The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has given approval to computer logs for commercial drivers.
Drivers Daily Log, available free of charge at www.driversdailylog.com, allows drivers to keep a log book on their computers, and provides log printouts that truckers can simply sign and turn in to a carrier or DOT inspector.
Software’s creator Fritz Bjorklund spent months communicating with FMCSA concerning the legality of Drivers Daily Log. As the program has become more widely used, this question loomed larger, because the original FMCSA regulation on log books said the entries must be “in the driver’s own handwriting.”
Finally, on Jan. 4, FMCSA told Bjorklund, “We have determined that the current regulations do not bar motor carriers from relying on computer-assisted logs in lieu of handwritten logs.”
In a regulatory guidance issued with that statement, FMCSA clarified its stand on computer-assisted logs: “A driver may use a computer to generate the graph grid and entries for the record of duty status or log book, provided the computer-generated output includes the minimum information required by Part 395.8 and is formatted in accordance with the rules.”
Also, FMCSA says drivers must:
- Be capable of printing the record of duty status for the current 24-hour period at the request of an enforcement officer.
- Print the record of duty status at the end of each 24-hour period, and sign it in his or her handwriting to certify that all entries required by this section are true and correct.
- Maintain a copy of printed and signed records of duty status for the previous seven consecutive days and make it available for inspection at the request of the enforcement officer.
Bjorkland says drivers without printers in their trucks should keep a paper log book to transcribe to when necessary.