Do People Still Cheat Logs Now That They're Electronic?

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Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Define “cheat” because I’m betting that if we wanted to be 100% “by the book”, everyone here cheats in some way shape or form. Is it a big cheat, probably not but I know folks here will use that elog creep to pull to the fuel island in the morning to get fuel and do their morning pre trip. Is every single minute off on duty activity recorded? Probably not. Stop for fuel and log off duty to creep to a spot to finish that 30 minute break? I’m sure it happens all the time. They’re minutes that add up throughout the day and while insignificant in the grand scheme, you’re still cheating your logs.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Anne A. (and sometimes To's Comment
member avatar

From an ELD perspective he was perfectly legal. No need to unplug, full set of hours. No proof he attempted this either.

He was off duty and instead of sleeping, he was returning from a graduation party, driving his personal vehicle for many hours from VA to Smyrna DE and went on duty “driving” immediately following that. He fell asleep at the wheel through a speed restricted construction zone.

His negligence killed a man and seriously injured another. Living with that doesn’t make him lucky; he’s forever burdened with the ramifications of his mistake. Lucky? He cost his company millions plus undeserved negative publicity.

Lack of rest/sleep was the cause... nothing to do with unplugging an ELD. Everything to do with irresponsibility and unprofessional behavior.

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No.

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That's good. I didn't want to have to cheat logs.

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This is probably the 'last guy' that tried it. He got 'lucky' ... tbh! WalMart settled on his behalf.

Kevin Roper / Tracy Morgan 2016

Unplugging your ELD . . . will catch up with you. Read all the intrinsics regarding this case, if you have time.

~ Anne ~

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Thanks, G.

I've misspoken. He simply didn't log correctly, then? Off duty; should've been sleeping...but not.

Idk.

I'll always stand corrected, as need be. That was the 'epitome' of the consensus, early on.

MY MAIN POINT to the o/p .... is that... 'yeah, ELD's 'can' be cheated..... much to the driver's dismay.

Thanks! Sorry for overstepping. I do that a LOT lately; mea culpa.

~ Anne ~

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
MY MAIN POINT to the o/p .... is that... 'yeah, ELD's 'can' be cheated..... much to the driver's dismay.

Yes, this is true.

Define “cheat” because I’m betting that if we wanted to be 100% “by the book”, everyone here cheats in some way shape or form. Is it a big cheat, probably not but I know folks here will use that elog creep to pull to the fuel island in the morning to get fuel and do their morning pre trip. Is every single minute off on duty activity recorded? Probably not. Stop for fuel and log off duty to creep to a spot to finish that 30 minute break? I’m sure it happens all the time. They’re minutes that add up throughout the day and while insignificant in the grand scheme, you’re still cheating your logs.

Exactly.

There are a ton of gray areas in trucking and many times it isn't even possible to do something 100% legally. For example, when you pick up a very heavy load, you must drive to a scale at a truck stop to see if your weight is legal. Often it is not. You must either get some of the freight taken off the truck or slide the tandems to redistribute the weight. So the driving you did from the shipper to the scale was illegal. But what can you do about it? Nothing. Hope for luck, I guess. That's just the reality of it.

Another: Ask a DOT officer and they will tell you that even brand new trucks coming from the factory do not meet all the DOT's requirements. They can inspect a brand new truck and find violations. Nothing we can do about it.

So yes, there will always be opportunities to bend or break the rules. There are a million rules, and sometimes you must do what it takes to get the job done.

One time I had to make a delivery in Downtown Phoenix at City Hall. To get backed in I had to go the wrong way around the building on one-way streets. The police blocked everything off for me. Is it illegal to go the wrong way on one-way streets? Well, as it turns out, not if the police say it's ok!

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Yes, there are ways to cheat the electronic logbook , but obviously not the way we used to do in back in the paper logbook days. Stick to doing things by the book early in your career until you develop a better sense for the gray areas and how to handle them.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

BK's Comment
member avatar

This is a very interesting discussion. My company is well known for strict DOT compliance and I find security in that. As a rookie driver, I make logging mistakes and every time I will get a call or a message about it. I try to learn from this and not repeat the same mistake again. I can't imagine actually cheating on my log because: 1) I don't know how and 2) I'm sure I would get caught and fired.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I can't imagine actually cheating on my log because: 1) I don't know how and 2) I'm sure I would get caught and fired.

Those are two excellent reasons for not cheating!

When you're new to trucking, or most anything, it's best to go by the book until you learn the in's and out's. You can get into huge trouble making risky decisions when you're new to anything.

When I drove, we had paper logs. Almost every driver in America cheated every day, but very few of us cheated to maximize our miles. We cheated to have the flexibility to drive or to rest when it made sense to, not when some arbitrary clock said so.

