How to Fill Out a Truck Driver 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. In addition, they must meet strict regulations outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), including the accurate recording of hours worked in a designated DOT log book. 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.

    How To Fill Out the Truck Drivers Log Book

    Truckers may find it fairly easy to fill a drivers log book once they know the basics. The contents of a truck driver log book include the date, name of carrier, truck number, and the total number of miles driven within a 24-hour period. If the driver used more than one vehicle, then it must also be reported in the trucking log book. After filing the basic contents of the drivers log book, truckers can move beyond the skeleton of the form. Drivers should report the starting time of the 24-hour period, the names of all co-drivers, and the shipping document that specifies the carrier and commodity being transported. State the point of origination in the “from” line. In addition, write the destination in the “to” line.

    During the drive, truckers must track their activities by inputting their progress on the graph grid. The graph grid contains a box for each hour of the day. It also has marked areas divided into fifteen minute intervals. The graph grid also provides four lines to help drivers indicate their activities. For instance, a driver may indicate that they are off-duty, sleeping, driving, or on duty and not driving. Truckers should record their duties using a straight line passing through the center of the activity line. It should start from the beginning time to the end of the duty being executed. The Hours of Service (HOS) log book rules vary according to the type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and objects or subjects being transported. For instance, drivers transporting property may drive a maximum of 11 hours after taking 10 consecutive hours off. Drivers who transport passengers may drive a maximum of 10 hours after taking 8 consecutive hours off.

    Drivers should draw a vertical line from the first mark of the previous duty to the next line. Continue to draw the horizontal line for the current duty until it becomes necessary to draw the next vertical line. Be sure to leave comments in the remarks section after completing each duty, especially the time, date, and location. Specify the city, town, village, and state. In fact, record the nearest milepost and highway for pinpoint accuracy. All drivers should fill out their truck driver log book in this fashion. Count the number of hours and re-check to see if it equals 24. Correct all mathematical and grammatical errors to make it as accurate as possible. Be sure to write legibly when recording information in a trucking log book.

    Take the Log Book Rules and Regulations Seriously

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces their rules and regulations. Drivers should record their activities in their truckers log book to avoid penalties. Under section 395.8, drivers must preserve a record of their activities in their trucking log book. Drivers who make false reports may face liable prosecution for their actions. A signature confirmation certifies the accurate reporting of activities, making the driver responsible for updating their status as it happens. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will not hold carriers responsible if the driver decides to sign the trucking log book, even if they were “forced” to do so.

    Many Hate and Love the Log Book Rules and Regulations

    Drivers tend to crack jokes about keeping accurate records in their truckers log book. Many feel that they can handle the road without having silly rules and regulations interfering with their progress. In fact, many feel pressured into arriving early enough to make more money. Others want to avoid getting docked for arriving late. Contrary to popular opinion, the truckers log book protects the driver against runners fatigue. Studies suggest that drivers become less alert to crisis situations when they exceed their driving limits. This may lead to dangers of falling asleep behind the wheel or reacting slowly when it matters the most.

    When the Pressure is On

    Drivers who feel pressured to break the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations to appease the shipping carrier should consider the priority at hand. Drivers sign their truckers log book, making them liable for breaking the rules. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) holds the signer responsible for the contents within the truck driver log book. This makes it imperative for the driver to speak up when a carrier demands that they meet their deadline in an unreasonable amount of time. Drivers who encounter carriers who hassle them to break their Hours of Service (HOS) should tell the carrier that they will not break the rules and regulations. Drivers who dissent against the demands of the shipping carrier fall under the protections of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA).

    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    marlon September 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    A good learning tool for new comers to use


    Sandra November 29, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Do you have an electronic log book to enter my driving.


    Mike August 6, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    There is an excellent logbook free for apple Iphones but you still have to print it out every day since you must have previous 8 days on paper. If you are home every night, this works great. Printing is done from your computer after syncing. If you are gone multiple days like me its not so helpful. I wish the feds would accept electronic logbooks that are not wired to the vehicle.


    Luna June 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    I need verification. On the from and to section at the bottom of grid, my home terminal is vaiden, pick up a load in kosciusko and go to birmingham and back to kosciusko and then back to home terminal. should it just read kosciusko to birmingham?


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