Commercial or Owner Operator Truck Driver: The Importance of a Neat and Accurate Log Book

An accurate and neat log book is important in more ways than one. Besides being a record of your trucking activities, it can either make your life as a commercial or owner operator truck driver easier or harder, and it can affect your career. Why? Because that book is used to judge your professionalism during a DOT inspection. If the pages are barely legible and messy, the inspector will assume that the rest of your truck will be in a similar state of disrepair. They will check your rig over very carefully to look for any possible violation.

The other reason for keeping a complete and accurate log book is that it is used to check that you are complying with the hours of service (HOS) regulations. If you drove too many consecutive hours because you had a hard time finding a rest stop for spending the night, it may be tempting to falsify your hours so that it looks like you’re in compliance.

However, if you’re caught falsifying your hours, it can result in severe penalties and get you fired. It’s best to write in the exact details and hours even if you overshot the consecutive hours limit. The penalty if it only happened once won’t be as harsh as getting caught falsifying your hours. If you carefully plan your day to allow time for getting to a rest stop, then this issue will never come up.

Sometimes incorrect information happens not because of deliberate falsification, but because the commercial or owner operator truck driver waited too long to fill it into their log book. Some drivers are really bad about this and will allow days to go by before updating their log books. The problem is that the accuracy of the information will suffer. If this inaccuracy is found out, they will assume that the driver falsified it. The other problem is that the trucker driving around with an incomplete log book risks getting caught during a DOT inspection. It is always best to fill it in as you go. Also make sure to double-check your calculations.

For information about getting commercial or owner operator truck insurance in North Carolina, don’t hesitate to ask. We’ll be happy to help find the right policy for you. Contact us today.