The Importance of a Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist for Your Fleet

pre-trip inspection

If you are like most fleet operators, you know of at least a few drivers in your fleet who rush through their pre-trip inspection, and think the whole thing is unnecessary. They either have never been in an accident out on the road, or they think they can handle whatever happens out there.

The pre-trip inspection checklist is a critical step that allows you and your drivers to catch any issues before heading out on the road. When used properly, it can prevent accidents, increase safety, limit downtime, and get your drivers to their destinations on schedule.

With your pre-trip inspection checklists stored conveniently on the smartphones of each one of your drivers, there will never be a reason for a driver to tell you they didn’t have the full checklist to use before they got behind the wheel.

Staying Safe on the Road

During your next safety meeting, remind your drivers of the importance of accurately completing their pre-trip inspection checklists.

Checking the running, brake, and tail lights, making sure that the load is secured properly, checking the brakes, looking for wiring that’s not connected properly – for a driver who’s done this for a while, they might believe that because nothing has ever gone wrong, it never will. Remind them that the driver who can’t see them is the one who will cause an accident. If the trailer isn’t fastened correctly, it could swerve around the road, causing a hazard to other drivers. And, if that doesn’t sink in, remind them they don’t want to be the one barreling down the highway with brakes that aren’t working.

Limiting Downtime, Repair Costs, and Meeting Their Deadlines

The safety issues alone, especially if an accident happens, will increase the time their truck is down and will almost definitely cause your driver to miss a deadline. Neither is acceptable. But there are other reasons to follow the checklist: checking for all necessary equipment, knowing the route, and making sure everything on the vehicle works properly. All of these things keep your drivers on schedule.

Repair costs add up, especially if you have to call a mobile mechanic. Roadside repairs typically cost 3-5 times more than repairs that are handled in the shop. By avoiding roadside repairs and allowing your mechanics to handle any issues before your drivers head out onto the road, you’ll see reduced costs and increased profits.

Time is money. Sometimes you need to remind your drivers of how much their time is worth, especially if delays occur because they “forgot” their checklist, keeping them on the road longer than they intended.

Pre-Trip Inspection Checklists at Your Fingertips

The Gorilla Safety app offers document management, which includes your pre-trip inspection checklists. Upload your company’s checklist so it’s easily accessible. Have your drivers sign off on each one before they depart, and you’ll have the record stored electronically – and you’ll know sooner rather than later if they completed the checklist or not. You can also use the checklist we provide to keep your drivers on track and as a training tool for new and seasoned drivers.

Pre-trip inspection checklists aren’t just good for business, they’re necessary to keep everyone on the road as safe as possible.

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