DOT Compliance Tips: Record Keeping for Transport Companies

The Department of Transportation (DOT) sets strict guidelines for the way that transport companies operate. Among the requirements is accurate record keeping. Fleet owners and drivers are expected to comply with the rules and regulations imposed by the DOT, or face stiff fines and penalties. Rules and regulations are continually updated and revised and it's imperative that fleet owners keep up with the changes to ensure compliance.

DOT Compliance Tips: Load (Cargo) Securing

Commercial motor vehicles deliver billions of dollars of freight to United States destinations every year. Many of these loads include heavy items such as vehicles, containers, lumber, and concrete pipes. Transportation companies are responsible for ensuring that these goods are safely positioned and secured on commercial vehicles. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has established guidelines and rules to help ensure that loads are properly secured in order to prevent loads from shifting or accidentally dumped during the shipping process. Below are six DOT load securing compliance tips for companies in the transportation and construction industries.

DOT Compliance Tips: Driver Training and Qualification

If you own or manage a fleet of commercial vehicles, you know that DOT Compliance is an integral part of your job. You also know that employing the best drivers is paramount to maintaining your reputation, ensuring standards, and delivering the best to your customers and clients. It's important to integrate Department of Transportation guidelines with your hiring and employment process, so that you're not only finding the most qualified drivers for the job—but also satisfying federal and state regulations.

Breaking down DOT and FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulations can be complex, which is why we've compiled some tips on driver training and qualification. From Hazmat training to drug and alcohol testing to complicated Endorsements for your CDL drivers, here's a quick breakdown:

What Is DOT Compliance and Why Is It so Important?

DOT compliance is essential to fostering the safe transport of cars, shipping containers, concrete piping, and other heavy cargo. A compliance inspection can occur at any time, highlighting the importance of bolstering compliance among drivers and other employees. Below is a look at DOT compliance and the increasingly critical role it plays for businesses in the transportation and construction industries. 

DOT Compiance Tips: Transporting Hazardous Materials

As a fleet manager for commercial vehicles, you always want to safeguard the health of your business. From hiring the best employees to streamlining DVIR practices for your drivers, we understand that everything you do works towards upholding standards for your enterprise. 

That's why we aim to break down some of the complexities surrounding DOT Compliance and adherence to FMCSA guidelines. If your commercial business is involved with transporting hazardous materials, then you already know there are a bunch of regulations in place to stay DOT Compliant. Let's talk hazardous material transportation: who's liable to the regulations? What counts as hazardous material? And how do your drivers signal what they're transporting?

Your Seven Step Guide to Preparing Your Drivers for DVIR Technology

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. 

DOT Compliance Tips: Drug and Alcohol Testing for Drivers

If you manage, or own a fleet, of commercial vehicles, we don't need to tell you that DOT Compliance can be a complex aspect of your job. Especially when it comes to making sure your drivers are compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Association (FMCSA) rules, it's important to break down each regulation carefully.

And the FMCSA's Drug & Alcohol Testing Program is no exception. It's in place to make sure that the drivers on America's roadways are safe and sober, so it's a key element of DOT Compliance. Our goal is to help you sift through some of the complexities of Drug & Alcohol Testing, so you and your team can take to the road with confidence.

DOT Compliance Tips: DVIR

We know that DOT compliance in the USA can be daunting. Though Federal regulations are in place to make sure fleet managers and drivers are operating safe vehicles on America's roadways, sifting through the information on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) website can be a little confusing.


Here, we're hoping to help break down one of the crucial elements of the DOT Compliance: the DVIR, or Driver Vehicle Inspection Report. What is DVIR? What does it entail? What are the record-keeping requirements? Why is it important to stay compliant?:

What is the Difference between Paper-Based DVIRs and eDVIRs

How many times have you wished you could streamline the way in which you manage your fleet? With everything that goes into it, we know that the task brings more than its share of headaches and obligations. Take, for instance, the driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) your company needs to file before and after every single trip.

While the necessity of DVIR is unquestioned (we’ll get into that shortly), you might still find yourself craving an easier approach, one that eliminates much of the pain that goes into completing, filing and overseeing these reports. You might even dream of some way you can retain more of your organization’s precious resources. Well, may we humbly introduce you to the magic of eDVIR.

An electronic alternative to DVIR, eDVIR offers an opportunity to sharpen the accuracy of your report checklist, streamline your processes and save tons of time while doing so. In fact, this emerging tool is quickly gaining popularity throughout the industry, giving way to a long-overdue revolution of the outdated paper-based system.

While it is not our intention to directly pit paper-based DVIR against eDVIR (after all, the choice is ultimately yours), it is critical for the long-term success of your company that you stay abreast of all the latest trends that might offer a better way to boost productivity and outfox your competition. eDVIR could be just the solution you’re looking for, and since DVIR is an unavoidable challenge, you might as well find a simpler methodology for achieving that goal.

Simplifying Your Daily DVIR Process is already at your Fingertips

It’s a daily grind familiar to every fleet manager: get up early, fight traffic, get to the office, and begin fighting with your drivers about driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIR). You hound them to do the inspections, to fully and accurately fill out the form, to tell you about any mechanical issues with your fleet, and to do more than just a cursory checkbox-based inspection.

