Paper Logs Versus Elogs

Topic 9702 | Page 1

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Quality1's Comment
member avatar

I would like to drive a truck again,but can anyone tell me why nowadays it seems to be a lot of accidents involving trucks,is it the computer logs that's causing it,because when I drove we used paper logs.Don't know much about the elogs can anyone tell me the difference between the two. Thanks

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Actually the accident statistics involving trucks isn't too bad based upon historical comparisons. The number of accidents versus the number of drivers on the road seems to be holding pretty steady while the number of deaths has dropped significantly over the years, presumably because the vehicles are a lot safer now than they were in the past.

Now I drove my entire career using paper logs. I never used elogs. And I've always made it clear that I cheated on my logs pretty much every day of my life for 15 years. But I didn't cheat most of the time to get more total miles than I could have gotten legally. I cheated to give myself the flexibility to run when it made sense to run and park it when it made sense to park it.

The logbook doesn't know if you're feeling great or a little weak and sickly that day. It doesn't know if traffic in Chicago is backed up for thirty miles or if you're heading into clear sailing all the way through Nebraska. It doesn't know if there's a supercell with possible tornadoes 30 miles in front of you or if the sun is shining and all is well. Only I knew those things so I felt I should decide when it makes sense to drive and when it doesn't.

But I always shot for 3,000-3,200 miles per week. I did have one job for a year where I averaged almost 4,000 miles a week but that was just way too much to sustain week in and week out. Legally you can do 3,200 miles per week with elogs so in that regard I would be fine with em. The problem is that they take away a lot of your flexibility.

Then on top of that they added the 14 hour rule and made the split sleeper berth rule virtually unusable most of the time which really took away a lot of your flexibility.

I think flexibility is the biggest difference you'll find today with elogs versus paper logs back in the day. Back in the day we were pretty much limited by the 70 hour rule but we could write down anything we wanted to so we could drive when we wanted to. Now you'll be able to turn a solid 3,000+ miles a week legally but you're going to be a slave to the clock in a way you never had to be before. You're not really going to have the choice of stopping for a few hours just to relax, take a nap, and watch a little football in the middle of your day. You can't just park it because traffic is backed up so now seems like a good time for dinner and a shower. You've gotta run when you're on that clock and sit when it runs out. That's all there is to it.

I think the elog system is great and I'm glad everyone will have to use it pretty soon. You can still turn plenty of miles legally to make a good living. But I think the 14 hour rule makes things far more dangerous than they used to be and I think they should bring back the old style split sleeper berth rules. I think those changes were a big mistake.

If it was up to me I'd roll the logbook rules back to what they were back about 15 years ago but require everyone to use electronic logs. I think that creates safe driving conditions and a fair and level playing field for all companies.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I would like to drive a truck again,but can anyone tell me why nowadays it seems to be a lot of accidents involving trucks,is it the computer logs that's causing it,because when I drove we used paper logs. Don't know much about the elogs can anyone tell me the difference between the two. Thanks

Are you concerned about accidents caused by elogs? That seems to be your question.

Elogs record your driving/duty for you. You need to add in comments (30 minute break, fuel, etc.) But the time hacks and locations are recorded. Yes that means you can't, er, "adjust" your logs, either.

As far as I know, HOS rules have changed a bit (14 hour rule) but not that much that would cause accidents.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Phox's Comment
member avatar

Wait a tick.... you're limited on how FAR you can drive on top of how long... i get the limit on how long but distance seems a bit unfair...

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

The difference between elogs and paper logs... Not going to talk about that. It's already been compared. And not going to talk about what rules to change back to the way it used to be cause it will never go back to that.

I have used elogs since 2009. Never felt pressured by them. They never made me tired or unsafe. And I think I can say it has never made anyone else tired or unsafe.

Being unsafe is do to driver behavior or should say a learned behavior. Elogs did not teach this behavior. The driver, for whatever reason, decided to act in a unsafe manner which leads to accidents and deaths. Delays in trucking happens. There really is no way that time can be made back up. No one can force someone to preform unsafe actions.

I have yet to see or hear about someone getting tired and needing to take a nap being fired. It happens sometimes. Where the problem starts is the same driver needing a nap every single day cause they did not get enough rest.

