There is only one DOT Regulation regarding the engine hood on trucks. This regulation is in reference to the “latching” system. This is the device used to keep the hood from opening while the truck is being driven. In our case it is with both the driven and the towed truck.
Most trucks have a latching mechanism on the outside connecting the hood to the cab body. Here are two examples of hood latches. The first photo is of a “Partially” hidden hood latch. The second is a “Fully Exposed” hood latch. There are two latches. One on each side of the hood.
Some trucks, Volvo and newer model Kenworth trucks have a hood latching system that has a different kind of latching device. I may be able to get a photo of one of those types later. All you need to know when inspecting a truck(s) is that the latching device is fully functional and in good working order on both sides of the hood.
The “hood” encompasses the entire front of the truck. The components of the hood include the Left Fender, Right Fender, Grill, and the Hood itself.
Check for visible damage to the LEFT FENDER.
Check for damage to the RIGHT FENDER.
Take a close look at the hood near the grill. If there is one place that cracks will be evident it will be at this point of stress on the hood. Here are two different trucks with cracks on the hood near the grill area.
One thing you might be wondering…..why all the fuss over cracks on a hood. Currently there is a dispute with a buyer over the damage that Joe did to one of their trucks during the delivery of it (the towed truck). Joe turned into a hotel parking lot with a narrow driveway. A tree was at the edge of the driveway. This tree came in contact with the fender mirror and drove one of the support legs into the fender. Creating quite a mess. The buyer has submitted a repair estimate on this truck to the tune of $54,000.
I have no idea how this issue is being resolved. Correspondence between Joe, our Drive-Away company, and myself has been lengthy and has included photos of that particular trip from start to finish. Literally. I have photos up the wazoo of that trip.
The GRILL on the hood protects the radiator. The grill allows air to move through the radiator keeping the engine temperature in the optimum operating range.
You will be looking for dents, dings, tears, cracks, broken areas, paint damage where the chrome finish is damaged.
And then, of course, you will get the occasional opportunity to inspect a truck with no hood in sight!
The next post I will deal with what to look for Under the hood in your inspections. Suffice it to say, there are times that you get a little surprise by nature and her little creatures that find a home out of the weather.
Thus ends the lecture on a truck hood in your inspection rounds.
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Time to get away from the computer. My time at home has ended and we are working our way out the door to head for Olympia, Washington. Deadheading…..groan and whining has already started. Cover your ears.