Vehicle Maintenance File Part 2

Let’s just start with the crazy fact that there are tons of regulations for companies that operate a commercial vehicle in this country!

The great thing is that the whole team at Eclipse DOT is here to simplify regulations and make them easy to understand, and even easier to follow

In the first week, we covered everything that needs to be in a vehicle maintenance file.

Then last week we dove deeper into the first parts and really talked about KISS Keep It Stupid simple!!

We gave you some amazing insight and ideas to make being in compliance super Stupid Simple. 

So, let’s stop beating around the bush and jump right back into the meat of today’s topic. 

We are going to start with:

  • Maintenance receipts
  • Keep all receipts for a minimum of one year for every truck
  • If you have the vehicle repaired at a shop all you need is the receipt from them
  • If you repair the vehicle yourself then you will need receipts from every part you purchase
  • if the parts come from a “donor” vehicle that you have then you need to document where the parts came from

Now to KISS this process!

When you buy a part for a truck, make a copy of the receipt and put it directly into the truck folder.

If you get the truck repaired at a shop. Take that work order and put in the truck folder. 

We go 2 steps further in this process to make it even simpler.

First, in each truck folder, we make separate folders

Maintenance Receipts, just like the picture!


We don’t stop there, inside the maintenance receipts folder we create folders for each quarter. Just like the picture.   

Then we save the files in those folders.

The reason for separating it like this is so that it is Stupid Simple when you need to access a certain part of a vehicle’s records to locate that record.

We have helped companies who put all of their receipts into eh the same folder.

While that meets the guidelines for FMCSA, what do you think happened when they plop that HUGE folder down on the table for the officer and tell them, “Here it is, you can find what you need!”

A few things happen.

First, the officer knows that you store what you need, but it gives them the impression that you don’t really care about the organization. 

Second, it might upset them, because they have to find what they are looking for.

Third, you just handed them all the ammunition they need to nail you to the wall!


My theory on both audits and litigation is that when they come in, they have the “right” to make you give them your gun.  Don’t be a fool and give it to them fully loaded!

Make them hunt for the bullets!!!

That takes us straight into DVIRs. Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports

  • Daily vehicle inspection reports
  • Only required to keep inspection reports for the past 90 days
  • Only need DVIRs (Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports) that show an issue.
  • If the DVIR shows any issues, then it requires 3 signatures
  • The driver that discovered the issue
  • The safety person/leader who acknowledge the issue was found and corrected
  • If it is not a safety-sensitive issue then there is a box you mark stating that it is not a safety concern
  • An example would be the radio is broken
  • A driver who signs off saying that the issue was corrected
  • Because of the paper-reduction act, there is no need to keep DVIRs without issues found.

It used to be that you had to have ALL DVIRs for the past 90 days.  Then because of the paper-reduction act back in the mid-2000’s, it changed to where you only need to have a DVIR if there is an issue found on the pre-post trip inspection.

If you decide to keep all of your inspections, that’s not an issue at all.  You just don’t HAVE to keep your inspections. 

One thing to note on DVIRs.

If your driver gets pulled into a roadside inspection and the officer finds violations. The driver should complete a DVIR with those violations listed on his DVIR.

Even if they are already completed a DVIR, they should do another one listing those violations. 

Then the driver signs it.

Then the safety/mechanic/leader of the company needs to sign it. stating that the repairs have been made.

Then a driver needs to sign off that the unit is free of defects.

What a pain in the butt!!!!!

Now If you like me and you love organization and systems that work better for you instead of having a system that you work for. You’ll want to check out DOT Docs.

The Eclipse DOT team has been hard at work creating an all-inclusive platform that covers all of your DOT needs. From start to finish. 

As I’m writing this we are building the Vehicle maintenance section of our platform!

And let me tell you that this tool is going to KISS the heck out of vehicle maintenance files!

Top learn more about DOT Docs. Reach out to our team at 


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