Jun 1, 2009

How To Do A Proper Pre-Trip Inspection, Part 2

Continuing from where we left off,

We will now discuss how to check the rest of the parts. It would be a wise idea to learn what the parts look like, and what they are responsible for, this way you actually know how to inspect the truck, rather than just say what you need to do. I have a illustration here, that goes over a basic method of inspection.

This above covers the very basic of what you should inspect, however, I'm going to go over the way to do it to pass it at the DMV.

I always start under the hood, at the passenger side. This is relative to the truck I use, so, it will have to be changed slightly in place of the truck you use. I personally like to start at the top of the engine, and work my way down. By checking an item, you want to notice the overall condition, and generally give it a good look over and look for missing pieces, cracks, fluid leaking, unnecessary leaning, etc.

As you approach the truck, look for leaning, or fluid on the ground beneath the truck. You will want to continually inspect for any damage to lines and electrical throughout the entire procedure.

Under the Hood, On the Passenger Side:

  1. Check The Oil Level, Condition.
  2. Check the Power Steering Resovoir Level, Lines.
  3. Check Air Compressor, Lines.
  4. Check headlight.

Under the Hood, On the Drivers Side:

  1. Check the Coolant Resovoir Level.
  2. Check the Alternator
  3. Check the Water Pump
  4. Check the Radiator Fan, Condition.
  5. Check Power Steering Pump.
  6. Check Belts for Tension and Wear.
  7. Check Air Filter, Condition.

Onto Suspension/Brake Components:

  1. Steering Box
  2. Steering Linkage
  3. Springs
  4. Spring Mounts
  5. Shocks
  6. Air Bag
  7. Hoses
  8. Chamber
  9. Slack Adjusters
  10. Drum
  11. Drum Liner
  12. Tire
  13. Spacer (if applicable)
  14. Rims
  15. LugNuts
  16. Axle Seal

You will need to perform the above check on all axles.

Moving Onto the Cab/Body:

  1. Marker Lights
  2. MudFlaps
  3. Fuel Tank For Leaking --->Note: This is a "fuel tank", not "gas tank", Diesel isn't gasoline.
  4. Fuel Cap Secured
  5. Turn Signals
  6. Mirrors
  7. Door
  8. Door Latch

Inside of the Cab:

The best way I've found to do this is to work it from the top to the bottom.

  1. Windshield
  2. Windshield Wipers
  3. Gauges, Air Pressure, Oil Temperature, Coolant, Oil Pressure, Fuel, Amp/Volt meter, Speedometer/Tachometer
  4. Horns, City and Interstate.
  5. Steering Wheel For Play
  6. Clutch Pedal For Play
  7. Brake & Accelerator for Play
  8. Check Heat/Defrost
  9. Check that Brakes are Set
  10. Check For Gear Shift in Neutral
  11. Check For Emergency Equipment (Seat belt, Fire Extinguisher, Three Reflective Triangles, Spare Fuses in Glove Box/Compartment)

Onto The Rear Of Tractor:

  1. Check Exhaust
  2. Check Battery Box
  3. Check Cat Walk
  4. Check Truck Frame
  5. Check Drive Shafts
  6. Check Air Lines
  7. Check Electrical Lines
  8. Check Glad Hands
  9. Check Drive Axle (with above mentioned procedure)
  10. Check Mudflaps on Rear of Tractor
  11. Check Rear Lights and Turn Signals.

Onto the 5th Wheel

  1. Check for Grease on 5th wheel
  2. Check Mounting Bolts
  3. Check Locking Pin for Sliding 5th Wheel
  4. Check that Apron and Skirt are Flush Together
  5. Check Release Arm Is Locked
  6. Check (with flashlight) That Jaws are locked around trailer kingpin

Continue this procedure with the trailer by checking all axles, and lights. Simple Enough!

Once you have the whole pre-trip inspection memorized, you can do the whole procedure in about 15 minutes.

Back to Part 1