As the owner or operator of a transportation-focused business, you are likely counting the days until your company completes the transition from paper DVIR to digital DVIR. From increased efficiency to improved compliance with key regulations, this offers a host of advantages that will help you promote safety and improve your bottom line. However, procedural changes are not always easy for employees, and you may need to take some special measures to ensure a smooth transition to digital DVIR. Below are seven steps to help you prepare your drivers for these new technologies.
“Let’s make this task as long, and drawn out as humanly possible,” said no one ever.
If you’re like most people, you’re always looking for ways to make your job a little easier. For those in the commercial driving industry, one thing that could help relieve some stress is to streamline daily vehicle inspections with eDVIR.
What exactly does that mean, though? Today, we’re breaking it down to help your drivers complete their daily inspections, and get them on the road faster!
For fleet managers like yourself, daily inspection reports are just another part of the reality of running your business. However, they don't have to be nearly the headache that they once were proven to be. In recent years, new tools have arisen to provide you with the option of setting aside your paper-based process in favor of something a bit more in keeping with today’s technologically driven landscape.
After all, daily vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) are already a required element of commercial vehicles and provide necessary protections for both your business and, by extension, your drivers. So, considering the indispensable nature of DVIR, why should you and your drivers be forced to deal with an archaic way of doing things if a better option already exists?
That’s the question your industry is currently facing, as the rise of an electronic-based alternative to traditional DVIR — coined eDVIR— has challenged the entire framework with which inspection reports are created, completed and submitted. As news spreads, the battle of paper-based DVIR versus eDVIR is undoubtedly going to rage on.
The only question that remains is which side of the debate you and your company will be on when all is said and done. Some veterans of your industry may balk at technology essentially stepping in to revolutionize such a critical part of your business, but others will see this as an opportunity to streamline part of your drivers’ routine. But before you settle on your own perspective, we’ll take you through both DVIR and its digital counterpart so that you can make an informed decision.
So, before we elaborate on the latest in DVIR, it’s time for a quick refresher. Over time, it’s possible that inspection reports have become second nature, but don’t let that lead to complacency. Remember that a daily record — conducted by each driver and of every vehicle — is a requirement of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
So, while your employees may not want to take the time to keep updated with this process, it is quite literally mandatory by law. Until a report is ready, you cannot be certain that a vehicle is safe to hit the road, and that might open the door for culpability if an incident does occur out there. It’s simply not worth the risk to allow a driver to head out without having at least the safety net of a DVIR to provide the minimum amount of protection you need to have peace of mind about each trip.
At its most basic level, an inspection report should answer the fundamental questions raised about the condition of a vehicle. For example:
Do key parts like the windshield wipers and lights function properly?
Are the tires in decent shape and properly inflated?
Does the vehicle have any leaks, defects or other items that require attention before the trip begins?
The full list of concerns is quite exhaustive, but the point stands that the level of detail on a DVIR runs deep. It has to, in order to serve its purpose as both legal document and safety precaution.
Whenever a driver takes a vehicle out without one, he or she is — knowingly or not — putting the long-term reputation of your business on the line. Sure, it’s easy to write DVIR off as a mere formality and breeze through the steps without much care or regard for accuracy, especially when you’re burdened with having to fill out and submit paper copies of each day’s reports.
Then, as the fleet manager, it’s your job to try and make sense of it all. Of course, some drivers are going to waive their DVIR just so that they can keep up.
But vehicular collisions occur every day. If an incident does occur, it’s up to you to ensure that your company and its drivers have met at least the simplest requirements expected of them. That mean having an updated DVIR file, and such a prospect is far less headache-inducing if the records in question are of the digital variety, not the paper kind.
Before the technology to streamline this process was made readily available, it’s only natural that paper-based DVIR would reign supreme. In any case, we are in a new age. DVIR is clearly a key part of your business. So, if you must comply with regulations, there’s no reason why doing so has to be so convoluted. eDVIR may be the new kid on the block, but we’re willing to bet that you’ll hop aboard the digital train once you have a bit more information on hand.
At face value, the eDVIR process isn’t that much different than the traditional way of doing things. Drivers still complete and submit daily reports so that you can keep them on file. The inspection points themselves are largely the same, and the protections they provide have never been more pertinent to the long-term prospects of your business.
What does change — quite drastically, we might add — is how you complete and submit reports. With a fully digital system, drivers no longer need to deal with lengthy inspection forms. Instead, these can be customized to only include the fields you need or rearranged to suit your needs. Then, they are submitted instantaneously using a cloud-based interface, allowing managers like you access to inspection reports in real time.
We have already demonstrated that DVIR is a requirement of your business, and eDVIR at least makes it easy to open the lines of communication and stay in the know with your team.
Moreover, fully electronic inspection reports give you the chance to organize your DVIR records and streamline your processes on the back end. Piles of paperwork can become tiresome quickly, but eDVIR strips all of those concerns and streamlines this critical part of your business to the point that you won’t have to worry about a thing.
In the event that one of your drivers is involved in an accident or some other incident, electronic files will be far easier to access than the old paper forms.
After all, compliance is a real hot-button issue these days, and the last thing you want is for your DVIR files to be incomplete or out of date. eDVIR ensures that this doesn’t happen and that you’re prepared for any circumstances that may come your way.
You’ll even be able to run fully customized reports to uncover opportunities for growth or to identify trends within your business that can pinpoint ways to cut costs or otherwise boost productivity. Even without this added benefit, digital files should already minimize the amount of human errors present in eDVIR, leading to greater accuracy and a higher overall quality of work.
While it is only now starting to gain traction, eDVIR is fast becoming the standard-bearer in your industry. With so many administrative duties in your hands, we’re sure that you’ll be able to appreciate the beauty in the simplicity that is eDVIR. Cleaner inspection forms and real-time submissions alone are game-changers, long before you factor in the many ways in which eDVIR can serve your company better than traditional DVIR ever did.
Less hassle and more efficiency just for bringing your DVIR system into the modern age? That’s not a bad trade-off any way you look at it, but the real clincher for your company will likely be how eDVIR makes it so easy to satisfy regulation and maximize protections for all involved. This is a gift in and of itself, one which you would be wise to at least consider before retreating to the outdated system you know.
BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGICAL UPGRADE
If you’re still on the fence about taking the leap into eDVIR, we’ve got you covered. Let’s briefly run through some of the most integral advantages of using this digital format instead of relying on paperwork.
Work faster: Because you can customize forms and automatically store and organize completed inspection reports, your drivers will able to log in, run through the inspection points they need to hit and get out without having to waste precious minutes fiddling with paperwork or risk losing the completed form before it’s ever turned in. The entire process is streamlined from top to bottom, and there’s no telling how much of a difference you’ll witness once you integrate eDVIR into your business. Time, as they say, is money. The resources you’ll save with this new process is easily among the best elements of it all.
Simplified reporting: Noticing a pattern here? eDVIR doesn’t only streamline — and thus expedite — the inspection process itself, but this same benefit extends to the reporting module as well. If your company is ever audited, you’ll need to be ready to present months’ worth of inspection reports. With digital copies, you’ll be able to access them at a moment’s notice. In fact, you can even customize specific reports based on your own parameters, saving you the time of having to sift through piles of paperwork just to (hopefully) identify what you’re looking for.
More open communication: Across the board, one of the most impactful ways in which technology has changed our world is in how we communicate. Case in point, with fully digital eDVIR, you can communicate with your drivers instantly. Any submitted inspection forms will be easily accessible, and the maintenance team can begin preparing to address any action items discovered during inspection. You can even submit photos through the system for further proof or clarification. Whereas you once had to wait until your driver returned to accept the report and finalize maintenance plans, you can now plan ahead and use your resources more strategically.
Fewer errors: Say goodbye to those days of having to decipher one of your driver’s handwriting or struggling to make sense of a completed inspection report. With eDVIR, it is so much easier to review a report and acknowledge next steps well before intervention is needed. In addition, the ability to customize forms keeps the reports lean and makes it far less likely that a driver will make a mistake. Human error is unavoidable to some degree, but now you can greatly reduce the chances of a major mistake slipping through the cracks. Such a mishap could damage your business and your reputation, if it goes unchecked. Don’t leave your company’s well-being to happenstance.
Incredible mobility: By now, we’ve acknowledged that eDVIR uses the cloud to upload and share information, but let’s emphasize it once more. This system, of course, works for either iOS or Android and on any mobile device, be it smartphone or tablet. Because your drivers travel all over the place, the need to access the system from anywhere is obviously much greater. Thankfully, eDVIR accommodates this, making it a breeze to log in no matter where you are.
