The most important test of all the CDL written and mechanical tests is the Air Brake Test. Driving a tractor trailer without good brakes and an understanding of how they work is a big hazard for yourself and the public. Every truck driver needs to be more than just familiar with the brake system on their truck. Knowing how to use this brake system is not enough, a driver needs to be able to visualize in his mind the mechanics of the system at all times during all braking and driving conditions.
As a driver you should be able to perform all of the different air brake tests and understand why each step of the process is necessary. When a truck driver is broke down on the side of the road he will need to communicate the problems and or parts needed to fix the air brakes to the breakdown company responding so the mechanic can bring the right parts and equipment to get the driver running again. Being able to troubleshoot air brake problems effectively can save hours and hours of the driver’s time in the long run.
The more experience a truck driver has with his rigs braking system the more problems there are that he can fix on the side of the road without even having to call Breakdown Company. Most truck drivers get paid by the mile and understanding how to fix and troubleshoot air brakes will save truck driver thousands of dollars over the course of his trucking career. When studying for the CDL Test it is important not to just memorize the information to pass the test. Try to take all of the information in and visualize the mechanics of how the brake system works. Get on your computer and look at pictures and videos of tractor trailer air brake systems.
If you didn’t know how to swim and were taking a swimming written test, would you memorize the info knowing you were going to get tossed in the water after the test, or would you try to really understand and visualize how to swim? The Air Brake Test is that important and learning everything there is to know could save your life or the lives of others when put in the right situation out there on the road. New truck drivers should start studying for the air brake test long before they go to a CDL training school. Understanding this system and how it works will give them an advantage during their training and more confidence when going solo as a new truck driver for the first time.
Troy Dudenhoefer is a Top Paid Truck Driver and Author of ” How to Make $65-95,000 driving a Truck… and Be Home EveryDay”. and the owner of cdlpracticetest.net where you can practice the Air Brake Test for free.