Pre-trip inspections are crucial for truck drivers. It ensures that you’re operating a safe vehicle. A truck that’s not working not only hurts you but everyone driving around you on any given day. By law, you should examine your vehicle before the start of your shift to ensure there are no defects and that there’s a safe operation. There’s no law mandating how long pre-trip inspections should be, but we recommend that you take at least thirty minutes to ensure your truck is safe enough for the road. Here are a few checks that drivers often overlook.
Using Wheel Chocks
When a driver chocks their wheels, it avoids the accidental movement of the truck. As you’re testing the braking system, running tests on the engine, inspecting your wheels, or going under the trailer, you don’t want the vehicle to move!
Cleaning Your Cab
If your dash has a lot of waste piled up, it can cause severe issues such as preventing the windshield from defrosting and make it hard for your vehicle to defog. Garbage in your cab can also cause mechanical problems. If an accident happens, loose objects serve as projectiles. Keep your cab clean by pulling all loose (and unnecessary) objects out of your glove box and make sure that all items in your truck are stable and mounted.
Testing Your Brakes
When you test your brakes, you should check them from inside and outside of the cab, arched over the wheels and under the trailer. Brakes are arguably the hardest-working component of any vehicle, especially a commercial truck. Issues with brakes account for quite a few of the reasons behind violations in roadside inspections. Make sure to check the brake adjustment with the slack adjuster to ensure your brakes have the proper adjustment. Check that there are no leaking airlines, mechanical damage and that the seals on the glad hands and trailer side are in the best condition.
Having An Emergency Kit Handy
You need your emergency kit because it contains spare fuses and circuit breakers along with hazard cones and a fire extinguisher. If you have used your hazard cones, make sure they’re dirt-free, and the reflective strips are, well, reflective. Finally, we hope that you never have to use your fire extinguisher, but if you do, look at the tag to see when it last received service and ensure there isn’t any damage to the safety pin.
The Bottom Line on Pre-Trip Inspections
Never rush or miss out on doing these altogether. Get enough sleep so that you can check your truck before your shift. If your truck isn’t up-to-par, you should know that you can count on Middleton & Meads.
MIDDLETON & MEADS IS YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL OF YOUR VEHICLE’S NEEDS.
Need to repair your truck or bus? Contact Middleton & Meads today! Middleton & Meads provides quality truck and bus repair, service, and fleet management for the Baltimore, MD area. We have over 90 years of experience in the trucking industry and will provide you with customer service like you have never experienced before! If you are interested in seeing how we can help your business, give us a call at (410) 752-5588 or visit us online today! For more articles and trucking tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and LinkedIn.