Questions about Logbook Entries, California Bridge Law & More
Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of July 2012)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on June 14, 2012.
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WE HOPE TO SEE YOU IN DALLAS
Please join our Ol’ Blue, USA “Safety Center”® at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX on August 23, 24 & 25. We are pleased to announce that Lt. Monty Kea and his team from the Texas Highway Patrol will be joining us in Dallas again this year. Visit our website at www.safetytour.org for more details.
SAVING HOURS WHILE BEING LOADED
Q: My Company pushes the issue of showing off-duty while at the docks when being loaded or unloaded so we can save as many hours as possible toward our 70-hour/8 day limit. Is this the correct way to do it? Thanks – Daniel in Illinois
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: Your company is correct. While you are parked at the dock, if you are not required to be present while being loaded or unloaded, then you can show either off-duty or sleeper berth time. The time recorded will count against your 14-hour clock but not your 70 hours in 8 days limit. So, if you are trying to save as many hours (towards your 70 hours) as possible, this is one way you can do it.
TEAM DRIVER IN SLEEPER BERTH
Q: I have two questions: 1) even when they are married, as my wife and I are, do teams need bunk beds in order to log sleeper birth time at the same time; and 2) when being DOT inspected, must I provide my wife’s information, even when she is on her 10 off in the bunk? Thank you in advance – Patrick in Texas
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: In regards to your first question, federal regulations contained in 49 CFR 393.76 (Sleeper Berths) do not require more than one (1) bed in any sleeper berth. The regulations only require that you have some adequate bed clothing and blankets, and specify the thickness for different types of mattresses, including regulations for liquid-filled beds (like a water bed). In regards to your second question, a definition of “co-driver” doesn’t exist in either 390 or 395 of 49 CFR. A person who is behind the wheel, in the jump seat, or in the sleeper berth is a “driver” if that person “operates any commercial motor vehicle” (390.5). If the name of your wife is legibly entered into your logbook, as required in 395.8(d)(9), an inspector shouldn’t have to ask for her information. Nothing prohibits an inspector from waking a co-driver, but inspectors shouldn’t needlessly interrupt a person’s required rest period, especially if the “driver” can provide the needed information.
CA BRIDGE LAW WITH 48’ TRAILER
Q: What is the bridge law in California with a 48’ trailer? I was told it is 40’ king pin to rear axle (KPRA) if you are off the interstate. How long can my combination be with a 48’ trailer? Thanks – Ron in Arizona
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 35400(a) limits vehicle combinations to 65 feet in length. However, Section 35401.5(a) CVC provides an exception to the 65-foot length limit. The exception allows unlimited combination length when traveling on the National System of Interstate and Defense Highways (NSIDH). Most interstate highways are part of the NSIDH. Additionally, the exception extends to local roads identified by local jurisdictions as truck routes. In order for a driver to use this exception, the trailer must not be longer than 48 feet. If the trailer measures over 48 feet, but not more than 53 feet, the KPRA setting must not exceed 40 feet. There is no limit on the KPRA setting for semi trailers up to 48 feet in a combination over 65 feet. The KPRA distance is determined by measuring from the king pin to the center of the trailer’s rear axle. It is important to know ahead of time the local truck routes when making deliveries at locations off an interstate highway. Maps of California truck routes are available at www.dot.ca.gov. This website also contains links to some selected California cities and their truck routes.
~ The Ask The Law™ programs are an ongoing educational effort between Ol’ Blue, USA™ and commercial law enforcement agencies. 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 June 14, 2012.