1-800-SWEEPER Blog

Can Electronic Vehicle Inspections Save Time or Money?

Jan 31, 2019

Can Electronic Vehicle Inspections Save Time or Money?

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Before sending your sweeper operators out on the road, it has become mandatory to have the driver perform a physical inspection of the vehicle before his or her shift begins.

An inspection confirms vehicle safety and identifies any required maintenance issues. A beginning-of-shift equipment assessment also helps the driver and equipment manager confirm that all systems are working correctly from lights to sweeping components. These inspections have traditionally been completed as a paper checklist and stored in a drawer.

Recently, Matt Dziak, the Content Marketing Manager at Fleetio, published a Vehicle Inspection Checklist: A Guide to Smarter, More Efficient Inspections. Fleetio is a 1-800-SWEEPER Vendor Partner that provides a unique customizable vehicle inspection, repair logging and maintenance notification software.

Although the software was generic at start and could apply to almost any type of fleet of vehicles, 1-800-SWEEPER Partners have been developing and fine-tuning a version specific to the needs of sweeping service contractors.

As Matt’s article points out, drivers can only complete daily vehicle inspection forms as quickly as they can assess vehicles and write. If a maintenance issue pops up, more time is added as the driver writes or draws a description of the failure. The same issues apply to post-trip inspections and identification of issues that came up during a shift as well.

Because paper-based vehicle inspection checklists are static, drivers must physically transfer paper-based inspection forms to the fleet manager. To act on items documented in a paper version of a checklist, your fleet administrators must manually enter inspection data into Excel or file physical reports. Confusion about maintenance issues due to illegibility or lack of detail can also be a problem.

This not only adds time to the process, it is also prone to missing critical maintenance issues.

Using paper checklists also make it difficult to add specific instructions for drivers, which when accurately shared among staff can reduce the potential for misinterpretation.

Creating vehicle inspection forms tailored to sweeping vehicles

Every fleet has its own unique challenges to conduct inspections efficiently. The Fleetio custom inspection form builder starts you with Fleetio suggested trip inspection forms. Alternatively, you can build your own from scratch with their drag-and-drop editor. As discussed at last year’s Sweeper Summit, 1-800-SWEEPER Partner Scott Duscher of Agua Trucks has been working with and fine-tuning inspection checklist which can be shared with other Partners.

Flexible field values allow you to choose from pass/fail, meter entry or open answer text fields to create criteria specific to your company and your vehicles. The highly specialized nature of sweeping equipment requires that drivers look for and observe every criteria unique to our vehicles. For this reason, descriptions and custom fields can provide specific instructions for drivers, ensuring high-quality responses.

 Benefits of electronic pre-trip inspection checklist

Fleetio offers a modern, electronic alternative to paper-based vehicle inspection forms that prioritizes efficiency, accuracy and issue resolution. Based on some success cases of early adopters including Scott, Fleetio’s system saves on the time it takes to conduct vehicle inspections and transforms fleet vehicle management, while eliminating paper-based inspection inefficiencies

Electronic vehicle inspection forms can replace your current paper inspection checklists and improve inspection quality—all from an existing smartphone or tablet. Unlike paper, electronic inspection reports are accessible by multiple people anytime, in the office, on the road or remotely if a vehicle is scheduled  for service.

Other advantages:

  • Mobile access: Scan a barcode and seamlessly conduct inspections from a mobile device.
  • Driver instructions: Onboard new employees and ensure consistent reporting by providing prescriptive inspection criteria for each driver.
  • Upload photos and comments: Attach media to any inspection item to provide clarity between operators and maintenance teams.
  • Set reminders: Alert drivers when vehicle inspections are due, ensuring inspections are completed as scheduled.

Scheduling vehicle repairs and routine maintenance

Maximizing operational efficiency allows for isolating specific vehicles for inspection, and can automatically trigger a change in vehicle status, open an issue and alert the appropriate people via email when inspection items fail, reducing asset downtime.

Take advantage of this 1-800-SWEEPER benefit — start your Free Trial of Fleetio. Experience the Difference of the opportunity to improve accuracy, efficiency and the ability to swiftly resolve safety issues by using electronic fleet vehicle inspections.