DOT: Pre and Post Trip Inspections

Vehicle overview

  • Does the truck lean to one side? This could mean that the vehicle has a flat tire or that cargo has shifted
  • Is there an oil, coolant, or fuel leak underneath?
  • Is the truck’s path free of hazards and obstacles such as other vehicles, posts, low-hanging wires, or tree limbs?
  • Is the area around the truck clear of pedestrians?

Checking the engine compartment

  • While the hood is open, other parts to inspect include the front axle… as well as the suspension system – including the spring, spring hangers, shackles and U-bolts
  • Make sure the visible components of the braking system – the brake chamber and the hoses – are in good condition
  • Check that the steering system is free of parts that are worn, bent or damaged

Inspecting inside the cab

  • Check all gauges and lights
  • Check all controls for looseness, sticking, damage or improper setting
  • Inspect the mirrors and windshield for cracks, dirt or other obstructions such as illegal stickers, which is any sticker that is not required by law – clean any glass that requires it and make sure the mirrors are adjusted properly

Checking the lights

  • Turn the low beam headlights and four-way flashers on
  • Move to the front of the truck and check that both the low beams and four-way flashers are working, as well as the high beams
  • Check parking, clearance, side-marker and identification lights, as well as the right turn signal

Conducting a walk around inspection

  • The driver moves around the outside of the vehicle inspecting various parts as they go
  • Begin at the left front side of the vehicle. Check that the window in the driver’s door is clean and that the door latches and locks work properly

Checking the signal lights

  • Get out and walk around to the front of the cab and check the front left turn signal
  • Walk to the back of the truck and inspect the rear left turn signal and the stop lights

Checking the brake system

  • Begin testing your truck’s air brakes by shutting the engine off and putting the transmission in the lowest gear
  • Bleed down the air brakes
  • Parking brake test
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