Just like every beat of your heart is what keeps you living, regular commercial vehicle inspections are at the heart of every successful business. Let's face the cold hard facts: if you don't inspect your vehicles and someone is injured or killed, your company is going to take a huge loss. Such mishaps have driven companies under. Therefore, it is vital that a company maintain a daily vehicle inspection regimen.
A company is always at risk when they have commercial vehicles out in the field. You can't always control what your drivers are doing but you can control the safety of your vehicles by way of thorough inspections. Looking at some stats and figures from governmental and attorney sites, it can be established that, even though a driver may be at fault for an accident, it doesn't mean you as an owner will escape unscathed. The best way to prevent this is by being able to show law enforcement, attorneys, and the judge that you, as an owner, are meticulous in keeping inspection records.
Insurance companies can be your best friend or totally working against you. Insurance is in the business of collecting premiums for investment, and they view claims as bad. Therefore, they will be checking to see if every "i" is dotted and every "t" is crossed. If you even slip in one minor area, you could be left to pay for the expenses of a mishap from your own pocket. That hurts, a lot. Thorough and well-documented inspections can be the difference in receiving a settlement or not. Some commonly overlooked commercial vehicle checks are:
- Checking tires and wheels are some of the easiest but most commonly forgotten or overlooked mistakes drivers make, especially when they're in a rush. There is nothing more time consuming and costly than having a driver stranded due to a blowout. Whether it is a rear tire, trailer tire or steer axle tire, a blowout can be disastrous.
- Brake inspections are just as vital as checking your tires. Failed brakes can result in catastrophic accidents, costing you great sums of cash in liability if you can't prove that you had been stringent in your inspections.
- Cleanliness, believe it or not, can give an impression to an inspection officer of what kind of driver they're dealing with. A messy cab can set off alarms for law enforcement, increasing the time of inspection and causing you to lose time and money. Clutter on the cab floor can roll or slid under the brake pedal and cause the driver to have an accident; loose items on the dashboard can slide off into his/her lap, or prevent the windshield from defrosting; and customers who happen to see a messy truck will not only have a bad impression of your driver but of you as well.
- Almost every country on the planet requires an emergency kit. For whatever reason, parts of an emergency kit can be misplaced or left at the office. Be sure that hazard reflectors are clean, fire extinguishers are up to date and that fuses are in good shape, only to name a few things that should be considered.
- Seatbelts should always be in functioning condition. Be sure that they retract and return normally.
- A nightmare for any driver is the wheel flying off and barrelling down the street, hitting and seriously injuring or killing someone. Check wheel lug nuts to be sure they are tight. Sometimes tire shops can fail to fasten them correctly, so a driver should double check them before he leaves a tire shop. Even if it was the tire shop's fault, the driver and your company will be to blame.
- Don't forget paperwork. Drivers often times are swamped with paperwork and dealing with the stresses of keeping the schedule. Therefore, your company should always make it a good habit of making sure all the correct legal documents are in the vehicle: registration, insurance, permit and ownership documents should be up-to-date. If you are using an ELog app, be sure to have at least one cycle of records to back you up.
All these checks can be transformed into a digital DVIR software solution so your drivers can be prompted on their smartphones. The Whip Around solution has been specifically designed for the United States transport industry and complies with all federal vehicle inspection requirements. Get in touch with the guys at Whip Around to learn more.