Smartphone, tablet logging apps no longer require printing or manual signatures, FMCSA says

| July 10, 2014

Digital logs produced by smartphone, tablet or computer apps no longer have to be printed and signed manually by drivers, according to new guidance on digital logs issued this week by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Digital logs can now be signed with electronic signatures and submitted to carriers to satisfy federal logbook requirements, FMCSA’s guidance says.

Related

BigRoad plans 395.15 compliant e-log, integrates with Sylectus

BigRoad COO and cofounder Terry Frey estimates end-of-summer for the e-log, while Sylectus TMS integration with the BigRoad logging app is live today.

This guidance changes previous agency guidance issued in 2011 that said drivers must print the digital logs and sign them each day, in addition to being able to print the records for the previous 24-hour period and maintain printed and signed copies for the previous seven days and be able to produce seven days’ of logs for enforcers.

Under the new guidance, if a driver can sign the logs electronically, they do not have to print logs each day and do not have to maintain printed and signed logs for the previous seven days.

From an enforcement standpoint, drivers can display current and records of duty status for the previous seven days on their device’s screen. If an inspector asks for printed copies, drivers must be given the opportunity to print them during the inspection, FMCSA says.

If electronic signatures cannot be used within the app, though, drivers must still print and sign their logs each day and have on them printed and signed records of duty status for the preceding seven days.

Related

KeepTruckin plans to offer free ELD to its pre-mandate e-logbook users

That is, should the mandate take effect. With FMCSA hoping for a 2016 compliance date, KeepTruckin says it's developing the hardware to satisfy the ELD ...

The agency’s guidance here refers exclusively to apps or other software that are not integrally synchronized with a truck’s operations (like electronic logging devices and their predecessors, automatic onboard recorders) and require drivers to change their duty status manually.

According to the agency’s guidance, simple digital logs, like in smartphone apps, do not count as electronic logging devices or automatic onboard recorders, as they do not connect with the truck’s engine or computer to gauge operations like power status, motion status, engine hours, etc.

  • Wingdinger

    I’m confused… So what sort of apps can be used as official e-logs? It says,”The agency’s guidance here refers exclusively to apps or other software that are not integrally synchronized with a truck’s operations and require drivers to change their duty status manually.” Then it says, “According to the agency’s guidance, simple digital logs, like in smartphone apps, do not count as electronic logging devices or automatic onboard recorders, as they do not connect with the truck’s engine or computer to gauge operations like power status, motion status, engine hours, etc.” So why exactly would simple log apps not work for this? Can someone tell me what apps are legal?

  • Sgosa

    After reading the article, as well as your question several times, I understand the answer is in the question. I may be misunderstanding the article or your question. But any logging app that can digitally record your previous 7 days can be used and presented for inspection w/o printing and signing actual paper logs.

  • Jmorales

    Only if you can sign them digitally. If not, you would still have to print out and have a copy of your last 7 days. I’ve been using “Big Road” for over a year and believe it’s the best logging app out there. And yes you can sign digitally right on your phone or tablet.

  • William Adkins

    When they are talking about the apps with reference to the computer or a smart device. They are talking about a digital log. That is a log where you don’t fill out a paper log. So what the change is……. Before you had to fill out the log on whatever device you choose but in order to be compliant with an inspection you had to have on hand and already printed out your seven previous days and already signed or already digitally signed….. So now it says you just need to have them digitally signed in your device and be able to show them on screen…… Now when it is talking about gauging operations of the vehicle that is a elog…. That’s when the device is hooked to the truck and automatically detects any vehicle change….. movement, location, etc…. which don’t have to be printed or signed on location with drivers. One is digital log the other is elog. Hope this helps

  • pbass

    Jmorales, you should check out the keeptruckin app. i find it much easier to use then bigroad. and the recap is amazing!

  • Jmorales

    I’ve tried that one and a few more already. I still prefer Big Road. Guess everyone has they’re own preferences.

  • guest

    I’ve been using Big Road for almost 9 months now. I’ve tried KeepTruckin for several weeks but didn’t like the screen. It was to hard to read in bright daylight and didn’t auto fill the location with gps location. Other than that it is a great app. I am short hauling, so I only have to do “on-duty” or “off-duty” and not document the way OTR drivers have to. But I found that the time spent typing in locations was a pain, now I just have to confirm that the location is correct. I’ve contacted BR as well as KT about different concerns and while both have great customer service, KT is heads above BR. I’ve even noticed that they addressed a major concern in an update. One thing on both apps – there isn’t anyplace for a mechanic to sign off on the repair.

  • Katy

    On BigRoad the mechanic can sign off on the repair when you print the sheet off. You just check the little box that says you found a problem and then when you print the DVIR it has everything there for the mechanic.

  • Pingback: #Smartphone, tablet logging apps no longer require printing or manual signatures, #FMCSA says | iTruckTV

OverdriveOnline.com strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.