Trucking is a professional field that leans heavily on tradition. Many truckers come from a long line of drivers, each carrying on with pride. When it comes to the trucks themselves, technologies are always improving but their implementation is another thing entirely! By now, everyone in the industry is aware of the huge changes involved with switching from paper to e-logs. Now over a quarter of the way through 2018, we’re still wondering just how effective these devices are (or are not.) Nonetheless, it’s still a reality that nearly all drivers are facing, so it’s important to look on the bright side of ELDs and what these devices can improve in the industry.
No matter where you stand on the issue, it’s clear that paper logs are quickly going extinct in the industry. Forests will rejoice but many log hauling drivers have different opinions… Still, certain drivers who value convenience and accuracy find e-logs to be a superior option.
Switching from Paper to E-Logs | 4 Reasons Why
1. Reducing User Error
We all make mistakes and when a task is confined to paper, there’s no computer system to check your work. After a long day of driving, exhausted minds are prone to mistakes. When it comes to hours of service requirements and logging miles traveled, trucking companies require these to be as accurate as possible. And why would someone choose to physically write out the details of their haul when computers can easily track and record this automatically?
Critics will say that the rigidity of ELDs doesn’t always reflect the experience of real drivers. If you’re several minutes from home but your e-log is requiring you call it a day, there’s the chance of a nasty violation without proper explanation. In any case, the technical accuracy of switching from paper to e-logs is mostly desirable across the industry.
2. Convenience for Drivers and Companies
In addition to providing higher degrees of accuracy, e-logs are virtually impossible to lose. Papers can get shuffled and mismatched but hardwired devices cannot. Again, when drivers would rather not deal with the technicalities of their work logs, switching from paper to e-logs is the way to go. Similarly, companies with massive fleets most certainly do not want to file stacks of papers to achieve the same results. When they need information, it’s readily available at the click of a mouse. Additionally, preparing quarterly IFTA reports, identifying costs, and general planning is made considerably more streamline.
3. Avoiding Hours of Service Violations
The most avoidable, yet common violations are caused by drivers working beyond their required hours of service (HOS). Rather than having drivers spend time logging trickier tasks, switching from paper to e-logs eliminates these headaches. Instead of miscalculating when taking breaks is necessary, truckers can drive until the computer’s clock indicates it’s time to pull over.
When we think about the driver shortage, it’s necessary to continue recruiting the next generation of drivers. Younger drivers used to technology easily adapt to the idea of using e-logs over paper — and generally prefer doing so. With the notion that using these devices means less chance of violations and smartphone connectivity, there’s good reason to believe why switching from paper to e-logs is beneficial.
4. Reducing Driver Liability
Although we hope they never occur, serious accidents require the review of critical information like logging hours and violations. If a driver mistakenly records their HOS on a paper log, the possibility of mistakes makes a lack of e-logging technology a particular liability. Essentially, if a violation and accident occur during the same haul, lawyers may point to HOS violations as a possible reason for the crash. By switching from paper to e-logs, there is much less of a chance that these claims can be made, ultimately protecting the driver and their company.
What are your thoughts on this transition? Any benefits or drawbacks to using ELDs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!