Electronic DVIR, the How and Why: A Guide to Going Digital

March 19, 2020

Are you a logistics provider? And are you ready for the digital transformation in vehicle inspection reporting? You should be! You can greatly benefit from it when it comes to managing your fleet.

Let's embark on a trip around the electronic driver vehicle inspection report (an electronic DVIR, or eDVIR). We'll look at the definition of an eDVIR and discuss software that allows tracking them.

What Is an eDVIR?

A driver must inspect their commercial motor vehicle daily after their shift; the US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires it. This inspection results in the driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR). Its purpose is to note any defects drivers observe in commercial vehicles and to determine whether that vehicle is safe for the road or not.

DVIRs keep drivers safe and vehicles operational. They also prevent costly fines. Moreover, the DVIR can ease some of your worry about your vehicles causing accidents on the road. And it's important for the safeguard of your business's reputation. So it's critical that drivers go through the vehicle inspection reporting steps carefully and fill in the document with accuracy.

To fill in a DVIR, you must know the requirements of a DVIR, which the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) defined. Drivers can use a DVIR checklist to avoid skipping required elements when inspecting your vehicles.

But the focus of this post is on digitalization. And in the context of DVIRs, yes, you can use software to track inspection findings.

One of the most important reasons you'd move to using eDVIRs is to make it easier and faster for drivers to fill them in. Below, you can find more details on how that works.

Bet on Software to Track DVIRs Electronically

Each day, your driver fills in a DVIR for the vehicle they drove. If your fleet has dozens of vehicles and you rely on paper for their inspection reporting, tracking DVIRs can be a nightmare! In addition, the DOT demands that you keep filled-out DVIRs and certification of repairs for three months. But automated driver workflow management software can help you manage these things digitally.

Also, your company may use DVIRs in any form as long as they contain the required information and signatures. Your drivers can even fill in eDVIRs via mobile applications.

Besides eDVIRs, you can have electronic DOT post-trip inspection checklists available through mobile apps. Your drivers can even take photos of any defects they found and upload those photos to your inspection app.

If drivers find defects in your vehicles and report those in eDVIRs, software can track repair actions. And drivers can easily submit eDVIRs via software daily, too.

So, now that we've seen how software can take your vehicle inspection processes to the next level, you may be asking, "But how does that software work?" Next section, please!

How DVIR-Tracking Software Works

Picture this. A driver is holding a mobile device and performing their daily DOT post-trip vehicle inspection. Much easier than holding a piece of paper and a pen, right?

If you use automated driver workflow management software to handle DVIRs, here are some people that can instantly access the information:

  • Drivers, who submit eDVIRs.
  • Fleet managers, who review, print, and share eDVIRs; receive filled-out eDVIRs in real time; identify and monitor vehicles that require repair; receive digital notifications of defects found in vehicles; and identify uninspected vehicles or drivers who didn't fill in the required eDVIRs.
  • Mechanics, who to annotate and sign eDVIRs of repaired vehicles.

DVIR-tracking software stores eDVIRs in an online database, which facilitates electronic access to them. The software can also organize those eDVIRs once submitted.

You already know what an eDVIR and DVIR-tracking software are. Plus, now you know the way that software generally works. Let's now talk more about the benefits of eDVIRs.

Benefits of eDVIRs

Above all, DVIR-tracking software prevents the loss or damage of DVIRs. To further clarify, DVIR-tracking software can

  • Help drivers fill in the required DVIRs more quickly without missing any required fields.
  • Help mechanics repair the required vehicles and register the repair date in the DVIR, along with an acknowledgment signature.

If an accident occurs, it's way easier and faster to find the most recent eDVIR for your involved vehicle. Finding a paper version of it could be really hard!

Let's talk about a few major advantages of DVIR-tracking software.

Drivers Inspect Faster

With a mobile DVIR-tracking application, drivers go through inspection items without wasting time manually filling in a piece of paper. As a result, drivers' productivity increases.

Faster Access to DVIRs

Audits can happen! And in the event of an audit, you'll have to pull months of DVIRs. So you have to be ready.

What better way to be ready than using DVIR-tracking software? You can access eDVIRs right away when requested.

Facilitate Communication With Drivers and Maintenance

DVIR-tracking software is a way for fleet managers and fleet maintenance teams to communicate with drivers. In other words, drivers communicate with fleet managers by submitting eDVIRs that fleet managers can access in real time. Simultaneously, maintenance teams can prepare themselves to repair defects found.

Faster Repairs

When a driver reports a defect, automated driver workflow management software may send a repair request to the maintenance team right away. Then the maintenance team can schedule the repair and finish filling in the eDVIR after the repair.

If the driver attaches photos of defective parts to the eDVIR, mechanics will be able to locate the defect more quickly. Consequently, the corresponding vehicle will have less downtime. Everybody wins!

Easy Review of DVIRs

The days of deciphering drivers' handwriting are over! With DVIR-tracking software, you can easily review DVIRs because they're electronic.

Better Mobility

Drivers travel all day long around countries. And they need to be able to perform DVIRs anywhere. DVIR-tracking software and mobile applications are the solution for them.

Support for Customized DVIRs

Depending on the type of vehicle—truck or trailer, for instance—the DVIR might need customization. Using eDVIRs makes it easier to change templates for customized reports. It also enforces the right template for the right type of vehicle.

To Sum Up

The adoption of automated driver workflow management software for the management of DVIRs streamlines that vehicle inspection process. And the process is composed of not only filling in DVIRs—eDVIRs, more precisely—but also submitting, organizing, storing, and reviewing them. Software simplifies that process and the management of vehicle repairs as well.

Because automated driver workflow management software manages document workflows, everyone involved in the management of DVIRs has a role. Therefore, everyone—drivers, fleet managers, and mechanics—knows what they have to do with eDVIRs.

The process of managing eDVIRs isn't that much different from the paper-intensive version of the process. Drivers still fill in and deliver DVIRs daily reports. In the same vein, the inspection items remain the same. The main difference relies on the means to fill in and deliver the DVIRs. The submission of eDVIRs is via an electronic interface, which can be cloud-based. That allows fleet managers to receive alerts of defects that are found in vehicles. If the interface is web-based and mobile, drivers can submit eDVIRs anywhere, and fleet managers can access eDVIRs from anywhere. Is this solution flexible or what?

This post was written by Sofia Azevedo. Sofia has most recently taught college-level courses in IT, ICT, information systems, and computer engineering. She is fond of software development methods and processes. She started her career at Philips Research Europe and Nokia Siemens Networks as a software engineer. Sofia has also been a product owner, working in the development of software for domains such as telecom, marketing, and logistics.

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