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Benefits of digital field inspections for fleet management

By Linda Schwefel
August 31, 2022

If it’s got four (or 18) wheels, sooner or later it will give you problems.  From maintenance headaches to inspection snags to outright accidents, a lot can go wrong when you’re dealing with one vehicle, not to mention a fleet of them. A digital field inspection platform can help minimize risk – and address problems when they develop.

Daily fleet inspections

Before your drivers head out, they must do a vehicle inspection of everything from tire pressure, wiper blades, brake lights and more to make sure vehicles are roadworthy. But like every other repetitive task, the mind wanders, attention fades, and things might be missed. And while checklists are a step up from a quick eyeballing of the vehicle condition, all too often they end up as a perfunctory line drawn through the boxes rather than reflecting a thorough once-over.

How a digital field inspection program can help

Performing daily fleet inspections using a digital inspection platform ensures no step is skipped for a uniformly comprehensive vehicle inspection. In addition, requiring that photographs of critical components be shared along with each line item proves that no corners were cut. With a digital, visual record of each item inspected, you have a record to review if a maintenance issue is uncovered on the road to learn what (if anything) was missed, and conduct further training if warranted.

Weekly maintenance checks

Due to the length of time they take to perform (15-30 minutes), the more comprehensive vehicle inspections don’t suffer from the same level of inattention sometimes found in daily check-ups.  However, if your inspection details are just another piece of a paper in a stack of them (or languishing in a spreadsheet) – then you’re not making the most of this investment of time and effort.

How a digital field inspection program can help

A robust digital field inspection program such as Fulcrum allows managers to transform inspection data into reports, analytics, and insights for more informed, thoughtful decision making. For example, if premature tire deterioration is discovered over the course of weeks of inspections of fleet vehicles, reports generated from the data collected prompt further investigation, such as, is there a faulty shop tire inflation gauge? Or an inadequate tire rotation schedule? Or are there defects in the tires themselves causing them to not perform as expected? Having all the data available helps answers these questions, and more importantly, allows for the connecting-the-dots necessary to make these questions apparent in the first place.

Incident reporting

No matter how conscientious your fleet maintenance is, or how careful your drivers are, they’re always just one mistake – or moment of bad luck – away from an accident.  With a commercial fleet annual accident rate of about 20%, eventually your luck is going to run out.  Putting aside accidents that require reporting to law enforcement, fender benders (for example, backing into a cement pylon in a parking lot – the pylon is fine; your bumper, not so much) are bound to happen.   Your driver is on the road and may not make it back to the shop for hours – or days, resulting in significant delays in filing and processing of claims.

How a digital field inspection program can help

With a digital field inspection platform, drivers are guided through the process of an incident report on the scene, including prompts for photographs of damage. The automatically geotagged incident report is then shared instantly with management back at the office to file any claims or perform necessary follow-on activities, reducing the time from occurrence to comprehensive, actionable reporting, likely by hours if not longer.

Fulcrum field inspection management for fleets

Looking for a fleet that drives your profits, without driving you crazy? Whether your fleet is responsible for delivering your goods and services, or your goods and services are the fleet itself, Fulcrum provides new insight and oversight into operations, helping to keep vehicles safely on the road, and address problems quickly if they occur.

Ready to take Fulcrum for a test drive? We’re giving you a full 30 days to field test Fulcrum to perform safety inspections, quality inspections, or whatever other processes you want to digitize to gain speed, efficiency, and usefulness. Sign up today!