Truck driving is a demanding and exhausting job. Truckers must drive long distances on tight deadlines, which means they often spend weeks away from home.
Most truckers are paid by the distance they drive, rather than by the hours they spend behind the wheel. Even so, it’s important to keep accurate trucking logs that record these hours.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers to log their hours. This helps fleet managers to keep accurate records. It also ensures that drivers get adequate rest.
Let’s take a closer look at some best practices you and your drivers should follow when updating trucking logs.
Ensure Compliance with FMCSA Rules
Research shows that driving while overtired can be up to 10 times worse than driving while drunk. Making sure your drivers aren’t driving too much is one of the most important reasons to keep logs.
This is also why it’s important to be meticulous with your record-keeping. If there are errors or discrepancies in the logs, it can be easy to overlook a driver who has exceeded their hours.
Train Drivers to Fill Out Logs Completely
It’s important that your drivers consistently fill out their logs completely and accurately.
Whenever a driver fills out a log, they should include their full name, the license plate of the vehicle they’re driving, and the odometer reading for the vehicle. They should also include the date, and the hour they began driving.
Also, make sure that drivers record complete addresses for where they are driving from and to. With this information, you can keep track of where your drivers and vehicles are.
Record All Non-Driving Time
In many cases, a driver will be on the road for several days or weeks at a time. Of course, they do not spend all of this time driving. It’s crucial that drivers accurately record non-driving time in their logs.
There are typically three kinds of non-driving time. A driver may be not driving, but still on duty. This would include time unloading the truck, or time spent with clients.
Then, there is off-duty time. Drivers have personal time, which they can spend however they please. They also have designated time to spend sleeping.
Drivers should record all of this time, and label it accurately. This ensures that they are adhering to FMCSA requirements.
Report Any Accidents or Breakdowns
Driving always involves a certain amount risk. If one of your drivers experiences a breakdown or accident, make sure this is recorded in the log.
Keeping these records will help your company maintain an accurate history of each vehicle you have. It will also help you determine if a particular driver has a pattern of poor driving.
Using Electronic Trucking Logs
To simplify recording-keeping, many fleet managers have turned to electronic logging devices. These allow drivers to use mobile technology to update their logs. In some cases, these devices can be integrated with the vehicle’s GPS system.
Using an electronic system helps to ensure accuracy. Also, fleet managers can monitor electronic records as soon as their drivers update them. This is much more effective than waiting for the driver to deliver a paper copy.
If you’re interested in using an electronic logging device, contact us to get a free quote. We’ll help you find the perfect technology solution for your drivers.