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Truck Inspections

Truck Inspection_440x284

Safety is the most important and obvious reason to inspect trucks. A vehicle defect found during an inspection could save later problems. The breakdowns on the road that will cost time and dollars, or even worse, a crash. Federal and state laws require inspection by the driver. Federal and state inspectors also inspect commercial vehicle. An unsafe truck can be put "out of service" until the driver or owner has it repaired. Unsafe vehicle puts at risk the life of a driver and others on the road.


Drivers must do a pre-trip inspection before each trip to find problems that could cause a crash or a breakdown. A pre-trip inspection should be done routinely before operating the truck. The truck inspection report must be filled out by the driver in writing each time. A new driver must review the last truck inspection report and make sure the truck has been released by the maintenance mechanics, if applicable. The moving company must repair any items in the report that affects safety and certify on the report that repairs were made or were unnecessary. Driver getting behind the wheel of the truck is responsible for the safe operation of the truck. In case the defects have been repaired, driver must sign the previous driver's report.


During a trip the driver must:

-Watch gauges for signs of trouble.

- Use your sense to check for problems (look, listen, and feel).

- Check critical items when stipped:

  • tires, wheels, and rims
  • brakes
  • lights and reflectors
  • brake and electrical connections to the trailer
  • trailer coupling devices
  • cargo securement devices.


Inspect the truck at the end of the trip, day, or tour of duty for each truck you operated. It may include filling out a vehicle condition report listing any problems may be found. The inspection report helps the moving company identify trucks that require repairs and maintenance.


Approaching the truck, notice its general condition. Look for damage. Is the truck leaning to the side? Look under truck for fresh oil, coolant, grease, or fuel leaks.

- Tire Problems.

- Remember: After a tire has been changed, stop a short while later and recheck the tightness of the wheel fasteners.

- Wheel and Rim Problems. A damaged rim can cause a tire to lose pressure or come off.

- Bad Brake Drum or Show Lining Problems.

- Steering System Defects.

- Suspension System Defects. The suspension system supports the truck and its load and keeps the axles in place.

- Exhaust System Defects. This may cause poisonous fumes into the cab or sleeper berth.

- Emergency Equipment: fire extinguisher(s), spare electrical fuses, warining devices.

- Cargo. Inspect cargo for:

  • Overloading
  • Correct balance
  • Securement
  • Proper papers and placarding.


- Turn off lights not needed for driving.

- Check required papers.

- Secure all loose items in cab.

- Start the engine.

- Check the brake system. Pump the hydraulic brake pedal three times. Then apply firm pressure to the pedal and hold for five seconds. The pedal should not move.

- Test parking brake.

- Test service brake. Fasten seat belt. Then move truck forward about five miles per hour and push the brake pedal firmly. If the truck "pulls" to one side or the other, or if there is any unusual brake pedal "feel" or delayed stopping action, the service brake may need repair before driving the truck.

- Safety Inspection. Truck drivers should inspect truck within the first 25 miles of a trip and every 150 miles or every 3 hours.


Driver must make a written report each day on the condition of the truck being driven. Anything that may affect safety and lead to mechanical breakdowns.