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Dear Marc,

Are my drivers required to show when they stop for fuel on their BigRoad driver logs?

Question submitted from a NASTC Customer

Driver holding a fuel nozzle fueling the  truck.

Dear Reader,

In response to the question if a driver is required to show when they stop for fuel on their BigRoad logs, I have the following information to provide.  One of the primary requirements to confirm is whether a driver is relieved of responsibility or not by the motor carrier when operating a commercial motor vehicle.

To begin, on duty time includes the following activities:

  • All time at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper, or on any public property, waiting to be dispatched, unless you have been relieved from duty by the motor carrier;
  • All time inspecting, servicing, or conditioning any truck, including fueling it and washing it at any time;  

Therefore, given the question below, the driver is by default required to show this activity in his/her log as being on duty.

Other duty time includes the following activities:

  • All driving time, as defined in the term driving time;
  • All other time in or on a commercial motor vehicle other than:

(i) Time spent resting in or on a parked vehicle, except as otherwise provided in Section 397.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations;

(ii) Time spent resting in a sleeper berth;

(iii) Up to 2 hours riding in the passenger seat of a property-carrying vehicle moving on the highway immediately before or after a period of at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth.

  • All time loading, unloading, supervising, or attending your truck, or handling paperwork for shipments;
  •  All time taking care of your truck when it is broken down;
  • All time spent providing a breath, saliva, or urine sample for drug/ alcohol testing, including travel to and from the collection site;
  • All time spent doing any other work for a motor carrier, including giving or receiving training and driving a company car; and
  • All time spent doing paid work for anyone who is not a motor carrier, such as a part-time job at a local restaurant. The bottom line is that on-duty time includes all time you are working for a motor  carrier, whether paid or not, and all time you are doing paid work for anyone else.

Driver behind the wheel of a truck turning on a device.What is On-Duty Time In a Commercial Motor Vehicle?

As an FYI, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) excludes from the definition of on-duty time any time resting in a parked commercial motor vehicle, with the driver relieved of all responsibility for the vehicle.

Also excluded is up to 2 hours in the passenger seat of a moving commercial motor vehicle, immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth. This rule continues to require drivers to take 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, and allows them to take an additional 2 hours in the passenger seat when the vehicle is moving, without artificially confining them to the sleeper berth for the entire 10-hour period.

This option provides team drivers an opportunity to “keep the truck moving” by having driver ‘A’ drive for 10 hours (not consecutively with a 30-minute break required at the 8th hour) while driver ‘B’ obtains a full daily rest period without having to stay in the sleeper berth for 10 straight hours. Driver B can take 8 hours in the sleeper berth and 2 hours in the passenger seat to accomplish the required off-duty period. Then the drivers may change positions and keep the truck moving.

This reversal pattern could continue until either driver reaches the maximum limit of 60 or 70 hours on duty in any 7 or 8 day period. Please note that only the first 2 hours in the passenger seat of the commercial motor vehicle can be combined with the 8 hours in the sleeper berth to get the required 10 consecutive hours off-duty. Any hours spent in the passenger seat after these 2 hours count and must be properly logged as on-duty (not driving) time.

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What is Travel Time?

As a further FYI, “Travel time” refers to the time you are being transported to a new location as part of your job, while not performing any driving on the trip. Any travel time you do at the direction of your motor carrier is considered on-duty time. However, if you take at least 10 consecutive hours off duty once you get to your destination, you may count all of the time, including the travel time, as off-duty.

Example: Your company sends you on a bus for 8 hours to pick up a truck and drive it back. You are simply riding the bus and not doing any other work for your company. Before driving the truck you take 10 consecutive hours off duty. In this case you may count all of the travel time as off duty as well.

The regulation on travel time is found in Section 395.1(j).

The definition of on-duty time is found in Section 395.2.

Driver standing with hands folded in front of a blue truck.What Is Off-Duty Time?

By understanding the definition of on-duty time, you will get a good idea of what is considered off-duty time. In order for time to be considered off-duty, you must be relieved of all duty and responsibility for performing work. You must be free to pursue activities of your own choosing and be able to leave the place where your vehicle is parked. If you are not doing any work (paid or unpaid) for a motor carrier, and you are not doing any paid work for anyone else, you may record the time as off-duty time.

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.