Dispatch Training 101: Conducting the Perfect Pre-Trip Inspection
April 8, 2016
With the right dispatch training, you could begin a rewarding career in transport. You might soon manage a fleet, or work as an operations manager—once you finish your training, the choice will be yours. You’ll be able to choose from a variety of career paths, including the following:
• Local Dispatcher
• Load Planner
• Driver Manager
• Safety and Compliance Officer
But whether you’re working as a log book auditor or managing a team of drivers, one thing is certain: pre-trip inspections will be an important part of your future career. Pre-trip inspections help ensure that vehicles stay safe and in top working order. Whether you’re encouraging drivers to carefully follow procedures, or monitoring safety procedures yourself, here’s a quick look at how to conduct the perfect pre-trip inspection.
Pros with Dispatch Training Know that it Takes Time to Conduct a Thorough Pre-Inspection
The first step to conducting the perfect pre-inspection is to give your drivers enough time to do it thoroughly. When a driver is in a rush, they might quickly run through their inspection in just ten or fifteen minutes. But to properly complete a check, it’s best to encourage drivers to allocate between 30 and 50 minutes for each pre-inspection. That way, they’ll be less likely to overlook an important safety detail like checking fluid levels, or forgetting to fill out necessary paperwork about the details of their inspection.
What Pros with Dispatch Training Look for During a Pre-Inspection
A good dispatch course will teach you that pre-trip inspections are an important part of ensuring that fleets stay compliant with regulations and that drivers stay safe. During each pre-inspection, you’ll want to ensure that drivers carefully check under the hood, in the cab, outside of the vehicle, lights, wheels, and air brakes (if applicable) to ensure that each component is in top working order.
Because there are many components to check during a pre-inspection, it can be difficult for drivers to remember to check everything. That’s why encouraging them to always complete checks the same way can be a good trick for drivers. By following the same order each time, it will be easier for them to remember to check each item, from oil and coolant levels to mirrors and seatbelts and beyond.
Common Mistakes Pros With Dispatch Training Know to Avoid
Of course, mistakes can occur from time to time. That’s why pros with dispatch training know that it’s important for drivers to be vigilant—especially of areas that are often prone to being forgotten or overlooked.
One common mistake that drivers can sometimes make is forgetting to chock wheels during an inspection. Chocking wheels helps prevent the truck from moving during an inspection. Without chocks, drivers run the risk of having the truck move, which could be dangerous if they’re inspecting brakes, for example. Another common mistake drivers can make is forgetting to check the emergency equipment. While emergencies don’t happen often, when they do it’s important for drivers to have everything they need—from warning hazard triangles to the fire extinguisher—in top working order.
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