You wouldn’t start your day without your morning coffee. You wouldn’t go to bed without taking a shower. Why would you start your drive without a pre-trip inspection? Unfortunately, many drivers skip this all-important step in favor of getting on the road as quickly as possible.
As a driver, the law requires you to inspect your vehicle before your shift and at least once more during a 24-hour period. The law requires that you do this so that both you and the people you are sharing the road with are kept as safe as possible. Experts say that a proper inspection should take between 30 and 50 minutes. Develop your own system and take your time. As you are inspecting your vehicle, don’t overlook these important items:
When you are at a weigh station or a rest stop, you can expect that someone will be looking in your cab. If your cab is strewn with cups, wrappers and other miscellaneous items, you may be seen as unprofessional and unsafe. Clean out your cab.
2. Chock Your Wheels
People often forget this step when they are in a rush. You don’t want to get run over while you are performing an inspection. It is a senseless accident that is completely avoidable. Chock your wheels at make sure you use your emergency brake.
Brakes are prone to an incredible amount of wear and tear. Check your brakes’ adjustment, check airlines and make sure seals are in proper condition. These things should be done along with simply making sure that your brakes actually work. If there are any issues, they should be addressed before you hit the highway again.
4. Emergency Kit
You are required by law to carry an emergency kit that carries, at minimum: a fire extinguisher, warning hazard triangles, and spare fuses/circuit breakers. Test the items in your emergency kit. They will do you no good if they don’t work properly.
When drivers inspect their trucks, they rarely take a look through their paperwork. Make sure all of your documents are up-to-date and valid. If there is something that you are required to carry with you, make sure you have it. Whether digital or physical, don’t neglect your driver’s log. Waiting to fill it out can mean forgetting different details that should be documented.
Let’s face it: There are about a million things you would rather spend a half hour of your time doing than inspecting your vehicle. Common sense should tell you, though, that 30 minutes making sure that your vehicle is safe could mean the difference between life and death for you and others on the road. Along with inspecting your rig, make sure that your commercial roadside assistance policy is up to date. If you need a new roadside assistance plan, Encore Protection can help. Contact us today to learn more.