Before you go - a pre-trip checklist
A bit of planning and a few simple checks before starting a road trip can make the difference between having a safe and relaxing trip and one that is stressful and risky.
Check your vehicle
- Carry out a pre-trip vehicle walk-around inspection to ensure that your vehicle is safe and legal to operate. A simple procedure can be found in Roadside inspection guidelines for heavy vehicles.
- Make sure there are no loose items in the vehicle cab that could interfere with your driving. Particularly, make a thorough check for items that could roll under the pedals.
- Check your load - is it safe and secure? Does your load need documentation and if so have you got it?
Plan your trip
- Check the weather - if bad weather is predicted, are you prepared for it?
- Plan your route - do you know exactly where your destination is and how to get there? Do you need a road map? Do you know of places on the way where you can take quality rest breaks and comfort stops?
- Are you safe to drive? If you feel fatigued, have taken drugs of any sort that could affect your driving or consumed any alcohol within the past 12 hours - then the chances of having a crash are increased considerably and you must not drive.
- Do you have your driver licence with you? Is it current and correct for the class of vehicle you are driving? Are you required to have an endorsement on your licence and, if so, is it current?
- Have you got your logbook? Is it up to date? Have you sufficient hours left in the cumulative work day/period to complete the trip in safety?
- If you plan to listen to CDs during your trip, are they loaded into the stacker or otherwise close to hand so that you will not be distracted when changing them?
- Have you got some bottled fresh water close to hand to keep you refreshed?
- Do you need any personal protection equipment (PPE) to work your load, for example, gloves or hard hat? If so, have you got it and is it in good repair?
Planning your trip will make a difference
This information is provided as a general guide only, and does not cover everything in the law. It is not the source of the law.
Page created: 12 August 2008