Falsifying your log book entries

A recent story related to AFM concerned a driver under BFM that arrived at his destination at the limit of his work time. Upon arrival he entered his work time as finishing at his arrival time. However, the truck still needed to be unloaded and re-loaded for the return journey. He finally went to bed 3 hours after he arrived.

Four hours later he had to get up and begin his journey back. Again on arrival he had used up his 14 hours work time and declared himself finished in his log book at the arrival time but still had to unload and reload the truck. He was then told he had to do another trip after only getting another 4 hours sleep.

The driver declared himself unfit to drive because of lack of sleep and was subsequently sacked for not doing the job.

The driver approached unfair dismissal but was told he had no case because he had worked for this employer for less than 6 months. After that he had no other recourse. His log books showed that he had complied with all mandated work and rest times and he would have had to admit to falsifying his log book if he wanted to complain to the NHVR.

The moral is record your work and rest times as they actually happen and do not exceed them. You cannot get back lost hours of sleep or rest. If you are found to be making false entries in your log book you could be facing a $20,000 fine. If you have an accident with false entries you are going to be doing jail time. The job is not worth it and you need to find an employer that schedules realistically.

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5 years ago

The log book can cause more issues of fatigue than it can ever prevent as this industry does not run regular times for us that suffer the problem of deadlines, employer requirements and laws that give unrealistic opportunities to get good rest using the regulation standard! It is unfair to punish drivers for not following the letter of the law when it is a bigger cause of the problem than any other factor…

Peter Parkinson
5 years ago

If he drove to the limit of his log book, then worked for 3 hours, then slept for 4, leaving to continue his run back home and IF he had his 1 hour break during that trip to the unloading site, then he would be 2 hours over total worktime in 24 hour period, plus the 3 hours while unloading and then there is the falsified document on top of that, The question really is WHO did he drive for as this boss needs to be shut down…

5 years ago

Exactly right PP. He should have arrived at the delivery depot and stated he was out of hours and asked the local warehouse staff to empty the load while he slept nearby. Then after his seven hours sleep he could have reloaded. His boss should have insisted on this procedure being followed and should have known his staffs movements and time limits. The fact that he was sacked indicates that he was expected to break the law and continue to drive whilst unfit. This is again reflected in the fact that the driver felt under pressure to falsify the documents.… Read more »

5 years ago

Situations like this is not uncommon. However, there needs to be some responsiblity for drivers to say no!…. we do a run which places us in a similar position, but drivers just need to say to the boss, “i have been awake for 20 hrs, i am going to bed, i will be back in 7 hrs”…….. If this happened to me, I would call RMS or Police and report this operator….. you got sacked anyway, so you have nothing to lose…. re u fair dismissal? why bother! why would you want to work for an operator like this anyway….… Read more »

David King Road Transport Lawyers
5 years ago

Regrettably I have acted for drivers in such circumstances and also detected by camera or Tirtl to provide logbook entries and prosecuted for false or misleading entry/ies and/or not have 7 hours continuous rest break and/or work in excess of max standard BFM time…