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2.1.3 – What to Look For

Tire Problems

  • Too much or too little air pressure.
  • Bad wear. You need at least 4/32-inch tread depth in every major groove on front tires. You need 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric should show through the tread or sidewall.
  • Cuts or other damage. Tread separation.
  • Dual tires that come in contact with each other or parts of the vehicle.
  • Mismatched sizes.
  • Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
  • Cut or cracked valve stems.
  • Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels are prohibited.

Wheel and Rim Problems

  • Damaged rims.
  • Rust around wheel nuts may mean the nuts are loose--check tightness. After a tire has been changed, stop a short while later and re-check tightness of nuts.
  • Missing clamps, spacers, studs, or lugs means danger.
  • Mismatched, bent, or cracked lock rings are dangerous.
  • Wheels or rims that have had welding repairs are not safe.

Bad Brake Drums or Shoes

  • Cracked drums.
  • Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on them.
  • Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.

Steering System Defects

  • Missing nuts, bolts, cotter keys, or other parts.
  • Bent, loose, or broken parts, such as steering column, steering gear box, or tie rods.
  • If power steering equipped, check hoses, pumps, and fluid level; check for leaks.
  • Steering wheel play of more than 10 degrees (approximately 2 inches movement at the rim of a 20- inch steering wheel) can make it hard to steer.

Suspension System Defects

The suspension system holds up the vehicle and its load. It keeps the axles in place. Therefore, broken suspension parts can be extremely dangerous. Look for:

  • Spring hangers that allow movement of axle from proper position.
  • Cracked or broken spring hangers.
  • Missing or broken leaves in any leaf spring. If one- fourth or more are missing, it will put the vehicle "out of service", but any defect could be dangerous.
  • Broken leaves in a multi-leaf spring or leaves that have shifted so they might hit a tire or other part.
  • Leaking shock absorbers.
  • Torque rod or arm, u-bolts, spring hangers, or other axle positioning parts that are cracked, damaged, or missing.
  • Air suspension systems that are damaged and/or leaking.
  • Any loose, cracked, broken, or missing frame members.

Exhaust System Defects

A broken exhaust system can let poison fumes into the cab or sleeper berth. Look for:

  • Loose, broken, or missing exhaust pipes, mufflers, tailpipes, or vertical stacks.
  • Loose, broken, or missing mounting brackets, clamps, bolts, or nuts.
  • Exhaust system parts rubbing against fuel system parts, tires, or other moving parts of vehicle.
  • Exhaust system parts that are leaking.

Emergency Equipment

Vehicles must be equipped with emergency equipment. Look for:

  • Fire extinguisher(s).
  • Spare electrical fuses (unless equipped with circuit breakers).
  • Warning devices for parked vehicles: three reflective triangles or at least 6 fuses or 3 liquid burning flares).

Cargo (Trucks)

You must make sure the truck is not overloaded and the cargo is balanced and secured before each trip. If the cargo contains hazardous materials, you must inspect for proper papers and placarding.

Multiple-Choice Questions:

Question #43 (1 of 4)

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Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires are common on tractor-trailers. What should you do if you find them on the front wheels?

  • Drive with confidence because re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires are far more trustworthy
  • Visually check the alignment of the steer tires
  • Record the tire size and air pressure at the start of each day
  • You must not drive the vehicle because re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels are prohibited
Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels are prohibited
This could very well be on the test, and it's important you know this. I am unaware of anyone attempting to put re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels, but I'm sure it happens. These tires are "rebuilt" tires and therefore are not as reliable as new tires. It's extremely dangerous to have a steer tire blowout, so make sure you do not have re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels.
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Question #44 (2 of 4)

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What part of the vehicle are you inspecting if you've found cracked drums or shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken?

  • Trailer Doors
  • Engine Oil Pan
  • Brakes
  • Suspension

Bad Brake Drums or Shoes

  • Cracked drums.
  • Shoes or pads with oil, grease, or brake fluid on them.
  • Shoes worn dangerously thin, missing, or broken.
The "shoes" are the name for the brake pads on drum brakes.
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Question #45 (3 of 4)

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How much tread-depth is required on front (steer) tires?

  • 2/32 of an inch
  • 9/32 of an inch
  • 4/32 of an inch
  • 7/32 of an inch

Tire Problems

  • Too much or too little air pressure.
  • Bad wear. You need at least 4/32-inch tread depth in every major groove on front tires. You need 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric should show through the tread or sidewall.
  • Cuts or other damage. Tread separation.
  • Dual tires that come in contact with each other or parts of the vehicle.
  • Mismatched sizes.
  • Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
  • Cut or cracked valve stems.
  • Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels are prohibited.
You may have to know this for the test, and you will have to know this for doing your job. You need 4/32 of an inch of tread depth on the steer tires and 2/32 of an inch on all other tires.
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Question #46 (4 of 4)

Give a brief explanation of the problem:

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How much tread depth is required on all tires except steer tires?

  • 2/32 of an inch
  • 4/32 of an inch
  • 9/32 of an inch
  • 7/32 of an inch

Tire Problems

  • Too much or too little air pressure.
  • Bad wear. You need at least 4/32-inch tread depth in every major groove on front tires. You need 2/32 inch on other tires. No fabric should show through the tread or sidewall.
  • Cuts or other damage. Tread separation.
  • Dual tires that come in contact with each other or parts of the vehicle.
  • Mismatched sizes.
  • Radial and bias-ply tires used together.
  • Cut or cracked valve stems.
  • Re-grooved, recapped, or retreaded tires on the front wheels are prohibited.
You may have to know this for the test, and you will have to know this for doing your job. You need 4/32 of an inch of tread depth on the steer tires and 2/32 of an inch on all other tires.
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