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Advantages and disadvantages of eLogs.

Advantages & Disadvantages of eLogs

January 25, 2016

In today’s digital age, it is no surprise that trucking logs are going from paper to digital. Electronic on-board recorder (EOBR) or electronic logging device (ELD), most commonly referred to as an eLog, is a technology many trucking companies are implementing. Below is a summary of some of the advantages and disadvantages of eLogs.

Advantages of eLogs Disadvantages of eLogs
Accuracy Cost: instillation, hardware, monthly
Reporting Drivers feel micromanaged
Forces truck drivers to take breaks Less mileage equals less money for truckers

The eLogs will automatically and accurately record miles and driving hours for the trucker 24 hours a day. This helps with accuracy of the logs and prevents truckers from driving too long and not taking the breaks required by law.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) federal regulations require that truck drivers take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of every shift. There is also an 11-hour daily driving limit and a 14-hour work day limit. Truck drivers want to get to their destinations as quickly as possible, even if that means driving a little longer than they should. With paper logs, drivers can easily adjust the driving and working time to make it look like they are taking the required breaks. However, as more trucking companies are switching to eLogs, the ability to drive longer hours, without taking time for breaks, are no longer possible.

Although the trucker safety benefits of eLogs will benefit the drivers, many feel like the companies are micromanaging them and not allowing them to get to their destination as quickly as they would like. Since the eLogs have safety regulations that will prevent the driver from driving too long, this can also cause their pay checks to be lower. The fewer miles traveled, the less money they will make.

Accuracy and the ability for the trucking company owner to see what all of the trucks are doing in a day is a huge benefit for most trucking companies. With paper logs, it takes time to develop reports and summaries over the data. The eLogs have instant (and accurate) summary reports on mileage, stops, driving time and more. This information can be beneficial to the trucking company to analyze and see where they can improve their business.

Most owners of trucking companies see the benefits of eLogs because of the reporting, accuracy and safety of their drivers. However, the installation, hardware and monthly cost can be substantial – especially for smaller trucking companies.

Within two years the new rule (published on December 11, 2015) requires all truck and bus drivers who use paper logs to switch to electronic logs.