Introduction: How to Do a CDL Pre-trip Inspection

If you need a Class A CDL for your job you will need to do a pre-trip inspection. I think that I am the best person to present this information because I was in a CDL class. In this time I learned about all the things that are needed to do to get a CDL, more importantly the pre-trip inspection. This information is important because if you fail this test then you can’t drive a semi. In this video, I will mainly point out the general things you will need to identify.

Step 1: The Front of the Semi

The first thing you need is a semi with a trailer to complete the inspection. The first thing you inspect is how the truck leans (looking from the front of the semi), if it is to one side you will have a suspension problem. Next, you check to see if the lights in the front of the semi are not cracked, damaged, or broken. Lastly you check to make sure there is no puddles under the truck from leaking.

Step 2: Check the Engine Compartment

The second step is to check the engine compartment. Here you check to see if the parts under the hood are in operable condition. First you need to open the hood, you can do this by unlatching the hooks on the side and pulling the hood down. Some of the things you check include: alternator (no more than ½ in of play), water pump, control arm, air compressor, coolant, oil level, the suspension (leaf springs, u-bolts, shock absorber), brakes (brake chamber, slack adjuster, pads), check the wheel (rim, lug nuts, valve stem, wheel hub), tire (inflation, tread, condition). Make sure that all of the parts are not cracked, damaged, or broken.

Step 3: Side and Back of the Semi

The next step is to check the side and back of the truck. You need to check the mirror bracket, door, steps, fuel tank, exhaust, catwalk, frame driveshaft, rear truck lights, and mud flaps. Check to see if all of these items are not cracked, damaged, or broken. All of the parts should not be cracked, damaged, or broken.

Step 4: Semi and Trailer Connection

The next step to your pre-trip inspection is to check the connections between the semi and the trailer. First look over the front of the trailer, as well as the sides, the trailer must have dot tape down the side of the trailer, cross members are unbroken, the floor is in good condition, landing gear is isn’t damaged, check the air hoses, mud flaps, ABS lights, check rear of trailer. Check to see if all items are not cracked, damaged, or broken.

Step 5: The Rear of the Trailer

The next step is to check the rear of the trailer. Look at the back of the trailer, look at the tail lights, reverse, brake, and hazzard. All of these parts should not be cracked damaged or broken.

Step 6: How to Do a Pre-trip Inspection

To see how to do a CDL Pre trip inspection watch the video. ****Remember this is only an overview, there is more that you will need to do.