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How to Conduct Commercial Truck Inspections

When driving a personal vehicle for everyday use, most drivers simply jump in and go. However, for commercial motor vehicles used to transport cargo or passengers, extra consideration should be taken to ensure that they’re safe and ready for the road.

Performing pre-trip inspections on your commercial truck can catch potential problems before they have a chance to endanger the safety of you and others on the road. Take care of problems right away to prevent future costs and delays.

Tips for Conducting Commercial Truck Inspections

Many components make up a commercial motor vehicle. As a result, there’s a greater chance of a mishap. Let’s go over our pre-trip checklist.

Driving Compartment

Start your inspection in the driving compartment.

  • Turn on the engine
  • Check that all gauges and warning lights are functioning properly upon startup
  • Turn the steering wheel back and forth to make sure there’s not any excessive play
  • Check that the horn is working and audible
  • Check that the windshield wipers are in good working condition

Outside Check

Start your external check at the front of the vehicle and work your way to the back. Then, circle around to the opposite side and make your way back to the front.


Not only can a missing signal light lead to an accident, but a burned out bulb could also lead to a costly ticket.

  • Make sure all headlights, clearance lights, taillights, brake lights, side marker lights, license plate lights, reflectors, and turn signals are clean and operational


Tire failure can be very dangerous and can be time-consuming to repair.

  • Check that all lug nuts are securely fastened and that tires are at the proper pressure
  • Check tread depth (pay special attention to any balding or irregular wear)
  • Make sure a spare is available and that it too is properly secured for travel


For vehicles transporting cargo, it’s extremely important that all loads are secured properly before departing.

  • Whether cargo is exposed or in a covered trailer, make sure that it cannot shift during transportation
  • For covered trailers make sure all compartment doors are closed and locked as required
  • Check all restraining and tie-down straps for damage that could cause them to fail (replace if necessary)
  • If transporting hazardous materials, make sure all placards and other warning materials are properly displayed

Curious what cargo insurance costs? Check out our article for more information.


If your vehicle is pulling a trailer:

  • Ensure all hoses and lines running from the vehicle to the trailer are properly attached
  • Check all couplings, including fifth wheels, tow bars, and all safety locking devices

Bottom Line

On top of pre-trip inspections, it’s essential to obtain the necessary insurance to safeguard your trucking company. Our transportation insurance experts would be pleased to assist you. We like to keep the insurance process simple and save trucking businesses like yours money.

Our agents have the ability to do all the hard work for you since we’re partnered with some of the nation’s top carriers. Here’s the list of the top 10 commercial truck insurance companies.

Call us or fill out our online truck insurance quote form to get started.




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