Before the Drive: Vehicle Inspection for Trucking Operations

Vehicle Inspection

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 500,000 trucking accidents occur every year in the United States. Of these, approximately 5,000 trucking accidents result in death. What’s more, one out of every eight traffic fatalities involve a trucking accident.

While not every accident can be avoided, there are ways in which trucking professionals can limit their chances of being involved in one by conducting a vehicle inspection on their truck thoroughly before they hit the road.

Trucking Safety Checklist

Safety should be the number one priority of every trucker behind the wheel and trucking operations should be sure to make safety a priority when hiring and onboarding new drivers.

Here are some pre-inspection duties all trucking professionals can implement daily.

Always Review Your Insurance

Trucking companies and professionals need to always be operating with the most up-to-date truck insurance program. From general liability to physical damage protection, truck insurance can come in many different forms to adequately protect truckers, their vehicles, the company they work for, and their cargo.

Be sure to keep an updated truck insurance program year-round and always review your limits and options to ensure you are carrying comprehensive coverage.

Focus on the Inspection

When it’s about time to head out, start the vehicle inspection by looking under the hood of the truck and start in the driver’s side upper left-hand corner. Start by looking at the engine for things like leaks, loose belts, and more. Work your way over and keep a lookout for cracks and deterioration as well.

After the inspection is completed under the hood, work your way outside the engine and along the truck. Inspect all tires for flat spots which can indicate potential wear and tear and look for cracks and holes in the brake drums.

Drivers should also inspect the kingpin of a hook-up to ensure that the trailer is securely locked to the truck itself. Inside the trailer, look for holes in the trailer where debris could get into the trailer and create potential damage.

Lastly, inside your cab, check that your wipers, lights, turn signals, and gauges are all in good working order.

Identify Potential Tampering

Before a driver heads back out on the road after taking some time off at a rest stop, they shouldn’t be hasty. Drivers should give the truck a quick, mini inspection to make sure everything is up to speed. But besides tires and leaks, drivers should look for any signs of tampering, such as missing placards. Some truck drivers may try to sabotage other driver operations at rest stops, and it only takes a quick minute to flip a kingpin or hide a placard.

Beat the Weather

While it’s technically spring, winter weather has not yet subsided in the northern parts of the country. In fact, this year’s rain, sleet, and snowstorms have been monumental. Drivers who have to brave the winter weather should take extra precaution before they get out on the highway.

First, if the driving conditions are wintry and tire chains are recommended, drivers should pull over as chains should be avoided at all costs.

Lastly, drivers should make sure their wipers and heat are all working properly to ensure that windows can stay clear, keeping frost and fog away as much as possible during cold mornings. These simple steps make for a helpful vehicle inspection and can prevent accidents on the road.

About Western Truck Insurance Services
Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!