Truck drivers in Canada account for 90% of the country’s logistics. They are responsible for moving approximately 90% of all consumer products and foodstuffs.
It’s safe to say this industry is a vital part of the nation’s workforce. Anyone willing to become a part of this industry has one major task to take on: passing a commercial driver test and getting a license.
The journey to getting a CDL begins with registration. The final phase is a skill assessment test. In between these phases, there are a series of steps that require the utmost planning, precision, and understanding.
Whether you’re a newbie truck driver or an experienced one, you’ll benefit from this blog post we’ve compiled. Here are some of the things to keep in mind when you apply for a Canadian CDL:
1. You’ll Need To Prove Your Knowledge Of Driving On Canadian Laws
Canada has specific road rules, some of which differ from what you may be used to. Every aspect of your road safety is covered under these laws. You’re expected to get some handy knowledge of them before you take the license exam.
Everything you need to know is in the truck driver license test handbook. Acquire one and study it religiously to keep yourself informed and prepared.
These examiners will test and grade your ability to operate commercial vehicles, your decision-making in sticky situations, and your traffic compliance.
Demonstrating your knowledge of Canadian road rules proves to your examiner that you are committed to ensuring not just your safety but that of other road users.
2. You Must Have Taken A Canadian Entry Level Training Course
Depending on your region, you may be required to take a government-approved training program before you can sit for a commercial driver license test. These programs usually span between 3-6 months, depending on the institution you pick.
If you already have, you’ll be required to show up for your test with the certifications from these programs.
3. Keep A Calm Mind
A calm mind is a crucial factor in success in any examination. When you remain calm, your confidence comes into play. You will be better able to manoeuvre sticky situations, remember all the road rules you’ve previously studied, and also impress your examiner.
Studies show that stress and anxiety can greatly hamper your ability to focus. When you take a CDL test, you’ll need optimal concentration to process information correctly.
Before you show up, ensure that you destress your mind and body. Engage in activities that help you relax. Remind yourself that you’re not about to get into a death race. Even if you fail, you can always retry.
When you do show up, show up with a smiling face and a confident mind.
4. You Must Be Prepared For All The Test Components
The test is split into two sections:
- The knowledge test
The knowledge test comes first, usually. It’s a written exam that tests your knowledge of basic road rules. You’ll have made-up scenarios that you’ll have to work through and select options that can serve as the best means to avoid danger in such scenarios.
The commercial driver’s written test usually takes about thirty minutes, and judging from what most people say, it’s quite an easy test.
You can sign up for this test at your local DMV. Go along with any documents that show your name, age, and signature. The fees for the test vary from region to region. Ask about the specific price from your DMV.
- The road test
Since driving is a practical skill, the skills test is usually the most important.
This test assesses your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle.
The first section will usually have you inspecting and identifying components of your vehicle and their uses, as well as maintenance procedures for each.
Then comes the actual on-road test, where you get to show your examiner the stuff you’re made of.
To book a road test, you’ll be required to have a valid Ontario license number. Most examiners will let you pick the test locations. Use this opportunity to select an area with very few hazards. Before D-Day, practice as much as possible on this chosen route.
5. Ensure Your Vehicle Is in Good Working Order
As you prepare your body and mind for the test, do not forget to prep your car as well. They are a vital aspect of your success as well, since they play a vital role in your road safety.
Your examiner will judge your ability to operate the vehicle seamlessly. So, it’s best if you show up for the test with a vehicle that you’re more familiar with.
There’s also the issue of compliance. All commercial vehicles are expected to meet certain requirements set by Canadian regulations. To increase your chances of success, pick a vehicle that checks all the right boxes.
Maintenance will save you a whole lot of trouble on this D-day. Have your mechanic confirm the welfare of your vehicle before you take it in for the test.
6. The Process Can Be Tough
When you show up on D-day, come prepared to succeed. But have it in the back of your mind that success won’t come easy. You may be lucky to get an examiner that lets you off with just a correction; if you’re not, you’ll be assigned a die-hard perfectionist that carefully scrutinizes your every move.
While, in the actual sense, this is the best type of examiner for you, it greatly hurts your chances of success on your first try.
Since you cannot predict what you’ll have to face, your best shot at success is to practice religiously. Take as many practice tests as you can find.
When you practice, recreate multiple scenarios and task yourself to come up with a quick solution every time. Familiarize yourself with the vehicle and understand every single inch of its parts and dynamics.
This test doesn’t cost peanuts. You must do all it takes to pass on your first try.
As promised, we have given you an in-depth manual of the important factors to keep in mind before showing up for a Canadian CDL test.
It goes without saying that the process is lengthy and tedious. You’ll have to devote a lot of time, money, and other resources. However, you can look at it as an investment in your financial future.
Take a look at the annual salaries of licensed truck drivers. Use that as motivation anytime you’re tempted to pull out of the process.