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Does this sound like you? Every year, you know you should visit your doctor for a check-up but you put it off, or you don’t go at all.

Well, when it comes to your truck, you can’t put it off. No really, it has to get done.

Federal safety regulations require all commercial motor vehicles to complete a thorough inspection by a qualified inspector once a year. The inspection must meet the federal guidelines, which is why it’s so critical it is performed by someone with the proper training, certifications and experience.

But what all needs checked? The following is a complete guide to your annual inspection check.

Portrait of construction worker

1)      Brake System

What should be checked: Service brakes, parking brake system, brake drums or rotors, brake hose, brake tubing, low pressure warning device, tractor protection valve, air compressor, electric brakes, hydraulic brakes and vacuum systems.

2)      Coupling Devices

What should be checked: Fifth wheels; pintle hooks; drawbar/towbar eye and tongue; safety devices and saddle-mounts.

3)      Exhaust System

What should be checked: Exhaust system leaking forward of or directly below the driver/sleeper compartment; bus exhaust system leaking or discharging in violation of standard; exhaust system likely to burn, char or damage the electrical wiring, fuel supply, or any combustible part of the motor vehicle.

4)      Fuel System

What should be checked: Visible leaks; fuel tank filler cap missing; fuel tank securely attached.

5)      Lighting Devices

What should be checked: All lighting devices and reflectors required by Part 393 must be operable.

6)      Safe Loading

What should be checked: Part(s) of vehicle or condition of loading such that the spare tire or any part of the load or dunnage can fall onto the roadway; protection against shifting cargo; container securement devices on intermodal equipment.

7)      Steering Mechanism

What should be checked: Steering wheel free play; steering column; front axle beam and all steering components other than steering column; steering gear box; pitman arm; power steering; ball and socket joints; tie rods and drag links; nuts; steering system.

inspection18)      Suspension

What should be checked: Any U-bolt(s), spring hanger(s), or other axle positioning part(s) cracked, broken, loose or missing resulting in shifting of an axle from its normal position; spring assembly; torque, radius or tracking components.

9)      Frame

What should be checked: Frame members; tire and wheel clearance; adjustable axle assemblies (sliding subframes).

10)   Tires

What should be checked: Tires on any steering axle of a power unit; all other tires.

11)   Wheels and Rims

What should be checked: Lock or side ring; wheels and rims; fasteners; welds.

12)   Windshield Glazing

What should be checked: Requirements and exceptions as stated pertaining to any crack, discoloration or vision reducing matter.

13)   Windshield Wipers

What should be checked: Any power unit that has an inoperative wiper or missing or damaged parts that render it ineffective.

14)   Also

Tire depth and pressure should be checked along with brake depth. The following should be checked for excessive water: Brake shoes, brake drums, cams, cam bushings, torque arms/torque arm bushings, equalizers/equalizer bushings; springs/hangers, air ride suspension/bushings, doors/seals, dolly legs/supports.


An annual inspection is a regulation with a purpose: They keep you safe and moving on the road. And when it’s time to have your inspection, be sure you head to North Dixie Truck and Trailer, Inc. Our maintenance department is fully certified and experienced to make sure a thorough inspection is a painless procedure. Call our maintenance department today at 419-221-3750 or visit our website to schedule an appointment today.



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