Several Questions Pertaining to Logging
Time in Your Logbook Answered by Law
Enforcement Officials (as of January 2011)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on December 14, 2010
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EXTRA INFORMATION IN LOGBOOK
Q: Is it required by the DOT that a note be put on what the driver is doing while on-duty not driving, like fueling, a pre-trip or loading, as examples? Thank you – Nancy in Illinois
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant with Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Div, Lincoln, NB: The only information you must include in the remarks is the name of the city, town or village (with state abbreviation) where each change of duty status occurs. As far as additional information, the FMCSA has an answer for you in one of their interpretation questions for 49 CFR 395.8 which says: “Question 23: When the driver’s duty status changes, do 395.8(c) or 395.8(h)(5) require a description of on-duty not driving activities (like fueling, pre-trip, loading, unloading, etc.) in the remarks section in addition to the name of the nearest city, town or village, followed by the State abbreviation? Guidance: No. Many motor carriers require drivers to identify work performed during a change of duty status. Part 395 neither requires nor prohibits this practice.”
LOGGING OFF-DUTY TIME
Q: My Company requires me to do a logbook even though we are under the 100-mile radius deal. Do I need to log all of my off-duty time? I work 5 days in a week and wanted to know if I should make logs for the two days I have off, too. Thank you – Matt in Massachusetts
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: Under 49 CFR, Part 395, the basic rule is every specified driver is required to complete records of duty status (RODS). 385.1(e) allows motor carriers (MC) to use time records, in lieu of RODS, under the 100 air-mile exemption. Regulations only require a driver’s start and end times and total on-duty hours recorded in a logbook. There are no requirements for recording off-duty time. Of course, if your MC wants you to document off-duty time, then you must do so. Using the RODS to comply with 395.1(e)(5) is not prohibited as long as the RODS contain driver identification, the date, the time the driver began work, the time the driver ended work, and the total hours on duty.
LOADING & UNLOADING TIME
Q: When you are getting loaded or unloaded and you are not doing any work that pertains to the load, should that time be logged on line 1 or 2? For example, they are taking a long time to load or unload you and you need to use the restroom, or they will not allow you to stay in your truck (you have to wait in the lounge or waiting room). Thanks – Jon in Texas
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, Texas: If you are detained at a shipper/receiver and you log your time on line 2 (sleeper berth) and you get out to go use the restroom, you must change your logbook from line 2 to line 1 (off duty) and then back to line 2 when you get back in the sleeper berth, as required by Part 395.8(f)(1). If the shipper/receiver asks you to wait in the lounge while being loaded/unloaded, you must log line 4 (on duty not driving) until they come and get you, per definition of on-duty not driving found in Part 390.5. The only way you can log off-duty while waiting at the shipper/receiver is if they give you a specific time to report back to your truck and you are free to come and go as you please, even if you decide to wait in the lounge or in your truck. See the four points issued in the interpretation found in Part 395.3, Question #9. Any time less than 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth or anything less than 10 consecutive hours off-duty will count against your 14 total duty hours.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. Founded in 1986, Ol’ Blue, USA is a non-profit organization dedicated to highway safety education and to improving relations between the motoring public, law enforcement and commercial drivers. “Ask The Law” is a registered trademark of Ol’ Blue, USA. This column is copyrighted by Ol’ Blue, USA. Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice. These interpretations were made on 12/14/10 .