Commercial Drivers License (CDL) Pre-Trip Inspection: Cab Check/Engine Start

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Pre Trip Inspection Cab Check/Engine Start

Clutch/Gearshift

  • Depress the clutch.
  • Place the gearshift lever in neutral (or park, for automatic transmissions).
  • Start the engine, then release the clutch slowly.

Oil Pressure Gauge

  • Make sure the oil pressure gauge is working.
  • Check that the pressure gauge shows increasing or normal oil pressure, or that the warning light goes off.
  • If equipped, the oil temperature gauge should begin a gradual rise to the normal operating range.

Temperature Gauge

  • Make sure the temperature gauge is working.
  • The temperature should begin to climb to the normal operating range or the temperature light should be off.

Ammeter/Voltmeter

  • Check that the gauges show the alternator and/or generator is charging or that the warning light is off.

Air/Vacuum Gauge

  • Check for proper operation of, and acceptable readings on the air and/or vacuum gauge(s).

Speedometer

  • The speedometer should be present, not obscured or obviously broken.

Mirrors and Windshield

  • Mirrors should be clean and adjusted properly from the inside.
  • Windshield should be clean with no illegal stickers, obstructions, or damage to the glass.

Emergency Equipment

  • Check for spare electrical fuses.
  • Check for three red reflective triangles.
  • Check for a properly charged and rated fire extinguisher.

Steering Play

  • Non-power steering: Check for excessive play by turning the steering wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a 20-inch wheel).
  • Power steering: With the engine running, check for excessive play by turning the steering wheel back and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (or about two inches on a 20-inch wheel) before the front left wheel barely moves.

Wipers/Washers

  • Check that wiper arms and blades are secure, not damaged, and operate smoothly.
  • If equipped, windshield washers must operate correctly.

Lighting Indicators

Test that dash indicators work when the corresponding lights are turned on:

  • Left turn signal.
  • Right turn signal.
  • 4-way emergency flashers.

Horn

  • Check that air horn and/or electric horn work.

Heater/Defroster

  • Test that the heater and defroster works.

Safety Belt

  • Check that the safety belt is securely mounted, adjusts, and latches properly.

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