Electronic Logs vs. Paper Logs

paper log book

“If I have to go to an electronic log, I’m quitting!”

“This is just another hassle and way for me to lose money!”

“The day I give up my paper log is the day I quit!”

Does any of this sound familiar? Ever since the decision to require electronic logs over paper logs came out in 2012, drivers and carriers across the country have been wondering what this would mean for the trucking industry. Many have assumed the worst and have threatened to quit.

If you talk to drivers with good Electronic Logging Devices and companies that take care of their drivers, you’ll find that those who once hated the idea of an ELD now love them.

What Electronic Logging Devices Offer that Paper Logs Can’t

ELDs do plenty that paper logs can’t. While drivers and companies will need time to adjust, there are clear benefits:

  • Data is stored for easy access.
  • Real time information is available for the driver or management team to see. Ideally, management can intervene to make sure that the driver stays in compliance and the customer receives their shipment on time.
  • Specific log entries can be found easily and quickly.
  • Drivers don’t have to worry about keeping up with a paper log.
  • For management, there’s less hassle – no more illegible logs, and fewer HOS violations.
  • Drivers can’t be pushed to drive more than they’re supposed to.

For those worried about the expense of upgrading to an ELD, the most affordable option is one that uses technology well and doesn’t rely on much hardware. Gorilla Safety uses smartphone and mobile devices to keep up with logs (along with other hardware), helping to keep costs down.

What Paper Logs Do that ELDs Won’t

Plenty of drivers don’t want to let go of their paper logs, but let’s look at what paper logs do (or don’t do) that ELDs won’t.

  • Paper logs make audits more difficult. Logs can be filed in multiple places around the office or in other locations, making it almost impossible to quickly locate and check data.
  • Paper logs can’t be searched making it hard to locate specific entries.
  • Paper logs are rarely submitted in a timely fashion and often weeks after violations have already occurred, making them impossible to prevent.
  • Paper logs can easily be damaged.
  • Paper logs require time. Drivers must spend a lot of time entering and re-entering the same information over and over again – by hand.

Most people want to stick with what they know and don’t want to have to change. Paper logs are part of a bygone era, and beginning December 16, 2017 will no longer be an option.

The right ELD doesn’t have to be expensive for companies or a hassle for drivers.

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