truck inspection checklist

It is necessary to ensure that your truck has no problems. And even if you notice a minor fault, be sure to fix it as soon as possible to avoid unexpected and unfortunate failures and breakdown, which might cost you a lot more than just a small sum of money. Get your truck regularly inspected from a service center, but you can also prepare a truck inspection checklist to make sure that everything is fine and in working condition no matter what type of truck you own.

Trucks are known as long haul vehicles that can run on all types of roads from rough to smooth. Mostly they care used to transport heavy loads from one place to another, so it is understandable that they easily tear and wear, faster than any other kind of vehicle. Trucks are an important means of transportation, and that is why it is crucial to keep them in good condition to avoid unexpected breakdowns and delayed deliveries/transportation.

How To Do Truck Safety Inspection Checklist?

Here are some necessary checks to add when creating a truck inspection checklist:

  • Engine
  • Brakes
  • Clutch
  • Radiator
  • Oil change
  • Lubrication
  • Cooling system
  • Differential

It is better to regularly check these aspects to ensure better performance of your truck and minimize the chance of tear and wear.

DOT Truck Inspection Checklist

Level I: North American Standard Inspection

This level of the inspection involves an inspector checking the documents of the driver, and along with that, he will be looking for alcohol and drugs or dangerous materials that may be getting transported. The list includes:

  • Driver’s license.
  • Driver’s daily log and service hours.
  • Vehicle and Driver’s inspection report.
  • Driver’s medical card and waiver.
  • Drugs or/and alcohol.
  • Hazmat requirements.

While checking the vehicle, the inspector will closely look at these accessories and parts:

  • Brakes
  • Seatbelts
  • Brake lamps
  • Coupling devices
  • Exhaust system
  • Emergency Exits
  • Electrical systems and cables in the engine
  • Battery compartments (buses)
  • Frame
  • Fuel system
  • Headlamps
  • Lamps on projecting loads
  • Safe loading
  • Securement of cargo
  • Steering mechanism
  • Stop lamps
  • Suspension
  • Tail lamps
  • Tires
  • Trailer bodies
  • Turn signals
  • Hubcaps, rims, wheels
  • Windshield wipers

Level II: Walk-Around Driver/Vehicle Inspection

This truck inspection is almost similar to that of level I inspection. However, the inspector will not check any accessories or parts which will require him to get under the truck physically. You can use a DOT truck inspection checklist or mobile application to learn about all aspects of vehicle safety inspection.

Level III: Driver-Only Inspection

At this level of inspection, an in-depth inspection of the following things will be done:

  • Driver’s license
  • Medical card
  • Driver’s daily log
  • Seatbelt​
  • Driver and Vehicle Inspection Report
  • Driver incident history

Level IV: Special Inspection

The inspection at level IV is referred to as a one-time inspection that is performed to look at certain features of a vehicle closely. This is done to invalidate any previously registered claim about a truck to refute or support a study or trend that is suspected.

Level V: Vehicle-Only Inspection

The level V inspection can be performed anywhere, at any location, and it will include everything in the level I inspection, however, without the presence of the driver.

Level VI: Enhanced NAS Inspection for Radioactive Shipments

Since the day DOT regulations were made effective, all CMVs that are transporting highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of radioactive material, must pass the North American Standard Level VI Inspection. This level of the inspection involves:

  • Inspecting for radiological shipments
  • Inspection procedures
  • Enhancements to the level I
  • Radiological requirements
  • Enhanced out of service criteria

Dump Truck Inspection Checklist

A dump truck daily inspection checklist appears simple, but it is necessary to carefully inspect all aspects involved to ensure that you do not miss out on anything that might cause the truck to break down unexpectedly.


  • Motor oil
  • Power steering
  • Coolant level, hoses
  • Fuel line leaks
  • Belt tensions
  • Fuel level
  • Batteries
  • Windshield Washer


  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Horn and other safety devices
  • Wiper blades & control
  • Mirrors
  • Meters, gauges, and control
  • Heater
  • Seats & seat belts
  • Clutch


  • Stoplights
  • Head and tail
  • Direction lights
  • Clear, spot, and warning lights
  • Cab, body, and glass
  • Reflectors
  • Coupling devices
  • Hydraulic lines
  • Tires, wheels, and lug bolts
  • Hydraulic reservoirs
  • Springs – steering mechanism
  • Driveline, universal joints
  • Drain air reservoirs


  • Exhaust system
  • Engine
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Emergency triangle
  • First aid kit

CDL Truck Pre Trip Inspection Test Checklist

A CDL truck inspection checklist must contain the following inspections:

