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Dear Marc, after reading the blog "Are drivers required to show when they stop for fuel on their BigRoad driver logs?"  I am wondering about flagging every on/off duty switch. If the driver is loading, unloading or resting do we need to mark that in the notes section? Do we need to note 30 minute breaks or can we just note that we were off duty 30 minutes?

Question submitted from one of our readers, Kevin B. Thanks Kevin!  

Driver behind the wheel of a truck turning on a device.

Dear Reader,

Every change in the duty status in the U.S., including what the specific duty status is at any given time, has to be indicated on a daily log to reflect what a driver was doing during a workday.

That being said,  FMCSA has granted some flexibility on how changes of duty status for a short period of time can be shown on the driver’s record of duty status.  Essentially, short periods of time (less than 15 minutes) may be identified by drawing a line from the appropriate on-duty (not driving) or driving line to the remarks section and entering the amount of time, such as “6 minutes,” and the geographic location of the duty status change.

In terms of how should multiple short stops in a town or city be recorded on a record of duty status, all stops made in any one city, town, village or municipality may be computed as one. In such cases the sum of all stops should be shown on a continuous line as on-duty (not driving).  In addition, the aggregate driving time between such stops should be entered on the record of duty status immediately following the on-duty (not driving) entry. The name of the city, town, village, or municipality, followed by the State abbreviation where all the stops took place, must appear in the “remarks” section of the record of duty status in order to comply with Part 395 in these instances.

Hope this helps!

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About the Author: Marc Moncion

Marc Moncion

Marc is the Head of Safety, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs for Fleet Complete. Marc is an author and industry subject matter expert that has worked in numerous senior transportation management roles for over 25 years, including an Inspector for the MTO. Marc sits on several Federal/State/Provincial regulatory bodies, and frequently provides commentary on emerging technology, best practices and regulatory affairs. In addition, Marc is a commercial driver’s licence (CLD) holder, and can drive all types of commercial vehicles in North America.