Truck licence test common mistakes

The truck licence system in NSW is, for the most part, a fair and equitable process. It can, however, be a painful experience when a learner fails a test, especially when only a minor error has occurred.

“What must be considered is that truck licence assessments are video recorded. The person assessing you must be a different person than the person who trained you, as per RMS rules. These two factors significantly contribute to an escalation in nervousness, and with nervousness often comes errors”.

There are three outcomes to a Final Competency Assessment, in the truck licence assessment system in NSW:




A pass is obvious; the learner has met the standard prescribed by the licensing regulator.

A fail is where too many errors have been made in the assessment, but the assessment is allowed to continue to the end of the assessment route.

A terminated assessment occurs for a number of reasons. The most common is where a breach of road rules occurs. The Austroads National tool for Heavy Vehicle licensing explicitly states that if an error occurs in Section D, the assessment must be terminated. We feel that this outcome is better that having to finish a test, only to break the bad news to the learner at the end. Also, this early termination does allow us to highlight the error to the learner, while it is still fresh in their mind. A termination would also be due to an unsafe situation arising, like fatigue or disobeying an authorised persons instructions.

To avoid a Fail or Terminated outcome, consider the following common mistakes:

  1. Incorrect indication: Signalling is a requirement prescribed in the Road Rules, with fines and demerit points applied for non-compliance. Ensure that you signal for at least five (5) seconds before leave the kerb. Ensure that you signal left when exiting a roundabout (unless not practicable). Ensure you provide sufficient indication before turning or lane changing.
  2. Speeding:  RMS are very fair with the application of speed measurement in licence assessments. We have been given clear instruction that we must only rely on the instruments that the learner has at their disposal during the assessment. This means that we are not allowed to rely on GPS for evidentiary purposes. We allow for parallax error when establishing vehicle speed and encourage learners to ask the assessor the speed zone if they are not sure. Beware, speeding results in assessment termination.
  3. Stopping over a stop line:  Whilst we want you to stop close to the stop line, under most circumstances you must not have any part of the vehicle over the line.  So when approaching a stale set of traffic light, be prepared to be able to stop behind the line.
  4. Stop sign: Stop mean fully stop near but not over the stop line.
  5. Mirror checking and observation:  Regularly be checking your mirrors for lane positioning. Including when turning to ensure the vehicle does not collide with a hazard such as a kerb or median strip.

Those are some of the items we strongly recommend you watch out for during your truck licence test.

If you’re interested in upgrading to a truck license, give us a call anytime on 1300 521 289 or use the contact form to send us a message.