Conducting A Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection

TOPIC: CONDUCTING A PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION TIME REQUIRED: THREE HOURS MATERIALS: Appropriate Audio Visual Support Emergency Vehicle(s) REFERENCES: Emergency Vehicle Operator Student Manual, University of Maryland Emergency Vehicle...

         (3) 4-way hazard indicator

         (4) High beam indicator

  5. Check fuel level

  6. Make sure oil pressure gauge is working

  7. Check voltage gauge for proper charging

  8. Check air pressure gauge for build-up

  9. Check temperature gauge

      a) Should gradually climb to the normal operating range

      b) Alarm should not sound

  10. Sound horn

  11. Test wipers/washer

  12. Test heater/defroster

  13. Check steering play

        a) Non-power steering: check for excessive play by turning steering wheel back and forth. Should

            not exceed 10 degrees (about 2 inches on a 20 inch wheel)

        b) Power steering: with engine running, check for excessive play by turning steering wheel back

            and forth. Play should not exceed 10 degrees (about 2 inches on a 20 inch wheel) before front

            left wheel barely moves

  14. Test parking brake

        a) Ensure brake is engaged

        b) Place transmission in a low gear

E. Hydraulic brakes

  1. Pump brake pedal several times then hold down for 5 seconds

  2. Pedal should not move (depress) during the 5 seconds

F. Air brakes

  1. Realize that safety devices vary

  2. Place wheel chocks

  3. Ensure air pressure is built up

  4. Shut off engine

  5. Fully apply brake pedal and hold for 1 minute

  6. Air pressure should not drop more than a few pounds in 1 minute

  7. Fan off air pressure by rapidly applying and releasing the brake pedal

  8. Low air warning should activate before air pressure drops below 60 psi

  9. Near 40 psi the parking brake valve should close (pop out)

G. Exterior check

  1. Remember top-to bottom and left-to-right

  2. Check for vehicle damage

  3. Verify license plate is present

  4. Check all tires for proper inflation and lug nuts

  5. Check tire tread depth

       a) 4/32 inch on steering axle

       b) 2/32 inch all others

  6. See that the hub/oil seals and axle seals are not leaking, and, if wheel has a sight glass, oil level is


  7. Check springs and u-bolts

  8. Check all clearance lights and reflectors

  9. Check headlights (high and low beams)

  10. Check taillights

  11. Check turn signals

  12. Check four-way flashers

  13. Check brake lights

H. Equipment

III. Placing an Emergency Vehicle Out of Service

A. Braking System

  1. Audible or visual air leak

  2. Air line with leak or bulge

  3. Loose compressor mounting bolts

  4. Evidence of oil seepage

  5. Cracked brake drums

  6. Inoperative low air warning device

  7. Master cylinder less than ½ full (if equipped)

B. Steering System

  1. Excessive free play (30 degrees before steering axle tire moves)

  2. Worn or faulty universal joints

  3. Steering wheel not properly secured

  4. Loose tire rod ends

  5. Any condition that interferes with free movement

C. Exhaust System

  1. Exhaust leak forward or below the cab

D. Frame

  1. Cracked, loose or broken frame member

E. Fuel System

  1. Visible fuel leak

  2. Fuel tank not securely attached

F. Springs/Suspension

  1. Cracked, loose or missing U-bolt or other spring to axle clamp

  2. Missing leaf or portion of leaf spring

  3. Any broken main leaf in the leaf spring (main leafs extends at both ends)

  4. Any displaced leafs that could result in contact with a tire, rim, brake drum

  5. Broken or missing shocks

  6. Missing or broken axle bolts

G. Tires/Wheels

  1. Tread depth of 4/32” or less on a steering axle tire at any two adjacent major tread grooves

  2. Tread depth of 2/32” or less on a non-steering axle tire at any two adjacent major tread grooves

  3. Cut sidewall where the cord is exposed

  4. Flat tires

  5. Missing or broken lug nuts or studs

H. Windshield/Wipers

  1. Visual cracks or distortions that impair the driver’s vision

  2. Inoperable wiper or damage that makes the driver’s wiper inoperable

I. Lighting Devices/Warning Lights

  1. Any low beam head lamp missing or inoperative

  2. Both brake lights missing or inoperative