The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulation on Hours
of Service (HOS) can be confusing, particularly for commercial drivers’
license (CDL) holders new to the job. Therefore, we thought we would take
this opportunity to explain some of the more complex questions put to
us by truckers or commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, bus drivers
must follow many of the same rules, about these regulations and the common
log book violation questions and provide some information about CA Vehicle
Code (CVC) violations and possible fines.
The FMCSA & Log Book Violations
Many truckers ask, is it a log book violation to log a sleeper birth even
though they do not have a sleeper? Many law enforcement officers (LEO)
will give you a log book violation ticket for logging a sleeper berth
when you do not have a sleeper. It’s best to just log off-duty if
you do not have a sleeper.
Q: What is meant by a “split sleeper berth” rest period?
A: A split sleeper berth, for those with a sleeper, gives the driver the
option to split their rest period into two rest period will restart the
14-hour driving period, moving it forward to the beginning of the first
break, whichever the driver chooses. These two breaks can be taken in
either order, but one must be from two to eight hours, which can be used
off-duty, in the sleeper, or a combination and the other must be eight
to ten hours just in the sleeper. If you don’t have a sleeper, you
can still split your breaks.
Q: Must a mechanic that only drives ocassionally adhere to the 14-hour
driving period and other HOS rules?
A: Yes, all CMV drivers must comply, if they drive more than the 100 or
150-mile (measured in air miles) exceptions according to the Code of Federal
Regulations (CFR). If they do not, they will not have to maintain a log book.
Q: Do I have to log fuel stops?
A: Yes, all changes in duty status must be logged, fuel stops, load checks, etc.
Q: Can I use my CMV to drive to a restaurant from my hotel or lodging while off-duty?
A: Yes, if the company allows it, just log it as off-duty travel and it
will not count against the 14-hour period.
Q: How often must we take a break?
A: According to the CFR, you must take a 30-minute break after 8 consecutive
hours of driving or on-duty, including fuel stops and load checks. Just
log it as off-duty or sleeper berth. This requirement applies to HAZMAT
and explosives drivers, even though they cannot leave their load unattended,
they must cease all other duties for 30 minutes after 8 hours of driving.
Log Book Infraction Table
The first table below is log book violations that are traffic infractions
and the approximate fine if convicted and the second is a table with traffic
Log Book Misdemeanor Table
Electronic Log Devices (ELD)
By January 2018, bus drivers and truckers will have to be trained on using
the ELDs and/or a Smart Phone Log. Safety is the number one priority.
The devices are expected to decrease the number of accidents that may
be caused by truckers and other CMV drivers. HOS log includes the engine
hours, movement, miles driven, and location.
What you need to know is that ELDs need to be registered with the Federal
Motor Carrier Safety Administration. They give the drivers and carriers
a detailed timeline when stops occurred and the driver will just have
to enter the reason for the stop, load checks, fuel stops, etc.
Hire a San Bernardino County Attorney
If you were issued a log book violation ticket in Barstow in San Bernardino
County, CA or a Central Valley county, call Bigger & Harman for a
free, no obligation phone consultation. Bigger & Harman protect the
rights of truckers throughout Central Valley in Kern, Kings, Tulare, and
other counties, plus a few SoCal locations, such as San Bernardino, Riverside, or LA.
Although their main office is in Kern County, they keep track of the latest
trends in places like Barstow where many truckers are caught up in the
traffic coming into CA from Nevada or moving goods to Nevada from the
ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach. They handle clients’ with traffic
tickets in Barstow, Santa Clarita, Fresno, LA, Porterville and many more
traffic courts. Bigger & Harman have developed a tough legal reputation
with LEOs, judges, and court clerks when representing truckers who are
often singled out by overzealous LEOs. If you’re wrong, you’re
wrong but it is our duty to make the state prove you were wrong when you
were just doing your job delivering manufactured and agricultural goods
to the destination for processing or sale.
Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300 to discuss your situation or email:
Nolo.com write-up, Nolo is the nation’s largest online digest of legal professionals.
In addition, you should check the comments on
Yelp to get a clearer picture of who these guys are and how proud they are
of their reputation of excellence in serving CA drivers.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.