Brake Safety Week is an annual event organized by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) to raise awareness of brake safety in the industry and ensure that commercial vehicles remain safe and comply with regulations.
Properly maintained braking systems are crucial for safe driving, reducing the number of highway crashes caused by faulty brakes.
To avoid violations, CVSA recommends thorough brake inspections, which can be found on their vehicle inspection checklist. Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs), mandated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), are another effective way for commercial fleets and operators to maintain safe brakes and a compliant vehicle.
They can also detect and address critical vehicle components and systems issues, such as fuel tanks, lights, and tire pressure.
Lytx Provides DVIR Updates
To help fleets quickly and easily maintain brake systems and a compliant vehicle, Lytx launched its DVIR solution in July 2022. It provides drivers and fleet managers with a comprehensive yet simplified electronic option for vehicles outside the ELD mandate. It also includes a customizable checklist seamlessly accessed through the Lytx Driver App and Lytx Account.
Drivers sign into the Driver App using their existing Lytx account to complete each inspection from their smartphone or tablet. To enhance reports and help mechanics better understand issues with a vehicle or trailer, drivers can upload photos and video (up to 3 seconds) to save valuable time and expedite repairs.
Integrating Brake Safety Week Recommendations
With all of the recommendations from Brake Safety Week, such as thorough brake inspections, how can fleets integrate the information into their ongoing maintenance routines?
1. Roundtable Discussions.
Conducting technician/driver roundtable discussions is an excellent opportunity to pull together some of your best drivers and best technicians (even third parties) to share what works well and can be improved.
"As many managers realize, if we just step aside to listen and observe, the frontline employees often have some of the best ideas, suggestions, and visions if we just give them the opportunity," said Jeff Martin, VP of Global Sales Strategy for Lytx.
2. Post Trip Inspection Lanes.
As we see the end of the summer months, it’s an excellent opportunity to set up a post-inspection lane where a lead technician or manager can walk and talk about the post-trip inspection with a driver.
"This activity can build trust, teamwork, and a better understanding for technicians, drivers, and managers. Fleet and operations managers can observe and listen to opportunities and ideas for how drivers and technicians can best communicate effectively and how it may be further improved," Martin added.
3. Having Tech Talks.
Another great opportunity is to invite a lead technician or manacger to meet with drivers (e.g., a safety meeting) or lead drivers to discuss recent brake repairs, challenges, and ideas.
New DVIR Enhancements
To further help fleets stay on top of their brake systems and overall vehicle safety, Lytx DVIR has recently added four new enhancements to help drivers and fleet managers perform more thorough and proactive reporting and further streamline their maintenance programs.
- Walkaround Photos – Drivers can now be instructed to capture and submit four walkaround photos via the Driver App, giving managers a complete 360-degree view of the vehicle’s current condition.
- Multiple Inspection Lists – Managers requiring periodic supplemental inspections can now create lists for select vehicles and trailers that direct drivers to inspect specific items.
- Email Notifications – To avoid constantly checking each DVIR, managers can stay on top of key issues by opting to receive new proactive email notifications that can be customized based on specific items, such as the type of vehicle defect (major, minor, both, etc.).
- Scheduler Enhancement – For fleet managers who prefer more flexibility and customization when scheduling periodic inspections, the new scheduler enhancement tool allows routine maintenance inspections to be set up in advance and tracked for a specific period (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly).
Remember, according to Lytx, pre- and post-trip mechanical inspections are the law for most commercial vehicles. Still, many drivers may become preoccupied with their driving responsibilities and need to remember the fundamentals of safe braking to ensure braking capacity and effectiveness throughout a trip or route.
"A properly inspected vehicle reduces the chances of equipment failure and highway crashes caused by vehicle component malfunctions, such as faulty brake systems. By putting the power of digital reporting at the fingertips of frontline drivers and fleet managers, companies can quickly ensure compliance and develop customized DVIRs that complement preventative maintenance plans. In doing so, companies and owner-operators can maximize their operations, the health of their fleets, and the safety of drivers and fellow motorists," Martin said.
Take Control of Operating Costs
Whether the goal is to cut costs, save time, improve efficiencies, increase safety, or all of the above, Lytx DVIR provides customizable options for fleets of all shapes and sizes looking to simplify and digitally transform their operations. Enabling drivers to identify issues more efficiently can help companies reduce downtime and save money on costly maintenance and compliance violations.
"Lytx’s DVIR is designed to make the vehicle inspection process clearer and more efficient. It uses video and images within the report to accurately address the problem, especially in brake assemblies and under-carriage areas where it’s easier to reach a mobile phone than crawl under. It simplifies the driver’s experience while getting a more accurate issue description to be passed on in seconds to the manager or mechanic to resolve the situation without much delay.," said Josh Mathews, senior product manager at Lytx.
Mathews added the latest updates ensure:
- Better, clearer transitions between driver and mechanic.
- Faster resolution when the mechanic knows what to order earlier and what to fix sooner with (hopefully) less troubleshooting time
- Allows turnaround time reductions that save the company money and work hours.
A properly inspected vehicle also reduces the chances of equipment failure and highway crashes caused by vehicle component malfunctions, such as faulty brake systems.
"Lytx DVIR helps fleet managers proactively address brake system issues. Managers can customize inspection schedules and set reminders for in-depth brake inspections based on the specific vehicle mix in their fleet. They can also assign dedicated brake inspection lists, in addition to the daily pre and post-trip inspections, that look at specified brake system components. By identifying and addressing brake system issues earlier, fleet managers can lower operating costs and prevent accidents. A properly inspected vehicle means a safer vehicle on the road, which can save lives," added Dawn Ramsayer, senior product marketing manager for Ltyx.
By putting the power of digital reporting at the fingertips of frontline drivers and fleet managers, companies can quickly ensure compliance and develop customized DVIR plans that maximize their operations, the health of their fleets, and the safety of their drivers.