You listen to whining about the hassle of inspections, the fact that they take up too much time, the frustration of endless paperwork. And then you add each day’s form to the avalanche of papers accumulating in your office, and hope for the best. You can simplify the DVIR process. And in so doing, you can get your time back and enjoy your job again.

Streamline your Daily Vehicle Inspection Reporting with eDVIR

“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!

5 Benefits of Switching from Paper-based DVIRs to eDVIRs

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It’s a scenario that every fleet manager faces sooner or later: the case of the missing DVIR report. Whether it’s because you need to check on a vehicle's maintenance history, or because of something more stressful, like a lawsuit or a DOT audit, it’s easy to tear your office, your mind, and maybe your team apart when you can’t find these legally mandated reports.

Don’t let missing paperwork turn your job into a nightmare. A switch to electronic DVIR reports (eDVIR) can save your sanity, and may even offer some additional protection to your company. Here are five reasons switching from traditional DVIRs can improve your life.

END THE MICROMANAGING: HOW EDVIRS MAKE YOU A BETTER MANAGER

Every fleet manager has been there. You’ve told a driver a thousand times that they need to complete today’s DVIR. Or that they need to stop just checking off boxes and actually perform a real inspection. Or that they need to remember to hand in their inspection form. Or... you get the point.

Management is an exercise in frustration when you’re stuck endlessly nagging your team. The truth is that no one likes driver-vehicle inspection reports. They’re time-consuming, tedious, and ceaselessly technical. It’s no wonder they’re often the source of so much misery.

But DVIRs aren’t just a hassle designed to make your job difficult. They’re a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirement. So when you don’t perform these inspections, or don’t perform them correctly, you’re breaking federal law. These forms protect everyone, including you. The benefits of completing these forms include:

  • Ensuring proper vehicle maintenance.

  • Protecting your drivers.

  • Protecting motorists.

  • Tracking trends over time, so you can assess the quality of your vehicles and the mechanics who serve them.

  • Maintaining an accurate report of any vehicle problems, as well as what you did to fix those problems.

  • Providing documentation of vehicle issues and service history in case you are sued, audited, or face other legal or regulatory action.

So this is a serious and important managerial task -- far more than just busy work. Your drivers, however, may not see it that way. That leaves you in the middle, fighting with your drivers to comply with the law while secretly wishing you didn’t have to deal with it.

Digital DVIRs eliminate much of this hassle. The law requires you to inspect specific parts of the vehicle, but it does not require you to use a specific form. This means you can design your own intuitive forms that drivers understand and can easily use.

What’s more, the right form can encourage (or force) drivers to conduct thorough and potentially life-saving inspections -- not just rush through, check off some boxes, and hope for the best. So quit fighting with your team and embrace a new way of doing things that makes life better for everyone.

THE DEATH OF THE PILE OF PAPERWORK: CLEAN YOUR OFFICE WITH EDVIRS


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A tidy office is more than just a convenience. Having a clean space in which to work can actually make your job easier --  yes, really. When you’re surrounded by chaos, it's easy to feel, well, chaotic. You may struggle with feeling overwhelmed, panicked, and unable to find anything.

So don’t spend the rest of your working life with a pile of papers as your roommate. You deserve a tidy place where you can meet with your team, display photos of your family, and maybe even manage to find that missing file you’ve been trying to locate since 1997.

You’re required to retain DVIR forms for at least three months. Yet commonsense dictates you should hang on to them much longer. Consider how a report might come in handy if:

  • You’re sued for an accident involving a driver.

  • You get involved with a lawsuit against a vehicle manufacturer for faulty parts.

  • You have to fire a driver, or discipline them for unsafe behavior or poor maintenance practices.

  • You need to review a driver’s inspection or driving history.

  • Government regulators show up with questions about a recent incident.

Do you really want to go digging through a pile of paper? No one does. You have better things to do with your time, and so does everyone else. A switch to eDVIR instantaneously eliminates the pile of paper in your office, removes the need for a storage space, and ends your never-ending battle with filing cabinets and paper storage systems.

eDVIRs allow you to store as many papers as you want, for as long as you want, with no additional hassle or worry. Search for the record you need. Amaze your boss with your ability to always get even the most esoteric information. And get your office back.

HOW EDVIRS CAN GIVE YOU BACK YOUR FREE TIME (YES, REALLY)


When was the last time you took a vacation? What about the last time u really enjoyed your vacation? If you’re like most fleet managers, the odds are good that you spend a lot of your vacation running things from a distance -- or panicking that they might fall apart without you.

Yet research consistently shows that human beings need time off to be happy. In fact, taking a vacation might even make you more productive, and help you make more money for your company. So no more excuses. You don’t have to be in the office to keep things running. You don’t even have to be in the same country.

With digital DVIR reports, you can see everything instantly uploaded. You’ll know exactly what happened while you were out, and have the capacity to manage any issues wherever you are. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll be able to build your own forms. Customizable forms mean you can create forms that work for the way you work -- and for the way your drivers think. So no more explaining things from your vacation. Walk your drivers through the inspection process with intuitive, intelligent forms and forget about staying in the office to deal with an avalanche of paperwork.

