Maximizing Fleet ROI with Efficient Pre-Trip Inspections

The benefits of regular pre-trip inspections can’t be overstated, contributing to everything from uptime to safety to maximizing your fleet’s ROI. However, efficiency provides a stronger bottom line, and with a typical rigorous inspection process taking 30 minutes a day or longer, many fleets are turning to technology to help drivers make the process as efficient as possible.

To this end, FleetPulse, the standard telematics offering on Great Dane trailers, is loaded with features to help drivers complete pre-trip inspections faster without sacrificing safety or productivity.

“Pre-trip inspections are generally targeted to be completed in 30 minutes or less. With the trailer making up 70% of the total vehicle combination size, FleetPulse can provide more efficiency to the driver, so a majority of that 30 minutes can be given back to driving,” says Ross Froat, FleetPulse VP of Product. “FleetPulse estimates three out of four  out-of-service violations are trailer related, so having the support of FleetPulse to reduce pre-trip time and maintain safety status checks during operation is a real uptime solution.”

From Mental to Digital

A solid pre-trip inspection should consider every aspect of the vehicle, including tires, the engine compartment, fuel tanks, fluids, air pressure, brakes, odometer readings, lights, the battery, and the undercarriage. With so many places to check, it can be easy for a driver to overlook a component if they’re keeping a mental checklist.

FleetPulse simplifies this process with an electronic pre-trip inspection sheet included in the device’s mobile app. To get started, all a driver needs to do is plug the tractor light cord (J560 plug) into the trailer receptacle, activating the telematics device. Four LED lamps on the FleetPulse telematics device will display to the driver that the trailer has good cellular and satellite signal, onboard network communication connectivity, and power level. The lighting frequency assures the driver that the trailer ABS is active and the smart trailer is operating correctly.

“The next step is to open the FleetPulse mobile app, review the system status checks, such as tire pressure and weight, and utilize the electronic pre-trip inspection sheet included with the device,” Froat says. “This pre-trip feature is easy to use, compliance-ready, and can be saved on the fleet’s account. It can also leverage the mobile device’s camera to record defects to send to management for faster repairs.”

Take Another Look

One of the most difficult parts of the pre-trip inspection process is not making assumptions. For example, without taking a close look, drivers may assume their lamps closest to the road are clean. However, these are the first to get dirty or forgotten during a long trip due to the many different environmental changes a truck may pass through.

The undercarriage is another area that is often ignored or forgotten, but in this case, drivers can turn to FleetPulse to make the process much more efficient.

Data With Value

Reefer Smart Trailer Sensors with FleetPulseCheck out this interactive sensor graphic to learn how FleetPulse data can create value for your fleet.  


Want more in-depth info about telematics data? Watch this Great Dane webinar, Deciphering the Data: Insights for the Road Ahead.

Looking for more articles? Unlock the full suite of online ETT magazines for a deeper dive into related topics.