A truck driver must keep an up-to-date daily driver's log for the company he drives for or as an independent owner. Failure to be able to present an hourly accounting of your hours of driving, off-duty, on-duty non-driving and sleeping berth time to a law officer or company owner can cost you. A log book that is not up-to-date or has false information can result in a hefty fine and even loss of your driver's license. Keep your paper or electronic log book within easy reach and update it regularly to accurately log your hours of service and down time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Log book
- Log book case (optional)
- Watch or clock
Fill in the top of the driver's daily log sheet. Enter the date, carrier name, address and vehicle number. If you are using an electronic log book on your laptop follow the software directions to enter the daily information.
Start recording your time at midnight. Draw a straight line across the hours detailing what you were doing. For example, if you were off duty from midnight to 6:30 a.m. draw a line from the box next to the words "Off Duty" to the line that depicts the 6:30 time increment on the sheet.
Draw a line straight down from the time when you change to a new activity. For example, if you are on duty at the company or garage where the truck is located, draw a line down from the 6:30 a.m. mark to the 6:30 a.m. mark at the "On Duty" line. If you are a co-driver for a long-haul trip, you will record "On Duty" when you are riding in the vehicle and not sleeping in the berth. Software will accommodate more than one driver on your laptop.
Mark the quarter, half or hour when you begin to drive for the day. If you are starting at 6:45 a.m., mark the time by drawing a line straight to that mark on the driving line. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, you are driving when you are at the controls of a commercial motor vehicle in operation. An electronic log keeps track of the hours you have left to drive for a 24-hour period.
Fill in the time that you leave the driver's seat and enter the sleeper berth. Record the time that you are resting or sleeping in the sleeper berth by drawing a straight line from the starting hour to the time when you leave the berth.
Finish the daily log at the end of the day by tallying the hours in each section starting with the off-duty portion of the day. The section totals at the right side of the log sheet should add up to 24 hours. Enter the total number of miles that you drove at the top of the log sheet. Sign your name on the right side of the sheet attesting to the fact that the record you have completed for the day is accurate and true. If you have a co-driver have her sign the second line on the daily log. The electronic daily log can be faxed to your carrier or paper copies made from a printer. A paper log book has multiple copies. Turn the company copy in to the appropriate supervisor or accountant as instructed by your employer.
Tips and warnings
- See the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours of service link resource at the bottom of this article.
- Fines will be levied if your log book is not up to date and accurate. You could be jeopardising your license and your job if the daily log book is not accurate and complete.
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