A pre-trip inspection is a must for your truck! Here is what to look

As a commercial truck owner, you have the immense responsibility to check the on-duty drivers follow pre-trip truck inspection to ensure your vehicle is in proper condition before hitting the road. 

A pre-trip inspection is an integral part of each road trip for a driver to check the trailer, load, truck, and its major parts to maintain safety on the road. 

To become familiar with a truck, truck drivers must check the trailer, the load, and the operating parts of the truck, including the engine, brake, lights, gauges, tires, and fuel every day.

A pre-trip inspection needs to follow certain guidelines and takes approximately about 30 to 50 minutes for a full check-up and inspection. A simple inspection not only keeps drivers and your vehicle safe but also helps to keep others safe on the road.

Why is pre-trip inspection important? What are the pre-trip checklists drivers should follow before each trip? Let’s see some cornerstone inspections which ensure safety and security on the road.



Pre inspection
Pre-Trip Inspection

Why should truckers perform the pre-trip inspection?

Performing pre-trip inspections ensures safety, performance, reduce liability, saves a substantial amount of money, and avoid issues such as :

  • DOT – Fines from The Department of Transportation
  • DOT audit violations
  • Less CSA (Compliance, Safety,Accountability) score

 

Despite being one of the most dangerous occupations, driving heavy and tractor-trailer trucks often involves unexpected accidents and fatalities on the road. 

A pre-trip truck inspection performs a detailed evaluation of each element and validates your truck in proper working condition.

Truck failure can cause consequences that not only cost money but the lives of other people on the road. Here is the reason why inspection is important before each trip:

1.Safety

Safety is the most important reason to perform a 30-minute pre-trip truck inspection. Without a proper inspection, it’s dangerous to drive a truck and might lead to a fatal accident.

Simple proper inspection procedures uncover potentially dangerous conditions such as brakes damage, steering repair, unsecured loads, tires not having the right pressure, or any other safety concerns with the vehicle.

Despite the fact that your driver might be experienced and could do a shortcut inspection, it is better to be safe rather than be sorry later. 

Ensure your driver never skips pre-trip inspection before hitting the road and save your vehicle from further damages.

2.Maintenance and save your money

A pre-trip inspection helps to find minor problems before they become significant and save time in the long run and also save money on maintenance.

Hence, skipping pre-trip inspection might result in accidents or may even cause total loss to your vehicle. 

Repairing trucks en route can be expensive, prevent from driving, and keep vehicles out of service for an extended period.

It is better to catch up with minor issues and repair them before hitting the road which eventually helps to avoid losing money while waiting for your truck to get fixed. 

Unplanned roadside repairs cost more than scheduled repairs in the shop and even save you from tow charges.

3.Reduce Liability

Being involved in fatal accidents along with a no pre-trip inspection proof can increase your driver’s liability for the accident. 

Regardless of fault, without pre-trip inspection validation or done incomplete, your driver can be found guilty and found liable. 

The proof of pre-trip inspection shows no negligence on your side when it comes to vehicle integrity being the reason for unexpected accidents.

4.Legal Obligation

One of the most important legal obligations of a truck driver is ensuring vehicle safety – safe to operate and free from defects. 

Legally, on-duty drivers have to perform a pre-trip inspection and any problem found during the inspection has to be reported as in case of an audit.

If the audit shows that problems are not fixed or uncovers a violation, which can result in a fine and increase your CSA score.

What should be the pre-trip inspection checklist for truck drivers?

Always start checking from the front hood of the vehicle including critical fluids. Inside the engine compartment perform inspection including

  • Radiator
  • Steering gearbox
  • Air compressor
  • Water pump
  • Alternator
  • Hoses and wiring
  • Belts
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Engine oil
  • Coolant 

 

The inspection includes a visual check on the fuel tank to ensure nothing is leaking or cracked, and enough battery levels to start power.

Integrating your trucks to modern fuel monitoring software ensures hassle-free maintenance of your vehicle’s fuel requirements. 

The software will take responsibility for updating current fuel levels, informing in case the vehicle needs fuel refill, maintain a track of all the fuelling sessions and even the expenses incurred. 

This software also allows the management to ensure that truck drivers do not waste resources in the name of fuel refilling. 

1.Inspect the brakes

Always start checking from the front hood of the vehicle including critical fluids. Inside the engine compartment perform inspection including

  • Radiator
  • Steering gearbox
  • Air compressor
  • Water pump
  • Alternator
  • Hoses and wiring
  • Belts
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Engine oil
  • Coolant 

 

The inspection includes a visual check on the fuel tank to ensure nothing is leaking or cracked, and enough battery levels to start power.

Integrating your trucks to modern fuel monitoring software ensures hassle-free maintenance of your vehicle’s fuel requirements. 

The software will take responsibility for updating current fuel levels, informing in case the vehicle needs fuel refill, maintain a track of all the fuelling sessions and even the expenses incurred. 

This software also allows the management to ensure that truck drivers do not waste resources in the name of fuel refilling. 

2.Inspect tires and wheel lug nuts

Inspect tires having the correct amount of pressure for safe operation and should not have gouges, bubbles, or cuts. 

Make sure no foreign objects like large debris or stones are present between rims and tires. Also, tighten the loose nuts and bolts of the wheels.

Aligning your vehicle with modern tyre management systems can make your tyre inspection job much easier, as the system will monitor your vehicle tire’s condition round the clock and update if any service is needed. 



3.Coupling system

A failure of the coupling system can result in the loss of load, and hence it is important to be careful about it. 

Double ensure the check of the fifth wheel and kingpin. Then check other components connected to the trailers such as

  • Apron
  • Airlines
  • Electrical connections
  • Locking jaws
  • Release arm
  • Skid plate
  • Mounting bolt
  • Glad hands
  • Gap 

 

A troublesome coupling system can make driving the vehicle very difficult.

4.Inspect trailers

Look for any mechanical defects such as holes, breaks, bends, cracks, or missing rivets in the frame, headboard, locking pins, cross members, doors, and hinges that might prevent a secure mount to the tractor.

Pre-trip inspections include checking the cabin of the drivers including seatbelt, room for the clutch, the shifting distance, and the parking brake is on. 

Ensure your exterior light, reflectors, warning lights and turn signals are more visible for other drivers. The Inspection covers checking every minor to major part in the vehicle.

At last, make sure the truck has safety equipment such as three triangles, electrical fuses, and fire extinguishers.

A pre-trip inspection is a way of confirming your truck’s safe operation and not compromising its safety and other motorists on the road. 

By doing a simple inspection you can get an updated list of your vehicle status and help you to take care of your trucks, increase productivity, liability and scalability.

Team VAMOSYS have been into GPS business since 2014 and have good experience on GPS Vehicle Tracking, Fuel Monitoring, Fleet Management and GPS Tracker Devices. Writes article on various topics to share the industry experiences and knowledge.

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