I tried to average 3,200 miles per week, which anyone can do nowadays on electronic logs if conditions work out favorably. The difference is that nowadays you have to cram all of your drive time or rest time into large blocks of time. Most drivers do all of their work in a 14-hour period and get all of their rest in a 10-hour period. I enjoy breaking things up. Drive a couple of hours, take a quick break. Drive a couple more, take a quick nap. Drive a few more, stop and get dinner while you wait for rush hour traffic to clear. Then drive a few more that evening.

I might start my day at 2:00 am and finish at 10:00 pm but I had at least one nap and several breaks along the way. I might only get 4 - 5 hours of sleep and then start a new day, but that was perfect. That's how my body works. I don't sleep 7 - 8 hours straight. I don't think I've done that since I was a baby. Normally I get 5 - 6 hours of sleep at night and take a nap for 1 - 2 hours during the day.

So cheating the logs isn't just about ramping up all the miles you can get. It's often more about gaining some added flexibility in your schedule.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Daniel B.'s Comment
member avatar

Back before Prime updated their ELD software to instantly go on Driving as soon as the truck moves a foot I drove 7 miles from a truck stop to my delivery without going On Duty or Driving. The truck would not register you as Driving until you have driven a few miles or if your driving time exceeded 4 minutes. So before that 4th minute I would pull over and put myself back on Sleeper Berth. Take off again and rinse and repeat 3 times and I was there. It was very fun and definitely tickled the law-breaking Russian side of me that is not stimulated enough.

Agreed about the grey areas. There are a million of them. No one can truly be 100% legal at absolutely all times.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

Mikey B.'s Comment
member avatar

There are PLENTY of ways to cheat on the ELD and we ALL do it every single day. They are generally accepted in the industry and minor ways we cheat but still technically cheating. Ever go off duty as soon as you hit the dock? Ever send or read messages on the Qualcomm or other devices while off duty? Ever go off duty when you're broken down? Ever log pre/post trip while sitting in your truck or going into the store? Ever check in/out of a customer while off duty? Ever used PC to leave a customer when you still had at least some clock time left to keep from running out while driving? Ever been in SB while walking your dog, going into the store or exercising even sitting in the front seat? Ever fuel in OD status just to satisfy the 30 minute break (prior to new rule change)?

These are but a handful of ways we can and many often do cheat on the ELD. Most of the time even DOT will let most of these slide if you get inspected (although not all of these) however any one of them could just as easily be a written violation.

The best option is to log what you're doing and do what you're logging.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Actually no he didn’t log incorrectly. He was off duty, not in the truck on personal business. Had he not been involved in a serious accident, no one would have know the risk he took. Honor system.

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From an ELD perspective he was perfectly legal. No need to unplug, full set of hours. No proof he attempted this either.

He was off duty and instead of sleeping, he was returning from a graduation party, driving his personal vehicle for many hours from VA to Smyrna DE and went on duty “driving” immediately following that. He fell asleep at the wheel through a speed restricted construction zone.

His negligence killed a man and seriously injured another. Living with that doesn’t make him lucky; he’s forever burdened with the ramifications of his mistake. Lucky? He cost his company millions plus undeserved negative publicity.

Lack of rest/sleep was the cause... nothing to do with unplugging an ELD. Everything to do with irresponsibility and unprofessional behavior.

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No.

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That's good. I didn't want to have to cheat logs.

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This is probably the 'last guy' that tried it. He got 'lucky' ... tbh! WalMart settled on his behalf.

Kevin Roper / Tracy Morgan 2016

Unplugging your ELD . . . will catch up with you. Read all the intrinsics regarding this case, if you have time.

~ Anne ~

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Thanks, G.

I've misspoken. He simply didn't log correctly, then? Off duty; should've been sleeping...but not.

Idk.

I'll always stand corrected, as need be. That was the 'epitome' of the consensus, early on.

MY MAIN POINT to the o/p .... is that... 'yeah, ELD's 'can' be cheated..... much to the driver's dismay.

Thanks! Sorry for overstepping. I do that a LOT lately; mea culpa.

~ Anne ~

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Kandyman's Comment
member avatar

Back before eld's Stevens Transport paper log books had printed on them "Run it legal, Log it legal"!

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

“Hard” cheating is not possible.

Once you go on the drive line (over 15mph on most newer devices/prigramming) there is no going back. You cannot “cheat” this.

Personal conveyance has a lot of room for grey area operation. Just know HOS rules and your company’s policy for PC before using this log status.

Tampering with these devices is a policy violation for company drivers. Numerous built-in parity checks will signal a system issue send an alert to management. You’ll get caught.

“Soft” cheating is possible; although with the “yard move” on duty status, it’s possible to creep along at 15-ish mph and not trip the driveline.

I will throw some caution here... put yourself in the sleeper and get caught outside your truck, even if doing something like getting food, you are falsifying your logs. DOT has been known to perform spot checks at truck stops. Rather serious charge. So... think about what you’re doing and consider the consequences and likelihood of accountability.

As a pre-student, student or even novice driver please focus on conducting your business above board and compliant. Learn your craft and then worrying about the possibilities of grey-area.

Peace.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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