This will be a tell all to expose the current "tricks" many drivers use to make more money on the road and "appear" to be legal. If I miss any feel free to chime in!
1.Pattern Logging; A driver will adjust his driving time (especially if he has been delayed due to weather, congestion, accidents, road construction, detours, etc) by dividing his total miles driven into an average speed based upon the legal speed limits he traveled through. This may save him several hours over the course of a week.
2.Shaving miles; Many drivers understand that based upon routing programs such as Rand McNally and Pc Miler they will drive 5 to 10% more miles than they are paid for. To alleviate the burden of showing all driving time for unpaid miles a driver will drop his mileage recorded on his log in conjunction with the above trick and show fewer miles driven as well as less time. Again saving time for the later part of the week and staying as far from the 70 hr/8 day rule as they can.
3. Dropping trips are common especially in areas of the country that have no tolls, or scale houses that are rarely open. For example; A driver works for a company that has preloaded trailers in Chicago Il and Indianapolis In. The driver begins his day in Chicago Il with a trailer loaded for Indianapolis In (About a 181 mile trip). The driver will run the load to Indianapolis In, drop the load, hook up to a trailer that is destined for the Chicago Il area and return to Chicago. The driver will never show the miles for the trip down to Indianapolis nor the miles back up to Chicago. Instead he will show he was off duty or in the sleeper berth for the 6 to 7 hours it took him to make the round trip.
4.Using Multiple logbooks; For drivers working for large companies with several terminals. Drivers have used 2 and sometimes more logbooks to runn over the hos. To keep the books straight he will make a notation on the cover showing which terminal that book represents. For Example; A driver picks up a preloaded trailer from Carlisle Pa going to St Louis Mo (A 781 mile trip) living in Pennsylvania with a terminal in Carlisle Pa would show his original logbook as beginning in Carlisle Pa while his 2nd book he would show starting his trip in Columbus Oh. The trip would be too long to legally run straight under the current hos rules from Carlisle Pa but would be legal if the load began in Columbus Ohio. The driver would use his first logbook to show his transit from Carlisle Pa to Columbus Ohio. Once he arrived in Columbus Ohio he would then begin his 2nd logbook showing he had a fresh 11 hours to drive. Juggling these 2 logbooks could enable a driver to drive cross country in 3 days and "appear" legal to any dot paperwork check.
5. Since loose leaf logbooks have become more and more popular the juggling of 2 or more log books is really no longer necessary. When a driver arrives at a certain location he could "re-write" his trip, streamlining it to a more direct route, ommitting stop offs along the way and compressing his transit times. Buy destroying the original log he would then have nothing to dispute his account of things. These strategies work as long as the drivers manifests or bills are nor timed or dated and ideally the load was a repower meaning someone else signed for it in the first place.
6. For drivers that work for companies not allowing the use of loose leaf logbooks the driver would remove the page he was currently working on, open the staples on the back of the book, remove the back cover, and replace the missing page (or pages) with fresh sheets from a clean logbook that had the staples removed thus providing 31 replacement sheets if needed.
7. A simpler form of this is to simply discard the current log book and begin a new logbook showing 7 consecutive days off duty thus satisfying dot's requirement of having the past 7 days on the truck. The driver has a fresh logbook with a fresh 70 hours available.
8. Ghost drivers. For long haul trips a driver would create a fictitious driver, list him as a co-driver and then rework a fresh logbook dividing the miles between his book and the ghost. This takes good notes and a savvy driver to pull off. Drivers that stop along their route will note the time and odometer reading in a notebook so they can rework the details later.
9. Many drivers have opted out of driving for companies due to the extra scrutiny from safety departments, and gps tracking through computers such as Qualcomm. Instead they get into a lease purchase or flat out get there own truck and become an o/o. These guys will only lease on with companies that do not have computer tracking and then will burn up the highway to make as much money as possible.
10. Drivers will roll the dice and not keep their logbook current counting on not being inspected. In the event they do get inspected they will claim they lost their logbook or left it at the last truckstop. The fines for not having a logbook are much less than showing a logbook in violation.
