Tips for performing a proper Vehicle Pre-trip Inspection of your Tow Truck


1. Be sure that you have your Current Vehicle Insurance card and Vehicle Registration card where they are easy to find in the case of a vehicle accident or requested to produce by any Law Enforcement Officer.  It is also a good idea to always have an Accident Report Form located in the same packet or attached to your Insurance and Registration cards for fast retrieval. 


An Accident Report Form is essential for gathering information about the other vehicle(s) and its occupant(s) to help protect yourself and assist your insurance company with needed contact information about all parties involved.


2.  Perform a Physical Pre-trip Tire Air Pressure Inspection each and every day at the beginning of your shift. (Caution: Do not follow Tire Air Pressure Rating Stickers found in door jams)  Remember that Commercial Tires are rated for a physical weight capacity as stated on the tire sidewalls. Example:  A Commercial Tire that is rated for 120 PSI will carry 5,510 lbs.  If this commercial tire was 20% underinflated at 96 PSI, this tire will now only hold 4,408 pounds.


Michelin Tire Company has stated:  A tire that is 20% below the optimum air pressure (Full Pressure) is considered a flat tire.  A tire run under these conditions will experience casing fatigue that could lead to a catastrophic failure or a zipper rupture.  If the tire has been run 20% underinflated, it should be removed from the vehicle and scrapped. 


3.  If your truck has Air Brakes, be sure to perform a proper Vehicle Pre-trip Inspection of your complete Air Brake System.  There are four (4) inspection points that need to be completed during your Vehicle Pre-trip Inspection.  They are:

  1.  Applied Leakage Test

  2.  Air Compressor Governor Cut-in

  3.  Air Compressor Governor Cut-out

  4.  Low Air Pressure Warning Device Test


4.  Inspect your Vehicle for all Safety Equipment necessary to properly perform your job with every customer.  This includes but is not limited to:

  1.  Fire Extinguisher

  2.  First Aid Kit

  3.  Safety Goggles

  4.  Eye Wash Kit

  5.  Service Gloves


5.  Inspect your vehicle for all Working Equipment necessary to properly perform your job with every customer.  This includes but is not limited to:

  1.  Lockout Kit

  2.  All required CHP Equipment

  3.  Working Drag Lights

  4.  Chock Block(s)


 6.  Have an ANSI 2 Qualified Safety Vest in your possession at all times.  Many companies issue an ANSI 2 qualified work shirt with sufficient square inches of reflective material to equal that of an ANSI 2 Safety vest.  However, it is always a good idea to have and wear your ANSI 2 Safety vest in lowlight conditions and at night for increased visibility and safety while working on all public roadways.


7.  Be sure that you properly Complete, Sign and Date your Vehicle Pre-trip Inspection form without fail each and every day at the beginning of your shift and before your vehicle reaches a public roadway.  Failure to have a properly completed, signed and dated Vehicle Pre-trip Inspection form with you during your shift could have serious legal consequences should you be involved in an accident and not be able to prove to Law Enforcement that you had properly completed a Vehicle Pre-trip Inspection of you vehicle / truck on the day of the accident.


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