August 12, 2019
Pitts Carr and Alex Weatherby
What is a driver’s log book?
As we discussed in a prior blog, truck drivers have a lot more rules to follow than a standard driver. Tractor trailer operators are only permitted to drive a certain number of hours each month. The purpose of these rules is to prevent drowsy driving. The general rules are as follows. A truck driver may operate his vehicle a maximum 11-hour in a 14 hour period. And, a truck driver may operate his vehicle a maximum of 60 hours every 7days or 70 hours every 8 days. There are multiple exceptions to these rules that may apply (which could make up multiple blog posts on their own!). This post, however, focuses on what the log book is and why it may be important after a truck crash.
A log is the written document that a driver maintains to show that he is in compliance with the rules for hours of service. These logs are stored in a book or electronically. In the book, the driver notes the time he is operating the vehicle, the time he is on duty but not operating, and the time he is off duty. Below is an example paper log book.
If after an accident sleepiness is thought to be a factor, the log book can be an important piece of evidence. It may show that the driver was in compliance or out of compliance with the hours of service rules. The log books are only required to be maintained for 6 months. It is important to send a timely preservation letter requesting the logs be preserved, if there is any question as to the driver’s on duty time.