This is why many safety groups are demanding black boxes on trucks and a revision of HOS.
Now is a list of the possible ramifications of using the previously cited tricks or strategies;
1.You get away with it and become complacent.
2.You receive a log violation from your safety department and possibly a loss of bonus.
3.You get pulled over for a minor traffic violation and the officer discovers you are in violation and places you out of service for 10 hours with a hefty ticket.
4. You become involved in an accident through no fault of your own other than the fact "YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE BEEN THERE." Now you may lose your job, in addition to the serious fines and tickets, possibly be sued by the victims, and possibly lose your freedom through being locked up.
So drivers beware. These companies out here love hard runners and will turn a blind eye at the HOS rules and your logs so long as they are making money off of your hard work. Mess up and the company reps will deny any and all knowledge of your behavior effectively throwing you to the wolves to fend for yourself.
Truckers come from all walks of life and despite the stereotype of being uneducated hicks are in facr vary intelligent and creative especially when it comes to making money.
I beleive having a discussion about these "tricks" may help others to realize
Exposing log book tricks
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the only thing i can see you forgot right off hand is toll roads. vehicles with prepass going thru tolls get a time stamp on them. that can be used by DOT to match up against your log book. if they don't match up then you will be busted for lying on your logs. companies get around this by not using prepass and paying cash instead.
A much simplier method. Get up, log the start of your day. Complete the day and logs when stopped. ONLY draw a line when you need to.
Pattern logging? Gets you tickets.
Shorting miles. Gets you tickets. Some DOT use PCMiler when checking your log books and milage.
Dropping trips...No can do, every trip is sent to QC with load numbers.
etc etc etc
So long as there are no needed events to log, and you run loose leaf, you can tighten the log up at the end of the day if needed.
Things that make you loose money due to the 10/14 break requirements.
I'm on my 10 hour break...running 100% legal. I am parked 5 miles from the customer, my FIRM appointment is exactly 30 minutes AFTER I complete my 10. In my 6th hour, someone backs into the side of my cab.
We have to call police, file a report....and I have to take 10 MORE hours now, because I am required by law, to log the event as on duty not driving.
Now I will be late.
Now I have to contact my company, to get another driver to take the load in.
Now I will be offered squat for a load when my break is over.
I am NOT the welfare office !! I will never BE on welfare unless they blackbox my truck. At which time I will quit driving one. Because $6.00 an hour is not a living, it is surviving.
I did not mention the myriad of ways a driver can get caught.
Everything from toll receipts not matching, pre-pass records that do not jive, ez pass records and pike pass records, fuel receipts (although they do not list a time on the receipt your company knows exactly when the fuel was purchased based upon the company fuel card), and John q Public calling into your company complaining about your driving. Seems like everyone has got a cell phone now a days and many of the trucks have the companies phone number on the back. Of course with the internet so accessible a companies phone number can be looked up with a couple of identifiers such as the company name and which state the truck was registered in.
As for pattern logging I forgot to mention some newbies will try this and divide each days running by say 61 mph. They do not take the time to realize they will encounter different weather, terrain, traffic patterns, scales etc, which will alter that "average" each day.
I'm not a truck driver yet, but I don't understand why the interstate limits for how long you can drive are so low anyway. California's intrastate hours seem much more reasonable with 12 hours driving and 8 hours off. I doubt a lot of the truckers out there would be resorting to breaking the law if the law were reasonable.
Edit: Oh, and what are you talking about. Truckers are intelligent? Right.
You should run legal at all times and I know I stress that and I am sorry but I just care and he made some very good points above. I don't want to teach the wrong way but he did and also let you know what could happen if you do the above things. In my opinion when you run illegal you are taking just as much chances of getting busted as a drug dealer or robbing a bank
Top to bottom in CA = 14 hrs with your speed limits.
With our speed limits....10 hours and out of your fun state.
I do know however DOT overules all the state laws, so be carefull in what the "state" allows.
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