Under the Hood
- Engine oil: level and quality.
- Coolant level and hoses: no leaks or damage.
- Air filter: clean and free of debris.
- Wires or hoses: Check for any loose
Take a look at the alternator, power steering, and belts to make sure they’re in good condition.
- Power steering fluid level: Add more if needed.
- Steering wheel: Check for any looseness.
- Steering column: Check for any looseness.
- Steering linkage: Check the for any looseness or damage.
Front of tractor/truck
As you conduct your pre-trip inspection, walk around the front of the truck and check the following items:
- Headlights: Check that both headlights are working. If one is out, replace the bulb.
- Turn Signals: Check that all four turn signals are working. If one is out, replace the bulb.
- Brakes: Check that the brakes are in good condition and not excessively worn.
- Tires: Check the tread on all tires to ensure they have enough tread to grip the road. Also, check for any cracks or bulges in the sidewalls of the tires.
The front suspension is responsible for supporting the weight of the engine and transmission, as well as keeping the front wheels in contact with the ground.
- Shocks: Make sure the shocks are properly inflated.
- Springs: Check for any cracks or damage to the .
- Bushings and ball joints: Inspect the for wear and tear.
- Nuts and bolts: Make sure all are tight and not loose.
- Brake pedal: Make sure the brake pedal is firm and doesn’t sink to the floor
- Brake fluid level: Check the and top it off if necessary
- Brake pads: Inspect the and shoes for wear and replace them if necessary
- Brake drums and rotors: Check the for wear and replace them if necessary
- Brake lines: Make sure all the brake lines are in good condition and not leaking
Driver door and fuel area
Make sure that the door is latched securely and that there are no leaks in the fuel system.
The rear of the tractor/truck
- Tires: Check the condition of the tires, looking for any cuts or tread wear
- Wheels and rims: Look for any cracks or damage.
- Coupling: Inspect for damage .
- Locking device: Make sure that the locking device is in place and working properly.
- Airlines: Properly connected and there are no leaks.
Finally, take a walk around the entire vehicle, looking for anything else that may be out of place or damaged.
The coupling area is where the tractor and trailer are connected. Before you couple the two together, it’s important to do an inspection of both the tractor and trailer to make sure everything looks good.
- Kingpin: Make sure the kingpin is greased and there is no damage to it
- Fifth wheel: Check that the fifth wheel is in good condition and properly secured
- Airlines:Inspect the airlines and connections for any leaks or damage
- Lights: Make sure all the lights on both the tractor and trailer are working
- Electrical connections: Make sure all of the electrical connections are secure and there are no loose wires.
If you are coupling to a dolly, check to make sure that the dolly is properly secured to the trailer.
Once completed, you can couple the two together and continue on with your pre-trip inspection.
- Brake pedal: make sure it’s not too low or too high, and that it feels firm when you press it.
- Brake drums: check for cracks, leaks, or other damage.
- Brake shoes and pads: look for wear and tear, and make sure they’re properly adjusted.
- Brake fluid level: check the reservoir and add fluid if necessary.
- Air compressor: make sure it’s in good working condition.
- Airlines and hoses: check for leaks, cracks, or other damage.
You’ll need to check the wheel system on both the truck and trailer. This includes making sure that the tires are properly inflated and that there are no cracks or other damage. You’ll also need to check the lug nuts to make sure they’re tight.
- Tires: Check the tread and pressure on all tires, including the spare.
- Lights: Make sure all the lights are working, including the brake lights, turn signals, and marker lights.
- Doors and locks: Check that all the doors are secure and the locks are working properly.
- Coupling device: Inspect the coupling device to ensure it is properly secured.
- Wheels and rims: Inspect the wheels and rims for any damage.
Lights and reflectors
As a commercial driver, you are responsible for making sure your vehicle’s lights and reflectors are in good working order. This is especially important at night or in bad weather, when other drivers may have difficulty seeing your vehicle.
Make sure all of your lamps are working, including your headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazard lights. Also check your reflectors, which help other drivers see your vehicle.
If any of your lights or reflectors are not working properly, replace them. By doing so, you can help make sure other drivers can see you and avoid potential accidents.
Your truck’s cab is where you will spend a lot of time, so it is important to make sure it is comfortable and organized. Here is what you need to do:
- Mirrors: Check mirrors to make sure they are clean and positioned correctly.
- Driver’s seat: Adjust so that you can reach the pedals and steering wheel comfortably.
- Gauges: (speedometer, tachometer, fuel, etc.) Functioning properly.
- Check that all of the controls (turn signals, wipers, lights, etc.) are working properly.
- If there is a CB radio in the truck, test it to make sure it is working properly.
- Make sure the windows are clean and free of cracks or other damage.
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