A vehicle operating in unsafe conditions is a hazard to your driver, your cargo, and to your business. Code of Federal Regulations Section 396.13 requires that, before driving a motor vehicle, a driver must:

  • Be satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition;
  • Review the last driver vehicle inspection report; and
  • Sign the report, only if defects or deficiencies were noted by the driver who prepared the report, to acknowledge that the driver has reviewed it and that there is a certification that the required repairs have been performed.

CFR §396.13 aims to prevent unsafe operation of commercial vehicles and to protect fleets from potential liability. Unfortunately, whether consciously or unconsciously, this regulation is not always strictly followed. We all know that’s true of most rules of the road. But those in the trucking business also know that for commercial vehicles, safe operations should always be the number one priority.

The FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study showed an increase in the number of large trucks involved in collisions (including fatal) in 2017 after numbers had generally been on the decline since the mid-1980s.

Most drivers would not purposefully put themselves and others at risk knowing that the consequences of complacency can be life-threatening. So what’s causing the increase in the number of collisions? The underlying issue (among other factors) may be a lack of access to the right information.

Vehicle inspection history can help improve fleet safety

An overall fleet safety solution can be designed to help your fleet prevent undesired incidents such as collisions and breakdowns. A vehicle inspection history is an important part of the overall safety solution. Your drivers need assurance of the vehicle’s safe condition every time they get behind the wheel. Knowledge can help them to avoid operating a vehicle that is not fit for the road.

Transparent vehicle inspection histories are essential for any fleet that prides itself on nurturing a culture of safety. Leaving obstacles in place between drivers and the information they need could create a culture of mistrust as well as possibly unsafe driving conditions.

With the Motive Vehicle Gateway, your drivers have direct access to the last inspection report for any vehicle they connect to. Drivers will be able to review any defects last reported for the vehicle and sign the inspection report, making sure their vehicle is in safe operating condition before they drive.

Vehicle inspection history gives your team the ability to make fleet safety a primary concern.

Vehicle inspection histories should be easy to access

As soon as your drivers connect to a vehicle using the Motive ELD, the Motive App will automatically fetch the last inspection report for that vehicle. The app is as user-friendly as the device itself. Installation of the Motive ELD is streamlined by compliance with all standard diagnostic ports, making it ready for any truck in nearly any fleet.

An added benefit to utilizing the Motive Vehicle Gateway is its built-in WiFi Hotspot, ensuring no lapse in coverage for documenting inspection details on a driver’s mobile device.

How a vehicle inspection report works

The driver can review defects in detail and sign the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) as a reviewing driver. Ownership of a situation is no longer a mystery, and fleet managers can quickly answer questions.

Drivers are empowered with ownership of safety concerns relating to their vehicles, and this, in turn, fosters an atmosphere of teamwork and cooperation between management and drivers.

Benefits of a fleet management solution 

The broad and detailed picture of the entire fleet’s status turns vehicle inspections into one part of a highly motivating fleet management solution. The responsibility to operate safety is spread out among drivers and managers alike. Open communication and informed drivers keep morale high.

The Motive Dashboard is a convenient place from which to check things like logbooks and location history, providing the fullest picture of your business. Cross-referencing inspection details with verifiable locations can help you pinpoint if and when a malfunction occurred.

Most fleets understand safety is a weighty concern. The Motive ELD can make vehicle inspection history a matter of team integrity, creating a foundation for larger safety plans to develop.

On the Motive Dashboard, you will be able to make sure your drivers are regularly submitting inspection reports and identifying defects. This, coupled with features like asset tracking, can increase dispatcher efficiency by simplifying the choice as to which vehicles get sent on assignment.

The benefit of in-vehicle diagnostics offers drivers and fleet managers an even deeper look into the health of their equipment. Recognizing problem areas before they affect daily operations can be an invaluable tool. These technologies provide a close perspective on vehicle status, ensuring the safety and effectiveness of your fleet.

Failing to take a proactive stance on safety can have ramifications beyond your own fleet. The actions of every fleet and driver reflect on the larger structure of trucking.

Improving fleet safety is a progressive process that requires understanding and cooperation over time. Through positive steps like refining vehicle inspection history, your fleet can be safer and more profitable.