Falsifying log book entries – or are you?
This is something that really makes truck drivers look bad. When a accident happens, and the driver gets fined for “log book falsification” it really makes the industry look bad. Is there really a need to falsify your log book? Or was the driver really tired, or sick, when he or she filled out their last log book entry? Maybe they just made a mistake. I know when I was driving, I have made easy mistakes on my log book because I tried to fill it out while I was tired from driving.
I am seeing a lot of news stories popping up, about truck drivers falsifying their logs. We are not back in the early 90′s or 80′s etc.. where you had to run a couple of log books if you wanted to make the money. But, back then the DOT was not really checking like they do now, and seldom did you here about it in the news. Especially now, with the internet, and everything main stream and the general public has easy access to all this information whether it is misleading or not.
The majority of people who are not affiliated in anyway with trucking despise truck drivers. They are just sitting and waiting for you to do something wrong, or for the media to report it as being illegal. They jump at the chance every time to bash trucking. When in reality, the driver who made the mistake probably was tired or sick whenever the log was filled out wrong, and really was not in violation but the log shows he or she was.
Here are a few points to use that I picked up over the years.
- 1. Always use an ink pen that writes good to fill out a log book. Never use a marker type pen to do this, because it will “bleed” everywhere, and makes a mess.
- 2. Always use a ruler or some sort of a straight edge to draw your lines. “Chicken scratching” doesn’t go over very good with the DOT. It will make them look harder to find something. Usually a neat log book will pass inspection even if it is not legal.
- 3. If you make a mistake in your log, X out your mistake and initial it. That tells the DOT or your log book department that you realized the mistake and corrected it.
- 4. If your company allows the use of “loose leaf” log books, then I suggest you use this to your advantage. This is the easiest way to keep a very “legal” and “neat” log book. A driver using a loose leaf log book should NEVER get a log book violation.
Remember a log book is a federal document, and can and will be used against you whenever it can be.
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