from Smart Trucking

A log book system that may well finish off what’s left of the trucking industry?

Will this system make the truck driver shortage for carriers, an even bigger problem?

These are just some of the questions that have our alreadyoverstressed industry in a tailspin…….the introduction of the electronic log book for drivers in the trucking industry.

The electronic log book or e-log, is a hot topic of debate, with drivers and trucking companies.

They are designed to accurately record what the truck does, 24/7!

The standard style paper log book opens up the opportunity to falsify the driver’s actions. However, this doesn’t happen with these on-board recorders tracking the truck driver’s every move.

Accurate records of the truck’s actions are very useful in a DOT inspection or for a carrier’s safety audit. Often, truck inspection stations will keep records which carriers operate with the electronic log book method, and will usually waive these trucks on through the inspection station.

The Trucking Company’s Take on the Electronic Log Book

  • Upper management of large fleets love the paperless log book because of the problems they eliminate. The records are not only accurate, but legible.
  • They don’t require close scrutiny and analysis for hours of service violations by the trucking company.
  • The system keeps control of the logs and produces summaries that can be reviewed by a company’s safety team…. a huge time and money savings for the trucking company.
  • Small fleets and owner operators don’t seem to be impressed with e-logs, due to the high cost of the system and the scrutiny of their every action.
  • However, this method can also be a dispatcher’s worst nightmare.

    Dispatchers have the unpleasant task of explaining to anxious customers why their anticipated delivery isn’t on time. They also must have a good working knowledge of the electronic methodology, which makes their scheduling much more challenging than it already is.

But, hey…. that’s their job, and that’s why they get paid the big bucks!

The Truck Driver’s View on E-logs

  • It seems as though drivers who have actually used the e-logs, either love it or hate it.
  • I’ve interviewed several truck drivers who have been using the system for over a year. They indicated that as drivers, they’ve never been more ‘rested’ and ‘relaxed in 30+ years of driving. There’s no being rushed or pushed by dispatchers demanding unreasonable delivery schedules.
  • It’s also a stress reliever at the scales, too. Some owner operators have noticed improvements in their diesel fuel economy, due to the scrutiny of speed controls.
  • Having said that, potentially, there’s less money to be made by a driver on this system. It’s impossible to run as hard or as long as you could on a paper log book.
  • It’s now more important than ever to work for a carrier with the best mileage rate and especially one that pays your waiting time and layover time.

Read the rest of the article here.