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Electronic Logs: Ready or Not Here They Come

Electronic Logs: Ready or Not Here They Come

Posted by Rosemary Day on Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Technology is ever changing and the trucking industry does not intend to be left behind especially if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has anything to do with it.   The FMCSA has announced a proposal to require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices in their vehicles.  The new ruling will require compliance by late 2016.

Electronic logbooks eliminate the “headache” of paperwork allowing the driver more time to focus on his or her job – getting from point A to point B safely and efficiently.  Through a mobile app, like Big Road, or hardware devices, such as Rand McNally’s TND 760 Fleet Edition, drivers can easily manage trip information.  They can also be alerted ahead of time as to when they will reach their HOS duty limit and breeze through DOT inspections due to the accuracy and reliability of electronic logbooks.  This reduces the risks of violations, cost of fines and time lost from being detained during an inspection.

Electronic logbooks increase productivity for both the driver and the company.  Managers have easy online access, 24/7, to their drivers log books, hours of service, driver availability and status history.  This ensures more accurate records, therefore, reducing administrative time and cost.  The results?  A more productive company.

Even with all the positive features of electronic logbooks, there are some disadvantages for the driver.  Their time is strictly monitored. There is little flexibility for delays such as rush hour traffic or loading and unloading problems.  Also, the driver may not be near a food/restroom facility before the e-clock time runs out.  These situations are of great concern to the driver trying to maintain his time schedule while at the same time trying to meet his personal needs.

Whatever your software needs may be, there are a variety of features available.  Many offer free trials, online demos or other opportunities to allow you to choose the software that best meets the specific needs of your company.  Take advantage of these offers or do like most and wait till “compliance date”.

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