Rules of the Road: How to Fill out a Log Book | FoleyOur 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.
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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.
Despite 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.
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.
An example of a truck driver log book in the United States. File:Truck driver log book blank.
You applied for a truck driving job and were offered the position as an over-the-road driver. You learned during the interview and hiring process that filling out a Department of Transportation DOT log book is part of the job. Not once during your working career have you filled out a log book and you are not at all familiar with the process. With practice, and training from your new employer, filling out a log book will become easier each time you do it, keeping you in compliance with state and federal laws. Begin filling your log book at the top of the page by including the month, date and year of your trip. Fill in the name and address of the terminal you work out of in the area where it says "home terminal address.
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.