Pre-Trip Inspection Tips

Are you struggling to get the pre-trip inspection down?

It's easy to forget the 100+ things there are to check in the pre-trip process, especially when you're just getting started in trucking.

As its name is pretty self-explanatory, the pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection that’s truck drivers must perform before they head out on a trip. To help out new drivers, we've been asking current and former students in our Facebook group to share their study tips and ideas for mastering the pre-trip inspection.

Check them out below:

Pre-Trip Inspection Tips

“Top to bottom, inside to outside, forward to backwards. My students know it well when I teach it this way, it ensures they hit all 108 points.” - Rich Creager (Driver Mentor)

“Easy: Check fluids, hose, water pump, air compressor, alternator. Then, check steering and steering linking, then check leaf spring then leaf spring bolts, the U bolts, then check brakes and all components, then check tires. All in that order, and you should not go wrong with the engine. The rest is easy…” - Joseph Dodson (recent CDL graduate)

“At school for testing, team up with a couple other motivated people & test each other. Go out to trucks learn and i.d. the parts, then run through full pre-trip with others grading you off the paper. Record yourself reading the paper and play it back, it helps you remember the right words. Record & time self when other students are grading you so you can find your mistakes. Repeat it a lot until it’s engraved in your head. When you wake up screaming everything is mounted securely you're probably good to go.” - Michael McKinney

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“As a week 2 student I can say with confidence that in order to get the pre-trip down you need to study. You need to focus and learn the parts. When you have the parts learned go back and learn their defects. After learning that do it again. Repetition is key to getting it down. I have about five or six classmates who look up to me for help. I team up with students who are weak and who are strong. We help each other get it...Have an open mind and enjoy what you are learning. It may one day save a life, and that includes your own.” - Vicki Boyd

“I follow this order: engine, tractor, coupling, trailer, lights, and then in cab. A good way to learn is to take a picture of the sections with your phone and then make copies. Then, name the parts on that list and what you are looking for.” - James Crumbly

“Touch each part to know what you’re talking about. It will help everything come together and make sense. Repetition, review, and renew/refresh. Partner up.” - Angel Hand-Cavallo

While all of these tips show different methods for success, one thing remains the same throughout: each student studied and worked as hard as they could to make pre-trip inspections second-nature. Find your method, and work as hard as they did, and soon you could be the one offering advice like this!

Start Your Trucking Career Now

Driver Solutions can help you get the CDL training you need to become a truck driver.  Start your career now and you could be on the road making up to $50,000 in just the first year!  Just take a few moments to complete our online driver application now

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