Fuel for Thought

Inspection Needed

By Greg Huggins
Posted Aug 27th 2023 7:28AM

It may seem redundant to pre-trip and post-trip inspect your truck daily. I mean really, what could happen while you are parked for the night? You just performed a post-trip inspection last night, how different could it be in the morning? Very.

It seems like I am always inspecting my truck. Doing my pre-trip inspection before leaving out, but also looking (inspecting) whenever I stop during my trip. Mid-trip inspections have long since been a habit of mine. When stopping for a rest break or fuel, really anytime I stop and walk away from the truck, I will habitually walk down the driver side and around the back of the truck to go into the truck stop and then when I return to the truck, I will walk down the curbside and around the front of the truck, just getting a general look over to see if anything looks out of the ordinary. Mid trip inspections can often allow you to spot something before it can become an issue a few miles down the road.

Post-trip inspections are also important. You might spot something during a post-trip that will prepare you to address the issue early the next morning, instead of scrambling in a panic when you are ready to leave and then you find it.

We expect our trucks to handle whatever we throw at it… potholes, rough roads, steep grades, scorching summer heat and bitter winter cold. If you stop to think about it, trucks take a lot of abuse yet only ask that we check them out regularly for loose bolts or parts, worn parts and to have a good maintenance schedule to keep these beasts in top shape. 

Parts can and will fail. Even the best preventive maintenance schedule cannot catch everything. Some parts fail prematurely, others may fail without warning and still other parts wear out slowly at a nearly undetectable rate so you do not notice it until it is too late. Pre-trip inspections, mid-trip inspections and post-trip inspections are a great way to help you keep your equipment ready for the trip ahead.

So what can happen overnight between your post-trip and the pre-trip the next morning? A myriad of things can happen. Slow air leaks might not be noticed when you stop the truck, but let it sit a while and they can be obvious. The same goes for other fluid leaks. As the engine cools, the leak may become more prevalent as the hoses contract. A slow leak in a tire will definitely be more noticeable when the tires cool down and sit for a while. You may not notice a leaking wheel seal as much when you first park the truck, but overnight the oil will run down the inside of the tire(s) and become very apparent. The same goes for leaking front hubs, by morning, you will see the oil running down the wheel. Lights, especially incandescent bulbs, tend to burn out when turned on more often than any other time. Sometimes you will burn out a bulb while driving, but most often it happens when power is applied to them (turned on). This is only a small sample of things that can happen between a post-trip and pre-trip inspection. 

Be diligent about inspecting your equipment. You rely on your truck to get you where you need to go and the truck relies on you to address the wear items in a timely manner.

Being forced to work, and forced to do your best, will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle will never know. 

-  Charles Kingsley

See you down the road,