Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Future of Electronic Logs for Truck Driving

Ken More
It seems like only yesterday that truck drivers were keeping track of all their pertinent activities that included the hours they drove, the time it took to eat meals, any accidents or breakdowns that they faced as well as the start and end destination of their route all on paper forms.

Today, that work is now being charted on electronic logs which are have recently taken over the trucking industry. Now, you'll find e-logs in all types of trucks that greatly reduce the paperwork and create a simple, efficient system that accurately tracks the entire route of each truck.

What is an E-Log?

An electronic log is a rather small device that looks somewhat similar to a GPS that you may have in your personal vehicle. This paperless log is installed in the dashboard of your truck and records basic information such as the following;
- Where the truck starts, goes and stops
- The speed of the truck
- The idle time of the truck
- The miles per gallon

This basic information is recorded in the device during the entire trip that the truck takes. An employee who gets in the truck at the start of the trip will need to enter their assigned number. At that point, the e-log will ask if the truck has had a pre-trip inspection. Once the vehicle gets going, the driver will press the "drive" button and the system will start recording.

At certain points in the trip, the driver will press the appropriate button to alert the e-log of the activity that is happening;
- Stopping for a break
- Filling up with fuel
- Making a delivery & more

The beauty of this system is that the driver only has to press a button and not write down any information. For truck drivers, having a paperless log saves them time, effort and energy in having to write down all the pertinent details of their trip.

The Benefits of Electronic Logs

There are certainly some important benefits that the e-log brings to trucking businesses as well as the drivers. While e-logs costs several hundred dollars, take hours to install and have a monthly subscription fee, they also offer the following benefits;


Even the best drivers can not accurately record information from time to time. The e-log never fails as long as the driver just presses a button to indicate a change in the status of their vehicle.


Without having to keep written logs, drivers can focus more on their primary job of driving the rig and getting to their next destination in a safe manner.

Instant Information:

Because the e-logs are in constant contact with the home base, a dispatcher can see in an instant just how long the driver has been on the road. That way, they can make accurate decisions when the drivers are reaching their maximum hours for the day.
A driver who is trained to use electronic logs can focus more on their job while their bosses can get accurate, up to the minute information that allows them to make better decisions.

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