If you are in the business of vehicles, you probably know about the daily safety inspection that truckers and bus drivers mandatorily carry out before every trip.
Driver Vehicle Inspection Reporting (DVIR) is a daily inspection that all transportation drivers are required to conduct by law, and for a good reason.
Measures to ensure road safety must be taken seriously especially by the truck, and bus drivers.
For the longest time, this was carried out by way of a handwritten form with a checklist.
But, ever since the advent of the fleet management system, there has been a significant shift towards electronic vehicle inspections. In this article, you will read about the reasons why most fleets are adopting electronic methods of inspection.
1. Save paper, save money
The biggest and most obvious consequence of transitioning from a paper-free inspection process to a software-based one is saving paper.
Apart from the environment, you are also saving a lot on material costs.
Things such as the cost of paper, printing cost, stationery, and the cost of digitizing the information post-inspection, go down significantly after transitioning to the best fleet management software.
Though these might seem like small expenses when calculated per day per driver, they add up to a large amount of expenditure annually.
When you go paper-free, a range of cumulative expenses is flat-out removed and replaced with savings.
2. Ensure Quality Inspection
When a driver performs the same mundane task every day, he tends to become complacent towards it, and the daily inspection is no exception.
When it comes to DVIR, it has been observed that most drivers tend to hurry up the process and do not inspect the vehicle as well as they should.
One reason for this is that they are eager to get started on their trips and cannot do so without first checking all the boxes and submitting them to the admin’s office.
A good solution to this issue is to use an e-form.
Using an intelligent e-form, a driver will be monitored even during the inspection.
Connected to sensors that are attached to the various parts of the vehicle, the software package tracks the driver’s proximity to the vehicle and his activity around the vehicle.
This makes him more likely to inspect the vehicle thoroughly.
Not only does it do that, but it also saves him the time required to manually fill out all details and make a trip to the office for form submission.
3. Easy access
Filling an e-form via fleet management technology has other upsides, such as easy access to information.
Vehicle inspection affects many parties, for example, drivers, administration, management, and mechanics.
When an inspection is carried out, there is a need to manually update the information to all the concerned parties.
Things like whether the vehicle needs repairs, which parts are required to be sourced, and the length of its downtime are all examples of information that all parties will have access to as soon as the form is filled.
4. Accuracy of information
Electronic forms, have one great advantage that trumps paper-based forms – Adding images.
When a vehicle has a defect or has taken some damage, drivers are required to describe the damage in detail on the paper-based form.
This lengthy description is then updated manually for the mechanics.
In many cases the handwriting is illegible, or the description is written badly, such that the mechanic might have a hard time preparing for the repairs.
However, with e-forms, a driver can quickly snap pictures of the damage and give it a caption.
This not only accurately conveys the extent of the damage to the mechanics, but it also saves everyone involved a great deal of time.
5. Eliminate processing
After the submission of a paper-based inspection form, there remains the task of uploading and distributing that information digitally.
Many administration departments hire employees solely for this purpose and for data processing & analysis.
With the use of electronic inspection forms, all inspection information will be displayed on a centralized platform as soon as the driver uploads it, which means that all parties can instantaneously access it.
Fleet management technological solutions will also process and analyze the gathered data for further maintenance and immediate task allocation. This makes electronic inspections much cheaper and less time-consuming.
6. Real-time updates
Another advantage of fleet management app is that awareness of safety does not stop at an e-form.
With real-time sensor monitoring and updates, the different parts of a vehicle can be monitored continuously.
This means that even if a vehicle passes the morning inspection and breaks down later, in the middle of an assignment, it will be recorded in your software’s database.
Apart from being recorded, it also gives the fleet department the opportunity to send immediate help or even prevent the break down before it happens.
The predictive maintenance feature uses both the DVIR and the real-time sensor feed’s information to analyze and predict maintenance for a vehicle.
This gives you the option of taking a faulty vehicle off the road before an accident occurs.
An issue with paper-based forms is their lack of regulation.
It is possible that if a driver forgets to turn an inspection form in, or ignores the task altogether, he might submit a forged form later with an earlier date.
