Dear Professional Driver,

I have reviewed carrier violations assigned to the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC in CSA and discovered many are for failure to conduct a Pre-Trip Inspection. You may wonder how a State Trooper knows whether a Pre-Trip Inspection was performed if only a Post-Trip Inspection requires a written Driver Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR). The answer is the current driver did not sign the previous driver’s DVIR accepting the vehicle as safe to drive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations are quite specific that both motor carriers and their drivers ensure commercial motor vehicles are in safe operating condition. The critical part of this requirement is for each and every driver to inspect the vehicle before and after the daily operation of it. The process of this inspection is pretty easy to follow: Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspections.

The Pre-Trip Inspection – Part 396.13 specifically states:

“Before driving a motor vehicle, the driver shall:

(a) Be satisfied that the motor vehicle is in safe operating condition;

(b) Review the last driver vehicle inspection report; and

(c) Sign the report, only if defects or deficiencies were noted by the driver who prepared the report, to acknowledge that the driver has reviewed it and that there is a certification that the required repairs have been performed.”

The Post-Trip Inspection – Part 396.11 specifically states:

“…every driver shall prepare a report in writing at the completion of each day’s work on each vehicle operated… The report shall cover at least the following parts and accessories:

(i) Service brakes including trailer brake connections;

(ii) Parking brake;

(iii) Steering mechanism;

(iv) Lighting devices and reflectors;

(v) Tires;

(vi) Horn;

(vii) Windshield wipers;

(viii) Rear vision mirrors;

(ix) Coupling devices;

(x) Wheels and rims;

(xi) Emergency Equipment

…the report shall identify the vehicle and list any defect or deficiency discovered by or reported to the driver which would affect the safety of operation of the vehicle or result in its mechanical breakdown. If no defect or deficiency is discovered by or reported to the driver, the report shall so indicate. In all instances, the driver shall sign the report…Prior to requiring or permitting a driver to operate a vehicle, every motor carrier…shall repair any defect or deficiency listed on the driver vehicle inspection report which would be likely to affect the safety of operation of the vehicle…Every motor carrier…shall certify on the original driver inspection report which lists any defect or deficiency has been repaired or that repair is unnecessary before the vehicle is operated again.”

The process is repeated when the oncoming shift driver performs his Pre-Trip Inspection.

“The Drivers Daily Inspection is part of a driver’s daily responsibility to protect themselves, the motoring public and the equipment they operate.”

Be Safe!