The driver’s daily log is a legal document which must be maintained by the driver of a commercial motor vehicle. Each logbook contains 31, two page forms, a white original and a yellow copy. The yellow copy of the daily log must be maintained for 7 days with the driver and the original logbook page must be submitted to the trucking company within 13 days per Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, (FMCSA) regulations.
60 and 70 Hour Rule:
There are two separate rules which govern the total weekly hours available to a driver depending on the type of operation. They are the 60 hour and 70 hour rule, which rule is used is based on the company’s standard work week schedule. If the company operates 8 consecutive days a week then the 70 hour rule applies, likewise if the company operates 7 consecutive days a week, the company is required to operate using the 60 hour rule. Given there are only 7 days in a week it is important to point out that in terms of the motor carrier rules, 8 consecutive days are used to determine the rules. Each page of the logbook begins at midnight and continues for a 24 hour period. The grid lines are separated into 15 minutes intervals. The driver of a Commercial Motor Vehicle, (CMV) may not exceed the available hours for the company’s operating cycle. The rules refer to total hours worked which include all ‘˜on-duty not driving’ and ‘˜driving’ hours entered on the logbook.
11 Hour Rule:
According to the FMCSA a driver may not drive in excess of 11 hours after a consecutive 10 hour break. The 11 hour rule applies strictly to the amount of time a driver has available to drive a commercial motor vehicle and does not apply to ‘˜on-duty not driving.’
14 Hour Rule:
The 14 hour rule pertains to the amount of total time available to a driver after the completion of a consecutive 10 hour or more break. The 14 hour rule beings when the driver first begins to either drive or enter an ‘˜on-duty not driving’ status. The rule is calculated from that point and the timeframe ends 14 hours later. The driver may not operate a commercial motor vehicle after the 14th hour without being in violation of the rule. The driver can however continue working after this time on the on-duty not driving line of the logbook. The driver would be in violation of the rule if he returned to driving after the 14th hour within first taking a consecutive 10 hour break.
Sleeper Berth Provision:
The sleeper berth provision is a special rule implemented by the FMCSA to give the driver the opportunity to break up the rest periods into separate segments and to extend the available driving time. Driving over the road and having to maintain a logbook within the regulations often requires a driver to work irregular hours. The sleeper berth provision is intended to provide the driver with adequate rest. The sleeper berth provision requires two periods of time spent in the sleeper berth; 2 hours but less than 8 and 8 hours but less than 10. After a 10 consecutive hours break either in the sleeper or off duty, a driver is eligible to drive 11 hours. With the sleeper berth provision a driver may take an 8 hour but less than 10 hour break and extend the 14 hour rule; however the 11 hour rule is not extended. To qualify for the sleeper berth provision the driver is required to take a second break of at least 2 hours, but less than 8. The 2 hours break can be taken either before or after the 8 hours break, but it does not extend the 14 hour rule.
Example Day Logged:
To explain a typical day, the driver in the example will start with a fresh 70 hours available for the week and after completing a consecutive 10 hour break. A driver will start the day by completing a Pre-Trip inspection of the vehicle and log the activity on the on-duty not driving line in the logbook. The 14 hour rule begins when the driver starts the Pre-Trip inspection. A Pre-Trip inspection is not required in all states so the driver could begin their day on the driving line if the he begins driving immediately. Assuming that the driver is operating in a state which does not require the Pre-Trip inspection she would draw a line from the off duty status line down to the grid line indicating driving. If the driver drives for 5 consecutive hour and then stops for half an hour the driver would then draw a line across the logbook to indicate the 5 hours driven and a line up to the off duty grid line. After taking the 30 minutes break the driver would then draw a line to indicate the 30 break on the off duty line and a line down to the driving line again and resume driving. The driver would still have 6 hours available to drive legally, so if the driver did drive for 6 consecutive hours the total driving hours for the day would be 11 which is the limit. At this point the driver should conduct the required post trip inspection, which would be logged on the on-duty not driving line for a minimum of 15 minutes. After completing the inspection the driver would be able to continue working, go off duty or enter the sleeper berth. If the driver completed the 15 minutes post trip inspection and then went directly into the sleeper berth for a full 10 hour break he would have not violated any of the rules. The driver would have completed a full 11 hours of driving and not exceeded the 14 hour rule for on duty. The driver would have accumulated 11 hours and 15 minutes toward the 70 hour rule. Off duty and sleeper berth time does not apply toward the time used to determine the 70 hour rule.