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THE IMPORTANCE OF PRE-TRIP INSPECTIONS, POST-TRIP INSPECTIONS

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Before hitting the car on the road, as a professional driver, it is important that you are mentally, physically, and emotionally prepared for the task. And in a similar manner, it is essential that your vehicle too is mechanically ready for the trip. To ensure that your commercial vehicle is in top condition, the drivers are required to perform pre-trip inspections and post-trip inspections as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR). In case of failure to conduct these inspections, it is expected that corrective actions are taken for compliance, safety, accountability ( CSA) violations, fines, or the vehicle will be declared out of service.


Apart from being the law, these inspections are a great way to:


  • To detect mechanical issues with the vehicle: By quickly addressing the minor issues can help in dealing with unnecessary downtime, loss of revenue, expensive repairs, and towing charges.

  • Maximizes safety: By taking time for the inspections ensure that your vehicle works properly and maximizes safety on the road for you and other fellow drivers.

  • Helps with the claims: In case of an accident, inspection reports can be pulled as part of the investigation. In such situations, good vehicle inspection practices may help in defense of potential accident claims.

  • Boosts customer satisfaction: A properly functioning vehicle ensures that you offer a reliable and timely service to your customers. Thereby boosting customer experience and helping companies build a good reputation in the market.

  • Offers peace of mind: When you maintain your vehicle in top condition, you are not required to constantly worry about your trip getting interrupted because of mechanical failures.


Apart from pre-trip and post-trip inspections, it’s beneficial to monitor the condition of the vehicle’s components, which can affect vehicle safety. One way of doing this is by looking whenever you stop for fuel. Also, you can check the same by using your senses while driving to detect the issues that might lead to some major problems:


Hearing sounds: A vehicle component that sounds weird or the presence of hisses, rattles, squeaks, squeals, and other unusual sounds are the warning signs.


Weird smell: Also, if you detect an odd smell of burning rubber, insulation, or hot fluids, there are chances of overheating, leaks, and electrical shortages.


Touch to sense the vehicle’s response: You can detect the vehicle’s response through touch. If you face difficulty in handling and stopping the vehicle or if you sense some unusual vibrations, it indicates a problem.


Observe the vehicle: To detect an issue, you can consider observing your vehicle’s dashboard. While doing that, don’t forget to look under the vehicle or the area where you parked it. Small stains of fluid on the ground are normal, but if there are puddles, then immediate attention is required.


Further, as a professional driver, it is important that you not only catch the mechanical issue but even report them. In such situations, you must follow the company’s procedures to promptly report all the defects with the vehicle that can affect the safety and compliance to ensure that it gets repaired and certified before taking your vehicle hits the road.


Undoubtedly, performing proper pre-trip and post-trip inspections demands time. So, it is essential that these inspections are taken seriously and are not rushed or skipped because of weather and tight schedules. These inspections are required by the law and must be performed with due diligence as it is the duty of the professional driver. Certifying the vehicle road-ready every time ensures the safety and well-being of everyone with whom you share the road.


Article provided by Lancer Insurance co.





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