We had heard the rumors a few months ago, and then recently, talked to a few drivers who have actually had their truck converted over. What am I talking about? Paperless logs, also known as electronic logs.......everything electronically registered when the truck is in motion and idle. In the words of a dispatcher who has been around for a lot of years..."It's going to change the way we do business".
It's the way most drivers will have to conform to by 2012, and in my limited time in the trucking world, it will definitely change how some drivers choose to operate and use their hours of service. I see the benefits, but also the downfall, to how drivers can sometimes "manipulate" the hours of service rules on the paper logs. With electronic logs, I see a lot more drop and hooks, and swapping of loads, due to drivers having the watchful eye of the computer always keeping track of their actual drive times. Yesterday morning, a new QualComm Electronic Log was installed in our truck while Craig sat idle at the Spokane company yard. We're really interested to see just how it will effect our driving miles, and Craig, always one to embrace anything new as far as gadgets go, has been already pouring over the on line training videos and manuals. No doubt he will have a list of questions to ask the log department before he leaves the yard.
On an up note, from the drivers we have talked to that do have the new system, they have said that when they are pulled into a scale house, that the DOT officers don't want anything to do with it, and just check their license, registration, medical card, and then send them on their way. The way I look at it, if it at all makes life out on the road that much easier for the driver....I'm all for it.