For safety drivers should do the following when conducting inspections:
- watch gauges for signs of change
- use their senses to check for problems (look, listen, smell, and feel)
- check these critical items when they stop:
- tires, wheels and rims
- lights and reflectors
- brake and electrical connections to trailer
- trailer coupling devices
- cargo securement devices
- too much or too little air pressure
- excessive wear
- cuts or other damage
- tread separation
- dual tires that come in contact with each other or parts of the vehicle
- mismatched sizes
- radial and bias-ply tires used together
- cut or cracked valve stems
Wheel and rim problems
- damaged rims
- rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are loose-check tightness. (After a tire has been changed, stop a short while later and re-check tightness of nuts.)
- missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs
- mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings
- welded repairs on wheels or rims
- spacers should not be bent, damaged, or rusted through
- spacers should be evenly centered, with the dual wheels and tires evenly separated
- Slack adjusters, worn broken, loose or missing parts.
- The angle between the push rod and adjuster arm should be a little over 90 degrees when the brakes are released and not less than 90 degrees when the brakes are applied.
- When pulled by hand, the push rod should move less than 1 inch (with the brakes released).
- Cracked drums.
- Chambers should not be cracked, leaking, dented, or loose.
- Hoses should not be worn, leaking, or loose. Check for areas where hoses will rub against other objects.
- Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on them.
- Shoes and linings worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.
- Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
- Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering column, steering gear box, or tie rods.
- Power steering pump, hoses, fluid level and leaks.
- Steering wheel play exceeding 10 degrees (approximately 2 inches movement at the rim of a 20-inch steering wheel).
Frame, cross members, box, and floor
- broken or improper welds
- excessive rust or wear
The suspension system supports the vehicle and load. It keeps the axles in place. Damaged suspension components are dangerous.
- Torque rod or arm, U-bolts, spring hangers, or other axle positioning parts that are cracked, damaged, or missing.
- Missing or broken leaves in leaf spring assemblies.
- Leaking shock absorbers.
- Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or leaking.
- Loose, cracked, broken or missing frame members.
Exhaust system defects
A broken exhaust system can let poisonous fumes into the cab or sleeper berth.
- Loose, broken, or missing exhaust pipes, mufflers, tailpipes, or vertical stacks.
- Loose, broken, or missing mounting brackets, clamps, bolts, or nuts.
- Exhaust system parts rubbing against fuel system parts, tires or other moving parts of vehicle.
- Exhaust system parts that are leaking.
Vehicles must be equipped with emergency equipment.
- Fire extinguishers.
- Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with circuit breakers).
- Warning devices for parked vehicles (for example, three reflective warning triangles).
- Cargo - Ensure the vehicle is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured before each trip. If the cargo contains hazardous materials, inspect for proper papers and placarding.