If you have recently started your truck driver job in Canada, you would have heard about some pre-trip truck inspection that every driver must follow to ensure you and your truck are prepared for a long-distance trip.

Drivers who have already learned the skills from CDL Training know what it includes, but for many freelance truck drivers and companies giving your employees access to this additional training ensures that these skills and practices are well engrained. 

What’s a Pre-Trip Truck Inspection?

As it sounds, a Pre-Trip Truck Inspection is taking the time to give a thorough check of your truck and its systems prior to getting on the road. It helps keeps safety standards and policies in place, even if a driver has been driving for many years. It is recommended to run a pre-trip truck inspection every 24 hours to ensure your truck and its system is fully functional without requiring any quick attention or maintenance.

Here is a quick summary of a pre-trip truck inspection checklist that you should strictly follow.

Start with Engine Checkup: The engine is the heart of your truck and it ensures a healthy run on the road for long hours. You should check the following machinery components of your engine.

  • Steering gearbox
  • Hoses and wiring
  • Steering linkage
  • Alternator
  • Water pump
  • Belts
  • Air compressor
  • Radiator

Check Battery & Fuel Tank: Next comes the battery; ensure nothing is faulty or leaked in your truck. You should also check the fuel gauge and connection to ensure the fuel connection is fault free without any unexpected leakage. 

NOTE: Fuel and battery leakage can halt your trip unexpectedly, causing a big delay in your delivery.

Ensure All Fluids are Up To the Mark: You are already aware of different fluids in your truck. It’s crucial to check them and ensure they are not in the minimum required line. Fluids that you should check include:

  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid
  • Brake fluid
  • Oil
  • Fuel
  • Coolant

Alongside checking the fluid level, you should also diagnose the under-the-hood status. It will give you a clear sign of any unexpected fluid leak. Alongside fluid level, you should also run your eye on the oil pressure gauge to ensure it is working fine.

Check Brakes: Brakes are the essential safety component of your truck that must work precisely whenever pushed. Points to check under brake inspection include:

  • Brake adjustments with proper alignment
  • Thickness of the brake pads
  • Status of air lines (Not leaked, damaged, and properly sealed)

Check Tires & Lug Nuts: It’s essential to check the air pressure in your tires alongside tightly fitted lug nuts. If you find any loose nut, immediately tighten it to maintain the tire alignment and balancing.

Check Lights & Reflectors: Lighting system is essential during night driving. Hence, it’s crucial to check the functioning of lights and reflectors during the daytime and get them repaired if needed.

Check Your Trailer; Everything till now was inspected in your truck, doesn’t include the health of your trailer. Hence, you should inspect your trailer for any issues. Check the below-listed points in your trailer.

  • Release pins
  • Doors and hinges
  • Headboard
  • Crossmembers
  • Frame
  • Locking pins
  • Release handles

Check Emergency Kit: Emergency can occur anytime; hence you should have an emergency kit to prepare for these types of situations while en-route to your delivery destination.

These Pre-Trip Inspections will help you be a more valuable member of your team, and safer driver on the road. To help you pre-qualify for future positions we recommend investing in the certified version of this course, with an expanded summary of each of these components: ensuring you are always leading with safety! 


PHOTO CREDITS: Pexels, Phenyo Deluxe

Valley WorkSafe actively advocates for the education, health and safety of the Canadian workforce. A part of that is helping to inform its’ clients and their employees on the public information accessible to them. This and other articles are publicly sourced and commissioned to help train, educate and inform.

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