As part of (§392.7) Equipment, inspection and use, an inspection of the unit you are driving is a key piece of the importance of safety. Always conduct a pre-trip and post-trip inspection, looking for wear and tear of any part of your vehicle. Making sure that all tires are pressured properly, brakes and steering are working properly and all lights are in working order and have the ability to illuminate during a braking or turning procedure.
One part that some drivers may overlook is the frame and suspension, making sure that they are structurally sound with no cracks or broken frame members. Mirrors, windows and windshields should also be checked assuring that there are no cracks or damage.
Another important part of your inspection needs to include safety gear such as warning signs for roadside triangles and a fire extinguisher. All dashboard sensors and warning devices should be working properly and reflective marking must also be present on the Tractor as well as the trailer.
Always inspect your load and your trailer before you haul it, never assume that the person before has completed the task for you. Make sure that your fifth wheel assemblies and couplings are attached securely. Make sure you check the load factors; Loads should balanced and properly secured and if it’s a tanker it needs to be at least ¾ full to avoid sloshing inside the unit, causing a potential rollover.
As you have done the necessary safety steps to ensure that you have a safe piece of equipment, an accurate record must be kept for your unit inspection, both on truck and trailer. §396.1 Every motor carrier, its officers, drivers, agents, representatives, and employees directly concerned with the inspection or maintenance of motor vehicles shall comply and be conversant with the rules of this part.
Follow and periodically, read trucking safety materials and attend safety training meeting and practice safety maneuvers and truck down the road safely, for yourself and others.
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