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The Driver's Daily Log Book is thirty-one duplicate or triplicate sets of bound log sheets with a soft cardboard cover. Each sheet set represents one twenty-four hour period beginning at midnight and ending at 23:59 with a duplicate for turn-in to the company. Carbon and carbonless versions are available. Each page-set must be filled in by the driver accurately representing their actions on the day listed. The most widely used version of this book measures 5 1/2" x 9" and contains a Daily Inspection form on the back side of the log sheet. There is an alternative loose leaf version but it's usage raises speculation by the oversight authorities.
The function of The Driver's Daily Log Book is to provide a record of service. This cumulative collection of pages is designed to allow a commercial driver to list his activities according to their work status. Only four statuses may be used. They are: Driving (physical operation of vehicle or occupying the driver's seat), On Duty not driving (engaging in a compensated action other than driving including a 2nd job), Sleeper Berth (physically in the sleeper berth area of the tractor) and Off Duty (not providing any action for compensation and being physically away from the vehicle). Each time a Technical Description Andrea Sitler WRTG 393
driver changes his status, a record of that change must be notated in the log book. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA ) has issued a set of rules controlling the number of hours a driver may drive in various situations. The Department of Transportation (DOT) enforces these rules along with the assistance of specially trained State Police Officers. The FMCSA's "Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations (49 CFR Part 395) put limits in place for when and how long commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers may drive. These regulations are based on an exhaustive scientific review and are designed to ensure truck drivers get the necessary rest to perform safe operations. FMCSA also reviewed existing fatigue research and worked with organizations like the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies and the National Institute for Occupational Safety in setting these HOS rules." (US Department of Transportation, 2008) A commercial driver is defined by the FMCSA as one who holds a CDL (commercial driver's license) and operations a CMV (commercial motor vehicle) under one or more of the following classifications. • • • • • Weighs 10,001 pounds or more Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more Is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) not for compensation Is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers (including the driver) for compensation A vehicle that is involved in Interstate or intrastate commerce and is transporting hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placards is also considered a CMV. (US Department of Transportation, 2008)
The HOS regulations vary slightly based on type of vehicle operated, area run, product type hauled, weather and other factors. The basic rule states that no driver may operation a commercial vehicle for more than 11 hours without 10 consecutive hours of off duty and/or sleeper Berth time. These 11 hours also must be completed within 14 hours from time of start. There is a time cap for each rolling 7 or 8 day period based on your company. A driver many not drive after accumulating 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days until they have had enough time off to compensate. This is generally Technical Description Andrea Sitler WRTG 393
achieved though a 34 hour consecutive break (off duty time). After 34 consecutive hours off duty; the driver's "DOT Time clock" re-sets giving him a "fresh start". The Driver's Daily Log Book contains a monthly recap sheet on the inside of the front cover. This provides for a quick reference guide that is used during a DOT inspection. The back cover includes a brief set of instructions and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR) highlights for easy reference by the driver. All entries in this journal must be accurate and current. The driver signs the log upon completion of each day to certify its accuracy. Fines are high for drivers caught at "false logging". Log falsification is a crime. It now comes with the possibility of jail time. Drivers who falsify their logs and are involved in an accident which includes a fatality are now being charged with manslaughter or similar crimes. (The DOT Doctor, 2008) Drivers found to be operating their vehicle after the allowed hours of service are shut down by the DOT. The driver may have to sit at a truck stop or a roadside weigh station until they have enough hours to legally drive their vehicle once again. The time the vehicle is parked at these locations and deemed "out of service" is monitored by the DOT. Fines may also be applied. A driver fills out this log sheet as his work day progresses. When his tour of duty is complete for that 24 hour period, the recap is filled out and the hours submitted to his dispatcher or safety manager. Submittal of hours may be accomplished through an electronic measure such as a QUALCOMM unit, verbally via the telephone or in person at the end of his shift if he is a local driver. The original top page of the duplicate set of log sheets for that day must be submitted to the company under whose authority the load was hauled within thirteen days of completion of the log sheet. A driver must maintain a minimum of eight days worth of log sheets in their possession. It is recommended that the driver maintain the current log book plus last month's log book for inspection purposes. The company must maintain their drivers logs for six months due to the possibility of DOT inspections of their facility. Logs are an excellent reference for tax purposes and should be maintained for seven to ten years when used for this purpose. The Driver's Daily Log Book is a legal document. Its contents should be treated as such. This document can provide support both for and against a driver in a court of law, an IRS audit and other similar issues. Driver entries are audited by the company or an outside agency to verify the entries. Delivery receipts, fuel receipts, toll receipts, road side inspections, tickets and other verification methods are compared against the entries made in the log book by the driver. When an error is found, the driver is Technical Description Andrea Sitler WRTG 393
questioned and may receive a write up or other penalty including termination of employment if the incident was severe. Upholding DOT regulations has become a serious matter. Companies and their executives risk loss of DOT authority, high fines and jail time. Without DOT authority, a trucking company is not allowed to haul freight. It is important to protect your authority through log book audits, compliance with the FMSCR and by upholding state and federal regulations. Companies must hold themselves as well as their drivers and related employees (dispatchers, mechanics, safety personnel) accountable for their actions. Company penalties are generally higher than driver penalties and can begin at $10,000. The main method for finding a company at fault begins with the Driver's Daily Hours of Service as recorded in The Driver's Daily Log Book.
The DOT Doctor. (2008). Auditing - Logbooks. Retrieved April 21, 2009, from http://thedotdoctor.com/auditing___logbooks U.S. Department of Transportation. (2008). Hours of Service Regulations. Retrieved April 21, 2009 from http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregulations/topics/hos/index.htm
Andrea Sitler WRTG 393
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