Training drivers to conduct a thorough walk-around inspection before leaveing the yard at the start of each shift can go a long way toward preventing accidents. A pretrip inspection should be a part of every driver's routine. The following guidelines are based on information provided by the American Trucking Association, Alexandria, Va.
Outside the truck: examine the wheels for broken or loose parts; check tires for proper inflation, and anything out of the ordinary; inspect suspension springs and parts; check shock absorbers; inspect brake drums or rotors, and lines; check steering components for wear and leaks; clean winshield, windows, mirrors and lights; examine wipers; check fuel tank and lines for leakage or damage; check that the battery is secure; check engine, transmission and other fluid levels; check belts; examine the driveshaft; inspect the exhaust system; check wiring; inspect axles; examine the frame; make sure that removable sideboards and gates are secure; check dump hydraulics on dump trucks; check hydraulic and water systems on ready mix turcks.
Inside the cab: review the inspection report left in the cab by the previous driver; make sure the fire extinguisher and reflective triangles are on board; check mirror adjustments; check engine gauges, warning devices, horn and wipers; check brake air pressure; check operation of lights and flashers; check steering wheel operation; fasten seat belt; make a test stop before leaving the yard.