When do I have to fill out logbooks?

trukgirl3.jpgDear Eric: Do I have to fill out logbooks?

Answer: The regulations state that you must complete a record of duty status (aka a logbook) every day, unless if you:

1) stay within a 100 air mile radius from your office, and 2) return to the office within 12 hours.

If you do that, your driver may record his time on a time card, time sheet, any thing that captures the time started, time finished, and the total number of hours worked that day. In the event the driver does not meet those requirements one day, then for that day, he must complete a logsheet. Logbooks are generally available at truckstops, or online from www.jjkeller.com.  If you are a non-CDL driver, there are numerous exceptions that apply instead of the 100 air mile rule.


Eric Arnold is a Former Enforcement Agent with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and a leading expert on USDOT compliance for small businesses. Do you have a question for Eric Arnold? Email him at eric@arnoldsafety.com.

Arnold Safety simplifies D.O.T. Compliance for commercial vehicle operators. Get Eric Arnold’s USDOT Compliance Guide, DVD, & Regulations at ArnoldSafety.Com.

Learn more about Arnold Safety compliance consulting services at ArnoldSafety.Com.

111 thoughts on “When do I have to fill out logbooks?

  • March 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

    You can keep your time on a time sheet (time start, time finished, total hours), provided you’re back within 12 hours, and you don’t go beyond 100 air miles from the office.

  • August 23, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I work for a company that has a commercial fleet bad we don’t drive 100 miles but we work 12 to 15 hrs a day 6 days a week,are we required to complete a log and are there any violations with the hrs?

  • September 6, 2016 at 8:35 am

    How heavy is the vehicle? If it is a CDL vehicle, you should be filling out logs, as you are working more than 12 hours a day. If it’s a non-CDL vehicle, logs are not required. Time sheets are sufficient. As for the hours violations, you get to work 70 hours in any 8 day period. 12 x 6 = 72. 15 x 6 = 90. Yeah, your company is probably violating the 70 hour rule pretty frequently.

  • May 8, 2017 at 11:15 am

    Does my driver need to fill out a log book when not working the weekends? This is a driver working for our company that we hired.

  • June 21, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Each day should be accounted for. So, if the driver is off the weekends, he should have an off-duty log for Saturday and Sunday. DOT will allow you to put multiple off-duty days on one log, so if a driver is off for 2 weeks, he doesn’t have to fill out 14 different logs saying ‘off-duty’.

  • June 28, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I recently received a citation for no log book. I drove a 26′ box company truck 160 miles one way and 160 back. I drove for a total of 9 hours. Was I required to have a log book or can I fight it?

  • June 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    You might be able to fight it. If it was a non-CDL vehicle, which it might have been, you can drive 150 air miles one way, before you need a log. If it was a CDL vehicle, you can only drive 100 air miles, before you need a log. In order to determine for sure if you needed a log, 1) was it a non-CDL vehicle? 2) how many air miles did you travel? 160 road miles is less than 160 air miles. 160 road miles would equal roughly 139 air miles, which would NOT require a log. I would figure out how far out you went, take the number of miles it is, and then figure out what that is in ‘air-miles’. One ‘air mile’ is about .87 road miles.

    Al: I’m pasting my Tip Jar instructions below. If I helped you out, and you want to buy me a beer, follow the instructions below. Thanks.

    1) Go to PayPal.
    2) Log into PayPal. You need a PayPal account. See, this is how you can get out of tipping.
    3) Find the Send Money link. It should be on the first page after you log in.
    4) Enter my email: eric@arnoldsafety.com
    5) Enter the amount!
    6) Choose whether you want the money to come out of your PayPal balance or your banking account.
    7) Hit button “Send Money”
    8) Thank you very much!

  • November 21, 2017 at 5:01 pm

    have 20 drivers with trucks 1992 – 2015 10 drivers have been keeping logs?? question only 2 drivers drive over 150 one way(line hauls) all other drivers drive within 100 miles of terminal we have cdl trucks, non cd,l box , straight, vans . small ma and pa shop I been put in charge (IT MANAGER) to research the ELD requirements. I currently testing some ELD’s but not really sure I need to install on all trucks above 1999 or if drivers need to maintain logs except for few no driver is on road over 10 hours and punch a timecard everyday



  • December 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

    ELDs are not required if the vehicle has a pre-2000 engine, or the driver meets the time card exception 22 days out of 30. The time card exception is 100 air miles, back within 12 hours for CDL vehicles, and 150 air miles for non-CDL drivers.

  • April 1, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Eric, I’m a cdl driver but generally stay within 100 miles of my shop in a truck that will not have an ELD in it…this truck seldom leaves the city. A couple times a week I drive a different truck that will have an ELD, but only go outside of 100 air miles a few times per month at which time I obviously have to log. I will be using the ELD whenever I’m in the truck that has an ELD whether I’m within 100 miles or not.
    Do I need to paper log when I’m driving the truck that has no ELD on the days I’m working within city limits ?

  • April 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    If you stay within 100 air miles of the office, and return there within 12 hours 22 times out of 30, you are not required to have an ELD. When operating in a truck without an ELD, you may keep your time either on a paper log, or on a time sheet, with the time started, time finished, and total number of hours. You must return within 12 hours if you are using the time sheet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *