What is eDVIR?

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When you’re busy managing a fleet of commercial vehicles, the last thing you want is to be bogged down by procedure. With the fast-paced world you operate in, any delays — no matter how necessary they may be — can wreak havoc on your schedule and hamper your productivity.

However, some processes are simply too essential to forgo, leaving you with the option to push forward through the inconvenience and its accompanying strife or to find a better way of accomplishing the same objective, one that might actually make your business more effective and efficient than it was before.

For many in your position, the above pretty accurately describes their feelings toward driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR). Sure, it’s a necessity from a safety and precautionary standpoint, but that doesn’t mean that DVIR's don’t run the risk of adversely affecting everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Your fleet of drivers does absolutely need to conduct and file these reports, but over time, you may have seen their quality noticeably dip, likely due to the simple fact that your drivers don’t feel they have enough time to devote to regular inspection reports without sacrificing their focus on the task at hand.

Thankfully, there is another option. Electronic driver vehicle inspection reports — or eDVIR, for short — takes all the benefits of their paper-focused counterparts but adding in the comfort of modern technology. Still not convinced? Stick around as we discuss why Whip Around’s eDVIR could be the game-changing tool you need to take your fleet’s operation to the next level.

EDVIR EXPLAINED


We all know how the old DVIR process worked. Due to federal law, your drivers are required to maintain a daily report of whatever vehicle they operate and update the previous one as necessary. For a single driver, this should be no problem at all. But for someone managing an entire fleet, keeping track of these daily DVIRs and completing action items that arise can easily become overwhelming.

To keep up with it all (and to remain compliant in the eyes of the law), your best bet is to go digital with the entire process.   

eDVIR takes an antiquated methodology and streamlines it, deftly cutting down the amount of time you and your drivers need to keep your reports updated and filed on time, every time. With digital documents, you’ll be able to bid farewell to those stacks of paperwork that once took up so much of your precious office space.

Moreover, you can customize the specific reports your fleet uses so that only the fields you need are included. This approach trims all unnecessary steps, getting your drivers back on the road as soon as possible, and by creating a smoother process for them means less work for you and (hopefully) fewer reporting errors in general.  

Your schedule is already likely jam-packed with countless administrative duties. Now, rather than dealing with report troubles or being forced to keep track of your drivers, you’ll be able to simplify their reports and more easily mediate this required element of running your business.

Even better, you can access submitted reports with just the click of a button, since eDVIR relies on the cloud to house and share data across any distance. This emerging alternative to paper DVIR removes all the guesswork and saves you loads of time and infinite hassle. Isn’t fleet management complex enough and fraught with troubleshooting as it is without tackling DVIR issues?

After all, there’s no getting around the DVIR requirement. This law isn’t just federally mandated to protect your business the safety of your drivers and others on the road. These reports also serve as evidence to protect your business against liability. Should an incident occur, you’ll be able to maintain a clear record that your vehicle was in top condition just prior to encountering a collision or other altercation.

As it stands, such accidents are among the top causes of death, and any steps you can take to guard against litigation and, of course, injury is certainly worthwhile. With eDVIR, you’re able to satisfy this responsibility without sacrificing the performance of your fleet.

At long last, the burden of traditional DVIR has been lifted, and brighter, easier days lie ahead. If eDVIR doesn’t already sound like a dream come true, then you might want to stick around for more on how Whip Around manages to leverage this new system to great effect, extrapolating the built-in benefits of a completely digital solution to make a truly impressive impact on far more facets of your business than you may realize.

THE WHIP AROUND DIFFERENCE

Although such a design is on the verge of going mainstream, Whip Around is one of the only companies currently offering the mobile capabilities that eDVIR delivers. We’ve already addressed the most obvious benefit of this system, namely the revolutionary paperless approach we offer.

However, the abilities to toss out your old files and access reports at a moment’s notice — and from any location, we might add — are simply the beginning. eDVIR facilitates improvements across the board, opening up new possibilities for efficiency that you could only dream of.

Here are a few of the biggest advantages to stepping into the future and embracing eDVIR today:

  • Unlimited storage: We’ve all been in the dreadful situation of misplacing that key piece of paperwork. What a nightmare, right? Well, with eDVIR, you no longer risk the chance that a driver’s report might get lost on the journey. Instead, reports are saved in the system for future reference. And, because your account automatically boasts an unlimited amount of storage space, you’ll never run out of room or be forced to purchase more memory to keep all your reports housed in one consolidated location. They all remain there safe and sound and waiting for your review.

  • Rapid submission: If you need a report in at a specific time (especially if the Department of Transportation comes knocking), the worst thing to have to face is the reality of waiting for a report to be mailed over or, worse yet, for a driver to return to the office with his or her reports in tow. eDVIR makes it a cinch to ensure that your reports are up-to-date whenever you absolutely must have them accessible for a DOT audit or other reason.

  • Remain in compliance: Okay, we’ve referenced this advantage briefly, but considering how much damage a violation can do to your business’s reputation, it bears repeating. The DOT’s regulations regarding DVIR are abundantly clear, and you simply cannot afford to compromise your fleet’s credibility, especially when such an occurrence is so easily prevented. Facing a fee may be a passing obligation, but with compliance entering the public consciousness now more than ever before, the time is right to insulate your company.

  • Outshine your competition: Nowadays, virtually every industry is teeming with companies vying to top each other. So, your fleet could use every distinguishing factor it can. The capability to act in real time regarding your reports most definitely qualifies, as it maximizes productivity and extends your resources. Both you and your driver will be able to work faster and more accurately with digital files, an easy-to-use interface and completely customizable inspection forms. Reports will be completed and submitted in a mere fraction of the time they once were.

  • Enhanced analytics: Another worthwhile benefit of having all your inspection reports in a digital format is that this data is easily searchable and therefore able to be applied to analytics. Identify common issues across a particular type of vehicle, calculate the cost of parts or track outstanding defects from across your fleet. The possibilities are endless, and every bit of information will guide your decision-making process and create more opportunities for improvement. You’ll even be able to verify which of your drivers have neglected their DVIR duties. If knowledge is truly power, prepare to soup up your fleet management.

  • Decrease your downtime: If your drivers are constantly having to deal with complicated reports and/or persistent vehicle issues, there’s no way around it: your bottom line is suffering. Such activities can cost you hundreds of dollars each day and may ultimately lead to long-term decline of your business prospects. But with eDVIR on your side, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to minimize downtime and keep your drivers on the road and your vehicles in optimum condition.

BY THE NUMBERS

So we’ve made our case for eDVIR. Whip Around and our clients have already experienced tremendous success thus far, and we’d love you to join their ranks. By now, you might even be considering introducing this system into your fleet management plan.

However, if you need a little help casting your worries aside, allow us to clear up any concern with the power of statistics. After all, your business lives or dies by the numbers it racks up. Therefore, it stands to reason that you would desire some empirical evidence before you decide to make such a major improvement.

If that is the case, let’s get to it with a few of our favorite eDVIR stats.

  • 80 percent less processing: You might think that your tried-and-true DVIR process provides you with all the speed you need, but consider the following. Once you make the transition to digital reports, you’ll cut the amount of time needed to process each report by a massive 80 percent. Imagine how much smoother your days will go with all that extra time at your disposal. Forget about feeling left behind. You may actually be able to finally get to those pesky items that keep getting pushed further down your to-do list.

  • From days to seconds: We all know what a pain it is to prepare an audit for the DOT or any other report, for that matter. Using traditional means, such a project could take as long as two entire business days, as you scramble to coordinate and organize the required data. With eDVIR, you’ll be wondering what to do with all your newfound time. Now all you need to do is search for the report in your digital files, and you’re all set. What once took hours of manpower to collect can now be cleared up in a matter of seconds, thanks to the highly intuitive Whip Around web application.

  • Save up to $1,000 a day: Remember when we praised Whip Around’s ability to keep your vehicles off the side of the road and focused on the task at hand? Well, we weren’t kidding about how much that significant downtime can hurt you. We’ve crunched the numbers, and using eDVIR can actually save you as much as $1,000 in resources each day that these issues persist. That’s potential profit you can’t afford to lose, especially as your industry continues to evolve and your competitors hone in on the valuable asset eDVIR can be.

GET INVOLVED

Enough of all the discussion of what eDVIR is, how it works and why it is a must-have tool for your business. Hopefully, you’re already anxious to just get started already, and if so, we can’t wait to help facilitate that for you. Before we go ahead and start your setup, let’s walk you through just how easy the process really is.

Once you register your account, you’ll be instructed to log in to our secure web application dashboard. This will serve as the central hub for your eDVIR management and the location from which you’ll access your data, make adjustments and generate reports. Just add all of your vehicles and drivers into the system, and you’ll be able to create and customize your own inspection report using our straightforward user interface.

After the initial setup is complete, you’ll then be able to use your login credentials on our mobile application, where your drivers can begin entering reports instantly. That’s all there is to it! Best of all, if you have any questions, you’ll have Whip Around’s 24-hour customer support team at your service, ensuring that your issue is resolved as soon as possible. A whole new way of completing your inspection reports is right around the corner. So don’t delay for another moment. Welcome to the Whip Around family!

Ready to introduce your fleet to the power of eDVIR? Click here to sign up!

Are you still using paper DVIR forms?

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Business’s of all sorts in the United States have been transitioning to paperless documentation. This is not only to promote a green environment and save the planet, but in 2016 39% of businesses found that too much of their spending money was going toward unnecessary printing. We get it, you have been doing a fine job with the routine you have and change could just confuse things. The reality is, switching to digital DVIR forms will only make things easier and quicker for you and your staff.

PAPER CREATES PROBLEMS

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Paper is great when it comes to efficiency in small quantities, such as taking down a number or writing a quick reminder for yourself. When you are using it in large quantities for everyday uses however, it becomes extremely inefficient. A few reasons for this are:

  • Every paper document you file costs 5 dollars and an additional 20 dollars to have it found

  • If you need to reproduce a paper document it could cost up to 250 dollars

  • 7.5% of all paper documents are simply lost, which can cause some serious complications depending on its importance

AUTOMATING DVIR FORMS

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There are a number of ways that you can eliminate the use of paper in a business. When it comes to businesses in charge of fleets, a whole lot of paper is wasted because of all of the vehicle inspections that  are required each day. 

Drivers are also having to do more work than necessary because of these paper forms. By using a mobile application to automate your DVIR slips, you will:

  • Quicken the entire inspection process. Digital forms are easily accessible, they cannot get lost, you do not need to have a pen handy or spend time trying to retrieve one, and you can copy your name and ID information right from prior forms. Once the form is completed it will be saved directly into the database, avoiding any possibility for loss or the time it takes it to retrieve it if necessary.

  • Have less errors. If a driver is using their own handwriting the form can be difficult to read or understand. Both the driver and the office team have to be able to read the information on the form for reviews purposes and in the case that it needs to be passed on for maintenance.

  • Make the reporting process simpler. All fleet companies need to have easy access to their forms and proof of inspections as the FMCSA will require at least 3 months of DVIRS during an audit. Getting a low score on a review or audit can weigh heavily on your business. Digital forms are all saved in the cloud, making them easily accessible and legible when such an event takes place.

  • Faster communication for repairs. Reports on defects will be sent to the maintenance team as soon as they are documented. With the app connected to the driver’s mobile device, they will have the ability to take photos to fully communicate the issue.

  • The technology is designed to function on any smart mobile device. Whether the driver is using an iOS or Android device, they will be able to install the app on their smartphone or tablet so they can complete the electronic form from any location.

  • Have the option to create your own customized forms.Depending on the type of vehicle being used, it may require its own customized inspection form. Completing the wrong form could result in inadequate or missing information. If there is anything that needs to be included the form can be altered or another form can be attached to the file.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

If you have completed a DVIR form before, you know that it can be a big pain. Simplify your process and ensure that everything is being done properly and efficiently with eDVIR forms.

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Eliminate the hassles by using the optimal path that is digital ease. Times are changing and these tools are created to provide you with solutions that will eliminate your problems. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot, optimize your inspection process today.

5 Often-Overlooked Items During a Pre-Trip Inspection

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Pre-trip inspections are more than just cursory searches for mechanical defects. They’re required by law, and failing to do them can cost your company dearly. Perhaps equally important, these inspections can save lives, help your vehicles last longer, and ultimately help you make more money -- and keep more of what you earn rather than paying fines or lawsuits.

The problem, of course, is that it’s easy for pre-trip inspections to become just one more thing you do by mindlessly. Rather than inspecting the vehicle to ensure it’s truly safe to operate, drivers or inspectors may just run through a list, quickly checking boxes without really paying attention to potential problems.

That’s a choice that puts everyone on the road in danger. So it’s time to refocus on your pre-trip inspections, and ensure they truly protect your drivers, your vehicles, and the public.

Don’t forget about these 5 often-overlooked issues during a pre-trip inspection.

SAFETY IN THE CAB

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Safety begins in the cab of the truck. Many drivers spend long days on the road, and the truck cab becomes part home, part hotel, part garbage heap. That results in a cab chock full of old food, magazines, garbage, clothes, and an embarrassing cornucopia of other sundry items. These items are more than just an eyesore.  They’re also a safety issue.

Consider how a driver fumbling for his wallet might knock a ton of other items loose, or take his eyes off of the road. Or how a driver who’s allowed too many bags of Cheetos to accumulate in her cab might accidentally knock trash under the brakes.

If there is an accident, trash in the cab can fly into the driver and injure them. It can crack windshields. If the windows are down, it can even fly out of the cab. A driver going 55 mph or more turns those small items into dangerous projectiles.

Don’t forget that cleanliness counts when it comes to driving. Check the cab for hidden hazards, and enact strategies to help drivers keep the cab safely clean.

Some other safety issues to check in the cab include:

  • Seatbelt safety. Seatbelts save lives. It’s a cliché because it’s true. So check for signs of dangerous wear and tear, including frayed edges and belts that don’t properly retract. Buckle the seatbelt to ensure it buckles and releases properly. Then give it a sharp tug to ensure it will lock in the event of a crash.

  • Emergency kit. The law requires you to carry an emergency kit, and carrying one can save lives in the event of an emergency. Check for a fire extinguisher, warning hazard triangles, and spare circuit breakers and fuses. If other drivers drive the vehicle, ensure these are all in a central location, and organized in a manner that makes everything easy to find. Don’t just check for the presence of an emergency kit. Make sure everything is in it. And always check to ensure the fire extinguisher actually works.

  • Unusual wear and tear in the cab. Is anything cracked inside of the cab? How do the gears look? Damage to mechanical parts in the cab can point to a more serious problem, so make sure the inside of the cab points to a truck in excellent working order.

WHEEL INSPECTIONS

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It’s all about the wheels, as any driver who’s dealt with a flat tire or a damaged axle knows. So don’t just give the wheels a quick once-over. Wheel and tire inspections save lives. One item that may be overlooked is the need to inspect for items lodged between tires.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety alliance recently changed its policies to denote that a solid object lodged between tires is grounds for a violation. At least one driver recently died when a rock hidden here became dislodged and turned into a dangerous projectile. It doesn’t matter how small the stuck item is. If it goes flying at 55 or 70 mph, it can become deadly.

While it’s not legally required, going above and beyond with tire inspections is a great way to prevent damage to vehicles. Consider carefully checking underneath the truck for items that are lodged underneath the vehicle. These could get stuck in tires.

Some other items to pay careful attention to include:

  • Wheel lug nuts. Lug nuts are their own world, with myriad things that can go wrong. One common problem is a weak wheel fastener. This might seem trivial, but a wheel that becomes dislodged and goes barreling down the road is a crisis for the driver, for other motorists, and for your business. It’s so easy to prevent.

  • Rust. Rust around lug nuts may point to a problem with the bolt hole. Check for severely rusty areas around the wheels as well, since these areas can become weakened and misshapen with time.

And of course, don’t forget to chock the wheels at the beginning of the inspection. It seems obvious. It seems silly even to mention it. But when you do hundreds of inspections at year, it’s easy to forget these important basics. Your engine will be running, and the truck can move. Prevent a potential disaster by ensuring the vehicle is stabilized.

BRAKE CHECKS

Trucks depend on their brakes. Other drivers depend on these brakes not to fail. And let’s face it: when truckers are rushing to get from point A to point B, some test their brakes a lot more than they should. They drive to fast, follow too closely, or are too slow to stop.

So brake inspections should operate according to the assumption that the brakes need to work perfectly. Don’t assume that a driver will compensate for faulty brakes, or that OK brakes are good enough. Failed brakes kill. Drivers and operators intuitively know this, but many continue to gloss over brake checks. Don’t be one of them.

Brake violations are a leading cause of road accidents, a primary source of mechanical failures, and among the most common roadside inspection violations. Brake checks involve many steps, both inside and outside of the cab. Don’t neglect any step, since a simple inspection can reveal a potentially life-threatening brake issue.

LIGHTS AND REFLECTORS

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With so many lights on a truck, it’s common for one or more to burn out. The violation might seem like a small one, but it’s still a violation -- and an easily fixed one, at that. Check each light, and replace any that have burned out or broken. Remember that other drivers depend on these lights to see truckers coming, and that even a few missing lights can make the vehicle less visible.

