The illustration above shows a general method of making a systematic circle check of your vehicle before starting on any trip. Details of the check can, of course, be varied according to the type of vehicle. The sequence shown is only a recommendation, following that sequence is not required. It is important to circle the entire vehicle and cover the listed items below:
Circle check - Class 1-4 and heavy trailer (G Endorsement)
Ensure the vehicle is secure (parking brake applied or wheels blocked), gear lever is in neutral/park and the ignition is switched off.
Engine compartment - systematic
- Check all fluid levels, power steering oil, coolant (do not remove rad cap), batteries, drive belts (tension, wear), cracked or bent fan blades, hoses for leaks, fraying, poor connections, loose electrical connections.
Driving compartment - inside checks systematic
- Driver's seat - seat and seatbelt adjustment, mirror(s) setting.
- Start engine, observe ease of starting and function of gauges, warning lights.
- Check operation of throttle, accelerator pedal. Check clutch and brake pedal travel.
- Steering play, horn(s), interior lights (on buses and taxis).
- Heater, defroster, circulation fans (if fitted).
- Emergency equipment and location (if required), inspection decal (if required).
- Windows, windshield, wipers, washers.
- Turn on all lights, operate both signals, four-way hazard lights.
- Observe function of instrument panel indicator lights.
- Turn on left turn signal.
Outside checks - systematic
- Check radiator, grill, front bumper, licence plate(s), low beam headlights, clearance lights, left front turn signal.
- Check left front - tire(s) (for adequate tread depth, cuts or bulges of the sidewall, tread separation and proper inflation), rim(s) (for damage to the tire bead area), lug nuts (for rust around the contact surfaces, indicating looseness or shiny rings, indicating rotation of the lug nut), suspension, left door(s), window(s) and mirror(s) for security.
- Fuel tank, bracket/straps, cap.
- Check left side marker lights, reflector (where fitted).
- Check left rear - tire(s), rim(s), lug nuts, suspension.
- Check left turn signal, licence plate (validity) and light, tail light(s), clearance lights and brake lights.
- Tailgate security.
Return to the driving compartment, switch headlights to high beam and turn on the right turn signal then continue with outside check.
- Check front, right turn signal.
- Check right front - tire(s), rim(s), lug nuts, suspension, right door(s), window(s), mirror(s) for security.
- Fuel tank, brackets/straps, cap.
- Check right side marker lights, reflector (where fitted).
- Check right rear - tire(s), rim(s), lug nuts, suspension.
- Check right rear, turn signal, tail lights, clearance lights and brake lights.
- Check underneath vehicle for fluid/exhaust leaks.
- Check hazard light operation front and rear.
Truck/power unit (without trailer)
- Check fifth-wheel attachment to frame, position of locking handle.
Driving compartment - Classes 1-4
- With park brake applied, engage a gear with no increase in rpm, release the clutch pedal until the rpm drops, indicating the park brake is holding. With an automatic transmission the same test can be done by slightly increasing engine speed.
- Release park brake, move vehicle forward slowly, depress clutch, apply foot brake to stop vehicle, apply park brake, place gear lever in neutral or park.
- Check electric breakaway switches.
Power unit with semi trailer
- Ensure fifth-wheel jaws are closed behind kingpin of semi trailer, pintle hook jaw is closed, locked and safety chains attached (full trailer).
- Air brake couplings are correctly fitted. Electrical cord is properly connected. Air brake hoses and electrical cord are properly stowed (to prevent chafing/disconnection). Landing gear/support legs are in the up position, handle stowed away.
- Check inspection decal(s) for validity.
- Check left side marker lights, reflectors.
- Check left rear turn signal, licence plate (validity) and light, tail lights, clearance lights and brake lights.
Note: Open the doors on a container type trailer to check load security (if not bonded/sealed). Return to driving compartment.
- Change to right turn signal.
- Check right rear turn signal, tail lights, clearance lights and brake lights.
- Check right side tire(s), rim(s), lug nuts, suspension, sliding bogie locking bars/pins, landing gear/support legs are in the up position.
- Check right side marker lights, reflectors.
Driving compartment - vacuum-hydraulic or electric brakes
- With brake applied, engage a gear, with no increase in rpm, release the clutch pedal until the rpm drops, indi cating the park brake is holding, release park brake, move vehicle forward slowly, depress clutch, apply trailer brakes, release trailer brakes, move vehicle forward slowly, depress clutch pedal and apply foot brake to stop the vehicle, apply park brake, place gear lever in neutral or park. For vehicles with electric brakes remove the pin on the breakaway switch, release the park brake and attempt to move the vehicle forward gently to ensure trailer brakes have activated. Replace pin.
- Load securing devices (twist locks), chains - markings, spare tire security.
- Snow chains, tarps, lashings and loose tools are secure.