Free Pre Trip Inspection Forms

What Is a Pre-Trip Inspection?

A Pre-Trip Inspection is the process of checking the exterior and interior of a vehicle the driver carries out before a trip takes place.

Alternate Name:

  • Pre-Trip Inspection Sheet.

Referring to a Pre-Trip Inspection Form is necessary for people who travel on their own for personal reasons and drivers that work for transportation businesses and shipping companies alike - the driver has to find out whether the vehicle is safe to drive, comply with the local laws and internal regulations of the organization adopted to protect the company from liability, avoid run-ins with the law, and save time and money because small defects of the vehicle are discovered early.

You may see a full list of Pre-Trip Inspection Forms by checking out our library below.

Pre-Trip Inspection Form Types

  • School Bus Pre-Trip Inspection Form. All students need to have access to safe commute to school, and it is the duty of the school authorities to guarantee the safety of young passengers - the driver must verify the proper condition of the vehicle before driving it and certify it in writing;

  • A Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist is a generic template you may use to detect potential failure points in the vehicle whether you are preparing to travel with your family or streamline the operations of your transportation company;

  • Truck Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist. Since it may be dangerous to drive the truck even if you are traveling every day, it is the responsibility of the driver to know all the major systems of this heavy-duty vehicle are working properly - use the checklist to remind yourself about every component that has to be inspected;

  • Commercial Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist. Companies that transport goods or passengers are supposed to provide their drivers with the CLD Pre-Trip Inspection Form they consult with before getting behind the wheel and guarantee the safety of people and property.

How to Do a Proper Pre-Trip Inspection?

Complete a Pre-Trip Inspection Sheet to be certain you follow all the safety and maintenance procedures before driving:

  1. Inspect the engine compartment and the fuel tank - nothing can look out of the ordinary, leak, smoke, or overheat. Check the ground under the vehicle to see if there are suspicious fluids that would indicate an underlying issue with the car.

  2. Ensure the brakes and the tires are in good running condition. Adjust the brakes and note any worn spots on the tires - under-inflated tires can lead to road accidents, so pay attention to the tire pressure.

  3. If you are driving a commercial vehicle connected to a trailer, it is necessary to ensure the load is not lost on the way - the locking pins and the release arm have to work properly.

  4. Confirm there are no mechanical defects with the reflectors and lights - visibility is essential for drivers no matter what weather conditions you are dealing with.

  5. Check the emergency kit is put together - from fire extinguishers to first-aid supplies you may need in case of a car crash.

  6. Take a look at the cabin - the main focus is your own seatbelt and the seatbelts of passengers which is vital if you are transporting passengers. In case you have alerting systems that warn you about problems when they arise, confirm they function properly.

  7. Write down the results of the physical inspection in the form you draft for your own peace of mind or by order of your boss and sign the instrument to acknowledge your responsibility if needed.

How Long Should a Pre-Trip Inspection Take?

While there are no established time frames, it is recommended to spend around 20-30 minutes carefully examining the vehicle. In practice, the time can be reduced or decreased depending on the experience of the driver - for instance, a school bus driver can take a few minutes to check all the seatbelts and confirm the bus is clean before the first student is picked up.

In case you are managing a trucking company and want to ensure the drivers are not making negligent errors, do not ask them to come in earlier without additional pay - the time they spend on the inspection must be included in their work hours. Note that the person responsible for examining the vehicle needs to specify the number of minutes they took to perform the inspection in order to analyze the data from logs later and optimize this process for the benefit of the organization.

How Long Is a Pre-Trip Inspection Valid For?

Since in the majority of cases the Pre-Trip Inspection Test is performed right before the goods are loaded in the commercial vehicle or when the driver leaves the parking lot and goes to the houses of students, the results of the inspection are valid for the trip only.

Occasionally, truck drivers travel for days and weeks, crossing state borders, braving adverse weather conditions, and dealing with small malfunctions - in this situation, make sure the drivers examine the vehicle before every shift or travel since there may be issues emerging while the truck is not moving for several hours. Their observations can be recorded in separate sheets or combined in one report, depending on the wishes of the truck fleet supervisor.

Still looking for a particular form? Take a look at the related forms and templates below:




  • Default
  • Name
  • Form number
  • Size

This document is used for inspecting school buses in Ohio to ensure they meet safety standards.


This document is used for conducting vehicle inspections before and after a trip to ensure the vehicle is in good condition.

This form is used for conducting a daily pre-trip inspection of a Bobcat machine. It ensures that the machine is safe and ready for operation before starting work.

This document provides a pre-trip inspection checklist template for school buses operating in Louisiana. It ensures that all necessary safety checks are conducted before each trip.

This document is a memory aid for conducting a pre-trip vehicle inspection for commercial driver's license (CDL) holders in Oregon. It helps drivers remember the steps and components to check before operating a commercial vehicle.

This document is a checklist used in Louisiana for conducting pre-trip inspections of school buses. It helps ensure the safety and proper functioning of the bus before each trip.

Loading Icon