Don’t forget about reflectors. A quick inspection of your reflectors can reveal easily remedied problems.

PLANNING FOR FUTURE MAINTENANCE

A pre-trip inspection shroud involve more than checking boxes to comply with the law. Ultimately, these inspections are about keeping everyone safe. They’re also a powerful opportunity for you to plan for potential hiccups down the road.

Is a vehicle approaching an oil change?

Might it need new tires in the next 5,000 miles?

Use your pre-trip inspections as a chance to monitor for vehicles that are still in good working order, but that might need maintenance in the next several months. This allows you to budget for necessary maintenance, change your trip schedule as necessary, and ensure the vehicle is assigned to a mechanic well before it passes the deadline for routine maintenance.

Having a system already in place for flagging vehicles that may need maintenance can save you time, hassle, and stress. Whip Around allows you to build your own inspection forms, then assign vehicle maintenance to the mechanic of your choice. Consider incorporating form details that allow drivers to flag that a vehicle may soon need maintenance. It’s a simple way to keep your schedule, and your sanity, intact.

HOW WHIP AROUND MAKES INSPECTIONS SAFER AND EASIER





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Let’s face it: pre-trip inspections take time. They also create their own set of problems, including:

  • The need to pull vehicles from the road to schedule them for routine maintenance.

  • Monitoring the progress of major repairs to damaged vehicles.

  • Keeping track of and storing inspection reports.

  • Ensuring drivers fully inspect each vehicle, rather than just ticking off a bunch of boxes.

  • Logging inspection-related data over time. Tracking inspection reports can help you detect problems with specific vehicles or families of vehicles. This can inform buying decisions, help you devise a better inspection timetable, and more.

These inspections are vital for road safety. They’re also critical for the success of your business. Inadequate or missing inspections may:

  • Subject you to costly fines and penalties.

  • Make you more vulnerable to lawsuits, particularly if the other side can show you didn’t do an inspection, or that you ignored the results of an inspection.

  • Delay vehicles from going back on the road. If you miss inspections, this can cause mechanical problems to get worse. That means more time off the road, and more costly repairs.

  • Endanger your drivers and other motorists.

  • Cause you to lose your best drivers, who may go to companies that are better at staying on top of vehicle safety and maintenance.

We understand that pre-trip inspections and DVIRs can be an immense burden. Here are our tips for lightening the load:

FOSTER A SAFETY-FIRST CULTURE

No form or program will fix a culture that prioritizes speed at the expense of safety. The key to effective inspections and safe drivers is a culture that truly prioritizes safety.

Some tips for building that culture include:

  • Not rushing drivers or encouraging them to cut corners.

  • Regular substantive safety training.

  • An open door policy that encourages drivers to express concerns and offer safety strategies.

  • Modeling the behavior you want to see. Emphasize safety in all that you do.

  • Making pre-trip inspections easy for drivers. Build intuitive forms written in plain language. Whip Around lets you do precisely that.

SWITCH TO DIGITAL DVIR REPORTS

Digital DVIR reports alleviate much of the burden posed by pre-trip inspections. The law don't require you to use any specific form, as long as you address all of the required basic components of an inspection. So build your own. This allows you to ensure your forms make sense, that they are intuitive, and that they force drivers to do a full inspection -- not a cursory walk-through.

Whip Around allows you to build elegant functional inspection forms in just minutes. Forget about forms you found online that are irrelevant or nonfunctional. We can show you a better way.

DITCH THE PAPER PILE

Pre-trip inspection forms exist for a reason. They serve as proof of your compliance with the law. And they help you document the entire history of a vehicle. If you are sued, accused of noncompliance, or simply need to review what work you’ve had done to a vehicle, these reports are invaluable.

Yet most managers allow these forms to pile up in a precarious heap in their offices. When they need the forms, they can’t find them. In many ways, they might as well not have them at all. The switch to digital can prevent this hassle. Whip Around allows you to organize forms for each vehicle without a paper pile or a boatload of frustration. If you need information about a specific vehicle, you can search for it without creating an avalanche of paperwork.

Paper can be a hassle for vehicle inspectors, too. They have to find the right form, take it to the inspection, ensure the form isn’t dirty or lost, and then give it to the right person. This is a recipe for missing, damaged, or incomplete paperwork. It’s also a surefire way to frustrate and annoy drivers. At Whip Around, we believe everyone deserves better than this. And we aim to deliver on that belief with solutions that work for today’s fleets.

DON’T RUSH

The number one reason pre-trip inspections fail is that they are rushed. Drivers feel pressured to get on the road so they can earn more money. Managers penalize inspectors who take too long. Or the confusing nature of forms pressures drivers to rush, or to divert their attention to the form instead of the vehicle.

Whip Around can solve all of this, and more. We offer intuitive, customized fleet management services that make pre-trip inspections a snap. Better still, we don’t forget about safety. We can help you save time, money, and hassle while making your inspections more comprehensive. Then we’ll help you flag defects, assign repairs to a mechanic, and get your vehicle back on the road -- all with the click of a button.

CDL Pre-Trip Inspections

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You know you’re supposed to do it. You might even do it occasionally. But, if you’re like many modern day truck drivers, you would rather skip it, and just hope nothing goes wrong. Odds are you guessed what I’m talking about by now. The good old CDL Pre-Trip Inspection.

Now, you might be wondering. What’s the big deal about this thing anyway? Let’s break it down in hopes of helping you avoid a break down in your truck and in your business, shall we?

WHAT IS A CDL PRE-TRIP INSPECTION?

According to CDL Training Today, “During a CDL pre-trip inspection, truckers inspect many aspects of their commercial vehicle, including the overall safety of the vehicle; major hoses, fluid levels, and vehicle belts; the clutch or gear shift; and emergency equipment.”

In other words, the inspection is the process of checking various elements of your vehicle, to make sure it is road-ready.

WHO SHOULD BE DOING THESE INSPECTIONS?

Every driver in your fleet should be doing a CDL pre-trip inspection on their vehicle. If a vehicle is going to go out on the road, it needs to be inspected before it departs. Plain and simple.

In fact, as governments add more regulation to health and safety for commercial vehicles, it is becoming even more critical that drivers complete these inspections to ensure that their vehicles are safe to be on the road.

FleetOwner.com says that completing your inspection forms, and making them easily accessible and legible, can mean the difference between getting a fine for non-compliance on the road, and smooth sailing in the event of a random roadside inspection from the DOT.    

HOW OFTEN SHOULD A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION BE DONE?

We feel they should be done daily. Not only can a daily CDL pre-trip inspection of the trucks in your fleet detect problems early on, they could save you money by helping your drivers get back on the road faster. Larger problems take longer to fix after all. So, catch them sooner, and it will take less time for repairs.

Daily inspections help ensure your trucks are safe too. This could prevent accidents, and even save lives. That may sound a little dramatic. However, did you know that according to a truck crash causation study, 29% of the accidents involving a commercial truck occurred due to brake problems? When you consider that a failure in something like a truck’s brake system could cause a fatal collision, that CDL pre-trip inspection starts feeling more like insurance, and less like a pain in the neck.

Let’s face it. Your drivers are facing enough hazards on the road. Construction, distracted drivers, daredevils who think they can cut off a truck on the highway, etc… They don’t need to add worrying about whether or not their truck is safe to the mix.  

Want to learn more about the importance of frequent truck exams? Check out our post 10 benefits of conducting daily vehicle inspections.

WHAT IS THE FASTEST WAY TO DO A CDL PRE-TRIP INSPECTION?

Enter Whip Around, aka the pre-trip vehicle inspection software that is changing the face of the DVIR. Whip Around is a mobile application that allows your drivers to carry out inspections on their mobile devices quickly to avoid unnecessary downtime, and ensure compliance with government safety regulations.

Fleet managers can create their own inspection form, and then the drivers use the mobile app to fill it out. Drivers will be prompted as they go through the form, and can report on faults within the app. Should they report a fault, they’ll be asked to take a photo and leave a comment.

Once the inspection is complete, the driver submits the form which is automatically transmitted to the fleet manager’s dashboard for review. If necessary, maintenance and repairs can be assigned to a mechanic. Otherwise, the driver can simply get on the road knowing their vehicle is safe, and road-ready.

As an added benefit, because the forms are completed electronically, your company will save time and money vs. using paper inspection forms.

It’s so simple to get started with Whip Around too. If you manage a vehicle fleet, you need pre-trip vehicle inspection software. Want to try out the Whip Around instead of taking our word for how amazing it is? You can get started with one of our freemium accounts to test out our features at no cost to you. Click here to create an account today!

Is Technology Making DVIR's Better or Worse?

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Driver vehicle inspection reports (DVIR), sometimes called pre-trip inspections, are a staple in every driver and fleet manager’s life. They can also become a perennial source of stress. So is technology making these reports easier? The answer is a resounding yes! Let’s take a look at some of the concerns about how technology is affecting all of our lives, then assess whether these issues extend to DVIRs.

IS TECHNOLOGY MAKING OUR LIVES BETTER?

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A generation or two ago, people would have marveled at the notion of instantaneous communication at the press of a button. Gone are the days of having to go to the library, waiting endless weeks for a response to a letter, and paying massive long distance phone bills. It seems we should all have lots more time, tons more money, and better lives overall.

Yet technology, for most of us, has not delivered on its promise of greater convenience. The rapid turnaround of email, instant messaging, and social media has primed us all to expect immediate responses. We want to hear from people yesterday. The result is a state of perennial stress and constant frazzle. We all feel the need to be constantly plugged in and responsive. We can’t sit back and enjoy a conversation, or even sleep, without checking our phones.

The technologies that promised to make our lives easier have instead made us all chronically, constantly, endlessly busy. The headlines and research are predictable, and alarming:

  • Technology is making us less social, because we are forgetting how to have conversations in real time.

  • Smartphones are crushing creativity. Creativity depends on having time during which the mind can wander in boredom. Now that everyone picks up their phone whenever they’re bored, we all spend less time daydreaming and thinking creatively.

  • Technology is increasingly linked to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and a host of other ills. Teenagers who spend less time in front of screens tend to be happier.

  • Technology distracts us from our real lives. Whether it’s fake news getting us angry about things that didn’t happen or Facebook notifications pulling us away from dinner, people are increasingly addicted to the virtual world, and increasingly disconnected from the real one.

  • Technology makes us less productive, by making us feel productive even when we’re not doing anything at all. It can distract us from what matters, and might even make us less intelligent.

  • We feel like we have lots of friends because of social media, but we may have fewer connections that actually matter to us.

  • We can shelter ourselves from challenging ideas, which makes it more difficult for us to understand other people, empathize with different views, and change our minds.

Of course, much of this can be overcome by controlling the role digital media plays in our lives and carefully monitoring our own use of technology. That’s easier said than done, though, and for many people, trying to control their use of technology just becomes one more impossible and time-consuming task on a seemingly endless to-do list.

THE PROBLEM WITH DVIR FORMS

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DVIR forms might be one of the few exceptions to the challenging realities of technology. The old-fashioned approach to DVIR forms just doesn’t work, because it creates an endless pile of paperwork. The law says that every fleet must inspect its vehicles before driving them. You can design your own forms, so long as they maintain basic mechanical information and details about recent inspections.

It’s a reasonable requirement designed to keep your drivers safe, protect motorists, and ensure that companies take dangerous vehicles off the road. The problem is that this requirement can also create a ton of stress for owners, operators, drivers, and anyone else who has to grapple daily with regulatory issues.

Before we explore how switching to digital DVIR forms can make your life better, let’s consider some of the challenges drivers, fleet managers, and owners face in complying with DVIR laws.

THE CHALLENGE OF FULL COMPLIANCE

DVIR are not supposed to be cursory overviews. Nor are drivers supposed to check off each box on the form as a matter of course. These forms are critical for driver safety, and for the safety of other vehicles on the road. To fully comply with the law, your drivers must physically inspect each vehicle, and honestly report any defects or mechanical difficulties. You must then address these issues before the vehicle goes back on the road.

As a practical matter, this creates significant burdens for drivers, owners, and managers. That’s doubly true when you must meet tight deadlines. The temptation to ignore vehicle defects can be overwhelming. But of course, that subjects you to potential fines, put your drivers in danger, and can render you liable if there’s an accident and you are sued.

It’s a tough line, and one which many fleet operators don’t talk about. Yet it must be addressed: this paperwork burden is real, overwhelming, and costly.

SUPERVISORY ISSUES

No driver wants to waste their time inspecting a vehicle, especially if there’s a very real risk that this vehicle must then be taken off of the road. That means managers must oversee inspections. This can be an incredibly taxing and time-consuming undertaking.

Not only must managers continually nag drivers to do their forms. They must also find ways to balance this burden against the other burdens of their job. Consider the following:

  • Managers might not want to take time off of work, and owners might be reluctant to give managers vacation time.

  • Managers may need to be physically present to ensure that drivers comply with inspection requirements.

  • Managers are turned into the bad guys, perpetually hounding annoyed drivers who just want to get out on the road.

It’s a task no one wants to undertake, but one which the law demands.

TIME CONSTRAINTS

Most fleets operate under significant time constraints. Your drivers need to get from point A to point B, and to maximize your profits, they must do so quickly. DVIRs slow down the process -- especially when there’s a problem. They force drivers to wait to get on the road, delay deliveries, and subject businesses to uncertainty as they await repairs and replacement parts.

This can have real effects on your operations. The fewer vehicles you operate, the more pronounced those effects will be, since a single out of commission vehicle can require you to alter your entire schedule.

A single DVIR can have a ripple effect: the report delays a delivery, and an identified problem requires the delivery to be further delayed or canceled. This delays other deliveries, or requires drivers of other vehicles to move more quickly.

Over time, this can erode your reputation with your customers, tempt drivers to drive too quickly, and cost lots of money. It’s nearly impossible to plan for the unanticipated time constraints of DVIRs, leaving managers to deal with stress and continual schedule changes.

PAPER MANAGEMENT

Under the law, fleets must retain DVIR forms for a minimum of three months. For many fleet managers, especially those operating large fleets, it makes sense to retain these forms much longer. Doing so can help you monitor trends over time, support insurance claims, and even serve as evidence of vehicle maintenance if you are ever sued.

The problem is that these forms quickly create an avalanche of paper. You’ll quickly accumulate hundreds -- or thousands, or hundreds of thousands, depending on the size of your fleet -- of forms. Even if you’re able to neatly stack them in a box, how will you find the paperwork you need. If you’re like most managers, you'll end up with an office filled with useless paper, and find yourself on the verge of panic if you ever need to locate a specific form.

DVIR FORMS: HOW TECHNOLOGY MAKES IT ALL BETTER




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Technology can make life stressful. If you’re already dealing with the stress of operating a fleet, the last thing you want to do is add to your stress burden. But DVIR forms in digital format can actually reduce your stress load -- really.

So why should you consider switching to online forms? Consider the following:

  • You’ll never again have to deal with an avalanche of paperwork. If you need something, it’s there and searchable. No more banker’s boxes. No more piles of paper in your office. No more fines for noncompliance or lost papers. This means less stress, more time to do what you want, and full documentation of everything related to DVIRs.

  • Digital inspection forms save time. Everything you need is readily accessible -- no need to go digging through your office, deal with outdated forms, or wonder what happened to page two.

  • Digital inspection forms eliminate perfunctory inspections. Designing your own forms allows you to ask questions that force drivers to conduct physical inspections that keep everyone safe -- not just check off a bunch of boxes.

  • Digital inspection forms free managers to view forms wherever they are. This can empower them to take vacations, take time off when they're sick, and trust that everything is operating smoothly even in their absence.

  • Digital DVIR forms save money. You won't pay non compliance fines, have to worry about missed vehicle repairs, have to pay for a storage space to store your paperwork, or invest in a substitute manager to hound drivers on the manager’s day off. For many companies, this adds up to thousands of dollars in savings over time -- not to mention the reduction in stress.

  • Digital DVIR forms give everyone more time. Time is money. When managers are freed up to do other tasks, they can help the company earn more money, fulfill other job duties, and enjoy their free time.

WHAT WHIP AROUND OFFERS

Whip Around takes the convenience of digital DVIR forms to the next level. Ideal for fleets of any size, we make the process of pre-trip inspections seamless:

  • Build customized, attractive forms in just minutes. We help you build forms specific to the needs of your fleet, that still comply with the law. Take just a few minutes and witness how easy it is to build forms that drivers understand, and that encourage them to take inspections seriously.

  • Access DVIR forms anywhere. Our mobile inspection forms mean that drivers can inspect a vehicle using just their smartphone. And managers can review inspections and other important reports no matter where they are.

  • Manage flagged faults wherever you are. You can take action on inspection reports effortlessly, noting where the vehicle is in the repair process and assigning repairs to the mechanic of your choice.

  • Create individual profiles and teams for drivers, allowing you to manage them wherever they are and wherever you are.

  • Extensive administrative controls. Add users and assign permissions as needed. Don’t worry about compromised data.