Whip Around allows you to access everything with an app in your phone. So no more time in front of a computer. No more being chained to your desk. You get your life back.

**Take a look at how using an eDVIR saves you 83% of the time it takes to conduct a vehicle inspection using traditional paper-based DVIRs!

READY FOR ANYTHING: WHEN LAWYERS, REGULATORS, AND OTHER UNFRIENDLY FACES COME KNOCKING

If your company is successful enough, eventually something will go wrong. The more drivers you have, the more customers you serve, the more money you make, the more opportunities there are for a problem. That problem might come in the form of:

  • A mechanical issue with one of your vehicles.

  • A complaint to a regulatory body about your work policies, the way you run your fleet, or the quality of your inspections.

  • An accident or other incident involving a driver.

  • Allegations of incorrect, forged, or missing DVIR reports.

  • A lawsuit due to an accident or other incident involving your fleet.

It’s easy to panic when this happens, but this is just a part of doing business. Here’s what you might not realize, though:

All those DVIR forms you’ve accumulated over the years can help you when something goes wrong. They may serve as evidence in court, or as a way to refresh your memory during depositions. They can dispute a false claim. They can prove to a regulatory body that you've kept up with your obligations to your drivers and to your fleet. They may even put a lawsuit to bed before it happens.

For them to accomplish this, however, they have to be readily available, clearly written, and completely accurate. This means your forms need to be stored somewhere, searchable, and well-organized.

That’s where eDVIR reports come in. When you switch to electronic storage, you don’t have to worry about hanging onto too much for too long. You can keep your reports literally forever. And that’s a compelling response to a regulator who accuses you of not keeping diligent records, or a lawyer who insists you didn’t properly inspect your vehicles. The daily annoyance of DVIRs just might become your saving grace.

FOCUSING ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS: SAFETY, QUALITY, AND EFFICIENCY


In the daily stress of running a fleet, it’s easy to forget about what you’re really doing. Yes, you’re serving customers and delivering products. You’re providing jobs. You’re managing a workforce. But you’re also charged with a much more important task: keeping your drivers safe, and protecting the well-being of the motorists they encounter.

Large fleets pose a very real public hazard. Trucking accidents are often fatal, and can give rise to costly lawsuits and massive insurance claims -- not to mention the tragic loss of human life. When accidents happen, your good reputation can take a nosedive.

Ultimately, the purpose of DVIR reports is to prevent this all from happening. Daily vehicle inspections tip you off to potential problems before those problems turn into full-fledged disasters. And by keeping track of everything electronically, you’re better equipped to track progress as vehicles move through the inspection and repair process. This greatly reduces the risk of a mechanical failure. Moreover, the right inspection can encourage drivers to notice other safety hazards, and create a culture of safety.

You know this already, but you may be overwhelmed by the massive pile of paper that DVIRs have historically meant. EDVIRs offer a massive change, the benefits of which you may see from day one. Those include:

  • Faster inspections, without sacrificing quality. With well-designed forms, drivers can move through the inspection process much more quickly, but without neglecting important components of the inspection.

  • A chance to effortlessly view inspection reports no matter where you are. So you can remain in touch with what’s happening with your fleet without giving up your day off.

  • The ability to track trends over time. When all you have is a pile of paperwork, you might not notice that a certain driver seems to have a lot of mechanical issues, or that a certain brand of truck keeps breaking down. These trends may reveal something about your drivers, their inspections, or the vehicles they operate.

  • The power to create inspection forms that are intuitively useful for your drivers.

  • A chance to search inspection reports for keywords should you ever have to respond to lawsuit discovery, track a problem with a driver, or otherwise need important documentation.

  • A faster approach to inspections. You no longer have to hound drivers.

  • Fewer missed deliveries. Vehicle problems mean late deliveries. With better inspection protocols, you’ll be less likely to miss deliveries and better prepared to make adjustments at the last minute.

  • Always knowing where a vehicle is in the repair pipeline, since you’ll be able to easily assign it to a mechanic and track its repair progress.

  • Your time is money. It’s valuable. You could spend it doing something other than hounding drivers and shuffling papers. Get back that time -- and the money it’s worth.

PAPER-BASED DVIR VS. EDVIR: MAKING THE SWITCH WITH WHIP AROUND

eDVIRs make your life better. They make your fleet easier to manage. They make unpleasant surprises easier to anticipate and less challenging to manage. With Whip Around, the transition is seamless and the process is easy. We work with you to help you go from chaotic clutter to easy inspections.

So what sets us apart?

  • Easy to build, beautiful customizable forms in minutes.

  • Access everything through our app.

  • Easy storage of all of your inspection reports.

  • Seamless monitoring of each vehicle.

  • Ability to assign vehicles to specific mechanics, and to track their progress through repairs.

  • Manage and view all report data.

Ready to get started? You can get set up in seconds with a demo from our team. Start your free account today, and get back your time!

Conduct Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Reports from your Phone with eDVIR

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Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR) are already an integral part of managing your fleet. So, when it comes to how best to coordinate this critical task, the question isn’t so much whether DVIR is worth the effort — it absolutely is — but how best to go about satisfying this requirement and maintaining the protection it affords you and your business.

