Things were different back in 1985: Coca-Cola released New Coke, the Live Aid concerts raised millions for famine in Africa, Route 66 was removed from the US Highway System, and seeing a female truck driver was still a rare sight. But it was in this year that Judy Chosewood first climbed behind the steering wheel and started driving a big rig. Talk about girl power!
Since starting with Roadrunner Transportation Services back in 1989, she has been there through a lot of changes; mergers, acquisitions, growth, expansion and many new faces. Throughout her entire tenure, she has loved working for them and all these changes just added to the excitement.
Switching from Paper to Electronic Logs
The transportation industry has also changed during her time with Roadrunner. Judy is one of those rare individuals that doesn’t fear change; she embraces it! This is what propelled her into transportation in the first place. In fact, she was one of the first at Roadrunner to use BigRoad’s electronic logging solution.
Judy had only used paper logs in the past but was growing tired of all the extra work. She knew there had to be a better option that would simplify her life. The first time she used BigRoad, she instantly fell in love with it. “I don’t know why everyone doesn’t use eLogs,” raves Judy, “it’s easier and gets rid of the silly mistakes.”
Based in Virden, Illinois, Judy is a team driver along with her husband, Ronnie, whom she met through work. A typical run for Judy and Ronnie starts on Saturday at 3 am where they set out from the Bolingbrook terminal heading for California. Their return leg sees them travel from California back to the depot in Quincy, Illinois and back home by Wednesday at 5 pm.
“At the end of the day when I’m tired, I’d add and total up my columns and they didn’t always add up right,” she said about her experiences with paper logs. Making long runs like Judy and Ronnie do, it’s easy to understand their frustration with paper logs. Using BigRoad’s eLogs, all of those possible errors are resolved easily. “One little mistake and it’s the end of the world in the eyes of the DOT officers. I don’t have to worry about that anymore!”
The ‘Bonus’ of Using eLogs
As a company, Roadrunner volunteers for inspections. They incentivize their drivers by providing bonuses for clean inspections. Since adopting BigRoad for her logs, Judy has participated in over 20 inspections - and passed with flying colours! She was happy to report: “With BigRoad’s eLogs, there’s never any violations. Your logs are fool-proof.”
Being an owner-operator, you also have to possess some business savvy. At the end of a long day (or week), these little mistakes can be easily overlooked but become quite costly. Using eLogs, such as BigRoad’s, drivers are setting themselves up for a successful inspection. In Judy’s case, it’s not a chance she’s willing to take and doesn't want to miss out on any bonus pay.
Judy relates, “Bad math and stupid mistakes lead to losing money.” Typically, she could expect to make $1,500. Since using BigRoad’s eLogs, her last bonus rocketed to $6,500. “I was shocked. That never happens!” she exclaimed.
eLogs - Not Easy for Everyone, But Well Worth It!
Back before she met Ronnie and was a single driver, Judy used to run a lot harder. “I found it too hard to keep track of everything, especially with paper logs.” She found making the transition to eLogs easy although she jokes, “Ronnie found it a bit of a leap. I still have to remind him to take his 30 minute break.”
As a team, they both run the BigRoad app on their separate devices. After a couple of attempts and a call to BigRoad’s Support Team, they soon had it figured out and a system in place.
“Ronnie always had a problem with stopping and would often go over his hours, but doesn’t now with BigRoad’s app telling him it’s time to stop,” states Judy. Since using BigRoad, they always have extra hours.
One of her regular annoyances is being asked to print logs. “I’m always forced to print them in California. It’s a waste of paper; they just throw them away when done,” she even jokes, “I thought California was supposed to be the environmentally friendly state!?” However, with BigRoad’s in-app features, she can quickly email, fax or print her logs.
Meeting the ELD Mandate
There is a lot of speculation in the industry of how this new mandate will affect drivers and their overall transition to these new regulations. Judy isn't worried about the ELD mandate; she brushes it off by saying, “it’s coming and you can’t avoid it. Everyone has time to adapt before it’s the law. Now is the best time to train yourself. It’s not an issue; in fact, it will make your life better!”
If you haven’t already heard, the mandate Judy is referring to is the one brought forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) which proposes several new trucking regulations including the switch to only using eLogs. The date has been pushed back, coming into effect at the end of October and will include a grace period.
No Turning Back from eLogs
“I’d never go back to how it was before eLogs. You’re guaranteed an eLog is correct; it’s 1000 times easier. I love that it keeps you current and legal. It makes you pay attention,” she enthuses. “When you stop to fuel, you just have to remember to type that in. Now I wouldn’t even lease to Roadrunner if I couldn’t use BigRoad!”
Using BigRoad’s eLogs provides drivers with an easy and effective method to capture hours of service. They have the control and can focus their time on reaching their destination, rather than filling out a bunch of paperwork. The in-app features provide everything at a driver’s fingertips, including distributing their logs via email, printing or fax. All that is needed is a smartphone or tablet and drivers are on the road to simpler logs and saving money.
“I make much better money running legal,” says Judy. “It forces you to change and run your business better. You appreciate your true value and that leads you to running a profitable business. eLogs make life so much easier. You can still work hard and make extra money.”