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10.4 Trailer

Trailer Front

Air/electrical connections:
  • Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in good condition.
  • Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of damage or air leaks.
  • Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated and locked in place.
Header board:
  • If equipped, check the header board to see that it is secure, free of damage, and strong enough to contain cargo.
  • If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be mounted and securely fastened.
  • On enclosed trailers, check the front area for signs of damage such as cracks, bulges or holes.

Trailer Side

Landing gear:
  • Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the support frame is not damaged.
  • If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks
Doors/ties/lifts:
  • If equipped, check that doors are not damaged. Check that doors open, close and latch properly from the outside.
  • Check that ties, straps, chains and binders are secure.
  • If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, damaged or missing parts and explain how it should be checked for correct operation.
  • Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.
Frame:

Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other damage to the frame, cross members, box and floor.

Tandem release arm/locking pins:

If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked in place and release arm is secured.

Remainder of Trailer

Refer to Section 10.2 for detailed inspection procedures regarding the following components:

  • Wheels
  • Suspension system
  • Brakes
  • Doors/ties/lift
  • Splash Guards
After showing the examiner where the air and electrical connections are located, tell the examiner: "Air lines need to be securely mounted to the trailer and the glad-hand seals should be in good condition and not leaking air. The electrical pigtail should be properly connected with no frayed or bare wires."
While indicating the location of the headerboard, tell the examiner: "The headerboard must be secure and free from bulges, holes, or missing rivets."
While pointing out the landing gear, tell the examiner: "The landing gear should be fully raised, have no missing parts, and the crank handle should be secure. The support frame and landing pads should not be damaged."
Locate the rear doors and tell the examiner: "The door hinges should not be cracked, bent, or broken with no missing nuts or bolts. Latches are secure, doors open and close, and door holdbacks are secure and in place."
While checking the frame, tell the examiner: "The frame should not be cracked, bent, or broken. All cross members and and frame rails should be in good condition and not damaged."
Point out the tandem release arm and locking pins, then tell the examiner: "Locking pins and the tandem release handle should all be properly secured, in good condition, and locked into place."

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Review Questions - Click On The Picture To Begin...

The trailer landing gear should be:
  • Raised 3/4 of the way up
  • Fully raised
  • Raised 1/2 way up
  • Raised just enough to clear the roadway and any obstructions such as railroad tracks

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Landing gear:

  • Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the support frame is not damaged.
  • If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.

TruckingTruth's Advice:

While inspecting the landing gear, tell the examiner:

"The landing gear should be fully raised, no missing parts, properly mounted and secured. The crank handle is secure and support frame and landing pads are not damaged."

Next
When checking trailer air and electrical connections, you should:
  • Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of damage or air leaks
  • Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in good condition
  • Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated and locked in place
  • All of these things should be checked

Quote From The CDL Manual:

Air/electrical connections:

- Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in good condition.
- Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of damage or air leaks.
- Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated and locked in place.

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