Sample pre-trip inspection of medium-duty straight trucks

To be effective, a pre-trip inspection of a medium-duty (i.e., non-air-brake equipped) straight truck must be thorough and systematic and the individual performing the inspection must know what to look for. The following steps would be applicable to the inspection of a truck, starting at the cab and following a clockwise direction around the vehicle.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) provides guidance on pre-trip inspections, which this checklist is based on. A "Yes" indicates the item is acceptable. The "Remarks" box should be checked for those items needing attention and details added in the "Remarks" section. Necessary repairs should be made before the vehicle is used.

Inspection checklist




Engine compartment (engine off)




Oil level




Coolant level




Power steering fluid




Engine compartment belts (not more than ¾ in (1.9 cm) play at center of belt)




Emergency equipment




Check for spare electrical fuses.




Check for three red reflective triangles, six fuses (i.e., road flares), or three liquid burning flares.




Check for a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher (5 B:C or more).




Cab check and engine start




Depress clutch, if equipped. Place gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for automatic transmissions). Start engine, then release clutch slowly if equipped.




Oil pressure gauge




Temperature gauge








Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from the inside.




Windshield should be clean with no obstructions or damage to the glass.




Check for excessive play by turning steering wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed ten degrees.




Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not damaged and operate smoothly.
If equipped, windshield washers must operate correctly.








Climate controls function, including heat, defrost and air-conditioning.




Seat belt




Parking brake check




Hydraulic brake check, fade




Interior lights and indicators




Test that dash indicators work when corresponding lights are turned on:




  • Left turn signal




  • Right turn signal




  • Four-way emergency flashers




  • High beam headlight




  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS) indicator




  • Courtesy/map light




External inspections




Fuel tank, including system cap




Exhaust system




Frame damage




Splash guards




Door latches




Steering and suspension components check




Steering box/hoses




Steering linkage








Shock absorbers








Brake lines




Brake linings




Wheels, tires




Rims undamaged




Tire thread depth, 4/32 in (3.175 mm) steering, 2/32 in (1.5875 mm) all others




Tire pressure




Hub seals




Lug nuts




Wheel spacers




Lights and indicators




Using a spotter, or a reflective surface, to verify that the following lights operate:




  • Left turn signal




  • Right turn signal




  • Four-way emergency flashers




  • High beam headlight




  • Brake light




  • Reverse light




  • Low beams




  • High beams




  • Body marker and clearance lights




  • Auxiliary lighting, such as fog lamps, load lights, etc.







Checked by:

Copyright ©2018, ISO Services Properties, Inc.

This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage or guarantee loss prevention. The examples in this material are provided as hypothetical and for illustration purposes only. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries (“The Hanover”) specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations contained herein will make any premises, or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC DEC 2018 2015-114
171-1174 (12/18)