CDL Pre-Trip Inspection: Trailer

CDL Pre Trip Inspection: Trailer

The following is a list of items that the driver must check during the pre trip inpection of the trailer. This pre trip inspection is required of all drivers that are operating a combination vehicle with trailer.

Air/Electrical Connections

  • Check that trailer air connectors are sealed and in good condition.
  • Make sure glad hands are locked in place, free of damage or air leaks.
  • Make sure the trailer electrical plug is firmly seated and locked in place.

Header Board

  • If equipped, check the header board to see that it is secure, free of damage, and strong enough to contain cargo.
  • If equipped, the canvas or tarp carrier must be mounted and fastened securely.
  • On enclosed trailers, check the front area for signs of damage such as cracks, bulges, or holes.


Landing Gear

  • Check that the landing gear is fully raised, has no missing parts, crank handle is secure, and the support frame is not damaged.
  • If power operated, check for air or hydraulic leaks.


  • If equipped, check that doors are not damaged. Check that doors open, close, and latch properly from the outside.
  • Check that ties, straps, chains, and binders are secure.
  • If equipped with a cargo lift, look for leaking, damaged or missing parts.
  • Lift should be fully retracted and latched securely.


  • Look for cracks, broken welds, holes or other damage to the frame, cross members, box, and floor.

Tandem Release Arm/Locking Pins

  • If equipped, make sure the locking pins are locked in place and release arm is secured.


Please refer to the previous sections for detailed inspection procedures regarding the following components:

  • Wheels.
  • Suspension system.
  • Brakes.
  • Doors/Ties/Lift.
  • Splash Guards.


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