By RTA Fleet Management Software
Fleet operations have a responsibility to keep their vehicles safe – both to protect their drivers and others on the road. To ensure vehicles are fit to be driven on the roadways, inspections should be performed by drivers before each route and safety deficiencies documented in a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report.
These inspections are a best practice for vehicle less than 10,000 gross vehicle weight range (GVWR). They are required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for heavy-duty vehicles exceeding 10,001 GVWR and include critical safety systems that must be checked during a roadside inspection by Motor Carrier inspector.
If your fleet operation is performing these vehicle inspections on paper forms, learn how electronic DVIR applications can benefit your fleet. Learn more
What are eDVIRs?
An eDVIR is an electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Report. Housed in an application on a mobile device – like a tablet or a smartphone – an eDVIR allows drivers to conveniently complete vehicle inspections without having to deal with paper forms. The inspections are stored in the application and are available to share with the shop or to present during a roadside inspection. These let drivers quickly and efficiently perform vehicle inspections and remove the burden of keeping track of or misplacing paper inspection forms.
Ways eDVIRs Can Keep Your Fleet Compliant with DOT Mandates
The DOT FMCSA requires in §396.11 code of federal regulations that commercial fleet drivers perform vehicle inspections, and complete DVIRs, before and after a route.
During these inspections, drivers are required to inspect – at a minimum – these systems:
• Service brakes, including trailer brake connections
• Parking brake
• Steering mechanism
• Lighting devices and reflectors
• Windshield wipers
• Rear vision mirrors
• Coupling devices
• Wheels and rims
• Emergency equipment
The DOT FMCSA also requires fleet operations to follow these mandates during inspections:
• The driver must document any defects found on the vehicle during an inspection in a DVIR.
• The driver must sign the DVIR before handing it over to the shop’s technicians.
• Both the repair technician and the driver must document that any required repairs were made before the vehicle can return to the roadways.
Failure to comply with these requirements can result in hefty fines for the operation. It can also cause vehicles to be put Out-of-Service, and it can affect an operation’s Compliance, Safety, and Accountability score, which is easily accessible by the public.
Electronic DVIRs can help keep operations compliant with these DOT FMCSA mandates. Through the apps, fleet operations can:
• Create customized inspection forms: These ensure the required areas of a vehicle are inspected.
• Sign the form in the app: Drivers can sign the eDVIR form in the application to store their signature on the report.
• Ensure the correct repairs are made: Electronic forms let drivers type notes, or record them with their voices, ensuring information on defects is easy to read and the right repairs are completed.
• Keep reports in the app: Electronic DVIRs store the inspection reports in the application – making them easily accessible and eliminating the risk of losing the forms.
How eDVIRs Can Help Fleets Pass Roadside Inspections
Performing regular vehicle inspections not only keeps fleet operations compliant with DOT FMCSA regulations, but it also helps operations pass roadside inspections.
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Inspectors check commercial motor vehicles to verify they are following federal safety and hazardous materials regulations.
Each year about 4 million inspections are conducted. There are eight levels of inspections, including Level 1, which checks the driver and the vehicle; Level VI, for radioactive materials; and Level VIII for electronic inspections.
With an eDVIR, fleet operations can ensure their vehicle inspection forms include criteria checked during these roadside inspections, including common items drivers should examine such as lights, leaks, brakes and tires. This can assure the operation that certain vehicle components and systems are checked regularly and will pass when an inspector examines the vehicle.
Other Benefits of eDVIRs
In addition to helping fleet operations stay compliant with DOT FMCSA mandates and helping fleets pass roadside inspections, eDVIRs can offer other advantages as well, including:
• Make inspections more efficient: Drivers can complete eDVIR forms more quickly than paper forms since they do not have to make handwritten notes. They can even take photos of defects and attach them to the report.
• Improve communication between drivers and technicians: Through the app’s capabilities, drivers can quickly notify technicians of repairs that need to be made – including any critical issues. Technicians can also update the vehicle’s status to eliminate the need for drivers to follow up with the shop to see when the asset can return to the roadways.
• Eliminate loose papers: Keeping track of paper inspection forms can be challenging, and it can create clutter around the shop. Instead, eDVIRs store the forms in the application, so nothing needs to be filed or physically handed from person-to-person.
• Prevent roadside breakdowns: With eDVIRs, fleet managers can ensure drivers are completing pre-trip inspections, and checking the right components, which can help reduce the number of roadside breakdowns. These can be significant to a fleet’s budget, so it’s imperative to catch these problems proactively.
Performing required vehicle inspections are crucial for the safety of fleet drivers and others on the roadways. Using eDVIR applications can help operations better manage their inspections and keep the necessary information in one place to stay compliant with DOT FMCSA requirements and keep their vehicles on the roads. Learn more