  • Extreme reliability. With up time of greater than 99.99%, you don’t have to worry about an outage meaning you can’t access your data.

  • Maintain detailed analytics about your vehicles. This allows you to track changes over time, and potentially to gather important pieces of data -- such as which drivers tend to have the most and fewest vehicle issues, and which vehicles cost the most to repair.

HOW WHIP AROUND IMPROVES QUALITY OF LIFE

Whip Around is more than just a useful tool. It’s a way to improve productivity, cultivate success, and improve everyone's quality of life. Our goal is to help you get more done more quickly, so you can focus on building your company, managing your staff, and enjoying your life.

Once you’re set up with Whip Around:

  • You’ll have more time for company projects, time with your family, or getting to know your drivers.

  • You’ll have fewer compliance issues. That means more money and less stress.

  • You won’t have to constantly be in the office overseeing drivers. Take a vacation. Visit your clients. Develop a new marketing plan. Enjoy your freedom.

  • You’ll have everything available when you need it, and can retain records for years.

We make fleet management easier, and alleviate stress for drivers, managers, owners, and mechanics. We’re so convinced you’ll love what we have to offer that we offer free accounts and extensive support  to get set up. There’s no obligation -- only a chance to better manage your fleet.

Ready to give it a try?

What is Pre-Trip Fleet Vehicle Inspection?

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A pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection, as its name implies, is the inspection you should do of your fleet vehicles before you take off on a trip, to ensure your vehicle is safe to be on the road. What kinds of things should you be looking for in your inspection?

Today, we’ll break down:

  • A list of must-check items in your pre-trip inspection

  • Why you need to be doing a pre-trip inspection before every haul and

  • The fastest way to get it done so you can get back on the road faster

WHAT SHOULD YOU CHECK IN A PRE-TRIP FLEET VEHICLE INSPECTION


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From the front to the back of your truck and everything in between, below is a list of items you should really check on to ensure your vehicle is road ready.

The first thing you should do is check under the hood. Every check should include:

  • Examining the wiring of electrical systems such as the ignition, steering, and headlights

  • Ensure all hoses are connected and look for for any leaks that may be present

  • Examine the windshield washer fluid and make sure the container is full

  • Checking air pressure in the air filter housing and air compressor

  • Evaluate the brake drums, brake mount, brake linings and shock absorbers

  • And make sure valve caps are securely fastened

Next, make your way to the left side of the cab. Here you’ll want to make sure nothing is attached that shouldn’t be, and that things like your mirrors, lights, steps, and even air vents are working properly. Check that doors close securely, the locks work, and that windows go up and down normally.

While you’re there, remove any obstructions and/or garbage that may be in the cab. After all, according to FleetOwner.com, “a tidy cab can often mean ‘move along,’” and you’ll be less likely to have a thorough inspection in the event you are pulled over for a spot check.

Another thing to check while in the left side of the cab is that there are no cracks to the windshield, and that the wipers and blades are working properly. It’s a good idea to check that signals and hazard lights are functioning correctly inside the cab as well.

After you’ve tidied the cab, make your way to the front of the trailer. Here, you’ll be looking to ensure things like reflective tape or reflectors are intact. You also should be evaluating the body panels looking for anything that seems cracked, coming apart, or just looks out of place.

Moving on now to the left wheels and tires. You want to ensure that the tires are correctly inflated with adequate pressure, and not damaged in anyway. Wheel nuts should tight, looks for bulges or cuts in the tire sidewalls, and check that your tread path is adequate. While on that side of the vehicle also check for any visible fluid leaks that could potentially be coming from the engine, fuel systems and/or the waste water tank.

Check the tires in the front, and then make your way towards the back of the trailer on the left side to check for the following:

  • Are the rear tires in good condition?

  • Are the tail lights working properly?

  • Is the toe coupling fitted securely?

  • Are all indicators, lights and hoses fitted, working properly, clean, and free from damage?

  • What about the splash guards? Do they need the be cleaned or replaced?

At the rear of the trailer ensure that the doors, hinges and bumper are all intact. Doors should close completely. Hooks and latches as well as locks must be functioning properly. Reflectors or reflective tape must be in good condition. Check for leaks that you may see at the back for any reason.

Then, move onto the right side of the trailer and right tires. Repeat the process of checking for leaks, reflectors or reflective tape, trailer panels, the tires are in good condition, etc.

When you get back up to the right side at the front of the trailer, again you will check everything you checked on the left side before hopping into the right side of the cab. Here you will once again make sure doors and windows are functioning properly, and remove any garbage or obstructions from this side as well.

Before departure close the hood, test the horn, turn signal, headlights and high beams, and all indicators. It’s also a good idea to make sure all seatbelts are working properly, check that the fire extinguisher has been serviced and is ready to be used if needed, and that your speedometer is working correctly.

THE MOST COMMONLY OVERLOOKED ITEMS IN A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION



After months or years of driving a truck, some drivers may tend to get a little lax in their pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection. As a result, there are many elements that start getting overlooked. The most common of these include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Cleaning the vehicle. This might seem like it’s no big deal, but the reality is that what’s in your cab could cause you trouble on the road.

      • For example, an empty bottle could get stuck under a pedal causing you to wreck. Or another piece of garbage could get wedged in a mechanical device causing it to malfunction. While these scenarios may seem unlikely, they can happen.

      • We also want to reiterate that having a lot of junk in your cab could make you a bigger target for a more thorough inspection on the road. The faster you can get through those checkpoints, the faster you can get back on the road. If time is money, then it could pay to keep your cab clean.

      • This is not just an interior issue either. It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of the exterior of the vehicle as well. It’s harder to see cracks and faults on your trailer that may need maintenance, if the vehicle is too dirty.

  • Your brake system. People often forget about the importance of their brakes until the moment they have a problem with them. With your truck having heavier loads, and your slower stop time, it’s that much more imperative that you thoroughly check your brakes. Check it all, and not with just a quick glance. The wear and tear your brakes face on a daily basis demands your added attention.

  • The fire extinguisher and a first aid kit. Do you have a first aid kit in your cab? You should, and it should be well stocked/refilled when things are used or expire. And, when was the last time your fire extinguisher was serviced? Is its safety pin intact, or does it look like it’s been tampered with? Are you keeping it secure in your cab? These are things you need to think about, but may often forget about them until you need them.

  • Chock your wheels. Chocks are there to avoid the vehicle accidentally moving before you’re ready for it to. It’s far too easy to forget to chock your wheels if you’re speeding through things. Think about everything you’ll be doing in your pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection - do you really want to risk something as large as your truck moving on you while you’re performing your evaluations?

WHY YOU NEED TO PERFORM A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION BEFORE EACH TRIP

Not to sound dark and ominous here, but for starters a pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection can save lives. A brake failure, blown out tire, faulty steering system, and a host of other issues could cause an accident that could in fact lead to a death. Perhaps even your own!

What if you didn’t ensure that your rear doors on your trailer were securely fastened? Your doors could blow open on the road, and when your haul flies out it could impale another vehicle.

Let’s say you didn’t make sure your headlights were working, and you’re suddenly in a remote part of town at night with faulty lights. Would you be able to see the road safely? Doubtful!

Doing these inspections is not busy work, or just something the boss wants you to do because he enjoys giving you a hard time. It’s about preventing as many accidents as possible.

Then again, we’d be lying if we said that is all your boss cares about. It’s not just about preventing accidents. It’s also about saving as much money as possible.

Pop quiz! What costs more money to fix?

  1. A single flat tire

  2. A flat tire plus fixing the rim (because you kept driving on the flat)

You guessed it! B is the right answer. This might be an extreme answer, but it speaks to the point that smaller and/or simpler repairs cost less to fix.




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For example, if you had checked for leaks and found a fluid leak, you could have simply replaced a hose. If instead you let it go, the fluid could leak all over the engine and various systems under the hood wreaking havoc and causing significantly more expensive damage.

What’s the fastest way to make your mechanic rich, and make your boss cry? Let small repair goes unchecked, and end up needing a lot more done to the vehicle to get it road ready again.

Consider for a moment your own finances as well. If you work for a smaller fleet, you might not be able to simply drive a different truck while one is being worked on. Not only will your company be losing money while the truck is off the road, you might miss out on a paycheck. Talk about a lose-lose situation that could have been prevented.

We understand. Doing pre-trip inspections as often as you’re supposed to do them can feel tedious. Monotonous even. Sure, skipping one inspection here or there might not lead to any significant tragedies.

On the other hand, for something that really doesn’t take that much time in the grand scheme of things to do - do you really want to put your truck, your body and your company at risk by skipping it?

You may be thinking that the reason you don’t to them is because you feel it takes far too long to complete these inspections. And, if you’re using the old school pen and carbon copy paper method of doing them, we might agree with you. Luckily, there is a much better way to do inspections these days….Enter Whip Around.

THE FASTEST WAY TO COMPLETE A PRE-TRIP INSPECTION





Using the Whip Around app is hands down the fastest ways to do your pre-trip inspections. What is Whip Around you ask? It’s the revolutionary mobile application that is changing the game in terms of how motorists are handling their driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIR).

With Whip Around, you can throw out all those paper DVIRs, and instead fill them out digitally with your smartphone, iPad, or a tablet. You simply create an account, download the app, and are able to create inspection forms with a simple drag-and-drop inspection form creator. Then, you pull up the form on your phone or tablet, follow the prompts, and before you know it, your inspection is complete.

If you find any faults with your vehicle while you’re inspecting it, there’s a space in the app to take a photo of it, and leave a comment as well. Once you finish your form, it will be automatically sent in real time to your boss or fleet manager, and they can pull up the form in their web based dashboard to review. If necessary, they can assign your vehicle to a mechanic. Or, if everything is in good condition, you can get on the road that much faster.

With Whip Around, you can fill out your DVIRs quickly, and ensure compliance. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is road ready, without wasting time, or worrying about whether you skipped anything in your inspection.

Your boss will also enjoy the boost to the company’s bottom line that will inevitably occur. As a result maybe he won’t be as grouchy when you ask to take a vacation. Hey, it could happen!

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHIP AROUND AND SEE IF WE CAN HELP?

We’re more about showing than telling anyway, and you can try Whip Around for free as early as today. Create a free account by clicking here, and you’ll be up and running in no time. A few clicks, and type in some simple information, and we’re confident you will quickly see just how much faster your can do a pre-trip fleet vehicle inspection.

It costs as much as $1,000 per day for a vehicle to be off the road. If you can prevent this kind of loss, why wouldn’t you?

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The Ugly Truth about Pre-Trip Fleet Vehicle Inspection

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Every fleet driver is required by law to perform thorough pre-trip vehicle inspections. Taking the necessary precautions to ensure that the vehicle is safe to drive does not only protect the driver, it is to consider the safety of everyone else on the road as well. Unfortunately, there are currently no guidelines for how long an inspection should take. If what should be checked is properly examined, a full inspection should take 30 to 50 minutes.

Yet, many drivers rush over it and end up only spending 15-20 minutes on the task. Because many drivers do not get paid for the time they spend on each inspection, they would rather get it over with and start making headway on their trip as soon as possible. This is not only very dangerous, the CSA violation fines are not cheap.

The ugly truth about pre-trip fleet vehicle inspections are, most drivers are not making them a priority, but they need to be. Every fleet vehicle needs to make sure their drivers are committed to this process, or the results could be damaging.

MISTAKES COMMONLY MADE DURING INSPECTIONS

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Without proper guidelines, it is easy to breeze over things. Because of this, there is usually at least one mistake. Just one mistake could:

  • reduce the efficiency of the truck

  • cause long-term maintenance issues

  • and endanger the lives of many

It is up to fleet companies to enforce strict rules in order to avoid these common mistakes from happening in the future:

Insecure brakes. Checking a trucks brake system is not an easy task. The driver must climb in and out of the truck multiple times and squeeze down under the trailer. Many skip this step because it’s viewed as a pain. The reality is, brakes get worked really hard on the road, and they are often times not in proper condition. If they were to fail, there could be some serious consequences. Almost a third of all violations during roadside inspections have to do with the brakes, so every driver should spend extra time inspecting them.

Not chocking wheels. Chocks are a simple feature to secure the wheels during an inspection. This keep the vehicle in place and the inspector safe, yet many tend to forget this step or consider it unnecessary.

A messy cab. One of the first things an inspector will notice is the condition of the cab. This is where the driver is expected to be able to carry out their business, and if the cab is a mess it doesn’t make them look very responsible. Too much junk can get in your way and creates the possibility of hindering the functionality of mechanical operations (objects getting lodged under breaks or being thrown in line of vision with a sharp turn). The cab should be kept clean and all loose objects put in the glove compartment or secured in some way.

Faulty reflectors. The lights may be working fine, but if the reflectors are defective, visibility of the vehicle can be drastically reduced for others. Drivers on the road may not be able to see the vehicle in poor weather conditions or at night. Few drivers check their reflectors for cracks or dirt. This is something the driver may consider insignificant, but they still could receive a violation for it.

Inadequate emergency kit. Each emergency kit must include:

  • spare fuses

  • circuit breakers

  • warning hazard triangles

  • and a fire extinguisher

All of these items must be in working condition. Hazard triangles should be free of dirt so their reflective strips are visible. Fire extinguishers can lose pressure and need to be serviced on a regular basis.

Seatbelt problems. One should never assume their seatbelt is in good condition. If the edges are frayed the belt could snap. The way the belt retracts and returns should also be checked to ensure that it is smooth. If not, it could need replacing.

Properly placed mirror. The mirror should be adjusted so the driver’s visuals are at their best. Taking the time to do this is also viewed as a hassle by many. Not doing so could result in major blind spots. Mirrors must be angled correctly and secure enough that they won’t easily reposition themselves if the vehicle jerks.

Missing the wheels. So many problems can come from not checking the wheels and tires thoroughly. A common issue that arises is with the wheel fasteners. If these are loose, one of the wheels could come off while the truck is driving. The driver should also check for any rust around the lug nuts which could mean the bolt hole is widening.

Lack of proper paperwork. Oftentimes drivers do not check to make sure they have all of the proper paperwork and documents for the vehicle. Such papers should include:

  • up to date vehicle registration

  • up to date permit documents

  • and up to date ownership documents

When using eLogs, the driver should have one backup cycle’s worth of papers just in case.  Every fleet vehicle must have a safety inspection approval sticker and the driver’s commercial driver’s license should be up to date.

POSSIBLE INFRACTIONS

The Department of Transportation has quite a few regulations that affect fleet drivers. Without proper pre-trip inspection, a driver risks the possibility of being fined for any of these. This is a list of some of those violations from the most severe to the least:

  • operating a vehicle that is out-of-service

  • violating airbrake restriction

  • flat tire

  • fabric exposed

  • belt material exposed on the tire

  • tread or sidewall separated

  • flat tire

  • depth of tire front tread less than 4/32 of an inch

  • not using a seatbelt

  • leakage, spills, insecure cargo

  • inadequate tie downs

  • container not secured to front of the vehicle

  • inoperative headlamps

  • inoperative tail lamp

  • turn signal not working

  • defective hazard warning lamp

  • dysfunctional fog/driving lamps

  • steering wheel not secured

  • loose steering column

  • components of steering system missing

  • power steering violations

  • no pre-trip inspection

  • dysfunctional brake system

  • no emergency braking

  • no tractor protection valve

  • no automatic trailer brake

  • brake hose not secured

  • brake connections with leaks where they connect to the power unit

  • brake connections with leaks under the vehicle

  • dysfunctional brake linings

  • brakes that will not safely stop

  • clamp or rotochamber type brake not properly adjusted

  • wedge type brakes not properly adjusted

  • dysfunctional brake limiting device dysfunctional air reservoir drain valve

  • dysfunctional brake warning device

  • not dimming headlights when required to

  • violating lane restrictions

  • not using two rear vision mirrors

  • defective lighting devices

  • defective coupling devices for full trailer

  • improper chain attachment

  • improper towing connection

  • defective horn

  • dysfunctional speedometer

  • cargo not properly secured

  • insufficient working load limit

  • insufficient arrangement of tie downs

  • failure to inspect emergency equipment

  • improper placement of warning devices

  • required lamps are inoperative

  • frame is cracked, loose, sagging, or broken

  • insufficient cab parts

  • cab door missing or not fully intact

  • cab seats not secure

  • front bumper missing or broken

  • bolt holes widened on wheels

  • wheel fasteners loose

  • floor condition inadequate

  • seatbelt broken or missing

  • inadequate fire extinguisher

  • no spare fuses

  • parts not properly maintained or repaired

  • oil or grease leaking from outer wheel

  • driver’s view obstructed

  • failure to use hazards

  • damaged, discolored, or obstructed windshield

  • inadequate windows

  • emergency exit handle broken

  • fuel tank not properly secured

  • fuel tank pipe cap missing

  • defective defroster/defogger

  • exhaust system not properly located

  • exhaust discharge in wrong location

  • exhaust system not properly repaired

  • improper warning flag placement

  • intermodal container not secured

The list goes on. Considering that there are so many ways that drivers can receive violations, the driver should feel be as thorough as possible with every pre-trip inspection.

WHEN AN ACCIDENT OCCURS

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If an accident occurs while the driver is on the job, a truck or fleet accident lawyer will look into the extent of the report that was filled out for the trip. Many of the lawyers will notice a 10 minute inspection as a red flag. If a driver only took 10 minutes for the inspection, it is clear that they skipped over a lot of things. During a deposition, a lawyer can ask the driver:

  • If their pre-inspection was completed

  • The parts that they inspected

  • In what manner the inspection was carried out

  • How long the inspection took

  • If it was recorded on FMSCSA compliant paperwork

  • How often the inspection is performed throughout the trip

  • If the driver has ever found any faulty parts during an inspection

  • When the last time was that a driver reported a vehicle as out-of-service

  • If they truly think they took enough time to perform a proper inspection

  • How this person had been trained to carry out a proper pre-trip inspection

The lawyer will ask these questions to prove that the driver was not following proper safety protocols. This is not a position any employed driver wants to find themselves in. It may seem like a nuisance to do these inspections with every trip, but the extra time is worth it if they are going to avoid the devastating possible outcomes.

HOW TO KNOW YOUR DRIVERS ARE DOING PROPER PRE-TRIP INSPECTIONS

It is up the company to make sure that the drivers they employ are adequately trained and following proper procedures. With it instilled in the process, many problems will be avoided. Some suggestions for how to accomplish this are:

Train the drivers yourself. This way you can be sure that they understand what a thorough, adequate pre-trip inspection requires. You can also have a DOT officer pay a visit to do an example inspection for the drivers.

Never assume they know how to do it on their own. Not every driver may know how to do everything the right way. Make sure each driver you employ understands how to do every little thing, even down to changing a tire. People do not always know these things, and instead of telling you, they will simply skip over the items they know little about in their inspections.

Keep your drivers accountable. If you find something wrong with the vehicle that the driver did not report upon returning it, they should be responsible for it. Many will pay more attention to details if they know you are double checking their work.

Use technology. There are now electronic inspection aids on the market which provide the ability of managing the driver’s safety behavior and keeps scorecards for drivers to accent when they are doing a good job.

Make sure the problems are fixed after being in the shop. Many drivers have reported issues just to find the problem still existing after the vehicle went to the shop. This makes them feel like their efforts don’t make any difference. Make sure that when they find something, it is appreciated and taken care of.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Company management needs to be on top of their drivers and instill a system that ensures that all pre-trip inspections are being done fully. The repercussions for not doing so will reflect very poorly on the business and could get the driver into a lot of trouble on top of putting their safety at risk.

It is very easy to get away with skimming over these inspections here and there and then be in real trouble the minute that something goes wrong. Don’t let it get to that point, make it a priority to carry out pre-trip inspections thoroughly and correctly.

Transform Your Fleet Vehicle Inspection Process

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Let’s be honest. The level of inherent risk involved means that you need to do your due diligence before sending a fleet of vehicles out there. Should disaster strike on the road or elsewhere during a job, it’s your business and your reputation that is bound to suffer. This is precisely why pre-trip vehicle inspections are such an essential part of your day-to-day operation.

While it may be tempting to forgo this process in favor of simply boosting productivity, to do so just may make all the difference if something does go wrong out there. Still on the fence? Let’s introduce our secret weapon: fleet vehicle inspection software. There’s no better way to take your business into the modern age than to install a faster, more accessible way of delivering inspection reports.

Sure, pre-trip vehicle inspections may cut into your time and seemingly have an adverse effect on your business’s efficiency. However, maybe you’ve just been approaching this necessary part of your workflow the wrong way. After all, embarking on a constant search for improvement opportunities is a sure way to maximize your long-term chances of success.

In the case of how you manage your fleet, working smarter — and not harder, as the adage goes — can begin with streamlining your inspection process. Fleet vehicle inspection software is the easiest way to transform your business, lending a new level of performance that will undoubtedly result in better service and smoother operations across the board. Without further delay, let’s discuss exactly how Whip Around’s fleet vehicle inspection software can help.

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE STATUS QUO

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A pre-trip inspection is customary for anyone holding a commercial driver’s license. So we shouldn’t need to stress the level of detail that normally goes into the process. With all the safety steps and routine maintenance involved, performing such an inspection before each and every trip can become tedious for even the most seasoned driver.

Yet, the potential for something to go wrong exponentially increases whenever a given vehicle is put to work for long stretches of time or racks up a high level of mileage. So, in actuality, pre-trip inspections actually become more important over time, and this growing necessity only underscores the big-picture value in eliminating the headaches that so often accompany the tried-and-true way of conducting vehicle inspections.

The likelihood of a driver deciding to overlook or just skip an inspection for the sake of time is just not worth the possibility of an accident or other mishap.

But the reality is that the time it takes to thoroughly inspect a vehicle, fill out an inspection form and effectively communicate the results to a manager can have a profound effect on a driver’s ability to perform the job to the best of their ability. In the end, this leaves businesses like yours with one simple but critical question to face.

Forgo the pre-trip vehicle inspection — a highly dangerous move we strongly advise against — or find a new way of reaching the same thorough results as in the current process. Using vehicle inspection software certainly falls in the latter (and far safer) category, giving your business the opportunity to catch up with the changing times and ensure that the vehicle in question is ready for another day out on the road.

The only issue you may initially face is figuring out how your new software system functions. Thankfully, even this isn’t a problem with the right vehicle inspection tool at your disposal.

INTRODUCING VEHICLE INSPECTION SOFTWARE

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So you’ve decided that a change is most definitely in order. But what exactly is vehicle inspection software, and how steep is the learning curve to implement it? Before we get to that second part, let’s address the first one. Fleet vehicle inspection software provides fleet managers and drivers with the cloud-based tool they need to complete and submit fully customizable inspection forms from anywhere and at anytime.

Fully digital daily vehicle inspection reports mean that you’re able to go paperless and stay more organized than ever. As it currently stands, drivers need to keep blank copies of standard inspection forms on hand at all times, and even then, they still have to be troubled with filling out each one every day, ensuring that they filled them out satisfactorily.

Moreover, they then need to keep track of these hard copies and remember to bring them back to the office when they return to check in with you, their manager.

Fleet vehicle inspection software removes the guesswork in filling out hard copies of those pesky inspection forms, saving both time and money as a result. It’s simply an easier way of doing things, and the fact that inspection forms can be customized so that only active fields are included only makes the process that much quicker.

Now it’s done in one fell swoop, as drivers are able to complete and submit streamlined forms in a fraction of the time. So your fleet will be more focused on the task at hand and less bogged down by the tedium of administrative requirements. The ability to keep your team’s attention on its performance is itself a major distinguishing factor, speaking volumes about the impact vehicle inspection software can have on your business.

With any routine task, simplicity is essential, and fleet vehicles inspection software like Whip Around centers entirely on its easy-to-use interface.

FORM A SMOOTHER PICTURE

Vehicle inspections aren’t only a wise business practice but one that is actually required by law. The Department of Transportation dictates that commercial vehicles complete a form each day. This requirement acts as a safety precaution on behalf of the driver and all others on the road, but in the event that accident or some other unfortunate circumstance befalls the vehicle, it also acts as evidence that your vehicle was inspected and in top condition beforehand, minimizing liability.

We’ve already discussed how fleet vehicle inspection software takes those tired old inspection forms and goes digital with them. However, more than merely creating an alternative to the usual mountains of paperwork, this new process instantaneously saves progress on each report. So no data is ever lost, and there’s no chance of a completed form becoming lost in the shuffle or getting misfiled back at your home office.

If the unthinkable does occur, your company and your driver will be able to access the inspection form for that day in a matter of moments. Thanks to the cloud-based system, you will be able to bid farewell to the paperwork you once dreaded having to file in the first place. Even better, you’ll be demonstrating to your clients, your drivers and your industry that you are able and eager to remain in compliance with your vehicle inspections.

As technology continues to play an ever-larger role in our everyday lives and companies are falling victim to hacks and scams seemingly at every turn, creating a sense of transparency and maintaining a detailed record of your business activity is becoming less of a luxury and more of an exercise in common sense. Implementing digital vehicle inspection reports into your operation is, in the end, an easy way to accomplish just that.

THE MAGIC OF MOBILITY

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The internet is truly an amazing thing. Thanks to the worldwide web and the network it provides, we live in a decidedly global world. Anyone can work from any organization across the planet from any other place without any detriment or disadvantage to his or her work. All they need is a solid internet connection or phone signal through which data can be transmitted, and any member of your team can engage with you at a moment’s notice.

No longer do workers have to be limited by their location, and fewer industries need this flexibility as much as yours does. Your drivers are already on the road and constantly moving from place to place. Just filling out an inspection form seems like more trouble than it’s worth, but now Whip Around’s fleet vehicle inspection software streamlines that process and removes the trouble of having to manually turn in the inspection forms after the fact.

Instead, drivers can perform inspections, reports maintenance issues and make repairs with no issue whatsoever. Through the magic of these new digital forms, you can stay 100% in the know about what your drivers are up to and be able to review the updated file on each vehicle right away. For all the reasons we’ve outlined above and so much more, this system creates an autonomous relationship for each of your drivers, empowering them to take action when needed and allowing them to take ownership on what needs to be done.

Too often, employees are hesitant to take accountability for fear that something will blow up in their faces or that a misunderstanding will emerge down the chain of command. However, in this case, drivers can take pride in their work with full knowledge that their actions are making an immediate difference in the day-to-day performance of their duties.

A ROAD PAVED WITH BENEFITS

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As if we haven’t touted the benefits of fleet vehicle inspection software enough, let’s take another moment or two to summarize the many ways in which a system like ours can transform your process.

  • Save time: You’ll be able to trim away countless hours shuffling through needless paperwork, from completing overlong, over-complicated forms to filing them back in the office. Such an activity can really drag down your productivity. It is time for an upgrade.  

  • Liberate your location: It’s not exactly telecommuting — a trend that more and more companies are exploring each year — but for your fleet of vehicles, being able to complete, submit and update your digital inspection forms in the cloud is the closest you will experience to it.

  • Speed it up: You and your drivers already have to face the doldrums of being on the road and the intense pressure of dealing with traffic, road construction and any of a million potential delays. But time remains, as always, of the essence. Now, with fleet vehicle inspection software, you can streamline your process so that you can move on to the next step.

  • Enhance performance: When you are able to expedite your business processes, you’re not only afforded with a tremendous time savings, but you have the opportunity to reach new service levels that you never would have been able to achieve. Step up your performance now, and your company will be poised for more success going forward.

  • Collect that data: Because the digital inspection forms house all the necessary data in one unified server in the cloud, you’ll be able to analyze data like never before. Create customized reports, and you never know what you’ll learn or what new opportunity for improvement you’ll uncover.

A COMPETITIVE EDGE

In today’s marketplace, you’ll need every advantage you can get. Don’t waste another moment clinging to antiquated business practices when your competitors are embracing a more streamlined approach. Vehicle inspection software can present you with the opportunity you need to keep your vehicles out in the field without sacrificing your managerial control or risking the safety of your drivers and the stability of your business.

This system will work wonders on your productivity, drastically cutting down on inspection times and keeping your drivers busier than ever before. In fact, you’ll probably wish that you had implemented fleet vehicle inspection software long ago, but don’t get too caught up in what might have been. Rather, focus on just how much better your business can be with this newfound resource in your corner.

The benefits we’ve discussed above should offer a compelling argument for why it’s worthwhile to consider introducing such a system into your existing business processes. Many options are already out there vying for your patronage, but with design and functionality specifically built with companies like yours in mind, we’re confident that Whip Around can not only meet your needs but exceed your expectations as well.

Time and again, our clients are wowed by the many ways in which fleet vehicle inspection software can revolutionize their previous process. Don’t struggle with your inspections when an easier way is just a few moments away. If you’re interested in learning more about how Whip Around works, check out our website for details on how you can get started now!

Class A Pre-Trip Inspection: What You Need To Know

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Whenever you send a driver out into the field, you know that there is a certain amount of risk involved. Managing an entire fleet of vehicles involves inviting possible disorder and endless potential for complications into your business. Literally anything can happen to your driver or his/her vehicle while they are in the midst of performing their duty.

So it’s essential that you take extra steps to ensure the safety of your drivers and the security of your vehicles. Thankfully, pre-trip inspections are one area of preparation that is fast becoming streamlined and even automated, making it much easier for any company with a fleet of vehicles on the road. In your case, a Class A pre-trip inspection needs to be an integral element of your process.

With so much of your business on the line, you must resist the temptation to cut corners when it comes to pre-trip inspections. Such precautions serve a variety of positive functions for your short-term and long-term prospects, and before you proceed with future plans, you might want to revisit some of your longest-held processes for opportunities for improvement.

Whether you’re already performing Class A pre-trip inspections or are completely new to this practice, we’re going to review everything you need to know to be sure that your company is reaping all the benefits of these inspections. You might just find that your current way of doing things falls tragically short of what pre-trip inspections can accomplish.

CLASS A DIFFERENCES

Taking stock of your vehicle before you hit the road is just a wise practice in general, no matter what you’re doing or where you’re headed. Whether it’s a long road trip with your family or a lengthy jaunt out of town for business, you’re placing a lot of faith in your vehicle whenever you don’t assess its condition and effectiveness beforehand.

However, when a commercial driver’s license like the Class A one your drivers likely use is involved, a pre-trip inspection is especially critical since the lack of such a regular practice could lead to disaster for you and your business.

It’s not just the commercial nature of your license holders that makes a pre-trip inspection so important for Class A licensees. This type of license — which, of course, is required to operate vehicles like tractor-trailers, truck/trailer combos and tankers — could be more prone to accidents, mishaps and other potentially harmful events due to just the sheer size and weight involved.

Also, for legal purposes, the fact that your cargo could be affected by an issue with your vehicle means that pre-trip inspections are as much of a must for Class A licensees as those with more specific types like Class B or C.

WHAT YOU NEED TO GET STARTED

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Safety is paramount whenever you have a driver out on the road, and pre-trip inspections might be able to prevent a tragedy from occurring. In the face of day-to-day operation, it’s easy for this priority to get lost in the shuffle, but you mustn’t let this occur if you hope to make the most of your business and your team.

little preparation beforehand can help you smooth out the process for your Class A drivers. Having the right documentation on hand to keep everyone on the same page limit the potential for human error and holds everyone at your company accountable for their actions or lack thereof.

Before you send your vehicle out, you’ll need to double-check its condition and have your driver follow up with updates at least once a day. This is especially true when drivers are due to pick up a new trailer for their trucks or take a particularly long break in between their work, as you never know what might happen to a vehicle specifically during these times.

Since most of the commercial vehicles on the road are used on a near-constant basis, wear and tear can adversely affect many aspects of their operation. So, before you (or your driver) get ready for a pre-trip inspection, here’s some guidelines for how to prepare:

  • Have your tools handy: You’ll need a few basics to perform your inspection. You never know when you’ll have to jump in with a minor repair. So have a hammer on you. Also, regardless of when the inspection is being done, you should keep a flashlight at the ready so that you can zero in on the details of your vehicle. Of course, be sure that whoever performs the inspection is wearing gloves, to prevent any accidental injury that may occur.

  • Preliminary safety steps: Before any inspection begins, be absolutely certain that your parking brakes are set and that the transmission is securely switched into the first gear. Anything can happen during these pre-trip inspections, and safety must come first. You can never underestimate the potential for something to go terribly awry. Keeping the vehicle in this state — and even going so far as to put wheel immobilizers — places the life of your driver and others ahead of everything else.

  • Light your vehicle up: Both as a means to test these basic elements of your vehicle and to alert others to your activity, you should always switch your four-way flashes on, as well as your brake lights and headlights. These are some of the most important elements of your vehicle, since they are among the biggest accident deterrents. As such, you need to take great care in checking them first whenever an inspection is due.

Once you have the above steps taken care of, it’s time to remove your key, head around to the front of your vehicle and pop that hood open. Let’s get into the thick of your pre-trip inspection!

BREAKING DOWN THE INSPECTION PROCESS



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The objectives of a pre-trip inspection are multifaceted. However, despite the many benefits of making this a routine part of how you conduct business, there are certain key elements that any inspection needs to cover to ensure its comprehensiveness and effectiveness. Here are some of the most basic aspects that your drivers need to hit with every inspection:

  • Overall safety: We’ll get into the full breadth of why pre-trip inspections are so important below, but for now, bear in mind that the general safety of each vehicle should be your top concern, starting with the aforementioned headlights, brake lights and other basic safety features. Safety is the primary function of any inspection.

  • Vehicle hoses: Be sure that every pre-trip vehicle inspection involves a look at all the major vehicle hoses. You never know when one can become detached or damaged or even spring a leak. Any puddles or drips will help tip you off to any kind of hose damage, but make it a point to specifically check for it.

  • Fluid levels: Sure, this may be automobile care 101, but it’s still worth mentioning all the same. Critical fluids such as motor oil and power steering fluid are, in many respects, the lifeblood of your vehicle. Before a vehicle is taken out on any trip, these fluids should all be at their optimal level to prevent incident and ensure peak performance.

