The suspense is over: driver vehicle inspection report.
The FMCSA mandates motor carriers to produce a daily driver report detailing issues that could affect a vehicle's operational safety.
Why Are Driver Inspection Reports So Important?
These post-trip inspections are crucial to lowering maintenance costs since they red flag any possible repairs that could turn into fleet-sized headaches later. Constant attention to vehicle upkeeping allows fleets to minimize the unfortunate and unnecessary time spent on driver detention pay, service fees and yes, tow-truck costs.
The benefit is clear to both fleet owners and drivers. As any driver that has started their day with a flat tire or shot headlights will confirm, a little maintenance reporting at the end of the day makes for a much happier driver the next morning.
So What Does the Report Need to Cover?
In a nutshell, the report mandates an audit on ever feature of the vehicle that affects its maintenance and operation. This is the driver's duty as an employee of a company that utilizes motor carrier vehicles. As the FMCSA notes, “…every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day's work on each vehicle operated and the report shall cover at least the following parts and accessories...”
These parts and accessories include:
- Service brakes, including trailer brake connections
- Parking brake
- Steering mechanism
- Lighting devices and reflectors
- Windshield wipers
- Rear vision mirrors
- Coupling devices
- Wheels and rims
- Emergency equipment
Since vehicle maintenance is one of CSA’s safety measurement categories, it is also crucial for fleet managers and owners to ensure the safety and longevity of their vehicles by properly maintaining their equipment. When a driver notes a possible defect, the onus lies on the company to fix the issue immediately. As the FMCSA advises, “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."
Companies must retain the DVIR report for three months after its creation.