When driving a personal vehicle for everyday use, most drivers simply jump in and go. However, for commercial motor vehicles used to transporting cargo or passengers, extra consideration should be taken to ensure that they are safe and ready for the road.
Pre-trip vehicle inspections can catch potential problems before they have a chance to endanger drivers’ safety and that of others on the road. Drivers need to take care of problems right away to prevent future costs and delays.
Drivers should start their inspection in the driving compartment with the following steps:
- Turn on the engine.
- Check that all gauges and warning lights are functioning properly upon start-up.
- Turn the steering wheel back and forth, making sure there is not any excessive play.
- Check that the horn is working and audible.
- Check that windshield wipers are in good working condition.
Drivers should start their external check at the front of the vehicle and work their way to the back. Then, they should circle around to the opposite side and make their way back to the front.
Not only can a missing signal light lead to an accident, a burnt-out bulb may lead to a costly ticket. Drivers should make sure all headlights, clearance lights, taillights, brake lights, side marker lights, licence plate lights, reflectors, and turn signals are clean and operational.
Tire failure can be very dangerous and can be time consuming to repair. Drivers should take the following precautions:
- Check that all lug nuts are securely fastened and that tires are at the proper pressure.
- Check the tread depth. Pay special attention to any balding or irregular wear.
Make sure a spare is available and that it is properly secured for travel.
For vehicles transporting cargo, it is extremely important that all loads are secured properly before departing. Drivers should complete the following checks:
- Whether cargo is exposed or in a covered trailer, make sure that it cannot shift during transportation.
- For covered trailers, make sure all compartment doors are closed and locked as required.
- Check all restraining and tie-down straps for damage that could cause them to fail. Replace if necessary.
- If transporting hazardous materials, make sure all placards and other warning materials are properly displayed.
If the vehicle is pulling a trailer, drivers should take the following precautions:
- Ensure all hoses and lines running from the vehicle to the trailer are properly attached.
- Check all couplings, including fifth wheels, tow bars and all safety locking devices.
To learn more about coverage options for your personal or commercial vehicle, call 800-668-1653 or visit https://www.stoneridgeinsurance.ca/get-a-quote.
We’ve got you covered, and we guarantee Rock Solid Protection.