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3/28/2016 8:31:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

E-Logs Improve Business Processes, Fleets Say, as Industry Preps for Mandate

Funk, Tarantini, Andresen by Seth Clevenger/TT

This story appears in the March 14 print edition of iTECH, a supplement to Transport Topics.

DALLAS — Electronic driver logs can streamline fleets’ business processes and improve hours-of-service compliance, but driver outreach is key for a successful rollout, trucking executives said.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule on electronic logging devices, published in December, will require nearly all interstate carriers to install ELDs by December 2017 to record drivers’ hours of service.

Executives from three fleets that already have moved to e-logs described their experiences with the technology during a recent panel discussion at Omnitracs’ annual user conference here.

BEST OF MARCH iTECH: More stories, columns

Gene Funk, vice president and general counsel for Cowan Systems, said e-logs prevent many of the mistakes that drivers can make on paper logs, leading to better scores under the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. When combined with telematics, he added, e-logs are also a valuable business intelligence tool.

“Until you have e-logs in your trucks, you don’t really know what’s going on,” Funk said.

Cowan’s fleet managers can view drivers’ available hours on their computer screens as they make decisions, so they can’t tell drivers to “just get it done.”

“They have complete awareness of the driver’s situation, and that places the responsibility where it should be — on the planners and the fleet managers,” Funk said.

Cowan, a dry van and refrigerated hauler based in Baltimore, ranks No. 66 on Transport Topics’ Top 100 list of the largest for-hire carriers in the United States and Canada.

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By Seth Clevenger
Technology Editor

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