Section 11 Vehicle Inspection Test

Section 11 Vehicle Inspection Test
Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Section 11
Vehicle Inspection Test
Power steering belt.
Water pump belt.
Alternator belt.
Air compressor belt.
This Section Covers
x
x
Internal Inspection
External Inspection
Note: If any of the components listed above are
not belt driven, you must:
Tell the examiner which component(s) are not belt
driven.
During the Vehicle inspection, you must show that
the vehicle is safe to drive. You will have to walk
around the vehicle and point to or touch each item
and explain to the examiner what you are checking
and why. You will NOT have to crawl under the hood
or under the vehicle.
Make sure component(s) are operating properly,
are not damaged or leaking, and are mounted
securely.
11.1
Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for
automatic transmissions).
All Vehicles
Study the following vehicle parts for the type of
vehicle you will be using during the CDL skills tests.
You should be able to identify each part and tell the
examiner what you are looking for or inspecting.
Safe Start
Depress clutch.
Start engine, then release clutch slowly.
11.1.2 – Cab Check/Engine Start
11.1.1 Engine Compartment (Engine Off)
Oil Pressure Gauge
Leaks/Hoses
Make sure oil pressure gauge is working.
Look for puddles on the ground.
Check that pressure gauge shows increasing or
normal oil pressure or that the warning light goes
off.
Look for dripping fluids on underside of engine and
transmission.
Inspect hoses for condition and leaks.
If equipped, oil temperature gauge should begin a
gradual rise to the normal operating range.
Oil Level
Temperature Gauge
Indicate where dipstick is located.
Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
See that oil level is within safe operating range.
Level must be above refill mark.
Temperature should begin to climb to the normal
operating range or temperature light should be off.
Coolant Level
Air Gauge
Inspect reservoir sight glass, or
Make sure the air gauge is working properly.
(If engine is not hot), remove radiator cap and
check for visible coolant level.
Build air pressure to governor cut-out, roughly 120140 psi.
Ammeter/Voltmeter
Power Steering Fluid
Indicate where power steering fluid dipstick is
located.
Check for adequate power steering fluid level.
Level must be above refill mark.
Engine Compartment Belts
Check the following belts for snugness (up to 3/4
inch play at center of belt), cracks, or frays:
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
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Check that gauges show alternator and/or
generator is charging or that warning light is off.
Mirrors and Windshield
Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from
the inside.
Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers,
no obstructions, or damage to the glass.
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Emergency Equipment
Parking Brake Check
Check for spare electrical fuses.
With the parking brake engaged (trailer brakes
released on combination vehicles), check that the
parking brake will hold vehicle by gently trying to pull
forward with parking brake on.
Check for three red reflective triangles, 6 fusees or
3 liquid burning flares.
Check for a properly charged and rated fire
extinguisher.
Note: If the vehicle is not equipped with electrical
fuses, you must mention this to the examiner.
With the parking brake released and the trailer
parking brake engaged (combination vehicles only),
check that the trailer parking brake will hold vehicle
by gently trying to pull forward with the trailer
parking brake on.
Wipers/Washers
Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not
damaged, and operate smoothly.
If equipped, windshield washers must operate
correctly.
Lights/Reflectors/Reflector Tape Condition
(Sides & Rear)
Test that dash indicators work when corresponding
lights are turned on:
Left turn signal.
Right turn signal.
Four-way emergency flashers.
High beam headlight.
Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) indicator.
Check that all external lights and reflective
equipment are clean and functional. Light and
reflector checks include:
Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere).
Headlights (high and low beams).
Taillights.
Backing lights.
Turn signals.
Four-way flashers.
Brake lights.
Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors
(elsewhere).
Reflector tape condition
Note: Checks of brake, turn signal and four-way
flasher functions must be done separately.
Horn
Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.
Heater/Defroster
Test that the heater and defroster work.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
Hydraulic Brake Check
Pump the brake pedal three times, then hold it
down for five seconds. The brake pedal should not
move (depress) during the five seconds.
If equipped with a hydraulic brake reserve (backup) system, with the key off, depress the brake
pedal and listen for the sound of the reserve
system electric motor.
Check that the warning buzzer or light is off.
Air Brake Check (Air Brake Equipped Vehicles
Only)
Failure to perform all three components of the air
brake check correctly will result in an automatic
failure of the vehicle inspection test. Air brake safety
devices vary. However, this procedure is designed
to see that any safety device operates correctly as
air pressure drops from normal to a low air
condition. For safety purposes, in areas where an
incline is present, you will use wheel chocks during
the air brake check. The proper procedures for
inspecting the air brake system are as follows:
1. With the air pressure built up to governor cutoff
(120 – 140 psi), shut off the engine, chock your
wheels if necessary, release the parking brake
(all vehicles), and the tractor protection valve
(combination vehicle) and fully apply the foot
brake. Hold the foot brake for one minute.
