Late last year the FMCSA implemented a new rule that commercial motor vehicle drivers no longer are required to prepare a Daily Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR’s) “if no defect or deficiency is discovered by or reported to the driver.” The rule does not eliminate the daily pre-trip and post-trip inspection; it only eliminates the DVIR following the daily post-trip inspection. The rule also requires an immediate DVIR upon discovery of a defect, and has made the pre and post-trip inspection reports the same.
Even though these requirements are expected to reduce paperwork by eliminating the daily DVIR, when there are no deficiencies, it is considered a best practice to continue to document all post-trip vehicle inspections for the following reasons:
- The DVIR serves as documentation that a vehicle inspection was completed.
- Drivers must continue a daily inspection of their vehicle and the DVIR serves as a guide on what needs to be inspected and is a reminder for drivers to complete them at the end of the day.
- The document can be used by maintenance for researching repeat issues, root causes for chronic issues or when an issue was first detected.
- The document can be reviewed by law enforcement to show that the vehicle was inspected and the deficiency occurred while on the road.
Typically, DVIRs are written at the end of each day following the post-trip inspection. The revised regulation requires a DVIR whenever a defect is discovered and reported by law enforcement to the driver, therefore trucking fleet operators should make sure drivers are properly trained to execute a DVIR anytime an official highway inspection reveals a defect. These reports will also most likely be part of compliance audits which should include a copy of the DVIR, repair records and the highway inspection form.
Drivers need to maintain their inspections skills and understanding of DVIR preparation despite this revised regulation. The best way to keep your drivers safe and your documentation in compliance is to train drivers on how to properly document inspections, complete a DVIR according to company policy and have vehicle deficiencies addressed. As a best practice, structured training on this area should be done at least annually.
FMCSA has updated regulations for CDL and medical examiners certificates and is looking for drivers to participate in the commercial driver restart study.
HUB Transportation Insurance Services experts are able to guide you through safety measures for your business in accordance with FMCSA rules and regulations. Contact a HUB Transportation expert today.