FAREWELL TO PAPER
Simply, eDVIR provides a host of benefits that could very well help your business function more smoothly and present the possibility for even more improvements ahead for your business. Though the technology itself is still relatively new, many companies like yours have already seen much success with it, crediting eDVIR for increased productivity, greater accuracy in their records and more accountability on the part of their drivers.
The inspection reports themselves may be digital, but the effect of this new process on business operations is very tangible indeed. Is it any wonder then why eDVIR continues to be heralded as the future of inspection reports? No matter what metric one turns to for success, eDVIR appears poised to facilitate it.
That’s why Whip Around has invested heavily in our eDVIR product. Our easy-to-use system allows complete autonomy and customization of the inspection process. Regardless of how you want to configure your inspection form, Whip Around can make it happen, saving you countless man-hours and ensuring that your drivers stay focused on the job at hand.
Anywhere you are, you’ll be able to manage inspection reports with the touch of a button. Imagine the flexibility of being able to access these DVIR from your mobile device, not to mention the detailed analytics that accompany such digital files.
You’re just one click away from finding a better way to manage your fleet. For more information on how Whip Around can help you, get started FREE today!
From time to time, the rigors of fleet management can become too much. With all the work that goes into maintaining each vehicle and supervising each driver, you may have caught yourself subconsciously searching for some way to streamline the processes involved in your day-to-day operation.
Although the industry is making remarkable strides across the board to change with the times, one area that is making particular progress is the driver’s vehicle inspection report (DVIR). Traditionally, these critical documents were simply put on paper, an approach that was functional once upon a time but has slipped into obsolescence with the advent of technology. Now fleet managers like you can take advantage of a fully electronic version of DVIR, better known as eDVIR.
That being said, it’s still essential that your fleet’s DVIR — no matter which format you use in your business — includes all of the key components that you need to effectively document your driver's’ activity and the condition of your vehicles. That’s why we’re providing you with a one-stop checklist that you can reference to create, complete and submit high-quality DVIR every single time.
Failing to keep these on record could create a disastrous scenario for your business, and as the applicable requirements are subject to change, you need to ensure that you remain compliant at all times and that your files are up-to-date. So let’s delve into precisely what you should be checking for in each DVIR as well as the tools necessary to create the best reports possible.
WHAT YOU NEED TO INCLUDE
With as much driving as your team does, wear and tear of your vehicles is a real concern. Just take a moment to consider all the miles each vehicle in your fleet racks up over the course of each day or week. So much constant motion and dealing with variable road conditions certainly takes its toll.
However, if you’re going to build a checklist designed to minimize risk, you have to know what to look for so that you can take action before problems arise. After all, an in-depth inspection can make all the difference and even prevent tragedy if it is performed correctly.
To that end, let’s break down some of the most essential parts of your vehicle your drivers should be sure to check when completing each day’s DVIR.
If any of the below are faulty or broken, the safety of your vehicle might be compromised, resulting in a potentially hazardous journey on the road.
Brakes: Depending on the kind of vehicle being inspected, you might need to keep a close eye on trailer brake connections, but at the very least, be sure to double-check your service and parking brakes. For obvious reasons, any kind of malfunction here could have catastrophic consequences. So your brakes should always be among the first items on any DVIR checklist.
Steering and horn: No matter what steering mechanism your vehicle uses, the consistent usage of any vehicle in your fleet could adversely affect it. As with brakes, steering is a no-brainer addition to your inspection checklist, but even so, it’s easy to overlook such an obvious element. A driver’s ability to steer the vehicle is tantamount to his or her ability to act at a moment’s notice. Before hitting the road, ensure that everything is as it should be. Yes, including your car horn.
Tires and wheels: We haven’t conducted a scientific study about which part of a vehicle drivers tend to most overlook, but if we did, we wouldn’t be surprised if tires topped the list. From simply failing to ensure that your tires have enough air to not replacing them in a timely manner, tire maintenance is all too often not taken into account. So be sure that your vehicle’s tires are adequately filled and not too worn. Moreover, your wheels and rims should be inspected and secure as well.
Lights and reflectors: Headlights, taillights and brake lights are all key elements of safe driving, and of course, you need to account for each of these before you hit the road, especially in a commercial vehicle. But you’ll also want to verify that all reflectors are secure and in working order, especially since your drivers never know what kind of conditions they’ll be traveling in. Proper lighting is your first line of defense against the rain, snow or other stormy weather you might encounter.
Windshield wipers and mirrors: Much like your vehicle’s lights, switching out the windshield wipers regularly and checking for damage to both the rear-view and side-view mirrors helps to boost visibility and increase safety for everyone on the road. Anything you can do to optimize performance of your vehicle and prepare it for any situation is a tremendous help regardless of what you’re driving. For large commercial vehicles, it’s even more vital.
Emergency kit: Although the bulk of your inspection centers on the condition of the vehicle in question, it also extends to being sure that you are carrying emergency items at all times. They might be maintenance and repair items like a tire gauge, jumper cables and a fire extinguisher or something simpler like a first-aid kit. The important part is that all your vehicles have what they need to take action if a crisis occurs.
Once you’ve verified all of the above are covered, note the make and model of the vehicle and any action items you need to take to ensure that all requirements are met. Priority should be given to any issues that threaten the safety of the vehicle, as they need to be addressed before driving continues. Then make note that these updates have been made. And, of course, don’t forget to sign the report at the end!
CREATING YOUR PROCESS
By its very definition, DVIR necessitates daily repetition and, as such, is best implemented as part of a routine. For instance, inspections should be performed both at the beginning of each trip and after its completion, as mandated by regulations. Such an approach provides optimal coverage, since the operational safety of a vehicle can be affected throughout the course of a single journey.
Both the pre-trip and post-trip reports need to be signed before submission and should remain on file for at least three month. In addition, DVIR should also account for mid-route equipment or trailer changes. To clarify the pre-trip and post-trip inspections further, we’ll look into what is involved in both types of inspections.
Pre-Trip: Oftentimes, the pre-trip side of your inspection is pretty straightforward. The end goal, of course, remains complete satisfaction that the vehicle you’re about to drive is in safe operating condition. Typically, the first step is to review the previous day’s DVIR. If there are any action items that have yet to be completed, these must be resolved before the next trip begins. This level of redundancy creates a system of checks and balances that prevents a driver from operating a vehicle with potentially deadly defects. Once this has been verified, the driver must review and sign off.
Post-Trip: The post-trip end of DVIR is where the real work usually happens. At the end of each day, the driver must file a detailed written DVIR listing any condition he or she discovered that might compromise the safety or integrity of the vehicle. If they require immediate attention, these must be dealt with and certifications issued for each repair. Conversely, the driver must confirm in the report if any defects found do not need to be addressed urgently or if no such defects were found at all. Naturally, such a review of any outstanding damages will be conducted again before the vehicle is sent out (see above).
WHY YOU NEED DVIR
Sure, all these inspection points and processes sound like a major headache. But rest assured, it all has a very important part to play in keeping your business running smoothly and as safely as possible. In fact, even though DVIR is mandatory for your business, the entire process does offer a ton of benefits for your business. Here are just a few to consider.
Stay updated on maintenance: Small tasks like checking oil levels and changing lights might not take a lot of time out of your drivers’ day, but they do ensure that your vehicles are properly maintained, thus extending the number of years they’ll remain in peak condition.
Reduced chance of tickets: Because your drivers remain on top of those small maintenance tasks, their vehicles are far less likely to get dinged by the authorities for simply having a tail light out or failing to have a working turn signal. Once you take a moment to consider the extent of DVIR, you’ll be amazed at how it affects every element of your business.
Fewer accidents: Safety is the ultimate goal of DVIR. So it’s no surprise that thorough inspection that rules out many of the causes of traffic accidents will have a direct effect on the number of on-road issues your fleet will face over the big picture.
Cheaper insurance: This one comes in tandem with the previous entry, but it’s undeniable that minimizing the number of accidents your vehicles are involved in will help to keep insurance costs down. All just because you kept a close eye on your vehicles and maintained a DVIR backlog.
Decreased need for repairs: Even if your drivers are on top of their inspections, you’ll still need to spring for repairs every now and then. But keeping DVIR a key part of your business will reduce the amount of immediate, short-term repairs you’ll have to deal with. Parts can be ordered ahead of time, and you can schedule repairs without having to worry about keeping your drivers on the road. This not only saves you the time of having to wait for availability — potentially putting a vehicle out of commission for a while — but also helps to keep your repair costs down in the long term. In both cases, consider DVIR a definite win.
Boost morale: When your drivers are seen handling a pristine-looking and smooth-operating vehicle, that can only draw positive attention from customers, helping to increase sales and giving you a competitive edge. Likewise, your drivers will feel an enhanced sense of pride in their work and hold you in higher esteem for being so invested in the quality of their work and the condition of their vehicles.
