California truckers will always have to keep track of their travels in something called a log, or a logbook, based on federal law. But just what is the purpose of these books? What exactly are they used for?
According to The Balance, both paper and e-logs are used by truckers, with e-logs becoming more common. These trucking logs are essentially used to keep track of everything related to your operation of the truck. The Department of Transportation doesn't check logbooks daily, which means it can be tempting to slack off when it comes to keeping your log up to date. However, these books are used if you get into an accident or involved in other legal disputes, such as accusations of hours of service violation or not properly maintaining a vehicle or following routes. Keeping them updated regularly is vitally important.
Trucking logs also need to have accurate and up-to-date information. Paper logs are often turned back to you for correction if they don't have all of the right shipping documents, if the addresses are incorrect, or if the ending and beginning cities are absent. For example, having driving hours that don't add up correctly can be a potential flag for those looking your book over and may result in it being returned to you for corrections.
Not keeping an accurate trucking log can result in fines or legal problems later down the road for you as well, and these fines can be quite steep. For example, you can face up to $10,000 for hours of service violations. To keep yourself and your assets protected, make sure to keep close track of your work and keep your logbook updated frequently.