Trucking companies require every driver to record his or her duty status for each 24 hour period in a log book. The information that must be recorded includes such items as the:
- Total Miles driving today
- Bus, truck, tractor, and trailer number
- Name of carrier
- Drivers signature / certificate
- 24 hour period starting time
- Name of co-driver
- Total driving hours today
Currently, a commercial truck driver may travel a maximum of 11 hours after he or she has taken 10 consecutive hours off duty. Driving beyond the 14th hour, or after 60 to 70 hours in 7 or 8 consecutive days, is prohibited and a driver must take 34 or more consecutive hours off duty after the week.
In some cases, drivers falsify these records to make it seem like they have travelled a farther distance or put in more time than they actually worked. This is because of reasons like driving more miles to earn more pay or delivering a load quickly in order to return home.
It is important to know what details are to be recorded in a truck driver’s log book so that liability can be found if a truck accident occurs. Because a driver’s log book shows things like how many hours he or she is working, how far he or she is going in a day and what (computed) speed he or she may have been driving, an accident investigation can use these details to prove any violations of the Department of Transportation regulations and negligence on the part of the driver.