20 Free Printable Driver’s Daily Log Books (Templates and Examples)

Driver’s Daily Log

Long-haul truckers have a difficult job. They spend long hours on the road, almost always alone. From time to time, news stories crop up about truck drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel.

To improve the safety of truck drivers and other motorists on the road, the United States Department of Transportation has created limits to how long drivers can be behind the wheel. They enforce this rule by requiring truckers to keep a logbook of their driving hours.

What is a Driver’s Daily Log?

A driver’s daily log is where truck drivers keep track of their driving hours. The current laws require truck drivers to keep a daily log unless the driver is staying within 100 miles of their office. Drivers are also exempt if they return to the office within twelve hours, even if they journey past the 100-mile radius.

What is a Driver’s Daily Log Book?

A driver’s daily logbook is where each driver keeps the record of their driving hours. This is not only a safety measure but a federal law. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) expects drivers to keep up-to-date logs.

If your daily logbook is not up-to-date, you may receive fines from the FMCSA. Because of the fines associated with failure to record driving hours, all drivers should update their driver’s daily log book every day.

Driver’s Daily Log Books (Templates and Examples)

Essential Elements of a Driver’s Daily Log

A driver’s daily log may have minor differences between companies. Some companies require more information than required by the federal government. However, most driver’s daily logs contain the same essential elements:

Home Terminal

The driver’s log book should indicate the home terminal for the driver. This is the address where the driver dispatches from at the beginning of their haul.

In some cases, this may be the main office. However, most long-haul truckers get their cargo from a secondary site, which is the home terminal on their driver’s log book records.

Main Office Address

The driver’s log book will also include the corporate address for their employer. If an employer has offices throughout the country, the main office’s address will be listed here.

Breakdowns and Accidents

One of the most important elements of a driver’s daily log is well-documented information about any breakdowns or accidents. All incidents must be documented at an appropriate time (as soon as it is safe to do so).

All incidents must be reported along with the city and state where the incident occurred. Drivers should include all relevant information about the incident on this portion of the log.

Record of Hours

The driver must indicate how many hours they drove and how many hours they spent resting. Most driver’s log books will have sections for each hour of the day. The driver must list their activity for each section of the log.

Driver’s Signature

At the end of each day’s log, the driver must sign to indicate that the information provided is accurate and truthful.

How to Fill the Driver’s Daily Log?

Because it is a truck driver’s legal responsibility to keep a log book, it’s important to make sure the information is up-to-date and filled out completely. Leaving certain spaces blank may result in a reprimand or fine from the DOT. There are other things to keep in mind when filling out a driver’s log:

  • Handwriting on a driver’s log must be legible, and the log must contain the driver’s signature.
  • According to federal law, the driver’s log needs to be returned to the motor carrier within thirteen days.
  • All city names must be spelled out. Abbreviations for city names are not allowed.
  • On the other hand, state names must be abbreviated. Do not spell out the state’s name in the daily log.
  • Drivers who drive more than one piece of equipment in a day must list each piece of equipment used.
  • Any changes to the driver’s log must have the driver’s initials.

How to Complete the Driver’s Daily Log

The most important thing to remember about drivers’ daily logs is that they must be filled out daily. Drivers have a lot on their plates, so it’s easy to forget what hours they drove or when they rested.

Even though the Department of Transport (DOT) doesn’t look at driver’s logs every day, it’s important to fill them out on a daily basis. Failing to fill out the driver’s daily log may cause problems down the road, especially if a driver’s log is not updated when inspected by the DOT.

Most drivers use paper logs to track their hours. This log has a charge with four sections and twenty-four boxes. Each of these boxes represents one hour during a 24-hour period.

The four sections are for driver’s statuses, such as off-duty, sleeper, driving, on-duty (not driving). Drivers must draw a line in the corresponding boxes to indicate what they’re doing at a particular time.

For example, if the driver is driving from 8:00 AM to noon, they should draw a line across those four boxes in the driving section of the log book.

Mistakes to Avoid

The biggest mistake drivers make is failing to complete the daily log book each day. While a driver doesn’t need to fill it out at every stop, getting in the habit of updating it throughout the day will make the task easier for the driver.

The other mistake is failing to fill out the log book completely. Most log books are simple, and all portions are required. It’s important that the employer only asks for information the driver is able to provide.

Finally, it’s important to make sure that the written information is legible. A driver’s daily log book is used to ensure safety and enforce federal regulations. Poor handwriting can hinder the process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do local drivers need a logbook?

Local drivers do not need a driver’s log as long as they remain within 100 miles of their office. They are also exempt if they return to the office within twelve hours of leaving, even if they move outside the 100-mile radius.


How long does a log book last?

Motor carriers are required to keep log book records for six months. Some carriers may choose to hold records for longer periods, although they are not required by law to do so.


Can you backdate a logbook?

You should never backdate a logbook. In the best case scenario, you may forget important details. In the worst case, you may receive fines for failing to have your logbook up-to-date.


Can I insure a car while waiting for the log book?

A driver’s logbook serves as an official ownership document. Drivers must have their log book before insuring their vehicle.

Conclusion

Driver’s log books are an important part of ensuring the safety of motorists. While filling them out can be a tedious part of driving a truck, having up-to-date log book records is essential. Drivers who fail to keep their log book updated may face federal fines.

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