Finally we get to throw it in gear and go truckin. But wait, we have a couple of important things to go over before we finally release the brakes.
Nothing new to update on the diet. I have a doctors appointment on Monday and will give an update next week. Up a couple of pounds to 228 lbs.
You can find all of this series by clicking here.
The parts are as follows:
- The Approach
- Raise the Hood
- The Fifth Wheel – All of these steps are important but this one is crucial and overlooked by most drivers.
- Around the Trailer
- Inside the cab-This episode
- Get in and start the engine if it isn’t already running.
- Check all the gauges. Some newer trucks dont have very many but older ones such as Clifford has 14 or more. Are they all working? Is the air pressure building? If air was low was the warning lights and buzzer working? Oil pressure good? Etc.
- Press the brake pedal and hold it down. Is the pressure staying steady and the pedal firm? Now pump the brakes till the pressure drops and the warning lights and buzzers go off. They should’ve started around 90-100 psi.
- Check the mirrors and make adjustments.
- All interior lights working
- Air conditioner, heater, defroster and fans working? The defroster must be working or you can get a ticket. It is actually in the FMCSA rule book!
- If its a sleeper is there bedding? ie sheets and blanket. Yes that is in the FMCSA rulebook as well. Needing to be white is a popular myth. Not sure if a sleeping bag is considered bedding.
- If you have a microwave and fridge are they strapped down and secure? Do you have groceries?
- Check the floor. Is there anything that can roll around? Pop, coffee cups or beer cans. LOL!
- In the sidebox do you have enough antifreeze, oil and washer fluid? Diesel treat for winter time?
- If its winter you should plan on keeping extra gallons of water and extra blankets in case of a break down. I also keep protein bars for energy.
- Plan your route including where you will stop for your 30 minute break, fuel stop and plan now on where you will stop for the night. I see so many guys that drive right up to the 10 hr 59 min mark and park on a exit ramp. Thats ridiculous and stupid. Not only is it pretty much asking for a ticket in just about every state but you are setting yourself up for a lawsuit if Joe Blow is on his way home from a 16 hr shift at a factory and slams under your trailer. Plus you have to live with that for the rest of your life. Don’t just start driving and decide to stop whenever. With elogs today a trip plan is more valuable than ever!
- Set up your gps now other electronics now. Bluetooth combined with Siri or Google can do tons of things later when you can’t take your hands off the wheel. Don’t do it while you drive. Kind of self explanatory. Plus don’t just blindly trust your gps. Have a hard copy truckers atlas as well. While on the subject of electronics GET A CB! Even if you don’t want to talk on it just listen at a low volume. It can save you from getting into an accident or give you directions around a long back up. Multi vehicle pile ups are getting more frequent and bigger! A cb can be more help than your phone. There just is no app that will ever be able to tell you that a truck rolled over a mile in front of you.
- Weigh the trailer and get your axles set right. 12,000 on the steer and 34,000 for tandems. If you have anti idling equipment or an apu you are allowed 480 over gross, not per axle, so get it right.
- Finally get in the seat and make sure it’s set right and you are comfortable. Put on your seatbelt put it in gear, release the brakes and go truckin!