Vehicle inspection reports are an important measure companies take to ensure fleet safety. Not only do they guarantee that vehicles remain compliant, but also that there are no service issues. When vehicles receive regular inspections they stay efficient and safe. Besides the many benefits, the law requires driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR).
What are the consequences of not filing DVIRs? Well, it’s more than the cost of the penalties. We’ll cover that and more you need to know about DVIRs below.
What is a DVIR?
A driver vehicle inspection report, or driver vehicle examination report, is a daily report filed by drivers. Traditionally, managers and drivers used paper to file reports. But these can get lost in the shuffle, forgotten, and hard to manage. Today, many companies file these reports electronically to increase efficiency and accessibility.
These reports bring light to any mechanical issues happening with the vehicle. The intent is to find smaller issues before they become larger ones. The instant resolution of minor issues helps fleets save money and downtime. This report also helps to reduce the number of crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities.
In the early days of this regulation, drivers had to file DVIR’s regardless of issues. In 2011, the Obama administration asked federal agencies to make reforms that would reduce private sector burdens. Under this directive, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reformed the DVIR requirement. They estimated that drivers spent a collective 46.7 million hours filing DVIRs annually. Starting in 2014, the modified regulation allowed drivers to avoid DVIRs if pre- and post-trip inspections indicated no safety concerns or equipment issues.
What is a DVIR Form?
A DVIR form is a formal record confirming an inspection of a vehicle. This report must remain in fleet records for a minimum of three months. Filing these reports electronically help to speed up the process, limit costs, and reduce paperwork.
Driver Vehicle Inspection Report Requirements
The FMCSA requires drivers to file daily inspection reports under Federal Law 49 CFR 396.11 and 396.13. As mentioned, drivers no longer need to file reports if there are no vehicle issues during pre- and post-trip inspections. There are several details required in these reports, including:
- Driver signature
- Vehicle identification
- Certification of repairs
- Certification of driver’s review after three months
- The date of the inspection
- Signature of the mechanic
- Signature of the next driver of the vehicle
The report must also include defects found during inspection of the following items:
- Brakes (trailer, service, and parking)
- Steering system
- Lights and reflectors
- Windshield and wipers
- Tires, wheels, rims
- Rearview mirrors
- Coupling devices
- Emergency equipment (fire extinguisher, spare fuses, etc.)
The DVIR process begins with pre- and post-trip inspections. Start of the day, or pre-trip inspections, include a review of the last inspection. If there are defects indicated, they must get reviewed, fixed, and signed off on. Post-trip inspections include a walkaround of the vehicle using an inspection checklist of items in the DVIR. If the driver finds any defects, they must report them to the manager and file an official DVIR.
DVIR Penalties for Non-Compliance
There are several penalties for non-compliance with DVIR regulations under the Department of Transportation. These largely include fines, including:
- $1,270 per day for failing to complete a DVIR
- $12,700 per day for falsifying records
- $15,420 per day for failing to repair vehicle defects
Besides the violation fines, there are other penalties for non-compliance with DVIR regulations. DOT officials or state highway patrol officials are able to place a vehicle and driver out of service. They can hold the vehicle out of service until the completion of repairs and reestablishment of compliance. The downtime inflicted results in lost revenue, customer dissatisfaction, and higher CSA scores. Ultimately, this harms the reputation of your fleet company, likely resulting in fewer customers.
You might think the penalties end there, but there are less obvious consequences of non-compliance. The entire point of DVIRs is to ensure the safety of drivers. If issues aren’t raised and defects repaired, it impacts the safety of drivers. Fleet risk management principles tell us how important safety is to a company’s bottom line. Accidents due to faulty vehicles put your drivers and your company at risk.
Benefits of Electronic DVIRs
Electronic reporting streamlines your fleet, making DVIRs easy, fast, and efficient. Drivers and managers are able to access these reports on tablets and smartphones. This visibility and accessibility makes running your fleet easier than ever before. But there are several other benefits to electronic logging including:
- Easy and convenient filing for drivers and managers
- Decreased paperwork and administrative costs
- Easy access during roadside and annual inspections
- Ability to identify, group, and monitor vehicle repairs
- Signatures on tablets make it easy to fulfill requirements remotely
- Incorporate notes from mechanics, managers, and drivers
- Real-time reports and alerts
- Reduce downtime
- Maintenance scheduling and vehicle flagging
- Easily remain compliant with DOT regulations
- Saving money by focusing on preventative maintenance
- Lower insurance premiums due to a greater focus on safety
- Integration with telematics for better reporting
Telematics systems are an all-in-one solution for fleet management. Telematics devices link to your vehicle’s OBD-II port to report diagnostics and driver behavior. This helps drivers complete their inspections faster, and helps you save money on maintenance and insurance. It also ensures greater safety of your fleet. Telematics systems do much more than this though. They include features such as route optimization, driver behavior monitoring, fuel consumption, idling reporting , and much more.
There are a lot of benefits to completing DVIR reports through telematics software. The largest benefits include remaining compliant and saving costs by avoiding penalties, accidents, and major repairs. Learn more about what telematics can do for you, at Azuga.