  • Vehicle belts: If any damage were to come to any of the many belts that play integral roles in your vehicle’s operation, you might be facing a dangerous situation. So your inspection should include routine checks for the snugness and condition (especially watch out for cracks or frays) of your power steering belt, alternator belt and others.

  • Your clutch: Seeing as it governs the power transmission responsible for all your vehicle’s operation, your clutch (or gear shift) is easily one of the most important parts of your vehicle. Before any driving commences, check that it is functioning normally to prevent any trouble on the road.

  • Mirrors and windshields: It may sound so simple to even mention, but your vehicle’s visibility inevitably plays a role in your safety and security. All mirrors and windshields therefore must be unblemished, intact and clear. You don’t want anything — not even something as basic as a dirty or cracked mirror standing in the way of the safe performance of your vehicle.

  • Emergency equipment: Even with all the precautions you may be taking, your drivers should still be prepared for anything to happen. Case in point, it’s always a good idea to keep some emergency equipment — such as spare electrical fuses, reflective triangles and a fire extinguisher — on hand. If all goes well, you’ll never need them. But if it doesn’t, you’ll be ready.

  • Other concerns: Performing a top-to-bottom inspection of your vehicle means that you’ll want to keep a close eye on whether every element is working properly. For instance, check your oil pressure gauge and other standard parts of your vehicle for malfunction. This will prevent your driver from making a dangerous miscalculation on the road.

WHY PRE-TRIP INSPECTIONS ARE IMPORTANT

For Class A license holders, pre-trip inspections are an indispensable part of the job. With so many miles put on each vehicle on such a constant basis and so much riding on each trip, oftentimes a thorough inspection could be all that stands between a successful job and one that spells doom for all involved. Just imagine the results if one were to fail to perform a routine check on a vehicle and then some flaw that should have been easily identified winds up causing an accident.

These inspections allow a driver to regularly ensure that a vehicle’s various components are operating as they should and that nothing — either an unplanned event or the simple business operation of the vehicle — has resulted in any adverse effects that might impact the next day of work. Even if it sounds like it may slow down productivity, such a process could very well save lives and protect the long-term future of your business.

In addition to the safety of your driver and others on the road, another key reason that pre-trip inspections are so vital is that they provide documentation of a vehicle’s condition. If, for instance, an accident or damage to a vehicle does occur, daily vehicle inspection reports would serve as evidence that the vehicle was in a certain condition beforehand, making it easier to identify what damage resulted in the accident in question and increasing your chances of sussing out the truth of what happened.

Moreover, both you and your driver will have peace of mind with pre-trip inspections on the books. With the most likely root causes of problems definitively checked off, you can rest easy in knowing that your vehicle is in prime condition, essentially protecting your driver and your mission in one fell swoop.

A BETTER WAY TO INSPECT




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Now that we’ve outlined everything you need to do for the perfect class-A pre-trip inspection as well as why it’s so important, we hope we’ve inspired you to enhance the way you approach your business, at least where such pre-trip precautions are concerned.

The steps you take before each of your drivers’ journeys out into the field can make a world of difference in your bottom line and in the overall well-being of your company. But, in the event that you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything involved in an optimal pre-trip inspection, allow us to make the entire process that much easier. After all, it’s our business to streamline and simplify pre-trip inspections for companies just like yours.

At Whip Around, we offer the opportunity to save you time and money by taking the guesswork and complications out of pre-trip inspections. You’ll be able to bid farewell to paper-based inspection reports and grant your drivers the ability to file even daily inspections — including photos, comments and additional notes — through their smartphone or other mobile device.

Thanks to modern technology, you can automate every detail of the inspection process and eliminate the administrative headaches that typically accompany daily vehicle inspection reports. Moreover, our system provide analytics so that you can find ways to serve your customers better without any other discovery process.

Even if you don’t think you need Whip Around, we’re confident that you’ll realize otherwise once you give it a try. For more information about our system and to get started for free, visit us now.

Vehicle Inspection Forms - The Digital Future of DVIR (eDVIR)

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Federal law requires drivers to complete a driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) for any vehicle they operate. Drivers must also review the previous day’s vehicle inspection form, signing off on any errors or other issues before operating the vehicle.

It’s a simple enough requirement, and its obvious purpose is to keep everyone on the road safe. Yet for managers operating large fleets, tracking daily DVIRs, ensuring drivers complete them, and addressing any issues these reports identify can become an onerous task.

Enter the DVIR -- Digital Vehicle Inspection Report. An easy, affordable alternative to endless stacks of paper, digital documents help managers stay on top of their fleet, while remaining in compliance with the law.

Whip Around offers easy-to-complete digital reports, encouraging drivers to remain in compliance without a manager continually reminding them. The future of vehicle inspection reports is digital. Switch to eDVIR now and watch life get a lot easier for everyone involved.

DRIVER COMPLIANCE: AN UNFAIR BURDEN FOR EVERYONE

You can’t operate a fleet very long without running into the incredible burdens of getting drivers to accurately and fully complete vehicle inspection forms each and every day. Indeed, many managers spend a significant amount of their time and energy dealing with these reports. Does the following task list sound familiar (and overwhelming)?

In a given day you probably:

  • Remind drivers to complete their inspection forms - possibly multiple times.

  • Find that certain vehicles have no completed inspection forms, and must find the driver and ask them to complete the form.

  • Must review vehicle inspection forms to ensure that they are complete and accurate.

  • Have to manage vehicles with flagged flaws. That might include finding mechanics, rerouting drivers, changing schedules, and managing other logistical issues associated with having a vehicle out of commission.

  • Have to remind drivers that it’s not enough to just check off boxes. They must actually inspect the vehicles, and ensure they are safe to drive.

This is a burden that slows everyone down, and can even erode morale. No one likes a manager standing over their shoulder constantly telling them what to do. Depending on your drivers’ educational level and patience, they may find inspection forms overwhelming, confusing, or impossible to complete.

A driver who is an excellent motorist might be almost totally incapable of filling out forms. This creates an unfair situation: the driver who is excellent at their job is continually getting negative feedback because of their inability to do something only tangentially related to their job. And a manager who understands this challenge is stuck trying to manage it.

It’s easy to just throw up your hands. But it’s important to consider that there are very good reasons to conduct routine vehicle inspection reports.

THE REAL REASON YOU MUST CONDUCT DAILY VEHICLE INSPECTIONS

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Globally, almost 1.3 million people die in car crashes every year, with about 37,000 dying annually in the United States alone. That’s more than the number of people who die from many other illnesses. It’s a staggering figure. What’s even more troubling is that these deaths are almost entirely preventable.

Vehicle inspection reports help you do your part to stem the tide of people dying in car crashes. About 43% of car crashes are due, in full or in part, to mechanical failure. If your fleet includes large vehicles, even a minor failure can be catastrophic. Consider the effects of weak brakes on a tractor trailer, and what might happen if that truck rear-ends another. What might be a minor accident in a small car can be fatal for everyone when a large vehicle is involved.

Daily inspections can save lives. They also protect your company by:

  • Reducing the risk that you’ll be sued over an accident or injury.

  • Protecting your drivers.

  • Promoting your good reputation by ensuring your drivers do not endanger others.

Perhaps most importantly of all, daily vehicle inspection reports are mandated by federal law. Some states have also enacted additional requirements. So even if you can’t see the value of these reports on their own, failure to complete them could put your business in jeopardy.

DVIR: A WAY TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW

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Vehicle inspection reports are vital to everyone’s safety. They ensure that vehicle issues are quickly flagged before they escalate out of control. In so doing, they keep drivers, motorists, and your company safe. If something goes wrong, a well-designed and accurate vehicle inspection report can mean save your company and its reputation.

A fully completed vehicle inspection report may even become an important piece of evidence following an accident or other incident. If the report is thorough and accurate, it could protect you from fines and lawsuits. If not, you could be in a world of legal trouble.

Beyond the commonsense benefits of tracking vehicle safety and compliance, the law requires that most drivers operating commercial vehicles complete daily reports. Failure to comply with the law can have myriad consequences, including fines and other harsh penalties.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires:

  • Drivers must inspect and complete a vehicle inspection report each day. The report must include both the vehicle and the trailer, if there is one. It cannot be just a cursory “check-off,” either. The report must be an accurate statement of the vehicle’s condition.

  • Fleet managers can design their own forms so long as those forms meet DOT requirements. Those requirements include, at minimum, an inspection of service brakes, trailer brake connections, parking brake, steering mechanism, reflectors, lighting devices, horn, tires, windshield wipers, rear view mirrors, wheels and rims, coupling devices, and emergency equipment.

  • All defects to a vehicle must be repaired before it is operated again. So a driver who signs off on a report indicating a defect when those defects have not been remedied could subject his or her company to compliance issues. A declaration must clearly state that any defects have been remedied.

It’s not enough to just complete these forms, though. You have to keep them on file for a minimum of three months. Many advisors even suggest that managers retain inspection forms longer. After all, these forms can be used to document a history of compliance, become important evidence in a lawsuit, or even show that repairs for which you seek a tax deduction were actually made. These forms form a vital part of your daily operations, and neglecting them can throw your company into disarray.

VEHICLE INSPECTION FORMS: THE ENDLESS PILE OF PAPER -- AND WHY IT’S A PROBLEM

You need at least one vehicle inspection form per vehicle each day. Depending on whether there are issues with the vehicle, you may need to gather additional paperwork, including a declaration that faults with the vehicle have been repaired. Federal law requires you to retain these forms for three months, though there are myriad reasons to retain them longer.

The result? An endless pile of paper. Even if you have just four vehicles and opt to retain your reports for only three months, that’s 360 forms at the end of that period if your vehicles are operated each day. This is more than most managers can reasonably be expected to keep up with.

We need also to consider why managers should remain on top of paperwork. Vehicle inspection reports prove compliance with the law. They document a vehicle’s repair and fault history. They can also document a driver’s history of both inspections and compliance—two critical factors if the driver gets into an accident or you are sued for something the driver does (or doesn’t do).

How quickly can you access your vehicle reports? If a driver gets into an accident, will you be able to pull the vehicle’s entire history without tearing apart your office? If you're accused of noncompliance, can you easily show that you have always complied with the law?

Even if you can, consider how much time and energy you waste gathering and storing paperwork. If you’re like most managers, it’s probably nearly impossible for you to maintain an organized stack of papers across a long period of time. This means you may spend significant portions of your work day dealing with papers -- organizing them, finding them, and possibly discarding them.

What could you do with an extra hour or two each day? Consider how much you get paid per hour. That’s how much money your company loses when you have to spend that time fighting about paperwork and locating misplaced documents. Think about how your life would be different if you could eliminate this chronic source of low-level stress from your life.

You might be able to:

  • See more of the big picture, empowering you to streamline operations.

  • More effectively supervise your team.

  • Better observe drivers, offering them quality feedback and incentives.

  • Enjoy a vacation without fear. If you have a well-managed system in place, then finding documents in your absence becomes much easier -- and doesn’t have to involve trashing your office.

Some managers already know how much easier it is when they don’t have to manage paperwork. That’s because they’ve already given up. They throw papers in a pile in the corner of the office, and hope they never have to look at them again. Inevitably, they regret this decision when they have to prove compliance, answer to a higher-up, or provide evidence for litigation. Don’t buy your short-term relaxation at the long-term expense of your company and your well-being.

You really can quit spending so much time managing paperwork while still organizing that paperwork in an effective and orderly fashion. The solution is a digital vehicle inspection report (eDVIR).

THE WHIP AROUND SOLUTION

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Whip Around ends the paperwork nightmare. Our simple and powerful software fully digitizes vehicle inspection reports.

What does this mean for you?

  • Everything is saved. You no longer have to worry about lost paperwork. And that means you can save vehicle inspection forms for as long as you want, potentially extending immense protections to your company and your drivers.

  • No more piles of paper in the corner of your office.

  • Less time spent hounding drivers to fill out paperwork. The paperwork is readily available, and you can design powerful forms that your drivers understand and can easily complete.

  • You can search for whatever forms you need -- whether it’s the complete history of a single vehicle, or details about a pattern of problems you’ve seen across multiple vehicles.

  • Your history of compliance is fully documented. In fact, your use of digital vehicle inspection reports may even help prove that you’re committed to compliance. Federal agencies understand that errors may occur on forms.

BUILD YOUR OWN INSPECTION FORMS

Whip Around allows managers to effortlessly build their own inspection forms. This helps you comply with the law, while creating forms your drivers actually understand. Use the lingo your drivers use, and refer to vehicles by their names -- rather than by the generic terms you might see in forms you download off the Internet.

Whip Around walks you through the process, making it easy to construct attractive forms that get the job done, and that memorialize what’s most important to you.

INSPECT FROM VIRTUALLY ANY DEVICE

Forget about being tied to the computer. Whip Around allows drivers to fill out inspection forms with their phones. What’s more, it prevents them from merely checking off a box. They must physically inspect the vehicle, and provide satisfactory information about its condition. This ensures that drivers can easily inspect vehicles without disrupting the flow of their day. It also ensures that the data you get from those inspections is accurate and actionable.

That keeps your drivers safe, your cars in sound working order, and ensures you remain in compliance.

IMMEDIATELY ADDRESS INSPECTION REPORTS

One of the biggest challenges of vehicle reports is responding to mechanical issues. This complex task requires choosing the right mechanic, tracking the progress of repairs, and ensuring nothing gets lost in the shuffle. It can also be helpful to observe trends over time -- such as if you continually see the same mechanical issue in the same vehicle, associated with the same driver, or after driving the same route.

Whip Around makes it easy to flag mechanical issues, to monitor changes over time, to assign repairs to a mechanic, and to notify drivers when a repair is done. This empowers you to intelligently plan routes, support your drivers, and maintain a professional, safe driving environment.

The world of fleet management is tough. It’s more than most managers can manage on their own. And now, they don’t have to. Regain control over your life and time with Whip Around. We keep your drivers safe, your vehicles in excellent operating condition, and ensure your company is always moving forward.

5 Things Everyone should Know about Vehicle Inspection Software

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Managing your fleet may have its ups and downs, but what if you could implement one self-contained system that could decrease your workload, enhance your level of control and prioritize the safety of your drivers? We’re discussing, of course, vehicle inspection software. With a sophisticated design and a clear focus on maximizing efficiency, this is the fresh approach to running your daily vehicle inspections that you have longed for.

Above all else, today’s technology should be allowing you to work smarter, not harder, in how you serve your clients and operate your business. Now this exciting new tool helps you to do just that.

At Whip Around, we make it our mission to streamline daily vehicle inspections so that they start to become second nature. With everything that goes into running your business, you need the ability to devote every possible moment to how you can boost your quality of service as well as your bottom line.

With a software system governing the detailed vehicle inspection process, you won’t have to trouble yourself with the minutiae of each and every inspection. Rather, let this tool manage it for you. Moreover, vehicle inspection software comes complete with a host of attractive features that will leave you wondering why you didn’t adopt it earlier.

Of course, there is a chance that such a system is completely new to you. If so, here’s a quick rundown of the key benefits you will enjoy once you introduce vehicle inspection software into your business.

#1. YOU WILL SAVE TONS OF TIME

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No matter how successful your business is, how much experience you have or how expansive your team is, the one resource you’ll never be able to conjure more of is time. However, with the right strategy in place, you can eliminate many of the administrative practices that once ate away at your manpower.

One such example is those pesky forms that accompany each and every one of your vehicle inspections. While you once had to fill each one out by hand, our software can automate the entire process. In just minutes, you can have a fully customizable inspection form ready to go. Why deal with stacks of physical forms when you can consolidate everything into a sleek digital format?

It’s even mobile-friendly so that your team can use a smartphone or tablet while they work. These days, almost everyone has one, and if not, we heartily recommend your business invest in some mobile devices to truly live up to its unfulfilled potential.

Even if you aren’t sure where to start with creating a new form, we’ll give you a standard checklist to work from. It’s one of the best in the industry for pre-trip truck and trailer inspections, and you’ll have tons of options to create the ideal inspection for your fleet. You can even duplicate existing forms to save time on subsequent inspections. Ultimately, you’ll be able to cut out the hassle of having to construct a new form for each inspection.

Since you can eliminate all but your desired fields, that means you can have your drivers out on the road sooner than ever before. Don’t waste precious time getting caught up in substandard filing systems or sticking to outdated protocol when a better way is right in front of you.

There’s no reason you should have to wade through the wasteful repetition of inspection forms, at least not with vehicle inspection software on your side.

#2. YOU CAN WORK FROM ANYWHERE

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Once upon a time, your business was forced to operate solely out of its designated office space. But with the advent of increasingly helpful technology (in this case, vehicle inspection software), those days are over. Thanks to the simplicity and elegance of going fully digital, you can bid farewell to the stacks of paperwork at your main office and conduct inspections directly from a mobile device.

Regardless of where your drivers may be, they can complete forms and update your files remotely, ensuring that your master documents are as current as possible. Nothing is worse than facing a delay or other avoidable harm to your business when a little bit of extra communication could have sorted everything out. You do not even have to be online to upload inspection reports into our mobile app.

