Recently a nationwide DOT enforcement sweep put all law enforcement hands on deck in the area of carrier enforcement. We had numerous inspections during the sweep including one driver who was inspected 3 times in 5 days.
The good news is during the entire DOT sweep we had only one OOS (out of service) violation for a driver's hours of service. Because we take OOS violations very seriously as a company we talked to the trooper that took this driver out of service, and basically what happened is the log book did not match up with receipts the driver provided. So the trooper accused the driver of log book fraud, and took him out for 10 hours, and issued a $70 fine. (which could have been significantly higher)
Since the incident we have carefully reviewed the Federal Motor Carrier Regulations related to paper logs. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO KEEP OR PROVIDE RECEIPTS. We highly recommend that you NOT keep receipts in your truck while on the road.
Just because there is no federal requirement to keep receipts, it doesn't mean that a DOT officer isn't going to ask for them. If you provide receipts, then it creates an additional opportunity for the officer to "nit pick" a log book, and you have given him the rope (receipts) upon which he all too glad to "hang you."
As a company we want all operators to comply with all hours of service regulations. Compliance to HOS regulations keeps everyone on the road safe...and safety must always be your number one priority an an automobile transporter. As a company we require all MAT independent owner operators to comply with all hours of service regulations. There are no exceptions.
At the same time we do not support DOT harassment of our drivers beyond what the HOS regulations require. So this not advice to evade the law, but rather a strategy to evade DOT harassment.
Good news! The sweep week is over! Back to the normal level of harassment next week.