Pre-trip Inspection Help Please

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David D.'s Comment
member avatar

Tim,

I appreciate the it's more than memorizing words, that was kind of the point of my question. I was told my someone at a trucking school that the words have become an important part of the pre-trip inspection test. I don't believe they should be, but it that's what the game is then I want to know what the rules are. (Please don't beat me up again for calling it a game it's simply a figure of speech.) I agree that it's far more important that you know what each component you are inspecting does and why it is important to the safe operation of the truck. I know most of this stuff, or if I don't I can learn it. What I didn't want to do was fail the PTI part of the test because I said something like the u-bolts had to be in good shape instead of they can't have any cracks, bends. breaks or be loose. Both pretty much get you to the same place but one might be a correct answer and one might not be. This post has gotten way off track, I'm starting to regret starting it.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Michael B.'s Comment
member avatar

ABC- if its rubber or a hose, no abrasions, bulges or cuts and no visible leaks. If it holds air- no ABC and no audible air leaks. If its metal is not bent cracked or broken. Anything bolted to anything else- mounted securely with no missing nuts or bolts. If its glass or plastic- not cracked or broken no unauthotorized stickers. If its a wire- no missing insulation no exposed wires. Seatbelt- not ripped torn or frayed. Theres just a few off the top of my head.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Guys,

I'm tired of getting beaten up for asking a question. I get that it most folks here have gotten their CDL by going through company-paid training and then working for that company for a year or so. If that was the right decision for you, that's fine, but maybe there's another way. That's what I was exploring. The innuendos that I plan on switching jobs every 6 months and the like are uncalled for. No one here knows what my background is or what my particular situation is. The fact of the matter is that I have had jobs in my life and have accomplished things in my life that many here wouldn't be able to do. Just like there are folks here that have done things in their lives and have accomplished things that I couldn't. That's OK, everyone needs to live their own life. Nonetheless, I'm here asking for advice from people who do the work day in and day out. Why, because you know what's going on in the everyday world. If you think I'm heading down a bad path I do appreciate you letting me know, but you can to so in a nice sort of way. G-Town I really appreciate that you brought up the 160-hour certificate, I didn't know about it, and now I do. I have started checking into it and you're right without it things will be tough. But that's my decision. So if everyone could limit their answers to my original question or maybe point out issues with where I am going that would be great, but please do so nicely. Thank you.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
Robert D. (Raptor)'s Comment
member avatar

David D.

I wasn't trying to beat you up on this. I'm trying to get you to see the folly you are attempting. After the pre-trip you will have to demonstrate that you can maneuver the truck in a safe manner, before you can even take it on the road. As it was said in an earlier part of this thread, there's straight line backing, either blindside parallel or site side parallel, both blind side off set and site side off set, then there is the alley dock. It's not like the written test where the questions are multiple choice. You also have the in cab pre-trip, Air Brake tests also. All everyone is trying to save you from the humiliation of trying to do all these steps without training.

If you still insist on doing it your way (this isn't Burger King), good luck to you.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
But that's my decision. So if everyone could limit their answers to my original question or maybe point out issues with where I am going that would be great, but please do so nicely

Oh come on warm butter, don't be so soft. You'd better toughen up a little bit if you want to be a trucker. Trucking isn't some new age snowflake "let's all hug each other and speak with gentle kindness" kinda thing. The world isn't going to walk on eggshells around you just in case your feelings might get hurt. Wait until some of those guys out there see how sensitive you are. They love picking on people like that. After all, it's no fun picking on someone if you don't get a reaction from it. The more of a reaction you get, the better.

Everyone here is simply telling it like it is. Toughen up a little bit. In fact, toughen up a lot.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
andhe78's Comment
member avatar

Guys,

I get that it most folks here have gotten their CDL by going through company-paid training and then working for that company for a year or so.

I didn’t, went to a community college course to get my cdl and 160 hour certificate.

