By George Ryan
The DOT has required a pre-trip inspection and subsequent documentation for decades. Along with the inspection there was also a requirement for a driver to certify that any safety defects found on the inspection were repaired. Initially safety defect documentation was on the back page of each paper daily log.
However, since the advent of electronic logs the current Daily Vehicle inspection Report (DVIR) system has been developed and the required Pre- Trip Inspection (PTI) is now also documented electronically. Also with the electronic DVIR there is an additional requirement for a documented Post Trip Inspection on each piece of equipment. If a driver keeps the same trailer the entire day, he will be required to submit four (4) DVIR macros. He will do one PTI for the pre-trip on the tractor, another for the pre-trip on the trailer and then a subsequent post-trip PTI on the tractor and also the trailer. If more than one trailer is hooked that day, there will be 2 additional PTI’s for each trailer. In the case of double sets, the ConGear will also require the Pre and post trip inspections
The Macros used to document ALL PTI inspections will be Macro 18 for the tractor and Macro 19 for each trailer. The DVIR Macro (Macro 18 for tractor and Macro 19 for trailer) can serve two purposes. First, it can report the completion of the required pre and post trip inspections. But it also can serve to report any DOT or safety defects.
If there are any DOT or safety defects found on any PTI inspection, the process to get that defect repaired is simple. If it is a DOT or Safety defect then there is a block marked “defect” on the DVIR (Macro 18 or 19). Simply enter a “Y” in that block, then check the system affected in the menu just below. At the bottom of the DVIR there are two additional blocks requesting (1) a phone number, and (2) a location. Those two blocks must be completed before the Defect DVIR will reach the Road Services Department.
If the defect is not a Safety or DOT item, then a Macro 22 is the appropriate way to report that particular defect. What constitutes a DOT or Safety item? If that defect would hold the unit out-of-service at a DOT scale, or poses a safety hazard to the public then it will need to be reported on a DVIR. Air Conditioning, CB antennas, cigarette lighters, engine performance, Inspections past due – - the DOT is not concerned with those types of write-ups and therefore they would NOT be reported on a DVIR.
The final step to this process is Driver certification. Immediately upon completion of the repair the driver MUST submit a Macro 52 (truck) or 53(trailer) verifying completion. If that isn’t received, a message reading “** DOT DEFECTS REPAIRED DRV CERT ** “ which will require the driver to insert a “Y” or “N” in response to the question “HAVE ALL DEFECTS BEEN REPAIRED?”
Since inception of this program we have seen a marked improvement in the number of units held out of service at scales and Ports of Entry. But it takes cooperation and effort by the driver, the manager, Road Services, and Safety for the program to be fully functional and effective. The driver is the most important element because he is the person that needs to look for problems via the PTI, properly report the problem, and once repaired to certify that repair.
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