Commercial truck drivers in Pennsylvania can be under a lot of pressure to deliver goods on time. This sometimes results in long working hours which, in turn, can lead to exhaustion. One of the causes of truck accidents is fatigue, and the trucking industry has certain rules that regulate the number of hours a truck driver can be on the road. To keep track of this, all drivers must also fill in a trucking log on a regular basis.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines the regulations for hours of service for trucks that carry passengers or property. Truck drivers that have passengers can drive a maximum of 10 hours a day, and they must have at least eight hours off before the shift. Drivers that carry cargo can drive for an 11-hour shift as long as they have 10 hours off beforehand. If working seven consecutive days, the driving limit is 60 hours, and the driver must take off a minimum of 34 hours before the next shift. If drivers use the sleeper berth, they must be in it a minimum of eight consecutive hours.
According to the Chron, commercial truckers used to keep track of their hours in a paper log book, but now long-haul trucks have to install electronic logging devices, which can save truckers some time. The use of ELDs has cut down on 46% of citations related to hours of service.
A log book must also include all on-duty activities as well as what goes on within a 12-hour period. This includes refueling, eating and sleeping.
The FMCSA takes the log book seriously, and truckers who do not follow the rules can face serious consequences. These may include fines of up to $14,700 per violation and required time off from driving.