Benefits of Electronic Logbooks (Part 1): For Drivers

There are substantial—and measureable—benefits that your organization can experience by implementing an electronic logbook solution today. In this first post, we’re going to explore some of these benefits from the drivers’ point of view. In the second part, we’ll look at the benefits from a manager or supervisor’s perspective.

You can count on your drivers being reluctant to change the way they do things. This is especially true if they don’t have a clear understanding of how new electronic logbooks will benefit them.

Here are a few answers to the question “what’s in it for me?” according to anecdotal evidence and a 2014 report issued by FMCSA:[1]

1. Improved HoS Compliance

Research studies and anecdotal evidence both support the conclusion that drivers who work for companies that have replaced paper-based logbooks with electronic logbooks experience an increase in HoS compliance. Because hours are recorded automatically, HoS compliance becomes far less stressful and time-consuming for drivers. Also, accurate records ensure that drivers are taking the mandatory rest periods and avoiding fatigue, which helps to prevent on-the-job accidents.

The statistics are impossible to ignore. FMCSA’s report revealed that trucks equipped with electronic logbooks had driving-related HoS violation rates that were 53% lower, and non-driving-related violation rates that were 49% lower, compared to non-equipped trucks.

[1] Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Evaluating the Potential Safety Benefits of Electronic Hours-of-Service Recorders Final Report, April 2014.

2. Reduced Crashes

In addition to improved HoS compliance, drivers who work for companies that have replaced paper-based logbooks with electronic logbooks have fewer crashes. That’s because accurate HoS records ensure that drivers are not exceeding their HoS and are not driving with a level of fatigue that contributes to an increase in accidents.

The FMCSA reports that trucks equipped with an electronic logbook system had total crash rates that were 12% lower, and preventable crash rates that were 5% lower than the rates for trucks that didn’t have an electronic logbook system.

3. Saved Time and Less Stress

Drivers spend a great deal of unpaid time filling out paper-based logbooks by hand. When an electronic logbook system is in place, drivers may save as much as 20 minutes per day. Time savings like this may also result in less stress for drivers who no longer have to worry about doing the math and making sure that the paper logbooks are accurate and up-to-date.

The system does the calculations and displays their driving time for them. Additionally, drivers can simply push a button on their mobile device and change their status. If necessary, they can quickly change unsigned log entries before submitting them.

4. Readiness for Inspections and Audits

When drivers are dealing with inspections or audits, assembling paper-based logbooks can be challenging. Many drivers are caught unprepared. This leads to extensive inspections and citations. When using an electronic logbook, every driver always has the accurate, complete, and organize documentation they need to successfully handle inspections and audits.