CDL Pre-Trip Inspection Class A without Air Brakes

The commercial driver’s license (CDL) pre-trip inspection for a Class A vehicle without air brakes includes 77 items to be checked. You must be able to correctly tell and demonstrate to the tester what you are checking each part for and how to check it.

There is no order or sequence to the test. If you miss a part, you can go back and identify it. You can identify a part by a different name, as long as the tester knows what you are referring to. You are getting graded that you know what to check each part for, not that you know the names of the parts.

This order starts in the engine compartment and inspects only the axles on the driver’s side of the truck. The test requires you to only inspect the driver side unless the item is only on the passenger side (parts in engine compartment, exhaust).

Engine Compartment

  1. Oil Level
    1. make sure level is between add and full
  2. Coolant Level
    1. level is sufficient for operation, between hot and cold mark
  3. Power Steering
    1. level is between add and full
    2. must say that it is gear powered, working properly
    3. not leaking, securely mounted
  4. Water Pump
    1. securely mounted, bolts tight, not leaking
    2. belt, not cracked or frayed, tension is between ½” and ¾”
  5. Alternator
    1. securely mounted, bolts tight
    2. wire secure into back of alternator
    3. belt, not cracked or frayed, tension is between ½” and ¾”
  6. Leaks
    1. check under vehicle for oil puddles
    2. check bottom of motor for leaks
  7. Hoses
    1. check hoses for splits, cuts
    2. make sure all clamps are tight
    3. check all hoses for leaks
    4. make sure to check both sides of engine for leaks/hoses

Front Truck Axle

  1. Steering Box
    1. secure, bolts tight
    2. not leaking
  2. Steering Box Hoses
    1. not cut, pinched or leaking
    2. fittings are secure not cracked or broken
  3. Steering Linkage
    1. not bent, bolts tight, no cracks, cotter pins in place, sockets are not worn or loose
    2. must check from steering box to wheel
  4. Springs
    1. none broken
    2. all in alignment
    3. not shifted
  5. U-bolts
    1. nuts tight
    2. not broke or rusted
    3. not shifted
  6. Spring Mounts
    1. check front and rear mount for cracks, rust
    2. check for tight or missing bolts
    3. make sure bushings are not torn or missing
  7. Shock Absorber
    1. straight
    2. bolts tight
    3. not leaking
  8. Brake Hose
    1. not kinked, cut, swollen or leaking
  9. Brake Hose Fittings
    1. fittings secure
    2. not bent, broke or leaking
  10. Brake Drum or rotor
    1. no holes, cracks or wields
    2. smooth surface, not dented
    3. no signs of grease or oil
  11. Brake Linings
    1. shoes are sufficient, more than ¼” pad
    2. no cracks, no chipped pads
    3. no fluid, grease or oil
  12. Tire
    1. 4/32” tread depth
    2. no cuts or bubbles on side walls
    3. check top of tire for even wear and flat spots
    4. check pressure with gauge
    5. check valve stem is not cracked, broke, leaking or twisted and secured with cap
  13. Rim
    1. no cracks
    2. no rust
    3. not wielded
  14. Lug Nuts
    1. none missing
    2. not loose, no cracks or distorted lug bolt holes
    3. no signs of rust trails
  15. Wheel Seal
    1. not leaking
    2. no loose or missing bolts
    3. proper fluid level (if sight glass)

Side of Cab

  1. Door
    1. door hinges are secure, bolts tight
    2. handle works, no damage to side
    3. seal is in tack and not torn
    4. opens and closes properly
  2. Mirror
    1. securely mounted, brackets not damages, bolts in place
    2. mirror is not broke and clean
  3. Steps (if equipped)
    1. securely mounted, bolts
    2. no fluid or debris on steps

Under Vehicle

  1. Fuel Tank
    1. straps are secure
    2. cap is on tight
    3. must check tank & cap for leaking
  2. Exhaust System
    1. no signs of soot (leaking)
    2. securely mounted
    3. all clamps are tight
    4. must check hole exhaust system from turbo to top of stack
  3. Frame
    1. no cracks
    2. bolts are all tight
    3. must also check cross members for same
  4. Drive Shaft
    1. straight, no cracks, bolts are tight
    2. must check u-joint bolts and u-joint is free of foreign objects

Pintel Hitch

  1. Electric Lines/Connections
    1. secure, plugged in tight (locked or latched if applicable)
    2. lines not repaired, taped, cut or pinched
    3. securely hanging, not rubbing on frame
    4. must check at truck plug in and trailer plug in/connection
  2. Bolts–mounting pintl to truck
    1. none missing, all tight
  3. Pintel Hook
    1. no cracks, rust, or worn thin
  4. Release Latch/Lever
    1. locked down in place, locking pin is secured
  5. Pintel Ring
    1. no cracks, rust, or worn thin
  6. Bolts–mounting to trailer
    1. none missing, all tight
  7. Safety Chains
    1. not broke or pinched, crisscrossed
    2. hooks secured, not broken

