What motivates you to do a thorough pre-trip inspection?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by AAABrothersLLC, Jan 30, 2023.

  1. AAABrothersLLC

    AAABrothersLLC Bobtail Member

    Aug 21, 2020
    Monee, IL
    Hello, thank you for checking into this thread.

    I am the safety manager for a small trucking company with a fleet of 20 trucks. I am trying to improve our safety and maintenance programs and I believe getting information directly from drivers who are out there every day doing the job is the best way to go about things.

    Currently our most common maintenance violations are tires, lights and brakes. Things that would be easily detected on pre and post-trip inspections, but are still being overlooked.

    Please help me understand what programs or practices I can put in place to avoid this. What has worked for you in the past? I don't want to just rely on fines, I believe drivers are not children that need to be punished when they do something wrong or make a mistake, they are professionals that I want to work with on the same level.

    What can I do to increase participation for pre and post-trip inspections? What can I do to make sure they are thoroughly done? What does a driver need in order to be properly motivated to perform one?

    Thank you in advance for your advice, I look forward to talking to you all as the thread goes on.
    austinmike and The Railsplitter Thank this.
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  3. DUNE-T

    DUNE-T Road Train Member

    May 10, 2015
    Detroit, MI
    I am an o/o and my biggest motivation is catching something before it breaks on the road, but for drivers there is no motivation, they just don't give a crap about your equipment.
  4. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

    May 25, 2017
    under a shade tree
    when i first got assigned a tractor AND trailer set up, i went thru BOTH as carefully as i could, that first time.

    after that, i was satisfied that i "knew my equipment", and did my usual pre-trips and post trips DAILY/NIGHTLY.

    then i'd do a complete full pre-trip maybe a month later.

    i'd always catch a light bulb out, or a flat, or at the very least, a nail in a tire.

    i was dedicated route, so i had a very good handle on my stuff.
  5. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    Have you ever driven a truck for any time period to your contracted customers? If you had, you would know that the number one thing that trucking companies get wrong is the “meat in the seat” mentality. You have the mindset that ALL drivers are equal and you make your company policies according to the stupidest driver on your fleet. Common mistake. Good drivers get treated like and punished right alongside the steeringwheelholder idiots when companies attempt to stupidproof and handhold. Really good for morale, wouldn’t you say?

    So, if you reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllly want to solve this issue, get rid of the meat in the seat and become a talent scout for your company. How do you recognize T A L E N T in the truckin industry?
    @Ridgeline and @gentleroger can help in this aspect.
  6. fishonron

    fishonron Medium Load Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    North Central Kansas
    One company I worked for gave a bonus for passing dot inspections. I think it was $150 for a level 1.
  7. Long FLD

    Long FLD Road Train Member

    Mar 4, 2015
    You’re not going to motivate lazy people to do things properly.
  8. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    Are your trucks OTR or local? If they're running close to home all day, drivers may not worry too much about broken lights or even a flat/low tire. Also, being paid hourly VS. mileage makes a difference. If I was you, I would be super friendly with my drivers, easy to do with just 20 trucks. Mingle around at beginning of shift, do a few pre-trips with them. Stress the importance of safety. Buy donuts/coffee weekly. Have safety meetings often. Give away a steak dinner now and then, to the most safest driver. Have the other drivers vote !
  9. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    "One day when I get my dream job, that is easy, pays $100k+, I will become both honest AND a hard worker." - slacker

    Not all younger people are lazy, and not all older people are hard workers. But I recently see there is an obvious gigantic difference between the employees being hired of one age group and those from a different age group. SMH
    Stereotypes develop for a reason.

  10. AAABrothersLLC

    AAABrothersLLC Bobtail Member

    Aug 21, 2020
    Monee, IL
    Thank you all for your inputs so far.

    To give a little more information and clarification on our particular operation, our drivers are OTR and they don't usually come through the yard. I do offer bonuses for clean inspections depending on level (Level 3 - $100, Level 2 - $200, Level 1 - $300). Drivers also get paid percentage of the load at 30% of the gross which I believe right now is top of the market. I know there might be one or two more companies that offer more, but I also dispatch with a picture of the rate con straight from the broker, nothing changed. Which not a lot of other companies that pay percentage do.

    I know it's impossible to get blood from a stone, but I don't believe any of my drivers are hopeless or lazy or just steering wheel holders. If I didn't think there was a way to get them to be more thorough, they would have been fired already.

    I am just looking for advice from drivers on what has worked in the past for them to get them to be more invested in their equipment and not get violations. Even if it was something like bonuses for certain things or something that made it easier to do a pre/post-trip inspections or even just having monthly/weekly calls regarding the company safety scores and procedures (I doubt that last one would be too effective, but I'm just throwing stuff out there). Just anything that you ever came across that made you think "Wow, that's a good idea".

    Thank you all again for your information so far, I look forward to reading more.
  11. 201

    201 Road Train Member

    Apr 16, 2014
    high plains colorado
    Well, I'll tell ya', you have one of the toughest jobs in trucking,my friend,,compliance. We, as drivers, never got along with compliance. It was the worst phone call you got. Never good news. I was constantly on the hot seat for violations. I believe the pre-trip inspection must be noted, on OBRs or paper logs, and driver in violation for failure of omitting that, no? I don't think DOT looks too kindly on that, and the DRIVER can get in big trouble. What you describe is nothing new, and those "violations" are a gray area. The driver has other things on their minds, apparently, and trucks have gotten so trouble free, a pre-trip inspection amounts to a "visual", during the day, if at all. If it's not in the drivers view while fueling, it probably won't get noticed. Years ago, we did a pretrip to save our OWN axx, just to make sure it was safe. Today, it's just not an issue, and that's scary. This whole darned industry scares the heck out of me today. I wish you luck.
    JoeyJunk, Lav-25, TripleSix and 2 others Thank this.
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