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What are truck drivers required to put in logbooks?

Truck companies have a vested interest in their drivers covering as much distance as possible when making their deliveries. Not long ago on this blog we posted about a trucking company that allegedly strong-armed their drivers into falsifying information in their logbooks. The story was written in the aftermath of a spate of fatal truck accidents in the Chicago area.

Many stories you hear or read about truck accidents may make reference to the legal importance of truck drivers providing detailed information about their on-the-road activities through the use of these books. But have you ever wondered what specifically the truckers are required to record?

Well first, understand that truckers record their activity in 24-hour blocks so as to clearly delineate all time spent on- and off-duty. Here are some of the items that must be logged according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

  • The number on the shipping document or the shipper’s name and the commodity being transported
  • The date and time the 24-hour duration started
  • The carrier’s name and the number of the truck or of the tractor and trailer 
  • The starting and ending locations
  • The total mileage traveled through a 24-hour duration
  • Time spent on-duty, off-duty and resting

As they proceed on their route, the truckers are required to keep their records current. The log can only be filled out by the driver to whom it applies and entries must be legible. The driver’s signature certifies that the recorded information is accurate.

This is merely a synopsis of the contents of the trucker’s log, but it hits the main points. So, if you should ever be in a truck accident, these logs can serve in an investigation to help determine liability. For example, the information might help demonstrate that driver fatigue may have played a role in the incident.

However, truck accidents can become very complex regarding who is liable for what. As such, you could use a much more detailed account of what happened in order to have the best chance of receiving all the compensation to which you may be entitled.

An Illinois truck accident lawyer may offer the investigative and negotiating services you require.