Check the air gauge to see if the air pressure
drops more than three pounds in one minute
(single vehicle) or four pounds in one minute
(combination vehicle).
2. Without re-starting the engine, turn electrical
power to the “on” or “battery charge” position.
Begin fanning off the air pressure by rapidly
applying and releasing the foot brake. Low air
warning devices (buzzer, light, flag) should
activate before air pressure drops below 60 psi
or level specified by the manufacturer..
3. Continue to fan off the air pressure. At
approximately 40 psi on a tractor-trailer
combination vehicle (or level specified by the
manufacturer), the tractor protection valve and
parking brake valve should close (pop out). On
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other combination vehicle types and single
vehicle types, the parking brake valve should
close (pop out).
Service Brake Check
You will be required to check the application of air
or hydraulic service brakes. This procedure is
designed to determine that the brakes are working
correctly and that the vehicle does not pull to one
side or the other.
Pull forward at 5 mph, apply the service brake and
stop. Check to see that the vehicle does not pull to
either side and that it stops when brake is applied.
Safety Belt
Check that the safety belt is securely mounted,
adjusts, latches properly and is not ripped or
frayed.
11.2 – External Inspection (All Vehicles)
11.2.1– Steering
Mounts
Look for cracked or broken spring hangers,
missing or damaged bushings, and broken, loose,
or missing bolts, u-bolts or other axle mounting
parts. (The mounts should be checked at each
point where they are secured to the vehicle frame
and axle[s]).
Shock Absorbers
See that shock absorbers are secure and that
there are no leaks.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same
suspension components inspection on every axle
(power unit and trailer, if equipped).
11.2.3 – Brakes
Slack Adjustors and Pushrods
Look for broken, loose, or missing parts.
For manual slack adjustors, the brake pushrod
should not move more than one inch (with the
brakes released) when pulled by hand.
Steering Box/Hoses
Check that the steering box is securely mounted
and not leaking. Look for any missing nuts, bolts,
and cotter keys.
Check for power steering fluid leaks or damage to
power steering hoses.
Steering Linkage
See that connecting links, arms, and rods from the
steering box to the wheel are not worn or cracked.
Check that joints and sockets are not worn or loose
and that there are no missing nuts, bolts, or cotter
keys.
11.2.2 – Suspension
Brake Chambers
See that brake chambers are not leaking, cracked,
or dented and are mounted securely.
Brake Hoses/Lines
Look for cracked, worn, or leaking hoses, lines,
and couplings.
Drum Brake
Check for cracks, dents, or holes. Also check for
loose or missing bolts.
Check for contaminates such debris or oil/grease.
Brake linings (where visible) should not be worn
dangerously thin.
Springs/Air/Torque
Look for missing, shifted, cracked, or broken leaf
springs.
Look for broken or distorted coil springs.
If vehicle is equipped with torsion bars, torque
arms, or other types of suspension components,
check that they are not damaged and are mounted
securely.
Air ride suspension should be checked for damage
and leaks.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
Brake Linings
On some brake drums, there are openings where
the brake linings can be seen from outside the
drum. For this type of drum, check that a visible
amount of brake lining is showing.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same brake
components inspection on every axle (power unit
and trailer, if equipped).
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11.2.4 – Wheels
Fuel Tank
Rims
Check that tank(s) are secure, cap(s) are tight, and
that there are no leaks from tank(s) or lines.
Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot
have welding repairs.
Tires
The following items must be inspected on every
tire:
Tread depth: Check for minimum tread depth (4/32
on steering axle tires, 2/32 on all other tires).
Tire condition: Check that tread is evenly worn and
look for cuts or other damage to tread or sidewalls.
Also, make sure that valve caps and stems are not
missing, broken, or damaged.
Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation by using a
tire gauge. Note: You will not get credit if you simply
kick the tires to check for proper inflation.
Hub Oil Seals/Axle Seals
See that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are not
leaking and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level is
adequate.
Drive Shaft
See that drive shaft is not bent or cracked.
Couplings should be secure and free of foreign
objects.
Exhaust System
Check system for damage and signs of leaks such
as rust or carbon soot.
System should be connected tightly and mounted
securely.
Frame
Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the longitudinal frame members, cross
members, box, and floor.
11.2.6 – Rear of Vehicle
Splash Guards
Lug Nuts
If equipped, check that splash guards or mud flaps
are not damaged and are mounted securely.
