Training News

Are Your CMV Drivers coming up “ACES?”

Answer these quick questions to test your own knowledge about driving logs. Decide if each of these statements is true or false.

  1. Driver logs may be filled out at the end of each week.
  2. Logs must be turned in to the carrier at the end of each shift.
  3. Pre- and post-trip inspections should be logged as “ND,” not driving.
  4. Each daily log covers a 12-hour period—6 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

What did you decide? If you answered that all of these statements are false, then you are keeping yourself sharp on the requirements for your CMV drivers and their driving logs. That’s great, but are you sure your drivers would not get tripped up on any of these questions?

The only way to be sure is to regularly train your CMV drivers to follow regulations, even if they may resist doing more “paperwork.” So what does that have to do with ACES? We’ll explain in a minute.

But first, remind your drivers that one of the key factors in many CMV accidents is fatigue. Tired drivers are not safe drivers. So the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), developed a set of regulations called the Hours of Service Rule (HOS) to limit the number of hours CMV drivers can spend behind the wheel without a rest period.

Record of Duty Status

In particular, make sure your drivers are trained on Section 395.8, the Record of Duty Status provision. Your drivers probably know this as the daily log. Remind them that:

  • The purpose of the daily log requirement is to make sure they are complying with the regulations and that they aren’t driving more than they are allowed to drive each day.
  • To provide evidence of compliance, FMCSA requires them to keep
    a record of their duty status for each 24-hour period, including days off.
  • They, personally, must fill out this log every day; and
  • They must keep it in their vehicle, available for inspection before finally turning it in to their carrier.

With more than 110,000 injuries and 4,500 fatalities involving CMV accidents each year, the importance of training CMV drivers on safe practices is huge. The online training courses in Training Today’s Transportation Library will help simplify your CMV driver training and ensure the safety of not only the drivers, but everyone who comes into contact with CMV vehicles. Find out more here.

Duty Status Designations and What they Mean

Your employees must be instructed to record their duty status on their daily log as:

  • OFF,” which means they are off duty;
  • SB,” which means they’re in a sleeper berth;
  • “D,” which means they’re driving; or
  • “ON,” which means they’re on duty but not driving—for example, while supervising loading of their vehicle or conducting a vehicle safety inspection.

Other critical information that CMV drivers must include in their daily logs:

  • The date and start time of their shift;
  • Total miles driven that day;
  • Total hours worked;
  • The ID number of the CMV they’re driving;
  • Numbers on shipping documents or the name of the shipper or type of cargo;
  • The name of the carrier they’re driving for and its main office address; and
  • Their signature, certifying that the information in the log is correct. If they have a co-driver, the co-driver’s name and signature must also be included on the log.

There’s more that must be included as well, but let’s get back to what ACES means. The FMCSA regulations require CMV drivers to fill out a daily log that is “ACES:”

Easy to read; and
Strictly current.

This means that every piece of information drivers put in their logs must be accurate—no guesses, no mistakes. The log must be completely filled out with all the required information, dates, names, and signatures. Their log must be neat and clearly written so that the person processing it can read all of it. Lines on the grid should be neatly drawn and labeled. And finally, they must keep the grid strictly current, logging each change of duty status as it occurs. Warn them not to wait until the end of the shift to fill out their grid.

Remember, if they are stopped for an inspection, the inspector will make sure their odometers match their logbooks, so it’s important to be correct.

Keep your CMV drivers trained with Training Today’s Transportation Library, which includes everything you need to increase awareness of safe driving practices and achieve compliance with OHSA, FMCSA, and DOT rules and regulations. Unlimited employee training—one low cost—no setup, no software to install. Go here for more information or to sign up.

In tomorrow’s Advisor, two exemptions to keeping the daily log, plus details on the grid and some great news about a whole Library of online training for driver instruction.