Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Pre-Trip Study Guide

Originally Posted on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 12:04 PM [EST]

I found this simple pre-trip study guide. I would love to hear from you truckers out there. Does this list look complete? Are there any changes you believe should be made? Do you know of any better guides? Any tips on how to memorize it?

I've been reading the OHIO CDL manual but having something like this as a basic run down is nice to have.


Engine Compartment
1. Alternator/belts/mounting
2. Water pump/belt/leaks
3. Leaks/hoses/wire
4. Air compressor/belts/mounting
5. Oil level
6. Coolant level
7. Power steering level

Front axle checks
1. Springs/U bolts
2. Spring mounts
3. Shock absorber/mounts/leakage
4. Steering box/mounting/leakage
5. Steering leakage/tie rods
6. Brake hose to chamber
7. Brake chamber/mounting/pushrod clevis and pin
8. Slack adjuster/position (no more than 1 inch pull)
9. Brake drum/cracks/shoes
10. Tire/kick for pressure/tread depth
11. Rim/cracks/bends
12. Lug nut tightness/rust streaks
13. Hub oil seals inner-outer

Walk around
1. Left tractor door hinges/latches/mirror mounts
2. Left fuel tank mounting straps/fuel cap tightness
3. Front of vehicle light mounts/cab damage
4. Right fuel tank/mounting straps/cap tightness
5. Right door/ mirror mounts
6. Exhaust stack/integrity of connections
7. Rear of cab/air hoses/light cord
8. Catwalk/steps
9. Drive shaft/U joints
10. Tractor frame rails/cross members
11. Tractor front/header board
12. Air glad-hands/trailer light cord socket/socket ketch
13. Right trailer side/clearance lights/reflectors
14. Under-frame
15. Landing gear/up/no stones
16. Trailer side door latches and hinges
17. Trailer axle,
18. Spring mounts
19. Trailer shocks/airbags
20. Brake hoses to chamber
21. Brake chamber/chamber mounting tightness
22. Brake drum/cracks/brake shoes, lining thickness
23. Tires/pressure/tread depth
24. Rim/cracks/bends
25. Lug nut tightness/Budd or disc/spoke wedges and nuts
26. Spoke wheel spacer
27. Hub oil seals/inner-outer
28. Rear of trailer/mud flaps
29. Rear trailer door/latches/hinges
30. Landing gear crank stored
31. Fifth wheel release arm in
32. Fifth wheel slider locks in
33. Fifth wheel platform greased
34. Trailer apron plate not caved in
35. King pin latched

Vehicle Light Checks
1. Headlights/bright/dim
2. Front signals/4-ways
3. Front clearance/reflector
4. Rear tail lights
5. Rear signals/4-ways
6. Rear brake lights
7. Rear clearance/reflector

In-cab Checks
1. Clutch / gearshift / neutral
2. Start-up oil pressure
3. Volt meter
4. Air pressure/dual tanks
5. Speedometer
6. Light indicators
7. Steering wheel play
8. Horns (city and air horn)
9. Windshield/mirrors adjusted
10. Wipers
11. Heaters/defroster
12. Safety/emergency equipment
13. System air-brake checks/leakage/low air pressure waning/button pop
14. Check service brakes
15. Check parking brakes

Found at:


It looks like alot but it really isn't. Most of the stuff is visual and after awhile you will actually know something is wrong while driving the day before and can have it fixed. You get to know the truck by feel and sound. A walk around will take awhile when you first start driving. But after awhile you will breeze right through it and not miss a thing.
Comment By:roadhzrd on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 7:24 PM [EST]

Thanks Roadhzrd
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Wed, Nov 07 2007 @ 8:01 PM [EST]

Always check your fifth wheel..You never know if some joker has pulled it at some rest area or truck stop and you should check the fifth wheel jaws to make sure they are around your kingpin..When you get into the cab check for air leaks by releasing tractor and trailer brakes and pressing on the service brake..Like my favorite smartass Rdhzrd says sounds like a lot but you'll breeze right through it after awhile...VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 7:04 AM [EST]

Get yourself a piece of solid steel bar (My favorite) about 18" long 1" thick and use that as a tire thumper..Tires should spring back to you when properly inflated. If they go thud you have a flat..VM-out!
Comment By:VM on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 7:07 AM [EST]

Thanks VM
Comment By:Truckin Tedybehr on Thu, Nov 08 2007 @ 11:29 PM [EST]

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