The Importance of a Post-Trip Vehicle Inspection

We’ve mentioned in our Pre-Trip Inspections post, it’s important to inspect your vehicle before a big trip.   Inspections keep yourself and your vehicle safe by preventing accidents that can occur because of vehicle deficiencies.  It’s your responsibility to check your vehicle before it hits the road.  However, it’s just as important to check it over when it returns from a long trip.  Post–Trip inspections require drivers to have any defective equipment repaired before starting the next day.  Regulations require that any deficiency that would affect the safe operation of the vehicle must be repaired before the vehicle can be driven again.  Driving an unsafe vehicle is not only a safety hazard, but it’s irresponsible as it puts others on the road at risk.   

Vehicle Inspections

We recommend you have your drivers watch the JJ Keller Master Driver Vehicle Inspections  DVD which shows your drivers the importance of routine vehicle inspections.  During this video, drivers learn about inspection essentials and go over the driver’s vehicle inspection report (DVIR).

Important Recommendations & Tips for Post-Trip Vehicle Inspections:

  • Establish a routine.  A consistent step-by-step process of the vehicle inspection will allow you to complete the inspection faster, more efficiently and without leaving anything out.
  • Inspections are only useful if the vehicle defects/ deficiencies are noted and corrected. If problems are found, notify someone.
  • It is OK to double check or triple check the pre/post trip inspection items if you are unsure of what you previously checked.
  • Inspect yourself (How are you feeling? How is your attitude? Are you distracted?).
  • Ensure your cab is clean and secure all loose items.

Use These Safety Precautions While Performing the Inspection:

  • Do not get under, in front of or behind the vehicle if there is any chance of it moving.
  • Keep the ignition key under control at all times.
  • Use wheel chocks on inclines.
  • Use three points of contact while entering and exiting the vehicle.
  • Never jump out of or off of a vehicle or trailer.
  • Be alert and conscious to other vehicles traveling in the surrounding the area.
  • Select a safe and clear location to do the inspection.

According to FMCSR Part 396.11 Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports: “Every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day’s work on each vehicle operated and the report shall cover at least the following parts and accessories:”

  • Service brakes
  • Parking brakes
  • Lighting devices and reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wipers
  • Rear vision mirrors
  • Coupling devices
  • Wheels and rims
  • Emergency equipment

Ryder uses the Driver Vehicle Condition Report, Form No. S4-09 to fulfill the reporting requirements.  These reports must be retained for three months from the date the report was written.  Are you using this form or something similar?  Anything you would add to these lists? How often are you inspecting your vehicles?

­­­­___________________________________, a service of Ryder Fleet Product, offers fast and easy access to a full range of safety products, compliance services and training. And through our established partnerships with industry leaders, we provide solutions to help you operate safely and remain in compliance, whether you run vehicles, manage warehouses, hire drivers or maintain yo

1 Comment

  1. Hey,
    This article is a good reminder for us. One can never bee too careful when it comes to safety. Emptying the loose items from your cab is also a good way to minimize risks involved in an accident situation. In the case of an accident these items can fly in high velocities and end up hurting the passengers inside.


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