Check that all lug nuts are present, free of cracks
and distortions, and show no signs of looseness
such as rust trails or shiny threads.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
Make sure all bolt holes are not cracked or distorted.
Spacers or Budd Spacing
If equipped, check that spacers are not bent,
damaged, or rusted through.
Spacers should be evenly centered, with the dual
wheels and tires evenly separated.
Note: Be prepared to perform the same wheel
inspection on every axle (power unit and trailer, if
equipped).
Check that doors and hinges are not damaged and
that they open, close, and latch properly from the
outside, if equipped.
Ties, straps, chains, and binders must also be
secure.
If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
Lift must be fully retracted and latched securely.
11.2.7 – Tractor/Coupling
Air/Electric Lines
Door(s)/Mirror(s)
Listen for air leaks. Check that air hoses and
electrical lines are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn
(steel braid should not show through).
Check that door(s) are not damaged and that they
open and close properly from the outside.
Make sure air and electrical lines are not tangled,
pinched, or dragging against tractor parts.
11.2.5 – Side of Vehicle
Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
Check that mirror(s) and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no loose
fittings.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Catwalk/Steps
Locking Pins (Fifth Wheel)
Check that the catwalk is solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
If equipped, look for loose or missing pins in the
slide mechanism of the sliding fifth wheel. If air
powered, check for leaks.
Check that steps leading to the cab entry and
catwalk (if equipped) are solid, clear of objects,
and securely bolted to tractor frame.
Mounting Bolts
Look for loose or missing mounting brackets,
clamps, bolts, or nuts. Both the fifth wheel and the
slide mounting must be solidly attached.
On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect all coupling components
and mounting brackets for missing or broken parts.
Make sure locking pins are fully engaged.
Check that the fifth wheel is positioned properly so
that the tractor frame will clear the landing gear
during turns.
Sliding Pintle
Check that the sliding pintle is secured with no
loose or missing nuts or bolts and cotter pin is in
place.
Tongue or Draw-bar
Hitch Release Lever
Check to see that the hitch release lever is in place
and is secure.
Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not bent or
twisted and checks for broken welds and stress
cracks.
Locking Jaws
Check that the tongue/draw-bar is not worn
excessively.
Look into fifth wheel gap and check that locking
jaws are fully closed around the kingpin.
Tongue Storage Area
On other types of coupling systems (i.e., ball hitch,
pintle hook, etc.), inspect the locking mechanism
for missing or broken parts and make sure it is
locked securely. If present, safety cables or chains
must be secure and free of kinks and excessive
slack.
5th Wheel Skid Plate
Check for proper lubrication and that 5th wheel skid
plate is securely mounted to the platform and that
all bolts and pins are secure and not missing.
Platform (Fifth Wheel)
Check for cracks or breaks in the platform structure
which supports the fifth wheel skid plate.
Check that the storage area is solid and secured to
the tongue.
Check that cargo in the storage area i.e. chains,
binders, etc. are secure.
11.3 – School Bus Only
Emergency Equipment
In addition to checking for spare electrical fuses (if
equipped), three red reflective triangles, and a
properly charged and rated fire extinguisher,
school bus drivers must also inspect the following
emergency equipment:
Emergency Kit
Release Arm (Fifth Wheel)
Body Fluid Cleanup Kit
If equipped, make sure the release arm is in the
engaged position and the safety latch is in place.
Lighting Indicators
Kingpin/Apron/Gap
Check that the kingpin is not bent.
Make sure the visible part of the apron is not bent,
cracked, or broken.
Check that the trailer is lying flat on the fifth wheel
skid plate (no gap).
In addition to checking the lighting indicators listed
in Section 10.2 of this manual, school bus drivers
must also check the following lighting indicators
(internal panel lights):
Alternately flashing amber lights indicator, if
equipped.
Alternately flashing red lights indicator.
Strobe light indicator, if equipped.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Lights/Reflectors
In addition to checking the lights and reflective
devices listed in Section 10.2 of this manual,
school bus drivers must also check the following
(external) lights and reflectors:
Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
11.4 – Trailer
Strobe light, if equipped.
11.4.1 – Trailer Front
Stop arm light, if equipped.
Air/Electrical Connections
Alternately flashing amber lights, if equipped.
Alternately flashing red lights.
Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in
good condition.
Student Mirrors
Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of
damage or air leaks.
In addition to checking the external mirrors, school
bus drivers must also check the internal and
external mirrors used for observing students:
Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated
and locked in place.
Check for proper adjustment.
Header Board
Checks that all internal and external mirrors and
mirror brackets are not damaged and are mounted
securely with no loose fittings.
