The Walkaround Inspection



A daily safety inspection is required by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Inspection/Inspect – this refers to personnel performing a visual examination usually performed using a checklist, a flashlight, and personal protective equipment (PPE) as gloves, goggles, bump cap, and an air gauge.

Tip: When walking up, approach vehicle from a different direction each time.

Look for:


Fault – a defect in need of correction ranging from minor to serious or major.

Damage: new damage or “mystery” damage to vehicle,
Check body exterior for accident damage, scratches, dents, rust, etc.

• Note if the Vehicle is leaning or tilted to one side indicating:
– a flat (80% or less of rated inflation) or underinflated tire
– a broken spring or suspension,
– a shifted load.
Things and people around and under vehicle:
– other vehicles (yard trucks or smaller vehicles)
– low power lines, tree branches, overhead or low building overhangs,
– people around or under vehicle*
• Fluid puddles under engine area: oil, transmission fluid, etc. ,
• Loose or hanging items under the vehicle.

* A teen was found sleeping under a trailer at a terminal. Intoxicated persons have been found sleeping under trailers, or a mechanic may be working under the vehicle.

Body Exterior

a.) Check that no body damage has sharp edges or protrusions that could present a snagging or hazard to people around the exterior of the vehicle.

b.) Body panels, rivets, or other components are damaged or corroded to the point where joint strength or body structural integrity is compromised.

c.) Body has rusted through areas on body panels or water leaks

NO-GO: Until repaired: b. above; record all other defects.

NOTE: A sufficient repair for item b. would be a complete body panel replacement

walkaroundThere is no “right way” to inspect a truck as every truck is different.

Top Tip: Always do the safety inspection the same way every time.

Use and follow any Safety Inspection checklists your company provides.  Inspecting the vehicle is a legal matter, a safety matter and a Commercial Driver License (CDL) obligation.

Check the king-pin release, if you have been away from the truck.

Check the king-pin release, if you have been away from the truck.

Keep in mind that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) are the MINIMUM safety standards.


(a) The rules in this part establish minimum standards for commercial motor vehicles as defined in § 390.5 of this title.

Critical Inspection Areas – components or systems that need to be at a high level of safety, generally containing no faults.

Thank you for reading this.


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