Fleet Compliance: Using Software to Easily Maintain Compliance

Maintaining fleet compliance ensures your organization avoids fines and keeps your assets safe on the road. Leveraging software to manage vehicle inspections and maintenance allows you to adhere to the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and stay compliant.


Managing Fleet Compliance

Most commercial fleet managers understand the importance of maintaining fleet compliance. Ensuring compliance keeps your drivers and assets safe while helping you avoid violations and fines.

Following regulations from the DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) can be challenging for some fleets. Because fleet compliance relies so heavily on documentation, those without organized records can often end up violating safety standards.

To maintain fleet compliance and comprehensively manage assets, many fleets are turning to fleet management software. Fleets are able to store and access all compliance documentation, conduct digital inspections and manage maintenance from anywhere.

Conduct Electronic Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR)

Under FMCSA regulation 396.11, commercial motor carriers must complete and maintain records of Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR). While completing daily DVIRs keeps you compliant, routine inspections also provide vital insight into vehicle conditions.

Some fleets have a hard time keeping up with inspections and can’t fully take advantage of their valuable data. Paper inspection forms slow down drivers, causing them to pencil whip from the driver's seat and overlook critical issues. Paper forms are also often misplaced or damaged, causing gaps in records.

To maintain a complete record of fleet compliance and leverage inspection results for maintenance, many fleet managers are taking advantage of electronic DVIR (eDVIR). Drivers can complete simple, thorough eDVIR in a mobile fleet management app and instantly upload results into a centralized system.

Completing eDVIR is an easy way to maintain fleet compliance and prepare your assets for roadside checks and DOT audits. Instead of trying to sort through messy paperwork in the cab, drivers can easily access a complete history of inspection data on their mobile devices to prove fleet compliance.

In addition to keeping up with inspection records, mobile inspections save your drivers valuable time and enhance communication. Inspections can be completed with simple clicks and swipes, and drivers can include comments and photos for increased clarity.

Leverage Inspection Results to Initiate Maintenance Workflows

Conducting routine vehicle inspections allows your drivers to uncover any issues that could cause downtime or accidents. When issues arise, it’s important to act quickly and begin scheduling maintenance to minimize any potential downtime or compounding issues.

Paper inspection forms make it difficult to stay informed of vehicle issues. Because your vehicles are on the road for days or weeks at a time, you often aren’t aware of issues until drivers turn in a stack of DVIRs.

Digital vehicle inspections, like eDVIR, eliminate the communication gap between field and office. Results are uploaded instantly, and fleet managers are immediately notified of any reported issues.

To expedite maintenance, fleet managers can generate work orders based on issues uncovered during inspections. Linking issues from inspections to maintenance work orders allow you to maintain a comprehensive audit trail of repairs.

Resolving maintenance issues quickly keeps your vehicles safe and helps your drivers avoid violations and fines. Even minor issues like broken tail lights can result in tickets, causing unnecessary paperwork and fees. Fleet management software enables your team to effectively collaborate on issues to maximize uptime and maintain fleet compliance.

Set Fleet Safety Standards

The ultimate goal of fleet compliance is to ensure the safety of your drivers, your assets and the public. Implementing safety procedures is the best way to promote fleet safety and ensure your drivers and vehicles stay compliant.

Consider setting safety standards that fit your fleet’s needs. In addition to trucks and other vehicles, your drivers may also be operating dangerous equipment or heavy-duty vehicles.

Conducting mobile inspections like eDVIR helps uncover potential safety issues, like underinflated tires or damaged brake lines. While it’s imperative that your operators complete eDVIRs each day, there are other ways fleet technology can help you monitor and improve fleet safety.

Preventive Maintenance Schedules

Taking a proactive approach to maintenance ensures your vehicles are safe and road-ready. Creating preventive maintenance schedules for your vehicles ensures they are receiving routine service to ensure safety and maximize lifespan.

Some fleets have trouble adhering to service schedules due to a lack of organization. Tracking preventive maintenance on unorganized whiteboards and wall calendars make it difficult to follow through on tasks.

Setting preventive maintenance schedules in fleet management software is the most efficient way to keep up with routine repairs and manufacturer recommended maintenance schedules. Fleet managers can automate service reminders based on hour intervals or odometer updates to ensure vehicles get to the shop on time.

Adhering to a preventive maintenance schedule ensures your fleet meets warranty standards, stays compliant and is in safe operating condition. Instead of waiting for vehicle issues to arise, taking proactive maintenance measures keeps your fleet running smoothly.


Driver Behavior

Your drivers play a huge role in your fleet’s safety. Having procedures in place to encourage safe driving behavior and monitor vehicles is a great way to ensure they stay safe and productive.

Connecting with your drivers and maintaining visibility can be difficult without modern technology. Leveraging fleet management software and other tools allows you to stay in touch with your team and track driver behavior.

Each year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) hosts Operation Safe Driver Week. During this week, law enforcement officials conduct roadside inspections to ensure compliance.

Out of the 29,921 CMVs inspected in 2020, 10,736 were issued warnings and citations. The most common violations were speeding and not wearing a seat belt. Stressing to your drivers the importance of safe driving and tracking driver behavior will help you maintain fleet compliance and avoid citations.

Connecting with your drivers and maintaining visibility can be difficult without modern technology. Leveraging fleet management software and other tools allows you to stay in touch with your team and track driver behavior.

GPS and telematics devices are great for tracking drivers on their routes and can even pinpoint unsafe driving habits, like harsh braking or speeding. Pairing your telematic device with fleet management software is a great way to track vehicle status and location in real time and get safety alerts like diagnostic trouble codes (DTC).

Upholding driver safety standards ensures fleet compliance and helps your drivers avoid violations and accidents. Tracking your fleet with a centralized software provides real-time insight into driver behavior and asset health to help you ensure fleet compliance.

Keep your fleet safe and compliant with Fleetio! Start your free trial or request a demo today.

About the Author

Laura Flowers
Content Marketing Specialist

Laura Flowers is the Content Marketing Specialist at Fleetio. When she’s not blogging, you can find her reading on the couch with her cat or in the studio tap dancing.

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