You have 14 hours to do 11 hours of driving. And take in account fueling and a 30 minute break and pre trip and you have roughly 13 hours. That's 2 extra hours. That's plenty of time to take a nap in or just simply stop and relax a while.

OK well what about 4,5 or 6 hours at a shipper or receiver? Your doing nothing else so why not relax and take a nap or watch a movie in your truck? About 90 to 95%, if not higher, will come out to your truck and knock on the door when their done loading /unloading you.

Sure it may not be the most ideal time for you to relax but when the time presents itself then you have to take it when you can.

Solo long haul drivers have the most ability to be less stressed once they learn Time Management.

I drive team hauling doubles for a very large union LTL company.(ABF) We are on a strict time schedule. And you know what? I still manage to find time to relax or take a nap if need be. It's called Time Management. It's one of the most valuable skills a driver can learn.

We take showers, at the longest, every two days and never have to wait to use the bathroom. But it requires managing our time down to the minute and allowing for that plan to be revised at the last minute if need be. I have a proven on time service record and safety record. It takes time to build that up. My company knows I will do what I need to do to do my job and do it safely. Elogs or not.

So blaming elogs or the lack of paper logs is just a crutch to lean on or to have something to blame. It really comes down to the decisions the driver is willing to make or not make. If you make the decision to risk doing something unsafe and it backfires on you then you really have no one to blame but yourself.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

LTL:

Less Than Truckload

Refers to carriers that make a lot of smaller pickups and deliveries for multiple customers as opposed to hauling one big load of freight for one customer. This type of hauling is normally done by companies with terminals scattered throughout the country where freight is sorted before being moved on to its destination.

LTL carriers include:

  • FedEx Freight
  • Con-way
  • YRC Freight
  • UPS
  • Old Dominion
  • Estes
  • Yellow-Roadway
  • ABF Freight
  • R+L Carrier

Doubles:

Refers to pulling two trailers at the same time, otherwise known as "pups" or "pup trailers" because they're only about 28 feet long. However there are some states that allow doubles that are each 48 feet in length.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Lawrence H.'s Comment
member avatar

I was running from San Bernardino to Fresno everyday in a truck governed at 54.6 mph yes 54.6. Now right out of the box if you waste anymore than 30 minutes you cannot do it leggally. Because of a traffic accident, cal trans painting new fog lines. Or shipper or reciever holding you up. If you had e logs there is no way you could run that load. Typical day get to yard, go to town 43 miles away drop trailer find loaded trailer. Is it loaded right if not slide trailer axles. Its a light load only 53,550 lbs child be no problem getting that across or around scales. Whatever it takes right. So we don't stop we leave their drive 54.6 mph all the way except bottom of grapevine that is slightly downhill so you can go 65 for 7 minutes. But when you get back your gonna get another warning for driving to fast. 4 hours and 15 minutes you get there. But wait it takes 4 hours to unload. How do I make it back. Free time ! I got paper logs.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I was running from San Bernardino to Fresno everyday in a truck governed at 54.6 mph yes 54.6. Now right out of the box if you waste anymore than 30 minutes you cannot do it leggally. Because of a traffic accident, cal trans painting new fog lines. Or shipper or reciever holding you up. If you had e logs there is no way you could run that load. Typical day get to yard, go to town 43 miles away drop trailer find loaded trailer. Is it loaded right if not slide trailer axles. Its a light load only 53,550 lbs child be no problem getting that across or around scales. Whatever it takes right. So we don't stop we leave their drive 54.6 mph all the way except bottom of grapevine that is slightly downhill so you can go 65 for 7 minutes. But when you get back your gonna get another warning for driving to fast. 4 hours and 15 minutes you get there. But wait it takes 4 hours to unload. How do I make it back. Free time ! I got paper logs.

Yeah but I take it your dedicated or semi dedicated routing. That's a bit different but still boils down to the driver making acceptable or unacceptable decisions. It's not elogs that cause the safety issues.

Elog:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Elogs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

Guy, I agree with pretty much everything you said regarding time management, but Lawrence brought up an interesting point regarding governed trucks. Can you imagine how frustrating it would be to be driving that truck at 55 in a state like South Dakota, where the limit is 80, knowing you were missing out on 25 miles every hour? In one day of driving you could potentially be over 200 miles behind. At $0.40/mile, that's $80 you would be missing out on that day.

