Daily vehicle inspections are a good habit for drivers to have. By giving their machines and trailers a thorough once-over, they can spot potential problems and safety hazards, and ensure everything is in good working condition before hitting the road. It also lets maintenance staff know what needs to be fixed or replaced. And more than a good daily routine — it’s required by law.
To prove the inspection was completed, as well as document any defects, drivers are required to fill out a Daily Vehicle Inspection Report, or DVIR.
Like you probably assumed, DVIRs are an inspection of nearly every part of a vehicle. It includes but is not limited to air lines and compressors, belts and hoses, fluid levels, brakes, hitches, suspension systems, trip recorders, and a whole host of other things, all the way down to windshield wipers. It includes both the power unit and the trailer, and each item must either be noted as okay, or marked as having a defect or deficiency.
This inspection must be performed daily, with drivers submitting the report at either the end of the work day (if they are at their home terminal), or in a batch at the end of a multi-day trip. These reports are then passed on to mechanics who inspect each item noted as a defect or failure and either perform necessary maintenance, or mark it as unnecessary. Every step is documented with dates and signatures. Once everything is addressed, the DVIRs must be stored for at least three months.
Traditionally, these reports were completed on paper, leading to a whole host of problems, from indecipherable handwriting, to misfiled reports, to flat-out lost papers. And this doesn’t even mention the costs or storage space necessary for a large fleet.
But now there’s a better way.
A platform like ES Track makes recording, transmitting and storing daily vehicle inspection reports much easier by letting drivers, mechanics and fleet managers access and record information right from their smartphone or tablet.
Instead of keeping a tablet of forms on hand in the truck, a driver simply pulls up the ES Track app on his phone, enters his information and information about the truck and starts the inspection. Anything that needs to be noted requires only a click to add it to the report. Once the inspection is done, he digitally signs it and sends it on.
The mechanic then pulls up that report on his own device, and marks them off when repairs are made or the issue is resolved. Again, a digital signature marks it off and it’s sent on, either for storage or for review by the fleet manager.
Because all information is stored and maintained digitally, there’s no need for messy paper logs. The entire process is simplified and all the data is presented in one convenient location. Fleet managers can easily access stored reports to spot trends or possible problems.
In an industry so heavily regulated as freight and trucking, it’s important to be able to demonstrate compliance. ES Track lets any driver show his DVIR to law enforcement or DOT officials using the same app he logged it in. If they want it transmitted, it only takes a few more clicks to email the report.
There’s really no easier way to handle DVIRs. Digital is the future, and the future is coming fast.
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