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Rule to nix no-defect vehicle inspection reports moves closer to implemenation

| August 06, 2014

A federal rule to rescind the requirement that drivers submit vehicle inspection reports when no defects were found has made its way to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and is expected to be published as a Final Rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in November. 


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The agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Aug. 7 of last year and held a 60-day public comment period ending in October 2013. 

The agency then produced a final rule, which was sent to the OMB July 31 for approval there before its expected November publication date. 

Current federal regulations require drivers to perform vehicle inspections both pre- and post-trip and file a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report for all post-trip inspections and for pre-trip inspections if defects were found in the prior day’s post-trip inspection.


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Under the new rule, drivers will still be required to perform the inspections, but they will not be required to submit a report for those finding no defects. 

FMCSA says the rule will save the industry $1.7 billion a year in paperwork. 

  • Craig Vecellio

    If you didn’t document, it didn’t happen. Reg or no reg, document the inspection. The first time you have a light go out during your workday after a pretrip revealed no defects, you will get double whammied for ‘not doing a pre trip.’

  • simon

    Three words craig……reading comprehension skills. Work on them

  • simon

    Sorry craig but you’ll still have to flag it on your logbook. Guess they left that part out. And im the one that needs to work on reading comprehension

  • Craig Vecellio

    They need to be clear about that….I’ve heard SO many different interpretations of the pre and post trip regs as they stand….by Safety Directors. Those guys are supposed to be specialized in understanding the regs. I finally just pulled into a scalehouse one day asked the DOT cops directly. The last thing we need is more complication.

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    You will still do both inspections, still need to log them as such, you will only need to fill out a vehicle inspection report if any defect is found.

    Single-truck operators still only need to do a pre-trip inspection and show it on their log, and remark any defect found on the inspection report. No defect, no report needs to be filled out.

  • Craig Vecellio

    This is the regulation affected by the legislation. The post trip is the biggie, not the pre trip. The pre trip is already ruled to not require a report if no defects are found. We’ve all experienced, or at least heard of drivers getting hit for not doing their pre trip inspection by Safety because they ‘should have found’ that light that was working when they did the pre trip. Document, document, document; this regulation will only save paperwork if drivers are willing to set themselves up for a fall. I read that entire chapter, where does it say that single truck operators only need to do a pre trip? The only exceptions given are farm equipment, which is exempt, and tow trucks, which have specific requirements in addition to the general requirements.

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    § 396.11: Driver vehicle inspection report(s).

    (5) Exceptions. The rules in this section shall not apply to a private motor carrier of passengers (nonbusiness), a driveaway-towaway operation, or *any motor carrier operating only one commercial motor vehicle.*

  • Craig Vecellio

    Thanks for the clarification. I’ll still do the paperwork though, even with the reg changes go through. I had a CSA logbook violation overturned because I logged details that most wouldn’t bother with. Specifically, I claim all the time on line 4 that I actually use.

  • Kevin J. Reidy

    Also remember that rules put in place by employers concerning the inspection of company vehicles vary and differ from fed regs, and must be followed by employees or lease operators.

  • Cary Davis

    To conduct either a pre or post trip inspection, you would be officially “ON-Duty not Driving” How do you conduct these inspections “without” noting this required time on line 4? You are not required to state “vehicle inspection” in your remarks section, however, this does not mean you don’t show the time required to perform the task! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.