Vehicle inspection is a crucial step of asset management. It helps fleet managers to identify faults before time and reserve them before they become big and cause inconvenience or problems for the company. It is also significant in terms of safety, and accordingly, FMCSA had made DVIR, i.e., vehicle inspection, obligatory for all CMVs and truck drivers.
DVIR is a cost-saving and safety-conscious initiative by FMCSA that creates a safe working environment for drivers and others on the road. According to it, DVIRs make it binding for carriers to conduct pre and post-trip inspections to make drivers aware of any defect or deficiency of the vehicle they are driving.
It allows drivers to make decisions to avoid accidents or injuries due to unexpected breakdowns or malfunctions in the vehicle.
Additionally, it saves carriers from unscheduled fleet maintenance costs & reduces unproductive downtime that directly hinders a company’s ability to deliver top-notch customer service.
As a fleet operating in the United States, DVIR becomes an obligatory thing to complete. Check out this comprehensive guide by YourBestFleet to avoid legal obligations and improve the longevity of your vehicles.
What Is DVIR?
A driver vehicle inspection report or DVIR is a formal record that documents and confirms that a driver has conducted a CMV inspection. It is an integral part of the driver’s daily routine and ensures that vehicles are in a healthy state for driving safely.
It includes pre and post-trip checks.
- A pre-trip inspection ensures that the vehicle’s components are safe to begin a trip.
It ensures that the vehicle is ready to hit the road, and abnormalities are associated with an acronym known as ABC, i.e., abrasion, bent/broken, or cuts.
- Post-trip inspection is an examination where the driver confirms or identifies any vehicle defect after a trip. It provides fleet managers time to send the truck for repair or maintenance to the shop.
As an overview, the driver can check the following parts of the vehicle to complete the DVIR:
- Vehicle lights, including indicators, reflectors, etc.
- Steering wheels and mechanism including wheels, brakes, tire, and rims.
- Side and rearview mirror.
- Safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first aid kits.
- Window wipers.
- Seat belt.
Types of DVIRs
There are two types of DVIRs:
- The monthly inspection report
- The safety inspection report
The monthly instruction report is a general walkthrough to ensure it is in working order. A driver has to do this every seven days.
The safety inspection is an in-depth inspection of the vehicle with the help of specialized equipment. DVIR should be done every ten days for vehicles weighing over 26000 pounds or once in three months for trucks weighing less than 26000 pounds.
Benefits of DVIR
The FMCSA requires the driver to maintain DVIR daily under federal law 49 CFR 396.11 and 396.3 to ensure that a truck is safe to hit the road.
Apart from the legal obligation, there are multiple reasons why you should maintain a driver’s vehicle inspection report.
DVIRs can help you to save dollars!
It acts as a preventive maintenance checklist and ensures that the vehicle is In good working order before and after use. It outlines everything you need to check inside or outside the truck, including engine level, tire pressure, insurance card up to date, brakes, windshield, turn signals, seat belt strap, fire extinguisher onboard, etc.
It helps you to save dollars from unscheduled fleet maintenance costs and identify a minor issue that can become big in the future.
DVIRs reduce unproductive downtime!
A DVIR can help you to spot any minor issue before it becomes a big problem and causes unexpected vehicle breakdown.
An unexpected breakdown can handle your fleet operation and cause drivers to stand on the road for hours solving a petty issue. It can hinder your ability to complete a haul on time and deliver high-quality customer service.
DVIRs ensure driver’s safety!
One of the most important reasons for conducting a DVIR inspection is to maximize your employee’s safety. This report can catch minor problems with the vehicle or equipment that can cause accidents.
For example, let us assume that your vehicle has faulty brakes. Without pre-trip inspection, your driver will not be able to identify this fault and will hit the road.
It is a risky situation. If drivers have to stop their vehicles abruptly on the road, they will not be able to do so. And can impact the truck in front of them or anything like a tree or wall. It will cause both loss of human life and monetary damage. You may also have to face legal actions, and the company’s reputation will be at stake.
But if you have conducted a pre-trip inspection, you can identify this fault before hitting the road and send the vehicle for repairs.
Complete Process Of DVIR
To complete a DVIR, a driver has to follow four basic steps, including inspecting the vehicle, reporting defects, turning the report in, and completing corrective actions.
During this, a driver has to conduct a pre-trip and post-trip inspection of the vehicle. They have to take a thoro analysis of the truck to install its working order. The complete check includes checking underneath the hood, 360 walk around closely inspecting for defects or damage, and then starting the engine to test brakes, light, windshield, etc.
After the vehicle inspection, I will have to report any possible defects or abnormalities that can eventually hinder the vehicle and driver’s safety or lead to an unexpected breakdown.
Turn In The Report
After completing the report, the driver has to sign off and submit it to the fleet manager for action.
Mechanic’s Update & Repair Remarks
Lastly, it is the responsibility of motor carriers to send the vehicles for repair or to certify the reported damage or defect.
After resolving the issue, the driver can conduct a pre-trip inspection and then go on the road to complete their haul.
Complete Checklist Of DVIR
- Steering mechanism
- Brakes and air system
- Wheels, tires, and rims
- Reflectors and lights
- Rearview mirrors
- Windshield wipers
- Safety and emergency equipment, such as fire extinguishers and first-aid kits
- Coupling equipment and fifth wheels
- Power unit and trailer
Who Needs To Complete DVIRs?
DVIR are legal obligations for any fleet operating in the United States. Truck drivers falling under any of the following categories have to maintain DVIR under federal regulations 49 CFR 396.11:
- Any driver of CMV, buses weighing 1000001 pounds or more
- A vehicle carrying ten or more passengers
- Truck carrying hazardous material
This rule also exists in other countries and jurisdictions, such as the province of Ontario in Canada.
