Illustration of a pre-trip checklist on a notepad for CDL Class A drivers with a pen and cup of coffee

Before you head out on the road, it’s essential to make sure that your truck is in tip-top shape and ready for the trek ahead. That’s why you should always perform a CDL pre-trip inspection. At LCL Bulk Transport, we are committed to ensuring success for all our drivers. That’s why we’ve prepared this resourceful CDL pre-trip inspection checklist for you to follow. If you aren’t currently driving with us, please contact our team today. We are looking to hire CDL Class A truck drivers throughout the Midwest and Northeastern regions of the United States.
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CDL Pre-Trip Checklist for Class A Drivers

Our CDL pre-trip checklist will run you through the necessary components to check over on your rig before heading on the road. After we run down the list, we will look at each area in-depth, so you know exactly what you are looking for in each area.

  • Engine compartment
  • Driver door fuel area
  • Coupling area
  • Trailer
  • Light check
  • In-cab inspection
  • Brake tests

Download our CDL Class A Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist PDF here.

Engine Compartment Inspection

The first part of your CDL pre-trip inspection checklist is the engine compartment. You want to check the oil and coolant levels first. Top these fluids off if needed. Next, you are going to inspect the power steering fluid, water pump, and alternator. Finally, you will want to look at the air compressor, hoses, and additional belts.

Driver Door Fuel Area Inspection

Your pre-trip inspection for Class A trucks continues by examining both the fuel and DEF tanks. Make sure all straps and brackets are secure. You also want the caps on the tanks to be tight and the seal in place. If you notice any leakage, you must have this taken care of before heading out on the road.

Coupling Area Inspection

The next part of your CDL pre-trip inspection checklist is to look over the coupling area. Start by listening for air leaks in the lines and check the electrical wires to ensure they aren’t worn out. Keep the catwalk clear of any objects and ensure everything is adequately secured. You also want to inspect the mounting bolts to guarantee that none of them are loose. Finally, check the hitch release lever, locking jaws, skid plate, release arm, kingpin, and locking pins to ensure the integrity of every component.

Trailer Inspection

One of the vital aspects of your Class A CDL pre-trip inspection is the trailer. Start by examining the frame for broken welds and cracks. You also need to look at the landing gear because it must be fully raised before driving away. Finally, you will inspect the header board and trailer axles to ensure the integrity and remember to examine the rear of your trailer. You want the door to open and close with ease without any bending or cracks. You can also investigate the mud flaps to make sure they aren’t broken and bolted correctly.

Light Check Inspection

Without lights that work correctly, you will have decreased visibility on the road. On the front of the truck, you will have amber lights that need to be checked. These include the headlights, right and left turn signals, and four-way flashers. In the rear of the tractor, there are red lights that must also be operational. These include the right and left turn signals, four-way flashers, brake lights, and clearance lights. On the front side of the trailer, you want to see amber lights on with clean lenses. Finally, at the rear of the trailer, there must also be red clearance lights, brake lights, emergency flashers plus the right and left turn signals. Test out every light before you begin the trip.

In-Cab Inspection

As part of your Class A CDL pre-trip inspection, you will also examine several items within the cab. Start by looking at all the gauges to ensure they are reading correctly. Then, you want to make sure your windshield is clean and free of any obstructions. From here, you will adjust all your mirrors for optimal visibility. Try out the windshield wipers, horn, heater, and seat belts before you hit the road.

Brake Test Inspection

As part of your pre-trip inspection Class A checklist, you also want to spend a little more time on the brakes to ensure your on-road safety. To test the parking brake, put your truck into a low-gear, and attempt to gently and slowly move with it while engaged. On the service brakes, you want to move forward at five mph with your foot on the brake. You shouldn’t notice any pulling to one side or the other. Finally, you need to check the air brakes. Turn off the truck engine but leave the key in the on position. Release the parking brake and apply the foot brake. Keep pressure on the brake for one minute. At this time, the system shouldn’t lose more than four pounds of air. You should also listen for leaks during this time.

Do Pre-Trip Inspection Checklists Change from State to State?

All CDL pre-trip inspection forms are a check of all major systems to ensure your rig is operating properly. CDL pre-trip inspections are routine across state lines and throughout the country. Completing these tasks every day before driving shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes and it is a Federal requirement. While we highlighted some of the top aspects of your check, you will want a complete pre-trip inspection Class A cheat sheet. Click the icon below to download our CDL Class A pre-trip inspection checklist PDF.
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LCL Bulk Transport is Hiring CDL Class A Drivers

LCL Bulk Transport is a family-owned kosher liquid food grade carrier looking for qualified drivers in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country. We offer competitive pay rates and a generous benefits package. If you are a CDL Class A truck driver in PA, WI, IL, IN, or NJ, apply with LCL Bulk Transport today.

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