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7.9.21 Who needs to worry about Hours of Service?

In another blog we gave you the quick and easy bullet points of HOS.  

This is where we get to dive deeper into HOS so you can have a better understanding of what it is, who needs it and why it’s so important that you know more about it.

What is a Driver Log?

A driver Log should be filled out as you do your work and is called the “record of duty status.” Common names for this form are the driver’s daily log, log, or logbook. 

You do not have to fill out a log if you fall under an exception. 

Those exemptions include:

  1. Short haul
  2. Agriculture
  3. Utility
  4. Emergency Vehicles

Everything you write on the log should be true and correct. 

You need to make all of your own entries (unless something has been preprinted on the log). 

Everything needs to be accounted for every day on your log, even days off, unless you are covered by a logbook exception on any of the days. 

The log should cover all 24 hours of the day. 

Officers can inspect your log at any time and you need to have a log for each day of the last 8 days that you were required to log (you might have been under an exception on some of those days). 

The current day’s log should be current to your last change of duty status. 

Inspectors check your logs to see if you have violated the hours-of-service regulations. Violations of the hours-of-service regulations can result in being fined and/or placed out of service.

This regulation is found in Section 395.8.

Who Should Complete a Log?

Any person who is subject to the safety regulations and drives a commercial motor vehicle as defined in Section 390.5 of the Federal regulations should complete a logbook page for any day that includes commercial motor vehicle driving and for the prior 7 days (unless under an exception on some of those days). 

What needs to be in every log?

The regulations do not say what the log form should look like. However, it should include a 24-hour graph grid, which is shown in the regulations, and the following information on each page:

  • Date. 

You should write down the month, day, and year for the beginning of each 24-hour period.

Multiple consecutive days off duty may be combined on one log page, with an explanation in the “Remarks.”

  • Total miles driving today. 

You should write down the total number of miles you drove during the 24-hour period.

  • Truck or tractor and trailer unit number. 

You should write down either the vehicle number(s) assigned by your company, or the license number and licensing State for each truck (and trailer, if any) you drove.

  • Name of carrier. 

You should write down the name of the motor carrier(s) you are working for. 

If you work for more than one carrier in a 24-hour period, you should list the times you started and finished work for each carrier.

  • Main office address. 

You should write down your carrier’s main office address. 

The city and State are sufficient.

  • Your signature. 

You should certify that all of your entries are true and correct by signing your log with your legal name or name of record.

  • Name of co-driver. 

You should write down the name of your co-driver, if you have one.

  • Time Zone base to be used. 

You should use the time zone in effect at your home terminal. 

Even if you cross other time zones, record time as it is at your terminal. 

  • Remarks. 

This is the area where you should list the city, town, or village, and State abbreviation when a change of duty status occurs. 

You should also explain any unusual circumstances or log entries that may be unclear when reviewed later, such as encountering adverse driving conditions.

  • Total hours. 

You need to add and write down the total hours for each duty status at the right side of the grid. 

The total of the entries need to equal 24 hours (unless you are using one page to reflect several consecutive days off duty).

  • Shipping document number(s), or name of shipper and commodity. 

For each shipment, you should write down a shipping document number (such as a shipping manifest number) or the name of the shipper and what you are hauling.

The Graph Grid

Here is what your graph grid should look like. The other required information may be placed anywhere on the page outside the grid.

You need to keep the grid on your log current to your last change of duty status. 

For example, if you are driving and an inspector stops you and asks to see your logbook, the final entry should show the time and place that you last started driving.

The grid will have the starting time and the hours marked above it. You should draw lines on the grid as follows:

Off Duty. Draw a solid line between the appropriate time markers to show the periods of time you are off duty.

Sleeper Berth. Draw a solid line between the appropriate time markers to show the periods of time you are resting in a sleeper berth.

Driving. Draw a solid line between the appropriate time markers to show the periods of time you are behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle in operation.

On Duty (Not Driving). Draw a solid line between the appropriate time markers to show the periods of time when you are on duty, but not driving a commercial motor vehicle. 

Time spent driving a non-CMV for a carrier would be included here.

The “Remarks”

Each time you change your duty status, you need to write down the name of the city, town, or village, and State abbreviation, in the Remarks section. 

If the change of duty status takes place at a location other than a city, town, or village, you should show one of the following:

  • The highway number and the nearest milepost followed by the name of the nearest city, town, or village and State abbreviation,

or

  • The highway number and the name of the service plaza followed by the name of the nearest city, town, or village and State abbreviation, 

or

  • The highway numbers of the two nearest intersecting roadways followed by the name of the nearest city, town, or village, and State abbreviation.

You may write other things in the Remarks section, such as shipping information, a note about adverse driving conditions, etc…

A Completed Grid

After you have completed your log, the regulations allow you 13 days to get the original copy to your carrier. Your carrier may require you to turn it in sooner.

You need to keep a copy of your completed log for the next 7 consecutive days. The copies should be available for inspection by law enforcement officers.

Any time you work for more than one motor carrier during a 24-hour period, you need to make extra copies and give a copy of your log to each motor carrier. 

The log should include:

  • All duty time for the entire 24-hour period,
  • The name of each motor carrier you worked for during the 24-hour period, and
  • The beginning and finishing time, including a.m. or p.m., worked for each motor carrier.

ELD

If you operate a vehicle with an engine that is newer than 1999 and you do not fall under one of the exemptions like short haul. 

Then you should have an ELD (Electronic Logging Device).

That’s for a whole other blog though!