Increased productivity: When you and your drivers aren’t bogged down by all of the above concerns, you’ll find that you’ll be able to stay more focused on the job at hand. That means less downtime for your drivers, who can continue their work without the headache, and the ability for you and your entire team to focus on how to improve your business, from customer service to the day-to-day back-end processes that govern it all.
INSPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Sometimes, you may fall into the false belief that DVIR has little direct purpose in your business, short of meeting an industry-wide regulatory need. However, as tedious as the steps above may seem, don’t lose sight of the integral role that these reports play in keeping your team functioning at its absolute best.
When your business is as potentially fraught with chaos, accountability and shrewd record-keeping are a necessity to both maintain a high level of quality service and protect the long-term prospects of your fleet. The extreme detail included in each DVIR is intended to prevent the opportunity for something to go wrong and for your driver (and your reputation, by extension) to be found culpable for any incident that occurs.
While we naturally advocate for the adoption of eDVIR, the necessity for DVIR of any type has never been stronger. These reports will be the one element that stands between your business and a potential lawsuit, and you need to place them as a priority if you haven’t yet fully adopted them into your daily operation.
Your team looks to you to set the tone for how best to conduct themselves and what processes they need to follow to complete their jobs effectively. This needs to include DVIR. With the checklist we’ve provided above, you have precious few excuses for not implementing or improving upon a DVIR protocol for your business.
Just imagine the difference that such an initiative would make throughout your business, and with any luck, you’ll realize that the rewards that lie ahead far outweigh the short-sighted inconveniences that DVIR may bring.
CONDUCTING THE VEHICLE INSPECTION
PAPER-BASED DVIR PROCESS
To begin, the driver uses pen and paper to fill out their name, time, date, carrier name, and location. Once ready, they use their checklist to inspect each area of the vehicle. Paper-based reports provide the vehicle checklist in alphabetical order which can take the driver back and forth around the vehicle, which can be time consuming and inefficient.
To begin, the driver opens the eDVIR mobile app and selects the appropriate inspection form. The app provides a detailed checklist custom formatted in the order of one fluid walk-through around the vehicle so it is already optimized for the driver's inspection.
REPORTING THE FAULTS
PAPER-BASED DVIR PROCESS
When a driver conducts a paper-based DVIR and finds no faults, the DVIR is marked as complete and the document is then filed for up to 3 months. If there is a defect, they must notify a mechanic and he comes to review the DVIR, fix the defect and document what he did to fix it. The mechanic signs off with date and time on the same paper report and submits it to the carrier.
During the eDVIR process, the driver inspects the vehicle with the mobile app and can take photos, voice record faults, and digitally sign and submit the report on the app, which automatically creates a date and time stamp for the report.
The mechanic is alerted in real-time electronically about any faults found and noted on the report. Once the mechanic has repaired the vehicle he marks the previously found faults as completed on the app.
SECOND DRIVER INSPECTION
PAPER-BASED DVIR PROCESS
The next driver will review the DVIR and make sure the mechanic has fixed any noted faults. They will sign and date that same paper document and deliver it to the carrier where it will be kept on file for a minimum of 3 months.
DOT (Department of Transportation) can randomly conduct an audit on inspection reports based on the last 3 months of operations. DOT selects a vehicle from the fleet and the carrier is required to provide the DVIR. If the carrier can’t provide the report, they can be fined thousands of dollars.
During the eDVIR process, the second driver inspection is even easier. The next driver uses the same inspection report via the mobile app. They will make sure all faults have been updated and then signs off on the previous vehicle inspection report electronically. Just like before, all dates and time stamps are recorded automatically and the vehicle inspection report is saved in the cloud for the carrier, making it available upon demand for a DOT audit with a quick search in the dashboard.
ASTOUNDING EDVIR STATISTICS
We bet you didn’t know that by switching from a paper-based DVIR process to a eDVIR process that you can significantly improve your daily operations, saving you both time and money. Here are a few ways this can happen:
Save thousands with reduced downtime by keeping your vehicles on the road. Downtime can cost up to $1K / day.
Reduce the time it takes to complete a daily vehicle inspection report, by 80%. And increase the efficiency and accuracy at the same time!
Save time pulling reports. Preparing for a DOT audit can take up to 2 days traditionally where as you can just search for the report electronically in a few seconds within the web app dashboard.
PROFOUND EDVIR ADVANTAGES
Saving 80% of the time it used to take you and your fleet to conduct driver vehicle inspection reports seems like a no brainer! Let’s take a look at the additional advantages that you will find with eDVIR:
Eliminate the cost of paper-based booklets
Never lose a report again for when a DOT audit occurs
Eliminate the cost of pens and paper
Do inspection reports from the field anytime with Mobile App Access
Save reports to your online account with Virtual Unlimited Storage
Quickly pull reports when DOT (Department of Transportation) requests them (can take up to 2 days traditionally) with a few clicks vs sorting through paperwork
Reduce risk of DOT fees and stay compliant
Customizable inspection forms for more efficient inspections
24/7 customer support for any digital reporting issues
Paperless analytics and reporting
Manage and review inspections more easily
Stay on top of unplanned maintenance
Review common defects across fleets
Review common defects across vehicle type or brand
Find which drivers are and are not doing their DVIR
Review outstanding defects on vehicles
Make better vehicle buying decisions by reviewing total cost of defects across fleet and vehicles
See which tires are lasting longer, ie: Bridgestone vs Michelin
HOW TO GET STARTED USING EDVIR
We’re sure you don’t need any further convincing that eDVIR is the way of the future, but just to seal the deal let’s show you how easy it is to get setup with eDVIR using the Whip Around app. Here are the setup steps:
It's that pesky form you have to fill out before you go on a haul. For some truck drivers it's the bane of their existence. In fact, some drivers will avoid it at all costs. It’s that frustrating, time-consuming task known as the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR).
You may be wondering:
What is it?
What’s the big deal about them?
Can DVIRs benefit you, or are they just a government required nuisance?
How can you get them done faster?
We’ll cover all this and more in this post. Fasten your seatbelts, and let’s get this show on the road.
WHAT IS DVIR?
The DVIR is the formal record, be it on paper or paperless, that confirms a driver has thoroughly inspected their commercial motor vehicle before taking it on out on the road. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), completing a DVIR is required for each vehicle every day the vehicle is in use.
WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT DVIR ANYWAY?
Why is it that some people like the Department of Transportation, your boss, fleet manager, etc…, get bent out of shape about whether or not you’ve done your DVIR before you drive your commercial vehicle? Perhaps it’s because the DVIR is what lets you know if your vehicle is road-ready.
By not completing it, you can't be certain as to whether or not your vehicle is safe to be on the road. And the truth is, there are many things that can cause your commercial vehicle to be unsafe on the road. To put it bluntly, every time you go out without inspecting your vehicle for defects or faults, you are putting yourself and others at risk.
WHAT TYPES OF THINGS SHOULD YOU BE CHECKING FOR IN YOUR DVIR?
At a minimum your DVIR should include inspection of the following parts and accessories:
(i) Windshield, windshield wiper, sun visor and mirror
Do the wipers work correctly?
Is the windshield clean and not cracked?
Are you confident the wiper blades are not damaged?
Is the washer fluid container full?
Is your windshield washer fluid operating correctly?
(ii) Lights and indicators
Are all lights work correctly including hazard lights?
What about the lenses? Are they clean, free from discoloration, and not cracked?
(iii) Left wheels and tires
Are your tires correctly inflated, and not damaged?
Are the wheel nuts on them tight?
Did you check that there are no cuts or bulges in the tire’s side walls?
Is your tread path adequate?
(iv) Are there any fluid leaks on the left side of the vehicle from the engine, fuel system, waste water tank or any other part?
(v) Reflectors, toe coupling, tail lights, indicators and air hoses
Are all of these fitted, working, clean and not damaged?
(vi) Are there any fluid leaks on the right side of the vehicle from the engine, fuel system, waste water tank or any other part?
(vii) Right wheels and tires - check for the same things you looked for on the left side tires:
Tires are correctly inflated and not damaged
Wheel nuts are tight
No cuts or bulges
Adequate tread path
(viii) Doors and seat belts
Do all doors open and close fully? Check the left side, right side and back doors. You also want to make sure all locks and latches work correctly too.
Is the fire extinguisher serviced and ready for use?
What about your seat belts? Are those working properly?
(ix) Horn and speedometer
Is the horn working correctly?
Is the speedometer is working properly?
(x) Additional things to check before heading off on a haul:
Do you have any trouble steering the vehicle?
Are there any apparent air leaks anywhere?