Rear Truck Axle

  1. Springs
    1. none broken
    2. all in alignment
    3. not shifted
  2. U-bolts
    1. nuts tight
    2. not broke or rusted
    3. not shifted
  3. Spring Mounts
    1. check front and rear mount for cracks
    2. check for tight or missing bolts
    3. make sure bushings are not torn or missing
  4. Shock Absorber
    1. securely mounted, not leaking, straight
  5. Brake Hose
    1. not kinked, cut, swollen or leaking
  6. Brake Hose Fitting
    1. fitting is secure
    2. not bent, broke or leaking
  7. Brake Drum
    1. no holes, cracks, or welds
    2. smooth surface, not dented
    3. no fluid, grease, or oil
  8. Brake Linings
    1. shoes are sufficient, more than ¼” pad
    2. no cracked or chipped pads
    3. no fluid, grease, or oil
  9. Tire
    1. 2/32” tread depth
    2. no cuts or bubbles on side walls
    3. check top of tire for even wear and flat spots
    4. check pressure with a gauge
    5. check valve stem is not cracked, secure, leaking or twisted and cap is in place
  10. Rim
    1. no cracks, no rust or welded
  11. Lug Nuts
    1. none missing, not loose, no signs of rust trails
    2. no cracks or distorted lug bolt holes
  12. Axle Seal
    1. not leaking
    2. no loose or missing bolts
  13. Spacer/Between Tires
    1. must check there is no debris between tires
    2. tires are evenly spaced
    3. rims flush (butted) together

Trailer

  1. Frame
    1. no cracks or broken welds
    2. cross members are straight
    3. no holes in trailer floor
  2. Landing Gear
    1. fully raised
    2. no broken welds or cracks, bolts are tight on framing
    3. crank handle is secured
    4. feet are secure and not broken
  3. Header Board
    1. trailer front has no cracks, holes or dented
    2. will secure load in sudden stop
    3. no missing bolts or rivets

Front Rear Trailer Axle-treat same as truck axles

Rear of Trailer

  1. Ramps
    1. secure, up all the way
    2. no cracks, not bent
  2. Splash Guards (if equipped)
    1. mud flaps are not tore
    2. bolted securely

Cab Compartment/Engine Start (need to demonstrate all mechanisms)

  1. Clutch/Gearshift
    1. push in clutch & make sure shifter is in neutral before starting engine
    2. if automatic transmission make sure vehicle is in neutral
  2. Temperature
    1. check temperature gauge for operation and in safe range
  3. Voltmeter
    1. check voltmeter for operation and in safe range
    2. needle indicating charging
  4. Oil Pressure
    1. check oil pressure gauge for operation and in safe range
  5. Steering Play
    1. check steering play for no more than 10 degrees or 2”
  6. Parking Brake
    1. put truck in low gear and try to move (lug engine) with parking brake applied
  7. Service Brake
    1. pull forward at 5 mph and stop with foot brake, check for no pull left or right
  8. Windshield
    1. must be clean
    2. no cracks, chips or stickers
    3. seal is secure with no leaks
  9. Mirrors
    1. no stickers
    2. mirrors are adjusted
    3. clean
  10. Wipers
    1. operate properly (must turn on)
    2. rubber blades are not cracked with good contact to windshield
    3. medal arms are secure, no damage
    4. washer fluid operates (squirts)
  11. Lighting Indicators
    1. on dash, check left & right turn arrow
    2. 4 way flashers
    3. high/low beam indicator
  12. Horn
    1. blow electric horn
  13. Heater
    1. must turn to hot and feel for air from vents
  14. Defroster
    1. turn on defroster to make sure they work properly
    2. feel for air to blow from vent at windshield
  15. Safety/Emergency Equipment
    1. must have fire extinguisher
      1. mounted
      2. charged
    2. Three triangles
      1. Red
      2. Reflective
    3. spare fuses or breakers (which ever truck is equipped with)
  16. Safety Belt
    1. must work properly, fit securely
      1. not cut, frayed or torn
      2. securely mounted at seat, shoulder and floor (all points)
  17. Hydraulic Brake Check
    1. While engine running, pump foot brake 3 times and hold
    2. Make sure that brake does not leak down to floor

Lights—Amber on Front, Red on Rear (all lights, must say color and describe light condition)

  1. Lights (front of vehicle AMBER)-headlights (high & low beam), right/left turn signal, 4 way flashers, clearance, must turn on, clean, not broken, operating properly
  2. Lights (front side of tractor AMBER)-right/left turn signal, put on emergency, flashers, make sure working, amber lenses, not broken, clean
  3. Lights (rear of tractor RED)-right/left turn signal, put on 4 way flashers, clearance and brake lights, red lenses, not broken, clean
  4. Lights (front side of trailer AMBER)-must turn on, working properly, amber lenses, not broken, clean
  5. Lights (rear side of trailer RED)-must turn on, working properly, red lenses, not broken, clean
  6. Lights (rear of trailer RED)-must turn on, right/left turn signal, emergency flashers, clearance and brake lights, red lenses, not broken, clean