Understanding a driving logbook is one of the key skills of a successful trucker.  In this article we’ll look at the various log-keeping duties that you will be responsible for.

The Basics

The basic contents of a logbook include the following:

  1. The carrier’s name
  2. The date
  3. The truck’s ID number
  4. The total number of miles driven within the past 24 hours
  5. Number of trucks driven in the past day (if more than one)
  6. The starting time of the last 24 hours of work/rest
  7. The names of any co-drivers
  8. The type of shipping document that verifies the carrier and type of load

The Graph Grid

This contains a box representing each hour of the day, broken down into 15-minute sections.  The grid also includes blocks of four lines each, in which the trucker records his or her activities during each period of time, including: off-duty, driving, sleeping, or on-duty but not driving.

End of Duty Remarks

At the end of each period of duty, drivers should enter their time, date, and current location, including city, state, milepost, and highway.  All entries should be made legibly, and total hours must equal 24.

Honesty is the Best Policy

Drivers can face severe penalties for recording false information in their logbook.  Before you sign yours, be absolutely certain that it’s entirely accurate.  Once you sign it, you—not the carrier or any other party—are legally liable for its contents.

It’s particularly important to obey the hours of service (HOS) regulations set by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA).  Trying to “doctor” your logbook so you can drive more miles than legally allowed is playing games with your life and those of others.  A tired driver is unable to respond quickly in emergency situations.  A sleeping driver is behind the wheel of a deadly weapon that can kill dozens of people if it wrecks.

Be responsible, be safe, and be law-abiding in every aspect of log-keeping.  For the best transportation management software anywhere, be sure to give TruckingOffice a free 30-day test drive.