As a driver, it’s critical to understand the benefits of conducting a pre-trip and post-trip inspection. When you check your commercial truck before and after trips, you ensure awareness around potential issues, prevent delays, and more.
Let’s expand on the importance of inspecting your vehicle before you travel and when you return from your trip.
It would be best to inspect many areas on your commercial vehicle to ensure a successful trip ahead of you. Some areas include:
- Service Brakes: By following this safety procedure, you set yourself up for a safer trip, as many braking systems can cause a potential accident if left unchecked.
- Tire Tread Depth: As a driver, you might drive between 200-500 miles per day, which is more miles than the average driver. Driving frequently can cause faster wear on the tires, so be sure to check the tread depth before each trip.
- Emergency Equipment: Being a driver is more than a career—it’s a lifestyle. This is why it’s critical to have everything you might need on the trip with you at all times. Before each trip, check your emergency equipment to ensure you have the necessary tools.
- Trailer: Inspect your trailer before you go to make sure it’s fastened correctly to avoid a potentially dangerous situation on the road.
Let’s look at a few benefits of performing a pre-trip inspection to ensure you’re ready for your next commercial trip.
Increases Awareness of Potential Issues
When you inspect your vehicle before a long trip, make sure you check every part of your truck. You might catch a potential problem that may immediately need to be fixed.
Inspecting your vehicle thoroughly provides you with the details you need to know about each area of the truck, giving you a better idea of what needs to be repaired or replaced.
Furthermore, a pre-trip inspection might help you save money on repairs because you’ll have caught it before it got worse, allowing you to get back on the road quicker.
Ensures a Safe Trip
One of the most significant benefits of performing a pre-trip inspection is ensuring a safer trip for you and your passengers.
Get into the habit of inspecting your vehicle before you go on any trip. It might be a time-consuming task, but taking the necessary time to go over your vehicle ensures you don’t hurt yourself or another driver. It’s common amongst many drivers to skip pre-trip inspections because they’re in a hurry or they don’t deem it essential. However, just because the last trip went well without a review doesn’t mean this trip is safe, too.
Fulfills the Legal Requirement
In many states, it is the law to perform the required truck inspections before and after every trip the driver makes to ensure the safety of all drivers on the road.
A US Department of Transportation (DOT) officer may pull you over at weight stations, stops, or even on the side of the road to inspect your vehicle if they notice something wrong with the truck. Some common violations include:
- Inaccurate lights
- Oil, grease, or fuel leaks
- Poorly loaded cargo
If serious violations are found, you will need to halt your trip to take your truck in for repair, and you will not be allowed to operate it again until it’s fixed and documented.
Helps Meet Delivery Deadlines
As a driver, it’s essential to understand that in this field, time is money. If you need to pull over for an emergency repair because you didn’t conduct a proper pre-trip inspection, you fail to meet the project’s schedule, which could land you in trouble.
Performing the correct pre-trip inspection ensures a successful and on-time delivery of the cargo, enabling you to stay on your employer’s schedule.
Just like clocking out of a 9-5 job and making sure your job is complete, a post-trip inspection is also required to ensure the safety of the next driver. A post-trip assessment is used for examining each component of the vehicle once a trip is complete. Some components include:
- Windshield and Wipers: This includes noting any cracks on the windshield or weather-related damage to the wipers.
- Engine Fluid Amount: Be sure to check how much engine fluid you have in your vehicle to ensure you know how much needs to be topped off.
- Emergency Equipment: Like pre-trip inspections, checking your emergency equipment to determine how many items you used will help ensure the following driver is aware of what they need to replace.
- Tires Tread Depth: Be sure to check and document the tread depth on your tires so a mechanic can rotate or replace them as needed.
Checking these areas can help you complete an adequate inspection, setting the next driver up for success. Let’s examine some of the benefits of performing a post-trip inspection.
Prevents Costly Delays
For example, a mechanic might thoroughly examine specific areas of the engine and inform you about Cat C15 engine parts to ensure you understand the details of your engine.
Conducting a post-trip inspection ensures any repairs are taken care of before the truck is needed again for the next driver. Failure to do so can cause costly delays, which might affect your next trip.
Provides an Accurate Report
A post-trip inspection is an opportunity to report anything wrong with the vehicle or any damage that occurred during the trip.
This is a crucial step, as companies must have proper documentation of each vehicle. Thus, conducting a thorough inspection will help avoid liability issues.
More Eyes on the Truck
Many companies require two drivers to complete pre- and post-trip inspections to ensure the truck is safe to go out on the next trip. This means the vehicle has more eyes on it to catch any potential issues with the truck before it undergoes another long journey.
Follows Consistent Process
Like many other businesses, the pre-and post-inspection process is required for each job and needs to be taken seriously. Sticking to the required processes helps make sure you and your fellow drivers are safe on the road.
By understanding these benefits of conducting a pre-trip and post-trip inspection, you help to protect yourself and other motorists on the road.