are placed where they might fall off when the truck is in motion. Double check the mud flaps to make sure they are securely bolted in place. Inspect any hitches or connections and take a quick look inside the fuel tanks. Make sure there are no puddles or leaks under the truck and finally, check your mirrors and make sure they are clean and clear.
The Commercial Driver's Manual for the state of Oklahoma does not mention training requirements for potential CDL applicants.
However, if you are considering formal training for your CDL, be sure the program has both classroom and on-road training available. Basic and advanced skills should be covered, including the following:
Basic Commercial Vehicle Operation
- An introduction to trucking or bus driving.
- Commercial vehicle inspections.
- Starting, stopping, slowing―truck control systems.
- Fuel, filters, and basic mechanical instruction.
- Backing, docking, loading and unloading practices.
- Coupling & uncoupling of trailers.
- Shifting and gear usage.
- Steering and other controls.
- Proper log book use.
Safe Driving Practices
- Safe space management.
- Managing your speed.
- Basic communications.
- Driving at night.
- Allowable driving hours.
- Hazard awareness.
- Safe driving basics―fatigue, distractions, etc.
- Driving in extreme weather.
- Controlling a skid or slide.
- Emergency maneuvers.
- Sliding 5th wheel.
- Passenger management (bus drivers).
- Basic vehicle maintenance.
- Handing cargo―tanks, trailers, and other.
- Proper cargo documentation.
- Accident procedures.
When enrolling in a truck driving or other commercial driving school, confirm that the equipment used in your training is up-to-date and safe. Make sure you will receive ample "hands-on" time to ensure that you get the best commercial driver education possible.