Inspection During a Trip

Check Vehicle Operation Regularly

During a Trip.

For safety you should:

• Watch gauges for signs of trouble.

• Use your senses to check for problems (look, listen, smell, feel).

• Check critical items when you stop: - Tires, wheels and rims. - Brakes. - Lights. - Brake and electrical connections to trailer. - Trailer coupling devices. - Cargo securement devices. Post-Trip Inspection and Report. An after-trip inspection is necessary at the end of the trip, day, or tour of duty on each vehicle you operated. It may include filling out a vehicle condition report listing any problems you find. The inspection report helps the vehicle owner know when to fix something.

What to Look For Look for

Tire Problems.

It is dangerous to drive with bad tires. Look for problems such as:

• Too much or too little air pressure. Use a tire gauge to properly check inflation. A tire mallet may be used to check that the tire is not flat. Simply kicking or slapping the tire is not a valid way to check tire inflation.

• Bad wear. You need at least 4/32 inch tread depth on front tires. You need 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric should show through the tread or sidewall. Public school buses must have 4/ 32 tread depth in all major grooves on front wheels.

• Cuts or other damage.

• Tread separation.

• Dual tires that come in contact with each other or parts of the vehicle.

• Mismatched sizes.

• Radial and bias-ply tires used together.

• Cut or cracked valve stems.

• Regrooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels of a bus are not legal. Wheel and Rim Problems

• Damaged rims could cause an accident.

• Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are loose—check tightness. After a tire has been changed, stop a short while later and recheck tightness of nut

• Missing clamps, spacers, studs, lugs means danger.

• Mismatched, bent, cracked, lock rings are dangerous.

• Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are not safe. Bad Brake Drums or Shoes

• Cracked drums.

• Shoes or pads with oil, grease, brake fluid on them.

• Shoes worn dangerously thin, or missing or broken. Steering System Defects (See Figure 2-1)

• Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys or other parts.

• Bent, loose, or broken parts such as steering column, steering gear box, or tie rods.

• If power steering equipped — hoses, pumps, and fluid level; check for leaks.

• Steering wheel play of more than 10 degrees (approximately 2 inches movement at the rim of a 20-inch steering wheel) can make it hard to steer


You should check:

• Instruments.

• Air pressure gauge (if you have air brakes).

• Temperature gauges.

• Pressure gauges.

• Ammeter/voltmeter.

• Mirrors.

• Tires.

• Cargo, cargo covers. If you see, hear, smell, or feel anything that might mean trouble, check it out.

Safety Inspection

• Drivers of trucks and truck tractors must inspect within the first 25 miles of a trip and every 150 miles or every 3 hours (whichever comes first) afterward.

• Check these things - Cargo doors and/or cargo securement. - Tires — Enough air pressure; not overheated. - Brakes — not overheated (put back of hand near brake drums to test). - Coupling devices.


After-Trip Inspection & Report