Even if a company were strict about its inspections, there is always a way to cheat the system with paper-based documents.
Contrarily, e-forms are a foolproof method of regulating the process.
With a marked time-stamp on every uploaded form, the entire process holds more weight and also holds drivers accountable for their inspections.
8. Customizable inspections
With electronic forms, you have the option of customizing inspections based on vehicle history.
Apart from the mandated areas of inspection, your fleet administrators can make a set of form components to choose for different vehicles and their maintenance histories.
This will allow drivers to write very specific remarks for their vehicles based on their needs.
Oftentimes it so happens that a regular inspection form does not cover all the problem areas and if it does, it would be the too lengthy form for all vehicles to fill out.
However, with the option of customizing inspection forms, each vehicle driver can point to specific issues with the vehicle that needs repair, over and above the mandated areas of inspection.
9. Minimize errors
To err is human and natural, however for the running of a successful business, it is essential that human error is minimized.
This can be done using electronic inspection methods.
Many a time, people processing forms filled out by hand can run into problems like illegible handwriting, misspelled words, unclear descriptions, worn out papers, dirty or stained papers, and in some cases translating a different language.
E-forms would be less error-prone and more standardized.
With electronic inspections, there is even the option of auto-translating from a different language to accommodate employees from different socio-cultural backgrounds.
10. Produce reports for law enforcement
The number of roadside inspections carried out by the FMCSA is upwards of 3.5 million every year.
It is highly likely that one of your drivers could be inspected for their DVIR report.
In keeping with the law, e-forms enable your drivers to produce a copy of the report at any point from anywhere.
They no longer face the hassle of carrying around a copy of the daily report.
This relieves them of extra tasks like picking up and remembering a copy of the form, safeguarding or replacing it when damaged.
With all information right there on their phones, your company also saves an extraordinary amount of paper annually. It also saves your drivers money in case they forget the paper-based form and are fined.
11. Simultaneous editing, many contributors
Due to the centralized nature of the e-form, it is now possible for your drivers and mechanic to co-edit and sign off on the forms.
The usual process that a form goes through is – the initial morning inspection, which is then sent to a mechanic to look over.
If he were to inspect the vehicle at the end of the day and had any remarks, he would leave them in the comments of the form.
This form would then again be returned to the driver the next morning before he starts his next trip.
In the case of e-forms, there is no need to pass around the form between the concerned parties.
Using the centralized system, the maintenance process would speed up.
12. Reduce negative environmental impact
As mentioned before, transitioning to a technological approach from a paper-based approach evidently has a good environmental impact.
Going paperless has a domino effect on the use of many other resources too.
For example, if you reduce paper usage in your company, it also affects the number of pens, pencils, ink, staplers and other stationery used.
Cumulatively, you would be reducing your plastic, rubber and metal consumption to a considerable degree every year.
Not just that, you would also be reducing the consumption of fuel and manpower required to move those papers around, process and then dispose of to them.
Using e-forms, therefore, would remove your business’ negative environmental impact.
13. Historical data is linked
One of the most important contributions of fleet technology is easy navigation of information.
With a fleet management software package, you have the advantage of having all your registered employees and vehicles in one database.
This means that when a file is viewed, accessed, edited or searched for by an employee, each transaction is recorded in your database.
Now, when an inspection form is signed or approved by an employee, a link to their profile is automatically created and the transaction is recorded.
In case of an accident, when this inspection form is later pulled up, it is quite easy to find and verify the details of the inspection with all the people involved with that particular form.
This would not only increase employee accountability but also decrease instances of misinformation and shifting blame.
So, when it comes to transitioning from paper-based to electronic inspection methods, the pros outweigh the cons, if any.
GPS Fleet Management & Tracking Software, to sum it up, will reduce expenses and negative environmental impact.
It will also increase employee accountability, ease of access, ease of navigation of information, productivity and provide real-time updates.
If you are thinking about revolutionizing the way your fleet operates, now is the right time to transition.
Take your DVIR program to the next level by transitioning to the Top Fleet Management Software.
In order to easily maintain your equipment and centralize your information, start your free trial today
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