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What is a Post-Trip Inspection Checklist?

by Maxine Harrison on October 21, 2021
 
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The post-trip inspection is critical to the safety of both your drivers and everyone else on the road.Whether a vehicle has visible defects or not, the post-trip inspection has historically been a cumbersome process, with drivers having to struggle through confusing paper forms at the end of a long drive. But there’s a better way to handle all the required safety documentation: a clear, concise checklist. 

Let’s dive into the specific parts of the post-trip inspection and how you can use checklists to ensure both safety and ongoing efficiency.

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What is a post-trip inspection?

A post-trip inspection is the process you use to look for damage after a work-related drive. The goal of mandatory inspections  is to prevent accidents by catching small problems before they can become dangerous and costly. Drivers are required to submit a post-trip inspection form called the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) if they find any problems with the vehicle at the end of a trip. 

Signatures are a big part of the process. If the driver doesn't find anything, they sign the report. But if they find a problem, then the driver, their supervisor, the mechanic, and the next driver must also sign. 

From there, it’s about submitting work orders to ensure fixes are in place before the vehicle is allowed back on the road. 

With modern software solutions, your drivers can finally put away the pen-and-paper forms. The inspection module from ManagerPlus© connects your company with fast digital inspection data you can access from anywhere via a mobile device. The software also has an operator companion app, which makes data collection much easier, regardless of how comfortable someone is with new technology. It's now possible to easily keep all your safety inspection data safe and secure.

You can view the status of each asset and see if something on the vehicle has historically been a problem. If an asset fails an inspection, your operators can immediately start a root cause analysis and create a work order to fix whatever’s gone wrong. Drivers and other operators can access the DVIR or any other necessary forms from any Internet-connected device.

You can dramatically improve your team’s efficiency and gain valuable insights on post-trip inspections. 

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Why are post-trip inspections important?

 Post-trip inspections are important for several reasons:

  1. They provide a level of accountability to the organization. It’s up to the fleet manager to put repairs in motion if anything is defective. But the driver, mechanic, and others also have a responsibility to report anything that went wrong. It’s the proverbial “if you see something, say something” mantra within the context of safe driving. Taking the time to do a post-trip inspection can prevent accidents, bodily harm, and reputational loss.
  2. They provide a historical record of the vehicle. What’s gone wrong in a vehicle’s past may provide insights into current issues, and you can use a track record to make better decisions and help your organization fine-tune preventive maintenance schedules. 
  3. They limit unnecessary company expenditures and delays. Post-trip inspections serve as the first step toward limiting costs. If, for example, a vehicle blows a gasket and no one schedules corrective action, that initial issue can lead to complete engine failure, which can run to $20,000 or more. Finding and fixing the problem early on prevents significant financial loss and allows you to get vehicles back in operation more quickly.
  4. The post-trip inspection ensures that audits from outside regulatory authorities are positive. Staying in compliance requires ongoing attention and action to your fleet's mechanical and even electronic health.
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What do you check in a post-trip inspection?

There’s a lot that goes into keeping a vehicle on the road. On your post-trip checklist, be sure to check the: 

  • Brake system (pads, shoes, etc.)
  • Engine
  • Air compressor and lines
  • Tires, wheels, and rims
  • Horn
  • Headlights, stop lights, clearance lights
  • Oil pressure
  • Suspension systems
  • Windows and windshield
  • Belts and hoses
  • Fuses
  • Radiator
  • Muffler
  • Emergency equipment
  • Steering system
  • Coupling devices

If any of these components become damaged, it could lead to an accident, injury, or worse. Having your checklist and your inspection module at the ready helps to keep potential catastrophes at bay.

What is the 10-hour rule? 

In order to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue, U.S. Department of Transportation has implemented the 10-hour rule, which requires drivers to take 10 consecutive hours off before beginning a shift. Once a driver is back on duty, they cannot exceed 11 hours of consecutive driving time (, which is the 11-hour rule).

The basic premise of the 10-hour rule is that a driver must rest in between shifts. The downtime also encourages efficiency; rested drivers are more alert and drive more safely, helping them when they’re back on the clock.

Next steps

Set up a call with one of our experts to discuss the specific needs of your organization.

Summary

Post-trip inspections are a critical step in ensuring your vehicles are safe to be on the road. They're also mandatory, and when things fall through the cracks, you can face significant consequences. In the past, drivers had to struggle with confusing paperwork at the end of long driving shifts, creating a perfect opportunity for mistakes. Modern software solutions make it much easier for your drivers and you. They get an easier process, and you get more reliable data that you can leverage into real cost savings. A post-trip inspection checklist plus powerful, easy-to-use software like ManagerPlus helps ensure the safety of your fleet and for the people who take to the road every day. 

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Maxine Harrison
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Maxine Harrison

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