How to Complete a Truck Driver Log BookDespite the new legislation mandating electronic logging devices ELDs that will apply to almost all commercial vehicle operators in the United States, there are still many circumstances which make it important to know how to fill out paper logs. Under the new mandate, drivers will be required to keep paper logs in their trucks to use if their ELD malfunctions and cannot be repaired until the driver returns to a service location. While truck drivers beginning their careers after may never fill out a paper log, this skill is essential for understanding what functions the ELD is handling and how to perform those operations manually. Completing your logbook correctly should be the first thing on your mind when your shift starts, since FMCSA regulations require that logbooks are kept current up to the last duty status change. This means that, each time you go from off-duty to on-duty, your log must be updated. Start each shift by recording the following information in your logbook:. If the driver was not required to keep paper logs prior to the current day because an HOS exemption was applied, the driver should use the remarks section to record on-duty and off-duty time for each day in the previous 14 days.
How to Fill Out a Log Book
Truck driving can prove rewarding for those who can handle long periods away from home. On top of working extraneous hours, truckers have to meet tight deadlines exasperated with pressure by their superiors. A DOT log book contains records jotted down by truckers who detail their activities over the course of 24 hours. According to the log book rules, truckers must keep track of their location and time spent on and off duty. Each trucker must fill out these forms thoroughly and accurately or else they face harsh consequences. Falsifying any information in the DOT log book can make the driver liable of prosecution. The federal regulations required in the Hours of Service HOS forms guarantee that drivers will acquire the rest they need before hitting the road again.
Our Rules of the Road articles will cover areas of the regulations that are frequently violated and offer advice about keeping in compliance. It is imperative that you fill out your log books regularly and correctly. Your log book is one of the first things a police officer will ask to see if you are pulled over. Remember, the time to fill out your log book is not when the officer is walking towards your truck. Instead, you should fill out your book as you complete each task that needs to be entered. For example, after you take a break, complete the notation for that break before you start working. Similarly, fill out your log book after you have been performing non-driving duties but before you get back on the road.
An example of a truck driver log book in the United States. File:Truck driver log book blank. This file contains additional information such as Exif metadata which may have been added by the digital camera, scanner, or software program used to create or digitize it. If the file has been modified from its original state, some details such as the timestamp may not fully reflect those of the original file. The timestamp is only as accurate as the clock in the camera, and it may be completely wrong. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository.
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Properly filling out an hours of service log is a matter of federal law for truck drivers, as well as company policy. If you're not already, you should be in the habit of filling out your logs daily. It is easy to become complacent or forgetful when filling out these logs. They are not inspected daily by the Department of Transportation DOT , so it can become a task that is continually pushed to the wayside or the bottom of your list of priorities. That can come back to haunt you later on, though. A DOT officer may cut you a bit of slack if your paper log is not updated to the minute, but then again, he may not. Paper logs will be obsolete by Dec.
A logbook is a written account of the hours you work while driving a truck, bus, or ferry. In general, each logbook is set up with the same basic information, and they provide a record of your work activity. Include details such as your name, date, company address, hours on duty, hours sleeping, and hours driving. Once you know the basics, completing a log book is a snap, whether using a paper book or an electronic version. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.