Feature Article: Feeling the heat
Osterberg concurs with Prime’s Don Lacy that the watershed event spurring many large carriers’ move to electronic logs was not CSA 2010, but the December 2008 ruling declaring FMCSA authority to use Qualcomm and other device position reports in HOS auditing, rather than just paper fuel records, scale receipts and the like.
“There’s a level of logging precision that is required in legal circles that you just can’t meet with a paper log,” Osterberg says. “CSA 2010 is just further reinforcement … that you achieve a level of precision in your logging” that will, essentially, hold up in court.
For independent owner-operators, computer-assisted logging may be a less-expensive solution to the need for such precision, whether via GPS-enabled laptop, as many do it today, or smart phone, offering the operator the ability to switch between partly automated and manual logging modes. Driver’s Daily Log by Iddl.com is an application available for the iPhone, with a companion subscription service ($100/year) that allows for long-term storage of your data.
The new UDrove.com application and service, too, enables computer-assisted logging via Blackberry, Android and iPhone platforms (with subscription starting at $29.95 monthly). UDrove also provides capabilities to help manage business data seamlessly, says Joel McGinley of Internet Truckstop, which makes the product. This includes “inspection reports, proofs of delivery when he wants to get proof back to dispatch, expense tracking, tax reporting data” and more.
As of now, any owner-operator utilizing computer-assisted logging must be able to print a log page to satisfy the demands of a DOT officer, if needed. However, UDrove reps and some drivers report more officers are getting familiar with computer-assisted log displays, and printing is becoming less necessary.