Did you take a previous trip lately?

I came to think that some of us get so used to doing things that we don’t even think about it. It is almost automatic. This can be dangerous if we are in the process of lifting the tractor and trailer to go down the road. Very often, we just take a quick look at the tires and lights and then head out. We somehow manage to act shocked when something happens that wouldn’t have happened if we had taken a REAL prior trip.

I have found that a detailed pre-trip is essential for a safe and enjoyable trip (not counting the traffic and a million other things). Am I guilty of taking off on the highway without making one? Yes, I sure am. There are no excuses, just the facts, ma’am, as that guy used to say on a TV show a few years ago.

I have been doing previous trips for almost twenty years, so I have a bit of experience and knowledge about them. Hope the following helps you a bit.

We will start as we get closer to the vehicle. We were looking for a leaning tractor that could indicate a puncture or poor suspension, leaks that could indicate a big problem, depending on which one it is. Some are really bad like oil, power steering fluid, or radiator fluid.

We start from the bottom and go up. We checked the license plate (updated?), Bumper, grille (free of debris), headlights, position lights, and fender mirrors. All of these must be secure, not cracked or broken. All lights and mirrors must be clean and have a rubber seal around them. Indicator lights and signals should be amber.

Next we will open the hood of the tractor. We have to check a lot of things here, especially. Check the oil and make sure it is where it is supposed to be; Make sure the fill tube is secure, not cracked, broken, bent, and not leaking. Is the turbo connected firmly and without leaks? Everything under the hood should be checked to make sure it is not cracked, broken, bent, etc. Straps and cables cannot be peeled, glued, or corroded. An acronym that is sometimes used is BBCCFTC, which stands for burned, broken, cut, cracked, frayed, taped, or corroded. (The one for the tires is ABC, which stands for abrasions, bruises and cuts.) We continue to check the alternator, its cables and belts, the water pump, radiator and hoses, the antifreeze levels, the fan cover, the blades and the belt and finally the frame of the tractor.

Now we go to the other side of the tractor and check all the things there, like the power steering reservoir, the air compressor and lines, the starter, the flywheel shaft, the gearbox and the Pittman arm, the drag link, the steering knuckle and the flange. rods. We will also review the suspension, spring hangers, springs, U-bolts, and saddle and shocks.

If that sounds like a lot, it is, but you can avoid a lot of trouble later on. If you encounter the problem now, you may not be sitting on the side of the road later with all 4-way flashing and the triangles facing outward. In winter without a motor, this is not the time to wish you had made a better trip beforehand. It takes time and some practice to get into the habit of spending a few minutes doing this so you can save a lot of time later.

I will continue with this in another article but I think you have an idea, check everything!

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