How can you determine an applicant’s true driving skills? Is licensing really enough? Until you’ve seen the applicant behind the wheel, there’s no telling on how well they will be able to handle one of your trucks… which leads us to, a driver road test. In this blog, we’ll discuss the importance of administering driver road tests and what is to be expected on the test.

The following information is sourced from USI Insurance Services March 2021 Services Team Update.


About Driver Road Tests

As required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation Section 391.31, carriers are required to road test anyone operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) — this includes large trucks and trailers, straight trucks, tank vehicles, and tractor-trailers. 

Before a CMV driver can be dispatched for the first time, they must successfully pass their driver road test and be issued a certificate. A carrier is allowed to road test the applicant before they complete their controlled substance test, but the applicant is not allowed to act as a dispatched company driver without receiving a negative drug test first.

The person administering the test must also be competent to evaluate and determine the driver’s abilities. This person can be anyone designated by the carrier, such as a supervisor, veteran driver, or someone outside of the company. They should be someone who is comfortable taking the lead if necessary, as the test could not go well and need a DOT-certified driver to step in. 


What to Expect on the Driver Road Test

The applicant must test in the motor vehicle that they will be driving. Additionally, they should expect to drive a variety of road types (city, rural, highway, etc.) and for the test to last a long enough duration for the administrator to make a thorough assessment of their skills. 

At a minimum, the applicant will be tested on these operations:

  • A pre-trip inspection
  • Coupling and uncoupling a combination if the driver may drive such equipment
  • Placing the vehicle in operation
  • Using the vehicles controls and emergency equipment
  • Driving in traffic and passing other vehicles
  • Turning
  • Braking and slowing by means of others braking
  • Backing up and parking 


How the Driver Road Test is Scored

As the applicant performs their road test, the administrator will score the driver’s skills in each operation. After the test is complete, the administrator will sign the document and place it in the driver’s qualification file. 

If the test is passed successfully, the administrator will complete a certification of the road test and give a copy to the driver. One copy is to be placed in the driver’s qualification file as well. 


Driver Road Test Exemptions

A road test will not have to be performed if the driver provides one of the following:

  • A valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) issued by a state which requires a road test for the type of vehicle the driver is to be assigned.
  • A certificate of road test issued to the driver by another motor carrier during the preceding 3 years.

If the driver is assigned doubles, triples, or tanks, the road test will need to be evaluated with those types of vehicles. 

If the motor carrier accepts a previous license or road test, they must retain a copy in the driver’s qualification file. 


Closing Thoughts

As a tank trucking company, Liquid Trucking thoroughly evaluates and determines an applicant’s driving capabilities. We hire drivers who are confident and have exceptional decision-making skills. If you are looking for a bulk liquid carrier, contact us today at 844-GO-TANKS.