Inspection Basics: Pre and Post Trip – Pre- and post-trip inspections are critical in keeping your assets on the road, not to mention to avoid violations and fines as part of roadside inspections. Plus, they are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

These inspections should be performed by your drivers before heading out each day as well as when they return. Particularly if your fleet has older assets, pre- and post-trip inspections are even more important.


In order to cover key areas of your truck, the FMSA has a checklist all drivers can abide by. First, drivers should check the truck’s general condition, being on the lookout for obvious issues and noting them. They should report them on the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) so that repairs and corrections can be made.

Drivers should also check fluid levels, including coolant, engine, and transmission. Take a look at the condition of hoses, belts, wires, batteries, and electrical connections, paying particular attention to slipping belts, loose connections, fraying hoses, and wear and tear.

Trailers should be inspected as well to look for signs of improper maintenance, such as insecure air lines, missing mud flaps, and inoperable lights. This last one is a common reason for the Department of Transportation (DOT) inspector to pull you over for an immediate roadside inspection. Always check that all your lights (low-beam headlights, four-way flashers, high-beams, and tractor/trailer lights) are in good working order.

Be sure to check all gauges and controls inside the cab, and make sure all brakes, including service and parking, work properly.

Inspection Form

It’s best to have an inspection form as the driver conducts each check. This way, nothing is missed. In a systematic manner, the driver should start at the front left side of the truck, continuing all the way around the truck so nothing gets overlooked.

Paper checklists are OK, but digital ones on smartphones or tablets are even better.

If you need to conduct refresher training on pre- and post-trip inspections for your drivers, there’s no better time than now.

Taylor Oil can ensure your fueling operations are up to par, so give us a call today to see what we offer in terms of on-site fueling and more.