Trucking Expert Witnesses & Maintenance Musts

Trucking expert witnesses may write reports and testify regarding federal motor carrier safety regulations, qualifications of truck drivers, federal motor vehicle safety standards, and truck maintenance, among other topics. In Maintenance Musts, Steve Sturgess, Executive Editor, writes:

Looking at peer fleet information using the CSA 2010 criteria, as many as 10 to15 percent of large fleets (with more than 500 power units) are at risk of intervention for maintenance-related violations, the study found. As fleet size gets smaller, the at-risk ranking gets bigger and bigger. In the one-to-five fleet size, one small fleet in four is potentially looking at FMCSA intervention for maintenance problems…

Rair President and CEO J.J. Singh says one solution is the correct and careful use of the Driver Vehicle Inspection Report that is filled out – or should be – every day by the truck driver. “The bigger fleets have a more proactive approach to maintenance and more rigorous processes to act on the DVIR,” he says. “But even so, 10 to 15 percent of even those fleets are at risk of intervention. There is a need for training of drivers in the proper inspection and reporting on the DVIR, and then a robust process to correct in a timely manner any problems identified.”

All too often, the DVIR is a case of “pencil whipping,” to use Singh’s term. Drivers sign off without calling out problems, and maintenance managers sign off without doing anything about the problems that may have been identified.

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