Truck drivers have a long list of things to check before departing for their trip.
First things first: tip the hood of the truck so you can gain access to the engine. You’ll want to check fluid levels (oil/coolant) and look for any leaks that need attention. Are the caps all on tightly? Is the dipstick seated properly? Do you notice any strange leaks running down the side of the engine that shouldn’t be there? Are fan belts nice and tight and not cracked or frayed? Look for any wires that are “out of place.” Make sure you’ve got enough windshield wiper fluid. How are your shock absorbers, ball joints and king pins looking? Are they properly lubricated? Do you see any nails stuck in the tires on the steering axle? Or uneven wear?
As for the rest of the truck, be sure and check all the tires on the rig and its trailer. Are your airlines and the electrical cord properly connected? Is the 5th wheel coupled to the trailer as it should be? Check the security of the landing gear/legs/crank handle. Check for broken springs and make sure airbags are up. Brake pads should be thick. These are some of the basic things to inspect before departing on a trip.
Once in the cab, you’ll want to look over your gauges to see if the oil pressure is good and the electrical system is charging like you hope it would. Idle the truck at 650 RPM. While doing this, notice whether or not air pressure is building and gauges look like they’re “on point.” Then turn on all your lights and flashers, so you can then walk around the rig and trailer and visually inspect them to make sure they’re all functioning as intended. Your hood should still be in the up position so you can look over the motor, doing a second take to see that there aren’t any major leaks and that the belts have proper tension. If everything looks alright, then close the hood and lock it down.
It’s a good idea to back up a few feet to see if all wheels are turning. Then pull forward and test the trailer brake. Pull forward again and test your foot brake.
Finally, you’ll want to complete the required documentation on the log books for your pre-inspection report(s)/circle check.
Doing all these “little things” before you head out on the road helps ensure you’ll have a decent trip.