Knowledge Test Class A
This license is required for driving any legal combination of vehicles, with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the GVWR of a trailer exceeds 10,000 pounds To receive this license, applicants must pass a 50-question test. To pass, applicants must answer 40 questions correctly. Each question has four possible answer choices. Test questions come from the Colorado Commercial Driver License Manual. Questions come from chapters covering: Introduction, Driving Safely, Transporting Cargo Safely, Air Brakes (if applicable), Combination, Doubles and Hazardous Materials. Endorsements that may be used with a Class A CDL are: Hazardous materials, Tank, Passenger, HazMat and Tank, Air Brakes and School bus.
1. What is Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)?
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) is the total weight of a single vehicle and its load of cargo.
2. If a tire fails while you are driving, you should:
In the event of tire failure, hold the steering wheel firmly. Stay off the brakes and let the vehicle slow down on its own. Once the vehicle has slowed considerably, you should brake very gently, pull off the road, and stop.
3. When preparing to drive in the winter, be sure to check:
Before driving during the winter, make sure to check your defrosting and heating equipment, coolant and antifreeze levels, wipers and washers, tire tread, tire chains, lights, reflectors, and exhaust system. Clear ice and snow from all windows, mirrors, hand holds, steps, deck plates, and radiator shutters. Make sure the winterfront is not closed too tightly.
4. If the low pressure warning light comes on while you are driving:
If the low air pressure warning light turns on, you should stop and safely park your vehicle as soon as possible. Controlled braking will be possible only as long as enough air remains in the tanks.
5. When driving in fog, you should:
If you must drive in fog, you should use your low beam headlights and fog lights, even during the daytime.
6. If you identify a distracted driver on the road, you should:
If you encounter a distracted driver, make sure to give them plenty of room. Be very careful if you pass their vehicle because the driver may be unaware of your presence and drift into your lane.
7. Federal and state laws require:
Commercial drivers are required by federal and state laws to inspect their vehicles before every trip. Regular inspections can help drivers identify issues before they become dangerous and costly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the steps to obtain a Class A CDL license in Colorado:
1. Obtain a commercial driver's license manual from the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or download it from their website.
2. Study the manual to prepare for the written knowledge test. You can also take a CDL prep course or use other study materials to prepare.
3. Schedule an appointment at a DMV office to take the written knowledge test. You will need to pass this test before you can move on to the next steps.
4. Obtain a commercial learner's permit (CLP) by passing a vision test and taking a skills test in a vehicle that is similar to the one you will be driving.
5. With your CLP, practice driving with a qualified CDL holder who is at least 21 years old and has the proper endorsements for the vehicle you will be driving.
6. Schedule an appointment for your CDL skills test and bring your own vehicle or rent one from an approved testing facility.
7. Pass the CDL skills test, which includes pre-trip inspection, basic control skills, and on-road driving.
8. Pay the required fees and obtain your Class A CDL license.
It's important to note that there are additional endorsements that may be required depending on what type of vehicle you will be driving and what cargo you will be carrying. These include endorsements for hazardous materials, tanker vehicles, double/triple trailers, and more.
This includes but is not limited to the following types of vehicles:
- Tractor-trailers: A truck or tractor with one or more semi-trailers attached, commonly known as "18-wheelers."
- Tanker vehicles: Vehicles designed to transport liquids or gases.
- Livestock carriers: Vehicles designed to transport live animals.
- Flatbed trucks: Trucks with a flat open platform for carrying cargo.
- Double/triple trailers: Vehicles with two or three trailers attached to the tractor.
- Heavy haulers: Vehicles designed to carry oversized loads.
It's important to note that there may be additional endorsements required depending on what type of cargo you will be carrying. For example, if you transport hazardous materials, you will need a hazardous materials endorsement in addition to your Class A CDL.
1. Be at least 18 years old: You can obtain a Class A CDL license at the age of 18, but you will be restricted to operating within the state of Colorado and cannot transport hazardous materials. If you want to transport hazardous materials or operate across state lines, you must be at least 21 years old.
2. Have a valid driver's license: You must have a valid driver's license issued by your state of residence.
3. Pass a medical exam: You must pass a medical exam conducted by a licensed medical examiner to ensure that you are physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
4. Pass the written knowledge test: You will need to pass a written knowledge test covering topics such as driving safety, vehicle inspections, and transporting cargo.
5. Obtain a commercial learner's permit (CLP): You will need to obtain a CLP by passing a vision test and taking a skills test in a vehicle that is similar to the one you will be driving.
6. Pass the CDL skills test: You will need to pass a CDL skills test, which includes pre-trip inspection, basic control skills, and on-road driving.