Engine Compartment

  • Belt Driven Alternator
  • Belt Driven Water Pump
  • Brake Chamber
  • Brake Drum
  • Hose
  • Brake Lining
  • Cotter Pins and Caste Nuts
  • Coolant Reservoir
  • Drag Link
  • Hoses and Gear Box
  • Gear Driven Air Compressor
  • Gear Driven Power Steering Pump
  • General Hoses
  • Hub Seal
  • Leaf Springs
  • Leaks
  • Lug Nuts
  • Oil Level
  • Pitman Arm
  • Power Steering Fluid Reservoir
  • Rim
  • Shock Absorber
  • Push Rod and Slack Adjuster
  • Spring Hanger
  • Steering Column
  • Steer Tire
  • Tie Rod
  • U-Bolts

Driver Door Fuel Area

  • Air Bag
  • Axle Seal
  • Brake Chamber
  • Drum
  • Brake Hose
  • Brake Lining
  • Catwalk and Steps
  • Door and Hinges
  • Drive Shaft
  • Drive Tire
  • Exhaust System
  • Cross Members and Frame
  • Fuel Tank
  • Lug Nuts
  • Mirrors
  • Mud Flap
  • Rim
  • Shock Absorber
  • Push Rod and Slack Adjuster
  • Spacing
  • Spring Arm
  • Spring Mount
  • Torque Arm
  • U-Bolts

Coupling Area

  • Air Lines
  • Apron
  • Clearance
  • Electric Line
  • Gap
  • Glad Hands
  • King Pin
  • Locking Jaws
  • Mounting Bolts
  • Platform
  • Release Arm
  • Skid Plate
  • Sliding Fifth Wheel Locking Pin


  • Airbag
  • Axle Seal
  • Brake Chamber
  • Break Drum
  • Hose
  • Brake Lining
  • Frame and Cross Members
  • Header Board
  • Landing Gear
  • Lug Nuts
  • Rim
  • Hinges and Rear Door
  • Shock Absorbers
  • Slack Adjuster and Push Rod
  • Tandem Frame and Release
  • Trailer Tire

Light Check

  • Front and both sides of the truck
  • The rear of the truck
  • Rear and both sides of the trailer

The five main functions to check:

  • Left turn signal
  • Right turn signal
  • Four-way flashers
  • High/low beams
  • Brake lights

In-Cab Inspection and Testing Brakes

  • Airbrake Test
  • Air Pressure Gauges
  • Emergency Equipment
  • Defroster and Heater
  • Horns
  • Lighting Indicators
  • Safe Start
  • Seat Belt
  • Oil Pressure Gauge
  • Parking Brake
  • Service Brake Check
  • Voltmeter
  • Water Temperature Gauge
  • Mirrors and Windshield
  • Washers and Windshield Wipers

Food Truck Inspection Checklist

Here’s how to maintain a food truck inspection checklist!

Engine Compartment

  • Ensure that there are no sorts of leaks in the engine compartment.
  • All components must be mounted properly.
  • No mounting should be bent, broken, or cracked.
  • Inspect hoses for signs of leaking. They must not be sliced, frayed.
  • Check oil levels, power steering fluid, and the coolant.
  • Check the water pump, alternator, and power steering pump to make sure there are no leaks.
  • Ensure that the belts are not frayed, and every component is mounted properly and is secured in its place.
  • Check the tires, axle seals, rims to make sure that rim is not cracked or bent, tires are fully inflated, and there are no leaks in axle seals.

Battery and Fuel Tank

  • Check all the mirrors, batteries, fuel tanks, and exhaust system. Make sure no component is damaged.
  • Make sure there are no leaks.
  • You must check door hinges to ensure they are not broken.
  • Make sure the fuel cap is secured.
  • The gasket must not be missing.
  • Check catwalk, driveshaft, and steps to ensure nothing is bent, broken, or cracked.
  • For structural integrity, check frame and cross members.
  • Airlines that go into the trailer must be properly connected are there must be no cuts, bulges, or abrasions.
  • Airbags must be properly inflated.
  • Brake linings must be of proper thickness.
  • Inspect the pushrods, slack adjusters, and brake chambers.
  • While releasing the brake and pulling by hand, the movement of Push Rod must not be more than 1 inch.

Coupling System

  • Check airlines and electrical lines. Ensure that they are mounted properly at both ends.
  • Electrical lines must not have any exposed wires.
  • To ensure that seals are in better condition, inspect the gladhands.
  • Inspect the fifth wheel’s skid plate and trailer’s apron to ensure there are no signs of debris, cracks, bents, or damages.
  • Ensure the fifth wheel is greased properly.
  • There must be no gap between the trailer apron and the fifth wheel once the trailer and tractor are coupled.
  • Kingpin must be mounted properly and must not be damaged.
  • There must be no missing bolts
  • There must be proper clearance space between the trailer landing gear and tractor mudflap.