Does the vehicle come to a full and complete stop when you apply the brakes?
Are all switches and warnings operating adequately?
Do you have sufficient fuel to complete your trip?
CAN DVIR’S ACTUALLY BENEFIT YOU, OR ARE THEY JUST A GOVERNMENT REQUIRED NUISANCE?
When it comes to DVIR’s, it can sometimes feel as though the paperwork you're being required to complete is nothing more than a pain in the neck that government bureaucrats who don’t understand your job are enforcing just to give you a headache. You might even start to feel like they aren’t something that's really necessary unless your boss forces you to do it. This can feel especially true if you have been driving regularly for months or even years at a time without an incident.
However, if you're ever in a situation where your vehicle is not road-ready, and an incident does occur, you'll instantly understand why doing the DVIR is so critical not just for yourself, but for the safety of everybody on the road. Of course, we hope you never have to experience the potential fallout of driving an unsafe vehicle. Still, we thought we’d share just a few things that could happen should you blow off this task that you might feel is simply a waste of your time.
YOU COULD WRECK YOUR VEHICLE, AND BE FOUND AT FAULT.
Accidents happen everyday, and to be honest, not all of them, if any, will be your fault. Then again, there are many accidents that could have been prevented, and could cause you to be found at fault. Just a few examples where the truck driver could be found at fault for the accident include:
A brake failure that resulted in a wreck, because you didn’t notice that your brake fluid was leaking, and now your brakes have stopped working because the fluid ran dry. (A brake problem was even listed as one of the 10 most common causes of an accident when the commercial vehicle was determined to be at fault, according to Simmons and Fletcher, P.C.)
A fault in one of your tires led to a blow out, and you swerved into another lane as a result.
Your windshield had a small crack, that turned into a big one thanks to a bump in the road. It then impaired your vision, and caused a wreck.
You didn’t check the back latch on your vehicle, and while driving down the road at full speed, your entire haul flew out the back of the truck impaling several vehicles, and causing massive damage.
Think these incidents could never happen to you? Think again. Not only are they possible, they have happened, and caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
And, if you haven’t completed a DVIR, when the cops investigate the incident, you could:
Be found at fault
Get a fine
Lose your commercial driver’s license
Be sued (or your company could)
In some cases, all of the above could happen as a result of an accident.
YOU COULD KILL SOMEONE OR YOURSELF.
You might believe it’s a little far-fetched to think that failure to complete a DVIR could result in a death. But, consider this - The FMCSA compiled a report called “Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts.” In the report they found, “There were 11.2 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the United States in 2015, a 6-percent increase from 2010.”
And, of those numbers they concluded: “Vehicle-related factors were coded for 6 percent of the large trucks involved in fatal crashes and 3 percent of the passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes. ‘Other Working Vehicle’ and ‘Tires’ were the most common vehicle-related factors for large trucks in fatal crashes... ‘Tires’ was the most frequently coded vehicle-related factor for passenger vehicles in fatal crashes.”
While the odds are in your favor that you’ll never have to deal with a fatality as a result of an incident on the road, these numbers speak to the point that DVIRs are not just a waste of time. They are there to help you find small problems before they have the chance to become big ones.
What vehicle-related factors are you overlooking every time you skip a pre-trip inspection?
WHAT ARE THE FEDERAL REGULATIONS FOR DVIRS?
According to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, here are some of the rules as they are related to DVIRs:
Every motor carrier shall require its drivers to report, and every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day's work on each vehicle operated, except for intermodal equipment tendered by an intermodal equipment provider.
The report must identify the vehicle and list any defect or deficiency discovered by or reported to the driver which would affect the safety of operation of the vehicle or result in its mechanical breakdown.
The driver must sign the report.
Prior to requiring or permitting a driver to operate a vehicle, every motor carrier or its agent shall repair any defect or deficiency listed on the driver vehicle inspection report which would be likely to affect the safety of operation of the vehicle.
Every motor carrier shall maintain the original driver vehicle inspection report, the certification of repairs, and the certification of the driver's review for three months from the date the written report was prepared.
If you drive a commercial vehicle, you should be completing DVIRs. And, if your company is not enforcing this, your vehicle is not in compliance with federal regulations. This could result in fines, lost wages, and other inconveniences for you and/or your company.
HOW CAN COMPLETING YOUR DVIRS BENEFIT YOU OR YOUR COMPANY?
Being compliant with federal regulations can keep your truck on the road. Every day that your vehicle isn’t on the road can cost as much as $1,000 or more. In other words, completing your DVIR could save your day’s wages.
For example. if you’re pulled over for a roadside inspection and have not completed a DVIR, it could lead to a more thorough inspection by the DOT. If they find any faults your truck could be taken off the road until the repairs can be made. The longer those repairs take, the longer you are losing money.
Another benefit of completing DVIRs is that your company will save money. Every time they learn of a problem with a vehicle, it will be repaired and get back on the road that much faster. Smaller problems cost less time and money to fix, and this will give your company’s bottom line a boost. That makes for happier bosses and managers, and ultimately happier employees.
When companies enforce completion of DVIRs they can also save money on insurance premiums. Having those DVIRs in hand is auditable proof to an insurance provider that the vehicles in a fleet are being maintained, and are as safe as they can be on the road.
HOW CAN YOU GET A DVIR DONE FASTER?
Perhaps by now we have finally convinced you that you should be doing DVIRs regularly. Great! But, now you’re trying to figure out how to get them done faster. We get it! Time is money, and completing a DVIR takes time. And, if you’re using a paper based system, you’re wasting a lot more time and resources than necessary. All that ink, all those copies, all that paperwork...it’s unnecessary.
Enter Whip Around. Founded in January 2015, Whip Around is a mobile-based application that makes DVIR compliance quick and easy. Using a mobile device, you can simply pull up a pre-trip inspection form, fill it out with a few clicks, and then instantly submit it to your fleet manager. You can even report defects and faulty equipment within the platform, and you’ll be prompted to take a photo and add a comment to explain the issue.
The basic report installed with the application comes with the bare essentials of what you need to inspect a vehicle to be road ready. However, your fleet manager can also add their own inspection items to it in order to ensure everything is in tip-top shape before drivers go out on the road.
Once a DVIR is submitted, your fleet manager can assign the vehicle for repairs. Or, if everything checks out, you can hop on the road confident that your vehicle is safe. No paper, no hassle, just quick inspections, and instant submission. Being compliant with DVIRs has never been easier.
GET STARTED WITH WHIP AROUND TODAY!
Want to try out Whip Around for yourself? You can get started with a freemium account as soon as today. Click here to learn more about Whip Around’s features, or click here to create an account now.
When you’re busy managing a fleet of commercial vehicles, the last thing you want is to be bogged down by procedure. With the fast-paced world you operate in, any delays — no matter how necessary they may be — can wreak havoc on your schedule and hamper your productivity.
However, some processes are simply too essential to forgo, leaving you with the option to push forward through the inconvenience and its accompanying strife or to find a better way of accomplishing the same objective, one that might actually make your business more effective and efficient than it was before.
For many in your position, the above pretty accurately describes their feelings toward driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR). Sure, it’s a necessity from a safety and precautionary standpoint, but that doesn’t mean that DVIR's don’t run the risk of adversely affecting everything you’ve worked so hard to build.
Your fleet of drivers does absolutely need to conduct and file these reports, but over time, you may have seen their quality noticeably dip, likely due to the simple fact that your drivers don’t feel they have enough time to devote to regular inspection reports without sacrificing their focus on the task at hand.
Thankfully, there is another option. Electronic driver vehicle inspection reports — or eDVIR, for short — takes all the benefits of their paper-focused counterparts but adding in the comfort of modern technology. Still not convinced? Stick around as we discuss why Whip Around’s eDVIR could be the game-changing tool you need to take your fleet’s operation to the next level.
We all know how the old DVIR process worked. Due to federal law, your drivers are required to maintain a daily report of whatever vehicle they operate and update the previous one as necessary. For a single driver, this should be no problem at all. But for someone managing an entire fleet, keeping track of these daily DVIRs and completing action items that arise can easily become overwhelming.
To keep up with it all (and to remain compliant in the eyes of the law), your best bet is to go digital with the entire process.
eDVIR takes an antiquated methodology and streamlines it, deftly cutting down the amount of time you and your drivers need to keep your reports updated and filed on time, every time. With digital documents, you’ll be able to bid farewell to those stacks of paperwork that once took up so much of your precious office space.
Moreover, you can customize the specific reports your fleet uses so that only the fields you need are included. This approach trims all unnecessary steps, getting your drivers back on the road as soon as possible, and by creating a smoother process for them means less work for you and (hopefully) fewer reporting errors in general.
