Fuel for Thought
Prevent, Prepare, Pre-Trip
Pre-trip inspections are not just a requirement for commercial vehicles, it is a good thing to do for all vehicles. While many drivers may gloss over some of the finer points during a pre-trip inspection, proper pre- trip inspections can make or save you money.
During the cold winter weather, getting out in the frigid cold can be dreadful. Who wants to leave their warm and cozy cab or sleeper to bear the cold winter winds and icy parking areas? It may not be your favorite part of the day as a truck driver, but it is a necessary one.
Salt, sand and other de-icers used in parking lots and roadways can take a toll on your equipment. Rust and corrosion will set in quickly if you let it stand too long on surfaces.
Overnight snowfall while you took your 10 hour rest break may need to be cleared from taillights, headlamps and maybe more importantly, doorsteps. Remember when exiting your cab that snow and ice could build up on your steps, so look before you step.
Pre-trip inspections can save you money by finding any problems while you are still parked as opposed to finding them during your drive later. Roadside repairs are more costly and considerably more dangerous. Address any issues found during your pre-trip inspection before hitting the road. Some issues that could be found during a proper pre-trip inspection could even save your life.
Especially important during the winter months, a proper pre-trip inspection could save you from being stranded on a deserted stretch of highway, broke down and trying to stay warm while you wait for a wrecker, if you have cell phone service to make the call.
Sometimes during a pre-trip inspection you will find something that might surprise you. Recently, while doing my pre-trip, I was walking around doing my usual checks, and I found five dollars lying in the parking lot next to one of my rear tires. A nice little bonus for doing what I should be doing. After the PTI, the five dollars bought my breakfast.
If you read my blogs, you may remember another time I found money during a pre-trip inspection.
See you down the road,
Be prepared, work hard, and hope for a little luck. Recognize that the harder you work and the better prepared you are, the more luck you might have.
- Ed Bradley