Best Practices for Completing Vehicle Inspections

The Department of Transportation requires fleet operations to complete driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) before routes. These inspections help ensure your vehicles are safe to be on the roadways.

While vehicle inspections are important, if not completed correctly drivers can either spend too much time performing them or rushing through them and missing defects.

To avoid these issues, consider these best practices when performing driver vehicle inspections at your operation.

Know What to Inspect

Make sure drivers know what they need to check during pre-trip inspections. At a minimum, an inspection form needs to include these items as mandated by the Department of Transportation:

  • Service brakes, including trailer brake connections
  • Parking brake
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Coupling devices
  • Wheels and rims
  • Emergency equipment

In addition to these items, your fleet operation can create a customized form to include other elements your drivers should inspect. This can be specific to the vehicles in your fleet. For example, if you have school buses[[LM1]](#_msocom_1)  or police cars, you will have certain safety features that need to be checked that other vehicles might not contain.

Create a Plan for How to Inspect the Vehicle

If drivers randomly inspect various components of the vehicle, they can find themselves retracing their steps and reviewing certain parts of the asset multiple times. To avoid this, help your drivers create a plan for how to efficiently inspect a vehicle. One way is to create a customized form that puts the asset components in the order for how a driver should proceed around the vehicle. Another method is to train drivers to create a circle around the vehicle as they complete their inspection. This prevents the drivers from looking at the same part of a vehicle multiple times.

Determine How to Relay the Information to the Shop

Once a vehicle is inspected, it is important for the driver to notify the shop of any defects. If your operation uses paper forms, the driver can notify the technicians when he or she brings the inspection report to the shop. If you are using electronic driver vehicle inspection reports (eDVIRs) the driver can submit the report through the application and the shop can access it immediately. This lets the technicians prepare for any possible repairs before the vehicle arrives.

Use an eDVIR

Another way to make driver vehicle inspections more efficient is by using an eDVIR app. Through these applications, your operation can:

  • Create customized inspection forms.

    Sync the app with your fleet management software solution – making the vehicle information readily available.

    Increase communication between drivers and technicians.

    Reduce time trying to decipher drivers’ handwriting with easy-to-read reports in the app, voice-recorded notes and images of defects.

Sign up for a demo or a free 30-day trial to learn how Xerifleet can make vehicle inspections easier for your fleet operation.