Pretrip Inspection Checklist
The following pretrip inspection checklist helps ensure that the vehicle components are in good working condi- tion before each trip.
NOTE: Apply the parking brakes and chock the tires.
Pretrip Inspection and Daily Maintenance Procedures
Drain the air brake system air reservoirs.
Air reservoirs serve as storage tanks for com- pressed air. They collect water condensed from the air and small amounts of oil from the air compres- sor. Water and oil normally enter the reservoir in the form of vapor because of the heat generated during compression.
Inspect the batteries and battery cables as follows:
Check the fluid level in the windshield washer res- ervoir. Add washer fluid as needed.
Check the front hub lubricant level if equipped with oil-lubricated wheel bearings.
Tilt the cab. Examine the steering gear compo- nents.
Check the coolant level in the surge tank, check the condition of the radiator fins and the charge air cooler (as equipped).
Check the condition of the coolant hoses and heater hoses.
Check the condition of the drive belts.
Inspect the engine for fuel, oil, and coolant leaks.
Inspect the engine and chassis wiring.
Check the air intake system for leaks or damage.
Check the fluid level in the clutch fluid reservoir.
Check the engine oil level (Fig. 9.1).
Check the oil level in the automatic transmission (if equipped).
NOTE: The fluid must be warm to ensure an accu- rate check. The fluid level rises as temperature in- creases.
With the vehicle on a level surface, check the oil level in the transmission using one of the following procedures:
Check the fuel water separator, if equipped, for contaminants.
Lower the cab. Close the drain valves on the air brake system air tanks.
Inspect the fuel tank(s) and fuel line connection. If equipped, be sure the fuel tank shutoff valves are open.
Check the fuel level in the tank(s) and be sure the fuel cap vent area is clean. Check the fuel/water separator, if equipped, for leaks, and if needed, prime the fuel tank system.
If the engine is equipped with a priming pump, do the following:
If the engine is not equipped with a priming pump, do the following:
If equipped, check the transmission oil cooler for debris and for leaks.
If so equipped, inspect the fifth wheel and check it for adequate lubrication.
With the trailer unhooked from the tractor, inspect the fifth wheel (daily) for the follow- ing conditions:
Lubricate the fifth wheel top plate and other grease points at least once a week and more often in severe service.
If so equipped, inspect the 7-way trailer cable re- ceptacle(s) for good connections.
Inspect the front and rear suspension components, including the springs, shocks, and suspension brackets.
Clean the headlights, rearview mirrors, and the out- side of the windshield and all window glass. Check the condition of the windshield wiper arms and blades.
Clean the inside of the windshield, the gauges on the dash, and all window glass.
Check the steering wheel for excessive play.
Adjust the driver’s seat, then align the rearview mirrors.
Inspect the seat belts and tether belts if so equipped. See Fig. 9.3.
Check the cab interior for loose items and secure or remove them.
Start the engine and make sure the oil-pressure and air-pressure warning systems are working.
Make sure that both the electric horn and the air horn work. Then check the wiper and washer con- trol. During cold weather, check the operation of the heater and defroster controls.
Check the operation of the backup alarm if so equipped.
Check the operation of all gauge lights and interior lights.
Make sure all of the lights are working.
Check the outer surfaces of the cab for visible sur- face breaks and damage.
Inspect the air brake components including the brake chamber pushrods, air reservoirs, and air lines.
Check the clearance between the hoses, exhaust manifold, and turbocharger, or other hot spots. Excessive heat will cause the ma- terial in the hoses to deteriorate rapidly or become brittle. Provide at least six inches (150 mm) of clearance. More clearance is recommended, especially if the hose is lo- cated above the heat source.
Check for kinks, dents, or swelling of the hoses. If a hose is damaged, replace it with the same size and type.
Do not route the hose on top of anything likely to be stepped on or walked on.
Check for damage to hoses located near moving parts, such as drivelines, trailer bod- ies, kingpins, suspensions, and axles. If the moving parts are catching or pinching the lines, correct as needed.
Check for hose damage caused by abrasion. If a hose is abraded, replace it. Check for the cause of abrasion, such as loose or damaged hose clamps. Repair or replace the clamps as needed.
Observe the hose cover condition, especially hoses exposed to water splash and ice. If any hose is dried out or ragged (the wire or liner is showing through the cover), replace the hose.
Inspect the front air brake lines for leaks at the fitting where they enter the air chamber.
Inspect air tubing, especially tubing made of nylon. In cold weather, nylon tubing is sensi- tive to damage, such as nicks or cuts. Re- place nicked or cut tubing, even if it is not leaking.
Check the bend radii of all hoses. See Fig. 9.4. The minimum bend radius of a hose is that bend which the hose will with- stand without experiencing damaging stresses or kinking.
Check straight hose installations (those hoses that do not bend along their routings). Pressure changes can cause a hose to lengthen up to two percent, or shorten up to four percent. A 100-inch (2540-mm) length of hose, for example, can contract to 96 inches (2440 mm). If the hose has no slack when it is exhausted of air, replace it with one of adequate length to avoid a possible blow-off from the fitting during vehicle operation.
Check for kinked or twisted hoses. A seven- percent twist in the hose can reduce its life by up to 90 percent. Also, a twisted hose under pressure tends to untwist. This could cause it to loosen the fitting. Reconnect hoses that are twisted.
Make sure the brakes are adjusted on all axles.
Check the tire inflation pressures, and inspect each tire for bulges, cracks, cuts, and penetrations.
If a tire has been run flat or underinflated, check the wheel for proper lockring and side ring seating, and possible wheel, rim, or tire damage before adding air.
Moisture inside a tire can result in body ply separation or a sidewall rupture. During tire inflation, compressed air reservoirs and lines must be kept dry. Use well-maintained inline moisture traps and service them regularly.
Inspect the tires for bulges, cracks, cuts, or penetrations. A tire pressure check will assist in uncovering hidden damage. A weekly pressure loss of 4 psi (28 kPa) or more in a tire may indicate damage and the tire should be inspected and repaired or replaced.
Tires should also be inspected for oil con- tamination. Fuel oil, gasoline, and other pe- troleum derivatives, if allowed to contact the tires, will soften the rubber and destroy the tire.
Check for indications of loose wheel nuts or rim nuts and examine each wheel component.
Check components of the air brake system for cor- rect operation as follows:
Test the service brakes before leaving the lot.
Test the parking brakes on a 20 percent grade.
Source: MaintainX (Community Member)