Can You Remember Everything on Your Pre-trip Inspection List?

Are you forgetting something in your pre-trip safety check?

Whether you’re transporting computers to Boston or lumber to Boise, safety remains the number one rule of the road, regardless of where you’re going or what you’re hauling. A pre-trip inspection—to be conducted just before you depart the parking space—is critical to ensuring you and your cargo remain secure.

As with any routine task, you’ve probably committed most pre-trip inspection items to memory after a few months or years on the job. But even the most efficient professionals can forget a thing or two on occasion. See if you’ve got all your bases covered with this comprehensive guide:

  • Inspect the vehicle for any apparent damage. Be sure to check for leaks in oil, water, fuel or other fluids.
  • Make sure all lights are functional, and all reflectors are properly in place and unobscured.
  • Check that the kingpin is engaged and locked within the fifth wheel.
  • Examine the landing gear for proper road clearance and ensure the crank handle is securely stowed.
  • If the trailer has a rear stairway door, check that it is securely latched.
  • If the vehicle has an air suspension, check that the air springs are inflated.
  • Make sure the spare tire is secure in the carrier, and that the carrier is securely bolted to the chassis.
  • Check the air pressure in the tires. Tires should be inflated in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Check wheel lug nuts for proper torque on disc wheels.
  • If the wheels have transparent hubcaps, check the oil level in the wheel hubs. Add oil as needed.
  • On wheels with solid hubcaps, pull the plug and check the oil level in wheel hubs. Add oil as needed.
  • Visually inspect the brake shoe lining and brake drums for wear and proper adjustment.
  • Check hoses and fittings for chafing or cracks.
  • By actuation, ensure the brake system is in working order.
  • Turn on the ignition and check the ABS warning light. Ensure the light comes on for three seconds before turning off. If the light remains on, the ABS requires servicing.
  • Finally, set trailer parking brakes and rock the trailer back and forth to test the brakes, or apply the brakes while moving away from the parking place to test.