The path you are looking at is going to be a hard row to hoe. I looked into doing something similar when starting and actually it would have been easier for me than most-my dad was a truck driver and diesel mechanic for over 40 years and my brother in law has a fleet of trucks I could have used to practice on and take the test with. But digging into things brought to light some facts you are now seeing. I called every flatbed company in a two hundred mile radius and not a one would look at me with less than one year otr experience. So then looked into getting otr experience as a complete rookie and that lead me to the starter companies being the only ones who would take the chance, but they all want that 160 hour certificate. So, that’s what I did.

I know there are some people who have gone the self taught route, but it’s going to end up severely limiting your possibilities. I’m this week, exactly a year into my starter company and those local flatbed guys are now calling me. The advised route given on this forum does work.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
G-Town's Comment
member avatar

I bumped your reply David because everyone of the responses were spot-on. Yes one in particular was blunt, but still totally valid.

It’s easy to get annoyed with someone like yourself attempting to enter this industry by way of self taught training as if you know better than we do.

You asked a question and we answered. Sorry if it wasn’t what you wanted to hear or sprinkled with colorful pixie-dust designed to coddle your feelings. This is a tough business requiring a committed and serious approach.

You clearly underestimate the difficulty and danger of learning how-to operate an 80,000lb CMV safely and efficiently. Only 30% of rookie drivers make it beyond 3 months.

Unknowingly you basically insult each and every driver on here by elevating yourself above investing in proven schooling and training using a DIY approach.

Beat-up you say? By going from step 1 to 10 by skipping steps 2-9 not only endangers yourself, but the others around you. Under those circumstances I do not want to be driving next to you any more than you want me managing an accounting department for a small enterprise. I am no more qualified to perform that job function with no formal training than you will be driving a truck. Sorry, but I feel very strong about that. This business gets very personal when loss of life and property is involved.

CMV:

Commercial Motor Vehicle

A CMV is a vehicle that is used as part of a business, is involved in interstate commerce, and may fit any of these descriptions:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation
  • Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation
  • Is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

David D.'s Comment
member avatar

All,

Well I've come to the conclusion that G-Town was right, I need a 160 hour school. I did find a place within an hour so or so of my house that will reimburse me to the tune of $150 a month for a year to help with the school costs if I do it on my own. That gets the net cost down to about $2,200, much better than $4,000. Problem is they only pay 36 cents a mile so it may be OK, maybe not, I need to look around some more. As to the other crap there no point in continuing that discussion so I'll let it go.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

David I’d like you to stop and pause, realize this is going to be the most difficult thing you have ever attempted under the best of circumstances. You can fact check me all you want...I do not make this sh**-up. None of us do. There is no better source for truth and facts than Trucking Truth.

You received many links...have you read any of them? Honestly?

Like these two:

Becoming A Truck Driver: The Raw Truth About Truck Driving

Truck Driver's Career Guide

And 36cpm is a good starting rate, about average. Your ability to manage your clock and operate your rig safely/efficiently has way more relevance to your earning potential than CPM.

You cannot approach this like other job David, it’s like nothing you have ever experienced.

CPM:

Cents Per Mile

Drivers are often paid by the mile and it's given in cents per mile, or cpm.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

David, Thanks for reading our tough love responses. We all came to this career from many backgrounds. Most of us have taken the easiest path which is Paid CDL Training Programs. Some went to private school and a few went through a dock to driver program. We even have someone who started with their family trucking company, then realized they needed better training and went to a company for more training and experience.

You will never know how many people will be helped by this thread in the future, so don't be upset for starting it. We want everyone who wants this career bad enough to be successful. That is one of the reasons Brett started this site.

Have you seen these?

And these?

Best of luck to you. We are always here to help.

Pre-trip Inspection:

A pre-trip inspection is a thorough inspection of the truck completed before driving for the first time each day.

Federal and state laws require that drivers inspect their vehicles. Federal and state inspectors also may inspect your vehicles. If they judge a vehicle to be unsafe, they will put it “out of service” until it is repaired.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

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