Simply log in to the system on a smartphone or tablet to file a report, and your drivers can get back on the road before you know it. In the meantime, you’ll remain fully abreast of everything that is going on with your entire fleet.

Because each driver has their own individual login credentials, you’ll know who conducted each and every inspection, allowing you to remotely manage them while they go about their business and keep on working.

Drivers will even be able to flag faults and submit photos and comments. So you will have greater detail than a simple inspection form would have otherwise provided. Nowadays, technology enables work of all kinds to be done anywhere on the planet, and your company will finally boast the versatility and limitless mobility of a remote workspace — an especially valuable tool given the nature of your business — thanks to vehicle inspection software.

If your fleet can travel great distances, shouldn’t your business be able to do the same?

#3. YOU CAN EXPEDITE YOUR PROCESSES

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Jumping off of the fact that vehicle inspection software helps you save time and adds the convenience of being able to conduct inspections anywhere, this system naturally lends itself to expediting nearly all of the processes you already have in place. Because drivers can update each vehicle’s file instantly from wherever they are, you’ll be able to set your own action plans into motion.

Say, for instance, that a fault is flagged out in the field. With vehicle inspection software, you can set plans in motion to deal with this problem and resolve any outstanding issues without having to dramatically affect the output or productivity of the driver. If you’re already facing a complication, why should you be forced to then allow this obstacle to cause a ripple effect that does even more damage to your bottom line?

The sooner you take action, the more you can run damage control and contain the loss of time and other resources.

Whenever a fault is reported, you can update the status for the vehicle in question and share these details with the mechanics who can assist you in resolving the situation as quickly as possible. Most importantly, you’ll be able to keep your business running smoothly like the well-oiled machine you always dreamed it could be.

Transparency and communication go hand in hand in any team environment like yours, and vehicle inspection software goes a long, long way toward creating a seamless line of cooperation between you and your drivers. Trouble in the field is bound to happen from time to time, but with the right system in place, it doesn’t have to wreak too much havoc on your business plans. Harness the power available to you, and reclaim control of your profitability like never before. When it comes to your business, there’s no time to waste.

#4. YOU CAN OPTIMIZE YOUR PERFORMANCE

The longer you use vehicle inspection software, the more ways you will discover that it can transform how you conduct business. Even though the system gives drivers the opportunity to conduct inspections anywhere and in real time, you will actually have more control over your team and its vehicles. Everything within the system is tracked, logged and cataloged.

So you will never have to wonder what your drivers are up to or the status of any vehicles you have out on the road. In this way, vehicle inspection software allows you to optimize your performance to heights you may have previously thought unreachable.

Yet, with a sophisticated, intuitive software system on your side, your company will be poised to squeeze every last bit of productivity (and, of course, profit) out of every job. You’ve never seen your resources go as far as they can with vehicle inspection software in charge.

And the individual profiles the system gives to each driver and/or vehicle is only the start. You can arrange your drivers into teams based on any criteria you decide and attach notes or even documents to each record. This way, everyone will remain on the same page throughout every single job. Inspection records and other records will remain accessible to all relevant parties, and managers and drivers can remain connected and firmly in sync despite physical distance or any other challenges that may arise.

With vehicle inspection software, you’ll suddenly be able to manage your network of drivers at any size or scope. Even if your reach extends to national or perhaps international levels, it’s all the same with vehicle inspection software, giving you the added confidence in scaling up your operation. This tool is truly the best way to keep all parties connected and finally working together like they should have been doing the entire time.

#5. YOU’LL HAVE A WEALTH OF ACTIONABLE DATA

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By now you may be wondering if there is some larger purpose to all the data vehicle inspection software is collecting. In addition to simply keeping all parties up-to-date on all the latest details of each job, the compilation of all this data actually does serve another role.

Several, in fact. You can manipulate the system’s data in any number of ways, though one valuable one involves analytics. Pore over the vast details you have in your files, and you might very well identify trends or telltale signs of some opportunity for improvement or otherwise-glaring flaw in your process.

After all, you’ve never had real-time analytics at your fingertips like this. Structure into a wide variety of customizable reports — broken down by company, team or individual — all of which can be viewed from the management dashboard. Even if you’ve engaged in business intelligence-level reporting before, we doubt you’ve experienced it like this.

All that data can also be used to send alerts to managers who need to be notified of a particularly pertinent update, and — one of our favorite added-value features — you can create leader-boards with your vehicle inspection software. Such functionality basically tabulates all the activity within the system, allowing you to use the data in your system to motivate drivers to improve their performance.

It’s all 100% personalized to fit your needs, of course, You’d be surprised at the secrets and hidden gems you can uncover when you simply compile and arrange your system data in just the right way. Imagine all the possibilities for you to wring even more productivity out of your new system. Although the particulars may need a bit of tweaking to completely match your vision for your business, you’ll have a vast array of ways to engage with your company’s data and near-limitless potential for doing better in the days ahead.

THE TOOL YOU NEED

Now that we’ve outlined vehicle inspection software in further detail, we hope you’re starting to see why more and more companies like yours are embracing this system as a key component of their success strategy. Once you integrate this system into your company’s operation, we’re confident that you’ll see an immediate difference across the board.

From saving you time to creating more opportunities for growth, vehicle inspection software could very well be the edge your company has been needing for so very long. Get more done in less time, and enjoy more flexibility than you ever have. You’re just a few clicks away from bringing your business that much closer to optimal performance.

Whether you’re ready to get started or still have a few unanswered questions, the time to reach out for more information about vehicle inspection software is now. After all, your competitors aren’t going to wait until the opportune moment to streamline their processes or execute potentially game-changing process improvements.

You need to take fast action to stay ahead of the curve, and make no mistake: technology is pushing virtually every industry out there to finding innovative solutions to age-old problems. Vehicle inspection software is simply the next step in your company’s evolution, and the sooner you’re able to incorporate such a resource into your company, the more promising your long-term prospects will inevitably be.

If you manage a fleet of commercial vehicles, you need an electronic DVIR system.

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Picture this -- the boss is breathing down your neck. He wants you to get your production numbers up, and diminish the amount of time your drivers spend off road. Basically, he wants you to whip your team in shape, and ensure every vehicle is on the road in tip-top shape as quickly as possible. Sound familiar?

If you manage a vehicle fleet, you should take a look at pre-trip vehicle inspection software. It can make your job a little less stressful. Didn’t know it exists? Let’s dive a bit deeper into what it is and why we think it will be a game changer.

WHAT CAN PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION SOFTWARE DO FOR YOU?

As a fleet manager, using pre-trip inspection software such as Whip Around will help you:

  • Ensure that all of your drivers are operating vehicles that are road-ready

  • Stay organized with easy to access digital files that are always up to date

  • Save time and money

  • Catch small problems before they get bigger (and more costly)

  • Become aware of trends in faults and/or repairs

  • Avoid hassles with highway patrol, your boss/shareholders, clients, and more

YOU’LL WORRY LESS ABOUT WHETHER YOUR VEHICLES ARE ROAD-READY

If you’re using the old paper system for your pre-trip inspections, could you say with certainty that every vehicle in your fleet is road-ready right now? Would you even know how many of those vehicles had faults, or ones that were in need of immediate repair? If the answer is no to either of those questions, you need Whip Around in your business right away.

The job of a manager is already stressful enough without having to be concerned for the safety of your drivers, and the other drivers that they will encounter on the road. Our software gives you peace of mind, and digital proof, of the status of your vehicles at any given time. That is of course, as long as you enforce the requirement that your drivers are doing their pre-trip vehicle inspections before every trip -- which you should.

A DIGITAL SYSTEM KEEPS YOU MORE ORGANIZED

One of the many benefits of Whip Around is that it’s paperless, auto-updated, and cloud-based to be accessible anywhere with Wi-Fi. If a government official, insurance liason, or anyone else were to come into your office and ask for the records of any driver/drivers in your fleet, you would have all of the reports ready to share with just a few clicks of a button on Whip Around’s web-based dashboard.

As soon as your driver creates a new record with our pre-trip vehicle inspection software, they can send it to your web-based dashboard, and it will automatically sync from their smartphone to your system. This gives you real-time data that can be searched for anything you may need to know when you need it.

And, this all happens without you having to label or file a single piece of paper. The record will come to you with the tag number of the vehicle and be categorized with the date and time of the inspection. Think of the app in part as a full-time filing clerk that always works overtime without fighting you on it, and that takes care of everything virtually without any additional effort on your part.

WHIP AROUND SAVES YOUR COMPANY LOTS OF TIME AND MONEY

What are the elements that cost the most money in your business? If you’re like most fleet managers the answers are:

  • high insurance costs

  • time off road and

  • vehicle repairs and downtime due to those repairs

PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION SOFTWARE CAN EQUAL BIG SAVINGS ON INSURANCE

Cue the sound of screeching tires! Yes, Whip Around has been known to help fleet managers save money on levies and insurance premiums. Thanks to the detailed history reports our software provides, you will have a record to share with your insurance providers that can withstand any audit and prove regular safety compliance. Safer drivers are less expensive to insurance companies, so having proof that your drivers are safe can mean lower bills and more money in your pocket.

IT TAKES A LOT LESS TIME TO DO A DIGITAL REPORT THAN AN ANALOG ONE

Let’s face it, pencil and paper is time consuming, bulky and downright annoying. It’s also not the most environmentally friendly way of doing business, but that’s for another discussion.

A lot of time can get wasted trying to do pre-trip vehicle inspections with pencil and paper. Not only do your drivers have to make sure they have plenty of blank copies of their pre-trip vehicle inspections forms, they then have to:

  • stand there filling out the paperwork (slowly for the sake of legible reading)

  • waste time making sure they didn’t miss anything on the form

  • run it to the fleet manager’s office to deliver the report, and finally walk back to their truck to depart for their trip

It’s far too easy for that walk from truck to management office to turn into a long affair complete with an overabundance of water cooler chatter, and dilly dallying. What’s worse is that once they get it to your office, your arduous task of going through their paperwork begins.

This could mean hours of work trying to read their awful handwriting, contacting them to ask questions if anything didn’t make sense, typing up digital copies of those reports, analyzing the data, creating and updating spreadsheets, and ultimately filing the report in a cabinet that may be less organized than you care to admit. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

With Whip Around, that long pre-trip process is streamlined effortlessly.  Within mere seconds your drivers can have their apps open on their smartphones and be whipping -- no pun intended -- through their inspections. They’ll be walked through the inspection across every element you want checked on their truck.

You won’t have to worry if they missed anything either because they can’t get to the next section until they answer questions about the section of the truck they are currently inspecting.

If they find any faults they can instantly snap a photo and type a description of what is wrong. No more illegible handwriting! And, you’ll have a visual record of the fault so you won’t have to guess at it if the description isn’t completely clear.

Your drivers won’t have to waste precious minutes walking their pre-trip vehicle inspection reports to you either. They simply hit submit on their smartphone, and it along with the images, and their signature are automatically loaded to your system.

It’s probably easy to see how the software can save you time. Now, you may be thinking -- but how can Whip Around save on downtime and repairs? Vehicle downtime can cost a company more than $1,000 per day, per vehicle. Every minute your drivers are off the road, you're losing money.

So, how will the software help you there? We’re so glad you asked.

WHIP AROUND REVEALS PROBLEMS WHILE THEY’RE STILL SMALL

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It’s common sense that a smaller repair has a smaller repair bill attached to it. By having your drivers use our pre-trip vehicle inspection software you’ll be alerted to, and able to act on the small repairs, before they have the chance to get bigger.

For example, repairing a leaky hose is much cheaper, and will require less time than replacing several engine parts that were damaged by prolonged exposure to those fluids that were leaking out of the hose in the first place. By catching the leak in that first inspection, there’s no telling how much time, money and hassle you could be saving your company than if it had been given the chance to get significantly worse.

YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SPOT WHEN THERE’S A PATTERN OF TROUBLE

Imagine for a moment your company just purchased 20, 50 or more new vehicles. Suddenly, since making the purchase, you’re receiving frequent reports of faults on all of those vehicles at about the same time. Using our software, you’ll have real-time analytics and alerts, so you will be able to instantly spot if the pattern was directly related to the new vehicle purchases.

You’ll now have data to back up your claims that could result in the manufacturer paying for your damages, or could simply result in you’re becoming aware that you shouldn’t purchase from that manufacturer again in the future.

Perhaps it wasn’t a vehicle purchase, but a faulty part that everyone on your fleet is having trouble with at the same time, or some other item that is causing delays or leading to additional repairs. Whatever it is, pattern revelations will ultimately save you money down the road because you’ll have historical reports to reference that help you make better buying decisions.

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WHIP AROUND TAKES A LOT OF THE HASSLE OUT OF YOUR JOB

Avoid hassles with highway patrol

When a driver has a random inspection of their vehicle a few things could happen:

  1. The patrolman might just do a quick walk around vehicle inspection, and then send the driver on their merry way. (Best)

  2. The driver might be asked for their DVIR, which they can easily provide via their smartphone with our software, patrolman does a quick or thorough inspection, and clears them to move along. (Good)

  3. Faults could be found on their vehicle that get the driver a fine, and an order to get it repaired as soon as possible. Then, they are sent on their way. (Bad, but manageable)

  4. Faults could be found on the vehicle, a fine assessed, and they are ordered to have their vehicle towed (Worst case scenario and now you have a fine, a towing bill, repair costs that might be higher than they needed to be, and your driver’s delivery is delayed which could mean additional costs to you. Ouch!)

The second and third scenarios could have been avoided if your drivers were using pre-trip vehicle inspection software to conduct their inspections before their trip. You would have saved yourself and your driver all of that hassle.

Avoid hassles with your boss/shareholders

Your boss/shareholders want to know that the business is running smoothly. They want to know that profits are up, costs are down, and that everyone is performing to the best of their ability. The best way to show your boss/shareholders that things are going well is by giving them thorough reports that actually show them the company’s status.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something like that to hand them that didn’t take you hours to prepare? Whip Around’s dashboard analytics save the day once again!

Avoid hassles with your clients

Delays due to a repair, a vehicle being fined, or being taken out of commission completely -- all of these factors are irrelevant to your clients. What matters most to them is that they receive their deliveries on time, without any hiccups. Anything less might result in them not wanting to do business with your company again in the future.

Even worse, it could cause them to spread the word to their network that your company doesn’t deliver shipments on time. Your company has a reputation to build and protect -- don’t let unnecessary shipping delays destroy that.

Avoid hassles with other drivers your fleet will encounter on the road

I’ll bet you weren’t expecting this one, but it’s important to mention because a vehicle that isn’t road-ready could cause you and your company some big trouble with other drivers on the road.

Every time your drivers get on the road without making sure that everything on their vehicle is operating in good condition, they are risking not only their own safety, but the safety of every other vehicle that they encounter.

For example, let’s say your driver didn’t do a pre-trip vehicle inspection, and there was a problem with one of their tires that results in an automobile accident. If something like this happens, let’s just say your day just got a lot more difficult.

Especially if there was a fatality from the occurrence! Not only could your company face fines and your driver face losing their license, your company could be sued.

Bottom line -- Headache prevention is far better than medicating it after the fact. Wouldn’t you agree? Using Whip Around as your pre-trip vehicle inspection software will save you time, money, and hassle. It makes your job as a fleet manager, a little easier. Doesn’t that fact alone make you want to give Whip Around a test drive?

TRY WHIP AROUND FOR FREE TODAY!

You can try Whip Around for free. Come kick our proverbial tires, and test most of our bells and whistles with no financial commitment by clicking here. In minutes you’ll see how Whip Around helps companies increase their bottom line, and save time and money. We look forward to working with you.

The 8 Benefits of Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Software

Many fleet companies have difficulty implementing pre-trip inspections as a requirement that is followed religiously by every single driver that they employ. Do you know how well your fleet is inspecting it’s vehicles? Do you have a way of monitoring this process? Pre-trip inspections are important for a number of reasons, all of which deal with avoiding the risk of trouble with your vehicle while it is on the road and improving your compliance.

As you probably know, it is required by every state that your fleet has undergone inspection before each trip. Let’s check out 8 good reasons why using pre-trip inspection software for this process will benefit you and your business.

REASON #1: Using inspection software greatly improves driver compliance

At the end of the day, it is down to your drivers to complete each and every pre-trip inspection. You need peace of mind that they are going to do every inspection thoroughly. With a clear and easy-to-use software you will have the ability to quickly train your drivers to do so without giving them the stress of having to keep track of too many things on their own. In other words, the software spells everything out for them.

REASON #2: Avoid driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) problems

DVIR tickets, fines, and other issues are no joke. In most cases, drivers get ticketed for DVIR problems because they did not adequately perform their pre-trip inspection. Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration statistics show that half of the violations reported in 2014 and 2015 had to do with lights, breaks, and tires.

Companies can be fined for driver’s not filling out their DVIR’s, filling them out incorrectly, and for the maintenance departments neglect of DVIR enforcement. In 2010, the companies that did not require their drivers to fill out DVIRs:

  • averaged out at $3,866 in fines, and,

  • had the potential of paying up to $9,960 for a single fine

The reality is, when your drivers have trouble with DVIR’s, it creates way more trouble for you. This is where the software helps you out. Pre-trip vehicle inspection software makes the inspections way easier to carry out and therefore much less trouble for your drivers. This should keep them on top of their inspections and, for the most part, safe from DVIR problems.

