Role of Vehicle Maintenance and Inspections for Truckers in Illinois

Regular and consistent vehicle maintenance and inspections are essential for commercial vehicles. Proper care and routine inspections help ensure the safety of truckers.

Illinois trucking companies and truck drivers must comply with federal and state regulations. Moreover, motor vehicles subject to the law have to be systematically inspected.

This article will look at the regulations applicable to drivers and trucking companies in Illinois. We will also discuss, in detail, the different truck maintenance tasks that should be undertaken. Read on to learn more.


Trucking Regulations in Illinois


Federal Regulation 49 CFR 396 covers commercial motor carrier vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance. These requirements ensure that trucking companies and drivers maintain their trucks in good condition. Compliance with these regulations also safeguards commercial vehicle operations.

Illinois has requirements for every trucking company and driver. The Illinois Department of Transportation (I.D.O.T.) requires all highway trucks to meet minimum safety standards.

I.D.O.T. is in charge of directing and regulating inspections at over 250 authorized testing facilities spread all across Illinois. A periodic inspection by certified safety testers is mandated by law for commercial and privately owned vehicles on Illinois roadways. Intrastate carriers must be examined every six months, while interstate carriers must undergo an annual inspection.


Components of Vehicle Maintenance


Regular vehicle inspections are necessary to ensure regulatory compliance. Having a regular maintenance task schedule can:

  • Prevent expensive truck repairs due to a mechanical breakdown.
  • Identify potential problems before they affect the vehicle’s safety.
  • Extend the lifetime of the truck.

The following components or systems may be inspected during a maintenance check:

  • Brake system
  • Coupling devices
  • Exhaust system
  • Frame
  • Fuel system
  • Lighting devices
  • Loading devices
  • Impact guards
  • Steering system
  • Suspension system
  • Tires
  • Wheels and rims
  • Windshield
  • Windshield wipers
  • Vehicle seats


Regular Truck Maintenance Tasks


Regular truck service is necessary to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. Maintenance tasks are generally carried out in relation to operating systems and essential components such as:

Tire Maintenance

Tires are a primary component of a truck. Proper tire maintenance helps ensure they are in good condition. Well-maintained tires provide adequate traction on the road.

Regular tire service includes checking the tire pressure, inspecting them for wear and tear, and rotating the tires.

Engine Maintenance

The engine is the heart of a truck. Regular maintenance is necessary to ensure it operates efficiently and safely. Engine maintenance includes examining the oil and filters, inspecting belts and hoses, and monitoring the engine’s performance.

Regular engine maintenance helps identify potential problems before they affect the vehicle’s safety.

Brake System Maintenance

The brake system is critical to the safety of a truck. A brake failure could result in accidents and injuries for the truck driver and other motorists on the highway.

Regular brake system maintenance helps to improve its quality and efficiency. It comprises checking the brake pads, rotors, and calipers, inspecting the brake lines and hoses, and monitoring the brake system performance.

Electrical System Maintenance

A faulty electric system is unsafe and dangerous. Proper electrical system maintenance helps ensure the truck’s electrical system operates safely.

It includes checking the battery, alternator, and starter, inspecting the wiring and fuses, and monitoring the electrical performance.

Suspension and Steering Maintenance

The suspension and steering system is crucial to the handling of a truck. Good suspension and steering maintenance help ensure the truck operates safely and efficiently.

Regular suspension and steering maintenance should include the following:

  • Checking the shocks, struts, and springs.
  • Inspecting the steering linkage and components.
  • Monitoring the suspension and steering performance.

Cooling System Maintenance

Proper cooling system maintenance helps ensure the truck’s engine does not overheat. It includes checking the coolant level, inspecting the radiator and hoses, and monitoring the engine temperature.


Carrier Inspection


A carrier is a truck company that owns and operates commercial motor carrier vehicles. Every motor carrier is responsible for the following:

  • Inspecting, maintaining, and repairing all commercial motor vehicles under its control.
  • Keeping a record of identifying information for every vehicle in its fleet.
  • Maintaining schedules, records, and test results for inspected vehicles.
  • Examining roadside reports by inspectors and correcting any affected areas.
  • Reviewing truck driver daily written post-trip inspection reports.
  • Daily certification that each motor vehicle is in safe operating condition.
  • Annual periodic inspection of all motor vehicles it is responsible for.


How Often Should I Conduct Pre-Trip Inspections?


Pre-trip inspections are necessary to ensure the truck is in top condition. The frequency of pre-trip inspections depends on the following:

  • The type of vehicle
  • Age of the vehicle
  • Driving conditions

Pre-trip inspections should be conducted before each trip to ensure safe operation. As per Section 392.7 of Title 49 (Transportation) of Code of Federal Regulations, a driver must do a pre-trip examination of their vehicle to ensure all the required components and accessories are operational.

You may also refer to our article on safety tips for truckers to learn other ways drivers can safeguard themselves.


Importance of Keeping Vehicle Maintenance and Inspection Records


Keeping vehicle maintenance and inspection records is essential for compliance with regulations. They help identify potential safety issues and keep other motorists on the road safe. Any problems can be quickly addressed so they don’t affect the vehicle’s safety.

Maintenance records should include the following information:

  • Maintenance date
  • Vehicle identification number
  • The type of maintenance performed
  • The mechanic’s name

Inspection records should include the following information:

  • The inspection date
  • Inspected vehicle’s identification number
  • The details of the systems and components inspected
  • The name of the qualified inspector performing the inspection


Contact Hurt Trucker Attorneys for Help!


Truck driving is a job that relies on proper vehicle maintenance and inspections. It helps to ensure the safety of the drivers and other motorists on the highway.

Trucking companies have a duty to keep each driver safe. If you feel that your rights to achieve this safety are being infringed on, contact attorneys for injured truckers today.

We have assisted with workers’ comp for truck drivers and other truck-related personal injury lawsuits for more than 40 years. Injured truckers should be acknowledged and supported. We provide every injured truck driver with a free consultation to review their legal alternatives. To book your appointment, get in touch with Hurt Trucker Attorneys right away!