Skip to content
PDF Version

Best Practices - Developed by the Surface Haulage Safety Task Force
in Cooperation with MSHA


Many accidents involving highway trucks could be avoided with a preoperation inspection. A thorough preoperation inspection takes very little time and effort, but can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of accidents.

A checklist will remind you of the specific checks which should be done in a logical order. The checklist should include but not be limited to the following:

Personal Safety Items Prepare the Machine Engine Compartment Inside the Cab
Outside the Cab - Front and Left/Right Side Left Side of Tractor/Trailer Rear of Trailer Right Side of Tractor/Trailer

Inspect all items on the right side of the tractor and trailer just as you did on the left side.

Exhaust System - Check for secure mounting and leaks under the cab. Verify that fuel, air lines, or electrical wires do not touch the exhaust system. Look for carbon deposits around seams and clamps that indicate exhaust leaks.

Spare Tire - Ensure that the spare tire is secure, inflated, and in good condition.

Landing Gear or Dollies - Ensure that landing gear or dollies are fully raised. Check for missing, bent, or damaged parts, and be certain that the crank handle is secured.

Paperwork - Check to see that the machine is properly registered, licensed, placarded, etc.

If applicable, update the machine's logbook, complete the inspection report, and verify that you have permits, inspection stickers, and medical certificate and waiver (if required) before starting on your trip.

U.S. Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration