Choose the Right Digital Logbook App for Your Trucking Business
Modern trucking businesses rely on electronic logbook devices to manage their HOS as required by federal law. These tools are essential to ensuring compliance and overall safety on the road. While some truckers are still allowed to use paper logs, the wide majority are now required to record their hours of service with a digital logbook.
In this article, we will look at the difference between paper and digital logs, discuss the characteristics of dependable electronic logbooks and discover the benefits of the HOS247 digital logbook app.
Paper Logs vs. Digital Logbook Apps
Current regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers state that they must keep a driver logbook for their RODS. Paper and electronic records account for a 24-hour period, and should display the same basic information, including the date, carrier name, and truck number, but their management is very different.
Paper log books have to be filled out manually, while electronic log books update the information automatically. Both types of logs display four sections of 24 boxes, each representing an hour. The four sections are divided into four categories: off-duty, sleeping, driving, and on-duty (not driving).
Broadly speaking, paper HOS records must be kept as follows:
- A horizontal line indicates a driver’s work-time activity throughout 24 hours. It must be drawn across the box, indicating a specific status: off-duty, sleeping, driving, and on-duty (not driving). The line should start when the activity begins and continue for as long as it lasts. For example, if the operator drives from 12 pm to 5 pm, they will draw a continuous line through these five hours in the driving section.
- During the shift, the line has to be extended into other sections, continually showing the driver’s statuses as it changes throughout the day.
- The driver must count the total number of hours spent off-duty, sleeping, driving, and on-duty to ensure they total 24.
- When the duty is complete, the driver should leave comments in the remarks section and log the nearest milepost and highway and specify a city, town, village, and state.
Electronic logbooks accurately record the driver’s data, considerably simplifying these tasks. The hardware connects to the engine, so it tracks vehicle activity and uploads all the information to the digital template. One significant advantage of using elogs is their accuracy, so the carriers save money on compliance and penalty-related costs.
Bear in mind that some exceptions may apply when using digital log book apps. Certain situations may make it unnecessary to maintain RODS with the elog system, such as:
- Short-haul driving. Drivers who operate inside a 150-air-mile radius from their workstation (short-haul exemption)
- RODS for 8 days out of a 30-day period. Drivers who keep RODS for up to eight days.
- Drive-away-tow-away operations. Drivers who operate a vehicle driven as a part of or the whole cargo.
- Engines manufactured before the year 2000. These vehicles are not compatible with ELDs, so they are not required to use them.
Is It Better to Use Android or iOS Apps?
Although there is much talk online about one of these systems being better than the other, it is not all that different. Both systems support quality digital log book apps to keep HOS, so it is really a matter of driver convenience and harnessing the technology most drivers are already using. Ideally, the electronic logbook provider will offer digital logbook software versions compatible with both systems.
Steps to Find the Best Digital Logbook
If you are not familiar with digital logbook apps or electronic logging devices, finding the correct logbook for your business can be an overwhelming task. To gain some perspective, here are some pointers to narrow down the search and find what you need more quickly.
- Look at user reviews. Real-life users post digital logbook app reviews on platforms such as Google Play Store and the Apple App Store that provide useful insights into the system’s functionality.
- Ease of use. Success with any technology is predicated by customers’ ability to use it. If it is not intuitive and requires extensive training, it will cause trouble down the road.
- Reliable support. Having help available in times of need can make or break the service. A trustworthy provider offers quality post-sale support. It only takes a moment to call the customer service line and get a sense of what to expect.
It is also important to try to stay away from red flags. Here are three important ones to avoid:
- Extended contracts. Often, providers require their clients to sign lengthy contracts with little room for change. Technology evolves quickly, and a multiyear commitment can be a significant problem. It is much better to make room for the possibility of change.
- Inconsistent pricing. Not all elog services have a clear and upfront price. Clients may see costs adding up beyond their expectations if they are not careful. Make sure to understand the service, products, and installation costs before you decide.
- Outdated technology. In the United States, the 3G network will be shut down by the end of the year. Make sure your provider is at least working with 4G technology and prevent a forced purchase in the future.
Finally, make sure the provider you choose is FMCSA-approved.
HOS247 Is a Top-Rated Electronic Logbook Provider
HOS247 is known as a reliable partner for professional truck drivers and carriers. We provide quality products, services, and timely support regardless of fleet size. HOS247 offers a wide array of advantages and benefits; we make it a point to bring added value to the customers well beyond the basics, including:
- Top-rated customer support. Our technical team is ready to assist clients with logbook issues and compliance every day of the week. Our team is fluent in English, Spanish, Russian, and Polish.
- Driver-friendly design. HOS247 has developed a digital logbook app that allows drivers to navigate their RODS with simplicity. A few clicks are enough to obtain reports or any HOS records information they need.
- High-quality hardware. The hardware piece can be quickly and easily installed. We have tested the device to make sure it performs as it should at all times. It is durable and tamper-resistant, and it comes with a one-year warranty.
- No contract policy. HOS247 works on the principle of mutual trust with its customer base. Our plans do not require extended commitments and can be scaled up or down as the client needs, free of contracts.
- Try-out period. Customers can get firsthand experience working with their HOS247 device for two weeks. If you are not convinced, you may return it during this time and get a refund.
HOS247 Extra Features
To bring additional value to the client, HOS247 ELD offers several features to assist them with many other tasks needed for the business.
Our service includes the following features:
- IFTA mileage calculations. IFTA calculations are automated to prevent human error. This tool will reduce the workload related to tax filing and also the risk of being audited.
- Real-time GPS. HOS247 integrates a modern GPS tracking solution to optimize operations without additional hardware, significantly boosting productivity. Our app can also work with your GPS system if it’s already installed.
- Maintenance scheduling. Keep the fleet safe and in top shape by ensuring the trucks run well. The automated service helps prevent costly breakdowns and downtime due to maintenance issues.
- Fault code notifications. Get real-time alerts when the engine presents issues to increase driver safety and tend to mechanical issues promptly.
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