We’ve all seen other truckers do it, and you’ve probably done it yourself. You’ve stopped for a bite to eat, and as you walk away from your rig, you pause, turn around and give it a visual once-over.
It’s a great habit, and it’s probably prevented more than a few mishaps. But a much less common practice is giving your rig a 5-minute check before you get back on the road. Sure, you always perform a daily pre-trip inspection, but a truck-stop walkaround is more insurance against hassles – or worse – alongside the road. Here are few things to check:
Run your gloved hand over the treads, and use your cell-phone light or a flashlight if needed to check for anything unusual that could lead to tire failure. Take a good look at the sidewalls for scuffs or tears.
Brakes & Air Lines
While you’re checking the tires, take a quick look at the brakes. If you notice any rust or oil stains, you know you’ve got a problem brewing. Check the gladhand and air lines, too. Obviously brakes are a prime safety concern, so knowing what looks and sounds normal, and what doesn’t, can literally be a life-saver.
Again, you may need a flashlight, but hunch down and take a look at the pavement under your truck for any drips or leaks, which can spell big trouble down the road.
Lights & Reflectors
Hop in the cab, and turn on the lights. Take one more walk around your rig and check all the lights and reflectors, especially trailer clearance lights. Since you’re at a truck stop, now would be a good time to fix any problems that you see.
Clean It Up
Finally, take a moment to clean out any stuff that you’re accumulated in your cab. It not only reflects pride in your rig, but it presents a more professional appearance if you’re pulled over for an inspection.