Safety & Compliance

FMCSA Plans to Drop Driver Inspection Reports if no Defects

May 20, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to ease the regulatory burden on drivers by dropping the requirement that they file inspection reports even when there are no defects in the truck.

Right now, drivers must turn in vehicle inspection reports whether or not the truck has defects.

The agency estimates the industry could save $1.5 billion a year without affecting safety, said Polly Trottenberg, Under Secretary for Policy at the Department of Transportation.

“The savings from each report is modest, but when you consider it provides almost daily savings for millions of drivers it has a large impact,” said Trottenberg in testimony before the House Small Business Committee earlier this month.

The agency plans to publish the proposal in September, as part of the Obama administration’s regulatory reform initiative.

The proposed change follows a similar change the agency adopted last year for a small segment of the industry. In June, at the request of intermodal chassis groups, the agency dropped the report requirement for chassis with no defects.

 Because the pending change will affect a much larger group of drivers, the agency decided to seek comments, Trottenberg said.



  1. 1. Chuck Cramer [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:30AM ]

    If there is no requirement to file or record a clean sheet inspection, how will the agency gage success (or failure) of a trucking company's maintenance program?

  2. 2. Greg Pryor [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:36AM ]

    If no inspection report has to be filed, how will you determine if an inspection has been done?

  3. 3. Cecil Pittman [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:38AM ]

    When we get no violation reports this helps me as a safety personal, to see who or which driver is looking after the equitment. Also when we get these no violation reports,dont that help with our CSA scores.

  4. 4. Nick [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:40AM ]

    I want them filed for our system. In addition to showing us we are doing good, we can monitor how often we are being inspected and the success rate.

  5. 5. John Rovedo [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:46AM ]

    the clean reports help with evaluate the success of maintenance programs and drivers completing inspections.

  6. 6. Ed [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:56AM ]

    Bad idea.... Very bad.

  7. 7. Bob [ May 20, 2013 @ 08:03AM ]

    The driver/company will still receive the report but will not have to send it to authorities. It will still be on file for in house audits.

  8. 8. Steve [ May 20, 2013 @ 08:06AM ]

    Just because the Government does not require it,Does not keep you as a company need to stop making your drivers,quit doing it .You can make it company policy.

  9. 9. Larry [ May 20, 2013 @ 08:30AM ]


    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to ease the regulatory burden on "DRIVERS" by dropping the requirement that they file inspection reports even when there are no defects in the truck.

  10. 10. Kevin J. Reidy [ May 20, 2013 @ 10:02AM ]

    Bad Idea. Drivers are already notorious for not doing a proper pre-trip inspection, this will only give them an excuse to be even lazier than they already are.

  11. 11. Harriett Craig [ May 20, 2013 @ 10:57AM ]

    Go for it; having good inspections is always good. These inspections are recorded at the time they are written therefore being recorded on the company profile in the positive way.

  12. 12. Rockwell [ May 20, 2013 @ 11:53AM ]

    Let`s see, if a 30 day DVIR book costs just $3.00 that means I will save 10CENTS per day, each day that my rig has no defects!

    I will only have to go 4,500 days or 12.32 years, with no defects and I will have saved the average cost of one whole tire! This is a MAJOR operational savings, one I will have to think long and hard about where to apply this level of savings. Thank you FMCSA, thank you greatly! Early retirement is ever closer now. Cant you just FEEL the regulatory burden lifting off your shoulders!

  13. 13. Clinton Shepherd [ May 20, 2013 @ 12:52PM ]

    No, absolutely not. This is a bad idea regardless of the cost savings. As a former Ops Manager for the largest carrier in North America I am too familiar with what drivers do and don't do on a daily basis. I have seen good drivers and I have seen my share of bad drivers. Back on the road now I can attest to the fact that a lot of drivers do not even perform a pre trip inspection on their trucks let along the trailers, some of them don't even remember there is a trailer back there. Too many lazy drivers and bad equipment on the road to do away with the DVIR's. Also as with many other rules that are no longer in force the company can still require the drivers to perform this task as part of company policy as they do other rules. It has always been a thorn in my side with the major large carriers the shear number of drivers that they train on a daily basis and release into the wild with just a few weeks of training with a still fresh trainer themselves. I understand the companies get a government rebate for each driver they "train" however that number is nothing compared to the number of million dollar lawsuits these companies are fighting because some driver was not adequately trained and killed a family in a minivan. Wake up people! There is more at stake here then just a DVIR.

  14. 14. martin spiller [ May 20, 2013 @ 02:34PM ]

    If no report is required, a lot of drivers won't do the inspection

  15. 15. Dean Kirsch [ May 20, 2013 @ 07:07PM ]

    It is my belief that most dvir forms are "pencil whipped" in the cab without the driver even getting out. I also strongly believe that if a driver is in the same truck daily, he or she knows the vehicle and "inspects" it every time the door opens or the engine starts. I know I certainly check out my truck and especially the tires & hubs at every stop.
    A clean, no defect form doesn't mean the driver actually looked. It is just another piece of busy work someone dreamed up a couple of decades ago.

  16. 16. Anonymous [ May 20, 2013 @ 11:42PM ]

    Just another reason for trucking companies to pressure drivers to get out of the yard and skip checking the truck, and another reason for them to say "don't make out as report"

    Stupid mistake !

  17. 17. Phil [ May 21, 2013 @ 07:45AM ]

    I don't have a problem of not mailing the inspection back to the states. The only concern I have is, what is incentive for an officer to complete a clean inspection?? It appears the only inspections anyone needs to complete are inspections where violations are found. I guess that is a way to justify having more enforcement on the road, and more state and federal jobs created. It only takes money and the tax payers have plenty to give away.


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