A pre-trip inspection is essential when operating a vehicle to ensure it will run at optimal performance. A healthy vehicle ensures the safety of not only the driver, but also everyone else on the road. If you are a truck driver, fleet or personal, you are required by law to inspect your truck and trailer once before your shift starts and once within every 24 hours spent on road. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the vehicle is safe for operation and is free from defects.
A full inspection should take you approximately 30 to 50 minutes. The key to a good inspection is to take your time while inspecting each section of your vehicle and performing each check thoroughly. Make sure to inspect everything that needs inspecting, but find a pattern or routine that works for you.
Alas, even the most diligent of truckers will occasionally forget a few details. Today we’ll be looking at some of the more overlooked inspection areas:
1. Wheel Chocks
Although everyone knows they need to do it, it can often be overlooked when rushing to prepare for inspection. Making sure your chocks are in place are an effective safety measure to prevent the accidental movement of your truck.
Making sure your brakes are in top shape should be a main priority before taking a trip. A lot of steps need to be taken in order to thoroughly check your brakes, but doing so is absolutely necessary before hitting the road. Your truck’s brakes are one of the hardest working components on your vehicle and are subject to a lot of wear and tear.
Here is a video we recommend checking out if you want to find out more about the steps needed to inspect your brakes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdjJX8a5IIo&nohtml5=False
3. Wheel Fasteners
Like checking your brakes, inspecting the stuff that holds your wheels in place is an important part of any inspection. Having your wheels fly off on the interstate is dangerous and life-threatening. A common problem for truckers are wheel fasteners. When looking at wheel fasteners, make sure they are tightened correctly. Rust around the lug nuts can also point to several underlying factors.
Your cab will likely be the first area the inspector checks during pre-trip inspection. Your cab is essentially your workspace, and how well you maintain it shows the inspector the kind of person you are. Not only is the mess an indicator of you, it can present dangers on the road, such as preventing your windshield defroster/fogger from working correctly. So remove all trash and debris from your floor and seats, and keep any excess items in your glove compartment.
5. Emergency Kit
By law, every trucker is required to carry an emergency kit containing spare fuses/circuit breakers, warning hazard triangles and a fire extinguisher. Just because you have these items in your truck, doesn’t mean you’ll pass an inspection though. You’ll also need to make sure that the fire extinguisher hasn’t been tampered with, and that it has been recently serviced, as the substance in it expires.
When inspecting your truck, your lights are probably some of the first things you inspect. While this is great, don’t forget to inspect your reflectors as well! Reflectors help increase your visibility at night, and leave you in a dangerous situation if not properly taken care of. Your reflectors should be free of cracks and clean of dirt. Also inspect the reflective strips along your cab and trailer, as worn or peeling strips can become ineffective.
If you’re looking for a fleet transport company with trucks that are always in top condition, look no further, Nickel Rock has you covered. You can be sure that our fleet trucks with take your load to and from wherever it is you need it. Check us out on our website to learn more:HERE