Yep, depending on what type of vehicle you desire to drive, I would go ahead and plan on the combination vehicle and air brake written tests and also a skills test for each. Meaning you will need to be observed preforming a pre-trip inspection on a tractor-trailer...which includes testing air pressure leak down test and also a random skills test of straight-line backing, offset backing to either side, parallel parking to either side and alley docking. Also will include a ride along road test.
And ddgarcia is correct. If you take the test using an auto trans...you're limited to that. Use a manual trans and drive whatever you want.
It's not hard to get. Pass exam, pretrip inspection, and road test. I got mine in 2014 by going to the local tech school. It was easier and that way I didn't face any restrictions such as auto transmission or air brakes.
If they go through a truck driving school...they're almost guaranteed to get one regardless of how stupid they are....it's scary. I find myself scratching my head a lot whenever I observe somebody who has NO business driving a semi...driving a semi.
I got mine by working for a beer distributor. Studied the book, took the written exam and the rest was hands-on while we were out making deliveries. I learned to drive a tractor-trailer in and around downtown Athens. If you can drive one around there, you can drive one anywhere. It's still the only place I've driven where you have to parallel park in the field.
I have tank, HAZMAT, and doubles-triples endorsements. I'm also certified as a Smith System defensive driving instructor.
The first pick up I had was in TN During winter with snow. I had to make my very first dock by sliding the trailer sideways to the door thru one foot of snow on ice under the snow. Took me about a dozen tries. Every time I tried at first, I would miss the door by several feet and couldn't understand why. I had to hold the cab door open to see what the trailer was doing. I ended up aiming the rear of the trailer at the dock and with the cab at an angle to the trailer pushing the trailer sideways to the dock door. I couldn't get up under it, if I tried I ended up moving the trailer to the side.
I had Tank, HAZMAT, Doubles, and Oversize endorsements. I didn't get any oversize loads but did have 57 ft trailers out west. Also had some trailers with low-pro tires.
Never hit anything, but did have a warehouse worker puncture the roof of a trailer with a forklift.