This is the type of situation where I would assume 99% of paper log users would fudge the logs. For example, they could either drive 11 hours and say they drove about 8 (saving them time on their 70) or drive for 14 hours to achieve the same mileage that they could get in 11 hours at 80mph. I personally see less wrong with the first example than the second one, but that's because I think the 70 hour rule is ridiculous. For me, the amount of time I worked 8 days ago has absolutely no effect on my alertness level today.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

My problem is with the 14 hour rule. Show me one study on Earth that found humans can work just as safely and efficiently in the 9th through 14th hours as they did in the first 8 hours. You won't find one. Nobody can do it. That's been proven time and time again in countless studies. The human mind simply gets tired after a while and needs a reset. To cram your entire work day into 14 straight hours is beyond asinine to me. I have no idea how they ever got that rule passed in the first place. That's why we have 8 hour work days, 40 hour work weeks, and overtime pay after 40 hours. Because they want to discourage that type of thing. It's entirely too dangerous to keep pushing someone to go, go, go hour after hour after hour.

Except in trucking, of course, where it's ok to tell someone they must keep going. They must cram all of their workday into one long 14 hour period and completely exhaust themselves so they can then cram all of their rest into one 10 hour period.

Personally I never work 14 hours straight and I never sleep for even 8 hours straight. I don't operate that way and I never have. When I drove I would drive two or three hours and take a short break. Even if it was to pull into a rest area, use the restroom, and grab a bottle of water. That was great. I felt totally revived and ready to roll.

And when in the real world is it efficient to keep going and going and going? Traffic jams, construction zones, storms passing through, maintenance that needs to get done - there's a million reasons why it makes sense to stop for a while, take a break for a few hours, and continue with your day a little later.

To this day I don't work in long shifts even sitting at a computer all day. I'll work for a couple hours and then go check on the chickens and see what's happening in the stock market. Then I'll work a couple more hours and take a break to head to the grocery store quick. Sometimes I start at 2:00 a.m., sometimes at 6:00 a.m. Sometimes I'm taking a nap at 9:30 in the morning, sometimes at 2:00 in the afternoon. Never do I do things the same way any two days in a row. I work when I feel ready to work and take a break when I need it. That makes my working time a lot more efficient and productive and my rest time equally as efficient and productive.

That's exactly how I did it in the road. I drove when I felt it made sense to drive and I parked it when it made sense to park it. I knew where I had to be and when I had to be there. I was always on time and I ran as many miles as anyone out there. But I did it whatever way made the most sense at the moment. Not based upon someone else's rules or their clock, but based on how I felt and what the conditions warranted that I was dealing with.

The idea of cramming all of the work into one long stretch and then all of my rest into one long stretch makes no sense to me at all. It's not safe - studies have proven that a million times. It's not efficient because weather, traffic, schedules, load & unload times, and everything else constantly changes. It just doesn't make sense on any level to me. You're already limiting the daily driving hours to 11 hours. Why would it all have to be crammed in at one time? For many decades we had the flexibility to drive 10 on and 8 off with split sleeper berth and the safety numbers haven't gotten any better since they've changed those rules.

"Don't drive when you're tired" they always tell you. But then out of the other side of their mouth they say "But you have to keep working for the next 14 hours straight." Yeah, ok.

Sleeper Berth:

The portion of the tractor behind the seats which acts as the "living space" for the driver. It generally contains a bed (or bunk beds), cabinets, lights, temperature control knobs, and 12 volt plugs for power.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Lawrence H.'s Comment
member avatar

They need to bring back the split your sleeper times. The worse thing about that 54.6 truck is I knew exactley how much time I was losing. Because when the brand new peterbilt would break down I got the rental. Bam set the cruise on 62 mph and pull 32 minutes off a 225 mile run. One way. That's when getting unloaded within two hours you could just to the 550 mile round trip legal. But only in rental truck. All trucks were day cabs so paper logs had to be pretty thought out. I got to where I was lying so much I didn't know what day it was for real.

Day Cab:

A tractor which does not have a sleeper berth attached to it. Normally used for local routes where drivers go home every night.

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