Maybe you’ve been lucky in the past or thought “I just inspected my vehicle last night, I’m good”. It’s easy to get complacent, but is NOT safe! Anything can happen when you are away from your vehicle, sleeping, or even while you are in transit. A single loose bolt or missing cotter pin…a tire that was compromised hitting a bump or something in the roadway that you didn’t even realize you had ran over….just to name a few of the MANY things that could happen. So NEVER skip completing your pre-trip and post-trip daily inspections. Helpful Tips to remember:
1. Safety! – the most important reason to keep your equipment in good operational order is to ensure your safety and the safety of others who are driving around or near your vehicle. Do NOT just check the boxes! Physically and thoroughly inspect your equipment day and night, and anytime in between you feel it is necessary. Immediately report any defects found to our maintenance department. They will work with you to resolve those issues in a timely manner!
2. Keeps you moving! – Although it does take a little time each day, a thorough pre-trip inspection could save you a lot of time in the long run. Even if a breakdown doesn’t cause an accident, it can lead to hours wasted on the side of the road. And clean inspections help keep your CSA scores low, the carrier’s CSA scores low, which in turn means you will be less likely to be stopped for a DOT inspection to begin with. Remember DOT inspections with NO VIOLATIONS FOUND result in a $50.00 bonus to you, for a job well done!
3. Liability – In case of an accident involving equipment failure, you need to be able to provide proof of your daily pre-trip inspection. Even well-maintained vehicles can have problems from time to time. Mechanical components can break. And although under current FMCSA regulations you are only required to document your inspections if violations are found, it is best practice AND company policy that our drivers document both pre-trip and post-trip inspections so there is no question whatsoever if an actual inspection took place or not. It helps solidify that you are a driver who DOES care about your safety and the safety of others.
4. Legal and Moral Obligation – The life of a professional truck driver involves hard (sometimes thankless) work, and cutting corners can become a real temptation, especially when regulations can seem excessive. Still, as professionals, we have an obligation to make sure that our equipment is safe and compliant – both driver and carrier. It is not just about avoiding fines for violations; it’s our duty to ourselves, our families and others on our nation’s roadways.
Safety First – Safety Always