AdobeStock_351305003 [Converted]
111222

Here are our sections:

Engine Compartment

Drivers Door Fuel Area

Coupling System

Trailer

(Please note in the type of suspension your trailer has)

Light Check

In-Cab Inspection and Brake Tests

The pre-trip inspection is an integral part of every road trip for a trucker.

It is meant to be a thorough check of the semi-truck, trailer, and load, to ensure that everything correctly, prior to the truck driver, departing on a trip. Any damage or issues needing attention, are to be addressed before departure.

Engine Compartment

Snip20200615_6

Check for leaks under the truck.

This is easy to forget, I suggest you mention it first to get it out of the way.

Snip20200615_7

Belt Driven Alternator

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. All wires connected. The belt is not cracked or frayed and the free play on the belt is between 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.

Remember the Alternator is Belt Driven. Do not forget to mention the belt!

Snip20200615_10

Coolant Reservoir

Properly Mounted and Secure Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking and filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

The Reservoir must be Properly Mounted and Secure, but don’t forget about the hoses leading to and from the Reservoir! You must also state that it’s filled to the manufacturer’s specifications and not leaking.

Snip20200702_3

Belt Driven Water Pump

Properly Mounted and Secure Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking The belt is not cracked or frayed and the free play on the belt is between 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.

The Water Pump is Belt Driven, don’t forget that belt! Check all the hoses running to and from the Water Pump, ensure that nothing is leaking.

Snip20200615_12

Oil Level

Filled to manufacturer’s specifications.

You don’t need to take out the dipstick. Just point at the dipstick and say it’s filled to manufacturer’s specifications

Snip20200615_15

Power Steering Fluid Reservoir

Properly Mounted and Secure Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking and filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

We’ve got many hoses here. Don’t abandon those hoses! Ensure nothing is leaking and filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Snip20200615_17

Gear Driven Power Steering Pump

Properly Mounted and Secure Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking.

Likewise, the Power Steering Pump is located at the same place as the Air Compressor. This is also Gear Driven. Ensure it’s not leaking and state the above – point in the general area and you’re good.

Snip20200615_21

Steering Column

Properly Mounted and Secure Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Combine the Pitman Arm, Drag Link, Tie Rod, Castle Nuts, and Cotter Pins and state that you’ll be checking all of these the same way. Point at each item and name the part, then state “I check all of these the same way, they’re all to be Properly Mounted and Secure and Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.” While pointing at the Castle Nuts and Cotter Pins don’t forget to state that there are no Missing Castle Nuts or Cotter Pins. All of these items make up your Steering Linkage.

Snip20200615_22

Pitman Arm

Properly Mounted and Secure Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Combine the Pitman Arm, Drag Link, Tie Rod, Castle Nuts, and Cotter Pins and state that you’ll be checking all of these the same way. Point at each item and name the part, then state “I check all of these the same way, they’re all to be Properly Mounted and Secure and Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.” While pointing at the Castle Nuts and Cotter Pins don’t forget to state that there are no Missing Castle Nuts or Cotter Pins. All of these items make up your Steering Linkage.

Snip20200615_23

Drag Link

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Combine the Pitman Arm, Drag Link, Tie Rod, Castle Nuts, and Cotter Pins and state that you’ll be checking all of these the same way. Point at each item and name the part, then state “I check all of these the same way, they’re all to be Properly Mounted and Secure and Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.” While pointing at the Castle Nuts and Cotter Pins don’t forget to state that there are no Missing Castle Nuts or Cotter Pins. All of these items make up your Steering Linkage

Snip20200615_24

Caste Nuts and Cotter Pins

None missing. Cotter Pin is present.

Lots of folks like to combine this with the Drag Link. I do not, I like to say this separately at the very end of my Steering Section. As long as you say there are none missing and the Cotter Pin is present you’ll be good to go! Don’t forget that there are three Caste Nuts and you must point at all three.

Snip20200615_25

Spring Hanger

Properly Mounted and Secure at both front and rear. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

The difference between a Hanger and a Mount is that Hangers are much, much smaller. I could go technical but don’t over-complicate this. The Hangers are in the front, Mounts in the back. Be sure to say “at both front and rear”.

Snip20200615_28

Shock Absorber

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking.

Don’t forget to say “at both ends” and “not leaking”. If it’ll leak, it’ll leak at the point where the top and bottom portion of the Shock meet – in the Middle.

Snip20200615_29

Brake Hose

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. Not leaking air

Again, don’t forget to say “at both ends”. The Hose is rubber so give it the ABC and not leaking air. You could combine the line with the Chamber but I prefer not to but it’s very easy to forget to mention the hose. When you’re under pressure, you tend to forget the small things – like a hose.

Snip20200615_30

Brake Chamber

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking air.

Easy item to inspect, don’t forget to mention that it’s not leaking air.

Snip20200615_31

Slack Adjuster and Push Rod

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. With the brakes released and pulled by hand, the Push Rod should not move more than 1 inch.

The Slack Adjuster and Push Rod are always combined. Please, be very careful with your words on this one. Say it exactly how I wrote it! Memorize that line.

Snip20200615_32

Brake Drum

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Easy item to inspect. Just a simple PMS and CBB.

