Finishing Your Dispatch Training? Here are 5 Things that Need to be Found in a Logbook

As a future dispatcher, you will be responsible for orchestrating the movement of freight across vast distances, while maintaining close communication with truck drivers and clients. As there are many moving parts to the job and the industry is heavily regulated, accurate and organized recordkeeping is vital to be successful. You must keep track of delivery and pick-up schedules, driver routes, dispatched calls, truck repairs and maintenance, and ensure that the drivers are keeping accurate records in their logbook. Some dispatchers decide to focus their career path entirely on Logbook Auditing.

As of January 1st, 2023, the Canadian government has mandated the transition from paper logs to Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) for many commercial motor vehicles. ELDs connect to the onboard diagnostics port and pulls data directly from the engine. The main reasoning behind this regulation is to improve driver compliance with legally allowed driving hours and increase safety measures.

This technological innovation is beneficial for dispatchers as records are more accurately kept and allow access to real-time information about the carriers and their loads. Keep reading to learn about 5 aspects of recording a driver’s hours that need to be included in every logbook.

1. Accurate Documentation of the Hours of Service as Required by Law

All dispatcher schools emphasize the importance of accurately documenting and staying within the legally permitted driving hours. There are four categories of duty time that must be included within a logbook: 

  • Off-duty time other than time spent in a sleeper berth
  • Off-duty time spent in a sleeper berth
  • On-duty time excluding driving hours
  • On-duty time driving

The laws within Canada state that a driver may only drive 13 hours within a 24-hour period, with a total of 14 hours of on-duty time. They are also required to take at least 10 hours of off-duty time, within which one period must be 8 consecutive hours. As a dispatcher, part of your job will be monitoring drivers’ logbooks to ensure they are performing well while respecting the laws. 

dispatcher training
You’ll ensure drivers follow the federal rules and regulations after your dispatch training

2. Off-Duty Time Other Than Time Spent in a Sleeper Berth

This off-duty time includes breaks and meals as long as the driver is completely relieved of all job responsibilities for the duration of this time. During this time, a driver will be free to leave the location of the vehicle and partake in the activities of his or her choice. 

3. Ensure Off-Duty Time Spent in a Sleeper Berth is Logged After Dispatch Training

The sleeper berth is the area within a truck that is designated for use as a sleeping compartment. Drivers legally must take 8 consecutive hours of off-duty time between work shifts, a majority of which is usually spent in the sleeper berth. 

As a dispatcher, an aspect of your job is ensuring that your drivers stay safe. Your education in dispatching will teach you to effectively coordinate the trip length, routes, and delivery deadlines while accounting for these mandatory periods of off-duty time.

dispatcher schools
Dispatcher courses will prepare you to coordinate multiple trips occurring at the same time

4. On-Duty Time Excluding Driving Hours Must be Logged

There are responsibilities, aside from being behind the wheel, that are required of drivers. These include but are not limited to tasks such as:

  • Writing reports
  • Loading and unloading
  • Inspecting, servicing, or repairing a heavy vehicle
  • Waiting because of an accident or other unplanned situation

During your dispatcher training, you’ll build your communication skills as you’ll be in constant contact and need to convey information to your drivers and clients regularly. With multiple trucks and loads being transported simultaneously, our school will prepare you to use multitasking and problem-solving skills daily. 

5. On-Duty Time Spent Driving

This is the number of hours that the driver is behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle while the engine is on. Government regulations have been set in order to ensure that the 13-hour maximum per 24-hour period is not crossed. It is essential that you ensure drivers do not go over this limit as they could be put out of service and face monetary fines. 

Moving from paper to an electronic system will not only accurately document your driver’s hours but will allow for a comprehensive list of information to be at your fingertips as a dispatcher. This includes real-time GPS location, engine speed and load, mileage, diagnostics, safety-related events, and more. 

ATC Montreal prepares you to confidently enter this lucrative and high-demand career after graduating. With hands-on learning from experienced industry leaders, you’ll be job-ready for this exciting, fast-paced career.

Interested in taking dispatcher courses?

Contact ATC Montreal for more information today!

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