7. Pay the required fees: There are fees associated with obtaining a Class A CDL license in Colorado, including application fees, testing fees, and licensing fees.
It's important to note that there may be additional requirements depending on what type of cargo you will be carrying. For example, if you transport hazardous materials, you will need to pass an additional knowledge test and obtain a hazardous materials endorsement.
It's important to note that some employers may require drivers to be at least 21 years old regardless of state laws. Additionally, there may be different age requirements for certain types of commercial vehicles or cargo, such as interstate trucking or hazmat transportation. It's important to check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for specific age requirements related to your desired type of commercial driving.
1. Hazmat endorsement: If you plan to transport hazardous materials, you will need to obtain a hazmat endorsement, which requires passing a background check and a written knowledge test.
2. Tanker endorsement: If you will be transporting liquid or gaseous materials in a tank, you will need to obtain a tanker endorsement, which requires passing a written knowledge test.
3. Doubles/triples endorsement: If you will be driving double or triple trailers, you will need to obtain a doubles/triples endorsement, which requires passing a written knowledge test.
4. Passenger endorsement: If you will be driving vehicles that carry passengers, such as buses or vans, you will need to obtain a passenger endorsement, which requires passing a written knowledge test and a skills test.
5. School bus endorsement: If you will be driving school buses, you will need to obtain a school bus endorsement, which requires passing a written knowledge test and a skills test.
It's important to note that endorsements are not automatically included with your CDL license and must be obtained separately by passing the required tests. You may also need to pay additional fees for each endorsement.
1. Pre-trip inspection: This part of the test evaluates your knowledge of the vehicle and your ability to inspect it properly before driving. You will need to identify and explain the function of various parts of the vehicle, check for safety hazards, and demonstrate proper inspection techniques.
2. Basic control skills: This part of the test evaluates your ability to control the vehicle in a variety of situations, such as backing up, turning, and maneuvering through tight spaces. You will need to demonstrate your ability to perform various maneuvers safely and effectively.
3. Road test: This part of the test evaluates your ability to drive the vehicle safely on public roads. You will need to demonstrate your ability to obey traffic laws, use proper signaling and communication techniques, and respond appropriately to different driving situations.
The skills test is typically conducted by a licensed examiner and can take several hours to complete. It's important to prepare thoroughly for the exam by studying the CDL handbook, practicing driving skills with a qualified instructor or mentor, and getting plenty of rest before the exam day.
1. Air brake restriction: If you take the skills test in a vehicle without air brakes, you will have an air brake restriction on your CDL license. This means that you will not be authorized to drive a vehicle with air brakes and will need to take an additional test to remove the restriction.
2. Automatic transmission restriction: If you take the skills test in a vehicle with an automatic transmission, you will have an automatic transmission restriction on your CDL license. This means that you will not be authorized to drive a vehicle with a manual transmission and will need to take an additional test to remove the restriction.
3. Intrastate-only restriction: If you only plan to drive within the boundaries of your state, you may have an intrastate-only restriction on your CDL license. This means that you will not be authorized to drive across state lines or internationally.
4. Passenger or school bus restrictions: If you obtain a Class A CDL with a passenger or school bus endorsement, you may have additional restrictions related to the size and weight of the vehicle, as well as the number of passengers.
It's important to carefully review and understand any restrictions or limitations on your CDL license before operating a commercial vehicle. Violating these restrictions can result in fines, penalties, and even loss of your CDL license.
However, if you require special accommodations or assistance due to a language barrier or disability, you may be able to request an oral or audio version of the test or a translator. You must contact the Division of Motor Vehicles in advance to make arrangements for special accommodations or assistance.
It's important to note that even if you are able to take the written test in a language other than English, you will still need to demonstrate proficiency in the English language for the pre-trip inspection and road test portions of the CDL exam.
The Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles provides reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities who need assistance taking the written test. This may include accommodations such as an oral or audio version of the test, extra time to complete the test, or a separate testing area.
To request accommodations for the Class A CDL written test, you must contact the Division of Motor Vehicles in advance and provide documentation of your disability. The documentation must include a statement from a qualified professional describing your disability and the specific accommodations that are recommended.
It's important to note that you must request accommodations in advance of your scheduled testing appointment. The Division of Motor Vehicles may take several weeks to review and approve your request for accommodations.
If you fail the test a second time, you will need to wait at least seven days before taking it again. If you fail the test a third time, you will need to wait at least 14 days before taking it again.
It's important to note that each time you take the written test, there is a fee. You will need to pay this fee each time you retake the test.
Before retaking the test, it's a good idea to review the study materials and practice questions provided by the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles. This can help you identify areas where you may need additional study and improve your chances of passing the test on your next attempt.