Pre-Trip Inspection: What to Check Before You Go On the Road

If you’re a new truck driver or in a rush to get on the road it’s easy to want to skip a pre-trip inspection. But it’s essential that you take this step seriously. Many employers require a pre-trip inspection, it keeps you safe and aware of potential hazards, and if you’re stopped by law enforcement or a Department of Transportation (DOT) inspector, an infraction could result in fines which could negatively impact your wallet or your career. You shouldn’t forget that you are also not alone on the road. Doing an inspection keeps other drivers around you safe.

Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist

Each company is going to have its own checklist and its own safety process which comply with Federal Motor Carrier and Safety Administration (FMCSA) guidelines. Each State also follows the guidelines set by FMCSA when conducting a commercial vehicle inspection. Here are some basic examples of things that should be checked.


  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Use of seatbelts
  • Logbook record
  • Medical examiner’s certificate
  • Hours of service


  • Brakes
  • Truck frame
  • Tires
  • Suspension
  • Vehicle inspection report
  • Coupling devices
  • Wheels and rims
  • Turn signals
  • Van and trailer bodies
  • Lamps on projecting loads
  • Windshield wipers
  • Hazmat placarding
  • Brake lamps
  • Tail lamps
  • Headlamps
  • Safe loading
  • Steering mechanism
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel system

Pre-trip checks are in place because not all drivers understand the importance of doing a safety check before they hop behind the wheel. When you drive a massive truck, you have a massive responsibility to keep the road and others safe. Pre-trip inspections help you catch any safety concerns, save money on vehicle repairs, and reduce liability to yourself and your company.

Driver holding the wheel with two hands, as per driver safety best practices

Top 5 Safe Driving Tips for Truckers and Movers

Driving a truck can be demanding and challenging, requiring truckers and movers to navigate long hours, various traffic conditions, and the constant pressure of meeting schedules. However, the most crucial aspect of this job is safety. Safe driving not only ensures...

veteran in truck smiling because veterans have opportunities in trucking

Veterans and their Future in American Trucking

The trucking industry is a popular choice for veterans transitioning into civilian careers. Fortunately, there are several government initiatives in place to help ease their transition and many industry-focused programs designed specifically for veterans. These...

crane at construction site, following heavy truck and oversize truck safety tips and policies.

7 Safety Tips for Oversize and Heavy Truck Transport

Keeping Drivers and Vehicles Safe The most recent survey by The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) showed that 26.3% of all injuries reported by long haul truck drivers were to their arms. Sixty percent of injuries were sprains and...

ATC driver holding his commercial driver license

What a CDL Candidate Must Have

Acquiring a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) opens up a world of possibilities for professional growth and financial stability. However, obtaining a CDL requires meeting certain qualifications specific to the commercial driving industry. While the basic CDL is...

non-ATC driver texting and driver

Don’t Let Distracted-Driving Destroy Everything

It Can Harm Your Career, Your Safety and the Safety of Others With more vehicles on the road and an increase in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities, it is essential to remain distraction-free while driving to ensure your safety and a successful career. TIP #1:...

ATC trucks moving through the highway

Flexibility and Financial Freedom

Benefits to Becoming an ATC Driveaway Driver The COVID pandemic has changed everything about trucking. It severely altered production lines and the need for freight haulers. The disruption meant that trucks were temporarily carrying fewer loads. But now that loads...

ATC driver holding the wheel

Want To Become a Driveaway Driver?

Here’s What You Need to Know About Driveaway Jobs There’s never been a better time to get into the transportation industry — the American Trucking Association reports that it had a shortage of 51,000 drivers last year. Due to this shortage, the average yearly...

crane truck being moved by ATC

What Do Driveaway Services Entail?

Everything You Need to Know About Driveaway Services You’ve just purchased a new vehicle for your business, either from across the state or from a different country, and you’ll need to find a way to get it to your facilities. Or, perhaps your company is moving, and...

The Different Types of Trucks That ATC Driveaway Can Safely Transport. Heavy, Oversize, Trucks, etc

What Types of Trucks Can ATC Transport?

There are over 15 million trucks in the United States. Of these, two million are tractor-trailers. If you’re involved in the world of fleet management, you’ll know how crucial truck transportation is. Managing your inventories of trucks is critical, and being able...