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Florida CDL Handbook: Vehicle Inspection

With the Florida CDL Driver Handbook, you can study up on the issues that specifically relate to earning your CDL endorsement.

Florida CDL Handbook: Vehicle Inspection

Table of Contents

4. Transporting Passengers Safely

Before driving your bus, you must be sure it is safe. You must review the inspection report made by the previous driver. Only if defects reported earlier have been certified as repaired or not needed to be repaired, should you sign the previous driver's report. This is your certification that the defects reported earlier have been fixed.

4.1.1 - Vehicle Systems

Make sure these things are in good working order before driving:

  • Service brakes, including air hose couplings (if your bus has a trailer or semitrailer).
  • Parking brake.
  • Steering mechanism.
  • Lights and reflectors.
  • Tires (front wheels must not have recapped or regrooved tires).
  • Horn.
  • Windshield wiper or wipers.
  • Rear-vision mirror or mirrors.
  • Coupling devices (if present).
  • Wheels and rims.
  • Emergency equipment.

4.1.2 - Access Doors and Panels

As you check the outside of the bus, close any open emergency exits. Also, close any open access panels (for baggage, restroom service, engine, etc.) before driving.

4.1.3 - Bus Interior

People sometimes damage unattended buses. Always check the interior of the bus before driving to ensure rider safety. Aisles and stairwells should always be clear. The following parts of your bus must be in safe working condition:

  • Each handhold and railing.
  • Floor covering.
  • Signaling devices, including the restroom emergency buzzer, if the bus has a restroom.
  • Emergency exit handles.

The seats must be safe for riders. All seats must be securely fastened to the bus.

Never drive with an open emergency exit door or window. The "Emergency Exit" sign on an emergency door must be clearly visible. If there is a red emergency door light, it must work. Turn it on at night or any other time you use your outside lights.

4.1.4 - Roof Hatches

You may lock some emergency roof hatches in a partly open position for fresh air. Do not leave them open as a regular practice. Keep in mind the bus's higher clearance while driving with them open.

Make sure your bus has the fire extinguisher and emergency reflectors required by law. The bus must also have spare electrical fuses, unless equipped with circuit breakers.

4.1.5 - Use Your Seatbelt!

The driver's seat should have a seat belt. Always use it for safety.