Why should you perform a Post-Trip Inspection or DVIR?

That question really has 4 answers. Post-trip inspections or driver vehicle inspection reports should be filled out after each trip because:

  • it can help lower your maintenance costs.
  • happier drivers
  • trailers can be repaired between loads rather than before a load or in the middle of a load
  • it is a requirement of the DOT under Title 49 § 396.11 which states that:
    ...and every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day's work on each vehicle operated and the report shall cover at least the following parts and accessories:
    • Service brakes including trailer brake connections
    • Parking (hand) brake
    • Steering mechanism
    • Lighting devices and reflectors
    • Tires
    • Horn
    • Windshield wipers
    • Rear vision mirrors
    • Coupling devices
    • Wheels and rims
    • Emergency equipment

How Post-Trip Inspections Lower Maintenance Costs

Post-trip inspections can lower trailer maintenance costs by deciding when and where to repair any deficiencies the driver has found. This way you can keep you costs down by minimizing the amount you spend on service call fees, tow-truck bills, and driver detention pay.

Happier Drivers

It probably goes without saying, but we have all had a driver or 10 complain that every time they hook to a load, the trailer has a flat tire, or a missing mud flap, or the lights do not work. The good news is that these drivers are performing their pre-trip inspection. The bad news is that either someone is not doing their post-trip inspection DVIR, dispatch is not relaying the information to maintenance, or maintenance is not taking the opportunity to repair the trailer before it is not moving.

The bottom line is that you not have an unhappy driver. This driver will be less desirable to communicate with. They will not be as productive, or worse yet, you may lose a good driver.

Post-Trip Inspection Can Increase On-time Loads by Reducing Trailer Repair Downtime

As I have stated above, maybe there was a breakdown in communication somewhere between the driver and the maintenance department. Maybe the post-trip inspection was never performed. The real challenge is how to correct the out come.

Most breakdown's in communication like this can be minimized by having standard procedures in place. Once established, these procedures must be enforced. The easiest way that I have found to enforce procedures is to train employees.

Employees must be trained about the importance of following procedures. Often they are not aware of the big picture. However, more times than not, when items of importance are brought to their attention they want to help.

Post-Trip Inspections or DVIR's are a Requirement of the DOT

Title 49 § 396.11 is the legal basis for a post-trip inspection. Unlike the pre-trip-inspection, the DVIR must be a written report. CFR396.11 has 4 pieces to it. Each piece is required. They are:

  1. a written report is required
    • 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 and the report shall cover at least the following parts and accessories:
      • Service brakes including trailer brake connections
      • Parking (hand) brake
      • Steering mechanism
      • Lighting devices and reflectors
      • Tires
      • Horn
      • Windshield wipers
      • Rear vision mirrors
      • Coupling devices
      • Wheels and rims
      • Emergency equipment
  2. the report content
    • The report shall identify the vehicle and list any defect or deficiency discovered by or reported to the driver which would affect the safety of operation of the vehicle or result in its mechanical breakdown. If no defect or deficiency is discovered by or reported to the driver, the report shall so indicate. In all instances, the driver shall sign the report. On two-driver operations, only one driver needs to sign the driver vehicle inspection report, provided both drivers agree as to the defects or deficiencies identified. If a driver operates more than one vehicle during the day, a report shall be prepared for each vehicle operated.
  3. corrective action required
    • Prior to requiring or permitting a driver to operate a vehicle, every motor carrier or its agent shall repair any defect or deficiency listed on the driver vehicle inspection report which would be likely to affect the safety of operation of the vehicle.
      1. Every motor carrier or its agent shall certify on the original driver vehicle inspection report which lists any defect or deficiency that the defect or deficiency has been repaired or that repair is unnecessary before the vehicle is operated again.
      2. Every motor carrier shall maintain the original driver vehicle inspection report, the certification of repairs, and the certification of the driver's review for three months from the date the written report was prepared.
  4. exceptions
    • The rules in this section shall not apply to a private motor carrier of passengers (non-business), a drive-away-tow-away operation, or any motor carrier operating only one commercial motor vehicle.

FMSCA Post-Trip Inspection Forms

If you do not currently not have a DVIR form or want to make sure your form is up to date you can find a form that is free on the FMSCA.DOT.GOV website.

Remember, every DVIR must be maintained per § 396.11(c)(2) for three months from the date the written report was prepared.

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