Your schedule is already likely jam-packed with countless administrative duties. Now, rather than dealing with report troubles or being forced to keep track of your drivers, you’ll be able to simplify their reports and more easily mediate this required element of running your business.
Even better, you can access submitted reports with just the click of a button, since eDVIR relies on the cloud to house and share data across any distance. This emerging alternative to paper DVIR removes all the guesswork and saves you loads of time and infinite hassle. Isn’t fleet management complex enough and fraught with troubleshooting as it is without tackling DVIR issues?
After all, there’s no getting around the DVIR requirement. This law isn’t just federally mandated to protect your business the safety of your drivers and others on the road. These reports also serve as evidence to protect your business against liability. Should an incident occur, you’ll be able to maintain a clear record that your vehicle was in top condition just prior to encountering a collision or other altercation.
As it stands, such accidents are among the top causes of death, and any steps you can take to guard against litigation and, of course, injury is certainly worthwhile. With eDVIR, you’re able to satisfy this responsibility without sacrificing the performance of your fleet.
At long last, the burden of traditional DVIR has been lifted, and brighter, easier days lie ahead. If eDVIR doesn’t already sound like a dream come true, then you might want to stick around for more on how Whip Around manages to leverage this new system to great effect, extrapolating the built-in benefits of a completely digital solution to make a truly impressive impact on far more facets of your business than you may realize.
THE WHIP AROUND DIFFERENCE
Although such a design is on the verge of going mainstream, Whip Around is one of the only companies currently offering the mobile capabilities that eDVIR delivers. We’ve already addressed the most obvious benefit of this system, namely the revolutionary paperless approach we offer.
However, the abilities to toss out your old files and access reports at a moment’s notice — and from any location, we might add — are simply the beginning. eDVIR facilitates improvements across the board, opening up new possibilities for efficiency that you could only dream of.
Here are a few of the biggest advantages to stepping into the future and embracing eDVIR today:
Unlimited storage: We’ve all been in the dreadful situation of misplacing that key piece of paperwork. What a nightmare, right? Well, with eDVIR, you no longer risk the chance that a driver’s report might get lost on the journey. Instead, reports are saved in the system for future reference. And, because your account automatically boasts an unlimited amount of storage space, you’ll never run out of room or be forced to purchase more memory to keep all your reports housed in one consolidated location. They all remain there safe and sound and waiting for your review.
Rapid submission: If you need a report in at a specific time (especially if the Department of Transportation comes knocking), the worst thing to have to face is the reality of waiting for a report to be mailed over or, worse yet, for a driver to return to the office with his or her reports in tow. eDVIR makes it a cinch to ensure that your reports are up-to-date whenever you absolutely must have them accessible for a DOT audit or other reason.
Remain in compliance: Okay, we’ve referenced this advantage briefly, but considering how much damage a violation can do to your business’s reputation, it bears repeating. The DOT’s regulations regarding DVIR are abundantly clear, and you simply cannot afford to compromise your fleet’s credibility, especially when such an occurrence is so easily prevented. Facing a fee may be a passing obligation, but with compliance entering the public consciousness now more than ever before, the time is right to insulate your company.
Outshine your competition: Nowadays, virtually every industry is teeming with companies vying to top each other. So, your fleet could use every distinguishing factor it can. The capability to act in real time regarding your reports most definitely qualifies, as it maximizes productivity and extends your resources. Both you and your driver will be able to work faster and more accurately with digital files, an easy-to-use interface and completely customizable inspection forms. Reports will be completed and submitted in a mere fraction of the time they once were.
Enhanced analytics: Another worthwhile benefit of having all your inspection reports in a digital format is that this data is easily searchable and therefore able to be applied to analytics. Identify common issues across a particular type of vehicle, calculate the cost of parts or track outstanding defects from across your fleet. The possibilities are endless, and every bit of information will guide your decision-making process and create more opportunities for improvement. You’ll even be able to verify which of your drivers have neglected their DVIR duties. If knowledge is truly power, prepare to soup up your fleet management.
Decrease your downtime: If your drivers are constantly having to deal with complicated reports and/or persistent vehicle issues, there’s no way around it: your bottom line is suffering. Such activities can cost you hundreds of dollars each day and may ultimately lead to long-term decline of your business prospects. But with eDVIR on your side, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to minimize downtime and keep your drivers on the road and your vehicles in optimum condition.
BY THE NUMBERS
So we’ve made our case for eDVIR. Whip Around and our clients have already experienced tremendous success thus far, and we’d love you to join their ranks. By now, you might even be considering introducing this system into your fleet management plan.
However, if you need a little help casting your worries aside, allow us to clear up any concern with the power of statistics. After all, your business lives or dies by the numbers it racks up. Therefore, it stands to reason that you would desire some empirical evidence before you decide to make such a major improvement.
If that is the case, let’s get to it with a few of our favorite eDVIR stats.
80 percent less processing: You might think that your tried-and-true DVIR process provides you with all the speed you need, but consider the following. Once you make the transition to digital reports, you’ll cut the amount of time needed to process each report by a massive 80 percent. Imagine how much smoother your days will go with all that extra time at your disposal. Forget about feeling left behind. You may actually be able to finally get to those pesky items that keep getting pushed further down your to-do list.
From days to seconds: We all know what a pain it is to prepare an audit for the DOT or any other report, for that matter. Using traditional means, such a project could take as long as two entire business days, as you scramble to coordinate and organize the required data. With eDVIR, you’ll be wondering what to do with all your newfound time. Now all you need to do is search for the report in your digital files, and you’re all set. What once took hours of manpower to collect can now be cleared up in a matter of seconds, thanks to the highly intuitive Whip Around web application.
Save up to $1,000 a day: Remember when we praised Whip Around’s ability to keep your vehicles off the side of the road and focused on the task at hand? Well, we weren’t kidding about how much that significant downtime can hurt you. We’ve crunched the numbers, and using eDVIR can actually save you as much as $1,000 in resources each day that these issues persist. That’s potential profit you can’t afford to lose, especially as your industry continues to evolve and your competitors hone in on the valuable asset eDVIR can be.
Enough of all the discussion of what eDVIR is, how it works and why it is a must-have tool for your business. Hopefully, you’re already anxious to just get started already, and if so, we can’t wait to help facilitate that for you. Before we go ahead and start your setup, let’s walk you through just how easy the process really is.
Once you register your account, you’ll be instructed to log in to our secure web application dashboard. This will serve as the central hub for your eDVIR management and the location from which you’ll access your data, make adjustments and generate reports. Just add all of your vehicles and drivers into the system, and you’ll be able to create and customize your own inspection report using our straightforward user interface.
After the initial setup is complete, you’ll then be able to use your login credentials on our mobile application, where your drivers can begin entering reports instantly. That’s all there is to it! Best of all, if you have any questions, you’ll have Whip Around’s 24-hour customer support team at your service, ensuring that your issue is resolved as soon as possible. A whole new way of completing your inspection reports is right around the corner. So don’t delay for another moment. Welcome to the Whip Around family!
Ready to introduce your fleet to the power of eDVIR? Click here to sign up!
Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR), sometimes called pre-trip inspections, are a staple in every driver and fleet manager’s life. They can also become a perennial source of stress. So is technology making these reports easier? The answer is a resounding yes! Let’s take a look at some of the concerns about how technology is affecting all of our lives, then assess whether these issues extend to DVIRs.
IS TECHNOLOGY MAKING OUR LIVES BETTER?
A generation or two ago, people would have marveled at the notion of instantaneous communication at the press of a button. Gone are the days of having to go to the library, waiting endless weeks for a response to a letter, and paying massive long distance phone bills. It seems we should all have lots more time, tons more money, and better lives overall.
Yet technology, for most of us, has not delivered on its promise of greater convenience. The rapid turnaround of email, instant messaging, and social media has primed us all to expect immediate responses. We want to hear from people yesterday. The result is a state of perennial stress and constant frazzle. We all feel the need to be constantly plugged in and responsive. We can’t sit back and enjoy a conversation, or even sleep, without checking our phones.
The technologies that promised to make our lives easier have instead made us all chronically, constantly, endlessly busy. The headlines and research are predictable, and alarming:
Technology is making us less social, because we are forgetting how to have conversations in real time.
Smartphones are crushing creativity. Creativity depends on having time during which the mind can wander in boredom. Now that everyone picks up their phone whenever they’re bored, we all spend less time daydreaming and thinking creatively.
Technology is increasingly linked to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a host of other ills. Teenagers who spend less time in front of screens tend to be happier.
Technology distracts us from our real lives. Whether it’s fake news getting us angry about things that didn’t happen or Facebook notifications pulling us away from dinner, people are increasingly addicted to the virtual world, and increasingly disconnected from the real one.
