In structures most of fasteners are not critical for rigidity, however significant damage can occur if majority of uncritical fasteners fail. Furthermore, the maintenance is not feasible due to their vast quantity. In this study, we explored a new method to significantly improve the maintenance capability for these fasteners. The method distantly detects the preload between the bolt and the surface. We use a linear transducer array that generates acoustic beam using surface acoustic waves (SAWs) transmitted by array elements. The bolt boundary reflects SAW and array elements receive the echo signals. The signals are processed in the beamformer to generate the boundary's image which quantifies the preload to enable a strong estimation about the health of the bolted joint. We experimentally investigated the proposed method by using used a 5-MHz, 50-elements synthetic array. We measured the preload for five different tightening levels. As expected, two saturation regions (for too tightening and too loosening cases) and a linear region are observed (between them). The electronically steering of the array enables to make simultaneous preload measurements of many bolted joints in the same surface. The distant pressure measurement sensor could be integrated to a data acquisition system to track the health of the joints over time.