L & L Transportation Services, LLC
2817 E. Wisconsin Ave
Appleton, WI  54911


L & L Transport Service’s tips and instructions on safety and compliance issues.

    (FMCSR 395.8)

We audit thousands of driver logs and we issue thousands of violations for "Shipping Document Missing/In Error" and "Duty Change Not Labeled/In Error." Here's how to avoid these particular violations:

Shipping Document Missing/In Error

- When cargo is on the truck, the driver must record on the log either a shipping document number or the name of the shipper and the commodity being hauled. The number must be something that specifically identifies the shipment, such as a bill of lading number or a pro-number. If using "shipper and commodity" be certain to list both the company name of the shipper and the specific commodity you are hauling.

- The number or shipper and commodity must be recorded in the "Remarks" section of the log. The best location for this is on the far left side of remarks.

- If the truck is empty for the entire day, the driver should indicate this. Empty (MT), Deadhead (DH), or Bobtail (BT) work well. Not recording anything just looks like the driver made an error. Except for off duty days, this space should not be left blank. An auditor or investigator can not assume the truck was empty.

Duty Change Not Labeled/In Error

- Each time a driver changes duty status, the location of the change must be labeled in the "Remarks" section of the log with the full city name (no abbreviations) and the state name abbreviation (2 letters only). If more than 1 activity occurs in the same location, such as going from on duty not driving to off duty or into sleeper, we suggest a bracket between time markers to clearly show this all happened in the same location.

  (FMCSR 395.8)

Examples of:  "On Duty, Not Driving"
  • Time spent loading or unloading.
  • Time attending to the vehicle such as maintenance and break downs.
  • Time spent at the scene of an accident.
  • Time spent at a scale inspection or other law enforcement action, such as getting a speeding ticket.
  • Time spent riding in the vehicle, other than sleeper berth time.

Examples of:  "Log Falsification"
  • Not logging all loads hauled.
  • Showing scale inspections at a different time or location than when they actually occurred.
  • When your logs do not agree with other documents such as trip reports, traffic tickets, certified toll receipts, scale inspections, delivery receipts.
  • Logging less miles than you actually drove.

Duty Changes Of Less Than 15 Minutes

Changes of duty status for short periods of time (less than 15 minutes) may be identified by drawing a line from the appropriate on-duty, not driving or driving line to the “Remarks” section.  The location of the duty change must be identified with the full city name and state name abbreviation.  The driver must also record the amount of time spent, such as “6 minutes.”

Owner-Operator Supporting Documents

As defined by the FMCSR, owner-operators are employees of the motor carrier.  This means motor carriers must retain or cause to be retained supporting documents associated with the owner-operator’s logs.  Supporting documents include but are not limited to toll receipts, fuel receipts, roadside vehicle inspections and other enforcement documents.  Supporting documents must be available to the motor carrier within 48 hours.  The retention period for these documents is 6 months.  These documents are the motor carrier’s responsibility to produce upon request of the FMCSA whether or not they reimburse the owner-operator for them.

We suggest that motor carriers retain copies of the supporting documents so that they are available to be used for falsification checks and safety reviews.

      (FMCSR 392.7, 396.11, 396.13)

Pre-Trip Or Post-Trip & Time Spent

There has traditionally been a great deal of confusion concerning pre-trip and post-trip inspections and what to put on the logs and inspection form, if anything.

To clarify, a long standing D.O.T. interpretation has held that no specific time is required for a vehicle inspection. Actual time spent must be logged. Therefore, if a driver performs an inspection, the driver is to log the actual time spent. If it takes less than 15 minutes for the driver to satisfy himself/herself that the vehicle is safe to operate, no specific on duty time is required to be shown on the driver’s log. Always label a change of duty status with full city name and state name abbreviation.

It is a common misconception that the driver’s daily vehicle inspection report is to be completed as part of the pre-trip inspection (392.7) & (396.13). This report, however, is required to be completed as part of the driver’s post-trip vehicle inspection (396.11).


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