Driver to Driver

Pre-Trip Bad Habits

Wednesday November 3, 2021

I am often fascinated by the truck drivers who are able to conduct their entire pre-trip inspection from the seat in their cab.

They can check tires, brakes, hoses, lights, 5th wheel is locked, fluids, exhaust and no leaks without ever getting out of their truck. 

Recently one morning, a few hours before sunrise, a truck passed me without any working trailer lights. He was speeding and tailgating. 

About 40 minutes up the road, he was pulled over by the police. Perhaps they spotted him or perhaps someone called them to report the truck. Nevertheless, his day was about to get a lot worse and more expensive. 

He probably would receive tickets for speeding and or aggressive driving, lights not working and invalid pretrip inspection. 

And since a proper pretrip inspection wasn’t done, the officer would conduct one for the driver and issue additional tickets for any violations. 

The officer probably would have checked his driving logs for any HOS violations as well. 

The truck may get placed out of service and be unsafe to drive until fixed. It may have to get towed. 

All this probably could have been avoided had a proper pretrip been done. 

Always do the pretrip to the best of your ability. Be ready to explain to an officer all the steps you took and to demonstrate them. 

If you’re open to feedback, want to learn and are professional, you may receive a warning for a small infraction. But officers can tell when you’re being negligent with your responsibilities and will not hesitate to teach you a hard lesson.