Before starting to roll, every professional CDL truck driver is required by law to use a trailer truck inspection checklist and go over this form to check if their vehicle is ready to go.
The trailer truck pre-trip inspection is a procedure where the truck driver ensures that the truck is in a roadworthy condition.
By undergoing the pre-trip inspection, the truck driver prevents acquiring DOT tickets, saves you and your company’s time and money by preventing sudden breakdowns, and ensures public safety on the road.
So, if you want to have a good driver record follow the below truck trailer inspection checklist to check each part of your truck before you go.
Documentation and stickers
Your truck will require a variety of documentation, stickers, and licenses depending on your area.
These will include:
- Valid license plate.
- The maximum loaded weight of the complete unit or Gross Vehicle Weight.
- Truck weight only (TARE weight).
- The condition of the wheels and tires. They should not have cuts, damages, or open cords.
- The tire pressure. If the tire’s PSI level is below 20% then the tire is considered flat and it should be replaced. In the case of dual tires, the PSI level shouldn’t be below 10% PSI of each tire.
- Check if no external object is stuck in the tire rubber.
- Check if the valve caps are well-secured.
- Check if the tire has proper tread depth.
- Check for tire cuts and bulges in the sidewalls.
- Ensure that the wheel lug nuts are well mounted.
Vehicle brakes condition
- Always check brake adjustments when brakes are cold. Stroke measurements will be longer when brakes are hot due to the heat expansion of the brake drum.
- While the wheel is off the ground, check the brakes, if there are any.
- Check the breaks on all the axles of the vehicle.
- Drain the water from the inside hoses of the air tanks to prevent the rod of the air brake system.
- Check the mirrors for tightness and proper alignment.
- Ensure wipers are properly installed with spring attached and rubber that is in good condition.
- Inspect the windshield for cracks or chips.
- Check that door handles and latches are secure.
- Not all problems or repairs.
Check the components of the engine
Ensure each piece of the engine is properly attached.
This should include checking the:
- Steering column.
- Tie rods.
- Leaf springs.
- Wiring harness.
- Check for cracks in the frame or inside of the hood.
- Clean or replace the air filter.
- Brake pad and hoses.
- Engine mount bolts.
- Fan belt.
Tow hitch check
- Check if the hitch is well-lubricated.
- Make sure there is no wear on all the parts.
Trailer and connections
- Check the trailer and truck frame for cracks, missing bolts, loose supports, rust, or other signs of failing structural integrity.
- Secure hanging objects and landing gear.
- Check lights.
- Check reflectors.
- Check reflective tape.
- Ensure the license plate is clean and legible.
- Check the license plate light.
Trailer lights and wiring
- Check if the truck and trailer light lenses are not too dusty. If so, clean them up.
- Check if the wires and connections are good and clean.
Check the liquids on the truck
- Steering fluids.
- Washer Fluid.
- Ensure the vehicle displays the required fuel stickers.
- Check fuel levels visually.
Always ensure your vehicle is well stocked with necessary spare parts including:
- Open-ended wrenches.
- Air brake parts such as fittings and airbrake antifreeze.
- Before each trip ensure the fifth wheel is greased.
- Free of cracks or missing bolts.
- Tight and secure.
- You have visually checked that the jaws are closed.
The truck trailer is legally required to have operational signal lights while on the road. To prevent tickets or delays, check each light before setting out.
Check the following:
- Running lamps.
- Signal lamps.
- Clearance marker lamps.
- Back-up lamps.
- Hi-low beam indicator.
- All reflectors.
Use the above trailer truck inspection checklist as a form to check whether your truck is in good condition to roll.
Print it and tick every little detail during your regular pre trip inspection.