Learning the Pre-Trip Inspection at Truck Driver Training
The very first part of the Arkansas State Test that you must pass in order to even be eligible to take your skills and road test is the 108-point pre-trip inspection. This may seem overwhelming at first, but you will learn. First you will write it out completely word-for-word, then watch the video we have prepared for you. You’ll do a complete walk around pointing out each part and reciting the sheet we have given you.
Studying at Truck Driver Training
Every spare moment you have during and after truck driver training, get with a buddy and practice by you reciting and pointing out as much as you can each time, then have them do the same. If you do this before the end of the 2nd week, you will know the entire pre-trip. If at anytime you need or want help just let us know, I have extra videos that will be available for you to watch at night plus the trainers are available to help you. During your training, you will be tested on this to see what point you are at. We will push you to be over 100 before you will be allowed to test.
What Can Happen If You Don’t do a Pre-Trip…
Pre-trip inspections are important for your safety and the safety of others around you. You will be checking fluids, and if your truck is 2-3 gallons low on water then a mechanism kicks in causing your truck to shut off. If your oil, power steering fluid, or transmission fluid is too low, then it will cause serious expensive damage to your engine, gear box or transmission. If your hub oilers are low, they can blow a seal and cause the wheel bearings to seize up which could cause your wheel to lock up, catch on fire, or possibly come off. I have seen this happen. Thankfully it did not catch on fire or fall off, but it was smoking to the point of almost catching on fire and it ruined the wheel bearing and spindle. This is very costly and irresponsible, not to mention dangerous!
Lack of Pre-Trip Can Affect Your DAC
Some of the other important reasons to pre-trip – your tires; a blow out can cause you to be late, lose control or be stopped by DOT for unsafe equipment. This now goes on your DAC because you should have checked these items in the first place then notified your company if the truck was unsafe. Another important reason to pre-trip is to make sure everything is secure and in place so that you don’t lose your trailer pulling out. I have actually seen this happen. When I was at SRT, a driver came back from home time and just jumped in his truck and started pulling out. The trailer was not secure and he dropped it — not on the ground, but it was hanging on the end of his truck. Not good for him – this is considered an accident on your DAC and could possibly cause you to be terminated. Lucky for him there was no damage, but he did have to pay to have the trailer lifted up and they still put this as an incident on his DAC. All companies check out DAC and too many unsafe actions will keep you from being hired with another company.
Another important issue is when you come across the scales, they will inspect your truck. If it is deemed unsafe, you will be fined and shut down. Again, this is your responsibility. Your company is not driving that truck, you are, and if you don’t tell them, they can’t fix it. The longer you wait to have your truck fixed the more damage you can cause to your truck, thus shutting you down and costing you money.
Do Your Pre-Trip!
As you can see, pre-trip inspections are very important in this career. They protect not only you, but everyone else on the road. Always always always perform a pre-trip before taking off — it could literally mean the difference between life and death.