Safety starts well before you start driving. In a role as a commercial truck driver and/or operator, daily pre-trip inspections are essential in protecting other road users, detecting mechanical failures, and ensuring compliance from all commercial vehicle operators on our roads. These inspections are also known as Schedule 1 inspections and are required by law under the Highway Traffic Act.
As a driver, it is your responsibility to conduct the Schedule 1 inspection to confirm that your vehicle is in safe operating condition before starting your route. According to the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario (MTO), this must be done every 24-hour period and the condition of the vehicle - despite having completed an inspection report – should continue to be monitored throughout the trip.
As part of the Schedule 1 inspection, operators must inspect the following items:
· Air brake system (if applicable)
· The cabin
· Cargo securement (if applicable)
· Coupling devices
· Dangerous goods (for drivers who are qualified)
· Driver controls
· Electric brake system
· Emergency equipment & safety devices
· Exhaust system
· Frame and cargo body
· Fuel system
· Windshield, windows & mirrors
· Heating/defrosting system
· Hydraulic brakes
· Lamps and reflectors
· Suspension system
· Tires, wheels, hubs and fasteners
· Wipers/washer levels
The Schedule 1 inspection separates defects into two categories: minor and major. Minor defects must be recorded and reported to the operator. Major defects mean the vehicle is unsafe and cannot be driven until repairs are completed and have passed further inspection.
Some of the most common defects, according to the MTO, are out-of-adjustment air brakes, insecure loads, tire defects, dysfunctional lights and broken springs. These defects can all be identified during a Schedule 1 pre-trip inspection and could prevent serious injuries and/or fatalities.
As a commercial driver, you count on your vehicle to get you and your haul to your destination in a safe and reliable manner. Those who you share the road with are also counting on your vehicle being safe and road ready. They are watching for your driving cues (brake lights, signal lights, and caution lights) and they are assuming all systems are functioning (horn system, brake system, and well-kept tires). Regular inspection of these functions helps you remain predictable on the road and demonstrates your compliance with safety standards and guidelines!