Pre-Trip Inspection – External Cab/Bus
Steering Box and Hoses
- Check that the steering box is mounted securely and is not leaking.
- Check for damage to power steering hoses and power steering fluid leaks.
- Check that connecting links, arms, and rods from the steering box to the wheels are not worn and cracked.
- Check that the joints and sockets are not loose or worn and that there are no missing nuts, bolts, or cotter keys.
- Check for shifted, cracked, broken, or even missing leaf springs.
- Check for broken and distorted coil springs.
- If equipped, check the air ride suspension for damage and leaks.
- Look for cracked or broken spring hangers, missing or damaged bushings, and broken, loose, or missing bolts, U-bolts or other axle mounting parts.
- Confirm that the shock absorbers are secure and that there are no leaks.
- Look for missing, loose or broken parts.
- The angle between the adjuster arm and push rod should be not less than 90 degrees when the brakes are applied and when the brakes are released a little over 90 degrees.
- When pulled by hand, the brake rod should not move more than one inch with the brakes released.
- Check that brake chambers are not dented, cracked, or leaking and that they are mounted securely.
Brake Hoses and Lines
- Check for worn, cracked or leaking hoses, lines, and couplings.
Drum Brake or Rotor
- Check for dents, cracks or holes, and loose or missing bolts.
- Brake linings and pads should not be worn thin.
- Where visible, check that a reasonable amount of brake lining is showing.
- Check for damaged or bent rims. Rims cannot have welding repairs.
- For every tire, check:
- Tread depth: need a minimum tread depth of 4/32 on steering axle tires, 2/32 on all other tires.
- Tire condition: Check that tread is evenly worn and without cuts or damage to tread or sidewalls. Valve caps and stems should not be missing, broken, or damaged.
- Tire inflation: Check for proper inflation with a tire gauge or by striking tires with a mallet.
Hub Oil Seals, Axle Seals
- Check that hub oil/grease seals and axle seals are not leaking.
- Check for any missing lug nuts, cracks, distortions, and for signs of looseness such as rust trails or shiny threads.
- Check for cracked or distorted bolt holes.
- Spacers should not be bent, damaged, or rusted through.
- Spacers should be centered evenly.
Side of Vehicle
Doors and Mirrors
- Check doors for any damage and that they open and close properly.
- Hinges should be secure with seals intact.
- Mirrors and mirror brackets should be mounted securely.
- Check for secure tanks, tight caps, and that the tanks or lines don’t leak.
Battery and Battery Box
- Check to see that batteries are secure, for tight cable connections, and that cell caps are present.
- Check for signs of excessive corrosion.
- Battery box and cover/door must be secure.
- The drive shaft should not be bent or cracked.
- Couplings should be secure.
- Check system for rust or carbon soot as they are signs of damage or leaks.
- System should be secure and connected tightly.
- Check the longitudinal frame members, cross members, box, and floor for cracks, broken welds, holes or other damage.
Rear of Vehicle
- If equipped with mud flaps or splash guards, check that they are mounted securely and not damaged.
Doors, Ties and Lifts
- Doors and hinges must open, close, and latch properly from the outside, and should not be damaged.
- Check that any ties, straps, chains, and binders are secure.
- If equipped with a cargo lift, it must be fully retracted and latched securely, and should not be leaking, damaged or missing any parts.
Air and Electric Lines
- Check that electrical lines and air hoses are not cut, chafed, spliced, or worn, the steel braid should not show through its outer lining.
- Make sure the lines and hoses are not tangled or dragging against tractor parts.
- Make sure the catwalk is securely bolted to tractor frame.
- Check for loose or missing mounting brackets, clamps, bolts, or nuts. The fifth wheel and the slide mounting must be solidly attached.
- Other types of coupling systems should be inspected for missing or broken components.
- Check that the locking jaws fully close around the kingpin.
- On other types of coupling systems the locking mechanism should not have missing or broken parts and should lock securely.
Platform (fifth wheel)
- The platform structure supporting the fifth wheel skid plate should be free of cracks or breaks.
Release Arm (fifth wheel)
- If equipped with a release arm, check that it engaged and that the safety latch is in place.
Kingpin, Apron and Gap
- The kingpin should not be bent.
- The visible part of the apron should not be bent, cracked, or broken.
- The trailer should be laying flat on the fifth wheel skid plate without any gap.
Locking Pins (fifth wheel)
- Locking pins should be fully engaged.
- The fifth wheel should be positioned so the tractor frame will not strike the landing gear or the tractor.
The Five (5) Components of the Pre-Trip Inspection
Study and Training Guides