A Guide to Performing a Pre-Trip Inspection of Your Truck

Whether you own a truck or manage a fleet, knowing truck inspection is essential before any drive. Not only does this prevent unwelcome crashes in strange locations, but it also reduces the chances of attracting costly maintenance. If you fail to check and maintain your truck thoroughly, you’re eventually going to pay more for repairs when the unaddressed problems start revealing.

While inspections are necessary for these credible reasons, your state’s laws might also direct prior inspection before every trip. Failure to do this, you violate the DOT. That makes truck inspection an integral part of your road affairs.

The inspection should be thorough, covering the truck, trailer, and even the load. The inspection aims to ensure that every truck component works well before departure. Suppose you uncover a hidden issue with your truck during inspections. In that case, you should address them before partaking in your road trip—thanks to trucking companies San Diego which facilitate this operation.

According to DOT requirements, the following are the fundamental areas of inspection for every road trip you make:

  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Parking brakes
  • Tires
  • Light
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Wheels and rims
  • Emergency equipment
  • Coupling devices

To ensure you don’t miss a bit of inspection (like the parking breaks), adhere to the same routine check before every trip. Consistency in your inspection protocol will remind you of forgettable areas of the truck you must inspect. You may do an inspection every morning or whenever you shift from one truck to another. Here is an expansion of critical areas you should be inspecting:

Under the Hood

Walk to the truck front and open the hood. Then, start by checking your truck’s fluid levels. Your truck fluid incorporates the windshield washer fluid, power steering fluid, oil, and coolant. Your engine should contain these fluids to optimum levels for a ready drive.

Inspect the oil for quality using a dipstick. If it’s opaque or sludgy, change it. And if you spot complexities in the engine oil like metal fillings, let a professional inspect the matter. In addition to engine oil, inspect the power steering pump, water pump, and alternator. Check the belts for signs of wear and excessive slack. The key is to ensure these components are in a good working model.

Still under the hood, have a close look at the engine block. Check the possibilities for leaks—if fluids are oozing the compartment’s sides. The usual, reliable signs are that of fraying, cracking and wear. Fan belts should also have proper tension and be free from wear.

Other areas you should inspect under the hood are hub seal, wiring, steering leakage, slack adjusters and suspension. For the hub seal, check signs of leaking, and if transparent, it should be easy to spot signs of oil on the surface. Your truck wiring and steering leakage also play critical roles. Ensure they don’t have wear signs or missing parts; This also goes for the slack adjuster, only with further concern. If you pull the adjuster and it moves an excess of an inch, adjust it appropriately. Finally, check the shocks for working efficiency, ensuring they are not covered by oil or grease.

Inspect the Sides and Rear

It’s pretty easy to check the back of your truck, but essential. Here are parts you should check before hooking in your trailer.


Check if the truck tires are in decent working condition. That means the treads should have appropriate depth and the tube adequately inflated. And besides checking the rig tires, proceed to the trailer’s tires. Replace any tire that has a flat spot. In addition, align the tires and the wheels. Unmatched tires and wheels cause inconsistency in support levels. Also, see that the tires match. While it’s unusual to find mismatched tires (like a combination of radials and bias tires ), ensure they are of the same type.

For a roadworthy tire, inspect the following: no embedded objects, no excess weathering/wear, no cuts, no breaks, pressure is sufficient for the truck model, and the tread is enough.

Lastly, the spare tire should also be working efficiently. Although you may hope not to use it, check that you have a spare tire and it’s in good working condition. Alongside the presence of spare tires should be tools for replacing them. Carrying the right tools will facilitate changing the old, damaged tires with the new, replacement tire.

Inspect the Windshield and the Rear Window

Typical issues with the windshield and rear window are cracks. Suppose you spot cracks, scheduled for immediate replacements. The windshield glass should be in decent condition—not overly damaged or scratched to the extent of impairing vision. That goes for the rear window. Check that it’s not damaged by interfering with functioning, and schedule maintenance when appropriate.

Are the Windows in Good Condition?

Proceed and check the side windows, ensuring they work well. The same factors for a well-functioning windshield also apply for a decent window—extensive cracks on windows that impair vision will fail the test.

In addition, check the window controls( electric or manual) and see that they function correctly. They should raise and lower front and rear windows as intended.

Check the Windshield Wipers

Even though it might be in decent condition, a dirty and unclear windshield is devastating to the sight. That’s where a properly working windshield wiper comes in. Check and ensure that the wipers are installed well and work effortlessly; This should comprise both the front and rear wipers.

Ensure Lights Are Functioning

Ensure that all the lights are working correctly. These should include the headlights, reversing lights, brake lights, four-way flashers, license plate lights and turn signals. In general, check that these lights are air-tight secured, that there are no cracks on the casing, and moisture is not forming inside.
For example, the headlight integrates both high and low beams. Check that these factors are working correctly. Also, ensure that the tail and brake lights use a red bulb and function.

Always Seek Expert Help

The trucking industry relies heavily on the time factor. As the widely used maxim in the trucking industry goes, ‘every moment counts,’ so are inspections. When done regularly, pre-trip inspection will not only eliminate headaches and accidents but heavily minimize time-wasting
.Visit Rated Best Trucking Companies San Diego – Zion Transport for more insight into pre-trip inspection.
Zion Transport,

8710 Sherwood Terrace San Diego CA 92154,

(844) 236-7760

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