Carriers keep DVIRs on-site for three months from the date the report is submitted. Failing to do so can lead to penalties and fines. In extreme cases, the truck can be made out-of-order for some time.
The trucking profession is very demanding as it requires a person to drive on the most challenging roads and terrains under varying climatic conditions. We have curated a list of 10 safety tips for truck drivers to ensure their safety and others.
There are exemptions too for certain types of vehicles.
- The vehicle used for drive-away or tow-away operations does not have to maintain DVIR.
- Motor carriers that have a single CMV fall in this category.
- Private motor carriers transporting passengers but not for business purposes also fall under the exemption.
Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) inspectors are responsible for roadside inspections of CMV and drivers. The inspector verifies compliance with several rules and regulations prevailing on the road of the United States.
There are eight levels of inspection carried out throughout the country.
- North American Standard Inspection
- Walk Around Driver/Vehicle Check
- Driver/Credential/Admin inspection
- Special inspection
- Vehicle only inspection
- North American Standard Inspection for transuranic waste and HRCQ of radioactive material
- Jurisdictional mandated CMV inspection
- North American Standard Electronic Inspection
The different types of duty roadside inspection revolve around the same measure that a DVIR will uncover.
So the DVR process allows the driver to identify issues before it impacts the vehicle’s safety. It also saves you from out-of-service orders, penalties, or an increase in CSA scores.
A DVIR stamp signifies that the inspector has checked the vehicle and there was no safety violation. An inspector issues and renews it within seven days of the last roadside inspection. The seal is made of infrared ink and cannot be falsified or counterfeit.
Once you get this stamp, you can show it to the other local law enforcement when they ask you to stop for inspection.
Consequences Of Failing To Complete DVIR
Vehicles that fail to comply with the DVIR regulations have to pay fines and penalties from the department of transportation officer.
The consequences vary from severe to moderate levels according to the level of negligence.
- Up to $1270 per day for not completing a DVIR on time.
- Sign of $12700 for false falsifying a DVIR and neglecting the report
- Up to $15420 if found ignoring the safety defect identified by the driver.
- Negative impact on the CSA score.
- Temporary or permanent disqualification of the vehicle.
Electronic DVIR or eDVIR
An electronic driver vehicle inspection report allows you to record, compile and store information on electronic devices such as computers, smartphones, or tablets.
You can submit a DVIR report manually on a paper form. But if you want to boost efficiency and save time, eDVIR is your option.
The electronic DVIR application allows you to complete DVIR reports with a few clicks from your device. The data captured is uploaded to cloud storage. One can access it using their device. It also comes with an integrated mobile application that allows you to review or update eDVIR from anywhere in real-time.
Benefits Of eDVIR
Electronic DVIRs boost efficiency within the fleet. The driver can complete the whole process by completing a simple checklist from the mobile application on their device with ease. And the fleet managers can access the same and store it for future use.
It is a time-saving process in comparison with the hand-filled form. It allows the driver to get on the road faster than before.
Less paperwork and administrative burden
Digital report means you don’t have to go through that heavy paperwork and administrative load. With less time and greater accuracy, you can complete the compliance report and focus on necessary things.
You also don’t have trouble keeping track of the paper form. It is easy to lose and can become a headache to store.
Another significant benefit of electronic DVIR is the faster response. Once the driver submits the DVIR report, the fleet manager will get immediate access to the report, and they can address the issues right away.
eDVIR boosts the communication between the driver and the technician.
The driver can fill in the DVIR report and inform the technician about the fault. And the letter can resolve the issue and update the vehicle status in the mobile application to notify the former that the vehicle is ready to use.
Another great benefit of eDVIR is visual confirmation. The drivers can take photos or record noise to articulate their concerns.
The electronic DVIR reduces the need for paper, saves you time & money, and increases the company’s sustainability program.
Enhanced preventive maintenance
Integrating the electronic DVIR with a speed management information system can help you enhance preventive and productive maintenance inspection processes. With the help of data, you can make the best decision for the vehicle and improve its health.
Electronic DVIR is a better option to comply with the prevailing rules and regulations. Traditionally, the paper circled between the drivers, supervisor, shop personnel, and back to the driver. It was a complicated process, and it was easy to lose the form. Sometimes, some of the issues get unreported or unresolved.
Using eDVIR technology streamlines the process, ensuring smooth communication between all and reducing risks of faulty loops between different components.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is DVIR important?
A: DVIR is important for ensuring the safety of commercial vehicles and preventing accidents caused by mechanical failures or other issues.
Q: Who is required to complete DVIR?
A: Commercial drivers who operate vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, transport hazardous materials, or carry more than 15 passengers are required to complete DVIR.
Q: What should be inspected during a DVIR?
A: A DVIR should include an inspection of the vehicle’s brakes, tires, steering system, lighting system, horn, windshield wipers, mirrors, and other important components.
Q: How often should DVIR be completed?
A: DVIR should be completed before each trip, according to federal regulations.
Q: What happens if a driver finds a defect during a DVIR?
A: If a driver finds a defect during a DVIR, they must report it to their supervisor and have it repaired before driving the vehicle again.
James Johnson is a former truck driver who now works as a writer, specializing in the trucking industry. With over 15 years of experience on the road, James has a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities faced by truck drivers and the trucking industry as a whole. His writing focuses on issues such as safety, regulation, and the latest industry trends. His work has been featured in several trucking publications and he has received recognition for his contributions to the industry. In his free time, James still enjoys being around trucks and often attends truck shows and other industry events.