Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting

After I became somewhat successful in my first business, I decided to expand into an area that I thought would be lucrative. I learned a lot during that time and developed my own philosophical expression: The less I know, the more I think I know. The more I know, the more I know that I don’t know. So, here what I think I know about the following subject:

Some drivers don’t treat company vehicles like their own.

We acquired some great customers and needed to add a route truck to our fleet in a hurry. I located a used, later model unit complete with shelving. We had already trained a young lady who was full of vim and vigor. She couldn’t wait to get into her own truck.

I decaled the truck myself because I wanted it to look perfect. No bubbles. I know that we should have had the truck thoroughly inspected by the mechanic, but he was busy. I really needed to get fiery Annie out of the office. She was driving me crazy. I know that she wanted to do a good job but was listening three paragraphs ahead of anything I said.

We probably had too many accounts on the route and although she had done it before, it was always as a helper. She was frustrated and trying to make up time. Not quite sure the sequence of events, but the accelerator wouldn’t release fully and the engine kept racing. Rather than try to fix it, she just drove with her foot on the brake. That went on for a couple of days. I happened to be in the lot when she came in after her route with the engine roaring as she flew in for the landing.

Long story short, the rock that somehow blocked the accelerator was easy to remove, but unfortunately the oil was gone, and the engine was fried. Ashamedly, that wasn’t the only engine I’ve had to replace because we were too busy to do the simplest vehicle maintenance.

Over the years, I’ve found that often our best producers are the worst at taking care of paperwork and maintenance of any sort, especially their trucks. They are far too busy to take time to do things like checking the oil or telling you that a light is broken, or they hit a curb and the wheel is out of alignment.

When we started developing our dispatching GPS-fleet software integration over 20 years ago, we thought it would fix a lot of problems, and it does. We knew how many miles were driven, so it was easy to schedule oil changes and other maintenance. We also started getting visibility into how the vehicles were driven with the driver behavior graphs which shows acceleration and harsh braking, fast turns, etc.  Most GPS systems do all of that. It provided a measure of accountability for the drivers and increased production. IMHO, I sincerely believe that ours is better than most.

But there is more to maintaining a fleet than a good GPS system. Driver inspection logs are critical. Little problems will always turn into big problems if left ignored. Every pilot is required to do a walk-around. Pilots are not mechanics, but they are required to look at certain issues or problems that could be obvious to the naked eye. If there is something unusual, they note it and call the mechanics for further clarification or inspection. I know from experience that every fleet, regardless of size needs to have a required walk-around. It can save lives, not to mention OSHA reports, lost customers, bad advertising, higher labor costs, and a myriad of preventable problems and delays.

As with most things, every business has different needs in the inspection reports. You have different types of vehicles which require different things to inspect. Rural and urban areas have different needs. Service, delivery, and route vehicles all have different requirements. Our DVIR app enables you to get the information you need and alert the people who need to know. Because it is heavily integrated into the rest of our software systems, it eliminates additional paperwork and when possible, can pull data from various sensors. We are not a one size fits all company. If you are serious about business give us a call and we’ll work up a custom quote for whatever you want to track. We’ve been serving company like yours for over 20 years because we care. | 316-202-0200