Light Check

  • Check all the reflectors and lights on both sides of the truck.
  • Inspect the reflectors and reflective tape to ensure that they are properly secured and mounted and not damaged.
  • Turn on all the lights and see if they are working properly.
  • Check all the functions.

These are the locations to check your lights:

  • Front and both sides of the truck.
  • The rear of the truck.
  • Both sides of the trailer and rear of the trailer.

The functions you must check:

  • Left Turn Signal
  • Right Turn Signal
  • Four-Way Flashers
  • High Beams/Low Beams
  • Brake Lights

In-Cab Inspection

  • The seat belt is mounted properly and is secured.
  • The seat belt is not frayed or ripped. It latches and adjusts properly.
  • The fire extinguisher is secured in its place.
  • Air horn and city hor work properly.
  • The mirrors and windshields are clean. There are no breaks or cracks.
  • Ensure that both defroster and heater are working properly.
  • All brakes are working properly.

Tow Truck Pre Tip Inspection Checklist

A tow truck inspection checklist must consist of the following inspections:

  • Inspect brake lights.
  • Verify three red reflective triangles
  • Emergency Flashers
  • Inspect steering linkage
  • Turn Signals
  • Inspect suspension (leaf and coil springs )
  • Head Lights
  • Inspect hangers and u-bolts
  • Inspect all mirrors
  • Check frame for cracks
  • Inspect windshield condition
  • Inspect brake chambers
  • Check for wheel chocks
  • Check brake hoses
  • Steering wheel damage, looseness
  • Check brake drums
  • Wiper blades and washer operation
  • Air brake check
  • Horn operation
  • Inspect oil pressure gage
  • Heater / Defroster operation
  • Inspect lug nuts for tightness
  • Parking brake operation
  • Inspec axle seals for leaks
  • Seat Belt operation
  • Inspect for debris between dual tires
  • Check all external lights and reflectors
  • Inspect mudflaps’ condition
  • Inspect tire rims for damage
  • Check all hoses for leaks
  • Check tires
  • Ensure that compartment doors are secure
  • Inspect cargo area for loose material
  • Check battery box and connections
  • Inspect liftgate (up/down, stow completely)
  • Inspect fuel tanks (caps secured )
  • Check Coupling System (5th wheel, hitch)
  • Inspect exhaust system
  • Check windshield fluid
  • Check fuel gage
  • Inspect all belts for wear and tightness
  • Check dump bed operation, up – down
  • Check oil level
  • Look over dump bed pivot points, and end gate
  • Check coolant
  • Ensure tanks are not below 1/4 tank
  • Check power steering fluid
  • Inspect the boom’s operation
  • Verify fire extinguisher on truck
  • Check voltmeter

Fire Truck Inspection Checklist

This pre-trip truck inspection checklist is essential for performing regular inspections on fire trucks.

  • Check the truck for any fuel leaks.
  • Brakes must be working fine.
  • Wheels must be inflated properly.
  • Inspect power steering fluid level.
  • Check the condition of the hoses and coolant level.
  • Look over engine oil level.
  • Check the windshield washer fluid level.
  • Inspect belts for wear and tightness
  • Check for leaks in the engine
  • Inspect battery fluid level and connections
  • Start the engine to inspect if there are any unusual noises.
  • Inspect all gauges and ensure that they are registering normal ranges.
  • Inspect other control such as the intercom system.
  • Check signal lights, audio devices, and headlights.
  • Check emergency lights system such as the strobe light system, flashing light system, etc
  • Look over indicators, controls, and all other functions.

Bucket Truck Inspection Checklist

  • Boom condition: welds, rust, damage
  • Lower & upper controls
  • Boom: boom rest/cradle; pins, rings, bolts
  • Test all switches/controls
  • Bucket: mounting, door latch, safety
  • Test hydraulic and 12 volts electrical
  • Hoses and Cylinders
  • “Safe operating condition.”
  • Hydraulic leaks – under truck & boom
  • Emergency stop button works
  • Loose/missing bolts, nuts, snap rings, cotter pins
  • Defroster
  • Outriggers
  • Wipers
  • Pedestal mounting bolts
  • Horn
  • Safety decals
  • Emergency Brakes
  • Snow or ice buildup
  • Service Brakes
  • Tire condition & inflation
  • Seatbelts
  • Turntable – bucket van
  • Welds: look under the vehicle
  • Bright lights
  • Dim lights
  • Sharp/Rusted Brake
  • Door Latches
  • Taillight
  • Windows Roll Up & Dn
  • Back-Up light
  • Glass Mirrors (Cracked/Missing)
  • Turning Signals-Left
  • Gas Cap Turning
  • Signals-Right
  • Warning lights/Flashers
  • Four mounting bolts connect pedestal to bed/frame
  • Colored dye/paint mark on bolt and lock nut
  • Wheel chocks – a minimum of 2
  • ¾” grade 8 bolt
  • Outrigger pads/mats
  • Torque to 160#
  • First aid kit
  • Cargo Area Access
  • Portable fire extinguisher – DOT 5 B:C
  • Pedestal Collapse – Loose & Missing Bolts
  • Reflective triangles
  • Spare fuses – 1 for each amp circuit
  • Brake Fluid
  • Petroleum spill kit
  • Engine Coolant
  • Warning signs
  • Hydraulic Oil Level
  • Traffic cones
  • Fall Protection Inspected
  • Electrical PPE Inspected