Technology makes us less productive, by making us feel productive even when we’re not doing anything at all. It can distract us from what matters, and might even make us less intelligent.
We feel like we have lots of friends because of social media, but we may have fewer connections that actually matter to us.
We can shelter ourselves from challenging ideas, which makes it more difficult for us to understand other people, empathize with different views, and change our minds.
Of course, much of this can be overcome by controlling the role digital media plays in our lives and carefully monitoring our own use of technology. That’s easier said than done, though, and for many people, trying to control their use of technology just becomes one more impossible and time-consuming task on a seemingly endless to-do list.
THE PROBLEM WITH DVIR FORMS
DVIR forms might be one of the few exceptions to the challenging realities of technology. The old-fashioned approach to DVIR forms just doesn’t work, because it creates an endless pile of paperwork. The law says that every fleet must inspect its vehicles before driving them. You can design your own forms, so long as they maintain basic mechanical information and details about recent inspections.
It’s a reasonable requirement designed to keep your drivers safe, protect motorists, and ensure that companies take dangerous vehicles off the road. The problem is that this requirement can also create a ton of stress for owners, operators, drivers, and anyone else who has to grapple daily with regulatory issues.
Before we explore how switching to digital DVIR forms can make your life better, let’s consider some of the challenges drivers, fleet managers, and owners face in complying with DVIR laws.
THE CHALLENGE OF FULL COMPLIANCE
DVIR are not supposed to be cursory overviews. Nor are drivers supposed to check off each box on the form as a matter of course. These forms are critical for driver safety, and for the safety of other vehicles on the road. To fully comply with the law, your drivers must physically inspect each vehicle, and honestly report any defects or mechanical difficulties. You must then address these issues before the vehicle goes back on the road.
As a practical matter, this creates significant burdens for drivers, owners, and managers. That’s doubly true when you must meet tight deadlines. The temptation to ignore vehicle defects can be overwhelming. But of course, that subjects you to potential fines, put your drivers in danger, and can render you liable if there’s an accident and you are sued.
It’s a tough line, and one which many fleet operators don’t talk about. Yet it must be addressed: this paperwork burden is real, overwhelming, and costly.
No driver wants to waste their time inspecting a vehicle, especially if there’s a very real risk that this vehicle must then be taken off of the road. That means managers must oversee inspections. This can be an incredibly taxing and time-consuming undertaking.
Not only must managers continually nag drivers to do their forms. They must also find ways to balance this burden against the other burdens of their job. Consider the following:
Managers might not want to take time off of work, and owners might be reluctant to give managers vacation time.
Managers may need to be physically present to ensure that drivers comply with inspection requirements.
Managers are turned into the bad guys, perpetually hounding annoyed drivers who just want to get out on the road.
It’s a task no one wants to undertake, but one which the law demands.
Most fleets operate under significant time constraints. Your drivers need to get from point A to point B, and to maximize your profits, they must do so quickly. DVIRs slow down the process -- especially when there’s a problem. They force drivers to wait to get on the road, delay deliveries, and subject businesses to uncertainty as they await repairs and replacement parts.
This can have real effects on your operations. The fewer vehicles you operate, the more pronounced those effects will be, since a single out of commission vehicle can require you to alter your entire schedule.
A single DVIR can have a ripple effect: the report delays a delivery, and an identified problem requires the delivery to be further delayed or canceled. This delays other deliveries, or requires drivers of other vehicles to move more quickly.
Over time, this can erode your reputation with your customers, tempt drivers to drive too quickly, and cost lots of money. It’s nearly impossible to plan for the unanticipated time constraints of DVIRs, leaving managers to deal with stress and continual schedule changes.
Under the law, fleets must retain DVIR forms for a minimum of three months. For many fleet managers, especially those operating large fleets, it makes sense to retain these forms much longer. Doing so can help you monitor trends over time, support insurance claims, and even serve as evidence of vehicle maintenance if you are ever sued.
The problem is that these forms quickly create an avalanche of paper. You’ll quickly accumulate hundreds -- or thousands, or hundreds of thousands, depending on the size of your fleet -- of forms. Even if you’re able to neatly stack them in a box, how will you find the paperwork you need. If you’re like most managers, you'll end up with an office filled with useless paper, and find yourself on the verge of panic if you ever need to locate a specific form.
DVIR FORMS: HOW TECHNOLOGY MAKES IT ALL BETTER
Technology can make life stressful. If you’re already dealing with the stress of operating a fleet, the last thing you want to do is add to your stress burden. But DVIR forms in digital format can actually reduce your stress load -- really.
So why should you consider switching to online forms? Consider the following:
You’ll never again have to deal with an avalanche of paperwork. If you need something, it’s there and searchable. No more banker’s boxes. No more piles of paper in your office. No more fines for noncompliance or lost papers. This means less stress, more time to do what you want, and full documentation of everything related to DVIRs.
Digital inspection forms save time. Everything you need is readily accessible -- no need to go digging through your office, deal with outdated forms, or wonder what happened to page two.
Digital inspection forms eliminate perfunctory inspections. Designing your own forms allows you to ask questions that force drivers to conduct physical inspections that keep everyone safe -- not just check off a bunch of boxes.
Digital inspection forms free managers to view forms wherever they are. This can empower them to take vacations, take time off when they're sick, and trust that everything is operating smoothly even in their absence.
Digital DVIR forms save money. You won't pay non compliance fines, have to worry about missed vehicle repairs, have to pay for a storage space to store your paperwork, or invest in a substitute manager to hound drivers on the manager’s day off. For many companies, this adds up to thousands of dollars in savings over time -- not to mention the reduction in stress.
Digital DVIR forms give everyone more time. Time is money. When managers are freed up to do other tasks, they can help the company earn more money, fulfill other job duties, and enjoy their free time.
WHAT WHIP AROUND OFFERS
Whip Around takes the convenience of digital DVIR forms to the next level. Ideal for fleets of any size, we make the process of pre-trip inspections seamless:
Build customized, attractive forms in just minutes. We help you build forms specific to the needs of your fleet, that still comply with the law. Take just a few minutes and witness how easy it is to build forms that drivers understand, and that encourage them to take inspections seriously.
Access DVIR forms anywhere. Our mobile inspection forms mean that drivers can inspect a vehicle using just their smartphone. And managers can review inspections and other important reports no matter where they are.
Manage flagged faults wherever you are. You can take action on inspection reports effortlessly, noting where the vehicle is in the repair process and assigning repairs to the mechanic of your choice.
Create individual profiles and teams for drivers, allowing you to manage them wherever they are and wherever you are.
Extensive administrative controls. Add users and assign permissions as needed. Don’t worry about compromised data.
Extreme reliability. With up time of greater than 99.99%, you don’t have to worry about an outage meaning you can’t access your data.
Maintain detailed analytics about your vehicles. This allows you to track changes over time, and potentially to gather important pieces of data -- such as which drivers tend to have the most and fewest vehicle issues, and which vehicles cost the most to repair.
HOW WHIP AROUND IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE
Whip Around is more than just a useful tool. It’s a way to improve productivity, cultivate success, and improve everyone's quality of life. Our goal is to help you get more done more quickly, so you can focus on building your company, managing your staff, and enjoying your life.
Once you’re set up with Whip Around:
You’ll have more time for company projects, time with your family, or getting to know your drivers.
You’ll have fewer compliance issues. That means more money and less stress.
You won’t have to constantly be in the office overseeing drivers. Take a vacation. Visit your clients. Develop a new marketing plan. Enjoy your freedom.
You’ll have everything available when you need it, and can retain records for years.
We make fleet management easier, and alleviate stress for drivers, managers, owners, and mechanics. We’re so convinced you’ll love what we have to offer that we offer free accounts and extensive support to get set up. There’s no obligation -- only a chance to better manage your fleet.
Ready to give it a try?
A pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection, as its name implies, is the inspection you should do of your fleet vehicles before you take off on a trip, to ensure your vehicle is safe to be on the road. What kinds of things should you be looking for in your inspection?
Today, we’ll break down:
A list of must-check items in your pre-trip inspection
Why you need to be doing a pre-trip inspection before every haul and
The fastest way to get it done so you can get back on the road faster
WHAT SHOULD YOU CHECK IN A PRE-TRIP FLEET VEHICLE INSPECTION
From the front to the back of your truck and everything in between, below is a list of items you should really check on to ensure your vehicle is road ready.
