How to Use a DVIR (Driver Vehicle Inspection Report)

Digital driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) have become the norm following the transition to digital driver logs after the 2016 ELD mandate. Oftentimes, DVIRs are bundled with a telematics company’s compliance bundle and, as such, are embedded with Hours-of-Service reporting. 

As background, a DVIR is a document that commercial drivers fill out. Drivers must complete pre- and post-trip inspections that usually include a checklist of vehicle systems and components to ensure they are in working order. 

Drivers detail any mechanical defects they encounter, by submitting notes, photos, and in some cases videos to document their findings. They also inform the company about any unsafe or missing equipment on the vehicle that needs to be addressed as part of the maintenance management plan before anyone else drives the vehicle.  

DVIRs are required under 49 CFR 396.11 and 396.13 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. 

These inspection reports apply to drivers of commercial vehicles weighing over 10,001 pounds, designed for 9 or more passengers, or are placarded for hazardous materials. When followed, they reduce the number of collisions, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial vehicles. 

What does an inspection cover? These systems and components need to be included in the report: 

  • Brakes and air system 
  • Steering mechanism 
  • Lights and reflectors 
  • Tires, wheels, and rims 
  • Windshield wipers 
  • Rear view mirrors 
  • Coupling equipment and fifth wheels 
  • Safety and emergency equipment 

Historically, DVIRs have been filled out on paper, but with technology improvements, drivers are now using electronic inspection reports, known as eDVIRs. Having these inspections be electronic can enable fast submission.  

Moving to electronic filing rather than manual pen and paper allows fleet managers to receive real-time inspection information quickly, which reduces downtime and helps fleet maintenance admins easily flag vehicles that have missed inspections. This reduces the risk of being non-compliant as well as strengthens safety. 

Features of an eDVIR include: 

  • Custom or templated fleet vehicle inspections 
  • The ability to select specific vehicles for inspection, schedule frequency, and alert drivers when inspections are due. 
  • Adding photos, comments, or documents to an inspection, making it easy for drivers to report defects 
  • Creating workflows to instantly report vehicle issues to the right people, accelerating issue resolution 
  • Alerts for violations and drivers not logged in 
  • Historical view of previous inspections  

Besides streamlining driver and fleet manager workflows, using eDVIRs help companies stay compliant. Noncompliance to DVIR regulations may result in fines. Vehicles that are deemed unsafe during a roadside inspection will be out of commission effective immediately, which could create a loss of revenue to the company. 

Petrey Novelty Inc., a provider of distribution software for about 20 years, signed up for telematics through Geotab and saw several benefits for compliance through moving to electronic inspections. 

“The pre-trip and post-trip inspection reports have been invaluable. We’ve got some of the reporting turned on for hard-braking, speeding, that type of thing. We’re utilizing the email reports where we get a recap of the mileage, the violations, etc. They go out to management every day,” says Scott Rayburn, inside operations manager.  

More companies like Petrey Novelty Inc. are trending toward simple and customizable eDVIRs to help their fleets stay compliant, healthy, and efficient. 

If you’re looking for a more streamlined approach to DVIRs, contact EnVue Telematics to get a customized plan from one of our expert fleet management advisors. We offer Geotab Drive, an industry-leading compliance solution. Contact us today! 

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