Electronic DVIR gives you the chance to revolutionize your approach to filing detailed reports, even presenting you with the capability to conduct pre-trip inspections on your phone. It’s a whole new day for DVIR. So let’s delve into how this latest tool works and how it can facilitate your business.

A MODERN SOLUTION

In the old days, DVIR would present you with a record of your vehicle’s condition, one which could serve as evidence to both the vehicle’s condition if an accident should occur and which ensures that the likelihood of any such incident would be minimized. After all, vehicle collisions are among the most common causes of death.

Thankfully, eDVIR plays the same essential role in your fleet management, albeit with a streamlined methodology that emphasizes ease of use and accuracy above all else. Drivers still need to complete and submit forms before and after each trip, but electronic reports allow for a level of customization and access that just isn’t possible by traditional means.

What once proved to be a burden actually creates a smoother environment for all. While drivers will find these electronic forms so much more accessible, you’ll be able to shed the worry about when you’ll receive the latest inspection reports and how to proceed. eDVIR uses a cloud-based system, meaning you’ll be able to evaluate reports instantly and leap into action to address any outstanding concerns.

In general, this new system facilitates the your ability to keep your fleet running strong and eliminates the need for copious paperwork. Less work and a more streamlined process make less work for everyone involved and boost your fleet’s capacity to handle each project in a timely manner.

THE FULL ADVANTAGE

You’ve already assembled a winning team, but the way you do business very likely could use a tune-up. So let’s break down some of the key benefits that eDVIR offers. First, we’ve alluded to the time savings already, but seeing as time is one of the most limited resources you need, this aspect of eDVIR stands above all others.

Since you can build and customize your own forms, inspection reports can be completed in a fraction of the time they once were and, thanks to the mobile capability, they can be completed from anywhere at anytime via a smartphone or other mobile device. Simply log in to the system, complete the form and submit it, and it is automatically saved in the system and added to the unlimited storage of your archives.

This ability to have the latest information right at your fingertips makes it that much easier to schedule necessary maintenance and repairs, keeping you one step ahead of your competitors. Moreover, the simplified forms reduce the chance that human error will interfere with your operation. After all, you never know when you’ll need to submit your full reports for audit.

You’ll already have them ready in waiting in your digital storage space, but now you’ll be far more confident in how well they’ll reflect the activities of your fleet. Once you give eDVIR a try, we know you’ll see the difference instantly and probably wonder why you spent so long wasting time on its paper-based counterpart.

CHECKING IT TWICE

Though the system is vastly modernized, eDVIR still functions like the DVIR you’re used to. You’ll still need to run through a checklist of inspection points just like you’re filling out a paper form. You’ll simply be doing so from the convenience of your mobile device. Here are the most important elements you’ll need to review before starting a new trip:

  • Brakes: Your vehicle has many critical parts that must be working properly to ensure the safety of your drivers and others on the road. Needless to say, your brakes are among the most important. Of course, don’t forget your service and parking brakes.

  • Steering and horn: Your driver’s ability to accurately pilot the vehicle without incident depends on the soundness of the steering mechanism. But don’t forget to verify that your horn is working as it should. If something does go wrong, this is the best way to let others know.

  • Tires and wheels: When you’re on the road as much as your fleet is, your tires certainly take the bulk of the damage. If they don’t have sufficient tread on them, you could be heading for disaster. So be mindful of the condition of your tires and wheels before you hit the road, including whether your tires simply need a bit of air first.

  • Lights and reflectors: Like your tires, your lights reflect the natural wear and tear that occurs when you’re always on the road. Check that they are all working properly and all that reflectors are attached. You’d be surprised how often such a simple item can make a life-changing difference.

  • Windshield wipers and mirrors: Especially when you’re driving a large commercial vehicle, your mirrors are your greatest hope to orient yourself with the other cars on the road. Likewise, your windshield wipers defend against the changing conditions you may encounter and require frequent replacement.

  • Emergency kit: If you do find yourself in a dire situation, an emergency kit filled with maintenance repair items and other must-haves can really come in handy. You never know what might happen out there. So your best bet is to be ready for a crisis if one does occur.

A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

We can’t imagine you’re still doubting how eDVIR can enhance your fleet management skills, but if you do need more information about how it compares to traditional DVIR, you might want to check out our handy infographic. The benefits of taking your inspection reports into the modern world are already apparent, and the technology is quickly on its way to becoming the standard-bearer throughout the industry.

Don’t let your competition get an edge on you, especially when eDVIR can maximize your productivity and efficiency in such a significant way. To get started for free, visit our website and sign up for a demo of Whip Around today.

Paper-Based DVIRs are a thing of the Past

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No matter how long you’ve been managing your fleet, chances are good that you’ve become intimately familiar with — and perhaps even disillusioned by — the requirement that is the daily vehicle inspection report (DVIR).

This document serves as a record that a thorough inspection was conducted of the driver before and after each trip, ensuring its safety and effectiveness. Considered a precautionary safety measure, DVIR protects your fleet in the event that a vehicle collision or other incident were to occur, both by preventing physical harm and by presenting legal evidence of the vehicle’s condition.

Traditionally, paper-based DVIR have dominated the industry, but an exciting new development is shaking up the way drivers and fleet managers like yourself approach their business.

