Pre-Trip Inspection – Cab Check and Engine Start
Clutch and Gearshift Check, Engine Start
- Manual Transmissions:
- Depress the clutch.
- Place the gearshift lever in neutral.
- Start the engine and then slowly release the clutch.
- Automatic Transmissions:
- Confirm the vehicle is in “park” and start the engine.
Oil Pressure Gauge
- Confirm that the oil pressure gauge is functioning.
- Make sure that the pressure gauge shows increasing or normal oil pressure, otherwise that the warning light goes off.
- If equipped with an oil temperature gauge, it should begin to gradually rise to a normal operating range.
- Confirm that the temperature gauge is working.
- The temperature gauge should begin to climb to the normal operating range.
- The gauges should show the alternator and/or generator charging; otherwise the warning light should be set off.
Air and Vacuum Gauge
- Check for proper operation and acceptable readings on the air and vacuum gauges.
- The speedometer should not be obscured or obviously broken.
Mirrors and Windshield
- Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from the inside.
- Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers, obstructions, or damage to the glass.
- The vehicle should have at least:
- Three red reflective triangles.
- One properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.
- Spare electrical fuses.
- Power steering equipped vehicles: With the engine running, play should not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a 20-inch wheel) before the front left wheel barely moves when you turn the steering wheel back and forth.
- Non-power steering vehicles: Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a 20-inch wheel) when you turn the steering wheel back and forth.
Wipers and Washers
- Check that the wiper arms and blades are not damaged and operate smoothly.
- Windshield washers must operate correctly if the vehicle is equipped.
- Test that dash indicators work when the corresponding lights are turned on:
- Left turn signal
- Right turn signal
- 4-way emergency flashers
- High beam headlight
- Check that air horn and/or electric horn are operational.
Heater and Defroster
- Test that the heater and defroster works.
- Check that the safety belt is securely mounted, adjusts, and latches properly.
Lights and Reflectors
- Check that all external lights and reflective equipment are clean and functional, including:
- Clearance lights (red on rear, amber elsewhere)
- Headlights (high and low beams)
- Turn signals
- 4-way flashers
- Brake lights
- Red reflectors (on rear) and amber reflectors (elsewhere)
The Five (5) Components of the Pre-Trip Inspection
Cab Check and Engine Start
Study and Training Guides