REASON #3: Go green and make organization easy at the same time with paperless records and digital inspections

By using digital pre-trip inspection forms, the whole process becomes much more efficient. Drivers no longer have to deal with clipboards and paper forms because everything required of them is directly accessible on their tablet or smartphone.

The digital forms make it easy for you to build a simple list of steps that are easy for your drivers to follow. You have the ability to use a ready-made template or make your own custom design from scratch. On the form you can list an unlimited amount of items that need to be inspected, such as:

  • battery

  • engine

  • axles

  • safety equipment

  • tires

  • breaks

You can also include additional helpful features, such as:

  • checkboxes

  • dropdown lists

  • Photos

  • date and time stamps

  • open text fields

Some softwares will also allow you to create video instructions and electronic signature fields. Your drivers will then be able to record a video as they inspect as proof of the inspections and to fully communicate and document what they find during the inspection.

Paperless records prevent data loss. Without the nuisance of piles and piles of paper records to keep track of, you can feel more secure that your data and documentation is all in its proper place. The data is backed up onto a secure cloud so such critical information is impossible to lose.

REASON #4: Software provides you with all the items that should be included in an inspection

If you are an extremely seasoned fleet company, you most likely know exactly what it is that should be on your inspection forms. However, you can never be too careful or sure that you have included every issue that may come up if a driver is suspected of neglecting proper protocol. An example of a list approved by the National Safety Councilis as follows:

  • Check that tires, as well as the spare, are fully inflated. Check your owner’s manual for the tire’s proper rotation frequency. Have an ASE-certified technician rotate and balance the tires.

  • Brake lights, headlights, and turn signals should all be tested and any weak bulbs must be changed.

  • If wiper blades are worn, replace them.

  • Check all fluid levels including battery fluid, brake fluid, coolant, oil, transmission, and windshield wiper fluid.

  • Belts and hoses need to be checked for any cracks or bulges. If any of them are over 4 years old they should be replaced by a certified technician.

  • Make sure you have a “survival kit” in case of roadside emergencies that holds a blanket and warm clothing, a compass, antifreeze, a first aid kit, an ice scraper and snow brush, food that is non-perishable, reflective triangles, a tool kit, water, and a working flashlight with extra batteries.

REASON #5: The ability to stay on top of your faults

The instant that your driver experiences a fault flagged in the field, they will have the ability to immediately send it to their manager so they can begin the repair process by using the ‘faults module’. The module also includes dashboard reminders that will help your managers to monitor faults and fix them before they become an issue.

This tool makes problem solving super quick and easy for everyone involved. It also documents and creates a clear view of every fault that has been flagged by your company’s drivers. This information can be filtered by:

  • date and time

  • fault status

  • vehicle

  • driver

  • mechanic

By viewing all of your stats in this manner, you and your managers will be able to see just how many faults are in need of attention, the ones that will soon, and those that are in good standing. Once issues have been fixed you have the ability to update the fault status as well as sharing the form with your mechanic to allow them to update the status themselves and make any notes necessary.

Each of these updates are recorded by their time and date. Drivers will also be able to view the status of their vehicle’s faults so everyone is kept in the loop and assured that the vehicle is safe for travel.

REASON #6: Drivers can use their own phone to inspect vehicles

A good software will give your drivers the ability to download the data directly onto their smartphone and even use it when not connected to the internet. The softwares direct connection with the driver’s phone will allow them to take photos with their mobile camera which they can also add comments to with any necessary details.

The ability for the driver to use their own device creates an irreplaceable convenience for them and saves your company the massive chunk of time that would be wasted on paper based inspections.

REASON #7: Increase the longevity of each of your vehicle’s life span

Pre-trip vehicle inspections should be done by licensed inspectors as well as your drivers. As we touched upon earlier, within these inspections, they are checking for:

  • oil levels

  • break function

  • steering wheel function

  • overall equipment functionality

Because of this, the vehicle’s health is undergoing a complete check-up, ensuring an extended lifespan. The typical fleet inspection is in depth enough so that all of your vehicles should be confirmed to be in top running condition. Whenever issues arise, it is quickly found and remedied, keeping the wear and tare on the vehicle to a minimum.

REASON #8: Ensure your driver’s safety

From all of the knowledge we have gained about what goes into the pre-trip vehicle inspection, there is no question that its sole purpose is to ensure the safety of the driver and everyone else sharing the road with them.

If any of the required safety measures are not met, it means complications and could even mean fatal accidents on the road. Checking these parts helps to ensure that the equipment is completely safe to operate. Conducting a complete pre-test inspection helps to avoid:

  • the braking system failing

  • the coupling system failing

  • bad lights that could prevent the driver from seeing clearly in bad weather conditions

  • the steering system failing taking away the driver’s ability to avoid hitting walls, buildings, people, or other vehicles

  • a runaway trailer, causing the driver to lose cargo as they drive down the highway which poses a threat to other drivers as well as the damage of product

  • the failing of tires which usually means the tires fall part in pieces which creates a hazard for other vehicles that can cause damage, injury, and even death

The pre-trip vehicle inspection prevents the loss of equipment, but more importantly it protects lives. A full inspection allows the driver and the company the peace of mind that the driver, other’s on the road, and the company vehicle will all be safe.

What does this mean?

Every business wants to save money and protect its employees, customers, and equipment. When it comes to companies that manage fleets, pre-trip vehicle inspection software is the most sufficient key to ensure this all happens.

Shop around and make sure that you find a software that is malleable to your every need. The software’s purpose is to make your process easier, not more confusing. If you ever require assistance with your software, never hesitate to reach out to the customer service team. Through this technology, you can find the efficiency that you have been lacking.

Conduct a Pre-Trip Inspection from Anywhere, Anytime

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It’s a familiar and frustrating scene to anyone who manages a fleet: a vehicle breaks down, leaving you to figure out how to get it back to the warehouse. Now you’re stuck sending another vehicle in its place, potentially disrupting your entire schedule. The problem vehicle will need repairs that may require coordinating a team of mechanics.

It’s a behind the scenes task that seems simple, but that can eat up hours, time, and energy. Pre-trip inspections can reduce the likelihood and frequency of this scenario, but they come with their own set of challenges -- until now.

With Whip Around, you can conduct pre-trip inspections any time, anywhere. Our efficient and reliable software gives you back your time, while ensuring your vehicles are always in excellent working order. Here’s why Whip Around is a sound investment for your fleet.

Streamlining the inspection process from anywhere

Whip Around offers comprehensive fleet inspection software that allows you to inspect and monitor your vehicles anywhere you can access a digital device. Our mobile app makes it easy to take your inspections on the road, so there’s no longer a need to stand over anyone’s shoulder during inspections.

This means easier inspections, a less demanding schedule, and the ability to stay on top of vehicle repairs while still tending to the many other moving parts of your business. Here’s what Whip Around does to make it easier to manage your fleet from anywhere:

  • Customizable forms: Some programs require you to work with their forms, which may or may not work well for the way you do business. Whip Around allows you to customize your own forms based on Excel spreadsheets or checklists. The result? Attractive, clear forms that are customized to the way you do business.

  • Actionable information: Our program flags faults in your fleet, allowing you to take action and make notes about any action you take or plan to take. You can also delegate specific actions to mechanics or other members of your staff.

  • Individual profiles: Not every mechanic is equipped to work on every vehicle. Some teams might be more important than others. And your highest priority vehicles may need to get back on the road first.

  • Performance insights: Our analytics data takes fleet management to the next level. We provide extensive documentation about performance and potential areas of improvement. This allows you to plan for the short-term and for the future in a way that maximizes profits, minimizes stress, and keeps your fleet operating in world-class condition.

Acting on inspections: manage your repairs wherever you are

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These inspections can alert you to issues that may sideline a trip. They also draw attention to less critical issues that may need your attention in the coming weeks. Whether the repair is urgent or simply involves routine maintenance, Whip Around helps you manage repairs wherever you are.

In today’s competitive climate, it’s not enough to know that a vehicle needs repairs and then rush to see that those repairs happen. Whip Around offers much more, giving your business a competitive edge while freeing you up to manage other aspects of your company.

Our software is different because:

  • It gives you complete administrative control. Set up individual profiles for teams, vehicles, or users. Seamlessly add new users, control what they can access, and change access permissions in seconds.

  • It’s completely secure. You might be concerned about moving your sensitive fleet data to the cloud. You should be. Whip Around takes security seriously, offering world-class security that put your information behind a virtually impenetrable wall -- all while keeping it totally accessible to you and your team.

  • You can reliably access your information whenever you want.Whip Around has 99.99% uptime, and is constantly monitoring for bugs and glitches. You don’t have to worry about a temporary outage undermining your business operations.

  • Our program can be integrated with other programs your business depends on. The Whip Around API allows you to seamlessly connect data from Whip Around with other tools you use to run your business.

  • Get help when you need it. There are a veritable avalanche of programs promising to help you streamline inspections and operations. But how many can connect you to a real, live human being when you need support? We offer 24/7 email and chat customer service. That means you don’t have to be a tech expert to use our program, and you certainly don’t have to worry about a small issue mushrooming into something that slows operations for days.

Monitor your vehicles from anywhere

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Sooner or later, it happens to everyone who owns or manages a fleet: the pre-trip inspection indicates everything is fine, but something goes wrong on the road. Whip Around allows you to monitor your vehicles from anywhere. So when something goes wrong, you can tend to it immediately. Get a mechanic working on the issue before you even get back to the office.

Whip Around automatically syncs data from the driver’s smartphone to your dashboard. Practically speaking, this means Whip Around may be able to alert you to a problem before it becomes a catastrophe -- and often before a vehicle breaks down.

By comparing the real-world experience of drivers and their vehicles to the data you get from inspections and our continuously updated analytics, you can customize your approach to vehicle inspections. Over time, this can reduce the frequency with which vehicles break down, help you construct a custom maintenance and inspection schedule, and save you time and money.

Gain insight into vehicle performance

  • Which vehicles give you the most trouble?

  • Is there a specific driver who seems to run vehicles into the ground?

  • Or does a specific make or model of vehicles seem to run better than others?

  • What’s the longest you can go without an oil change without having problems?

  • How frequently do vehicles need routine maintenance?

  • Does every vehicle require a pre-trip inspection?

  • Do vehicles serviced by a specific mechanic seem to run better?

  • Do specific brands of tires, oil, or other products seem to hold up better?

  • Are vehicles more vulnerable to maintenance issues on specific routes or in certain climates?

Managing a fleet requires you to know your vehicles -- as well as the people who drive and service them -- like the back of your hand. Can you answer the above questions? Do you know what needs to change about your fleet in the next month, the next year, the next five years? You should.

Being able to answer simple as well as complex questions about your fleet can save you money, prevent maintenance problems, and give you a leg up on your competition. Knowledge is power, and the fleet owner who knows more can do more.

Knowing more is a tall order, particularly when you have other things to tend to. Unless you have a perfect memory and the ability to perfectly monitor trends over time, you need some way to track vehicle performance.

Whip Around offers real-time analytics and alerts that can help you more intelligently manage your fleet -- and the drivers who operate that fleet. Your competition may already be deploying a bevy of strategies to manage their fleet, run more efficiently, save money, and get the most for every vehicle’s buck. Don’t you want to join them in that endeavor?

Get your life back

Many business owners who manage a fleet have an entire business to operate. They may need to track inventory, deal with customers, construct sales pitches, and handle a host of other challenges. Being physically present for inspections, managing repairs, contacting mechanics, and the seemingly endless array of other tasks that await you each day can take you away from the core of your business. Whip Around gives you your life back.

Even if fleet management is your full-time and only business role, being able to outsource some of your daily work can free up valuable time. Ultimately, everyone works because they want more money and a better life. Whip Around offers both.

By managing some of your daily operations for you, Whip Around ensures that:

  • You can spend more time out of the office. Need to go to a parent-teacher conference or a doctor’s appointment? Work no longer has to interfere.

  • You can take guilt-free vacations. Enjoy your hard-earned money and spend time with your family, so you can return to work rested and rejuvenated. If there’s a fleet crisis, Whip Around helps you manage it from afar. Pre-trip inspections will no longer require your presence.

  • You can focus on your much-neglected hobbies because you no longer have to spend all of your time at the office.

Work-life balance is the key to happiness. No matter how many vehicles are in your fleet or how demanding your work is, you deserve a break. That’s what Whip Around gives you.

How remote pre-trip inspections can

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Sure, it’s convenient to have more free time or to no longer need to be on site for each inspection. But is the convenience worth it? We think so. Research shows that happy employees are more productive. So a little more free time a little less time spent worrying about inspections can improve your own productivity, and possibly that of your staff, too. Consider the time and hassle you currently spend managing inspections.

The effort likely includes:

  • Tracking down vehicles that need to be inspected, and planning multiple inspection times based on when vehicles will be available.

  • Assigning problem vehicles to various mechanics, usually in person.

  • Monitoring vehicles for signs that it might be time for repairs.

  • Monitoring trends in vehicle inspection failures and repairs.

  • Revamping your schedule based on which vehicles are out of commission, and which vehicles should only make short trips.

  • When necessary, replacing vehicles that cannot be economically repaired.

This can all easily become a full-time job. Perhaps you’ve hired a fleet manager to take care of these tasks for you. With Whip Around’s fleet management software, however, you can outsource much of the work to an automated program that does the heavy lifting for you.

Depending on your business model, this can revolutionize the way you do business. The benefits of automated inspections include:

  • Saving money. You might be able to eliminate a full-time employee, or reduce their hours to part-time. You’ll also save money on catastrophic vehicle failures, and be better equipped to plan trip routes based on which vehicles are in working order. This can help you make more money, and reduce the total costs of repairs.

  • Fewer fines and regulatory penalties. Depending upon your business model and whom you serve, a vehicle in poor working order could trigger fines and other regulatory penalties. Staying on top of your fleet with our software can help you avoid this annoyance.

  • Better customer service. No one likes to have to call a customer and tell them the vehicle will be late, or that the delivery must be rescheduled. You can more effectively serve your customers, potentially improving your reputation and even picking up a few new customers.

With more time to focus on managing your business, you may be able to cultivate more effective marketing, streamline other operations, engage in more customer interactions, become more involved in the community, and find new ways to grow your company. In today’s competitive climate, success is all about outsourcing what you can. To really thrive, however, you musty outsource carefully, choosing your partners wisely. Whip Around is a silent partner that gets the job done effectively, affordably, and confidentially.

How much do you bill for your time? Consider that every moment you spend on fleet management is time that you could be billing for your labor and expertise. Every hour you free up is an hour of money earned. Your time is the most valuable asset you have, because it’s the only thing you can’t get more of or earn back when it’s gone. Use it wisely with Whip Around.

Start now for free

Whip Around marks a categorically different way of doing things for most companies that operate a fleet. And while this can save time and money while reducing stress, change can also be scary. That’s why we offer a chance to start now, for free. There’s no credit card required. Give Whip Around a try and see if it works for you. That’s how confident we are in our revolutionary program.

Ready to see how easy it can be to manage a fleet with a little help? Start today. You can contact us for support, or click here to begin the registration process.

Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Software that is Changing the face of DVIR

As a fleet manager, you know that keeping your vehicles both in good condition and on the road are two of the most important keys to success. When your vehicles are working at optimal levels, your team is less likely to have accidents, and you’re more likely to meet shipping deadlines.

One way to ensure your vehicles are always operating in the best condition possible is by using Whip Around DVIR software for your pre-trip inspections. Read on to learn how this software is changing the game for CDL drivers, fleet managers, and business owners.

What is Whip Around?

Whip Around is a post, during, and pre-trip vehicle inspection software (DVIR) that streamlines your fleet inspection process. Your drivers can perform their inspections using the mobile app available for Android and iOS systems, and then submit their paperless forms wirelessly to the web-based dashboard giving you all the information you need in real time.

Get Whip Around for Android via the Google Play Store, or for iOS in the iTunes store.

Who needs Whip Around

Fleet managers, owners, and their drivers need Whip Around. In your role as manager, you’re responsible for making sure that your vehicles and hence your drivers are safe before they get on the road, and that they are in compliance with all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. The best way you ensure your vehicles are good to go, is for your drivers to complete a pre-trip inspection.

Whip Around is the modern solution to PTIS

Using the traditional, outdated, paper based systems is time-consuming and open to inaccuracies. What’s worse is that when your drivers have to complete paper-based forms, a lot of time is wasted bringing the paperwork to the administrative team, and then reading the forms, evaluating them, and finally scheduling maintenance and repairs for any faults that are found during the inspection. Heaven forbid they get interupted while transporting the paperwork -- those precious minutes can add up to hours off the road!

Whip Around helps you to minimize downtime by allowing your drivers to quickly fill out their form from their mobile device, take images and make notes on vehicle faults, and then automatically send the report to you upon completion.