Thanks to the latest technology, you can now toss away your filing cabinet full of inspection reports and embrace the future. Growth only comes with innovation, and for the fleet management business, that innovation has come in the shape of electronic DVIR (or eDVIR, for short).

By simplifying and streamlining the processes involved in completing and filing an inspection report, this new tool takes the guesswork out of DVIR, allowing you to take your fleet into the modern era. Along the way, you’ll be able to take advantage of a host of benefits, which we’ll discuss in greater detail below.

However, before we get to all that, why not offer you a proper introduction into how eDVIR works?

WAY OF THE FUTURE

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Federal law requires that every driver of a commercial vehicle files a daily inspection report of whatever vehicle they’re operating. This activity extends to completing a new report prior to each trip as well as finalizing the previous report with updates, especially if any action items had yet to be performed.

However, due to the consistent nature of DVIR, the perpetual need to file more and more paperwork has a tendency to jeopardize one’s schedule and slow down productivity, making it more difficult for your drivers to stay focused on the task at hand. With an entire fleet of drivers to manage, this complication is compounded exponentially.

In fact, you’re liable to be trapped in an unfortunate scenario in which you’re likely to be caught in an endless cycle of following up on inspection reports rather than turning your attention to more important matters. eDVIR eliminates that headache, with an easy-to-use system that prioritizes production above all else.

You’ll be relieved to know that this new system isn’t entirely dissimilar from its predecessor. Drivers still complete and submit new reports each day, following up on the previous one. What is drastically different is the manner in which this process is conducted.

Rather than filling out antiquated paper forms, drivers can log into a cloud-based user interface that is updated in real time and complete a fully customized inspection form. This fact alone remarkably trims away much of the time of shuffling through pages and pages of standard forms, since you’ll be able to structure your inspection forms based on your fleet’s specific needs and which fields take priority.

Rather than the cumbersome task of filling out paperwork, your fleet will be able to log in, complete a report and file it in minutes. No more lost or illegible inspection reports for you!

While its methods may seem completely foreign, the primary difference between eDVIR and paper-based DVIR is simplification. The former removes all the frustrating and challenging aspects of filing these required inspection reports and allows you to place your emphasis on keeping your operation moving smoothly.

With just the click of a button, you’ll be able to access all the submitted reports throughout your organization, and the quality of these reports — thanks to the streamlined forms — will be more readable, more complete and more accurate. After all, it’s a lot more difficult to overlook fields or slip into human error when dealing with a straightforward electronic interface.

Regardless of where your drivers are located, you’ll be connected through the data and able to communicate to ensure that everything is going precisely as planned.

EVERYTHING TO GAIN

We’ve already alluded to the fact that eDVIR cuts down on the amount of time it will take you to complete and submit inspection reports. However, the time-saving element of eDVIR, as they say, is only the tip of the iceberg.

So let’s delve into some of the other benefits that this digital alternative offers.

  • Easier management: Since eDVIR makes the entire process much smoother for drivers, you won’t have to waste your time reminding them to submit their inspection reports. Instead, they’ll be able to log in, complete and file them before you even have to worry about it in the first place, making your job (and your life) much less stressful.

  • More competitive: Your processes will have gotten a major facelift if you opt to upgrade to eDVIR, making your business far more able to outperform your competitors. With all the time you’re saving, you might even find the bandwidth to look for process improvements in places you didn’t even know you might find opportunities for growth.

  • Automatically saves: One of the key problems with paper-based forms is how easy it is to miss critical fields — leaving out essential information — or to misplace completed forms entirely. In either case, eDVIR sidesteps this possibility, automatically saving your progress as you fill out your fully customized form from anywhere you may be.

  • Detailed analytics: eDVIR also leans heavily into the analytic side of things. Consider it just another perk of a fully digital system. As data syncs between your driver’s mobile devices and the web-based dashboard, you’ll receive real-time results in the form of analytics, leaderboards and even alerts that can inform your business decisions.

  • Fully searchable: If you’ve ever tried to pull an old file, you know what a pain it is to find what you’re looking for, and that’s even if you have a thorough organizational system in place to give your filing some semblance of order. With eDVIR, you’ll be able to easily search the complete archives and find the report or data you need in no time at all.

  • Unlimited storage: Speaking of your archive, here’s something we know you’ll love. So many online companies nowadays make mountains of profit by ratcheting up costs on storage but not eDVIR. This system gives you unlimited storage right from the outset, making it easy to hold onto the full extent of your report history for future reference.

  • Customizable: As we’ve mentioned, your inspection forms are completely customizable. But this dedication to tailoring your experience to your specific needs doesn’t end there. Through and through, eDVIR puts an emphasis on customization. From the forms to the data reports, you’ll be amazed at how much you can adjust this system to your liking.

  • Rapid submission: Remember when you had to wait days or weeks to gain access to a driver’s inspection report? Actually, you may be facing that reality right now. Well, no longer. eDVIR gives drivers the opportunity to submit completed reports instantly, and you’ll be able to review, ask questions and take action within seconds.

  • Remain in compliance: The law required DVIR be a regular part of your business, but few ways to remain compliant with regulations are as effective as eDVIR. Given its speedy process and impressive breadth of capabilities, you’ll never again have to wonder to yourself if your business is truly keeping up with the latest legal requirements.

