A DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports) is a detailed record verifying that a commercial vehicle is in good working order before it is taken out on the driver's road. The method of DVIR includes both the inspection of the vehicle and repair or remedy of any identified defects.
For each day that a vehicle is in operation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires drivers to complete a DVIR. While many have become accustomed to the DVIR form based on paper, it is unreliable and inconvenient. With more and more business elements going digital, sticking to the DVIR form based on paper could cost businesses more than they think. It is human nature-a thing becomes a blind spot when we've done it the same way, day after day, year after year. Until something pressures us to, we don't stop thinking about it.
Filling DVIR forms by hand as part of their pre-trip or post-trip inspection is just one of those enforcement activities that we did not argue about, a regular exercise for millions of commercial motor vehicle drivers. The law needed it, and we just got it done.
As compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires DVIRs for operators of commercial vehicles, the technology is now here to simplify and make the record-keeping process paperless.
Disadvantages of a Paper DVIR form
Let us discuss a few shortcomings of the paper-based DVIR forms.
1. Illegible Handwriting
With the paper-based DVIR form, you are at the mercy of whoever filled the report.
Often the handwriting of that person may be challenging to read and understand. With paper-based DVIR forms, regardless of the cause, there is a substantial risk that you might end up with a report that you may not understand. Therefore, it influences the consistency of the data you collect and, eventually, the maintenance of your automobile.
2. The Paperwork Can Be Misplaced
You may find yourself with a lot of paperwork, depending on how large your fleet is. The amount of paperwork, mainly if it's in physical form, is almost impossible to track. Misplaced documentation results in the loss of the information contained in it. You would not be aware if repairs were to be undertaken, which would cost you much further down the road.
For every vehicle in your fleet, DVIR forms must be filled every day they are used.
If every form has to be hand-filled, imagine the total amount of time you lose at the end of the year. It would also be a challenge to retrieve the data because you will have to go through your documents physically. What happens if a particular form has been wrongly filed? Before you find it, it'll take much longer if you find it at all.
4. Restricted accessibility of paper-based DVIR forms
The physical forms must be stored in a physical environment. This affects the ease at which you can access them. You will need to be there physically to view the reports. If you wish to share the details inside such papers, their physical existence often hinders. In multiple locations, several transport fleets operate with one person or office responsible for enforcement. It could not be easy to centralize the storage of these documents.
5. Pencil Whipping Paper DVIR Forms
Pencil whipping is a phrase used as a secure working order when someone performs an inspection without actually exiting the vehicle and examining the objects they are ticking off. At the end of the day, pencil whipping of paper-based forms will occur, with no way to say if the information being collected is accurate and reliable, or if the vehicles are even roadworthy.
6. More Delays
The sooner a fault is attended to, the cheaper it will be. However, with paper DVIR forms, delays are the order of the day. There are needless delays in fixing faults because you are not made aware of them in real-time. After getting the forms that only happen after a driver has finished their change, you only know about them. Delays in the communication of essential repair work can cost valuable assets extra days off the road.
7. Difficult to obtain complete inspection information
Transparent reporting makes it easier for you to grasp the exact fault and eventually smooth the repair process. However, with paper-based DVIR types, it is often difficult to describe the issues or problems clearly in just a few words. The consistency of the information one receives influences the maintenance activities in general.
Introducing e-DVIR (Electronic DVIRs)
Faster inspections - Electronic DVIRs are faster. Trying to find a form and complete a paper form, sometimes repeating the same details every time, such as the vehicle's name and number. It can be time-consuming even to locate the last DVIR shape finished on anything like a trailer. The completed form then needs to be filed and checked for security flaws by others.
Minimize errors - The DVIR must be accessible by both drivers and fleet managers; drivers must sign off on the last report and back office to review the information, pass it on to maintenance workers if necessary, and file it. Handwritten reports and manual filing enhance the risk of mistakes and time lost in searching or purging reports.
Easier reporting - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations mandate that, for assessments and audits, at least 3 months of DVIRs be available on request. All fleets should be well-prepared for a review with the FMCSA putting more focus into cracking down on safety-related problems with most CSA scores being hit due to vehicle maintenance issues.
Quicker turnaround on repairs - Defect reports for attention and scheduling maintenance are redirected to the service department near real-time. Images included in the study speed up and isolate the fault analysis. To minimize downtime and encourage commercial fleet vehicles' safe operation, this is essential for safety-related faults.
Build customized forms for specialized inspections - Various cars, trucks, trailers, or equipment also need their type of custom inspection. Electronic DVIRs make it easy to replicate and change existing forms to fit and apply the appropriate DVIR form to the inspected asset-no longer completing the incorrect format. It is not just about replacing one framework with another. It is about taking advantage of recent tech advances to remain competitive in a rapidly evolving market.
Pause to ponder about how your commercial drivers do many regular vehicle inspection reports per day. Most can be filled in by a single driver, one for each particular vehicle, trailer, or piece of equipment driven by them. Multiply that by the number of drivers and the number of working days in the year, and one starts to understand the size of how much a fleet will gain from a regular conversion to an eDVIR.
It's not only about saving time on inspections and entry of data or money spent on stationery but enhancing the quality of the time of the driver-they'd rather be efficient behind the wheel than plowing through the paperwork.
Switching over to eDVIR with CERTRAX
Switching from paper DVIR forms to an electronic driver vehicle inspection reports requires no special hardware. It is cloud-based software, and so it makes no changes to your current IT setup. One can access all your eDVIR reports by merely logging into your secure account from anywhere with an Internet connection. All you need to do is determine how soon you'd like to get going. Our consultants will help guide you through the process and answer any queries you might have.
With Certrax, you can create or begin custom fleet vehicle inspections with a blueprint. It helps choose particular inspection vehicles, schedule frequency, and notify drivers when reviews are due. It helps build workflows to automatically report vehicle problems to the right people, speeding up problem resolution. By removing paper from the DVIR process entirely, Certrax makes it more comfortable to comply with federal regulations and file required inspection reports.