Let’s face it -- It’s far too easy to miss something on a paper report and chalk it up to simple forgetfulness. With Whip Around you can’t miss something in your pre-trip vehicle inspection because you have to physically check off an item before you can move onto the next one.

Then, after they have completed their form, within mere moments you’ll receive an alert that the form is ready to review, and as a result you’ll be able to get the vehicle over to a mechanic faster as well.

What does that mean? Well, in dollars and sense, it means your driver will have a road ready vehicle in a fraction of the time, and be back on the road to boost your bottom line.

The Whip Around app comes preloaded with a 12 step form to make your pre-trip inspection a breeze

Pretty much everyone has a smart phone these days. And, the Whip Around app can be downloaded to any Android or iOS system almost instantly, giving your drivers the ability to start doing their inspections without a pen and paper in just moments only using pre-trip vehicle inspection software.

The app features a pre-loaded 12 step form that has your drivers check for things like:

  • Windshield, wipers, sun visors and mirrors

  • Lights and indicators

  • Wheels and tires

  • Fluid leaks

  • Reflectors, indicators and air hoses

  • Doors and seat belts

  • Horn and speedometer

  • Steering for excessive free movement

  • Switches and even whether or not you have enough fuel to complete the trip

The form also features a space to enter mileage and add the signature of the driver. If you don’t like the way the form looks in the free account, you can upgrade to a premium or enterprise account to add customized entries for inspection, or rearrange the order that your checklist appears in.

One of the best parts about the app is that the prompts are easy to follow, and there’s no guesswork involved for any of the items on the checklist. Your drivers can give you the exact data you need, and if there are any discrepancies, they will be prompted to take a photo and explain them so you’ll never be in the dark as to what’s going on with the trucks in your fleet.

Whip Around saves your business time and money

By using Whip Around, your drivers will be less likely to face:

  • Accidents

  • Fines

  • Serious repairs

  • Large amounts of downtime off the road

The reporting system within Whip Around also puts you in a position to take advantage of lower insurance premiums and governments levies. Since the system is designed to allow your drivers to undertake quick and easy daily inspection of their vehicles and keep a thorough history of records, you will have a record of safe practices at the ready for any potential audits by external authorities, upper management, and/or clients.

Your company will enjoy a reduction in accidents on the road

Many of the accidents that occur on the road, happen due to things that were completely preventable. And, those precious moments spent doing a pre-trip inspection can often reveal minor things that could ultimately lead to much more serious and costly accidents or incidents.

For example, a tire coming loose from a truck and hitting another motorist is in most cases preventable if your driver:

  • Completes a pre-trip vehicle inspection,

  • Therefor notices the tire isn’t on securely, and subsequently

  • Secures it before departure

Did you know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a study that stated ‘“Tires” was the most frequently coded vehicle-related factor for passenger vehicles in fatal crashes?” In fact, faulty issues with vehicles and tires were found to be the most common vehicle-related factors for large trucks in fatal crashes.

Can you imagine the legal and financial implications your company could face in the event a fatal crash occurs all because your driver didn’t ensure that their tires were secure on their vehicle before getting on the road? This is the kind of thing money hungry accident attorneys salivate over, and that honestly can break a trucking company’s business.

What about your windshield wipers and windshield wiper fluid? If you’re not checking that those are in good condition before your departure, you run the risk of not being able to see while driving down the road. Impaired vision is just asking for an accident -- and yes, it would be a preventable one!  

Checking the brakes is critical too!

Another type of accident that is sometimes preventable is a rear-ending. While it is true that in many cases the driver of a CDL vehicle is not found at fault when the person they rear-ended cut them off or weather conditions prevented them from avoiding the crash, if it is found the driver didn’t check their brakes in their pre-trip inspection, they can:

  • Be found at fault for the crash due to faulty equipment alone

  • Get a ticket

  • Be held liable for any damage to the vehicle

  • Be on the hook for any injury claims

The company can also be held liable for damage to the vehicle and the costs associated with injury claims.

Rear endings are the number one type of crash involving a CDL driver according to the FMCSA. That’s why it’s even more important to make sure that your driver’s brakes, and brake fluid are in optimal condition before the driver takes to the road.

Whip Around can also help you save money on repair bills

A small problem left unchecked can lead to costly repair bills. An example would be not checking for fluid leaks that ultimately result in bigger problems such as radiator fluid leaks.

Common things that “break down” due to radiator fluid leaks are the thermostat, the water pump and the heater core. If your driver had just checked for leaks, the faulty radiator hose could have been found sooner, and all those subsequent failures and repairs could have been avoided.

Whip Around will reveal trends in faults and repairs

Because the app provides you with real time data, you will always be able to notice when there is a sudden uptick in repair needs, and be able to prepare your budgets and game plan accordingly.

It could be something as simple as noticing there has been a significant increase in the number of drivers needing the same part replaced. This might point to an issue with the model of truck that your drivers are driving cluing you into the fact that you might want to take it up with the manufacturer or avoid purchases from them in the future.

When you have 10, 50, 100, or more drivers in your fleet dealing with the same issue over and over, it can add up. Therefore, having data to back up your claim that something is off, or not quite right, could help you find a way to correct the situation in some way, shape or form. After all, it’s difficult to argue with hard data and real time numbers!

Less time with the mechanic means more time on the road

Smaller repairs are not only cheaper, but they also take less time to perform as well. Every moment your drivers are not on the road could be costing your company significant amounts of money.  Think about it. If vehicle down time can cost more than $1,000 per truck per day, wouldn’t it be better to spend as little time as possible in the mechanic’s station?

Downtime costs your company more than you may realize

Your fleet’s ability to get their deliveries to the intended destination is one way your company builds its reputation. Spending a lot of added time dealing with extensive repairs can make you look bad to your clients, and could cost you their future business if it becomes too much of a problem. Yet another reason those pre-trip inspections are so critical, and making them easy to do makes things better for everyone.

What’s the cost of Whip Around, and what do you get for the money?

We get it, as with all business expenses, you want to the brass tax so you know exactly what you’re getting into.

There are currently three account tiers with Whip Around:

  • Free: Free to sign up and includes 1 vehicle with limited access.

  • Premium: Pricing begins at $8 per month for 1 vehicle and pricing plans are available for up to 250 vehicles in your fleet.

  • Enterprise: Price available upon application and is intended for fleets larger than 250 vehicles.

There are no contracts to sign, and you can cancel any time. Whip Around is a monthly subscription service charged on a per truck, per month basis. As your needs change you can upgrade or downgrade your account to meet those needs.

When you sign up your get instant access to:

  • The latest technology: Whip Around is constantly being improved to keep up with the latest advancements in the field. As the technology evolves there are no extra costs to your business, you can simply update the app, and keep on trucking.

  • Our cloud based storage system: You don’t have to keep lots of records on your own servers, so there is no hardware/storage cost on your end. The Whip Around technology is built in the cloud and relies on smart phones to collect the information. Because of this you are able to access the information from your account on any device, at any location, at any time around the world.

  • Each account features a web based dashboard, but the Premium and Enterprise Accounts include:

    • Unlimited dashboard users

    • Unlimited drivers

    • Unlimited customized pre-trip inspection forms - you can add inspection items not found in the freemium account

    • Email and chat support (priority for premium, unlimited for enterprise accounts, and enterprise also includes phone support)

    • Mobile App Access and Access to application program interface (API)

You can start today for free!

If you’re not quite ready to try a premium or enterprise account, that’s okay! You can get started with Whip Around for free. Create a free account today by clicking here. You’ll soon see how much faster your pre-trip inspections can be completed, and get on the fast track to reducing costs and increasing your bottom line.

7 Tips to Passing a CDL Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection

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A CDL pre-trip vehicle inspection is one of the most important things a driver can do to ensure that their vehicle is safe on the road. Of course time is money, and every minute that you're not back on the road you're potentially losing money. That's why it's imperative you create a vehicle inspection process that can be done efficiently.


You need a repeatable process that enables you to check your vehicle quickly but thoroughly, make sure that it's road-ready, and gets you back on the road as soon as possible. With that in mind below are seven tips to passing a CDL pre-trip vehicle inspection.

  1. Download and use DVIR software on your smartphone that allows you optimize the process of doing a CDL Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection with ease. We may be biased, but we recommend the Whip Around™ app.  

  2. Have a predetermined set of things to look for in your inspection so that you can do it quickly and effectively every time.

  3. Document everything with photos and keep thorough records to avoid tickets/fines.

  4. Check your vehicle every 24 hours, with every shift change, and/or when picking up new equipment to catch small problems before they become big and costly ones.

  5. Keep your boss/fleet manager in the loop as to what’s going on with your vehicle at all times so that faults can be fixed quickly.

  6. Repair the faults that compromise the safety of the vehicle prior to your departure. Also be sure to schedule maintenance for and/or keep an eye on things that may need to be repaired/replaced in the near future.

  7. Keep up with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations so you’re always certain you know what it takes to be compliant.

1. Download the Whip Around App

Whip Around is the driver vehicle inspection report software that has changed the game when it comes to the CDL Pre-Trip Inspection. The application is available for both Android and iOS phones, and comes with everything you need to create a thorough and well documented vehicle report.

Download the app for free, enter some simple information as well as your license plate, and voila! You have a paperless system at the ready at all times to keep records about the status of your commercial vehicle. Just a few of the features of Whip Around include:

  • Mobile checklists to keep track of what’s working, what’s not, and what needs immediate attention.

  • The ability to take photos of worn and broken elements of your vehicle such as broken windshields and burned out taillights and headlights.

  • Automatic syncing between your smartphone and the web based dashboard, so that you and your fleet manager will always know the status of your vehicle.

With Whip Around in your pocket, you’ll always have a documented report of your vehicle, and the ability to make a new report whenever you want to.

2. Streamline the CDL pre-trip inspection process

When you have a checklist that you can use every time you need to do a pre-trip inspection, you can do it faster without worrying whether or not you missed something. Not only does Whip Around have a 12 step form preloaded in the freemium account, you can upgrade to the Premium Plan and add custom elements to your checklist.

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS SHOULD YOU BE LOOKING FOR IN YOUR PRE-TRIP INSPECTION PROCESS?

The freemium account of Whip Around includes an inspection checklist for the following:

  • Windshield, windshield wipers, sun visor and mirror:

    • Do your wipers work correctly?

    • Is the windshield clean and not cracked?

    • Are the wiper blades damaged?

    • Is the washer fluid container full?

    • Do the windshield washers work correctly?

  • Lights and indicators

    • Are all lights work correctly including your hazard lights?

    • Are the lenses clean and not cracked?

  • Left and Right wheels and tires (note: in the app there are two separate sections for the left and right wheels and tires. This allows you to assess one side of the vehicle completely before moving to the other side instead of bouncing around.)

    • Are the tires on both sides of the vehicle correctly inflated and not damaged?

    • Are the wheel nuts tightened?

    • Is there any damage to the wheels?

    • Do you see cuts or bulges in the tire sidewalls?

    • Is the tread path adequate?

  • Left and Right Fluid leaks (note: again, there are two separate sections for the right and left side of the vehicle in the app)

    • Do you notice any fluid leaks on the right or left side of the vehicles from the engine, fuel system or waste water tank?

  • Reflectors, toe coupling, tail lights, indicators and air hoses

    • Is everything fitted, working, clean and not damaged?

  • Doors and seat belts

    • Do all doors open and close fully?

    • Is a fire extinguisher present, serviced and ready for use?

    • Are all seat belts working correctly

  • Horn and Speedometer

    • Does the horn work correctly?

    • Is the speedometer working correctly?

  • What is your current mileage?

  • Final check for road readiness of the vehicle:

    • Steering for excessive free movement

    • No apparent air leaks from  breaks

    • All switches and warning lines operate correctly

    • Sufficient fuel to complete trip

  • The end of the 12 step form also includes a space for the signature of the driver that inspected the vehicle. An unsigned inspection report can be grounds for a ticket/fine. Speaking of fines...

3. Keep Records - Avoid Fines

If you get a random inspection at a weigh station, or are pulled over for any reason and cause is found to do a random inspection, it’s imperative you have documentation for any faults that may be found. The phrase “I didn’t know” simply won’t save you, unfortunately.

In the event that the random inspection results in finding faults you don’t have documentation for, a few things can happen --

  • You could get a fine

  • You might be ordered to have it repaired before you can continue on your trip

  • You could get a fine, and be ordered to have it repaired

  • Your vehicle could be placed out of service and require towing to the nearest repair shop, and again you could get a fine.

This is why doing the CDL pre-trip vehicle inspection is so important. You need to be able to find and repair faults quickly, and/or have documentation related to faults that aren’t quite necessary to repair just yet.

WHAT CAN WARRANT A ROADSIDE INSPECTION?

Some states spot check CDL vehicles at weigh stations, others will do an inspection if they pull you over for moving violations.

At weigh stations, the DOT doesn’t necessarily have time to thoroughly inspect every truck that comes through, however you should always be ready for one. According to FleetOwner.com, “a tidy cab can often mean ‘move along,’” and you won’t have a thorough inspection.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep your cab tidy at all times. Fleet Owner also suggests having a pleasant attitude, and making sure your documents are easily accessible to that they’re easy to inspect.

Trucker Insider says that there are six levels to a roadside inspection with level one being the most thorough, complete with the DOT inspector crawling “underneath, over, onto and through (you get the point) of your vehicle.”

Levels two through five are varying degrees of thoroughness, and level six “is reserved for those that haul transuranic waste and Highway rout[e] controlled quantities of radioactive material.”

If you are pulled over for speeding or any other roadway violation, you could face a roadside inspection of your CDL vehicle as well. For this reason alone, it’s a good idea to obey speed limits and follow the other rules of the road so you can stay on the road, and stick to your driving schedule.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU’RE CHOSEN FOR A ROADSIDE INSPECTION?

  • Stay calm

  • Be pleasant

  • Answer any and all questions to the best of your ability

  • Hand over all requested documentation

Hopefully no violations will be found, and you’ll be back on the road quickly and painlessly.

4. Catch small problems before they become big problems

Did you know that a small crack in a windshield can turn into a large crack or even a completely shattered windshield while driving on the road? Hitting a pothole or a big bump in the road could result in you needing the windshield completely replaced if you don’t repair small cracks as soon as you notice them.

The same can be said for other small problems -- they can all turn into bigger and much more expensive ones. For example, a leaky hose left unrepaired could drain your windshield washer fluid, or worse your brake fluid! That can get expensive real fast.

Consider for a moment the legal troubles you could also face if you didn’t ensure the wheel nuts were tightened, and then a wheel came loose and hit another motorist on the road. Though this may seem unlikely, it’s better to ensure the safety of your vehicle not just for yourself, but for other drivers you will be sharing the road with.

While it’s true that some things can wear and tear a while before needing to be replaced, it’s a good idea to keep documentation on any and all faults of your vehicle so that you can track the urgency for the repairs and replacements of those faults.

5. Give your fleet manager your reports

A good manager is an informed one. With Whip Around, fleet managers will always know the status of the vehicles in their fleet. As soon as a driver completes their CDL pre-inspection report, they can instantly sign it and send it. It will then automatically sync from their smartphone to the fleet manager’s web based dashboard.

This ensures that the fleet manager will always be kept in the loop as to whether or not the vehicles in their fleet need repairing, and will also give them up to date analytics so they can track if there is a sudden uptick in repairs and issues.

6. Repair what you can ASAP, and schedule the rest

It’s critical that you repair the faults that compromise the safety of the vehicle prior to your departure for a trip. Though it can be frustrating to delay a trip due to repairs, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Simply putting it off until the next day or even the next trip could be the difference between getting a fine during a spot inspection from the DOT, and having a trip free of hassles. Delaying your repairs in the worst case scenario could be the difference of getting into an accident and your safe return home.

You or your fleet manager should schedule regular maintenance for your vehicle as well. Things like oil changes, wheel alignment, keeping your fluids full (wiper fluid, power steering, coolant, etc…), air filters, batteries, and so on are important for both safety and comfort. The better condition your vehicle is kept in, the less likely you are to experience down time, and as a result, loss of income.

7. KEEP UP TO DATE WITH FMCSA REGULATIONS

Do you know what the current FMCSA regulations are for drivers? If you’ve been a driver for a while, it may have been months or even years since you last studied the FMCSA manual. Even if you’re not going to be taking a test again any time soon, it’s important that you keep up to date with all FMCSA regulations so you’re always certain you know what it takes to be compliant.

It may be a good idea to have education days regularly to ensure that you and your fleet are up to date on the latest rules. It’s better to know the law and avoid a fine, than try and argue your way out of a ticket for non compliance. If your fleet manager isn’t interested in education days, you can always search the FMCSA website on your own to keep yourself educated on the rules.

READY TO TRY WHIP AROUND?

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If you have been looking for reliable a DVIR software-solution, perhaps it’s time to give Whip Around a try. We’re confident you’ll be impressed with just how quickly you can inspect your vehicles to ensure they are safe and road-ready.

Learn more about pricing and create your free account today! We look forward to making your CDL Pre-Trip Inspection process a little easier on your company and its employees.