A DECISION TO MAKE



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Most likely, your schedule as a fleet manager is already brimming with administrative tasks and other thankless duties. So DVIR may very well be the least of your concerns, but because of the critical role these reports play in the long-term safety and reputation of your business, they really do need to remain top of mind in at least some capacity. Your drivers are, of course, your greatest asset, and these reports maximize their safety (and that of those around them) on the road.

Moreover, they protect your business from facing any liability should something go wrong in the throes of a job. You have a responsibility to guard against injury and litigation alike, and DVIR is one of your most effective tools to prevent both from ever occurring on your watch. So, if DVIR truly must remain an integral part of your fleet management, then the only real question you have left is whether you’re willing to take the plunge and incorporate eDVIR into your operation.

Broadly speaking, there’s an argument to made on both sides of the technology debate. The ways in which the internet, digital products and the like have affected our culture and society are undoubtedly far-reaching and not without consequence.

On the other hand, when it comes to DVIR, an all-digital solution will only benefit how much your team is able to accomplish in a specific period of time. Your productivity may be at stake, but your legal standing might be as well. Since one of the key purposes for DVIR is to remain in full compliance with the law, you need to ensure that your fleet is being as thorough and organized as possible.

Given the amount of vehicles in your fleet and the sheer volume of paperwork that results, your business doesn’t naturally lend itself to an intricate system designed to keep your reports intact. Instead, chaos is likely inevitable when you remain complacent with paper-based DVIR.

How even are you able to keep track of every inspection report that comes, let alone ensure its quality, if you’re overwhelmed with having to file physical copies of reports? Imagine the countless hours that your drivers take to complete paper forms and the questionable results these yield.

If you do, you’ll probably agree that it’s simply not worth the effort to try and wrangle together better output if you’re slavishly sticking to the same methodology that your business has been using for years. You need to find a new, better way of taking your operation to the next level and maximizing your fleet’s performance.

Again, these are all the elements you need to consider before you discount eDVIR as a luxury your fleet just doesn’t need right now. Most likely, it is precisely the tool necessary to keep your business steadily moving forward.

THE WHIP AROUND WAY

While eDVIR is quickly becoming the standard-bearer for your industry, we pride ourselves in the fact that our solution, Whip Around, is among the finest all-digital DVIR products on the market. In just minutes, you’ll be able to empower your team with the wide-ranging abilities we discussed above and take your fleet to new heights of productivity and efficiency.

Protecting your team and your business has never been so easy, and you might catch yourself wondering how you ever managed to go so long without such an asset in your arsenal. Bid farewell to that lengthy downtime it used to take to complete and submit inspection reports because a new day is here.

From your driver’s mobile device right into the cloud-based system, this seamless process connects you to your fleet and your fleet to their inspection reports like never before. The real-time aspect of it all provides you with the time needed to move on action items for a particular vehicle and more closely manage your fleet from any location anywhere.

All your drivers need is a mobile device, and they can complete and submit high-quality DVIR every single time. You might think that you’ve honed your fleet management tactics over the years, but we guarantee that you haven’t experienced just how easy it can be until you’ve tried eDVIR the Whip Around way.

A CLOSER LOOK



Of course, our goal in discussing not only the extensive benefits of using eDVIR but also the distinction that Whip Around’s services can bring to your business is to convince you that this new tool is worth upgrading your systems. Any time a drastic change like this is proposed, our natural reactions are often to step back and balk at the discomfort that accompanies having to second-guess our own mindsets.

But as the person in charge, it’s your duty to continually explore emerging ways to boost the effectiveness of your operation and the efficiency of your processes. Nowadays, that means taking your once-paper-bound approach to DVIR and transferring it into the electronic realm for the very first time.

Still undecided about making the switch? We completely understand. At Whip Around, our mission is to make fleets like yours be the very best that they can be. eDVIR is still coming into its own and spreading like wildfire across your industry.

So we know you may be looking to further solidify your opinion of the technology before jumping into it headfirst. Perhaps you’re a visual learner and need a more tangible way to visualize the differences between paper-based DVIR and its electronic counterpart.

If that’s the case, check out our extensive infographic that compares and contrasts the two, presenting you with perhaps our most compelling argument for why you should at least consider revolutionizing your inspection reports.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have or get started today to optimize your fleet!

Why Are Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspections Required?

Fleet managers have a wide and seemingly endless array of responsibilities -- assigning drivers to cars, managing supply chain issues, promoting, hiring, firing and so much more. Staying on top of pre-trip vehicle inspections can feel like little more than another headache, and a meaningless hassle.

Yet these pre-trip vehicle inspections are non negotiable. A driver-vehicle inspection report (DVIR) is a key part of your daily operations. Here’s why inspections are so important -- and what you can do to make them a bit less stressful.

IT’S THE LAW

DVIRs are more than just a burden imposed on employees by employers. They’re required under federal law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires pre-trip inspections before each haul. The driver must be satisfied that all parts are in good working order. If they’re not, the vehicle must be repaired before anyone can drive it.

Some important highlights of the law include:

  • Companies aren’t required to use any specific form, but they are required to use a form that ensures all major parts of the vehicle are fully inspected and in good working order.

