Frequently Overlooked Checks in Pre-Trip Inspections: Info from a Transportation Manager

The pre-trip inspection is an absolutely imperative step before heading out on a long haul. Truckers often attempt to breeze through these checks as quickly as possible so they can get out on the road and get their freight delivered on time. However, even truckers who take these checks extremely seriously are occasionally guilty of overlooking certain elements of the vehicle.

As a transportation management company in Aurora, CO, we are well versed in all of the types of checks truckers should make in their pre-trip inspections. Here are just a few of the most frequently overlooked checks in those inspections:

  • Put down wheel chocks: Because you are supposed to have the engine running at all times during a pre-trip inspection, you want to make sure the vehicle cannot accidentally begin rolling away. It’s extremely easy to forget to put down chocks, but they are a simple and quick safety measure that can prevent some big-time accidents and damage, especially if you are going underneath the trailer at any point.
  • Cleanliness: Some truckers pay a lot of attention to the exterior of the vehicle, but do not give much thought to the interior of their cab. Believe it or not, inspectors will check your cab first (or close to first) in a roadside inspection. If they see a messy cab, they will be more likely to think you are careless with the maintenance of other aspects of your vehicle. So create a great first impression on inspectors by keeping a clean, orderly cab at all times.
  • Emergency kit: How often do you think to check the emergency kit in your vehicle? Truckers are required to carry extra fuses, circuit breakers, warning hazard indicators (triangles and/or flares), fire extinguishers and other tools and equipment. And it’s not enough just to have these items—they actually have to be functional, meaning the kit’s contents need to be tested from time to time as well.
  • Reflectors: Lights are hard to forget during a pre-trip inspection, but reflectors, on the other hand, are an item many people do not think about. Reflectors dramatically increase the visibility of your vehicle, but if they are damaged, dirty or otherwise not functioning properly, you suddenly become a hazard on the road at night. Defective reflectors can also lead to citations. So make sure reflectors are both clean and functional before going out on a trip.
  • Lug nuts: There are plenty of checks made to wheels and tires in pre-trip inspections, but one that often goes by the wayside is lug nuts. These fasteners tend to wear down over time, and can occasionally become loose. A loose or worn lug nut increases the likelihood of a wheel coming off, which obviously poses significant danger to other drivers sharing the road with you.

Stay safe while out on the road and make all of these often-forgotten pre-trip checks. Contact your transportation manager in Aurora, CO at Osage Specialized Transport today if you have any additional questions.