Snip20200615_33

Brake Lining

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. No oil or debris. Friction Material is not worn dangerously thin.

Remember, you’re checking for oil or debris and for friction material on the Lining, not on the Drum. People often mix this up. You must point exactly at the Brake Lining as I have it in the picture.

Snip20200615_34

Rim

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. No unauthorized welds.

Fairly simple item. Be sure to mention that there cannot be any unauthorized welds.

Snip20200615_35

Lug Nuts

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. There are none missing. No rust trails or powder residue. No cracks around the bolt holes.

Rust trails could indicate loose bolts while powder residue and cracks around the bolts holes could be an indication of the bolts being over-tightened. Be sure to let the examiner know you’re looking for rust trails or powder residue and no cracks around the bolt holes.

Snip20200615_36

Hub Seal

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking and filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

: My method is that the Hub Seal is located on the Steer Axle, Axle Seal belongs on all the other Axles. Though it doesn’t matter if you call the Trailer Axle a Hub Seal. You can call these Hub or Axle Seals. Just be sure to say that it’s filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Snip20200615_37

Steer Tire

No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts to the tread or sidewalls. Tread depth is no less than 4/32 of an inch. Properly filled to the manufacturer’s specifications. Check it with an air gauge.

Tires are a big deal! Be sure to look for Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts to the Tread and Sidewalls. Be sure to say it too. Steer tires cannot be less than 4/32 of an inch depth. You must say “of an inch”, simply saying “4/32” is not enough. Properly filled to manufacturer’s specifications and you absolutely must add that you check it with an air gauge! You don’t have to physically check it with an air gauge on your exam, just mention that you would.

Driver’s Door Fuel Area

Snip20200615_38

Fuel Tank

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking from the tank and cap, the cap is on tight.

Be sure to say that it cannot be leaking from the Tank or Cap.

Snip20200615_39

Exhaust System

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. There are no signs of leaks.

Easy to miss because it’s not always in sight. Be sure to knock this out quickly to get it out of the way. Remember to look for no signs of leaks.

Snip20200615_40

Drive Shaft

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not twisted, and the U-joints are free of any debris.

I like to knock out the Drive Shaft after the Exhaust just because of its right next to it. No reason to skip around. Be sure to state that it’s not twisted and the U-Joints are free of any debris.

Snip20200615_41

Cat Walk and Steps

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Clear of any loose objects.

Easy item. Don’t forget to state that they are clear of any loose objects.

Snip20200615_42

Frame and Cross Members

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. There are no unauthorized holes or welds. No missing Cross Members.

You can’t miss that Frame, but the Cross Members can be easily forgotten. Bundle them up and be sure to state there are no missing Cross Members.

Snip20200615_43

Torque Arm

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Easy item. Extremely straightforward.

Snip20200616_1

Spring Mount

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Be sure to include “at both ends”. Otherwise its a very easy item. Notice the difference between a Spring Hanger and a Spring Mount?

Snip20200616_4

Shock Absorber

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking.

Don’t forget to say “at both ends” and “not leaking”. If it’ll leak, it’ll leak at the point where the top and bottom portion of the Shock meet – in the Middle.

Snip20200616_5

Air Bag

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. Not leaking. No missing mounting bolts.

Don’t underestimate the Air Bag. Be sure to say its PMS at both ends. The top of the Air Bag is met- also give it a CBB. The actual Air Bag is a rubber so give that an ABC. It is not leaking air and no missing mounting bolts. This is the one item that you must do a PMS, CBB, and ABC on!

Snip20200618_1

Brake Hose

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. Not leaking air.

Again, don’t forget to say “at both ends”. The Hose is rubber so give it the ABC and not leaking air. You could combine the line with the Chamber but I prefer not to but it’s very easy to forget to mention the hose. When you’re under pressure, you tend to forget the small things – like a hose.

Snip20200618_2

Brake Chamber

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking air.

Easy item to inspect, don’t forget to mention that it’s not leaking air.

Snip20200618_3

Slack Adjuster and Push Rod

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. With the brakes released and pulled by hand, the Push Rod should not move more than 1 inch.

The Slack Adjuster and Push Rod are always combined. Please, be very careful with your words on this one. Say it exactly how I wrote it! Memorize that line.

Snip20200618_4

Axle Seal

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking and filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Just be sure to say that it’s filled to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Snip20200618_5

Drive Tire

No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts to the tread or sidewalls. Tread depth is no less than 2/32 of an inch. Properly filled to the manufacturer’s specifications. Check it with an air gauge.

Tires are a big deal! Be sure to look for Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts to the Tread and Sidewalls. Be sure to say it too. Drive tires cannot be less than 2/32 of an inch depth. You must say “of an inch”, simply saying “2/32” is not enough.
Properly filled to manufacturer’s specifications and you
absolutely must add that you check it with an air gauge! You don’t have to physically check it with an air gauge on your exam, just mention that you would.

.

Snip20200618_6

Mudflap

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

Simple item. Just a sidenote, don’t forget the Reflective Tape on your Mudflap when you do your Light Test

Snip20200618_7

Spacing

Only if you’re truck is equipped with duals! Check to see that there is proper space between the tires. There is nothing stuck between the tires.

