Every trucker learns at one point or another during orientation how to properly conduct a pre-trip and post-trip inspections of a truck. It’s a necessary and universal part of the business. But it’s common knowledge that not everyone does it 100%, every time. And that’s a problem, because drivers need to understand that vehicle inspections are an important part of safe, professional driving.
Who Is Taking Shortcuts? Your People
Ontario, Canada authorities have had a rash of accidents lately that have forced police to run targeted inspections to ensure that trucks are road-safe for many companies. According to this news report, the police already have found 748 failures in their inspections and have chalked up over a thousand fines to the companies that own those trucks. And they are just getting started.
We’re fooling ourselves if we think this only happens in Canada. It happens in the U.S. and everywhere else you can imagine. I’m sure you’ve seen news stories about trucks that blow a tire or have a bent wheel axle and take out a car next to it. These are mechanical failures, and they’re almost always preventable. You prevent them with thorough vehicle inspections.
The Easy Road Will Never Get You Very Far
Drivers can sometimes grow complacent if they have been on the road for a while, especially if they’ve never encountered any problems with their truck. If you want to prevent an accident rather than react to it, it’s critical that everyone learns to do inspections the same way and keeps doing them. It might help to guide drivers to your original training materials on inspections or refer them to free online resources like this one.
3 Safe Practices Your Drivers Need to Start Tomorrow
Legendary UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, started each season by teaching his players how to put on their socks and tie their shoes. His players rolled their eyes just like your drivers do when you talk about the basics. Funny how 10 championships makes you listen. The report found three repeat offenses that are worth the simple reminder to your drivers, even your veterans. They serve as reminders that will help prevent accidents that inspections are designed to catch:
- Check for fluid leaks in the engine and below the truck.
- Check all of the tires and brakes thoroughly before you go anywhere, especially in cold weather.
- Check lights and signals.
These all seem really obvious, but that’s exactly why many drivers, both professional and otherwise, take them for granted. You can’t afford to do that; lives are at stake. You want your drivers to be the safest they can possibly be. A full, in depth vehicle inspection routine is a necessary part of that. You can’t drive safely without a safe truck.