Mastering the Pre Trip Inspection Test — Advice from C1 Graduates


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Truck driver conducting a pre-trip inspection testThe pre-trip inspection is a crucial part of attending CDL training and becoming a truck driver. But it can give many people difficulties due to the sheer number of items that need to be checked and memorized. Fortunately, it’s not as overwhelming as it may seem at first glance! Thousands of students who come through C1 every year learn the pre-trip inspection and go on to get a job as a professional OTR truck driver.

Need some tips on passing the pre-trip? Who better to ask for advice than the very students who passed themselves! We asked C1 Truck Driver Training graduates what their tips and tricks were for mastering the pre-trip inspection. Keep reading for some of their insight.

Studying for the Pre-Trip Inspection

One thing is certain — no matter how long it takes to pass the pre-trip inspection, it’ll only happen if you study, study, study. Many truck driving students haven’t been in a classroom for many years so sometimes it’s hard to work up that motivation to use free time to practice and prepare for the pre trip inspection test. But in most cases, this is one of the best ways to actually learn the material.

“Study the truck in sections.” –Chris Thomas

“Study is the key word. Don’t wait ’til the last second. It looks like a lot to learn but it’s easy as long as you STUDY.” –Andrew Sortore

“Study, study, study! And make some flashcards; it works.” –Darren Paul Williams

Mastering the Pre-Trip Inspection

As with anything in life, the amount of time it takes to get the pre-trip inspection down pat varies from person to person. For some people, memorizing all the parts and what to check for comes naturally. For others, it takes more time. We’ve talked to students who have passed the pre trip inspection test with just an hour of studying, and we’ve talked to students who took 2 weeks to fully memorize everything. Whatever the pace, the important thing is tto learn the material in order to prevent accidents when you get out on the road as a professional truck driver.

“[It took me] one day. Repetition is key. Start at the beginning without looking at your guide. When you miss something, start from the very beginning until you got it all down.” –Todd Lopeman

“I mastered mine the first time with a 41 on the pre-trip inspection and I studied every night for 4 hours straight when I was in the hotel.” –Mark Spencer

Advice for Succeeding

There are a few key suggestions that can help truck driving students master the pre-trip inspection. As with anything, some methods will work better for others. But if you’re looking for some tips and suggestions on memorizing the information for the pre trip inspection test, here’s what some past C1 Truck Driver Training students had to say…

“You can never over-do it. More is better.” –Teresa Cates Autry

“If it has fluids — make sure it’s not leaking. If it is mounted, make sure it’s properly mounted and secure. If it has bolts, make sure they’re not missing or loose. It’s better to mention too much than too little. Take your time and make sure you don’t miss anything.” –Elizah Weating

“Index cards help a lot. Helping others helps you and them out. We had a lot of people in our class and 90 percent walked away with red hats by all helping each other and using flash cards.” –Michael Price

What are your tips for memorizing and learning the information for the pre-trip inspection test? Share your suggestions with us!