Benefits of Pre-Start Checklists

Pre-Start Checklist

In a truck pre-start inspection, the operator uses a checklist to perform a standardised routine inspection prior to using the vehicle or equipment. A pre-start checklist normally covers the exterior and interior condition of the vehicle or equipment as well as operational aspects including mechanical and electrical systems, fluid levels and safety devices such as alarms, fire extinguishers and first-aid kits. The intent of a pre-start checklist inspection is to identify defects and safety hazards prior to operation.

Safety Benefits of Pre-Start Checklists

The main aim of a pre-start checklist inspection is to ensure a vehicle or piece of equipment is safe to use. For many businesses, vehicle and equipment pre-start checklist inspections form the foundation of both their vehicle fleet and equipment maintenance schedule and their workplace safety policy. This is because unsafe conditions identified through pre-start checklist inspections can be assessed for potential hazards and risks, and control measures can be put in place to reduce the likelihood of equipment failure or personal injury. In this way, pre-start checklist inspections also help promote a strong culture of workplace safety.

Financial Benefits of Pre-Start Checklists 

Although the main objective of a pre-start checklist inspection is safety, conducting regular vehicle and equipment pre-start checks has financial benefits. By identifying minor issues before using a vehicle or piece of equipment, relatively quick and inexpensive repairs can be made before minor issues turn into major problems that are expensive to fix and cause unexpected downtime. Further, as minor issues can often be fixed on-site, pre-start checklist inspections can also help prevent expensive costs associated with on-road or off-site breakdowns such as hefty call-out fees, towing fees or shipping costs for replacement parts sent to a remote location. In short, a pre-start checklist inspection will help keep your vehicles and equipment well maintained and prevent financial losses associated with unexpected breakdowns and unplanned downtimes.


Pre-start checklist inspections help ensure vehicles and equipment are safe to use. Safety benefits of vehicle and equipment pre-start checklist inspections include:

  • identification of faults and defects before vehicle or equipment use
  • decreased likelihood or severity of injury from catastrophic equipment failures
  • well-maintained equipment in safe-operating condition
  • a workplace culture of safety.