fleet safety with vehicle inspection history

Improve Fleet Safety with Vehicle Inspection History

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By James Johnson

Safety, whether of their assets or the other people and vehicles on the road, is one of the biggest concerns for all parties in the transportation industry. A fleet safety report found an average of 4.5 accidents per driver occur each year. 

While most fleet owners, managers, and drivers consciously adhere to and practice safety regulations, governmental authorities like the FMCSA and DoT rigorously monitor and enforce various rules and legislations. They take extra care to ensure that fleets, especially the owners and drivers, stick to the rules. Regular and often surprise inspections help achieve this.

However, this plan will only work if the inspection records are consistent and reliable. These records find and fix possible problems before they get worse. 

In this article, we will walk through the process of increasing fleet safety through complete inspection histories and look at how this proactive strategy may be beneficial in strengthening fleet safety, cutting costs, and increasing operating efficiency.

Importance of Vehicle Inspection History

The purpose of vehicle inspection history is simple – it shows whether or not the carrier and the driver consistently follow the rules and regulations. Here is what it entails:

Records of Inspections: It entails keeping meticulous records of each vehicle’s inspection findings throughout time. These records contain brake, engine, light, and other essential component checks.

Preventative Maintenance: Inspection history is essential for scheduling preventative maintenance and keeping vehicles in operating condition.

Fleet Safety and Compliance: Regular inspections based on historical data help identify and fix any safety hazards. This proactive strategy reduces accidents and breakdowns, protecting drivers and the general public.

Efficiency of Operations: An up-to-date inspection history contributes to improving the fleet’s efficiency and reducing operational expenses by avoiding unplanned downtime and repairs.

Compliance with Regulations: Inspection histories give well-documented proof of compliance, which is essential during audits or legal examinations.

Limiting Responsibility: If something goes wrong, proof of regular checks and maintenance can show that all the necessary steps were taken.

Benefits of Vehicle Inspection History

Vehicle inspections are an essential aspect of fleet management, and their benefits extend far beyond what is mandatory. They not only assure safety and compliance, but they also save money by cutting operational expenses and enhancing fleet efficiency. Here are some of the benefits of vehicle inspection:

Early Detection of Problems

Detecting mechanical problems early and regularly repairing them can mitigate or avoid them altogether. Taking this preventative measure significantly reduces the potential for accidents due to vehicle failure.

Improve Reliability

Regular inspections lessen the possibility of unanticipated vehicle failure by always keeping them in top shape. This improves reliability and helps vehicles adhere to strict deadlines.

Financial Benefits

During routine checks, you can identify and fix little problems before they escalate into costly repairs. Proper inspection and maintenance procedures can help the fleet keep vehicles in working condition for longer.

Downtime Reduction

When breakdowns are kept to a minimum, fleet operations may continue as planned with minimal interruption and improve service quality.

Compliance with Laws

Frequent inspections of vehicle health guarantee adherence to transportation laws and avoid legal penalties and fines.

How to Record Vehicle Inspection History?

A driver’s official record of a commercial vehicle inspection is called a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report, or DVIR. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandated that all CMV driver-operators should maintain DVIR, which contains valuable information about inspection history. The Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) is an essential database for vehicle health and performance. The DVIR process involves the following phases, as explained below:

Checking the Vehicle

A thorough inspection of the truck to find or rule out any damage or flaws that could affect the vehicle’s performance or safety is crucial. The purpose is to confirm that vital parts of the vehicle are working as expected. The drivers need to examine the following components of the truck:

  • Braking mechanism
  • Steering function
  • Lights and reflectors
  • Tires condition
  • Wheels and rims
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear-view and side-view mirrors
  • Emergency safety equipment

Documentation of Defects

After the vehicle inspection, drivers must record any flaws or shortcomings and certify the DVIR report. It is essential to report these problems to allow for rapid repair action, prevent future breakdowns, and ensure safety. 

The driver’s signature on the DVIR confirms the thoroughness of the inspection and reporting of any issues. The signed DVIR is the official documentation of the results of the inspection and must incorporate the following statutory parameters:

  • The date and time
  • Identification of the vehicle, such as the license plate number, etc
  • The driver’s signature on the DVIR preparation
  • The auto mechanic’s signature after any repairs
  • The signature of the authorized individual who decided there was no need for a repair, and
  • The driver who will be driving the vehicle on the next trip must sign to indicate that the repairs have been made.

