Most motorists put their key in the ignition and take off when they’re ready to head out on the road. That’s not an option for truckers, though.
Truckers must perform a pre-trip inspection before leaving their hub. There are certain systems that federal officials require truckers to inspect. There are specific requirements about how often truckers must perform inspections once out on the road as well.
What systems must truckers check during pre-trip inspections?
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials require truckers to check their trip logbook and then the following components when inspecting their truck:
- The clutch
- Ball joints
- Fluid levels
- Tire pressure
- The fifth wheel
- For signs of leaks
The inspection can take as long as an hour to perform.
Employers also have an obligation to double-check to ensure that their truckers carry out their pre-trip inspection as required of them.
How often do truckers have to perform pre-trip inspections?
While truckers must perform a pre-trip inspection before taking off on their journey, their obligation to check their tractor-trailer doesn’t stop there. The DOT requirement calls for truckers to perform the same inspection every 24 hours while out on the road.
Federal regulations also allow law enforcement, public safety or transportation officials to perform random checks of trucker logbooks, medical physical certificates, and seat belts. These same regulations permit random drug and alcohol testing (in particular following an accident) as well.
What to do after an 18-wheeler accident
Federal regulators know how dangerous an unsafe truck can be. This is why they require truckers to perform these inspections. If they fail to produce evidence that they did so, then you may be able to hold both the trucker and their employer liable for any injuries that you suffer as a result.
Take time to see a physician and get treated for your injuries after a crash. Then, learn more about Tennessee at-fault insurance and how to prove liability. Also keep your eye on the statute of limitations that applies to your injury to ensure that you receive just compensation.