Questions about Logbooks, Tie Down Rules,
Drug Testing Records & More
Answered by Law Enforcement Officials (as of January 2013)
Warning: Laws are subject to change without notice.
These interpretations were made on December 12, 2012.
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CROSSING STATE LINES
Q: One of our drivers got cited for not indicating in his logbook when he crossed a state line. Is there such a rule and where can I find the regulation? Thanks – Leo in Nevada
A: Provided by Jim Brokaw, formerly a Staff Sergeant, Nebraska State Patrol, Carrier Enforcement Division, Lincoln, NE: Like you, I’m not familiar with any requirement under the FMCSRs that requires a driver to log the time he crosses a state line. The 11 required entries in a log are found in 49 CFR 395.8 – Driver’s Record of Duty Status, which also includes an example of a completed record of duty status, and indicating when a state line is crossed isn’t on this list of required entries. The only reference I was able to find is in 49 CFR 395.15 (i) and it concerns the performance of automatic on-board recording devices which states: “The automatic on-board recording device permits duty status to be updated only when the commercial motor vehicle is at rest, except when registering the time a commercial motor vehicle crosses a state boundary.” The rule doesn’t say you have to register the time a state boundary is crossed, just that the EOBR may permit the update be made while the CMV is in motion. I’m curious where the officer found the requirement. Not knowing which state your driver was in at the time, it could very well be a requirement under a state regulation instead of the federal rules.
TIE DOWN REQUIREMENTS
Q: My question is about the proper way to secure a small bobcat skid loader on a trailer while transporting on the highway. As a landscape contractor, I pull a flatbed equipment trailer with a 1-ton pickup truck. If I use a proper grade chain and binder and secure all four corners of the loader, do I need to use four mechanical binders? Thanks – Martin in California
A: Provided by Officer Jaime Nunez, California Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Section, Sacramento, CA: In California, Section 29004(a)(3) of the California Vehicle Code requires a vehicle being transported on a conventional trailer to be secured by four independent tie downs. Additionally, each tie down must be capable of adjustment to ensure proper securement during transport. The working load limit of the securement method must be equal to at least half the weight of the load being transported. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration produces a handbook which describes, in further detail, proper load securement methods. This handbook is available online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.
DRUG TESTING RECORDS
Q: If I have a random or pre-employment drug test that is negative, can I get rid of all the documents regarding it after 1 year? Also, how long do I need to keep a driver’s file after that driver leaves our
employment? Thank you – Rick in Illinois
A: Provided by Sgt. Pete Camm (Ret.), California Highway Patrol, Sacramento, CA: Title 49 CFR 382.401 (Retention of Records), subparagraph (b)(3) relates negative drug and alcohol test results of less than .02 BAC must be retained for one year. After that time, the record can be purged or maintained, as designated by company policy. In accordance with 49 CFR 391.51(c), Driver Records (a.k.a. DQ files) must be retained for three (3) years after a driver leaves your employment.
OVERWEIGHT CMV DRIVERS
Q: I have been hearing for some time now about a new law that will disqualify drivers if they are overweight or their body mass index is not within a certain range. If this is true, can you shed some light on it for me? Thanks – Dean in North Dakota
A: Provided by Senior Trooper Monty Dial (Ret.), Texas Highway Patrol, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Garland, TX: This is now a hotly-contested topic. There are currently no DOT regulations that state if a driver is overweight or they have a BMI (body mass index) of X, then that driver is required to go through extra testing prior to being given their DOT Medical Certificate. FMCSA is currently going through studies and discussions prior to issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will set the standards for this extra testing. Until this occurs, it is left up to the person doing your DOT medical exam to determine if you being overweight or having a certain BMI will require you to have extra testing.
~ 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 December 12, 2012.