CDL-177: Introduction to Commercial Driver License (CDL)

Business, Entrepreneurship, and Professional Development
Business & Economics
Commercial Drivers License
Academic Level
Course Subject
Commercial Driver License
Course Number
Course Title
Introduction to Commercial Driver License (CDL)
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
32.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
32.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
CDL-178, CDL-179, CDL-190, CDL-195
Catalog Course Description

Introduces cognitive and practical applications to the trucking industry to prepare students for the Commercial Driver's License (CDL) examination. Topics in this course, and tested on the State Third-Party Examination, include procedures and scoring, engines, preventive maintenance, drive train, tires, maneuvering, shifting, coupling and uncoupling, Federal Motor Carriers (FMC) Safety Regulations, and vehicle systems and controls. The course focuses on vehicle safety inspection procedures, safe driving practices, range orientation, requirements for the Commercial Driver's License examination, and logging cargo in preparation for the Training Instruction Permit examination.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement
  1. To provide a complete introduction and overview of the trucking industry to become a qualified entry-level driver.
  2. To prepare students for the Commercial Driver's License examination which includes the State Third-Party Examination.
Core Course Topics
  1. Introduction: Michigan's Commercial Driver License Program
    • State Third Party Examination procedures and scoring
    • Commercial Driver License
    • Department of Transportation/ Physical and Drug Screens
  2. Driving Safely
    • Introduction into the trucking industry
    • Vehicle controls
    • Vehicle systems
    • Personal health and safety
    • Employer/employee relations and public relations/customers
  3. Vehicle Systems Air Brakes
    • Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) parts
    • Dual air brake systems
    • Inspecting air brakes
    • Using air brakes
    • Air brakes state test and review
    • Engines
    • Coolant System
    • Oil System
    • Drive Train
    • Electrical
  4. Basic Maneuvering
    • Basic control of your vehicle
    • Accelerating
    • Steering
    • Stopping
    • Backing safely
    • Driving combinations
    • Combination vehicle air brakes
    • Coupling and uncoupling
    • Inspecting combinations
    • Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations
  5. Vehicle Management
    • Seeing
    • Communicating
    • Controlling your speed
    • Space management
    • Seeing hazards
    • Night driving
    • Driving in fog
    • Winter driving
    • Driving emergencies
    • Emergency maneuvering
    • Skid control and recovery
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  • Discuss the Commercial Driver's License Examination and Department of Transportation physical and drug screen.
  • Discuss the trucking industry and employment outlook.
  • Describe the vehicle controls, vehicle systems, air brakes, air brakes state test and review, engines, coolant system, oil system, drive train, electrical system, and tires.
  • Perform basic maneuvering, shifting, backing maneuvering, and coupling/uncoupling.
  • Review Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations.
  • Explain communications, speed management, space management, night driving, hazard perception, emergency maneuvering, skid control, and recovery.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement

Students will be assessed through tests, quizzes, in-class activities, and outside assignments.


Required course materials on file in department office.


Satisfies Wellness Requirement
Effective Term
Fall 2017