When it comes to running a shipping fleet, efficiency is the name of the game. Every chance you can take to make your operation run smoother, quicker, and with fewer missteps will increase output and drive revenue. While you may have already taken the usual steps necessary to increase your fleet’s proficiency, there may be one seemingly small but vital task you’re overlooking—post-trip inspections.
Below, we’ll discuss the importance of post-trip inspections and then explain how TPIA’s application can help streamline and optimize this process.
49 CFR § 396.11 - Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports
Even though post-trip inspection reports, also known as Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR), have been mandatory for a number of years, failure to do so remains one of the most regularly noted violations discovered upon compliance review. According to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Subtitle B, Chapter III, Part 396—Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance:
“Every motor carrier shall require its drivers to report, and every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day's work on each vehicle operated, except for intermodal equipment tendered by an intermodal equipment provider.”
Drivers are expected to perform a post-trip check the following:
Rear vision mirrors
Trailer brake connections
Wheels and rims
According to laws, freight operators are required to highlight any defect or deficient parts or accessories that might impact the safety of driving the vehicle or cause the truck to malfunction and/or breakdown—this must be done at least once every 24 hours. Upon discovery of an issue, a carrier is required to take corrective action.
The (Unlikely) Key to Increasing Fleet Efficiency
Post-trip inspections are key to making sure your fleet is ready to roll come morning time. As we know, frequent driving, especially over long distances, tends to lead to damage or wear-and-tear over time. Even an accident-free drive can result in parts failing. Breakdowns can lead to a host of problems including:
Delays – If the vehicle fails to pass a pre-trip inspection, the truck will be sidelined until repairs are made. Highlighting it the night before gives you the ability to immediately fix issues, order parts, and avoid further delays.
Increased maintenance costs – Fixing a minor issue is much cheaper than allowing it to fester and become a larger problem. Patching a leak in the suspension is far smaller cost than completely replacing it wholesale or losing the whole truck because of a crash caused by a suspension failure.
Increased liability – If you fail to comply with safety codes and standards and an employee or innocent driver on the road suffers harm as a result, you open your entire company up to potential liability. Just one unsafe labor practice lawsuit could completely destroy your entire freight business.
Decrease CSA violations – Compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) violations can be seen by:
They can be used to gauge the riskiness and safety of your fleet. A good score results in fewer audits, more trust, better drivers, and lower insurance rates.
Simply put, vehicle inspections can save you time, money, and lives.
Post-Trip Vehicle Inspections With TPIA
Typically, a post-trip inspection will take at least 30 minutes and cover 50+ items in order to satisfy safety standards. Seeing this, TPIA’s mobile application sought to streamline the process and increase the accuracy and reporting methods.
But how do you use it to increase the efficiency of post-trip inspections? It’s simple. First, your drivers will have to go to the “Client Portal” on their smartphone. From there, they can use the “Truck Inspection Application.” This allows them to go through an efficient process wherein they quickly take photos of all the parts and accessories. This accomplishes the following:
Creates a uniform set of pictures detailing the condition of the truck.
Eliminates the need for written documents and record keeping.
Centralizes all reports so that retrospective reviews can be made to ensure accuracy or note damages.
Speeds up the entire process and makes it easy for fleet operators to verify damages without needing to physically inspect the vehicles in person.
Increasing Your Fleet’s Efficiency
One of the easiest ways to optimize your freight business is to increase efficiency. Ensuring that your operators fill out Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Reports is one unlikely way you can do that. In order to facilitate your efforts, the TPIA app has modernized the entire process.
So, encourage your drivers to download and begin using the app every day. Doing this will save you time, money, and lives.
Cornell Law. 49 CFR § 396.11 - Driver vehicle inspection report(s). https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/49/396.11
Robinson, J. Fleetio. CSA Scores: Effects on Your Fleet and How to Improve. (2017). https://www.fleetio.com/blog/csa-scores-effects-on-fleet-how-to-improve
Part380. Safe Vehicle Inspection Protocol. (2014). http://part380.com/blog/tag/post-trip-inspection/