The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) bears responsibility for ensuring that commercial trucks and buses remain safe on America’s roadways. There are a lot of regulations and requirements about inspecting vehicles, and some of those regulations have to do with vehicle inspection reports.
Commercial drivers have a responsibility to inspect all major parts of their vehicle to ensure they are in safe working order. For example, this includes the brakes, horn, lighting, steering wheel, emergency equipment, axles, and tires at a minimum. We’ll go over what you should know about driver vehicle inspection reports.
What to include on a driver vehicle inspection form.
First of all, the report has to identify the vehicle in question. A driver vehicle report also must include information about any safety defects the driver noticed that could potentially make it unsafe to operate the vehicle or cause a future breakdown. (Essentially the driver has to review specific parts of the vehicle, such as the brakes, lighting, emergency equipment, tires, horn, windshield wipers, and so on.)
Additionally, the driver must sign every report. If the driver rotates driving duties with another person, only one of them needs to sign the report. If a driver drives more than one vehicle in a day, they have to complete a report for each vehicle driven.
What to do if you discover the vehicle is unsafe for driving.
If the driver’s vehicle inspection uncovers problems that could threaten the safe operation of the vehicle, the FMCSA does not permit the driver to operate it until the vehicle has received the necessary repairs. If the driver works for an employer, the motor carrier has to sign off that the problem has been properly repaired, or that the problem will not affect the safety of the vehicle. There has to be certification that the issue has been corrected.
FMCSA rules for maintaining hard copies of driver vehicle inspection reports.
The FMCSA requires that all motor carriers keep driver vehicle inspection reports as well as the repair certification for a minimum of three months from the date that the driver created the report. That means the motor carrier needs to hold on to the driver vehicle inspection reports and their certification that the repair was properly made.
Where can I find more information about driver vehicle inspection reports?
Rules regarding inspection requirements are described under Part 396 of FMCSA guidelines. It’s really important that all drivers of CMVs know what their responsibilities for driver vehicle inspection reports are so that they keep their records accurately, and it’s also important for motor carriers to understand their responsibilities.
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