  • The inspection must occur before each daily haul. So a driver taking a multi-day trip must perform an inspection each day.

  • The driver or company must certify that the inspection has occurred, and that all parts are safe and in good working order.

Companies that fail to comply with the law can land in serious trouble. They may be fined or even lose licenses or certifications. This can cost your company lots of money, and may even cost you your job. Though inspections can be a pain, the cost of not doing them is much higher. Do you really want to spend your day explaining a failure to inspect a vehicle, or testifying in a deposition?

IT KEEPS PEOPLE SAFE

Pre-trip inspections keep people safe -- both truckers and motorists. Trucks are massive vehicles, and a minor issue on a truck is not like a minor issue on a car. Consider how a flat tire on a truck can cause a multi-car pileup, or how an item flying out of the back of a trailer could be fatal to motorists.

Likewise, a major accident could injure or even kill a driver. Your drivers are the backbone of your company. They're also human beings with lives and families. So it’s important to help them understand that pre-trip inspections are for their own safety as well. Driving a truck is one of the deadliest jobs in the U.S., with nearly 800 truckers dying on the road each year. Pre-trip inspections make driving safer for everyone.

Research has shown that a leading cause of trucking accidents is vehicle maintenance issues. Failure to complete a pre-trip inspection in compliance with the law is also a leading cause of trucking suits. This is why it’s so critically important to perform daily comprehensive inspections -- not just perfunctory reviews that involve little more than checking off a few boxes.

IT TRACKS PATTERNS OVER TIME

Does it feel like a truck is always broken, or like you’re spending too much money on tires? Pre-trip inspection reports help you track trends over time. This can help you determine whether there's a problem with a truck, a mechanic, a part, a driver or something else.

You might find that vehicles tend to break more after being serviced by a particular mechanic. Or perhaps you have more trouble with your trucks whom a specific trucker drives. Identifying these patterns can help you prevent them from spiraling out of control. This can save you money, and may even save lives on the road.

IT CAN PROTECT YOUR COMPANY

Sooner or later, there will be an accident or injury. It could be unavoidable, because of a tire that blows. Or it might be because a driver made a simple but costly error. In either scenario, you will eventually have to answer for what happened.

What will you say to the lawyer in depositions? How will you provide information about the vehicle’s history? How can you prove that you were committed to safety at all times, and that trucks were diligently and consistently inspected?

This is where pre-trip inspections come into play. They act as a sort of due diligence, serving as evidence of a consistent commitment to safety. They show that you have properly and timely inspected your vehicles and made repairs. They show a commitment to compliance with the law. They may even reveal a problem with a part. For instance, if many trucking companies have problems with the same part, this could mean that the part is the problem and needs to be recalled.

Without these inspection reports, you may look negligent. This can be used against you in court, and in the court of public opinion. Regular inspections -- plus intelligent storing of the DVIRs they produce -- are key to protecting your company.

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MAKING PRE-TRIP INSPECTIONS LESS STRESSFUL

At Whip Around, we understand that pre-trip inspections are vital to your company’s operations, to driver safety, and to safer roads. We also know that these inspections can be a massive pain. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to keep truckers safe and minimize hassle.

We offer customizable forms. Simply check a few boxes and build your own forms. This makes it easier for drivers to understand inspection requirements, and can reduce their temptation to cut corners by simply checking a few boxes. Our forms encourage drivers to really commit to safety inspections.

Because we store the forms for you, we also put an end to messy offices and endless piles of paper. If you need a form at any time for any reason, it’s searchable and readily accessible. No more clutter. No more lost documents. No more concerns about fines, lawsuits, or failure to comply with government regulations.

You have enough on your plate. Stop worrying about pre-trip inspections. Let us do the heavy lifting, so you can get back to the business of running your fleet. Ready to learn more? Call us today to learn how we can help you!

Paper-Based DVIR Procedures Are Getting a Facelift with Technology

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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.

DVIR EXPLAINED


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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.

GOING DIGITAL



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




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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!

The Detailed DVIR Checklist

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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


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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

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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

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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.

[Infographic] Paper-Based DVIR vs eDVIR

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Let’s break down the differences between a paper-based DVIR process and an eDVIR (electronic DVIR) process and show you the advantages that technology has to offer.

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.

EDVIR PROCESS

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.

EDVIR PROCESS

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.

EDVIR PROCESS

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

  • Real-time alerts

  • Manage and review inspections more easily

  • Stay on top of unplanned maintenance

  • Analytics advantages:

    • 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:

  1. Register your account at Whip Around

  2. Login to web app dashboard

  3. Add your vehicles

  4. Add your drivers

  5. Setup and customize your inspection report

  6. Login to mobile app

    1. Apple Store - IOS App

    2. Google Play - Android App

  7. Start vehicle inspection reports (DVIR)

What is DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Report)?

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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?

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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?

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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)

  • Be fired

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.

What are you looking for during a Daily Vehicle Inspection

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A driver-vehicle inspection report -- known better as a pre-trip inspection -- is designed to ensure a vehicle is in good working order and safe to take out on the road. Federal law requires a daily inspection, as well as a report to document the inspection, but does not require drivers to use any specific form. So what exactly are you looking for during a pre-trip inspection? These vital safety inspections have several key components.

