What do you actually check on a pre-trip inspection?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by expedite_it, Sep 10, 2023.

  1. silverspur

    silverspur Road Train Member

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    At truck driving school in the 90's I asked how to adjust the brakes and was told that my company would show me and when I got to my company and asked their mechanics I was told that I should have learned it at truck driving school. LOL

    YouTube is the teacher of the modern era.
     
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  3. silverspur

    silverspur Road Train Member

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    Instead of just checking the air pressure on the steers, I check the air on all the tires. It doesn't take that long and offers an opportunity to look at other parts and listen for air leaks.
     
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  4. silverspur

    silverspur Road Train Member

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    That's OK, as long as they know the brakes need to be adjusted a mechanic can be called to the scene 24/7/365.
     
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  5. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

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    To me that’s more than just a little weeping and should be repaired. If you’re pulling the same trailer all of the time and know when a small leak started and know how the leak is progressing that’s one thing, but if I grabbed a trailer like that with no idea how long it’s been like that I would head to a shop with it.
     
  6. 48Packard

    48Packard Ol' Two-stop Shag!

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    …and Mount Everest is just a little hill. That isn’t rolling by my call.
     
  7. expedite_it

    expedite_it Road Train Member

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    Nobody at the mega carrier I work at ever calls a mobile mechanic to adjust the brakes either except for when the trailer brakes won't hold the trailer tandems still for sliding the tandems, which is only adjusting the spring brakes on the trailer. We don't even have trolley valves inside our trucks. You might be wondering how we test the main brakes on the trailer (as opposed to the parking or spring brakes on the trailer). The answer is we don't check the main brakes on our trailers.

    As a company driver who has never owned his own truck (and, thus, never done any thing except the lightest mechanical work on a tractor-trailer), let me ask you some questions about that: how do you adjust your brakes? What the heck does "adjusting the brakes" even mean exactly? Do you adjust drum brakes or disc brakes or both? What on the brakes are you adjusting? Does adjusting the brakes mean physically moving the brakes shoes closer to the brake drum or what? When you adjust the brakes, are you only adjusting the parking ("spring" brakes) brakes on the trailer, or do you adjust the main brakes on the trailer?
     
  8. expedite_it

    expedite_it Road Train Member

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    I'm not arguing with anything that Long FLD said in this post. Everything that Long FLD said can be true while my statements could be true at the same time.

    But all the teammates that I've ever had in my career (which is well over ten) and almost all company drivers at my company wouldn't even notice the hub oil seal leak and would just pull the trailer without getting it repaired. You'd be surprised.
     
  9. expedite_it

    expedite_it Road Train Member

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    Only a miniscule percentage of truck drivers routinely check the air pressure on all tires on the tractor-trailer when doing a pre-trip.
     
  10. Thrasher28

    Thrasher28 Heavy Load Member

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    Yeah, that's why I sometimes prefer being married to a trailer at a small carrier and live loading/unloading everything. I can Google Review a customer and mentally prepare my plan for the load ahead of time on live loads and ask for detention if it's a while. On a drop and hook, there's no way to know what kind of mess you're going to get stuck with at most carriers. Too easy to pawn things off. Even if a driver is just unaware and had no ill intention, it doesn't change the fact I'm stuck with it.

    Thought I was losing my mind for a second. Pretty scary though that they'd tell a driver that it's fine and then that driver would carry on thinking trailers like that are normal. If mosr drivers don't care about equipment, techs pat the driver on the back and say it's normal, and safety only cares if it's caught on an inspection, it's a pretty bad recipe.
     
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  11. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

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    If your company is good about getting trailers to their shop at a terminal things like this would probably be fixed and the driver would never know after they dropped the trailer. The issue would be if the trailer never sees a company shop and people just keep pulling it. It may not be a catastrophic failure that results in a fire but somewhere along the line a driver will be getting it repaired on the road.

    The example in the pics shared would be easily noticeable with a quick glance, you wouldn’t even need to crawl under the trailer. Thump your driver side tires, crouch down and look across to the inside of the passenger side wheels, and do the opposite when you thump the passenger side tires. You’re already there and it only takes a couple extra seconds.
     
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