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Pre-Trip Inspections

Gordon Edelen, Manager of Contractor Services/Maintenance

The best “trick” for a proper pre-trip inspection is to take your time and be thorough. Start at one point on the truck or trailer and work your way completely around the truck. Carry a flashlight with you as you do the inspection so you can see in dark places – even in broad daylight it can be difficult to see inside brake drums and low lighting areas. It’s also a good idea to carry a tire pressure gauge so you can easily check the tires as you check the other equipment. 

The top three overlooked issues in most inspections are brake adjustment, air pressure in tires and lights. If minor repairs are caught in advance  then major repairs and longdown times can be prevented. However, if an easily preventable issue is found by a DOT officer and a violation is handed down, the CSA score of the driver and the carrier are affected. In some cases, the DOT officer may issue a monetary violation. 

There are a variety of places online (i.e. smart-trucking.com, truckingtruth.com, etc) to obtain tips on performing thorough and quality pre-trip inspections.

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