5 Greatest Practices for Executing Pre- and Submit-Journey Inspections

This submit is a part of a collection sponsored by IAT Insurance coverage Group.

When business drivers are pulled over for DOT roadside inspections, an under-inflated tire, a malfunctioning brake gentle or some other variety of tools failures can lead to assessed violations, fines and potential out-of-service-related downtime. Every considered one of these can negatively influence a motor provider’s DOT compliance report.

It’s estimated that out-of-service automobiles can value fleets a median of $850 to $1,000 per day. As well as, the failure to ship items on time can lead to buyer dissatisfaction and the attainable lack of income out of your buyer taking their enterprise elsewhere.

In a extra extreme situation, a truck driver is concerned in an accident when the brakes malfunction. When the plaintiff’s lawyer finds out the motive force didn’t carry out a federally required pre-trip inspection that day, the repercussions develop.

The Federal Provider Security Administration (FMCSA) regulates pre- and post-trip inspections to be carried out by truck drivers on every journey.[1],[2] When business driver’s license (CDL) operators comply with documented insurance policies and procedures in finishing these tools inspections, resembling utilizing the U.S. DOT’s pre- and post-trip checklist,[3] these points can doubtlessly be averted. Sadly, many drivers fail achieve this.

Out of 59,000 roadside inspections carried out throughout a three-day highway security marketing campaign final yr, 14,428 violations had been issued for brake techniques, tires, faulty service brakes, lights and cargo securement.[4]

Checking the packing containers to cut back violations

To considerably cut back the percentages of violations and to make sure tools is protected to function, these greatest practices may help fleets educate and inspire their drivers to carry out their required security checks each day.

  1. Carry out a twice-daily walk-around. When drivers make a behavior of strolling round their car twice a day, inspecting elements resembling tires, lights, brakes and the fifth wheel, any doubtlessly wanted repairs will be famous and addressed. That is additionally the proper alternative to fill out the Driver Automobile Inspection Report (DVIR).3

Think about using a pre-trip inspection app to make the inspections simpler for drivers. In lieu of a paper kind, utilizing an digital eDVIR may help streamline the method, encourage participation and cut back inspection time.

  1. Embrace pre- and post- journey inspection in your annual coaching and onboarding. Train and/or assessment the step-by-step course of to finishing a correct tools inspection to your drivers and emphasize its significance. As well as, instruct them on the best way to correctly doc that they’ve accomplished the inspection.

Emphasize the timeframe wanted to carry out a pre- or post-trip inspection. Guarantee drivers that their each day pre-trip inspection ought to take solely 10 minutes or quarter-hour on the most.

  1. Report your findings. When points are found throughout the tools inspection course of, maintain the problem straight away. Proprietor-operators ought to organize to instantly repair their truck or trailer, and fleet drivers ought to be educated to tell managers instantly.

Doc and keep information on all tools that reveals when inspections, service and repairs have been accomplished. Within the occasion of an accident, it’s key to make sure these information can be found.

  1. Pay attention to frequent violations. Generally often called the BLT’s of kit violations — brakes, lights and tires — fleets ought to instruct their drivers to be further diligent in inspecting these areas, as they’re essentially the most generally assessed tools violations. Along with inspecting their car, drivers should put together and signal a written report itemizing any defect or deficiency that would influence operational security or result in a mechanical breakdown of components and equipment.

The next ought to be examined throughout every pre-1 and post-trip2 inspection, per the FMCSA:

  • Service brakes, together with trailer brake connections
  • Parking (hand) brake
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting units and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear-vision mirrors
  • Coupling units
  • Wheels and rims
  • Emergency tools
  1. Talk about how tools violations have an effect on the corporate. Inform your drivers that DOT violations result in extra inspections, attainable lack of prospects attributable to a poor DOT compliance report and will increase insurance coverage prices. Good tools inspections assist maintain your drivers and the motoring public protected.


Have a query on the best way to mitigate danger? Electronic mail [email protected] for an opportunity to see your query answered in a future weblog.

[1] FMCSA “6.3.4 Equipment, Inspection, and Use (392.7-392.9),” Accessed March 21, 2023.

[2] Code of Federal Rules “396.11 driver vehicle inspection report(s),” March 17, 2023.

[3] FMCSA “Driver’s Vehicle Inspection Report,” Accessed March 21, 2023.

[4] Josh Fisher “Bad brakes, false logs were most common 2022 Roadcheck violations,” Sept. 14, 2022.

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