Irecently attended a driver meeting at which there were several smaller companies in attendance, but offering a varied mix of business and drivers. Vehicle inspections was the primary topic discussed....
Irecently attended a driver meeting at which there were several smaller companies in attendance, but offering a varied mix of business and drivers. Vehicle inspections was the primary topic discussed. Following are some of the more interesting questions and my responses.
Q. My vehicle trip inspection report is on the back of my log. I was warned by an officer that the time of inspection is required to be on that report. But the time is noted on the face of my log in the duty status section every time I undertake to inspect my vehicle. What is wrong with that?
A. For starters, I’m going to suggest that you have a very old style pre-trip inspection form or the space required to note the time of the inspection was simply omitted. The time of the inspection is required on the trip inspection report which is clearly noted in Highway Traffic Act Regulation 575. Having the time noted on the log does not meet the requirement of the regulation. What is important to remember, is that the trip report is a vehicle report whereas the log is a driver report, and the associated requirement for each are covered under two different regulations.
Q. We operate as a driver team. There are many times that either one of us will do the daily vehicle inspection, while the other driver has a blank report. But the inspection has in fact been undertaken. Is this acceptable?
A. Yes. But the real consideration must always be that evidence is available that the inspection was undertaken each day that the vehicle was operated. So long as you can demonstrate that if asked, you’re OK. The same would be the case where the operator is facing an audit of records. I might suggest that where your co-driver does the inspection be noted on your otherwise blank form. (e.g. enter the date and make the appropriate notation)
Q. You noted that the 27 items listed in the Regulation, must be incorporated into the inspection report. I know a carrier operating in Ontario who uses the short form inspections that are required under the US DoT rules. I’m told they don’t have any problems using that form. We operate to the US for the most part, as well.
A. Yes, it’s true what you noted regarding that particular carrier, except in their case their entire operation and drivers are controlled from the United States even though the drivers based here are Ontario residents. The MTO has deemed it acceptable to use the short-form inspection reports, so long as the types of factors I note are in place.
Q. When we were audited, the auditor reviewed roadside inspection reports and compared them with the trip report. There were instances where a defect that had occurred after the initial inspection was not on the trip report. What’s wrong with that?
A. It’s a common mistake, but not as bad of course as when the roadside inspection finds defects that most certainly should have been found by the driver and his or her report notes “no defects found”. The Regulation is actually very clear on the recording of defects. It requires that every driver of a commercial motor vehicle shall, when he or she finishes driving the vehicle in a 24-hour period beginning with the inspection, record on the inspection report any safety defects he or she observed while driving or while otherwise in charge of the vehicle.
Best one think of an inspection report being “fluid” during the course of the day, similar to a driver log. Where there is a new defect found for example, it must be recorded, and repaired of course if so required for the safe operation of the vehicle.
Q. As a company, we seem to be getting a lot more Level 3 CVOR inspections than before. And as I understand it, these are not reflected on our CVOR abstract. I almost get the impression “they” do it on purpose… as in “there won’t be anything wrong with this unit so we’ll just make it quick.” Am I just imagining things?
A. Probably, but it’s not to say I haven’t heard of similar situations. There are some companies that I am aware of, who have had significant equipment problems and have cleaned up their act accordingly. They too have noted an increase in Level 3 inspections which they find frustrating from a CVOR perspective. On the other hand there are still plenty of operators out there, who rarely undergo the document inspection only. So my guess is, there’s not a story to be had with this one.