Ok so we left off wondering what the problem was that was keeping us from getting the miles we had hoped to be getting. We know other people have been getting say 2800 miles per week but you're getting only maybe 1800 and every so often you are running out of hours on your logbook and having no choice but to reschedule appointments because of it.
So knowing what you know now you decide, “ok I'll just cheat. I'll keep running even though I'm out of hours and I'll just fudge my logbook so nobody really knows. That way everybody's happy!” CONGRATULATIONS! You've come to the same conclusion that most of the drivers in the industry have come to. But like always, there's a catch. A few of them actually. And they are quite serious.
For starters, sometimes you can pretty easily fudge the book, sometimes it's not so easy. It depends on what factors your company is going to look for and how often they are going to look. Sometimes you can fudge it in a way that nobody will notice, sometimes you'll have to take the chance that nobody is going to audit your logs. Seems like a bit of a conundrum doesn't it?
Well, it's a lot more serious than you know. For one, if you were to get into a serious accident there is a very, very good chance that the DOT investigation will involve auditing your logs. If you had been falsifying your logs you could be facing federal charges along with a whole slew of other lawsuits and legal issues. I was fortunate to have driven almost 1.5 million miles without ever having had an accident. I can't begin to tell you how fortunate I was. But many drivers are not so fortunate.
Now any smart company will be way ahead of the drivers on this one. They want you to cheat, and when a driver does, the company will gladly turn their head the other way...that is, until THEY find themselves in some sort of trouble. Well, they would NEVER tell you to cheat. They can clearly see from the miles you are running that you must be cheating, but as long as nobody is looking they'll let it go. But the moment you get in an accident or the DOT comes in for a random log audit, well, guess what your company is going to do? Yap, that's right, they're going to throw you under the bus.
Now I've got your attention don't I? Now you're starting to see the seriousness of the dilemma a driver faces. So let's get this straight....everybody wins if the driver cheats his logbook, but if he gets caught the company is going to claim innocence and blame the driver?
YAP! Now how can they do that? Well, because the company's policies about the driver following all federal rules and regulations regarding the logbook are in writing. When you got hired at the company, you signed em. You put your name to paper taking responsibility for following the laws and you as a driver are solely responsible for the safe and legal operation of the truck.
But they KNEW you were cheating, right? YAP! And they benefited from you cheating, right? YAP! But you can't PROVE they knew. Besides, YOU are responsible for the safe and legal operation of the truck, not them.
So say the DOT comes in one day, does an audit, and finds you have been falsifying your logs in a serious manner for quite a period of time. They could easily tell your company that they will be facing severe fines for this type of behavior so to appease the DOT, they fire you. Does that get your company off the hook? Most of the time, pretty much so, yap.