Your Pre-Trip Checklist for Your Truck’s Long Distance Trip

by Aug 12, 2021

There’s a lot that goes into making a truck and trailer run smoot and safely. These trucks are built to run long distance trips across states that can be quite taxing for the machine. That is why it’s important to always run pre and post trip checks on your trucks to make sure your fleet is in top shape. These checks can save you so much in time and resources by spotting faulty parts early and ensuring the safety of the drivers and the cargo that’s being hauled. You’ll also be complying with law as fleet vehicles are considered workplaces under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

In this blog, we’ll give you some long distance trip tips and a checklist of what you need to look out for before dispatching your fleet.

1. Keep Your Truck Well Maintained

The first long distance trucking tip, which every truck owner or operator should know, is that you should be keeping your truck constantly well maintained. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to keep everything meticulously perfect, you should at least be sending your trucks in for maintenance at regular intervals and keeping an eye on the parts that may need replacement. A quick internet search can you bring you closer to companies that provide truck maintenance in Dallas, Texas. You can get in touch with companies like WTX Truck Repair, LLC for all your maintenance needs. Regular truck maintenance will make sure all the parts deep inside are kept in good condition including the engine, exhaust, suspension, and steering. This maintenance and checks are invaluable because the last thing you want is a truck being found unusable right before its scheduled trip.

Remember, aside from keeping the trucks in running condition, you also need to keep it up to DOT standards. The same folks that maintain your truck can also prep it for annual DOT inspections.

2. Check Your BLOWBAG

The next of the long distance trip tips is an acronym that many car owners should be familiar with: BLOWBAG. This useful acronym stands for seven things to check before embarking on your trip:

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Battery

Not only should the battery be fully charged, but you should also check the cables, terminals, and mountings to prevent sudden vehicle failures.

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Lights

Trucks need to be visible at all times and must also be able to see ahead of them. Check on all the lights to make sure they’re working normally including the high and low beams, turn signals, and accessory lights.
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Oil & Water

O & W stand for oil & water, but you should take this time to check on all the fluids of the truck to maintain optimal performance. This includes radiator coolant/antifreeze, brake fluid, washer fluid, transmission fluid/gear oil, and power steering fluid.

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Brakes

These are some of the most important parts of the truck responsible for stopping it before an accident can happen. Check to see if the brakes are making any noises or if they’re worn out. Air brake systems should also be checked for any air leaks or pressure loss.
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Air

Aside from the air in the tires, it’s important to have a look at the tread and sidewalls of the tire and check for wear and damage. Make sure there is a spare tire or a tire repair kit and ensure all the wheels are securely installed.
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Gas

It goes without saying that the truck needs gas to run, but it’s also wise to check the fuel tank area for any leaks.

Trucks are also subject to certain emission standards, so it can be beneficial to run SCR/EGR/DPF diagnostics before dispatching your fleet. Checking air and oil filters will also help maintain proper emission levels and fuel efficiency.

Check The Interior And Controls

The last of the long distance trucking tips is to check the interior of the truck cab and the different electronic controls for the truck and trailer. The cab is where driver spends almost all of their time while operating the truck. It’s important that it’s comfortable enough for the long haul, with a working A/C and heater. Most importantly, controls for the tractor-trailer should be checked to guarantee proper function throughout the trip. The windshield and wipers should be checked for normal function to maintain road visibility. The steering wheel should be functioning, secure, and have a normal wheel lash range. Driver controls must be in working order including indicators, gauges, clutch, and accelerator.

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