two truck drivers with tablet performing a pre-trip inspection

Protect Your Fleet Management Investments and Prevent Downtime with Digital Solutions

By GoCanvas Team on December 21, 2022

To keep your fleet in great shape, you need regular real-time fleet inspections and consistent management. With the help of proper inspections, you can avoid potential breakdowns and costly downtime. To get the most from your fleet management practices, it’s important to understand the specific benefits of inspections and the ways you can improve the inspection process.

The Importance of Optimizing Your Vehicle Inspection Processes

A non-functioning fleet is potentially expensive for many businesses, with downtime costing as much as $760 per vehicle per day. This makes it necessary to conduct routine inspections if you want to maximize the performance and longevity of your fleets. By doing so, you can centralize requests, and automate maintenance workflows and extensive reporting.

You also need to take certain steps to transform your maintenance processes. Maintenance is a significant factor in the overall costs for fleet companies, with these processes normally accounting for around 20-60% of operating expenses (OpEx) and capital expenditures (CapEx). By taking steps to optimize maintenance processes, companies have managed to save more than $500 million over the course of ten years, which translates to around 30% of the company’s total fleet expenses. These numbers show how crucial it is for fleet management companies to have a solid inspection process and streamlined maintenance solutions.

The Benefits of Fleet Inspections

Fleet inspections help maintain fleets of all sizes with the right practices and technology. The following are some specific advantages of fleet inspections for businesses, including digital inspections and fleet management software.

Prevent Serious, Expensive Breakdowns with Digital Vehicle Inspections

Fleets require proactive preventative maintenance as opposed to reactive maintenance. Inspections can help identify certain issues or potential issues before they have the chance to cause expensive breakdowns and repairs. To properly prevent breakdowns, fleets need to undergo routine servicing along with both pre-and post-trip inspections. Taking these steps will ensure that fleet vehicles don’t experience wear and tear that put your business and employees at risk

Increase Productivity for Fleet Operations

By preventing avoidable breakdowns, you’ll be able to avoid the headache of decreased productivity among your fleet. Without inspections that detect issues beforehand, employees would need to spend more time getting vehicles back up and running when they should be focusing on making deliveries on time. Preventative maintenance also makes sure your equipment performs optimally, which will further increase productivity across your fleet.

Maintain Compliance with Fleet Maintenance Software

It’s important for fleets to comply with inspection regulations under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These regulations dictate what inspections companies need for their fleets, including specific components, such as brake systems, fuel tank fittings, and chassis. Without adhering to the FMCSA’s strict requirements when it comes to inspections, you may inadvertently violate them, which can lead to certain repercussions, namely hefty fines that can severely compromise your bottom line. Maintaining compliance with fleet management software and proper inspections will give you peace of mind in knowing that your fleet and business aren’t at risk.

Keep Insurance Costs and Other Pricing Low

By performing regular inspections for your vehicle, you’ll also be able to save more on insurance costs, along with those resulting from roadside inspection fines. 

The FMCSA developed and launched the CSA safety compliance and enforcement program with the purpose of holding both fleet owners and drivers accountable for their behavior on the road. To gauge conduct, this program gives drivers a CSA score that can influence insurance premiums. 

The CSA score looks at several factors to measure each driver’s performance. These include:

  • Crash Indicator
  • Unsafe Driving
  • Vehicle Maintenance
  • Driver Fitness
  • Hours-of-Service Compliance
  • Controlled Substances or Alcohol
  • Hazardous Materials Compliance

The vehicle maintenance factor is why inspections are so important in boosting the CSA score. Poor maintenance can negatively impact this score, leading the FMCSA to give a lower score and subsequently leading to increased insurance premiums. A higher CSA score, conversely, can help reduce premium costs while also increasing the chances of coverage approval and reducing deductibles. In addition to reducing insurance costs, inspections can help lower roadside inspection fines. You should always make sure your fleet and drivers are prepared for roadside inspections. If your vehicles are in great condition and you provide drivers with the right documentation, including inspection forms, you’ll be able to avoid potentially costly fines. Additionally, performing pre-trip inspections prior to roadside inspections can help save a trip to the repair shop, which could also lead to otherwise avoidable downtime and costs.

Reduce Driver Liability with Digital Templates

If a driver gets involved in an accident on their trip, they may be liable for it if they don’t have documentation proving that a pre-trip inspection took place. Even if the driver isn’t responsible for the accident, the lack of proof of inspection could make them liable regardless. This makes it necessary to perform pre-trip inspections and provide drivers with the right documentation and asset management to reduce liability.

Maximize the Longevity of Equipment

If you maintain your fleets, including all vehicles and equipment, you’ll be able to dramatically increase service life. This will help you get the most from your equipment and avoid the expenses of buying replacements. 

Streamline All Processes With Digital Inspections

Traditional fleet inspections are effective, but you can get even more from them when you digitize them. Using the right fleet management and inspection tools, you can make all inspections paperless and easy to navigate. A digital solution would be able to include images and detailed checklists that simplify the inspection process from start to finish. A reliable digital inspection solution will allow you to work online and offline as needed. When connected, online inspections can save data to the cloud. However, when in areas without connectivity, field teams can still conduct inspections and save data locally on their smartphones or tablets.

You Can Optimize Fleet Maintenance and Inspections with GoCanvas

While regular maintenance and inspections are invaluable for your fleet, you also need to make sure you can properly perform these tasks. Today, businesses have access to a variety of technological solutions to optimize these tasks. One of the best ways to streamline inspections and more is to use digitized forms. Ordinarily, businesses need to deal with piles of paperwork and spend time looking through forms. This is highly inefficient and can significantly reduce productivity while increasing the risk of human error. Digital forms will make every inspection and maintenance form easy to access and modify, with the ability to keep all documentation on a single accessible platform. Digitization of forms will also help collect data on maintenance to better inform future decisions. The right technology will help create a paperless environment for your business that makes fleet management easier and more cost-effective than ever. However, you need to find the ideal solution to get the results you want.GoCanvas offers a great platform for converting paper forms to digital versions that create a more holistic maintenance and inspection ecosystem. To learn more about GoCanvas and what it can do for your fleet, connect to an expert and schedule a demo.