This only applies if you don’t have Super Singles. Just let the examiner know you would check for proper space between the tires and making sure there’s nothing stuck between them.

Coupling System

Snip20200618_8

Electric Line

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. No exposed wires.

Don’t forget “at both ends”. It’s really easy to forget to say “No exposed wires.” so really make that line stick so you won’t miss it on the exam.

Snip20200618_9

Air Lines

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. Not leaking air.

Don’t forget to say “At both ends.” Be sure to point at both the red and blue airline.

Snip20200618_10

Glad Hands

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Seals are in good condition, with no cracks or signs of dry rotting. Not leaking air.

Take an airline off during the test so you can show the examiner the seals.

Snip20200618_11

Apron

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

The Apron is the front surface of the Trailer that the Fifth Wheel is beneath. Its the part of the trailer that doesn’t have visible cross members and flat with a few holes.

Snip20200618_12

Skid Plate

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Properly lubed.

The SkidPlate is the top slippery surface of the Fifth Wheel. It must be properly lubed.

Snip20200618_13

Gap

Check to make sure that there is no space between the Apron and Skid Plate.

The Gap is not an actual item. Its the space between the Apron and the Skid Plate. There should be no daylight between the Apron and Skid Plate.

Snip20200618_14

King Pin

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

It can be easy to miss because you can’t see it. But please don’t miss something so important as King Pin. Engrave this into your head.

Snip20200618_15

Locking Jaws

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Fully locked around King Pin.

On your exam, you must bend down and physically check those Locking Jaws, just like you should be doing every day several times. Be sure to say its fully locked around King Pin.

Snip20200618_16

Platform

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken.

The Platform is what the Fifth Wheel rests on. It goes Frame, then Platform, then Fifth Wheel. The Platform is easy to inspect, feel free to combine it with the Mounting Bolts. But again, I choose not to.

Snip20200618_17

Mounting Bolts

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. None missing.

Technically, you could combine this with the Platform but I choose not to. Up to you. Be sure to point at the bolts and don’t forget to say none missing.

Snip20200618_18

Release Arm

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Is in the fully locked position.

The Release Arm is what allows you to disengage the Locking Jaws. The handle, or Arm, must be in the fully locked position. You must say that!

Snip20200618_20

Sliding Fifth Wheel And Locking Pin

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Is in the fully locked position.

Remember to point at the Sliding area and the Locking Pin. It must be in the fully locked position. You must say that!

Snip20200618_21

Clearance

Make sure that there is the proper space between the tractor mudflap and the trailer landing gear. So that they don’t hit each other when making a turn.

Clearance is by far the easiest to forget of everything in the entire test! I kid you not. Please engrave this into your head. You want to check the space between your mudflap and landing gear, so they don’t hit each other on a turn.

Trailer

Snip20200618_22

Landing Gear

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Is fulled raised and the cradle handle is secure.

The hardest thing about the Landing Gear is that handle. It must be in the cradle and secure. The Landing Gear must be fully raised.

Snip20200618_23

Frame and Cross Members

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. No missing Cross Members.

The Frame is the bottom portion on the walls of the trailer. Don’t get that mixed up. The Cross Members go side-to-side throughout the trailer, there cannot be any missing.

Snip20200618_24

Tandem Frame and Release

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Release handle and locking pins are in the fully locked position

The Tandem Frame is the frame for the tandems. The Tandem Release is the actual handle that releases the Pin. You must also check the Pins, they must be in the fully locked position.

Snip20200618_25

Shock Absorber

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking.

Don’t forget to say “at both ends” and “not leaking”. If it’ll leak, it’ll leak at the point where the top and bottom portion of the Shock meet – in the Middle.

Snip20200618_27

Air Bag

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. Not leaking air. No missing mounting bolts.

Don’t underestimate the Air Bag. Be sure to say its PMS at both ends. The top of the Air Bag is metal so give it a CBB. The actual Air Bag is a rubber so give that an ABC. It is not leaking air and no missing mounting bolts. This is the one item that you must do a PMS, CBB, and ABC on!

Snip20200618_29

Brake Hose

Properly Mounted and Secure at both ends. No Abrasions, Bulges, or Cuts. Not leaking air.

Again, don’t forget to say “at both ends”. The Hose is rubber so give it the ABC and not leaking air. You could combine the line with the Chamber but I prefer not to but it’s very easy to forget to mention the hose. When you’re under pressure, you tend to forget the small things – like a hose.

Snip20200618_30

Brake Chamber

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. Not leaking air.

Easy item to inspect, don’t forget to mention that it’s not leaking air.

Snip20200618_31

Slack Adjuster and Push Rod

Properly Mounted and Secure. Not Cracked, Bent, or Broken. With the brakes released and pulled by hand, the Push Rod should not move more than 1 inch.

The Slack Adjuster and Push Rod are always combined. Please, be very careful with your words on this one. Say it exactly how I wrote it! Memorize that line. The ones in the back look a lot different than the ones on the Steer axle, but that shouldn’t impact you on your performance.