Friday, October 18, 2013


Approaching the truck, note it’s general appearance: does it lean to one side (suspension problems); is there any apparent body damage; are there any puddles of fluid on the ground underneath? If any of these things are seen, investigate more closely to find the cause of the problem.

A walkaround inspection of the following items is required to complete the inspection (a flashlight, gloves, and a rag or paper towel may be necessary to complete the walkaround inspection):

Front of the truck

  1. Lights-lenses clean and clear, no burned out bulbs
  2. Windshield-no cracks, clean, not obstructed
  3. Windshield wipers-good rubber, proper spring tension
  4. Grill opening not obstructed
  5. License plate on and current
  6. Engine compartment
  7. All fluid levels-oil, coolant, power steering fluid
  8. Drive belts
  9. No leaks of oil, coolant, or other fluids
  10. All hoses and air lines-no damage or leaks
  11. Frame and driveline
  12. Frame-no cracks, no missing bolts
  13. Driveshaft-not damaged, u-joints not loose
  14. Catwalk secure and safe
  15. Fuel tanks and lines-secure, no damage, no leaks, cap secure, water separator drained
  16. Air tanks-secure, not damaged, no air leaks, moisture drained


  1. Suspension-no broken or cracked springs, loose hangers, missing leaves
  2. Brakes-no air leaks, no damaged or leaking lines, proper adjustment, adequate lining, drum not damaged
  3. Wheels-not bent or cracked, lug nuts tight
  4. Tires-adequate tread depth in all major grooves, no cuts in tread or sidewalls, proper air pressure
  5. Hubs-no leaks of oil or grease, proper oil level in oil seals


  1. Fifth wheel-not loose or damaged, tightly mounted
  2. Locking lever-locked in position, will release properly
  3. Locking jaws-locked in place around kingpin
  4. Sliding fifth wheel-proper position, locked in place

Back of tractor

  1. Air lines-good connections, no damage to lines
  2. Electrical line-not damaged, tightly connected
  3. Reflectors in place, not damaged
  4. Lights-all working, lenses clear and clean


  1. Air lines-tightly hooked, glad hand rubbers in place, not dragging or rubbing
  2. Electrical line-tightly connected, no damage, not dragging or rubbing
  3. No body damage
  4. No frame or crossmember damage
  5. Axles and brakes checked as on tractor
  6. Lights in place and working
  7. Load-properly secured and protected
  8. ICC bumper secure and at right height
  9. Mud flaps in place and at right height
  10. Landing gear-secure, no damage, properly retracted, crank handle secured
  11. License plate on and secure

In Cab Checks

  1. Steps and grab handles-secure and clean
  2. Doors-secure and operate properly
  3. Emergency equipment-3 safety triangles, properly charged and secured fire extinguisher, spare fuses if truck is so equipped
  4. Mirrors-secure, clean, properly adjusted, not broken or clouded, mirror heat working
  5. Horns-working
  6. Engine Start Checks
  7. All gauges functioning properly
  8. Oil pressure and coolant temperature rise to normal pressures
  9. Air pressure rising, and low air warning on, if pressure is below normal range
  10. 4-point air brake check-air governor cutoff, air loss under full brake application, low air warning system, automatic spring brake activation
  11. Parking brake-holds truck when pulled against in first gear
  12. Steering play-no more than 10 degrees of movement at steering wheel rim before wheels start to turn
  13. Heater and defroster working properly
  14. Seat properly adjusted
  15. Seatbelt in working order, and on, when truck is in motion
  16. All gear in cab, and sleeper, secured and not blocking vision or controls

If any defective item is found, report it immediately so it can be repaired.

If you are not checking all of these items in your pre-trip inspection, you are writing yourself a ticket. More importantly, you are operating a vehicle that is not safe.


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