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Be ready for the road

Driving a commercial vehicle is a big responsibility for your drivers. Help them get the day started in a positive way with a quality pre-trip inspection. It’s up to you to set the standards for your company. Establish a specified step-by-step, walk around procedure and train all drivers to follow the guidelines you have established. Something as simple as a burned out turn signal could result an accident or ticket!

Each driver should have these items:

  • Flashlight to see in dark or shaded areas
  • Clean rag to wipe off light lenses and reflective tape
  • Air gauge to check tire pressure


  • Check the vehicle’s general condition. Start about 20 feet away from the truck to view the entire truck. Check underneath for any puddles or pools of oil and other vehicle fluids. Also look for any visible damage to the truck and for anything that may be hanging or dragging underneath.
  • Walk around the vehicle and inspect all major equipment items. During the walk-around, look for any body and/or frame damage to the vehicle and cargo.
  • Check under the hood for worn belts, leaking fluids, cracked wires, etc.


  • Check all lights for proper operation, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, directional lights and warning lights.


  • Check the condition of all tires and rims and use a tire gauge to check inflation. Tire thumpers do not identify improperly inflated tires.


  • Check the brake system. Listen for air leaks. Confirm all brakes are in proper adjustment.


  • Make sure all emergency devices are in the vehicle including a properly rated and maintained fire extinguisher and warning devices to use for emergency stops.
  • Start the engine and check for any unusual smells and noises. Watch for fluid leaks as well.
  • Check all gauges to make sure they are functioning properly.
  • Activate horns to make sure they work properly.
  • Inspect the steering system. Check for loose play and look for broken parts.
  • Check mirrors for proper adjustment, cleanliness and securement.
  • Activate windshield wipers to check for proper operation. Also, check for any worn or damaged wiper blades and that the windshield washer reservoir is full. 

If any issues are detected, make sure your drivers know who to inform. Proper maintenance and quick resolution of issues will save you time and money with fewer breakdowns.

  • Categorized in:
  • Driving Techniques
  • Vehicle Inspections