When earning a Class A CDL, all students are required to demonstrate the proper procedure for inspecting a truck prior to trip departure. Sure, you learn the names and functions of the parts by systemizing them for your observation. But in reality, that same front-to-back inspection procedure should be applied to every pre-trip routine.

The advantages of keeping a careful eye on your truck are fairly obvious: by paying a little extra attention, you can save lives and stop accidents before they happen.

Typically, a driver is required by law to inspect their truck before embarking on a trip as well as at least once during a 24-hour driving period. The law doesn’t state, however, how long an inspection of this stature should take. Most online resources will tell you that a comprehensive inspection should take a little over half an hour to complete. Trish’s instructional video above takes a total of 32 minutes to demonstrate an inspection. While that may sound tedious and time-consuming, it is the easiest way to avoid violations and ensure safety on the road.

To optimize your inspection time, go at a slow and steady pace that allows for thoroughness. (This way you’ll save yourself the headache of having to go back and inspect something you may have skipped or overlooked.) See your truck in the ways a professional inspector will see your truck. A half hour spent ensuring your vehicle is ready for the road is much less bothersome than a hefty fine from an inspector or an accident.

Trish, a Roadmaster CDL Trainer, demonstrates the proper procedure for a commercial truck’s pre-trip inspection in the video above.