49 CFR § 383.113 - Required skills.
(1) All test vehicles. Applicants must be able to identify each safety-related part on the vehicle and explain what needs to be inspected to ensure a safe operating condition of each part, including:
(i) Engine compartment;
(ii) Cab/engine start;
(vii) Side of vehicle;
(viii) Rear of vehicle; and
(2) Air brake equipped test vehicles. Applicants must demonstrate the following skills with respect to inspection and operation of air brakes:
(i) Locate and verbally identify air brake operating controls and monitoring devices;
(iii) Inspect the low pressure warning device(s) to ensure that they will activate in emergency situations;
(iv) With the engine running, make sure that the system maintains an adequate supply of compressed air;
(v) Determine that required minimum air pressure build up time is within acceptable limits and that required alarms and emergency devices automatically deactivate at the proper pressure level; and
(vi) Operationally check the brake system for proper performance.
(b) Basic vehicle control skills. All applicants for a CDL must possess and demonstrate the following basic motor vehicle control skills for the vehicle class that the driver operates or expects to operate:
(1) Ability to start, warm up, and shut down the engine;
(2) Ability to put the motor vehicle in motion and accelerate smoothly, forward and backward;
(3) Ability to bring the motor vehicle to a smooth stop;
(4) Ability to back the motor vehicle in a straight line, and check path and clearance while backing;
(5) Ability to position the motor vehicle to negotiate safely and then make left and right turns;
(6) Ability to shift as required and select appropriate gear for speed and highway conditions; and
(7) Ability to back along a curved path.
(1) Ability to use proper visual search methods;
(2) Ability to signal appropriately when changing direction in traffic;
(4) Ability to choose a safe gap for changing lanes, passing other vehicles, as well as for crossing or entering traffic;
(6) Ability to maintain a safe following distance depending on the condition of the road, visibility, and vehicle weight;
(7) Ability to adjust operation of the motor vehicle to prevailing weather conditions including speed selection, braking, direction changes, and following distance to maintain control; and
(8) Ability to observe the road and the behavior of other motor vehicles, particularly before changing speed and direction.
(d) Test area. Skills tests shall be conducted in on-street conditions or under a combination of on-street and off-street conditions.
(e) Simulation technology. A State may utilize simulators to perform skills testing, but under no circumstances as a substitute for the required testing in on-street conditions.