Blog Post

5 Reasons to Use a Mobile Forms App for Pre-Trip Inspections

Posted by Jennifer Herman

Truck driver performs a pre-trip inspection on her mobile device.

If you’re managing a fleet of vehicles, you’re familiar with DOT pre-trip inspections. They’re a critical safety measure required by law. Even the most basic pre-trip inspection checklists are quite lengthy, covering everything from CDL driver experience to vehicle components. Cumbersome paperwork bogs down the process and causes costly delays. In this blog, we’re outlining five reasons to start using a mobile forms app to streamline pre-trip inspections.

1. Create pre-trip inspection checklists in just minutes.

There’s a lot to consider when developing pre-trip inspection checklists. First and foremost, you need to cover all DOT requirements. Then there’s often items unique to your organization’s operational standards. A drag-and-drop mobile form builder makes it faster and easier to create checklists customized to your fleet and driver needs. And with the click of a button, your newly created form is uploaded to the app where your drivers can access it from their mobile device.

2. Increase inspection accuracy and efficiency.

A typical pre-trip inspection takes anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes to complete. Not surprising. There’s a lot to cover before safely hitting the road. But unfortunately, pre-trip inspections aren’t always as thorough as they need to be. This happens for a variety of reasons. The driver is operating on a tight deadline. The inspection forms are out-of-date. The list continues.

These are the issues that can ultimately result in CSA violations, monetary fines, and worst case, injuries or accidents on the road. So how can you reduce inspection errors while also increasing completion efficiency? The quick answer: mobile forms. But the key is finding a mobile data collection application that allows you to integrate intelligent fields and rich data types into your forms. With this feature, you can require certain fields to be completed before moving to the next. You can include drop down menus and validate answers to help prevent errors. Additionally, users can attach images, scan barcodes or collect signatures when needed.

3. Get instant reports.

Think about the time you or your administrative team spends tracking down, processing and signing-off on pre-trip inspection paperwork. This causes unnecessary delays and downtime. A mobile data collection tool allows you to automate your data workflows and destinations so inspection reports are delivered to the right people, at the right time. This was a game changer for STFS Delivery when they transitioned to mobile forms. STFS set up two destinations in their account to automatically organize the information their drivers were collecting. When a driver completed an inspection form on their mobile device, an Excel document was delivered to the company Google Drive account, while a separate report was also delivered to a specified email address.

4. Your drivers will thank you.

Anything that streamlines inspections is going to be beneficial to your drivers. No more tedious paperwork? Awesome. Access to pre-trip inspection checklists on their mobile device? Finally. Ability to instantly submit inspection forms and get on the road faster? Round of applause! However, it’s important to find a mobile data collection app that’s user-friendly and easy-to-train so your drivers are more likely to adopt and embrace the new tool.

5. You’ll save money.

Improved inspection accuracy will help minimize compliance violations and fines. Instant reporting will reduce downtime. And pre-trip inspections are just the tip of the iceberg when you decide to digitize your data collection. Think about all the other DVIRs and data needs across your organization. As an example, STFS Delivery started using Device Magic to take geo- and time-stamped pictures of package delivery locations so they could be sent to the customer. After rolling this out to their entire fleet, STFS began saving more than $5,000 a year due to a significant incident reductions.

Research Your Options

There are several mobile data collection applications available on the market today. The trick is finding one that meets your professional needs. That’s why we always recommend doing thorough product research and demos. Fortunately, some solutions offer free trial periods. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of Device Magic to explore all the features our platform has to offer and see if it’s the right fit for your company. 

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