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How a driver vehicle inspection report app can help you keep your fleet in service

January 14, 2020

We depend on millions of commercial vehicles — from semi-trailers to school buses — to transport people and goods every day. And every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) conducts about 4 million fleet inspections across North America to ensure they are operating safely.

Vehicles that are deemed unsafe or inoperable during these inspections (a number as high as 21%) are taken out of service, each costing carriers an average of nearly $900, according to the CVSA — not including fines or the cost of repairs.

Regular driver vehicle inspection reports can help commercial carriers stay in compliance, protect their drivers (and the general public), and keep their vehicles on the road.

What is a driver vehicle inspection report?

A driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) is a formal confirmation that a commercial vehicle inspection has been completed by the driver. These inspections, which are required by law in the United States and Canada, are conducted at the beginning and end of the workday (called pre-trip and post-trip inspections).

During an inspection, the driver completes a circle check of the vehicle, walking around it to look for damage or defects, checking under the hood, and starting the vehicle to test the brakes, lights, etc.

A DVIR should cover the vehicle’s:

  • Steering mechanism
  • Brake system
  • Tires, wheels, and rims
  • Coupling equipment
  • Safety and emergency equipment
  • Lights and reflectors
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Trailer and power unit

If repairs are necessary, the carrier must certify their completion before the vehicle returns to service. Then, the driver needs to inspect and sign off on the repairs before using the vehicle.

Carriers must keep DVIRs for a minimum of three months. Carriers need to store DVIRs at the site where they store or maintain the vehicle.


Why is it important to complete a DVIR?

DVIRs are a critical part of any truck driver’s daily routine, designed to reduce the number of crashes, injuries, and fatalities that involve commercial vehicles. Ensuring that these vehicles are in good condition is essential to the safety of not only commercial drivers, but everyone else on the road alongside them.

For example, say the tires of an 18-wheeler go uninspected. A blowout could result in multiple deaths as the truck weaves or overturns, or debris hits other motorists.

Not completing a DVIR could also result in financial penalties for the carrier. If found to be noncompliant, a carrier could receive a fine from the Department of Transportation (DOT) and unsafe vehicles could be placed out of commission, creating unplanned downtime and a loss of revenue.

Finally, a driver or carrier’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) score could be adversely affected, which can mean lost business for the carrier.

The benefits of using a driver vehicle inspection report app

Historically, drivers used paper forms for vehicle inspections and submitted reports to the office. These reports then went into large filing cabinets, costing $20 each, as PricewaterhouseCoopers notes.

Printing and filing these documents costs money. Moreover, paper reports can easily get damaged or lost, risking fines for noncompliance.

Fortunately, modern mobile technology simplifies this process. Now, drivers can complete and submit DVIRs with just their smartphones. Fleet supervisors and administrators can access these reports instantly. This ensures drivers follow protocols, keeping vehicles in order and the organization compliant.

Mobile DVIRs can also help carriers streamline the repair process by triggering maintenance notifications and orders for parts to get out-of-commission vehicles back on the road faster. And with secure cloud storage, managers can provide proof of inspection and repairs in seconds.

Are you ready to take your vehicle inspections mobile? Download our customizable driver vehicle inspection report app and give it a try! Not a Fulcrum user? Start your FREE trial here!