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. Test questions come from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s Manual. To pass, applicants must answer 40 questions correctly. Questions come from chapters covering: Introduction, Driving Safely, Transporting Cargo Safely, Combination Vehicles. Endorsements that may be used with a Class A CDL are: Hazardous materials, Tank, Passenger, Doubles/Triples, HazMat, Tank, Air Brakes and School bus.
1. If being shipped on either a flatbed trailer or a trailer without sides, cargo must be:
If being shipped on a flatbed trailer or on a trailer without sides, cargo must be securely tied down to keep it from shifting or falling off while the vehicle moves.
2. To prevent your tires and engine from overheating while you are driving in especially hot weather, you should:
The faster you drive, the hotter your engine and tires will become. When it is very hot, you can help prevent this overheating by decreasing your speed.
3. If the low pressure warning signal activates while you are driving, you should:
If the low pressure warning signal activates while you are driving, it is important that you safely exit the roadway as soon as possible and park your vehicle. If the air pressure gets too low, the brakes will no longer work well enough for you to stop safely.
4. If a tire fails, 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. Check your tires after coming to a complete stop.
5. When traveling with cargo, you must make sure the cargo is secure:
Cargo should be inspected before beginning a trip, within the first 50 miles of the trip, and every three hours or 150 miles traveled. The driver of a truck transporting cargo is responsible for the cargo being safely secured throughout the trip.
6. When driving:
Operators driving too fast is a major cause of fatal crashes. You must continually adjust your speed to a rate that is safe for road and traffic conditions.
7. When inspecting engine compartment belts during the vehicle inspection test:
When checking the engine compartment during the vehicle inspection test, you must check the power steering, water pump, alternator, and air compressor belts. In addition to cracks and frays, you should check the belts for snugness, allowing up to three-quarters of an inch of play at the center of each belt. If any of these items are not belt-driven, you must identify them and ensure that their components are operating properly, are not damaged or leaking, and are mounted securely.
Frequently Asked Questions
To obtain a Class A CDL in Pennsylvania, you must first pass a written knowledge test and then pass a skills test in a vehicle that meets the Class A requirements. You must also meet other requirements such as having a valid driver's license and being at least 18 years old (or 21 years old if you plan to drive across state lines or transport hazardous materials).
- Truck and trailer combinations
- Livestock carriers
- Flatbed trucks with trailers
- Tanker trucks with trailers
- Double and triple trailers
It's important to note that you may need additional endorsements on your CDL to operate certain types of vehicles, such as hazardous materials or passenger transport vehicles. Be sure to check the specific requirements for the type of vehicle you plan to operate.
1. Age: You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Class A CDL, but you must be at least 21 years old to operate a commercial vehicle across state lines or to transport hazardous materials.
2. Valid Driver's License: You must have a valid driver's license issued by your state of residence.
3. Medical Certification: You must obtain a medical certification from a licensed medical examiner. The certification confirms that you are physically fit to operate a commercial vehicle.
4. Knowledge Test: You must pass a written knowledge test that includes questions about general trucking knowledge, vehicle inspection, and safe driving practices.
5. Skills Test: Once you have passed the knowledge test, you must pass a skills test that includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test.
6. Background Check: You will need to undergo a background check as part of the CDL application process.
7. Fees: You will need to pay the required fees for obtaining your Class A CDL license.
It's important to note that additional endorsements may be required depending on the type of vehicle you plan to operate. Be sure to check the specific requirements for your situation.
1. T - Double/Triple Trailers: This endorsement allows you to operate a truck with two or three trailers attached.
2. P - Passenger: This endorsement allows you to transport passengers for a fee, such as in a bus or limousine.
3. N - Tank Vehicles: This endorsement allows you to transport liquid or gaseous materials in tank vehicles.
4. H - Hazardous Materials: This endorsement allows you to transport hazardous materials as defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
5. X - Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials: This endorsement allows you to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles.
To obtain an endorsement, you must pass a written test that covers the specific knowledge required for that endorsement. You may also need to pass a skills test depending on the endorsement.
1. Pre-trip inspection: You will need to demonstrate your knowledge of the vehicle by conducting a pre-trip inspection. This includes checking the engine compartment, brakes, tires, lights, and other safety features.
2. Basic vehicle control: You will be tested on your ability to control the vehicle in a closed course setting. This includes backing up, turning, shifting gears, and stopping.
3. On-road driving: You will need to demonstrate your ability to drive the vehicle safely on public roads. This includes merging onto highways, changing lanes, making turns, and navigating through intersections.
During the skills test, you will be evaluated on your ability to control the vehicle safely and effectively. It's important to practice your driving skills beforehand and be familiar with the vehicle you'll be using for the test.
1. Age restrictions: You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Class A CDL license in Pennsylvania, but you will be limited to intrastate driving only until you are 21 years old.
2. Endorsement restrictions: As I mentioned earlier, you may need endorsements for certain types of vehicles or cargo. If you don't have the required endorsements, you won't be able to operate those vehicles or transport that cargo.
3. Vehicle restrictions: You may be restricted from operating certain types of vehicles, such as those with air brakes or manual transmissions, if you haven't passed the required knowledge and skills tests.
4. Medical restrictions: You must meet certain medical requirements to maintain your CDL license. If you have a medical condition that could affect your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely, your CDL may be restricted or revoked.
5. Alcohol and drug restrictions: If you are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a commercial vehicle, your CDL will be suspended or revoked.
It's important to understand and follow these restrictions and limitations to maintain your CDL license and ensure safe operation of commercial vehicles on the roadways.
However, if you need assistance with reading or understanding the questions on the written test due to a language barrier or other disability, you may be able to request an accommodation. Contact the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for more information on how to request an accommodation.
To request accommodations, you will need to fill out a Request for Reasonable Accommodations form and provide documentation of your disability and how it affects your ability to take the test. The form and documentation can be submitted in person at a PennDOT Driver License Center or by mail.
Examples of accommodations that may be provided include extended testing time, a reader or interpreter, or a separate testing room. The accommodation provided will depend on the individual's needs and the type of disability.
It's important to note that requests for accommodations must be made in advance of the test date, and it may take some time for PennDOT to review and approve the request. Be sure to plan ahead and submit your request well in advance of your desired test date.
There is a fee for each attempt at the written test, so keep this in mind when scheduling your retake. You may also want to spend some additional time studying and preparing for the test before attempting it again.
It's important to note that passing the written test is just one step in obtaining a CDL. You will also need to pass a skills test in a commercial vehicle and meet other requirements before you can obtain your CDL.