Essential Things Truck Drivers Should Check Before Hitting the Road

Essential Things Truck Drivers Should Check Before Hitting the Road

Before heading out the road, it’s critical that every commercial truck driving company instruct their drivers to complete pre-trip inspections to meet insurance company safety requirements. Not only does this help keep your insurance quote at a minimum each month, but inspections also serve a number of important purposes, including identifying any potential issues that could lead to commercial 1accidents.

Why Pre-Trip Inspections are Important

Here are a few reasons why performing a pre-trip inspection is essential, as well as a brief list of items that every truck driver should double-check before getting on the road to ensure the safest commute possible.

Keeps Drivers Safe

The primary reason for performing a pre-trip check is to ensure your safety. Going out on the road with a load that isn’t secured, brakes that aren’t working, wiring that isn’t connected, and so on can be dangerous.

It’s worth spending the extra 30 minutes to make sure every vehicle component is in working order if it means you don’t injure yourself or someone else. If you’ve never had anything go wrong before, don’t make the mistake of skipping a pre-trip inspection.

It’s critical to realize that every time you get on the road without first inspecting your truck, you risk endangering yourself or others.

Reduces Liability

It’s crucial to remember that your truck could be involved in an accident that results in serious property damage and injuries. Even if the accident was not your fault, you could be held liable if there is no proof that a pre-trip check was completed properly.

This is why it’s critical to conduct a pre-trip check and keep track of whether you discover any issues that needed to be addressed. If you discover a problem and have it fixed, keep track of when and where the repair took place.

If your rig has a problem that could have been avoided with a proper pre-trip check, a lawyer may find you liable for truck accidents.

Saves Trucking Companies Money

As previously stated, performing a pre-trip inspection can assist you in detecting a minor issue before it escalates into something more serious.

This way, you won’t have to pay for the repair and won’t have to wait for your rig to be fixed. Also, catching a problem before hitting the road allows you to get it fixed rather than on the side of the road.

Repairs on the side of the road are usually three to five times more expensive than repairs in a shop. You will also avoid having to pay for a tow truck to assist you in getting to a shop.

Meets Law Requirements

You have a responsibility as a driver to make sure your vehicle is safe to drive and free of defects. You must legally do so by stating that you performed a pre-trip check while on duty but not while driving.

To avoid violations during an audit, you’ll need to fill out a driver inspection report if you find a problem. It’s preferable to detect a problem before a DOT officer does. This will help you avoid a violation and a CSA score reduction. A fine may be imposed by the DOT officer, depending on the circumstances.

Before Leaving for a Trip Drivers Should Check

Commercial trucks are complex vehicles with numerous systems that must all work together in order for the it to operate safely. During a pre-trip check, a commercial truck driver can identify problems that could lead to a truck accident and correct those problems before driving.


During a trip, a large truck’s tires can split or blow out, causing another truck driver to lose control of the wheel and collide with other vehicles or stationary objects.

Indeed, proper tire care is necessary when it comes to ensuring that drivers stay within the speed limits of wherever they go.

Fluid Levels

Truckers should always check the fluid and coolant levels in their vehicles before driving. Low fluid levels, such as brake fluid, can cause system failure and dangerous accidents.


Truckers should visually inspect all lights in the cab and trailer, including emergency flashers, headlights, turn signals, brake lights, and trailer lights, to ensure that they are all working properly and allow you to see road conditions. Before hitting the road, any burned-out lights should be replaced.

To avoid missing objects in blind spots, the windshield and front mirrors should be clean and adjusted for the truck driver’s view. If there is a crack in the windshield, it should be repaired before leaving on a trip as it can divert the driver’s attention elsewhere.

Windshield Wipers

It is critical to be able to see clearly in all weather conditions. Truckers should inspect their front windshield wipers for proper operation and replace any worn wipers as soon as possible.

While drivers should be checking weather reports before every trip, functioning windshield wipers are still necessary to maintain optimal driving conditions and visibility.


On a commercial truck, it’s critical that the brakes work properly to ensure every driver can slow down during times they need to exercise caution. Although large trucks take longer to stop, properly functioning brakes allow the vehicle to come to a complete stop as quickly as possible and provide an adequate buffer zone to do so.

Before leaving on a trip, commercial truckers should perform a brake check to check the brake operation, including the parking brake, hydraulic brakes, and air brakes.

Doors and Locks

During transit, the back doors of the truck should be secured and locked. Moreover, drivers should inspect the trailer doors for any damage and make sure the locks work properly before leaving on a trip.

Trailer Coupling

Drivers should double-check that the trailer is properly connected to the cab. Before leaving on a trip, double-check all lines, clamps, nuts, mounting brackets, locking jaws, locking pins, and bolts.

Truck Driving Safety Equipment

All trucks should have truck driving safety equipment, avoid driving without emergency flares, emergency triangles, a first-aid kit, and a fire extinguisher, among other things.

Trash and Debris

A cluttered cab, particularly on the dashboard and floor, can be both distracting and hazardous. Trash or objects on the dashboard, for example, can obstruct a driver’s vision and cause the windshield defroster to malfunction.

Trash or other items on the floor can get caught between the pedals. Truck drivers should avoid starting the trip without cleaning the truck and doing safety checks..

Contact SoCal Truck Insurance Today

If your commercial trucking company is searching for affordable commercial truck insurance, SoCal Truck Insurance can help. We recognize that your commercial trucking company’s truck driving safety requirements are unique, necessitating the purchase of specialized insurance to ensure that your business is protected.

Ensure you’re truly road-ready with our guide on Truck Roadcheck 2023. Dive deeper into the essentials every truck driver should know before hitting the highway. Don’t miss out on this crucial checklist!

At SoCal Truck Insurance, we have more than 25 years of experience in the commercial truck driving insurance industry, and we remain committed to providing our customers with the most competitive and personalized insurance plans available.

When you work with us, you can rest assured that we will be there for your company’s insurance needs at all times. Contact SoCal Truck Insurance for a free commercial truck insurance quote today.