Tech to lower CSA scores, Part 3: Integrated inspection reports, electronic logs

By Aaron Huff on

As part of the ongoing “All Hands on Deck” series, this section covers how devices like electronic logs and recorders are being used to compile driver vehicle inspection reports and how they can be used to help lower CSA scores. Part 1 covers how fleets are using modern tech to schedule and perform prevenative maintenance — see it here. Part 2 details how to use technology during pre- and post-trip inspections to find and fix issues that could dock CSA scores if found during a roadside inspection. Click here to read it.

Integrated DVIRs

Many fleets that use electronic driver logs are having their drivers complete electronic DVIRs as part of the daily login process. These electronic forms can be integrated with maintenance software systems to create a closed-loop process for vehicle inspections and repairs.

PeopleNet and TMW Systems last year announced an integrated DVIR system. Fleets that use PeopleNet’s touchscreen devices – either the Blu or Tablet platforms – can complete DVIR forms by selecviceting an icon from their daily workflow menu.

The Web services integration with TMW Systems’ TMT maintenance software continuously monitors the DVIR forms that drivers complete. Any forms that contain noted defects can be flagged automatically as critical or noncritical within a queue of pending repair orders – a tab called “inspection tickets.”

Once mechanics review the defects, the maintenance staff can turn the inspection items into repair orders. Once the repair work is complete, TMT sends a mechanic’s electronic acknowledgement form to drivers via the PeopleNet in-cab device. Drivers acknowledge the repair by entering their name, date and time.

J.J. Keller has an integrated DVIR system as part of its Encompass portal. Encompass integrates with Keller Mobile, an electronic onboard recorder that uses Android devices for the driver display. To complete a DVIR, drivers use a mobile app to check items and note defects on an inspection form. The Encompass dashboard shows an alert to fleet managers if a defect is noted.

In the maintenance portion of Encompass, users can create a repair order for the defect. They also can track the defect through a certification process that flows back to the driver via the mobile app to review corrections and acknowledge that the inspection item was corrected.

Rair Technologies, a division of Drive Cam, offers an integrated online suite of compliance reporting services that includes DVIR auditing. The service captures DVIR information from carriers, either in paper or electronic form, and audits the records.

The audit shows drivers who are not submitting complete and accurate DVIRs, along with those who submitted DVIRs for a long period of time with no defects, which could indicate they are not inspecting vehicles thoroughly.

Rair’s online service includes the carrier’s CSA data, including violations, taken from the FMCSA portal. An audit feature compares defects noted on DVIRs to CSA violation data; fleet managers can see if drivers had noted defects on the day, and the day before, the violation occurred.

By using technology to bring companywide visibility and accountability to vehicle maintenance, CSA performance becomes a team affair.

Aaron Huff

Aaron Huff is the Senior Editor of Commercial Carrier Journal. Huff’s career in the transportation industry began at a family-owned trucking company and expanded to CCJ, where for the past 12 years he has specialized in covering business and technology for online and print readers and speaking at industry events. A recipient of numerous regional and national awards, Huff holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Brigham Young University and a Masters Degree from the University of Alabama.

5 comments
DOTDoctor
DOTDoctor

I love how most of these "driver" services are going Android based for use with most any Smartphone.  Great option for the O/O.  From working with fleets of all sizes, I do see improved CSA scores when technology is involved.  It nothing else, it forces drivers and dispatch to honor HOS regulations.  Adding the DVIR feature I feel will improve the maintenance category scores.  With the right system, it will easier to track who does and who does not perform a proper pretrip which may lead to the ability to correct the situation before a DOT OOS is issued to the driver/equipment.  I think it is a great addition to a fleet for any company or O/O that afford the expenditure. 

golfer18
golfer18

I agree, Big Road is a great option and a lower investment for fleets.  Using Elogs can not only help your CSA score but, manage your drivers hours in real time.  Cutting paper logs also saves your driver time, which in return keep your truck on the road making you money.

EJWR
EJWR

Aaron, good article on electronic drivers logs as a method for protecting CSA.  Many fleets - both small and large, still struggle with hardware costs associated with a DVIR system - and are on the look out for something simpler that still achieves their goal.  @bigroad offers a smartphone based electronic log system that does the job with no need for additional hardware or IT support.  

kellyfrey
kellyfrey

 @golfer18  Thanks for the support!  @BigRoadinc now has over 39,000 drivers using it on their smart phones and we built it specifically for drivers to protect their PSP scores and the CSA scores of their fleets. 

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