The first thing you should do is check under the hood. Every check should include:
Examining the wiring of electrical systems such as the ignition, steering, and headlights
Ensure all hoses are connected and look for for any leaks that may be present
Examine the windshield washer fluid and make sure the container is full
Checking air pressure in the air filter housing and air compressor
Evaluate the brake drums, brake mount, brake linings and shock absorbers
And make sure valve caps are securely fastened
Next, make your way to the left side of the cab. Here you’ll want to make sure nothing is attached that shouldn’t be, and that things like your mirrors, lights, steps, and even air vents are working properly. Check that doors close securely, the locks work, and that windows go up and down normally.
While you’re there, remove any obstructions and/or garbage that may be in the cab. After all, according to FleetOwner.com, “a tidy cab can often mean ‘move along,’” and you’ll be less likely to have a thorough inspection in the event you are pulled over for a spot check.
Another thing to check while in the left side of the cab is that there are no cracks to the windshield, and that the wipers and blades are working properly. It’s a good idea to check that signals and hazard lights are functioning correctly inside the cab as well.
After you’ve tidied the cab, make your way to the front of the trailer. Here, you’ll be looking to ensure things like reflective tape or reflectors are intact. You also should be evaluating the body panels looking for anything that seems cracked, coming apart, or just looks out of place.
Moving on now to the left wheels and tires. You want to ensure that the tires are correctly inflated with adequate pressure, and not damaged in anyway. Wheel nuts should tight, looks for bulges or cuts in the tire sidewalls, and check that your tread path is adequate. While on that side of the vehicle also check for any visible fluid leaks that could potentially be coming from the engine, fuel systems and/or the waste water tank.
Check the tires in the front, and then make your way towards the back of the trailer on the left side to check for the following:
Are the rear tires in good condition?
Are the tail lights working properly?
Is the toe coupling fitted securely?
Are all indicators, lights and hoses fitted, working properly, clean, and free from damage?
What about the splash guards? Do they need the be cleaned or replaced?
At the rear of the trailer ensure that the doors, hinges and bumper are all intact. Doors should close completely. Hooks and latches as well as locks must be functioning properly. Reflectors or reflective tape must be in good condition. Check for leaks that you may see at the back for any reason.
Then, move onto the right side of the trailer and right tires. Repeat the process of checking for leaks, reflectors or reflective tape, trailer panels, the tires are in good condition, etc.
When you get back up to the right side at the front of the trailer, again you will check everything you checked on the left side before hopping into the right side of the cab. Here you will once again make sure doors and windows are functioning properly, and remove any garbage or obstructions from this side as well.
Before departure close the hood, test the horn, turn signal, headlights and high beams, and all indicators. It’s also a good idea to make sure all seatbelts are working properly, check that the fire extinguisher has been serviced and is ready to be used if needed, and that your speedometer is working correctly.
THE MOST COMMONLY OVERLOOKED ITEMS IN A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION
After months or years of driving a truck, some drivers may tend to get a little lax in their pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection. As a result, there are many elements that start getting overlooked. The most common of these include, but aren’t limited to:
Cleaning the vehicle. This might seem like it’s no big deal, but the reality is that what’s in your cab could cause you trouble on the road.
For example, an empty bottle could get stuck under a pedal causing you to wreck. Or another piece of garbage could get wedged in a mechanical device causing it to malfunction. While these scenarios may seem unlikely, they can happen.
We also want to reiterate that having a lot of junk in your cab could make you a bigger target for a more thorough inspection on the road. The faster you can get through those checkpoints, the faster you can get back on the road. If time is money, then it could pay to keep your cab clean.
This is not just an interior issue either. It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of the exterior of the vehicle as well. It’s harder to see cracks and faults on your trailer that may need maintenance, if the vehicle is too dirty.
Your brake system. People often forget about the importance of their brakes until the moment they have a problem with them. With your truck having heavier loads, and your slower stop time, it’s that much more imperative that you thoroughly check your brakes. Check it all, and not with just a quick glance. The wear and tear your brakes face on a daily basis demands your added attention.
The fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. Do you have a first aid kit in your cab? You should, and it should be well stocked/refilled when things are used or expire. And, when was the last time your fire extinguisher was serviced? Is its safety pin intact, or does it look like it’s been tampered with? Are you keeping it secure in your cab? These are things you need to think about, but may often forget about them until you need them.
Chock your wheels. Chocks are there to avoid the vehicle accidentally moving before you’re ready for it to. It’s far too easy to forget to chock your wheels if you’re speeding through things. Think about everything you’ll be doing in your pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection - do you really want to risk something as large as your truck moving on you while you’re performing your evaluations?
WHY YOU NEED TO PERFORM A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION BEFORE EACH TRIP
Not to sound dark and ominous here, but for starters a pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection can save lives. A brake failure, blown out tire, faulty steering system, and a host of other issues could cause an accident that could in fact lead to a death. Perhaps even your own!
What if you didn’t ensure that your rear doors on your trailer were securely fastened? Your doors could blow open on the road, and when your haul flies out it could impale another vehicle.
Let’s say you didn’t make sure your headlights were working, and you’re suddenly in a remote part of town at night with faulty lights. Would you be able to see the road safely? Doubtful!
Doing these inspections is not busy work, or just something the boss wants you to do because he enjoys giving you a hard time. It’s about preventing as many accidents as possible.
Then again, we’d be lying if we said that is all your boss cares about. It’s not just about preventing accidents. It’s also about saving as much money as possible.
Pop quiz! What costs more money to fix?
A single flat tire
A flat tire plus fixing the rim (because you kept driving on the flat)
You guessed it! B is the right answer. This might be an extreme answer, but it speaks to the point that smaller and/or simpler repairs cost less to fix.
For example, if you had checked for leaks and found a fluid leak, you could have simply replaced a hose. If instead you let it go, the fluid could leak all over the engine and various systems under the hood wreaking havoc and causing significantly more expensive damage.
What’s the fastest way to make your mechanic rich, and make your boss cry? Let small repair goes unchecked, and end up needing a lot more done to the vehicle to get it road ready again.
Consider for a moment your own finances as well. If you work for a smaller fleet, you might not be able to simply drive a different truck while one is being worked on. Not only will your company be losing money while the truck is off the road, you might miss out on a paycheck. Talk about a lose-lose situation that could have been prevented.
We understand. Doing pre-trip inspections as often as you’re supposed to do them can feel tedious. Monotonous even. Sure, skipping one inspection here or there might not lead to any significant tragedies.
On the other hand, for something that really doesn’t take that much time in the grand scheme of things to do - do you really want to put your truck, your body and your company at risk by skipping it?
You may be thinking that the reason you don’t to them is because you feel it takes far too long to complete these inspections. And, if you’re using the old school pen and carbon copy paper method of doing them, we might agree with you. Luckily, there is a much better way to do inspections these days….Enter Whip Around.
THE FASTEST WAY TO COMPLETE A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION
Using the Whip Around app is hands down the fastest ways to do your pre-trip inspections. What is Whip Around you ask? It’s the revolutionary mobile application that is changing the game in terms of how motorists are handling their driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIR).
With Whip Around, you can throw out all those paper DVIRs, and instead fill them out digitally with your smartphone, iPad, or a tablet. You simply create an account, download the app, and are able to create inspection forms with a simple drag-and-drop inspection form creator. Then, you pull up the form on your phone or tablet, follow the prompts, and before you know it, your inspection is complete.
If you find any faults with your vehicle while you’re inspecting it, there’s a space in the app to take a photo of it, and leave a comment as well. Once you finish your form, it will be automatically sent in real time to your boss or fleet manager, and they can pull up the form in their web based dashboard to review. If necessary, they can assign your vehicle to a mechanic. Or, if everything is in good condition, you can get on the road that much faster.
With Whip Around, you can fill out your DVIRs quickly, and ensure compliance. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is road ready, without wasting time, or worrying about whether you skipped anything in your inspection.
Your boss will also enjoy the boost to the company’s bottom line that will inevitably occur. As a result maybe he won’t be as grouchy when you ask to take a vacation. Hey, it could happen!
WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHIP AROUND AND SEE IF WE CAN HELP?
We’re more about showing than telling anyway, and you can try Whip Around for free as early as today. Create a free account by clicking here, and you’ll be up and running in no time. A few clicks, and type in some simple information, and we’re confident you will quickly see just how much faster your can do a pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection.
It costs as much as $1,000 per day for a vehicle to be off the road. If you can prevent this kind of loss, why wouldn’t you?
Whenever you send a driver out into the field, you know that there is a certain amount of risk involved. Managing an entire fleet of vehicles involves inviting possible disorder and endless potential for complications into your business. Literally anything can happen to your driver or his/her vehicle while they are in the midst of performing their duty.
