CDL Pre-Trip Inspection Learning Center

The Pre-Trip inspection test is an important part of the CDL test – and one of the toughest state tests to master. It involves memorization of many parts of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). CMV drivers are required to explain to the examiner each step in the inspection process. Even more importantly, mastering the Pre-Trip will be a skill that helps you throughout your truck driving career.


New: To help you remember key parts of the Pre-Trip, check out our new Pre-Trip Inspection Practice Tests.


Learn How to Perform a Proper CDL Pre-Trip Inspection.

There are lots of videos on pre-trip inspections. Many are well done, some not so much. We’ve decided to narrow it down to one so you can focus. The video we selected had to be easy to hear, see, and understand. It couldn’t be too complicated, but at the same time had to be thorough and cover everything. The instructor also had to have a logical system of doing things that would help you quickly master the inspection. The following video accomplishes all this.

Watch this video from Apex CDL Institute on a Class A Pre-Trip Inspection. Just sit back and take it all in the first time. Then, go back and watch again, this time pausing the video at key points and taking notes.

Note: Not all parts mentioned in this video will be located in the same place. It depends on the truck you’ll do the pre-trip on. Truck and engines vary greatly, so you must first get familiar with where these parts are on YOUR truck.

Quick tip: Work in a routine. Develop a personal system of doing things. Left to right, top to bottom, etc. This will prevent you from missing anything as you’ll check the same things every time.

This is NOT just about passing the Pre-Trip portion of the CDL test. Mastering this process will:

  • Keep you and others safe – and alive!
  • Keep you on the road – and not out of service because of vehicle violations
  • Keep you making money. That’s ultimately why you’re doing all this, right? You’re really only making money when the wheels are turning.