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Truck Accident & Safety Expert:
"The 3 Inch Line"

-by Don Asa April 2011

Evidence Solutions, Inc. - Truck Accident & Safety Expert Articles

Logging is one of the most important components of commercial trucking; keeping track of the driver’s time.  An equally important job is auditing the logs as the driver turns them in, and proper training of both drivers and auditors should be a big part of the motor carrier safety department’s job.

“Red flags” should be easily recognized by an auditor.  The 3-inch line on this log should be easily recognized as a “red flag” and the reasons should be obvious to the auditor.

One reason for the red flag is that there is nowhere in this country with a route where a driver can average 75 mph for any length of time.

Further, it takes about 8 mph over 75 mph to average 75 mph.  This is true for any speed.  The reference for this is under the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, Part 392, Section 392.6 (and Guidance).

There are other reasons besides the Regulations, and these would be normal human needs, speed zones, construction zones, urban speed restrictions, weather, hills and grades, equipment and load checks, toll booths, inspection stations, scales, and ports of entry –all of which reduce the driver’s speed and consume time.  All of these circumstances and many others have to be responded to by the driver as the equipment is operated in the normal course of business.

Drivers need to make a living.  Virtually all long-line drivers get paid by their miles driven, so any and all delays cost them time.  Most drivers adhere to safe driving practices, however there are those who cut corners and log for convenience’s sake –such as illustrated by the 3-inch line in the driver's daily log below.

Can a driver log 11 hours of driving?  Yes, but drivers cannot average a high rate of speed, and they should indicate their activities in the remarks section.  Other documentation developed such as fuel receipts, toll tickets, miles per state –all of these are available to the auditor and should be compared to the driver's logs during an audit.

Therefore, one can readily see that the 3-inch line, as illustrated above, is indeed a “red flag”, even if the average speed is lower than 75 mph.

 Driver's Daily Log

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