Commercial vehicles pull trailers every day, however, serious and sometimes fatal accidents occur due to the result of improper inspections and preventative measures.
It is necessary to understand your commercial truck. Verify that the brake and suspension system on your tractor is designed to haul the trailer you are considering based on the loaded weight limit. Some modifications may be necessary to avoid compromising the handling and performance. Refer to your tractors’ Manufacturer for these recommendations.
Verify with your local authority, DOT, regarding trailer braking requirements and laws. Better to be sure than cited. Electric braking systems in trailers should be verified for proper Installation, maintenance, wiring, and should also have a dashboard mounted manual override button which will allow the driver to activate the trailer brakes without operating the brakes of the tractor. Hydraulic systems are surge brakes. Always regularly inspect, test, and maintain these system components.
Authorities enforce that commercial trailers that require brakes also include an emergency braking system in the event the trailer becomes detached from the tractor. Electric braking systems must include a battery backup as well as a breakaway switch. Hydraulic systems must have a cable or chain that automatically activates the trailers brakes.
Wiring, including flashers, tail and brake lights must be functioning properly and are critical for safe operation. Heavy duty flashers may be needed in the vehicle to allow for the extra electrical load that trailer lights require. Connectors corrode easily, these will need extra attention to maintain proper working order.
Hauling a trailer with a coupler of a different size or rating capacity of the hitch is asking for a disaster. Make sure the hitch should be located so the trailer sits level when connected to the tractor. Grease the hitch lightly so the hitch rotates smoothly. Safety chains should be long enough for tight turns and be crossed to help maintain control while stopping.
Using s simple safety checklist is maintaining your risk of liability exposure on the highway for your trucking operation. As a fleet safety operator, requiring these inspections can reduce or maintain your insurance rates, safety scores and more.
- Inspect brake wiring and harness
- Inspect safety chains
- Inspect and clean lighting plug and receptacle
- Inspect hitch components
- Test breakaway switch
- Check exterior lighting
- Lubricate coupler and latch
For more information about commercial truck insurance in Houston Texas, call ABC Insurance Services at 713-782-2886 or submit an online quote today!