If equipped, check the header board to see that it
is secure, free of damage, and strong enough to
contain cargo.
Checks that visibility is not impaired due to dirty
mirrors.
If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be
mounted and fastened securely.
Stop Arm
On enclosed trailers, check the front area for signs
of damage such as cracks, bulges, or holes.
If equipped, check the stop arm to see that it is
mounted securely to the frame of the vehicle. Also,
check for loose fittings and damage.
11.4.2 – Side of Trailer
Passenger Entry/Lift
Check that the entry door is not damaged,
operates smoothly, and closes securely from the
inside.
Hand rails are secure and the step light is working,
if equipped.
The entry steps must be clear with the treads not
loose or worn excessively.
If equipped with a handicap lift, look for leaking,
damaged, or missing parts and explain how lift
should be checked for correct operation. Lift must
be fully retracted and latched securely.
Emergency Exit
Landing Gear
Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no
missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the
support frame is not damaged.
If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.
Doors/Ties/Lifts
If equipped, check that doors are not damaged.
Check that doors open, close, and latch properly
from the outside.
Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are
secure.
If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking,
damaged or missing parts and explain how it
should be checked for correct operation.
Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely
from the inside.
Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Check that any emergency exit warning devices
are working.
Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other
damage to the frame, cross members, box, and
floor.
Seating
Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
Frame
Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins
If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked
in place and release arm is secured.
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11.4.3 – Remainder of Trailer
11.5.2 – Entry/ Exit
Remainder of Trailer
Doors/Mirrors
Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures regarding the
following components:
Check that entry/exit doors are not damaged and
operate smoothly from the outside. Hinges should
be secure with seals intact.
Wheels.
Make sure that the passenger exit mirrors and all
external mirrors and mirror brackets are not
damaged and are mounted securely with no loose
fittings.
Suspension system.
Brakes.
Doors/ties/lift.
Splash guards.
11.5.3 – External Inspection of Coach/ Transit
Bus
Level/Air Leaks
11.5 – Coach/Transit Bus
11.5.1 – Passenger Items
See that the vehicle is sitting level (front and rear),
and if air-equipped, check for audible air leaks from
the suspension system.
Passenger Entry/Lift
Fuel Tank(s)
Check that entry doors operate smoothly and close
securely from the inside.
See that fuel tank(s) are secure with no leaks from
tank(s) or lines.
Check that hand rails are secure and, if equipped,
that the step light(s) are working.
Baggage Compartments
Check that the entry steps are clear, with the
treads not loose or worn excessively.
Check that baggage and all other exterior
compartment doors are not damaged, operate
properly, and latch securely.
If equipped with a handicap lift, look for any
leaking, damaged or missing part, and explain how
it should be checked for correct operation.
Battery/Box
Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Wherever located, see that battery(s) are secure,
connections are tight, and cell caps are present.
Emergency Exits
Battery connections should not show signs of
excessive corrosion.
Make sure that all emergency exits are not
damaged, operate smoothly, and close securely
from the inside.
Check that any emergency exit warning devices
are working.
Check that battery box and cover or door is not
damaged and is secure.
11.5.4 – Remainder of Coach/ Transit Bus
Remainder of Vehicle
Passenger Seating
Look for broken seat frames and check that seat
frames are firmly attached to the floor.
Check that seat cushions are attached securely to
the seat frames.
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
Please refer to Section 11.2 of this manual for
detailed inspection procedures for the remainder of
the vehicle.
Remember, the Vehicle Inspection must be passed
before you can proceed to the Basic Control Skills
test.
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
11.6 – Taking the CDL Vehicle
Inspection Test
11.6.1 – Class A Vehicle Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class A CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the four versions of a
Vehicle inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the four tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start, an in-cabinspection, and an inspection of the coupling
system. Then, your test may require an inspection
of the entire vehicle or only a portion of the vehicle
which your CDL Examiner will explain to you.
11.6.2 – Class B and C Vehicle Inspection Test
If you are applying for a Class B CDL, you will be
required to perform one of the three versions of a
Vehicle inspection in the vehicle you have brought
with you for testing. Each of the three tests are
equivalent and you will not know which test you will
take until just before the testing begins.
All of the tests include an engine start and an incab inspection. Then, your test may require an
inspection of the entire vehicle or only a portion of
the vehicle which your CDL Examiner will explain to
you. You will also have to inspect any special
features of your vehicle (e.g, school or transit bus).
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
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Commercial Driver’s License Manual – 2005 CDL Testing System
Section 11 - Vehicle Inspection
Version: July 2014
Page 11-9
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