CDL-178: Tractor-Trailer Operations

Business, Entrepreneurship, and Professional Development
Business & Economics
Commercial Drivers License
Academic Level
Course Subject
Commercial Driver License
Course Number
Course Title
Tractor-Trailer Operations
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-177, CDL-179, CDL-190, CDL-195
Catalog Course Description

Covers topics such as vehicle inspection, special rigs, extreme driving conditions, railroad crossings, preventative maintenance, cargo documentation with an emphasis on handling cargo, recognizing/reporting malfunctions, sliding tandem axles/fifth wheels, bridge formulas, hazardous materials, and trip planning/map reading. Emphasizes how to prepare for the Michigan Commercial Driver License exams offered by the State of Michigan Secretary of State. Course topics help students prepare for the CDL Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP) exam. Exam is included in this course.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

To provide a broad foundational knowledge to obtain a commercial driver license and related core competencies. This course covers key topics in preparation for the Commercial Driver License (CDL) Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP), including who needs a CDL, eligibility requirements, medical/physical requirements, CDL groups/endorsements/exemptions, application procedures, knowledge test, CDL skill test, restrictions, traffic, and RRX violations, and drug/alcohol.

Core Course Topics
  1. Michigan Commercial Driver License Exam
  2. Vehicle Inspection
  3. Driving Conditions
  4. Special Rigs
  5. Extreme Driving Conditions
  6. Railroad Crossings
  7. Hazardous Materials
  8. Sliding Tandem/Fifth Wheels
  9. Bridge Formulas
  10. Recognizing/Reporting Malfunctions
  11. Cargo Documentation
  12. Trip planning/Route Planning
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  • Review how to handle tractor-trailer during road test.
  • Perform pre-trip vehicle inspection (internal and external).
  • Discuss how to use a motor carrier road atlas.
  • Perform navigation techniques including alternative routes, driving log, estimate mileage and travel times.
  • Review the State of Michigan written test for the CDL Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP).

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

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2017
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date