8 Common Checks That Are Overlooked During An Inspection Of A Long Haul Trip

8 Common Checks That Are Overlooked During An Inspection Of A Long Haul Trip


For the success of any long-haul commercial trip, preparedness is integral. This aspect is fundamental primarily for the safety of the driver and also for the health of the vehicle. Thus, in the business of trucking, being organized starts with the basic of a pre-trip inspection, which is more than a cursory search for mechanical defects. It is instead full scrutiny that involves systematically checking the performance of each section of the truck, which approximately takes 30 to 50 minutes.


So, let's find out 8 standard checks that are often overlooked during the inspection of a long haul trip-


1. Engines



The smooth functioning of an engine will ensure a long-drive. Thus, it is best to pre-check the air filters for any smoke. Any truck emitting black smoke because of clogged dust, debris, and chemical contaminants not only causes pollution but also consumes more diesel. A clean air filter will increase the life of an engine and will also optimize its overall efficiency and acceleration. Also, check for any noise coming from the bonnet as it can indicate damaged mechanical parts such as pistons, bearings or other moving parts.


2. Wheels


The wheels are the backbone of any drive, especially for long-haul trips. Thus, start by checking the alignment, a common issue faced mainly because of the encounter of several potholes and bumps which may tend to cause a lot of wear and tear of the wheels. An improper alignment could cause unstable steering, or prompt the truck to pull in one direction. 



Also, review the tightly fastening of the wheel and the lug nuts or else it may become loose and even come off and start barrelling down. Rust around lug nuts and the rim is another check area as it may widen the gap for any mishap and even weaken safety. The wheels also affect tire pressure and durability, and therefore, it requires proper care. Hence, to improve the vehicle quality, examine the wheels for an effortless drive.


3. Brakes


Any drive without a functional brake system is dangerous, not only for the driver but also for others on the course. So, if you are driving medium-duty trucks in Punjab or any other part of India, before hitting the road for a long-trip, review the brake chamber airlines. These have to be secure and able to flex, free of any mechanical damage and seals and not leaking.



Another essential inspection point is the spring brake system, which provides the pneumatic and mechanical power to halt the vehicle, along with the parking and emergency power to keep it stopped. Brake adjustment is an additional check-point that should be checked either manually or with automatic slacks. Furthermore, analyze the anti-lock brake warning light operation, air hoses, and tubing, and other hardware to ensure everything is securely in place. All these investigations are important, particularly because brakes are one of the most-used components of the vehicle and subject to a lot of wear and tear.


4. Lights and Reflectors



Checking the lights and reflectors of the vehicle comes next. These play a significant role in increasing visibility at night, and therefore, reviewing them for any cracks or dirt becomes necessary.


Defective reflectors can prove dangerous during night time as the other drivers depend on them to see the trucks coming. Thus, replace the missing or burn out lights immediately to make the vehicle noticeable.


5. Fluid levels



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Check the fluid levels, i.e. radically the engine oil. Just make sure it's cool first, for an accurate reading and then review the state of the oil. In case it is dirty or has a stench, it is time to change the oil. The next things to inspect are the other fluids such as power steering fluid, windshield wiper fluid, engine coolant, and fuel. If something is found leaking, immediately investigate the issue and if anything is at low levels, fill them appropriately.


6. Seatbelts



The role of a seatbelt is to save lives, so checking its condition is vital for a driver. For this, examine the elasticity and lock before starting the drive. Also, check its retraction and smooth return from the mechanism.


One crucial thing, wear your seatbelt at all times when driving!


7. Overall Cleanliness



For a driver, the truck is both a workplace and a home. Hence, keeping it clean and tidy becomes primary. An untidy cabin that has several items like papers, old water bottles, etc. spread through can lead to both distraction and hindrance with mechanical operations like pedals and gears. All of this can lead to obstruction and even accidents. The cluttering of objects can additionally affect proper defrosting and defogging. Thus, keep all loose things intact in the glove box or secure them correctly.


8. Emergency Kit


Emergency kits as the name suggests are a must-have for any automobile. So, check if the kit has the essentials like the spare fuses or circuit breakers, and a fire extinguisher, etc. in it.


An inadequate pre-trip inspection of a commercial vehicle in Punjab and other regions could cause serious issues so be diligent and never skip even a minor detail before hitting the road for a long-haul trip.


Do you have any other common checks that should you think should be a part of this list? Please share by leaving a comment.

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