It is essential for truck drivers to familiarize themselves with pre-trip truck inspections. Some choose to occasionally ignore or disregard this process as they consider it to be tedious or time-consuming but failing to do it can lead to problems that cause fiscal loss while potentially endangering the lives of truckers and nearby drivers or pedestrians.
Such Inspections Are A Legal Requirement
Truck drivers are mandated to ensure the safety of their vehicles. The truck must be free of defects, and should you detect a problem you’ll have to fill out the driver inspection vehicle report to prevent violations during audits. If any defects or faulty components are present, you’ll definitely want to detect it before the DOT officer finds out, otherwise, you will receive a violation as well as a CSA score decrease, and in some cases, your DOT officer might even give you a fine.
The Inspections Keep You And Others Safe
We’ve all seen large trucks, vans, and semis cruising along the highways. These are some of the biggest and heaviest vehicles on the road, and if something goes wrong and a collision occurs the consequences can be horrific. Few vehicles can withstand an impact from one and they take much longer to brake than most passenger automobiles, so taking thirty minutes to perform a routine inspection can literally save lives.
It Keeps Money in Your Pocket
When it comes to mechanical malfunctions, problems often start off minor and then gradually become bigger over time. Your goal as a truck operator is to catch problems as early as possible. The sooner you identify it, the less you’ll spend and the sooner you can return to the road. The last thing you want to do is spend a bunch of money on costly repairs. Furthermore, if your truck breaks down on the road, the cost to repair it will be 3 to 5 times higher than had you got it repaired in a shop.
It Minimizes Your Liability
Truck drivers are responsible for the vehicles they operate. If an accident occurs which leads to severe injuries or fatalities, you might be found liable even if the collision wasn’t your fault if you did not perform the pre-trip inspection, or an issue is found that you should have been aware of.
How to Perform Inspections before Trips
A routine inspection should take from fifteen to thirty minutes and knowing how to do it is a requirement for getting a CDL. You’ll want to review the truck’s front area along with its engine. Look under its hood at all the components and fluid. You’ll also need to assess the tires, brakes, and suspension. Next, you want to inspect the rear and side. Pay close attention to the exhaust, catwalk, and air hoses. Checking the connector device is extremely important. Finally, you’ll want to check the cab, the truck’s engine start and perform a brake check. Try out the seatbelts and when turning the truck on look at the gauges, windshield wipers, lights, defrost and heat.