Fork Truck Inspection Checklist

Inspect the following areas when maintaining a fork truck inspection checklist.

  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Battery Controls and gear shifts
  • Lift system (includes cables, forks, chains, load engagement means, etc.)
  • Radiator fluid level and brakes.
  • Steering
  • Hydraulic system (for leaks)
  • Fuel system (for leaks)
  • Overhead guards (for damage)
  • Gauges
  • Capacity plates attached
  • Operator’s manual present
  • Seat belt
  • Propane tank (Is it locked down in propane-powered forklifts?)
  • Propane tank free of rust, corrosion or damage
  • Engine oil
  • Transmission fluid
  • Nameplates, labels, and markings (in place and maintained in legible condition)
  • Exhaust system (for sparks, flames)
  • Is forklift clean, free of trash, excess oil, and grease?

Heavy Truck Inspection Checklist

Vehicle Identification

  • Registration Number
  • VIN/Chassis Number
  • Compliance Plate
  • Seating Capacity
  • Make/Model
  • Body Type
  • Main Body Colour Engine Number
  • Cylinders
  • Odometer Reading (where fitted)


  • Brake Components
  • Air/Vacuum System (including trailer breakaway protection)
  • Service Brake
  • Park Brake


  • Fifth Wheel/Ballrace
  • Pin Couplings/Pintle Hooks
  • Towbar
  • Towing Attachments
  • Safety Chains/Cable Attachments

Steering and Suspension

  • Steering Wheel
  • Free Play
  • Arms/Linkages/Components
  • Steering Box/Pump
  • Shock Absorbers
  • Air Bag/Spring/Coil

Wheels, Tyres, and Hubs

  • Wheels/Rims
  • Wheel Nuts/Fasteners
  • Tires
  • Hubs
  • Wheel Bearings

Structure and Body Condition

  • Body Panels/Fittings
  • Body and Mounting
  • Mudguards
  • Mudflaps
  • Rear marking plates (as per VSB12)
  • Cabin/Body Condition
  • Number Plates
  • Front Underrun Protection
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Horn
  • Chassis

Seats and Seat belts

  • Seats
  • Seat belts
  • Child Restraint Anchorages

Lights and Reflectors

  • Headlights (high/low beam)
  • Fog Lights
  • Front Position Light
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Direction Indicator Lights
  • Clearance/End Outline Marker Lights (front/rear)
  • Reflectors (front/side/rear)
  • Brake Lights
  • Tail Lights
  • Reversing Lights
  • Number Plate Light
  • Side Marker Lights


  • Rear View Mirror(s)

Windscreen and Windows

  • Glazing
  • Wipers/Demisters/Washers
  • Windows

Engine, Driveline, and Exhaust

  • Exhaust System
  • Noise Emissions
  • Engine/Driveline
  • Gearbox/Differential/Power Steering
  • Fuel Tank
  • Oil Leaks

LPG and NG Vehicles

  • LPG/NG Compliance Plate
  • LPG/NG Number Plate Labels
  • Container


  • Fire Extinguisher
  • School Bus Warning System (if required)
  • Entrances/Exits
  • Emergency Exits/Signs
  • Doors/Steps
  • Guard Rails

Motorhomes, Caravans, and Campervans

  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Sleeping Berths
  • Cooking Facilities
  • Doors
  • Toilets/Urinals/Showers/Sinks
  • Ventilation
  • Electrical/Gas Certification

Final Thoughts          

It is necessary to conduct regular inspections on assets that are crucial for uninterrupted daily business operations, especially trucks that are responsible for carrying heavy loads from one stop to another. Creating a daily truck maintenance checklist is not a tough job. You can prepare a pre-trip safety inspection checklist by making a list of basic components of your truck and then perform inspections on them to see if they are working fine or they need repairs/replacements.

The more regularly your truck gets inspected, the fewer chances it has of breaking down unexpectedly. If you are new to this, it is better to ask for help from a professional or get your truck inspected from a service repair center in your area.

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