Semi Truck Inspections – A Checklist for Safety on the Road
Semi trucks are big and heavy, often carrying thousands of pounds at a time in their cargo holds. Because of this, there are many safety concerns that truckers and business owners need to know about when it comes to semi truck inspections – but most don’t realize until after the fact that they didn’t do everything they should have. To make sure you’re on the right track, follow these steps to make sure your semi truck is safe and doesn’t need any last-minute fixes before hitting the road.
The first component of a semi truck inspection is checking the tires. Look at all of them, even the sidewalls and under-carriage. They should be in good condition and not have any marks that may indicate their age or previous damages. The truck should also have a spare tire as well as proper jack and lug wrench. You can use an air pressure gauge to make sure all tires are properly inflated. You can also use a reflective laser gauge to measure the tread depth (should be 4/32 inches). Lastly, if you see any corrosion or cracks around the lug nuts, it’s time to replace those too!
2. Undercarriage & Frame
Be sure to walk around the truck and inspect all areas of undercarriage. If you notice any rust or unusual wear, it may something you need to address. Make sure you are also checking for any and all holes in the frame as well. Make sure all reinforcements or structures (example: running boards) are securely fastened to your truck so that they do not swing freely, then move up to where you can see into the engine compartment. You should be able to see clearly into this area and make sure there is no excessive dirt, grime, oil leaks or other fluids. Also check all hoses for leaks; if you find a leaky hose, replace it immediately!
3. Gas System
Inspecting the gas system can be done in a number of ways. One way is to start by opening up the access door and checking that all hoses are securely connected and no clamps are missing or broken. Gas lines should not have any cracks, rust, kinks, or loose connectors that could cause leaks. The hardware holding them down should also be checked as it too can loosen over time. This is especially important if there has been shifting of cargo and weight distribution in the truck’s load area during transportation, since vibration can affect how tight components stay connected together. The lines themselves should not show any obvious signs of contamination such as oil or other chemicals that may have been tracked into the cabin from outside surfaces or another vehicle.
Checking your semi truck’s brakes is an important part of a routine semi truck inspection, as this equipment must work properly to prevent potential accidents. Inspect them to ensure they’re working effectively. Begin by looking closely at your wheels and tires. These are often a good indicator of whether or not you need new brake pads or rotors. Also check the drums and linings inside your drums; there should be enough thickness left in these items for it to do their job properly. If not, have them replaced before driving the vehicle again.
HVAC issues can cause extreme discomfort to both passengers and drivers in the cab. One of the most common HVAC problems is low cabin pressure caused by air leaks, which creates lower air density levels than those required for optimal comfort. Low cabin pressure could lead to illness or fatigue, which can be dangerous when driving a semi truck or any other vehicle. Another major issue with HVAC is broken heating coils, which leads to freezing temperatures inside the cab that make it impossible for people to drive safely even if they have gloves and jackets on (possible frostbite). The climate inside the truck also affects cargo being transported; items might get damaged due to freezing cold weather that’s experienced during winter months because of frozen coils within the truck’s cabin.
6. Electrical System
Electrical systems are another integral part of a semi truck and should be inspected every 25,000 miles. You should also inspect all switches, lights, and sockets to ensure that they’re properly functioning. Finally, you need to make sure that power cords are intact and not too worn. If any cords are frayed or tattered then you should replace them as soon as possible.
7. Engine Bay
Give your engine bay a good once-over. Look for leaks, wear and tear, oil, dirt, and discoloration from coolant or brake fluid spills. Inspect belts to make sure they’re tight. Make sure there’s enough coolant in the radiator, and if there is look for signs of leaks. Be wary of rust; it may signal something wrong with your vehicle’s undercarriage.
8. Enterior Cleanliness & Maintenance
The truck’s interior is also examined to ensure that they are clean and orderly. Along with checking your brakes, a clean cab also means that there is no food or drink around that could be in danger of spilling. While this part may seem like common sense, sometimes if you are rushing to finish up before a deadline it can be easy to let those areas fall by the wayside. By looking over all the parts of your truck beforehand, you will reduce your chances of being pulled over by law enforcement or having to stop unexpectedly due to mechanical failures.
Need a Semi Truck Inspection? Call (443) 790-8887 Today!
If you’re in need of semi truck inspections or roadside assistance, look no further than A1 Emergency Roadside Service. We can come to your location and perform repairs quickly and efficiently. Our fleet is ready for service 24 hours a day and we offer a wide range of repairs from bodywork to exhaust systems. Contact us today for more information.