To ensure your fleet vehicles are safe to be driven and to be on the roadways, it’s important for drivers to perform vehicle inspections before and after a route. Performing these can help prevent a breakdown, or even an accident. For some fleets, conducting inspections is even mandated by the Department of Transportation to ensure vehicles are safe to be operated.
Take a closer look at why it is important for drivers to perform pre- and post-trip inspections, and what they should look for:
What to Look for During Pre-Trip Inspections
Before starting a route, a fleet driver should perform a pre-trip inspection to ensure the vehicle is safe to be taken on the roadways.
When performing a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR), drivers should follow the inspection form provided by the operation. Some general items that should be included on the list can include:
- Brakes, including parking brakes and trailer brakes, if applicable
- Steering system
- Tires, including checking the pressure, tread, and wear
- Wheels and rims
- Windshield and wipers
- Safety and emergency equipment
Why Post-Trip Inspections are Needed
In addition to performing pre-trip inspections, drivers should also inspect the vehicle at the end of the route. His or her written report should include information on any defects or issues that were discovered while operating the vehicle, or anything the driver noticed at the conclusion of the route.
He or she should also reinspect the items from the pre-trip inspection list. Any defects should be noted on the DVIR form and given to the shop to repair.
If there are defects, the driver cannot operate the vehicle until the repairs have been made and the vehicle is safe to operate.
The driver’s inspection reports – DVIRs – detailing any defects should be kept on file at the operation for three months. If these are not kept, the operation could be at risk of a Department of Transportation violation.
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