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Why transportation officials require truckers to perform pre-trip inspections

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2021 | Personal Injury |

Most motorists realize the truckers must undergo additional training to secure a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Yet, few realize how there are countless other requirements that tractor-trailer operators must meet to continue lawfully operating their tractor-trailer.

One obligation that they have is to inspect their truck before taking off on a trip. The federal government requires them to do so in the interest of public safety. 

What does a pre-trip inspection entail?

An entire U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pre-trip inspection takes between 30 and 50 minutes to complete. Federal law requires truckers to perform such an inspection before their first leg of a trip and every 24 hours during it. Truckers must check the following tractor-trailer components:

  • Ball joints
  • Tire pressure
  • Shock absorbers
  • Fluid levels
  • Kingpins
  • Gauges
  • Wheels
  • Tire pressure

Federal regulators require truckers to record any inspections that they perform in their logbooks. 

What happens if truckers don’t perform pre-trip inspections?

DOT officials may stop a trucker and ask to see their logbook at any point. They will likely try to determine if they performed their pre-trip inspectors and took the appropriate rest periods when doing so. They may render the truck “out of service” until a trucker updates their records. A trucker may also face fines and have their CDL license revoked if they keep an inaccurate log. 

Why should you hold a negligent trucker accountable?

Many truckers take shortcuts and fail to perform their pre-trip inspections, drive while distracted, or without adequate rest, despite the fact that they know that it’s illegal to do so. This type of illicit activity may result in a motorist getting seriously hurt or dying in a Worcester crash. An attorney can advise you of your right to recover compensation for your medical bills and other accident-related expenses per Massachusetts law.