What you need to record in your truck driver log
Keeping accurate and up-to-date records is essential for truck drivers to ensure compliance with regulations and maintain a smooth operation. A truck driver log, also known as a logbook, is a crucial tool that helps drivers track their hours of service and ensure they’re following regulations.
What is a driver log?
A driver log is a record of a truck driver's activities, including driving time, breaks, rest periods, and off-duty hours. It serves as a vital document to track compliance with hours of service regulations, ensuring the driver's safety and the safety of other road users. Truck driver logbooks can be in physical or electronic form, depending on which is preferred by the regulating authorities.
Rules to follow with your log
To maintain compliance with regulations and ensure accurate record-keeping, truck drivers must adhere to specific rules when filling out their logbooks. Here are some important rules to keep in mind:
1. Truck driver log requirements
- Include the date, starting time, and location of each change in duty status
- Record the total number of miles driven for each jurisdiction
- Indicate the truck or vehicle number
- Provide the driver's signature and certification of accuracy for the log entries.
2. Truck driver logbook entries
- Document all driving time, including the start and end time, and breaks taken
- Record all on-duty, non-driving time, such as loading/unloading, fuelling, and vehicle inspections
- Include off-duty periods and rest breaks
- Note any change of duty status or shift changes
3. Compliance with truck driver log:
- Ensure that the log accurately reflects the hours of service regulations for the jurisdiction(s) in which you operate
- Regularly review and update your logbook to maintain accurate records
- Be aware of any exemptions or special circumstances that may apply to your specific situation
Regulations around driver logs
Driver log regulations are put in place to promote safety on the roads and prevent accidents related to fatigue and tiredness. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has specific regulations that govern truck driver logs. These include:
a) Electronic logging devices for truck drivers:
- The DOT mandates the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for most commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to record hours of service
- ELDs automatically track driving time, engine hours, vehicle movement, and location
- ELDs provide more accurate and streamlined record-keeping, reducing the potential for errors
b) Penalties for incorrect truck driver log:
- Non-compliance with hours of service regulations or falsifying of logbook entries can result in significant penalties, including fines, out-of-service orders, and even license suspension
- It’s crucial to maintain accurate and honest records to avoid legal and safety repercussions
Benefits of accurate truck driver log
Maintaining an accurate truck driver log offers numerous benefits to both drivers and carriers. Here are a few advantages:
Improved safety: Accurate logbooks help prevent driver fatigue, reducing the risk of accidents caused by drowsy driving.
Enhanced compliance: Following the regulations ensures compliance with hours of service requirements, reducing the risk of violations and penalties.
Efficient operations: Accurate records enable carriers to plan routes, schedules, and driver assignments effectively, leading to improved operational efficiency.
Better decision-making: Detailed logs provide valuable data for analyzing driver performance, identifying areas for improvement, and optimizing operations.
A well-maintained truck driver log is essential for compliance with regulations, promoting safety, and streamlining operations in the trucking industry. By following the rules and regulations surrounding logbooks, and leveraging electronic logging devices where required, drivers and carriers can ensure accurate record-keeping, improve safety, and maintain a successful trucking business.
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