Pre-Trip Inspection: Train Your Drivers to Understand Vehicle Maintenance CSA Rules

Vigillo's Top 10 CSA Violations show that basic pre-trip inspections could dramatically reduce vehicle maintenance CSA scores.

Of the top ten CSA violations, seven could be prevented with one simple step: a pre-trip inspection by your drivers. Inspecting the truck before driving is the law, and yet 70% of CSA violations are truck-related!

Over on LinkedIn (login req’d), managers asked: “How do you really know that your drivers are doing a proper vehicle pre-trip inspection?” Sure, your drivers may be checking all the boxes on their daily vehicle reports, but are they actually inspecting their trucks?

It’s a great discussion, with several real-world suggestions.

  • Tie a red ribbon around the dipstick or something else they need to check.
  • Bring in a DOT inspector for everyone to watch what they inspect.
  • Have the manager do spot checks weekly to show “it really matters.”
  • Reward, rather than punish, finding problems.

Managers Agree: It’s All About Training and Repetition

But the advice, again and again, came down to training the drivers about what to look for in a pre-trip inspection, and what a DOT inspector will ding them for. You can’t assume that drivers — even experienced truckers — have been trained by someone else to inspect brakes, belts, or even tire pressure!

New Pre-Trip Inspection Lesson, Including CSA Infractions

Today, you’ll be happy to know that we’ve *radically* updated our pre-trip inspection lesson. It provides your drivers the specific knowledge they need to do a pre-trip inspection. It gives them a checklist to use, and tests their knowledge of what to look for. And it’ll give them the confidence that they can do the inspection in less than 10 minutes.

Our training tests their knowledge along the way, and tells them the severity and weight of violations in CSA.

See the Pre-Trip Inspection Lesson Yourself

This video is just a short teaser of our full, one-hour lesson. (Want the full demo? Just drop us a line.) Though the lesson takes an hour, a pre-trip inspection should take much less time. And the more your drivers do it, the faster and more thoroughly they’ll inspect the truck.

Pre-Trip Inspection Lesson Outline

  • Introduction
  • Importance of a Pre-trip Inspection
  • Inspection Requirements
  • Areas of Focus
  • Getting Started
  • Cab and Under the Hood
  • Walk Around Inspection
  • Tractor Checkpoints
  • Coupling System Checkpoints
  • Trailer Checkpoints
  • Inside the Cab
  • Vehicle Controls

CVSA Out-of-Service Criteria Don’t Match CSA Regulations

Lastly, your fleet is in a heap of trouble if inspection reports are ignored by your maintenance team, or if your maintenance team lacks the money or manpower to address them: an excellent article from Vigillo and Aon discusses this. We highly recommend it, because the criteria from the CVSA don’t always match what a CSA inspector will flag.

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