Pre-Trip Inspection Practice

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D J.'s Comment
member avatar

Hello Trucking Truth,

I will be going to CDL Training in about four months, and have been studying for the Pre-Trip inspection.

Can anyone provide suggestions on where I can go to actually practice the inspection on a real Rig? I was thinking about going to a truck stop or rest area and asking a driver for help, but I'm not really comfortable doing that.

Are there establishments with a truck that's on display and open to the public (the way some parks have old locomotives)?

What would be the best way to get familiar with all of the components of a real truck where I could visit frequently without causing any problems?

Thanks for your 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.
Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

That's a real good question. It shows you have a go getter attitude and you will need that to become a successful driver. I can't think of a place to go other than a truck stop. If I were catching a bite to eat or fueling at a truck stop and someone like you approached me and asked me to demonstrate a pre trip, I'd be delighted to take a half hour or so and go through the procedure with you. I think most drivers would do the same thing, at least I hope so. BTW, where do you live? If you post your location, maybe a driver close to you might arrange a look see.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Hey DJ, have you seen Daniel B's pre-trip Guide?

I remember Daniel B met up with our member PJ on the road and demonstrated the pre-trip for him. This was before PJ had actually become a driver. That was really cool!

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Me personally, I'd be very leary of some strange person wanting to poke around my truck at a truck stop so I personally wouldn't recommend that suggestion.

Maybe you have a friend who drives who'll let you check theirs out.. or call a local trucking company, tell them what you would love to do, and maybe by they'd say yes.

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Once enrolled in a Driving School, they usually Pre Trip you to death. Familiarize yourself with the process, but most schools have a specific way of teaching it. IMO... It will be one of the easiest things you'll learn in school.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
member avatar

One of the main things they will teach you is the pre-trip. They will want you to do it their way, for the most part, as there may be certain things your state wants to hear in a certain way.

Study Daniel's guide, and there is also a good video out there. Between the two, and school, you will be good.

Apex Pretrip

Main thing is to sound confident when you speak. Sounding like you know what you are talking about is half the battle.

Also make sure you know the brake test procedure perfectly.

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Me personally, I'd be very leary of some strange person wanting to poke around my truck at a truck stop so I personally wouldn't recommend that suggestion.

Maybe you have a friend who drives who'll let you check theirs out.. or call a local trucking company, tell them what you would love to do, and maybe by they'd say yes.

Help! The Paranoids are after me!

Rob T.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Me personally, I'd be very leary of some strange person wanting to poke around my truck at a truck stop so I personally wouldn't recommend that suggestion.

Maybe you have a friend who drives who'll let you check theirs out.. or call a local trucking company, tell them what you would love to do, and maybe by they'd say yes.

double-quotes-end.png

Help! The Paranoids are after me!

Bruce. So your saying you'd be ok with some stranger coming up to you and following them to an isolated area around your truck? You'd allow them inside your truck to do pre trip as well? It isn't about being paranoid, it's about not putting yourself in a vulnerable position.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

D J.'s Comment
member avatar

Me personally, I'd be very leary of some strange person wanting to poke around my truck at a truck stop so I personally wouldn't recommend that suggestion.

Maybe you have a friend who drives who'll let you check theirs out.. or call a local trucking company, tell them what you would love to do, and maybe by they'd say yes.

Susan,

I agree with you totally and would feel awkward being around a stranger's rig, feeling that person's eyes all over me, not ever blaming them for their suspicion of my intentions.

You do, however make a great suggestion. I'm going to at least contact trucking companies, or even dealerships in my area to see if they would provide me access to one of their trucks.

I'm also going to study Daniel B's Pre-Trip Guide and the Apex Pre-Trip Video, as mentioned by Old School and Grumpy Old man.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I have a lot more to go on than when I did before I posted this question.

Thanks again and be safe!

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

Seems like I'm getting a lot of flak about being willing to help a newbie. Let me qualify my position with some details. First of all, I agree with Susan in general. If I were a woman and were approached by a male about the truck, I'd politely refuse. But if I were asked to help out some young guy at a truck stop in broad daylight with plenty of other people around, I'd size up the guy to see how he was dressed, what his attitude was and have a brief conversation with him to gain a feel for his agenda. And no, nobody gets inside the truck with me. First, that would be beyond the limits of common sense and, second, against company policy. But I would pop the hood and do a walk around with somebody I felt comfortable with. My company has two rules that would come into play here. 1) Don't tell anybody where you are going. 2) Don't tell anybody what you are hauling. But yes, under the right circumstances I would try to help out someone trying to learn, just like many truckers have helped me with things as I learn. As drivers we are expected to exercise good judgment and I certainly wouldn't recommend that any driver do anything they feel uncomfortable with. But for me, I would take the situation into consideration and make a decision based on the particular circumstances.

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