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Pre-Trip Like a Pro

If you are not a commercial driver you may not be familiar with the term pre-trip.

Professional hot shot drivers as commercial drivers are required to complete a pre trip inspection of their Hotshotting equipment. Besides being required by the transportation regulatory authorities doing a pre trip just makes good sense. Why not take a tip from the pros and make a pre-trip part of your routine as a citizen of the public roadways.

We could throw statistics at you showing how many commercial vehicles in North America are involved in roadside emergencies due to mechanical faults but the fact is considering the immense number of commercial trucks and the millions of miles they travel annually the number of incidences is proportionately low IMHO.

The pre trip no doubt is a huge factor in this instance.

Springtime brings an explosion (sometimes literally) on the highways as fun seekers released from winter hibernation hit the roads looking for outdoor fun. Any hot shot commercial driver will tell you it also brings a littering of RV’s on the roadside as well as debris to the side of the highways.

Trailers and RV’s that have sat all winter are forced out in warm weather at highway speeds and nature provides the test to their safety status. Weekend warriors too excited to secure rooftop toys scatter expensive toys on the roadside or cause traffic hazards securing their loads next to high speed traffic. There’s sometimes a legitimate reason truckers will refer to summer roads being full of “terrorists” (tourists).

So why not tap into the routine of your Hotshotting commercial brethren and make a pre trip part of your routine?

A pre trip inspection can be done in your driveway at your leisure and save you stress and marital turmoil on a dark dangerous highway. Most of a pretrip is common sense but to make sure you don’t miss anything why not get a checklist like the big dogs do? You can download a form off of Google or create your own customized checklist you can print or keep on your phone.

As hot shot operators we get called at a moments notice so like a fireman we need to use our downtime to make sure our operational time runs smoothly. If freight needs loading asap and drivers need to hit the road that is not the time for an extended inspection of our equipment. For this reason we, like firemen, spend any downtime inspecting and addressing any potential maintenance and safety issues. Trucks have full tanks of fuel, all bulbs are operational, tire tread depth is good, there’s at least 2000 km available before the next oil change, inspections are current and truck has basic safety tools onboard.

Another benefit you will appreciate when doing a pretrip is financial. Replacing a bulb or tire on your time means you are not paying the cost on the side of the highway getting towed, buying parts in a small town or worse yet paying to have parts shipped to you while you wait and pay for a motel.

So planning a road trip? Days before print out a pre trip checklist and go over your vehicle and the day you leave do a walk around to inspect for any last minute potential faults. Then hit the road with the confidence you and your family will spend your precious time away relaxing and having fun and most importantly traveling safely.