CHECK THE ENGINE COMPARTMENT

The engine compartment check includes an inspection with the vehicle turned off. Drivers should look for any and all problems with the engine, its parts, or the area under the hood.

The law requires them to inspect:

  • belt driven alternator

  • belt driven water pump

  • brake chamber

  • brake drum

  • brake lining

  • brake hose

  • coolant reservoir

  • caste nuts

  • cotter pins

  • gear box

  • hoses

  • drag link

  • leaf springs

  • lug nuts

  • any leaks

  • oil level

  • pitman arm

  • rim

  • shock absorber

  • push rod

  • slack adjuster

  • steering column

  • spring hanger

  • steer tire

  • u-bolts

  • tie rod

CAB CHECK AND ENGINE START

With the engine running, drivers must check the cab while monitoring for any problems while the engine is running. One often-overlooked area is the cleanliness of the cab itself. An unclean cab presents a serious hazard because any loose items can become projectiles in the event of a crash or sudden stop.

Other things drivers are required to check include:

  • seat belt, including whether it buckles securely and whether there are any signs of fraying

  • airbrakes

  • air pressure gauges

  • heater

  • defroster

  • emergency equipment, including opening and inspecting the emergency box, not just checking to ensure it is present

  • horns

  • lighting indicators

  • oil pressure gauge

  • voltmeter

  • water temperature gauge

  • windshield washers and wipers

  • mirrors

  • windshield

Any unusual sounds with the engine, odors associated with starting the vehicle, rattling sounds, or other signs of mechanical trouble must be noted on the inspection form.

BRAKE CHECK

Large vehicles are more dependent on their brakes than small cars, because these vehicles must be able to quickly and safely stop. A brake check is critical for safety, since even minor brake issues can become life-threatening.

Be sure to check:

  • the airbrake

  • the parking brake

  • the service brake

Much of the brake check is part of the external cab check, and the brakes should not be considered safe until the external cab check fully inspects them.

EXTERNAL CAB

The external cab check reveals much about how the vehicle is operating. Check for obvious broken parts, or signs that there might be internal wear and tear -- things like rusting wheel rims or dents in the hood.

Important components of the external cab check include:

  • checking the suspension, including springs, mounts, and shock absorbers

  • external brake components, including slack adjusters, brake hoses, brake lines, brake chambers, drum brake or rotor, and brake linings

  • wheels, including rims, lug nuts, tires, spacers, axles, and axle seals

  • the side of the car, including battery box and exhaust system, drive shaft, frame, fuel tank, doors, and mirrors

  • doors, ties, lifts, and splash guards at the rear of the vehicle

  • tractor and coupling components, including catwalk, mounting bolts, locking jaws, electric and air lines, locking pins, platform, release arm, and kingpin, apron, and gap

TRAILER

Problems with the trailer can be extremely dangerous. Not only do they pose a threat to the driver and other motorists. Trailer issues can also endanger the load a driver is hauling, costing time and money.

Be sure to check:

  • lifts, doors, and ties

  • landing gear

  • frame

  • locking pins and tandem release arm

CUSTOM CHECKLISTS: WHY THE BARE MINIMUM LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AREN’T ENOUGH

You know you have to complete DVIR checklists before your vehicles can legally go on the road. But the push to comply with the law can distract from a more fundamental goal: the need to keep drivers safe, to protect motorists, and to keep your vehicle's operating soundly for as long as possible.

So don’t focus solely on meeting the minimum threshold. Consider how custom checklists can promote better safety and a healthier work environment. For example, simply blocking the wheels during an inspection with the engine running can prevent catastrophes. By adding this item to your checklist, you increase the likelihood that drivers will actually do it.

Likewise, providing specific instructions-- “kick the wheels; note any rust”-- you increase driver compliance well above that which you could expect with a simple list of items to inspect. You need custom checklists that drivers can understand and follow quickly and efficiently. That’s precisely what Whip Around offers.

OTHER INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS

It’s not enough to simply check off a few boxes and put a vehicle on the road. Indeed, the law specifically forbids such cursory checks. A pre-trip inspection requires the driver to completely check each component of the vehicle, note any problems on the form, and then submit the form. From there, any defects must be repaired before the vehicle can be taken back on the road.

Failure to repair defects can cost a company dearly. If there is an incident with the car, then your failure to repair defects could give rise to lawsuits, fines, and bad publicity. Additionally, investigators may request copies of DVIRs from immediately before any incidents. If these forms indicate cursory checks or are not available, your company could be in trouble.

WHY GOING DIGITAL IS THE SOLUTION

Whip Around allows companies to build custom DVIR forms that are elegant, simple, and easy to follow for drivers and managers alike. Our digital approach makes inspections easy, allows you to assign repairs to mechanics, and assists you to track repairs so you can plan schedules and deliveries.

Better still, we end the pile of paper that may have taken over your office. By going digital, you’ll gain access to searchable forms that reveal important information about your vehicle's’ history. If you need a form, it’s readily available -- no more stress, no more fines, and no more paper.

Whip Around is easy for drivers, effective for managers, and a game changer for owners. It’s a win for everyone.