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Todd Dills

‘Car mentality’ pervading too many pretrips?

| April 26, 2014

jack-hoodUntitled-1It’s a question asked by the latest blog post from owner-operator Jeff Clark in his space over on Freightliner’s Team Run Smart site. “Every day I see drivers do partial vehicle inspections,” he opens the piece. “They walk around their trucks and trailers. Maybe they kick the tires. Maybe they don’t. They get the flashers going and check the lights. Maybe they check the brake lights. Maybe they don’t. More and more of them don’t seem to be opening their hoods.” 

That’s what he urges such drivers, particularly, to do. “Open the hood,” as the post is titled, to do the right check. 

“I think I shall invent a new term,” Clark noted in a message my way this morning. Car mentality it is:


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“The more that these trucks drive like cars,” Clark writes, “the more drivers treat them like cars.” 

The full piece is worth a read. 

Question today is: Anybody ever not open the hood on a pretrip? If you didn’t, would you admit it? 

Happy hauling this weekend — home time for those not on the road… And stay safe!

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  • Brad Lambert

    I will admit that most of the time I don’t open my hood during pre-trips, unless I hear something malfunctioning or I see fluid on the ground underneath the engine. The reason being I do a thorough check at the beginning of each week, during fuel stops and then again at the end of the week once I get home. I know what my engine is doing, I keep an eye on it and I am listening to it all the time (even while in the sleeper). Doing my inspections this way I have never been let down by my truck in the 8 yrs I have been driving OTR.

  • Loose Cannon

    I agree with Brad, that paying attention is important, however… I always pop the hood, part of my morning routine. (And the less I want to, the more I need to.) Things don’t break very often, but when it does, the last thing I want to hear from a mechanic is ‘Did you even look?!’ ‘Uh…’ strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.