Certification of Corrective Action

It is essential to record the problems and make the report accessible to the concerned authority to allow for rapid repair action. The purpose is to quickly resolve the issues identified during inspection to prevent future breakdowns and ensure safety. 

Someone must record and authenticate that the DVIR’s noted problems have been addressed and the vehicle, after necessary repairs and maintenance, is safe to operate on roads.

Use of Electronic DVIR for Inspection History

The electronic DVIR, or eDVIR, allows easy documentation, compilation, and storage of information in digital format. The recorded data is uploaded to cloud storage and accessible whenever necessary. It also lets you review or update data in real-time from any location. The various advantages of eDVIRs are as follows:

  • Drivers can quickly complete the data entry process of eDVIR through the mobile application.
  • Fleet managers can have instant access to the eDVIR and view the inspection history at any time.
  • It saves a lot of time by avoiding administrative workload and ensuring more accuracy in record-keeping through eDVIR.
  • It is a more effective way of communicating between the fleet manager, technician, and driver to facilitate problem resolutions and update the status on the mobile app.
  • It becomes possible to save a considerable amount of data related to inspection history on a cloud platform without involving any hard-copy storage. 

Fleet Maintenance Technology Solutions

Modern strategies for maintaining fleets depend a lot on new technologies. Fleet maintenance software options offer an easy way to organize and use data to make things run more smoothly, keep people safe, and save money. 

The points below show how these technologies help keep track of review records, which help managers make educated and well-informed choices about the safety of their fleets.

Comprehensive Tracking: Software platforms provide a single interface for tracking, reporting, and scheduling vehicle maintenance, giving managers complete access to each vehicle’s maintenance history, including repairs, components, and incident data.

Digital Records for Inspection: With everything digitized and the availability of various dedicated apps, the process of finding issues, reporting and rectifying them, and scheduling for a check in the future has become extremely easy and efficient.

Improved Operational Efficiency: Easy access to inspection history allows for efficient planning of vehicle maintenance schedules, ensuring timely servicing of vehicles.

Inventory Control: The software helps track part usage patterns based on inspection data, facilitating efficient inventory management for quick repairs and reducing vehicle downtime.

Lower Maintenance Costs: Proactive maintenance based on data insights can help avoid costly repairs and make fleet operations more consistent and reliable.

Security and Compliance: The digital documentation of inspection results provides authentic and easily accessible data about the vehicle’s health and performance, ensuring safety and compliance with regulatory norms.

Informed Decisions: Reviewing and analyzing large amounts of data stored on the digital platform enables fleet managers to take appropriate action and timely decisions to ensure the safest and most efficient mode of operation.

Long-term Benefits of Vehicle Inspection History

Fleet inspection records offer a thorough history of vehicle health, technical issues, and maintenance actions, help fleet managers make informed decisions, and take strategic actions toward improving fleet reliability and efficiency. These are the advantages that fleets can achieve from the inspection history:

Cost trend analysis: Using inspection data simplifies the maintenance costs for every fleet vehicle. By analyzing and identifying patterns in repair costs, fleet managers can proactively address recurring problems and maximize maintenance budgets.

Warranty Support and Resale Value: A database on vehicle performance creates a base to support warranty claims. Furthermore, a comprehensive maintenance history can demonstrate that the owner has been keeping the automobile correctly, which helps retain a vehicle’s market value when the time comes to sell or trade it in.

Accident Documentation: The inspection history also indicates that the fleet has taken the necessary measures to address the problems, leading to improved performance and fewer issues. This documentation might be helpful for liability assessments and insurance claims.

Maintenance Metrics: It is possible to choose the metrics for measuring fleet performance more successfully by reviewing the maintenance records. It might contain records of vehicle uptime, mean time between failures, and repair costs per mile. 


Fleet owners, managers, and commercial drivers have various tools on their hands that can positively affect how they operate. One of these that we discussed above – inspection history – although mandatory, allows them to go through all the past issues and have guidelines to avoid these, thereby improving overall fleet safety. Strict adherence to regulations and consistency in following procedures work a long way into keeping fleet assets safe. 


Editor at YourBestFleet | + posts

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.

Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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