So it’s essential that you take extra steps to ensure the safety of your drivers and the security of your vehicles. Thankfully, pre-trip inspections are one area of preparation that is fast becoming streamlined and even automated, making it much easier for any company with a fleet of vehicles on the road. In your case, a Class A pre-trip inspection needs to be an integral element of your process.
With so much of your business on the line, you must resist the temptation to cut corners when it comes to pre-trip inspections. Such precautions serve a variety of positive functions for your short-term and long-term prospects, and before you proceed with future plans, you might want to revisit some of your longest-held processes for opportunities for improvement.
Whether you’re already performing Class A pre-trip inspections or are completely new to this practice, we’re going to review everything you need to know to be sure that your company is reaping all the benefits of these inspections. You might just find that your current way of doing things falls tragically short of what pre-trip inspections can accomplish.
CLASS A DIFFERENCES
Taking stock of your vehicle before you hit the road is just a wise practice in general, no matter what you’re doing or where you’re headed. Whether it’s a long road trip with your family or a lengthy jaunt out of town for business, you’re placing a lot of faith in your vehicle whenever you don’t assess its condition and effectiveness beforehand.
However, when a commercial driver’s license like the Class A one your drivers likely use is involved, a pre-trip inspection is especially critical since the lack of such a regular practice could lead to disaster for you and your business.
It’s not just the commercial nature of your license holders that makes a pre-trip inspection so important for Class A licensees. This type of license — which, of course, is required to operate vehicles like tractor-trailers, truck/trailer combos and tankers — could be more prone to accidents, mishaps and other potentially harmful events due to just the sheer size and weight involved.
Also, for legal purposes, the fact that your cargo could be affected by an issue with your vehicle means that pre-trip inspections are as much of a must for Class A licensees as those with more specific types like Class B or C.
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED
Safety is paramount whenever you have a driver out on the road, and pre-trip inspections might be able to prevent a tragedy from occurring. In the face of day-to-day operation, it’s easy for this priority to get lost in the shuffle, but you mustn’t let this occur if you hope to make the most of your business and your team.
A little preparation beforehand can help you smooth out the process for your Class A drivers. Having the right documentation on hand to keep everyone on the same page limit the potential for human error and holds everyone at your company accountable for their actions or lack thereof.
Before you send your vehicle out, you’ll need to double-check its condition and have your driver follow up with updates at least once a day. This is especially true when drivers are due to pick up a new trailer for their trucks or take a particularly long break in between their work, as you never know what might happen to a vehicle specifically during these times.
Since most of the commercial vehicles on the road are used on a near-constant basis, wear and tear can adversely affect many aspects of their operation. So, before you (or your driver) get ready for a pre-trip inspection, here’s some guidelines for how to prepare:
Have your tools handy: You’ll need a few basics to perform your inspection. You never know when you’ll have to jump in with a minor repair. So have a hammer on you. Also, regardless of when the inspection is being done, you should keep a flashlight at the ready so that you can zero in on the details of your vehicle. Of course, be sure that whoever performs the inspection is wearing gloves, to prevent any accidental injury that may occur.
Preliminary safety steps: Before any inspection begins, be absolutely certain that your parking brakes are set and that the transmission is securely switched into the first gear. Anything can happen during these pre-trip inspections, and safety must come first. You can never underestimate the potential for something to go terribly awry. Keeping the vehicle in this state — and even going so far as to put wheel immobilizers — places the life of your driver and others ahead of everything else.
Light your vehicle up: Both as a means to test these basic elements of your vehicle and to alert others to your activity, you should always switch your four-way flashes on, as well as your brake lights and headlights. These are some of the most important elements of your vehicle, since they are among the biggest accident deterrents. As such, you need to take great care in checking them first whenever an inspection is due.
Once you have the above steps taken care of, it’s time to remove your key, head around to the front of your vehicle and pop that hood open. Let’s get into the thick of your pre-trip inspection!
BREAKING DOWN THE INSPECTION PROCESS
The objectives of a pre-trip inspection are multifaceted. However, despite the many benefits of making this a routine part of how you conduct business, there are certain key elements that any inspection needs to cover to ensure its comprehensiveness and effectiveness. Here are some of the most basic aspects that your drivers need to hit with every inspection:
Overall safety: We’ll get into the full breadth of why pre-trip inspections are so important below, but for now, bear in mind that the general safety of each vehicle should be your top concern, starting with the aforementioned headlights, brake lights and other basic safety features. Safety is the primary function of any inspection.
Vehicle hoses: Be sure that every pre-trip vehicle inspection involves a look at all the major vehicle hoses. You never know when one can become detached or damaged or even spring a leak. Any puddles or drips will help tip you off to any kind of hose damage, but make it a point to specifically check for it.
Fluid levels: Sure, this may be automobile care 101, but it’s still worth mentioning all the same. Critical fluids such as motor oil and power steering fluid are, in many respects, the lifeblood of your vehicle. Before a vehicle is taken out on any trip, these fluids should all be at their optimal level to prevent incident and ensure peak performance.
Vehicle belts: If any damage were to come to any of the many belts that play integral roles in your vehicle’s operation, you might be facing a dangerous situation. So your inspection should include routine checks for the snugness and condition (especially watch out for cracks or frays) of your power steering belt, alternator belt and others.
Your clutch: Seeing as it governs the power transmission responsible for all your vehicle’s operation, your clutch (or gear shift) is easily one of the most important parts of your vehicle. Before any driving commences, check that it is functioning normally to prevent any trouble on the road.
Mirrors and windshields: It may sound so simple to even mention, but your vehicle’s visibility inevitably plays a role in your safety and security. All mirrors and windshields therefore must be unblemished, intact and clear. You don’t want anything — not even something as basic as a dirty or cracked mirror standing in the way of the safe performance of your vehicle.
Emergency equipment: Even with all the precautions you may be taking, your drivers should still be prepared for anything to happen. Case in point, it’s always a good idea to keep some emergency equipment — such as spare electrical fuses, reflective triangles and a fire extinguisher — on hand. If all goes well, you’ll never need them. But if it doesn’t, you’ll be ready.
Other concerns: Performing a top-to-bottom inspection of your vehicle means that you’ll want to keep a close eye on whether every element is working properly. For instance, check your oil pressure gauge and other standard parts of your vehicle for malfunction. This will prevent your driver from making a dangerous miscalculation on the road.
WHY PRE-TRIP INSPECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT
For Class A license holders, pre-trip inspections are an indispensable part of the job. With so many miles put on each vehicle on such a constant basis and so much riding on each trip, oftentimes a thorough inspection could be all that stands between a successful job and one that spells doom for all involved. Just imagine the results if one were to fail to perform a routine check on a vehicle and then some flaw that should have been easily identified winds up causing an accident.
These inspections allow a driver to regularly ensure that a vehicle’s various components are operating as they should and that nothing — either an unplanned event or the simple business operation of the vehicle — has resulted in any adverse effects that might impact the next day of work. Even if it sounds like it may slow down productivity, such a process could very well save lives and protect the long-term future of your business.
In addition to the safety of your driver and others on the road, another key reason that pre-trip inspections are so vital is that they provide documentation of a vehicle’s condition. If, for instance, an accident or damage to a vehicle does occur, daily vehicle inspection reports would serve as evidence that the vehicle was in a certain condition beforehand, making it easier to identify what damage resulted in the accident in question and increasing your chances of sussing out the truth of what happened.
Moreover, both you and your driver will have peace of mind with pre-trip inspections on the books. With the most likely root causes of problems definitively checked off, you can rest easy in knowing that your vehicle is in prime condition, essentially protecting your driver and your mission in one fell swoop.
A BETTER WAY TO INSPECT
Now that we’ve outlined everything you need to do for the perfect class-A pre-trip inspection as well as why it’s so important, we hope we’ve inspired you to enhance the way you approach your business, at least where such pre-trip precautions are concerned.
The steps you take before each of your drivers’ journeys out into the field can make a world of difference in your bottom line and in the overall well-being of your company. But, in the event that you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything involved in an optimal pre-trip inspection, allow us to make the entire process that much easier. After all, it’s our business to streamline and simplify pre-trip inspections for companies just like yours.
At Whip Around, we offer the opportunity to save you time and money by taking the guesswork and complications out of pre-trip inspections. You’ll be able to bid farewell to paper-based inspection reports and grant your drivers the ability to file even daily inspections — including photos, comments and additional notes — through their smartphone or other mobile device.
Thanks to modern technology, you can automate every detail of the inspection process and eliminate the administrative headaches that typically accompany daily vehicle inspection reports. Moreover, our system provide analytics so that you can find ways to serve your customers better without any other discovery process.
Even if you don’t think you need Whip Around, we’re confident that you’ll realize otherwise once you give it a try. For more information about our system and to get started for free, visit us now.