Air, rail, sea, and road – logbooks have a long, storied history that’s as old as transportation itself.
For a lot of drivers, paper logs are as comfy as an old pair of sweat pants – they offer plenty of room to move around but you know you shouldn’t be seen dead in them.
It’s this familiarity that leads to some thinking paper logs are faster and easier to use than electronic logs. In reality, form and manner errors are the most commonly found violations during a roadside inspection – errors easily fixed with electronic logs.
The Times, They are a Changin'
Soon enough paper logs will be a thing of the past. Due to be published this fall, the ELD mandate sounds the death knell on paper logs.
It gives anyone still using paper two years before they have to let go of their pens and adopt an electronic logging device.
Trust us, we get it. We know that change can be hard and learning something on a new-fangled gadget isn’t always easy when you’re not tech-savvy. Maybe you’ve even been forced to use an electronic logging system in the past, and it left you with a bad taste in your mouth. Not all electronic logging systems are user-friendly and designed with the driver in mind.
The fact is, two years may seem like a long time, but it’s going to fly-by. If you leave it until the last minute, then you are going to get left behind and potential have logs that aren't compliant. You know it makes sense to get ready ahead of time.
Using Two Logs for the Transition
One of the most effective ways to transition your process for the upcoming mandate is to use an electronic logbook. Thankfully, there’s no need to buy a costly piece of hardware. You can pick up an electronic logbook, such as the BigRoad app, are free and run it on your smartphone or tablet. A good electronic logbook should feature an intuitive design that’s easy to use and allows to you quickly change your duty status – which is essential for staying current.
It is all very well saying something is intuitive, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be smooth sailing. One of the best strategies you can employ is to use an electronic logbook and mimic everything you do with the paper logs. By doing this, you are essentially keeping two logs but it allows you time to get used to using the electronic log.
If you do this for just one week, you’ll be ready to use the electronic logbook on its own. A practice week lets you experience everything you would record in your paper log and show how much easier it is to capture the same information with an electronic logbook.
You will see the information that is usually completed by hand for each day is automatically transferred to the next day. An electronic logbook is also fully editable just like paper logs. It also eliminates any messy writing or penmanship. Within a week, you will have corrected a few mistakes and seen that your logs look clean and ready for inspection.
Running the two logs together will ease you into using electronic logs. When you finally make the transition to using an ELD, you’ll already be comfortable with it’s how it works. Remember if you ever get stuck using BigRoad, you can always call our support line and we’ll be more than happy to help you out: 1-888-305-8777.